Decision time… How do you know what to do?


I read a message this morning and triggered thoughts of a year gone by. When you go through a tough year, how do you decide if the challenges, the struggles, the trials, the tests, the pain, and the suffering are signs to move on or a time to build your faith strength? In my case, I kept leaning on God and He helped build my faith, He strengthened my family bond and unit, He kept telling me to stay in the midst of it all and never opened a door to step out or step away. It was also necessary as I look back to help me reset and prepare for the new role God had prepared in advance with an incredible new team to lead. The message I read brought this flashback moment because I was curious if that person’s decision was triggered by similar challenges and struggles. I was curious if that person’s decision to get out was directed by God or fear for what reviews and such might look like. I was curious if that person’s decision to get out was triggered by someone else offering them a new role and change. I may never know or it may be something discussed later in life but either way, it made me go back to decision time and how for me I turned to God to get the wisdom and discernment I needed to be able to both decide and press through it. I had picked up my lessons from years gone by and led with forgiveness! I then was able to seek wisdom and discernment from God to know what to do, where to go, how to proceed. And this past year for me with my new team has been incredible with both incredible managers as well as with incredible team members. God is good and He can use all things, even the bad or painful ones, and turn them around and use them for good! God’s got a perspective we can’t have or see from and so we need to trust Him, we need to lean on God rather than our own understanding, we need to go it His way that is so much higher and better than our ways.

It’s New Year’s Eve-eve today and many people will be thinking about making a decision heading into the New Year. What decision are you considering? What is the motivation for the decision? What is the purpose of the decision? Is it self-driven or God-driven? Is it something that you will commit to or is it like many of the New Year resolutions that rarely make it through January? Important things to consider since you still have a couple of days to get it figured out.


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 30TH


BIG CHOICES


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘“Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. ‘

Deuteronomy 11:26-28

Let’s look to get more context and details for today’s Bible verses by expanding the verses around it and using the Amplified version for extra details.

‘“Therefore you shall love the Lord your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His precepts, and His commandments [it is your obligation to Him]. Know this day that I am not speaking to your children who have not known [by personal experience] and who have not seen [firsthand] the instruction and discipline of the Lord your God—His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm; and His signs and His works which He did in the midst of Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land; and what He did to the army of Egypt, to its horses and its chariots, when He made the water of the Red Sea engulf them as they pursued you, and how the Lord completely destroyed them; and what He did to you in the wilderness until you came to this place; and what He did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben, when the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, their households, their tents, and every living thing that followed them, in the midst of all Israel. For your eyes have seen all the great work of the Lord which He did. “Therefore, you shall keep all the commandments which I am commanding you today, so that you may be strong and go in and take possession of the land which you are crossing over [the Jordan] to possess; so that you may live long on the land which the Lord swore (solemnly promised) to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land [of great abundance,] flowing with milk and honey. For the land which you are entering to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot like a garden of vegetables. But the land into which you are about to cross to possess, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. “It shall come about, if you listen obediently and pay attention to My commandments which I command you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul [your choices, your thoughts, your whole being]— that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early [fall] rain and the late [spring] rain, so that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your [olive] oil. And He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away [from the Lord ] and serve other gods and worship them, or [else] the Lord’s anger will be kindled and burn against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the land will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you. “Therefore, you shall impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul, and tie them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as bands (frontals, frontlets) on your forehead. You shall teach them [diligently] to your children [impressing God’s precepts on their minds and penetrating their hearts with His truths], speaking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the Lord your God, to walk [that is, to live each and every day] in all His ways and to hold tightly to Him— then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess nations greater and mightier than you. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall become yours; your territory shall be from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the river, the river Euphrates, as far as the western sea (the Mediterranean). No man will be able to stand before you; the Lord your God will lay the fear and the dread of you on all the land on which you set foot, just as He has spoken to you. “Behold, today I am setting before you a blessing and a curse— the blessing, if you listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following (acknowledging, worshiping) other gods which you have not known. “It shall come about, when the Lord your God brings you into the land which you are entering to possess, that you shall place the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. Are they not across the Jordan, west of the road, toward the sunset, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh? For you are about to cross the Jordan to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall possess it and live in it, and you shall be careful to do all the statutes and the judgments which I am setting before you today.’

Deuteronomy 11:1-32

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever noticed how God can make the right choice more appealing that the wrong choice?
  • As you consider the above scripture about the benefits of following God’s law do you see how He desires us to make the right choice?
  • Today’s devotional put it the options this way: “You have a choice. You can have a thousand dollars in cash or a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Which one do you want?”
  • Throughout history we have seen many times where people have chosent the stick in the eye.
  • Ever wondered when the options are so clear how anyone could make the wrong choice?
  • The sad part is that they do and so do we.
  • God has made Himself clear about the right and wrong decisions and yet people have struggled to receive it.
  • Consider Eve in the garden and how Satan came to tempt her and confuse her understanding of what God had said.
    • ‘Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. ‘
      Genesis 3:1-7
  • Satan is trying to get us off track and bring confusion and try to cause us to doubt or question God’s authority and goodness.
  • What if Eve had of responded with “Yes, but He gave us all of the rest of these, and that’s plenty!”?
  • What choices are you facing today?
  • What does God say about your options?
  • Will you trust God?
  • Will you trust His plans?
  • Will you trust His authority?
  • Will you trust His goodness?
  • Or are you allowing Satan to create a wedge between you and God because questioning or doubt?
  • Will you allow doubt and questioning to cause you to walk away from God like what happened to Eve?
  • Are you being tempted today?
  • Are you being tempted to doubt God?
  • Are you being tempted to doubt God’s goodness?
  • Are you being tempted to doubt God’s authority?
  • Are you being tempted to doubt the importance of having God as the centerpiece of your life?
  • Do you think you can do it and nobody will ever know or find out? God knows.
  • Do you think you could have sex with that person because it sounds really good and you think you can do it without anyone finding out? God knows.
  • Do you think you can blow of that responsibility you have since you don’t think anyone will get hurt by it? God knows.
  • Do you think making up stories or lying about something or someone might help you get ahead quicker and coming up with stories why it won’t hurt them or how they weren’t going to be impacted or try for that opportunity anyway? God knows.
  • Do you think overeating won’t be a problem and won’t hurt? God knows.
  • Do you realize how such talk, thoughts, and conversations cause or create doubt over God’s goodness, God’s authority, and hence puts into question the benefits of obedience.
  • What will be your big choice today?
  • It may seem small in the moment but the question is will your decision move you closer to God or further away with each and every one?
  • Will you choose wisely and receive the wonderful blessings?
  • Will you choose unwisely and receive the painful curse?
  • The choice is yours! We all have freewill.
  • So will you choose blessings or curses?
  • The decision is yours! Why not be prepared in advance so that when you are faced with the situation you know the right answer and are ready to make it.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are the choices you face each day that question or affirm God’s authority in your life?
  • Which path are you on? How much progress are you making?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

There is no failure in God’s will, and no success outside of God’s will.

George W Truett

So are you facing a big choice today? Are you considering making a decision heading out of the current and into the coming year? Are you considering how it aligns with God’s will for your life? Are you ready to invite God into the situation in order to receive His wisdom and guidance? Are you ready to start making your decisions in a way that will bring God glory? Are you ready to grab hold of 1 Corinthians 10:31 that says: ‘So then, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of [our great] God. ‘? 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?


Ever messed up? made a mistake? missed the mark? Ever needed a second chance?


We are all human and as such none of us are perfect. We’ve all made mistakes! We’ve all done or said something incorrectly! We’ve all done or said something inaccurately! We’ve all missed the mark when trying to achieve something. So what does that mean, how will we respond, and how will others respond?

Are you ready to learn from it? Are you ready to grow from it? Are you ready to refocus in order to try again? Are you ready to look back to see where it went wrong? Are you ready to check your tools, your equipment, and your techniques to understand what got you tripped up? Are you ready to change in order to make things better? Are you ready to admit your mistake or that you messed up or that you missed the mark and ask for forgiveness? Are you ready to be humble about it and not let pride create barriers or walls that prevent you from moving (forward, backward, or sideways)? Are you ready to humbly ask for a second chance?

We’ve all been there but we haven’t all responded in the same way. We’ve all faced troubles but we haven’t all responded in the same way (right or wrongly). We’ve all had trials but we haven’t all looked at them in the same way nor responded to them in the same way either. And so it comes down to a decision that we have to make individually and it will impact our future and the responses from others. So we all have to decide when faced with trials, troubles, or our own mess-ups, mistakes, and missed opportunities and actions. It is just like many decisions that we will have to make are personal and individually we will need to decide and move forward into whatever outcome, rewards, or consequences will come with it.

Today is a new day and today you will get to choose! Make Today Count! Where are you at today? Where are you at today? Do you know what to do? Could it be to be still? What can you do today? Do that to the best of your abilities! Do you believe enough to be able to live out your today? How will you make the most out of your today? It’s coming… Are you ready? Will you live out today in LOVE? Lead with Love! What can you do today to encourage and lift up others? Will you be the one? Do you realize what day today is? What will today bring? So here we go, let’s live out our today to the full, to bring praise, honor, and glory to God by being sensitive to His Spirit and being obedient to His Word!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 13th


Thank God For A Second Chance


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”’

Exodus 3:3-4

Ever considered the full story of Moses, not just from the burning bush forward? Ever checked out all of Exodus and how God worked with, in, and through him? Let’s check out the context of today’s verses surrounding the burning bush experience using the Amplified version:

‘Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro (Reuel) his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb (Sinai), the mountain of God. The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing flame of fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was on fire, yet it was not consumed. So Moses said, “I must turn away [from the flock] and see this great sight—why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he turned away [from the flock] to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then God said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet [out of respect], because the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. The Lord said, “I have in fact seen the affliction (suffering, desolation) of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters (oppressors); for I know their pain and suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand (power) of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a land [that is] good and spacious, to a land flowing with milk and honey [a land of plenty]—to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me; and I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. ‘

Exodus 3:1-9

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • When you think of Moses do you think of a great leader?
  • When you think of Moses do you think of the great miracles?
  • When you think of Moses do you think of the burning bush moment?
  • When you think of Moses do you think of the freeing the Israelites from Egypt?
  • When you think of Moses do you think of the parting of the Red Sea?
  • When you think of Moses do you remember how he got to be so far away from Egypt?
  • When you think of Moses do you remember what had happened in Egypt for him to have to flee?
  • Do you realize that even Moses needed and got a second chance?
  • Do you remember how Moses had sinned, missed the mark, and when he stood up for the slave he murdered the egyptian?
    • ‘One day, after Moses had grown [into adulthood], it happened that he went to his countrymen and looked [with compassion] at their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his countrymen. He turned to look around, and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. He went out the next day and saw two Hebrew men fighting with each other; and he said to the aggressor, “Why are you striking your friend?” But the man said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and said, “Certainly this incident is known.” When Pharaoh heard about this matter, he tried to kill Moses. Then Moses fled from Pharaoh’s presence and took refuge in the land of Midian, where he sat down by a well. ‘ — Exodus 2:11-15
  • Do you remember how Moses went through many years of desolation after fleeing Egypt?
  • Even though Moses was trying to help his people, he tripped up, messed up when he crossed the line and murdered.
  • Remember how Moses was lonely for 40 long years?
  • Can you imagine the number of times Moses might or must have considered giving up?
  • Can you imagine the number of times Moses might or must have thought it was all over?
  • Can you imagine the despair of being an outcast and wondering if his life may ever have meaning again?
  • We learn in today’s verse how God gave him a second chance!
  • We learn how God’s timing may not have been Moses’ timing but it came when Moses responded to God at the burning bush.
  • Ever had God ask you to do something and question that you would be able to do it? I know I have, one example can be found here: Will you answer the call from God even if you don’t feel qualified?
  • Moses had a similar response, hesitating, doubting his abilities to do what God was telling him to do, but he still chose to obey and move forward.
  • Ever blown it in a big way? Ever thought you were a lost cause? Ever doubted things could be good again?
  • Ever blown it in a big way at work?
  • Ever blown it in a big way at home?
  • Ever blown it in a big way in private?
  • Ever blown it in a big way in public?
  • Remember the consequences that came with missing the mark, with messing up, with making a mistake, with sinning?
  • Remember the feeling of being exiled to a far away land?
  • Remember the feelings of isolation and doubt?
  • Remember the feelings of despair and worry?
  • Remember the feelings and questioning of if there will be a second chance?
  • God is the God of another chance! Be it the second, the third, the fourth, …
  • We may have to wait, but waiting on the Lord is always worth it!
  • During the wait, prepare yourself so that you will be ready to respond to His calling!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Whom do you know who feels exiled and needs a second chance?
  • What are some ways we can be ready to respond when the second chance comes?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Other people and things can stop you temporarily. You are the only one who can do it permanently.”

― Zig Ziglar, The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Are you in need of a second chance? Are you ready to give someone a second chance? Are you aware of what it takes for a second chance? Could today be the turnaround day for you to receive a second chance? The decision is yours to make! 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?


Considering what will last, will you spend your time on what will impact them?


So what will last, you may be asking yourself? Souls and Faith, Hope, and Love with the greatest of the 3 being LOVE. So people’s souls will last and their destination is the difference, the opportunity, and the focus point. So as we begin today are you ready to spend your time investing in what will last? Are you ready to invest in the lives of others in a way that will point them to God and enable them to make the decision to spend eternity in heaven with God? Are you ready to invest in both growing your faith, hope, and love in the hopes that it will then be able to overflow into the lives of everyone you come in contact with? Faith is the substance of things hoped for and a conviction of things not seen. Hope when fulfilled is the tree of life whereas hope deferred makes us heartsick. Love is best defined by 1 Corinthians 13 so let’s take a look at it, since it is the greatest of the 3.

‘If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all. Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete]. But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.’

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

So today, let us choose to focus on making an impact on and in the world we live in by focusing on what is going to last forever. Let’s get and be filled up with faith, hope and love to the point of overflowing! Let’s then overflow into the people God brings to mind, across our paths, and into our lives today so that we can point them to an eternity where they will get to live with God in Heaven and not in the abyss of hell apart from God.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 4th


Each One Reach One



MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.’

Colossians 4:5-6

Let’s dig a bit more into this with the surrounding context and using the Amplified version.

‘Masters, [on your part] deal with your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us, too, that God will open a door [of opportunity] to us for the word, to proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I have been imprisoned; that I may make it clear [and speak boldly and unfold the mystery] in the way I should. Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you]. As to all my affairs, Tychicus, who is a much-loved brother and faithful assistant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will give you all the information. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are doing and that he may encourage your hearts; and with him is Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will let you know everything about the situation here [in Rome]. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, wishes to be remembered to you; as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him); and from Jesus, who is called Justus. These are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision (Jewish Christians), and they have proved to be an encouragement and a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you and a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [He is] always striving for you in his prayers, praying with genuine concern, [pleading] that you may [as people of character and courage] stand firm, [spiritually mature] and fully assured in all the will of God. For I testify for him that he has worked strenuously for you and for the believers in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you. Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house. When this letter has been read among you, see that it is read in the church of the Laodiceans; and also that you in turn read my letter [that is coming to you] from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See to it that you fulfill [carefully the duties of] the ministry which you have received in the Lord.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. May grace (God’s unmerited favor and blessing) be with you.’

Colossians 4:1-18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize your environment is an opportunity to shine for God?
  • Do you realize your environment is an opportunity to be salty for God?
  • Do you realize the unbelievers around you and how they need the salt and light of Jesus in their lives too?
  • Do you realize or look for opportunity to be salt and light into their lives?
  • Don’t be too busy doing your own thing to miss out on being able to do God’s things in the lives of the people God brings across your path.
  • Don’t be too self absorbed in your own stresses that you miss the open door opportunities to speak hope and love in faith to the world around you.
  • Don’t consider it a bother when they come your way, consider it an opportunity to be salt and light in their lives.
  • Keep your eyes open for when they come by so that you can make an effort to be salt and light into their lives.
  • Someone come to mind in this life where so much is being done virtually? Why not reach out and let them know and check in to make sure they are doing ok and if there is anything you can do to help them.
  • Do you realize your mission to reach as many people as possible like Paul did?
  • Do you realize how many people in your mist are lost and need someone to shine the light and hope of Jesus into their situations?
  • Do you realize how many people in your mist are lost and need you to spice things up for them with salt of Jesus into their lives?
  • Will you speak to people others are ignoring?
  • Will you go to places others won’t go?
  • Consider every interaction an opportunity!
  • Consider every interaction as an open door to represent Jesus to them!
  • Lead with God’s grace, giving it to them freely.
  • Let God’s love overflow out of your heart and be how your words speak to them.
  • We need to be both reaching out in love as well as seasoning our words with the His salt.
  • Salt that goes bad has no purpose and gets thrown out on the roads.
  • So let’s instead use salt with the purposes it has in life!
    • salt adds taste
    • salt preserves
  • So let’s be salty so as to add flavor to people’s lives!
  • So let’s be salty so that we are the most creative, optimistic, compassionate, sensitive, and alive people to the world around us!
  • Let’s be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within us too!
  • There will come a time when someone will ask you to explain yourself, why are you like that? what is allowing you to be that way? So be ready to give people the reason for that spunk in your step and share the truth, the love, the hope of Jesus in your life!
  • Let’s be the people God created us to be in the place God has positioned us to be.
  • Let’s reach out to those God has allowed us to have relationship with so that they can encounter Jesus like we did.
  • Let’s help them realize it isn’t about rituals and routines but about an intimate relationship with Jesus.
  • Let’s be salty in this world we live!
  • Let’s be salty so that we can touch the life of the one(s) that need it.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • At this point in your life, how salty are you? Explain your answer.
  • Who are some unbelievers God has put in your life? How can you be salty with them?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“I’m convinced that the lost person will respond to a sincere believer far better than to an insincere Bible scholar.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Are you one who knows Jesus and is living for Him and will pick up the call to be salty and make a difference in the world around you? Are you one who knows Jesus and is living in a relationship with Him to fill you to overflowing with faith, hope, and love in order to be able to pour it out over all those God brings into your life? Are you someone looking for answers, seeking hope, or looking for love? Are you someone whose final destination is unknown to you? Are you ready to decide and choose to spend eternity with God in Heaven? Will today be your day? 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?


Ever been in a car when a song comes on and when you hear the lyrics you change it and everyone else is like WHAT?


That is the thought that came to mind as I saw today’s topic. I made me think of being in the car and when I heard the lyrics to a song I changed the station and everyone was like “Dad, we were listening to that”. I asked them if they heard what was being said and they all replied “no, but we like the beat”. Growing up listening to so many different types of music has allowed me to hear the words behind the beat. Be it rap or reggae, pop or country, rock or alternative, I hear the words and when I danced I danced to both. It takes both to make the song and as such it takes both to direct the motion of dance. It takes both to be able to not only dance but also sing along with the music. New song comes on and I stop to take a listen because I know I could dance to the beat but do I want to dance to the words is the question. Even when I could dance the night away, the wrong song could get me off the dance floor.

There is power in words! So we need to realize that and not only control our tongue and what we will say but also protect our hearts and minds by what we allow ourselves to hear! Words have the power of life and death! Words have the power to corrupt! Words have the power pierce like a sword and heal a broken heart! Words have the power to defile you! Words have the power to bring or cause judgment! Words have the power to heal and bring health! Words have the power turn away wrath or stir up anger! Words have the power to justify and to condemn! Words have the power to bring life or destruction! Words have the power to be a tree of life or to breach the spirit! Words have the power to build up or tear down! There is so much power in our words that we need to find a way to control them like a bridle to a horse! We can do it by limiting the amount of talking we do! (‘When there are many words, transgression and offense are unavoidable, But he who controls his lips and keeps thoughtful silence is wise. ‘ Proverbs 10:19) We can do it by using our words carefully! (‘The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life and his words of wisdom are a source of blessing, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence and evil. ‘ Proverbs 10:11, ‘A soft and gentle and thoughtful answer turns away wrath, But harsh and painful and careless words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise speaks knowledge that is pleasing and acceptable, But the [babbling] mouth of fools spouts folly. A soothing tongue [speaking words that build up and encourage] is a tree of life, But a perversive tongue [speaking words that overwhelm and depress] crushes the spirit. ‘ Proverbs 15:1-2,4, ‘There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing. ‘ Proverbs 12:18, ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words. ‘ Proverbs 18:21) We can do it by not mimicking or mirroring the way the world speaks! (‘A soft and gentle and thoughtful answer turns away wrath, But harsh and painful and careless words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise speaks knowledge that is pleasing and acceptable, But the [babbling] mouth of fools spouts folly. ‘ Proverbs 15:1-2, ‘The heart of the righteous thinks carefully about how to answer [in a wise and appropriate and timely way], But the [babbling] mouth of the wicked pours out malevolent things. ‘ Proverbs 15:28) Let’s choose to use our words wisely and in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory!

I remember being at a corporate event and two of my friends who for years when we went to the Christmas parties only got up to dance for the slow songs I taught them how to hear the beat. Pretty much every song has the same beat and as such once you can hear it you can dance, maybe not with the fullness of when you can merge the words and the beat but it would at least get them up on the dance floor which would make parties in the future more fun for them and their wives. I remember making them a deal that once they could hear it would would get up and dance. It was long before they got it. So up on the dance floor we went for the rest of the night. It was so awesome to see the breakthrough and the fun we had. It was funny when we went back to work the next day as their bodies weren’t used to dancing and so they were aching. I remember one commenting on how sore their body was. I remember the other commenting that it hurt so bad that their hair hurt. It was awesome.

So today when you are listening, do you just hear the beat or are you also listening to the words? Be it music or in a conversation. Are you spotting not only the words but also the tone and body language that is communicating the unspoken part of the words? Are you able to step into the situation because of the ability to hear it all and speak truth and life and hope in love to the situation? Are you able to step into the situation with love in order to help direct or correct the situation? Are you able to stand up for those who aren’t able to stand up for themselves? Are you able to take a stand for what is true, what is right, what is just? Are you able to receive the feedback, the input, and the rebuke when it comes from the heart, when it comes with your best intentions in mind, when it is for your own good, when it is from someone who knows and gets it and is looking out for your best?

Can you hear what is being said? Are you ready to turn it up or turn it off? Are you ready to tune in or tune out? Are you ready to get better because of it?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 23rd


Foolish Songs


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools.’

Ecclesiastes 7:5

Let’s dig in a bit to get some additional context and even see what the Amplified version brings to this verse as we see the comparison and contrast of wisdom and folly:

‘A good name is better than precious perfume, And the day of one’s death better than the day of one’s birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning Than to go to the house of feasting, For that [day of death] is the end of every man, And the living will take it to heart and solemnly ponder its meaning. Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad (deep in thought) the heart may be happy [because it is growing in wisdom]. The heart of the wise [learns when it] is in the house of mourning, But the heart of fools is [senseless] in the house of pleasure. It is better to listen to the rebuke of the wise man and pursue wisdom Than for one to listen to the song of fools and pursue stupidity. For like the crackling of [burning] thorn bushes under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool; And this too is vanity (futility). For oppression makes a wise man foolish, And a bribe corrupts the [good judgment of the] heart. The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit (pride). Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger dwells in the heart of fools. Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this. Wisdom along with an inheritance is good And an [excellent] advantage for those who see the sun. For wisdom is a protection even as money is a protection, But the [excellent] advantage of knowledge is that wisdom shields and preserves the lives of its possessors. Consider the work of God: Who can make straight what He has bent? In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider that God has made the one as well as the other, So that man will not find out anything that will be after him. I have seen everything during my [fleeting] days of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in [spite of] his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who lives a long life in [spite of] his wickedness. Do not be excessively righteous [like those given to self-conceit], and do not be overly wise (pretentious)—why should you bring yourself to ruin? Do not be excessively or willfully wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time? It is good that you take hold of one thing (righteousness) and also not let go of the other (wisdom); for the one who fears and worships God [with awe-filled reverence] will come forth with both of them. Wisdom strengthens the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who always does good and who never sins. Also, do not take seriously everything that is said, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you, for you also know that you too have cursed others many times. I have tested all this with wisdom. I said, “I will be wise [independently of God],” but true wisdom was far from me. Whatever has been is far off, deeply remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it [for it is beyond the grasp of man]? I turned around and directed my heart to know, to investigate and to seek [skillful and godly] wisdom and the reason for things, and to know that wickedness is folly and that foolishness is madness [leading to stupidity and recklessness]. And I discovered that [of all irrational sins none has been so destructive in beguiling one away from God as immoral women for] more bitter than death is the woman whose heart is [composed of] snares and nets, and whose hands are chains. Whoever pleases God will escape from her, but the sinner will be taken captive by her [evil]. “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “while adding one thing to another to find an explanation, which I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand [who pleases God], but I have not found [such] a woman among all these [a thousand in my harem]. Behold, I have found only this [as a reason]: God made man upright and uncorrupted, but they [both men and women] have sought out many devices [for evil].”’

Ecclesiastes 7:1-29

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Did you hear what they said?
  • Did you enjoy hearing what they said?
  • Have you ever heard someone way that feedback is a gift?
  • Ever thought that some feedback you wish you could return or exchange it like you can a gift?
  • Ever had a hard time hearing feedback you realized you needed to hear it?
  • Ever thanked someone for giving you the hard message? the feedback you needed? even if it wasn’t easy to receive?
  • When you have to give feedback are you able to explain the why?
  • When you have to receive the feedback are you still listening by the point it gets to them explaining the why?
  • Are you able to ask why if they don’t initially give it to you?
  • Are you ready to listen rather than respond?
  • Are you ready to accept the truth even if it has the bad taste of medicine because you know it is going to help you get better?
  • Are you ready to make the necessary changes based on that feedback?
  • Are you mature enough to receive feedback?
  • Are you mature enough to ask for feedback?
  • Are you mature enough to receive correction?
  • Are you looking for someone to tell you what you want to hear rather than what you need to hear?
  • Are you surrounding yourself with people who will miss the opportunity to help you correct, improve, grow because they aren’t willing or they are afraid to tell you the truth?
  • Are you ok with receiving the truth even when the person doesn’t deliver it the right way?
  • Are you ok with receiving the truth with love even when the other person can’t package it up in a nice box?
  • Are you ready for the truth rather than the flattery?
  • Are you ready for the rebuke of the wise over the song of fools?
  • Are you willing to find out you are sick so that you can find the right medicine to get better?
  • Isn’t getting feedback the same thing?
  • Do you have anyone who can be a wise “physician of the soul” who can give you the medicine of truth?
  • Let’s be willing to listen, take the medicine and move forward on the path to healthy and hope!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you normally respond to correction?
  • How is correction from a wise person like medicine?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If what they are saying about you is true, mend your ways. If it isn’t true, forget it and go on and serve the Lord.”

– Harry Ironside

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready to receive good advice? Are you ready to reject fooling advice? Are you ready to accept good advice? Are you ready to forget about bad advice and serve the Lord? Are you ready to invite God into the situation in order to get the wisdom and discernment you need to know the difference? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart so that when your heart overflows it will be good and full of love? Remember how from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks? So will you invite Jesus in to help clean your heart house and fill it to overflowing with love? 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?


Would you rather keep trying to measure up or come under authority?


Life is an interesting thing and people choose to live out their lives differently based on their perspective. Some aim for the star and keep pressing in and pressing on trying to measure up to a standard that is nearly impossible to reach. Others have found that living under the right authority is a better option and so live their lives content and in submission to the authority. How about you? How are you choosing to live your life?

Are you looking to live your life to perfection? Do you realize what the Bible says about us as human beings? Do you realize that God took things into His own hands and sent His Son? Do you grasp the reality of why Jesus had to come, sacrifice Himself, and conquer the grave? Do you grasp the reality of how He is now sitting at the right hand of the Father and the next time He comes back here will be the end?

Have you grasped the reality of Jesus and your imperfection? Have you decided that you will live your life under His authority and in relationship with Him? Are you looking forward to the day of His return and getting to spend eternity with Him? Have you decided that you want to spend eternity with God in Heaven rather than apart from God in Hell?

How will you choose to live out your today? How will you choose to live out your right now? How will you choose to live the rest of your life (with the unknown of when it will end)? How will you choose to spend the rest of eternity? The choice is yours! The decision is yours! And they will determine your final destination!

Whether we believe it or choose it, Jesus is Lord and Savior! We don’t have to believe God’s Word for it to be true, if God said it then that settles it! We don’t have to believe Jesus is Lord and Savior for Him to be Lord and Savior, He is the Lord and Savior of the world. All we get to do is decide if we will accept it in order to determine our final destination!

So will you believe it? So will you choose it? Where are you at when it comes to trying to measure up vs coming under authority?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 2nd


Measuring Up To Jesus


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; ‘

Ephesians 4:11-13

Let’s grab some additional context from the Amplified version and some additional verses:

‘So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love. Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful]. There is one body [of believers] and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when called [to salvation]— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all who is [sovereign] over all and [working] through all and [living] in all. Yet grace [God’s undeserved favor] was given to each one of us [not indiscriminately, but in different ways] in proportion to the measure of Christ’s [rich and abundant] gift. Therefore it says, “W hen H e ascended on high , H e led captivity captive , A nd H e bestowed gifts on men .” (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had previously descended [from the heights of heaven] into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the very same as He who also has ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence] might fill all things [that is, the whole universe]). And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct], [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church]; until we all reach oneness in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, [growing spiritually] to become a mature believer, reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity]. So that we are no longer children [spiritually immature], tossed back and forth [like ships on a stormy sea] and carried about by every wind of [shifting] doctrine, by the cunning and trickery of [unscrupulous] men, by the deceitful scheming of people ready to do anything [for personal profit]. But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ. From Him the whole body [the church, in all its various parts], joined and knitted firmly together by what every joint supplies, when each part is working properly, causes the body to grow and mature, building itself up in [unselfish] love. ‘

Ephesians 4:1-16

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize how incredible Jesus is?
  • Do you share how incredible Jesus is?
  • Do you show how incredible Jesus is?
  • Are you making Jesus seem boring?
  • Are you ready to grab hold of God’s incredible purpose?
  • Are you ready to grab hold of God’s visionary purpose?
  • Are you ready to grab hold of God’s optimistic purpose?
  • Are you ready to reject the gossip and bad news?
  • Are you ready to grow as a believer in Jesus?
  • Are you ready to allow your faith to shine brightly for Jesus?
  • Are you ready to live your life that people see Jesus when you walk in the room and get to experience how incredible He is through you, your life, and your light shining into theirs?
  • Are you ready to allow God to work in and through you on this journey called life?
  • Are you ready to allow God to help work out that clay that we are in His hands to work miracles into this world we live in?
  • Will you trust Him enough to allow yourself to be clay in His hands?
  • Are you ready to get started by loving other Christians?
  • Are you ready to take hold of the command to love our neighbors as ourselves?
  • Are you ready to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength in order for His love to fill you to overflowing into the world around you?
  • Are you ready to be showing so much love to other Christians that non-Christians are going to want some of that?
  • Are you ready to love other Christians and keep the main thing the main thing rather than arguing about flowers, rugs, paint colors, and more?
  • Are you ready to love other Christians enough to try and counteract what society is seeing in church splits and Christian arguments?
  • Let’s decide to love people like God loves us, unconditionally!
  • Let’s decided to love people like God loves us, so that we can grow and become more like Him!
  • Let’s decided to love people like God loves us, so that we can be filled to overflowing with Jesus’s grace, truth, and purpose!
  • Let’s decide to love people like God loves us, so that everything we do reflects Him to those around us!
  • Let’s decide not to be that church that is lukewarm! We don’t want to get spit up when Jesus comes back, right?
  • Let’s be on fire, hot for Jesus Christians that will shine so bright that others will take notice and be drawn to Him!
  • Let’s stop being people who tolerate others and become people who love others!
  • Let’s stop being people who survive but instead become people who thrive and are overcomers!
  • Let’s decide to be people who will touch the lives of those God brings across our path!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Describe what God’s vision for your church might look like.
  • What are you doing to contribute to this vision being fulfilled?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If a hypocrite is standing between you and God, it just means the hypocrite is closer to God than you are.”

ZIG ZIGLAR

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What are you after today? What are you pursuing today? What are you going to decide today? 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?


Will it last or end? Will it remain the same or evolve?


As I start today and consider these questions I look to grasp the things that will last and what is important. Our souls will last. The suffering for the believers won’t last. God’s love will last. Riches won’t last forever. The truth aka God’s Words will last. God’s faithfulness will last.

So will you put your hope and trust in things that will last or things that are temporary? Will you put your hope and trust in things that evolve or things that remain the same? God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow!

So let’s take a hold of God’s truth! Let’s receive God’s love! Let’s receive Jesus into our hearts so that we can spend eternity with God! Let’s put our trust in the one who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow who is God! Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on what God’s Word has to say:


  • My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. — Psalms 89:34
  • Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. — Psalms 90:2
  • For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. — Malachi 3:6
  • Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. — Hebrews 13:8
  • Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. — James 1:17
  • ‘But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. ‘ — I Peter 5:10
  • I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. — Revelation 1:8
  • God’s love endures forever and is repeated many times in Psalms 136

So if God’s Word will last forever, shouldn’t we take hold of it and love like Jesus commands us to live? So if God is never changing, shouldn’t He be our strong foundation? And since we will live forever, shouldn’t we choose and decide to spend it with God rather than apart from God? How will you decide to live your forever? What will your final destination be?


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


Unchanging


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. ‘

Hebrews 13:8

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Is life confusing for you today?
  • Is life mind boggling for you today?
  • Do you get curveballs right when you think you are starting to figure things out?
  • Do you ever question what you think you have figured out?
  • Have you ever done what you thought God was calling you to do and then be surprised by something and wonder if you misunderstood?
  • Do you ever question His direction or calling?
  • Do you ever question how busy He is?
  • Do you ever question if He changed His mind?
  • He knows and sees things from every perspective and time and as such there will be things in the full process that may confuse us.
  • Remember we aren’t alone when we face setbacks!
  • Remember even the greats of the bible faced setbacks!
  • Remember we aren’t alone when we find life confusing!
  • Remember eve the greats of the bible endured confusion!
  • Remember to continue to pursue God will all of your heart just like those greats did, even when it doesn’t go as we expected or we get confused!
  • Ever looked at the back vs the front of a tapestry and noticed all the things that needed to happen behind the scenes to make such a work of art?
  • So our lives at times can seem like the back of a tapestry of which we aren’t sure the front perspective.
  • So when things look confusing we need to go to what lasts, what never changes and take our stand there.
  • We can grab hold of God’s Word that is true and will last!
  • We can grab hold of God’s unchanging character that is true and will last!
  • Jesus never changes!
  • Jesus’s love is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow!
  • Jesus’s power is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow!
  • Jesus’s authority is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow!
  • So let’s take hold of the reality of Jesus and not lose hope because we don’t get the full picture or plan!
  • Let’s take hold of the reality even when we don’t see them, feel them, and even at time may start to doubt or no believe.
  • Let’s be like the man who asked Jesus to help his unbelief!
  • In the midst of all the change around us, we can hold tight and hold firm on the reality that Jesus never changes!
  • In the midst of all the changes around us, we can put our trust and hope in the realty that Jesus’s heart, purpose, and love for us are as strong as ever!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • When times are tough, what kind of questions do you ask?
  • How does it help to remember that Christ never changes?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Great truths that are stumbling blocks to the natural man are nevertheless the very foundations upon which the confidence of the spiritual man is built.”

— Henry Allen Ironside

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What is your focus being put on? What is your time being used on? Are you investing in things that will last? Are you investing in things that will fade away? Are you investing in things that change? Are you investing in things that remain the same? Let’s decide today and 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?


What are you storing up? What are you preparing?


When you think of your life and the things you are preparing or storing up, what comes to mind? Are you preparing for something temporary or something that will last? Are you storing up things that are temporary or that will last? Are you storing them somewhere that will be temporarily or eternally safe?

These questions send me down two paths: storing and preparing.

Storing makes me think of the importance of storage space and what things need to be stored for safe keeping. The verse that is going through my mind is:

‘ “Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also. ‘

Matthew 6:19-21

As I consider and reflect on these words, I consider how we can’t take anything with us when we get to the end of our time here on earth. Since we can’t take anything materialistic with us then what and how can we make an impact and be preparing for what is yet to come. Stuff will fade away but people’s spirit will last forever. Will we decide to invest in a way that will cause more people to get to spend forever in Heaven? Will we decide to invest in a way that will trip people up and stop them from a God encounter and from getting to spend the rest of their eternity in heaven? To start, we need to avoid or stop being packrats. Accumulation of more stuff isn’t the goal. He who gets the most stuff doesn’t win. We can’t allow ourselves and others to be robbed by the love of money for the love of money is the root of all evil. (note: money isn’t evil but the love of money is the root of all evil.) The resources and success we get to experience and live out are from God! Remember who every good and perfect gift comes from God? So we need to keep our focus on God rather than the stuff and the creator rather than the creation! Don’t allow stuff to become more important than your relationships with God and with people!


‘Also, every man to whom God has given riches and possessions, He has also given the power and ability to enjoy them and to receive [this as] his [allotted] portion and to rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God [to him]. ‘

Ecclesiastes 5:19

‘He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its gain. This too is vanity (emptiness). ‘

Ecclesiastes 5:10

‘Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes]. ‘

James 1:17

‘For the love of money [that is, the greedy desire for it and the willingness to gain it unethically] is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves [through and through] with many sorrows. ‘

1 Timothy 6:10

So what about preparing? God’s Word tells us to be prepared in and out of season to give a reason for the hope that is within us. God’s Word tells us to be prepared for Jesus’s return. God’s Word speaks about both being physically prepared (‘For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come. ‘ — 1 Timothy 4:8) as well as spiritually prepared. God’s Word speaks to being prepared in many verses! God has prepared in advance good works for us to accomplish. God has called us to be prepared to share the Good News with people.


‘For you will be His witness to all men testifying of what you have seen and heard. ‘

Acts 22:15

‘For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. ‘

Ephesians 2:10

So today as we get ready to get started, let’s consider how we are and are getting prepared. Let’s also remember what we are deciding and how we are putting our treasures that will last in heaven rather than scattered around.


Yesterday morning as I was looking for “today’s” devotional I realized the pages had stuck together and I missed the 1st and 2nd and jumped to the third and so I am going back to catch up on these 2 and we will be back on track on the 4th.

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for September 2nd


The Man God Called A Fool


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’’

Luke 12:20

Let’s take a moment and grasp the context of this statement with the full text and dig a bit deeper by using the Amplified translation too:

‘Then He told them a parable, saying, “There was a rich man whose land was very fertile and productive. And he began thinking to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place [large enough in which] to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my storehouses and build larger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods there. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many good things stored up, [enough] for many years; rest and relax, eat, drink and be merry (celebrate continually).” ’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own all the things you have prepared?’ So it is for the one who continues to store up and hoard possessions for himself, and is not rich [in his relationship] toward God.” Jesus said to His disciples, “For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; or about your body, as to what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the crop]; they have no storehouse or barn, and yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add one hour to his life’s span? So if you are not even able to do a very little thing [such as that], why are you worried about the rest? Consider the lilies and wildflowers, how they grow [in the open field]. They neither labor nor spin [wool to make clothing]; yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if this is how God clothes the grass which is in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You of little faith! So as for you, do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink; nor have an anxious and unsettled mind. For all the [pagan] nations of the world greedily seek these things; and your [heavenly] Father [already] knows that you need them. But [strive for and actively] seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. “Sell your possessions (show compassion) and give [donations] to the poor. Provide money belts for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing and inexhaustible treasure in the heavens, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ‘

Luke 12:16-34

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you have abundance?
  • What will you do with it?
  • How will you use it?
  • Do you have a plan?
  • Are you ready to put in the effort and focus necessary daily?
  • Are you ready if today were your last day?
  • Do you know what your final destination would / will be?
  • Are you focused on the right things?
  • Are you focused on the temporary or the eternal?
  • Have you made the decision that will change and ensure your final destination?
  • Have you secured your salvation yet?
  • Are you focusing on your here and not more than your eternal destiny? your final destination?
  • The money wasn’t the reason he was a fool.
  • His wealth wasn’t the reason he was a fool.
  • His plans to improve/increase his storage wasn’t the reason he was a fool.
  • It was his confidence and security in earthly things that caused him to be labeled a fool.
  • It was his confidence in earthly security over eternal security that caused him to get called a fool.
  • Don’t let your earthly success blind you from seeing your need for God.
  • Don’t let your earthly wealth keep you from realizing that you need Jesus.
  • We all need God in our lives!
  • Don’t get tricked or fooled into thinking as the world thinks and miss out on the path to eternity with God in heaven.
  • You are more than your stuff!
  • Your security comes from more than your stuff!
  • So let’s look for ways to store up our treasures in heaven like it says in Matthew 6 where it says:
    • ‘ “Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also. ‘
      Matthew 6:19-21
  • With God giving us every good and perfect gift, by taking our focus off the stuff and keeping our focus on Him helps the praise, the honor, and the glory to be going to the right place or person.
  • God doesn’t forbid us from wealth, He is the one who gave it to us!
  • God doesn’t forbid us from wealth, He desires that we prioritize our use of the resources He gives us.
  • So let’s prioritize our day, our resources, our plans so that they will have eternal significance.
  • So let’s prioritize our day, our resources, our plans so that they will bring God praise, honor, and glory.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Have you come to the point in your life where you experienced salvation?
  • Do you make decisions that are reflective of your awareness of eternal consequences?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Salvation is from our side a choice; from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High God. Our accepting and willing are reactions rather than actions.”

A. W. Tozer

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Where is your focus? Where is your attention? What are you storing up? What are you preparing? How is it setting you up for life now and forever? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life? Are you ready to start living your life for God? Are you ready to live life as a new creation? Are you ready to live wise? Are you ready to live with God’s wisdom and discernment? 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?


How vivid is your imagination?


How creative is your mind to be able to imagine something? How visual is your mind to be able to pain a picture of what could be? How vivid is your imagination in creating new ideas, concepts, or even just capturing what someone else is explaining?

Ever heard the song, I can only imagine?

Can you imagine what it must have been like back in the days of the old testament? Imagine being Abraham who left home not knowing where he was going. Imagine being Joseph being sold by his brothers to then go from slavery to prison to second in command of Egypt. Imagine seeing all the plagues that pharaoh got to see and experience before letting the Israelites go. Imagine seeing the Red Sea part and the Israelites walking through on dry ground and as the last one makes it across how it closes in on the Egyptians. Imagine seeing them walk around the wall of Jericho day after day and then on the 7th day screaming and the walls came down. Imagine what is yet to come that Jesus has promised. How well are you able to imagine? Are you able to imagine clear enough to trust the promises? If we could only imagine! If we could picture it all in our minds eye based on what the Bible tells us. How is your ability to imagine impacting the way you are choosing to live your today?

Well, whatever happened last week or over the weekend, let’s start fresh today. Let’s choose to make today count for a greater purpose! Let’s decide to live today like it matters! Let’s decide to live today like what we do is going to make a difference for the glory of God’s kingdom. Let’s not worry but rather believe God’s promises! Let’s give God something to work with so that He is able to do it again! Let’s meditate on that for a moment before jumping into today’s devotional.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for August 23rd


I Can Only Imagine


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”’

I Corinthians 2:9

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How does your imagination work when you are being told about something?
  • Are you able to imagine the magnificent or do you imagine the lack?
  • Are you able to imagine the greatness and receive it or do you imagine it must be for someone else?
  • Are you able to imagine yourself in these situation or just other people?
  • Is your knowledge of yourself keeping you from believing, receiving, and even imagining yourself in God’s promises?
  • The Bible wasn’t captured or written for some people but for everybody.
  • The Bible shared God’s love and God’s promises for everyone not a select few.
  • Now who will choose to believe, receive, accept, and imagine is another story!
  • Today’s verse written by Paul to the Corinthians who had enough blemishes to cause them to doubt points out the reality that God’s promises are greater than anything we can think or imagine!
  • If we will be willing to receive Jesus, He is able to work through the pride, the selfishness, the sexual trends or behaviors, and the immaturity.
  • We need to receive the promises in faith!
  • Let’s grab hold of the same faith Paul has that will transform us and others through God’s grace and power!
  • Are you ready and willing to accept and receive the gift of eternal life with God?
  • Are you ready and willing to accept and receive the gift of Jesus that opens the door to eternal life with God?
  • Can you imagine what God has prepared for you in eternity?
  • Can you imagine everything in heaven that will cause us to be welcomed and never want to leave?
  • Can you imagine everything in heaven that will cause us to feel love and joy and never want to leave?
  • What do you imagine it will be like?
  • What do you imagine it will look like?
  • What do you imagine it will feel like?
  • Are you ready for the adventures of heaven?
  • Are you ready for the variety and vastness of heaven?
  • Are you ready for creativity of heaven?
  • Are you ready for a new body with no more sickness and no more pain?
  • Are you ready for a new life with no more sorry and filled with love?
  • ‘It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies. The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.’ — 1 Corinthians 15:42-49
  • ‘For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. ‘ — 2 Corinthians 5:1-3
  • Jesus promised when He left that He was going “to prepare a place” for us.
  • ‘In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. ‘ — John 14:2
  • Taking hold of all God’s promises, can you imagine?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What can you imagine that God has prepared for you in heaven?
  • What do you look forward to most?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If we really understood Heaven, we would be most unhappy and unsatisfied with life on Earth. We would rebel against our earthly limitations. If we saw Heaven, we could not bear this earth. That’s why Heaven is forever: we cannot bear to leave it after we get there.”

C.L. Allen

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you able to imagine what heaven will be like? Have you made the decision for your final destination by inviting Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior? Are you ready to make the decision of spending the rest of eternity with God? Would you want to risk not making the decision and ending up spending eternity apart from God? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life and allow Him to transform your life here on earth while you await the day you get to go to heaven and spend eternity there 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?


Ever heard the words “One nation, Under God”? Today let’s flip that to One God for all nations.


Do you realize that “under God” was added to the pledge in 1954 through legislation that was urged by President Dwight D. Eisenhower? Do you realize that the pledge originated as a post in a juvenile periodical in 1892 and wasn’t recognized by the U.S. government till 1942? No matter where you live, don’t you believe that such a statement is unifying to the country?

Imagine living over the decades where it didn’t exist, it existed without the under God and then it existed with the under God. How do you think that would look or feel to the people?

Original:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all.”

Updated:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

One additional change you will spot between the two versions happened when they changed from “my Flag” to “the flag of the United States of America” in 1924.

Imagine flipping that over and putting God first. Taking hold of the reality that God isn’t God of one country but rather He is God of all countries. Imagine if the world could come together and receive the grace God is offering to everyone. When you read God’s Word we read how He loves us all, not just a small segment of the population, He loves the world’s people.

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ‘

John 3:16

God loves the world’s people so much that He found a way to make a way for us to be forgiven and reconciled back to Himself through Jesus!

‘For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. ‘

John 3:17

God made a way for us to be able to live without condemnation! There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!

‘Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. ‘

John 3:18

‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. ‘

Romans 8:1-8

So we have freewill and we get to choose if we will live in the light produced by Jesus or to remain in darkness and try to hide from the light. The choice is yours to make and nobody can make it for you. The decision is yours to make and yours alone. Have you already made your choice? Have you made your decision? Have you confirmed your final destination? Will you choose to decide before it is too late? Do you have the determination?

Will you be a part of all nations that are under God?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 3rd


The God For All Nations


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Praise the Lord , all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord .’

Psalms 117:1-2
POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever heard of the word ethnocentric? Having to look it up…
  • It is full of arrogance.
  • Arrogance that we are or could be the only nation or race that God blesses!
  • We need to remember the breadth and depths of God’s love for this world!
  • Remember the love we spoke about the other day? Do you remember falling in love? Who said “I love you” first?
  • God’s love is unconditional!
  • God’s love is boundless!
  • God’s love is undying!
  • God loves everyone!
  • God’s love is passionate for everyone!
  • God’s love shows no favoritism!
  • God’s command to the Israelites was to take the message of God’s love to every nation!
  • God chooses us so that He can bless others in and through our lives!
  • God chose us so that we would go into the world and spread the good news of His love, not so that we could have a social club!
  • God will bless us more like He did to the Israelites the one time they did touch other cultures!
  • God will withdraw His hand like He did to the Israelites if we fall into pride and selfishness, trying to make it exclusive from others!
  • Are you part of the problem or the solution?
  • Are you a welcoming and embracing person no matter who the other person is, where they have come from?
  • This nation has been both and has both. Times of incredible inclusivity and welcoming people from everywhere to join our melting pot. Times of exclusivity, banning immigrants and treating those who came as second class citizens!
  • God’s grace transcends national boundaries and so as Christians we need to love people, love people from all over the globe, love people whether they are moving into your proximity or living around the world! We need to love them!
  • So let’s be wall beakers! Let’s tear down the divides! Let’s decide to love others into the Kingdom of God!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • To what extent are you ethnocentric? (What would your children or best friends say about your level of ethnocentrism?)
  • What are some ways you can break down walls and love people from other races and cultures into the Kingdom?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

I’ve lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing Proofs I see of this Truth — That God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?

Benjamin Franklin

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Where are you at today? What do you believe? How is your beliefs impacting the way you are able to work with, relate to, and live with others? Are you ready to bridge the gap? Are you ready to have the gap between you and God bridged? 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?


How are you choosing to live?


Are you trying to find your own way? Are you trying to make your own way? Are you trying to go your own way? Are you trying get your own way?

Are you submitting your life over to God and allowing Him to lead you and guide you, directing your path? Are you walking through life with God or are you trying to escape Him? Are you walking through life with God or have you turned your back and walked away? Are you pursuing God or avoiding Him?

When things get tough, where will you turn? When things get rough, how will you respond? When things aren’t clear, who can you turn to?

If we remember what Jesus taught us about this life, we will face troubles, so if we haven’t just gone through troubles and we aren’t going through troubles then there is probably going to be some troubles ahead, but Jesus didn’t just stop with the warning, He also provided us with hope in the troubles so that we can take heart because He has overcome the world!

How would you respond if you received a message that doom was coming? How would you respond if you received a message that trouble was coming? How would you respond if you received a message that disaster was coming? How would you respond if you received a message that the cycle time has come up? Ever noticed through history the cycle of people turning to God and then over time as they feel too comfortable they stray or walk away?

So we need to stick with God! We need to have Jesus in our lives! We need to make time and take time to hear from the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us as we go through this thing called life.

How are you choosing to live? What would it take for you to change or adjust or realign your life to God’s will?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for June 26th


In God’s Right Hand


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’’

Isaiah 41:10

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever face a confusing or perplexing situation or circumstance?
  • Ever face a puzzling or inexplicable situation or circumstance?
  • Ever face a mysterious or surprising situation or circumstance?
  • Ever face an amazing or astonishing situation or circumstance?
  • How did you respond?
  • Where did you turn?
  • Ever gotten to the end of your rope and said “I just don’t know what to do?”?
  • So what did you do? Did you turn to God? Did you lean in on Him rather than your own understanding? Did you seek God’s Wisdom through His Word? Did you keep doing what you knew to do until you figured it out?
    • I know for me in 2020 I had to do that a lot. I had to lean on God as I didn’t understand. I had to seek Him to help me keep going and doing what He wanted me to do. I forgave. I pressed forward. I trusted God. Hindsight definitely was 2020. There were so many things that were shaking my world. There was isolation from people and yet more time with my wife and kids. There was more time to spend in couple devotionals with my wife. COVID wasn’t as big of a deal in terms of what it caused because it caused my family to draw closer to God and closer to each other. But it was the non-COVID stuff that kept me unsure of what to do. But God was faithful and He showed up. He helped me to be able to look back and see what happened and why it was required. Without God I am not sure what I would have or could have done. With God all things are possible!
  • So what will you do? Will you turn to people for help or go straight to the top? Will you go to God?
    • To close out 2020 I had a choice between 2 roles and I liked both managers and felt I would like and could do both roles. So I gave it up into God’s hands and started at the top with the President of our division and after his response to our Senior VP and after his response the person who was my boss. God opened the door so wide, it was clear which role I was to take. Once I let the hiring manager know God took over and within 2 business days things were in place, and I was in my new role. God is good. God can move mountains that we couldn’t if we tried. My faith in God got me through 2020 and it allowed 2020 to close on a positive note.
  • So go to God first! He knows the beginning and the end! Why go through the contact lists when you can go straight to God?
  • Through Jesus we can go to God first! We don’t need to go through a phone tree of options, go straight to God. We don’t need to send or wait for an email to come in, go straight to God. We don’t need to wait for a repair man or a technician to come and fix our problems, God is personal and shows up in person to get it done!
  • Remember the contract God made with Moses?
    • I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. — Exodus 6:7
    • “’So you will be my people, and I will be your God.’” — Jeremiah 30:22
    • I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. — Leviticus 26:12
    • but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. — Jeremiah 7:23
  • This applies to us too!
  • Let’s take hold of God’s promises!
  • Let’s take hold of today’s verse!
  • Let’s choose to be a part of His family by accepting Jesus!
  • Let’s be adopted into the family of God!
  • Let’s be transformed by the decision to invite Jesus into our lives!
  • And then let’s live out the promise that God Himself is committed to strengthen, lead, support, and uphold us!
  • Let’s allow God to stick close to us and live out our lives in intimate relationship with Him!
  • Let’s decide to live securely in His right hand!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Since God is invisible, what does this promise really mean?
  • What are some recent or current situations in your life in which you need God’s personal help? Ask Him for it now.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Franklin Roosevelt

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you wanting or needing direction? Are you wanting or needing courage and boldness? Are you wanting or needing hope and strength? 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?


What comes to mind when you think of the North Star?


Is it direction? Is it a destination? Is it a focal point? Is it the brightness? Does it help you make decisions? Does it help you make progress towards your goals? Does it help you stay focused?

What comes to mind for you when you think of your North Star? Is it about a goal? Is it about a destination? Is it about a purpose? Is it about shining? Is it about getting somewhere? Is it about moving forward? What is your North Star?

In the workplace you may hear about a North Star vision – something that is to help lead and guide the organization forward with specific principles and direction.

In life you may hear about a North Star as something someone is chasing, following, pursuing in order to achieve a goal or purpose.

Are you thinking of a north star vision as something that is so clear that it will allow you and others to grab hold of it and create that world? It tends to be a longer term vision like 5-10 years. It’s purpose is to help give focus and keep everyone focused. It helps the organization transform while giving the directional guidance to move forward.

Does the sky come to mind when you think of the North Star on a clear night? Does the journey of many slaves trying to make it to the northern states or Canada come to mind? Does a astronomy class or planetarium experience come to mind?

What comes to mind when you think of the North Star?


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


Being a North Star


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.’

Daniel 12:3

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • People have used the North Star to determine their course for centuries
  • The North Star could help them get back on course if they had strayed or gotten blown off course
  • The North Star would keep them on track
  • Today’s verse shows us how wise people are like a North Star
  • Wise people are like signposts that help others know which way to go
  • Wise people by faith in God are able to direct others in areas such as family, work, church, and their neighborhood
  • Wise people help people know the path to follow
  • Wise people by their faith help people stay on track and how to live
  • Want to be or become one of these signposts of God to help people?
  • We can receive wisdom through studying God’s Word
  • We can receive wisdom through sensitivity to and moving with the Holy Spirit
  • We can receive wisdom through spending time around wise people
  • Are you willing to make the investment? Are you willing to spend the time and energy to make it happen?
  • Are you willing to make the emotional investment required for it to become a reality?
  • Are you ready to face all the questions that will come up and then to lean in more on God for the answers?
  • Are you willing to press in and persevere in order to become wise?
  • Are you willing to pay the price in order to become a signpost and a star to guide others towards God and through this life?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you want to be the kind of wise person who has a profound influence on others? Why or why not?
  • Are you willing to pay the price? Explain your answer.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“To see His star is good, but to see His face is better.”

— D. L. Moody

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So are you searching for your north star? Are you looking to shine like the north star? Are you wondering where to start? 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?


Being eternal means after this life there is another.


We are all flesh and spirit. It is our decisions in the flesh that will make the difference to where we end up after this life on earth. Given the choice of eternity with God or apart from God what would you choose? Given the choice of eternity in Heaven or in Hell what would you choose?

So how will you choose to live this life on earth? Will you choose to make a decision that will bring you closer to God or further from God? Will you choose to make a decision that will bar you from Heaven or welcome you in with open arms?

We have all been created with freewill and as such we all get to choose for ourselves.

Would you consider choosing to invite Jesus into your heart today in order to open the door to eternity with God in Heaven? Some call it being saved and some may wonder what we are being saved from, to me it is saved from finding out in eternity that you are apart from God and having to spend eternity in Hell. Does it mean life will be easier? No, Jesus tells us that in this world we will have troubles and continues with a message of hope that we can take heart because He has overcome the world! Does it mean life will be trouble or trial free? No, we read in James how thanks to Jesus we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

The Amplified translation of James 1:2-4 puts it this way:

‘Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. ‘

James 1:2-4

So God is the God of the living, so how will you choose to live your life on earth and into eternity? The final destination is up to you, it’s a choice, a choice that you get to freely make. Choose wisely!


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


God of the Living


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ ? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” ‘

Matthew 22:31-32

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you fascinated with death?
  • Are you curious about life after death?
  • Are you curious about what happens after your last breath on this earth?
  • Do you know if it is the end or not?
  • Are you wondering if there is more after this life?
  • Through Jesus, we are promised resurrection and life!
  • Jesus has told us that believers who have died on this earth are alive right now!
  • Jesus showed the power of the resurrection when He rose from the dead after paying the ultimate sacrifice on the cross so that we could be forgiven and the power of sin and death could be defeated!
  • Death isn’t the end! Life conquers the grave through Jesus Christ!
  • God reigns over the living! He reigns over the living on earth and in the life to come!
  • Will you take hold of the promise?
  • Will you walk in confidence because of the promise of Jesus?
  • Will you live out this life with hope thanks to your faith in Jesus?
  • Will you be ready when that day comes and your spirit leaves your body here on earth?
  • Will your spirit enter into the presence of God? the angels? the believers who have gone before us?
  • Are you ready to be more alive than ever?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Why is it important to you that God is the God of the living and not of the dead?
    • This world isn’t the finish or the end when we have Jesus as our Lord and Savior!
    • There is a better destination yet to come!
  • What do you look forward to in the next life?
    • No more sorrow and no more pain
    • Getting to live the rest of eternity filled with joy and getting to worship God face to face.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith; without it, there would be no Christianity. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions.”

Adrian Rogers

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready to decide? Are you ready to move forward with a decision on your final destination? Are you wanting to consider or contemplate the final destinations more? 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?


News… what’s in it for you?


What comes to mind when you think of the NEWS? Is it timing? The morning NEWS, the mid-day NEWS, the end of day NEWS, or the late night NEWS? Is it categorized? Top NEWS, Political NEWS, Business NEWS, Money NEWS, Medical NEWS, Local NEWS, Regional NEWS, National NEWS, Global NEWS, Sports NEWS, Scientific NEWS, Technological NEWS, Entertainment NEWS, Business NEWS, or do you have specific topics you want or like to follow? Is it the media format? Newspaper? Internet? Broadcast? Local? Regional? Cable? What draws you to it? What keeps you coming back for more? What types of reports get your attention more than others? Is it a good use of your time? What’s in it for you?

How much of your time gets used up on NEWS? Is it really NEWS or is it gossip? Is it really NEWS or it is media trying to get eyeballs? Is it really NEWS or is it a way to make money? Do you check the NEWS on your computer? Do you listen to the NEWS on your commute? Do you watch the NEWS on TV? Do you get the NEWS through the Newspaper? Is it worth the time and energy? What’s in it for you?

When you consider the NEWS you consume, when it is done, do you feel better or worse? Do you feel more at peace or more stressed? Do you feel happier or sadder? Do you want more or do you want to turn it off and walk away? What do you do though? What’s in it for you?

I was talking with someone recently about my limited consumption of NEWS and the way(s) I consume it and how I don’t consume many of the distribution methods because they seem to be too negative or bad NEWS. I have a focused set of things I am interested in and so I have a single source to get a wide variety of content in order to hear what is taking place in the world and then I let it go and give my day up to God! It was interesting how in the conversation I shared how I don’t bother watching or listening to too much NEWS because most of it is bad NEWS and how I had heard it is part of the media companies plans because bad NEWS keeps people glued to the station. They shared a few apps that I was able to check out on my phone that only report good NEWS. Imagine a world focused on doing good, reporting on good, and reinforcing good NEWS. Imagine if people thought they would get more visibility and attention for doing good things. Remember how kids want attention and if the only time they get attention is when they do something bad, guess what they are going to do? Imagine a world that reinforced that doing good is how people could get more attention, imagine if it was that way in our families and homes too. What do you want more of? Do you want real NEWS or fake NEWS? Do you want GOOD NEWS or bad NEWS? What’s in it for you?

How do you source your information? Do you use search engines? Do you use social media? Do you use subscription services? Do you use local TV? Do you use cable or satellite TV? Do you use local or national radio programs? How do you choose? How do you trust? How do you discern? How do you believe? What’s in it for you?

Aren’t you ready for more GOOD NEWS? Aren’t you wanting to understand the truth? Don’t you want to the world to be a better place? Don’t you want a world that is united versus divided? What do you think it would take? What do you think your part in it is? What’s in it for you?


The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 30th


Sharing the Good News


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”’

Romans 10:15

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you communicate/connect with others?
  • Does it matter their proximity or do you use the same method no matter how close or how far they are from you?
  • Do you use email, texting, messengers, and other such tech to communicate and connect with people in the next room and around the world?
  • What would it take for you to go old school and hand deliver the message?
  • I know with COVID that makes things a bit more challenging but it shouldn’t be about social distancing but rather physical distancing which means you can still deliver the message in person.
  • In the old days people may have had to brave the elements to deliver a message and yet today with all the comforts and technology messages either get sent or missed, delivered or deleted because they all end up in that thing called an inbox.
  • In the old days they needed to make the effort through the weather and the threats to be able to deliver the good and the bad news to the intended recipient.
  • In the old days people had to deliver their messages with sandals and feet compared to today’s world of computers and cell phones.
  • Ever use quotes to communicate your message?
  • Paul in his letter to the Romans quotes from Isaiah 52:7
    • ‘How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”’ — Isaiah 52:7
  • Do you realize that you can receive the same type of freedom today as the Jewish exiles did when they received the message from Isaiah in Babylon that they were now freed from captivity, after 70 years of captivity, torture, and humiliation, they were free?
  • We can be like Isaiah bringing the Good News to the people of the world around us by sharing the truth that by accepting and receiving Jesus Christ’s forgiveness they can be set free too!
  • Would you accept the calling to bring the Good News to others that they too may be set free?
  • Would you accept the calling to bring the Good News to others that they can be set free from the powers of sin and death?
  • Are you ready to deliver the best news they will ever hear?
  • Do you remember the best news you ever heard and how you responded?
  • Do you remember the excitement and the feelings that came with it?
  • Will you accept the role of becoming a messenger for Jesus to deliver the Good News to the world around you?
  • If you didn’t know about this Good News, will today be your day to accept and receive it? (I have a prayer we can pray together below)
  • Will you accept the role of delivering the Good News of Jesus to people who desperately need to hear it?
  • Do you realize that by you making the effort, taking the effort to go and deliver the message that your steps point to the old saying people used to say when they heard good news, “Your feet are beautiful!”
  • There is a world filled with guilt and condemnation out there that is in need of hearing the truth that will set them free, the Good News!
  • When we will go and deliver the Good News, our feet are beautiful too!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What’s the best news you’ve ever received?
    • That it isn’t about rituals and routines but rather it is about having a relationship with Jesus!
    • That my wife would marry me
    • That my wife was pregnant
  • What are some things you need to do to make your feet beautiful to lost and oppressed people?
    • Be willing to make time to speak truth and life in love to the people God brings to mind and into my life.
    • Be willing to go and share the reality of Jesus with the world around me
    • Be willing to share beyond my comfort zone the reality and love of Jesus with all those God brings into my network and into my mind.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on earth.”

― Keith Green

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Isaiah 58(sefaria.org)
    1. Cry with full throat, without restraint; Raise your voice like a ram’s horn! Declare to My people their transgression, To the House of Jacob their sin.
    2. To be sure, they seek Me daily, Eager to learn My ways. Like a nation that does what is right, That has not abandoned the laws of its God, They ask Me for the right way, They are eager for the nearness of God:
    3. “Why, when we fasted, did You not see? When we starved our bodies, did You pay no heed?” Because on your fast day You see to your business And oppress all your laborers!
    4. Because you fast in strife and contention, And you strike with a wicked fist! Your fasting today is not such As to make your voice heard on high.
    5. Is such the fast I desire, A day for men to starve their bodies? Is it bowing the head like a bulrush And lying in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast, A day when the LORD is favorable?
    6. No, this is the fast I desire: To unlock fetters of wickedness, And untie the cords of the yoke To let the oppressed go free; To break off every yoke.
    7. It is to share your bread with the hungry, And to take the wretched poor into your home; When you see the naked, to clothe him, And not to ignore your own kin.
    8. Then shall your light burst through like the dawn And your healing spring up quickly; Your Vindicator shall march before you, The Presence of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
    9. Then, when you call, the LORD will answer; When you cry, He will say: Here I am. If you banish the yoke from your midst, The menacing hand, and evil speech,
    10. And you offer your compassion to the hungry And satisfy the famished creature— Then shall your light shine in darkness, And your gloom shall be like noonday.
    11. The LORD will guide you always; He will slake your thirst in parched places And give strength to your bones. You shall be like a watered garden, Like a spring whose waters do not fail.
    12. Men from your midst shall rebuild ancient ruins, You shall restore foundations laid long ago. And you shall be called “Repairer of fallen walls, Restorer of lanes for habitation.”
    13. If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, From pursuing your affairs on My holy day; If you call the sabbath “delight,” The LORD’s holy day “honored”; And if you honor it and go not your ways Nor look to your affairs, nor strike bargains—
    14. Then you can seek the favor of the LORD. I will set you astride the heights of the earth, And let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob— For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
  • Isaiah 59 (sefaria.org)
  • Isaiah 60 (sefaria.org)

So do you want the NEWS? Do you want the GOOD NEWS? Do you want the truth rather than gossip and innuendos? Are you ready to be set free? Are you ready to allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength? Is today the first day of the rest of your life? Are you ready to accept and receive eternal life? Could today be your day?

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?


Do you see the signs of the times? Don’t miss your opportunity!


As I start this day and consider what day it is as well as some of the messages that I have heard through the books I have been reading today’s topic came to mind. Be it Death Row Chaplain by Rev. Earl Smith and the people on death row and knowing their end was near and getting the opportunity to decide where they will spend eternity set before them. The interesting thing in that book was the people who were the family of the victims of the crimes who similarly knowing the end was near and getting the opportunity to find closure through forgiveness since watching the death doesn’t bring closure and definitely doesn’t bring healing to the person or the family. So seeing the signs of the times how would you respond? Would you miss your opportunity?

As I was reading today and started to consider how I can use my time better, Tommy Barnett’s book The Power of a Half Hour: Take Back Your Life Thirty Minutes At A Time, I started considering the signs of the times and the things I need to change to be a better steward of my time. I started considering my calling and special talent(s) and vision and purpose from God and how if I don’t do that special thing then it won’t get done God’s way – as He had intended. So I need to take hold of the signs of the times! I need to take this opportunity to complete the good works God prepared in advance for me to accomplish!

And with yesterday having been Good Friday, the idea of Jesus on the cross between two criminals and similar to the people on death row, they both knew it was their end, they could see the signs of the times, and yet they had different responses towards Jesus. Let’s grab a snapshot of what took place:

‘Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’

Luke 23:39-43

‘With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.’

Mark 15:27-32

‘Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.’

Matthew 27:38-44

We see in Luke how the two criminals, robbers, thieves responded to Jesus. One joined in with the people in the crowd but the other realized the signs of the time and humbled himself to Jesus. Like the people on death row, these men had to make a decision of where they were going to end up when their execution was done.

We may not be sentenced to the death penalty but the reality is that we will all die one day. And on that day when our physical body dies, where will our spiritual being end up? We need to realize the signs of the times! We need to take the opportunity set before us to accept the grace of God through Jesus so that we can be forgiven and get to spend eternity with God rather than the alternative of spending eternity in Hell, apart from God! We each have to make that decision for ourselves, nobody else can make it for us! Being Easter weekend, can you think of a better time if you haven’t already made the decision to make the decision? Will you make your decision before it is too late and you find yourself at the Judgement Seat of God and get sent to spend eternity apart from Him?

Don’t miss your opportunity!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for April 3rd


Today in Paradise


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Luke 23:43

‘And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Three people put on crosses – 2 thieves and Jesus
  • One joined in with all the screaming at Jesus and said ‘Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”’ — Luke 23:39
  • One must have heard and knew about Jesus because he gave a different response: ‘But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” ‘ — Luke 23:40-41
  • The second one must have known about and believed in Jesus because he added to his comment to his partner in crime when he turned to Jesus: ‘Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”’ — Luke 23:42
  • Remember how Jesus was abandoned when things were going down?
  • Remember how people denied knowing Jesus when things were going down?
  • Remember how Jesus was betrayed when things were going down?
  • Now imagine a criminal sentenced to crucifixion turning to Jesus and how that made Jesus feel.
  • Now consider how Jesus responded to him: ‘And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’ — Luke 23:43
  • Imagine the peace, the joy, the hope that would have come over that criminal from hearing Jesus’ promise.
  • Imagine the transformation of heart and mind between before meeting Jesus and after meeting Jesus. Imagine the testimony this man would give to people about how his life was transformed by Jesus.
  • Don’t let your past define you, what matters is your identity in Christ and your eternal destination in heaven with God.
  • Are you ready for such a change today?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How does the promise of paradise affect your perspective about death?
  • It is not only a sign of what is to come for those who believe and receive Jesus but a promise of how eternity with God will be.
  • Paradise, looking up the definition and synonyms brings up some very interesting things – all positive and most pointing to God.
  • Will you accept the gift of grace from God that is Jesus?
  • Will you share how God transformed your life through Jesus by telling people your testimony of life before and after your encounter with Jesus?
How does it shape your view of life today?
  • It is important to make the right decision here today rather than run the risk of missing out on paradise when it is time for us to die in our physical bodies and move into our spiritual bodies for eternity.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The ultimate victory is eternity with Jesus Christ.”

Zig Ziglar

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?


Do you realize the difference between Detainment and Incarceration? True Freedom!


This morning as I was riding my stationary bike, reading Rev. Earl Smith‘s Death Row Chaplain book the comparison of these two words came up in the chapter titled Project IMPACT. It gave me one of those aha moments when you realize that there are so many people living life incarcerated because of the pain, the suffering, the abuse, the rage, the addiction, and rejecting God. There are people all around us today who are living a life incarcerated because they are imprisoned in their mind and spirit. The aha moment that you don’t have to be in trouble, in prison, in detention at school, in solitary confinement, locked up to be incarcerated.

Let’s consider the definition of the two words and discover the commonalities and the differences.

Detainment:

noun form of detain
detain
[dəˈtān]
VERB
keep (someone) from proceeding; hold back.
"she made to open the door, but he detained her"
synonyms:
delay · hold up · make late · retard · keep (back) · slow up · slow down · set back · get bogged down · hinder · hamper · impede · obstruct
keep (someone) in official custody, typically for questioning about a crime or in politically sensitive situations.
"she was detained without trial for two years"
synonyms:
imprison · jail · incarcerate · send to prison · put behind bars · put under lock and key · put in chains · put/throw into irons · clap in irons · hold captive · remand · intern · impound · immure · shut up · shut in · confine · cage · pen · coop up · fence in · pen in · wall in · mew (up) · send down · put away · put inside
Screenshot of the definition of detainment from an online search

Incarceration:

NOUN
the state of being confined in prison; imprisonment.
"the public would not be served by her incarceration"
synonyms:
imprisonment · internment · confinement · detention · custody · captivity · restraint · penal servitude · hard labor · time · porridge · chokey · durance · duress
Screenshot of the definition of incarceration from an online search

It is interesting to see how the dictionary definition defines the words above.

Now let’s reflect on the synonyms for incarceration and how they can apply to people who aren’t locked up physically but are being limited in what and how they are able to live their lives. We can be imprisoned without being in prison. We can be interned without being in prison. We can confine ourselves without being in prison. We can be restrained without being in prison. We can be put into servitude without being in prison. We can be under duress without being in prison.

As I read Rev. Earl Smith’s book this morning and the reality of physical vs emotional and spiritual state was quite powerful. The emotional and spiritual pieces that cause us to be incarcerated without being in prison require an encounter with God to be set free. The emotional and spiritual pieces that cause us to be incarcerated without being in prison require for us to become accountable to ourselves and to God, to forgive ourselves and be forgiven by God, and then to start living our lives on purpose, with purpose, to fulfill God’s will for our lives! In so doing, our spirit and mind are free, no matter what our physical situation may be. He share in the book that their are people who get out of prison and yet are still incarcerated and there are others who are in prison but have been set free and although they are being detained by human standards, they have been set free and are no longer incarcerated thanks to their decision to become accountable, to forgive and be forgiven, and to pursue a life in accordance to God’s will for them.

So how about you? Where are you reading or listening to this post from? Is it from a place of detention or freedom? Is it from a place of incarceration or true freedom? For who the Lord sets free is free indeed! It was such a powerful message and such a powerful truth! It spoke to moments that mattered for so many of those people in San Quentin – the ones who eventually got out after paying their time as well as those who were set free spiritually but ended their time on earth in prison.

Are you dealing with accountability issues? Are you dealing with forgiveness issues? Are you living according to God’s will for your life? What would it take for you make such a decision and break free from being incarcerated? The decision or choice is yours to make! Nobody except you can decide to take the steps to become free! Do you want to be truly free? Would you be willing to receive the gift of grace that is Jesus in order to get it? Do you realize that it just takes your decision to call on Jesus? Are you ready to call on the name of the Lord and be saved? Could today be your day?


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


Paybacks


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 31:23

‘Oh, love the Lord , all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you want good news or bad news?
  • What if the news was the same and based on your choice or decision, it could end up being good or bad?
  • The News: “God gives people what they deserve.”
  • Paul teaches the Corinthian church:
    • ‘Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.’ — I Corinthians 3:12-15
  • John shares the vision from Revelation:
    • ‘Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.’ — Revelation 20:11-15
  • We learn from these two examples:
    • Through Paul, we learn how we will be rewarded for all of eternity for the things we did to honor god and that everything we did for selfish desires will get burned up and turn to ashes. Going thru the fire, the good will last and the bad will get burn up, like in a smelting process through the furnace.
    • Through John, we learn how at the judgment seat believers will be rewarded for eternity but unbelievers will be punished for eternity.
  • The choices we make today will make a difference in eternity.
  • The choices we make today will be graded on what type of a steward we have been with our lives.
  • How will you use your talents?
    • ‘“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’’ — Matthew 25:14-30
  • When you get called to the judgment seat, which side will you be separated into?
    • ‘“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”’ — Matthew 25:31-46
  • Will you make wise or foolish decisions?
    • ‘“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘ No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.’ — Matthew 25:1-13
  • Will you make the decision before it is too late? We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow!
  • So if you were to receive your report card of life today, how would it impact your eternity?
  • In this life, God rewards our faithfulness.
  • Remember why Jesus came the first time? He is coming back for a different purpose but let’s take hold of the reason He came the first time!
    • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.‘ — John 3:16-17
    • ‘Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”’ — John 10:7-18
  • Today’s devotional speaks to the how our choices in this life will cause us to receive what we deserve when it says:
  • We even see in Jesus’ words how even giving a cup of water in His name will have a reward:
    • ‘“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”’ — Matthew 10:40-42
  • So let’s make our choices wisely because we will receive from God what we deserve.
  • Will you make the choice to spend eterntiy with God or the choice to spend eternity apart from God?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How does God’s grace fit into the teaching about God paying people back?
  • God’s grace is enough. He is the God of the second chance.
  • Will we choose to receive the gift of grace through Jesus Christ in order to get to spend eternity with God.
  • We each get to choose to receive Jesus or not and based on that it will impact our eternal destination.
  • Where do you want to get as your final destination?
What choices do you need to make so that you’ll get a good report card on that day when you stand before Christ?
  • Invite Jesus into our hearts and allow Him to be our Lord and Savior.
  • Take accountability for what we have done, choose to forgive ourselves and receive God’s forgiveness and then live out our lives in alignment to God’s will.
  • Be a good steward with the gifts and talents God has given you – invest in them and multiply them and use them for the glory of God!
  • We need to forgive others as God has forgiven us.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

If you are sincere, praise is effective. If you are insincere, it is manipulative.

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Are you ready to be free? Are you living free? Are you wanting to be free? Will you choose to and decide to do what is necessary to be set free?

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?


Motives and responses…


How are you going to choose to live your life? Will you choose to live it with honesty and integrity? Will you choose to live it with anxiety and anger? Do you realize the impact it will have on your motives when it comes to making a decision or taking action? Will you live your life in a way that is honorable? Will you live your life in a way that is reputable? Will you live your life in a way that is law abiding? Will you live your life in a way that is worthy of a higher calling? Will you live your life in a way that is moral and ethical? Will you live your life in a way that is virtuous and high principled? Will you live your life in a way that is noble? Will you live your life in a way that is incorruptible and conscientious? Will you live in a way that will cause you to be an honest and integral person?

Do you realize that allowing your life to driven or lived with anxiety and anger will tear you up from the inside out? Do you realize the impact it will have on your motives and decisions? Do you really want to live your life in a way that anxious? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is disturbed or perturbed? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is troubled or bothered? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is upset or uneasy? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is agitated or on edge? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is tense and jumpy? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is stressed and distracted? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is nervous or stressed? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is spooked or unsettled?

We all have a choice to make. We all have a decision to make. And it will impact our motives and responses for the rest of our lives. As I think and reflect on this the words that came to mind were be quick to listen, slow to speak… and so I went and grabbed the verse it came from and the message that follows it. I also decided to use the AMP translation as it brings in additional context and flavor to the message being communicated.

‘Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us]. So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. For if anyone only listens to the word without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like. But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience]. If anyone thinks himself to be religious [scrupulously observant of the rituals of his faith], and does not control his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless (futile, barren). Pure and unblemished religion [as it is expressed in outward acts] in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit and look after the fatherless and the widows in their distress, and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the [secular] world.’

James 1:19-27

So today as we are about to jump into today’s devotional we face a decision about what we will believe and how it will impact our motives and responses. Choose wisely! Are you ready to serve the orphans, the fatherless, and the widows? Are you ready to live your life unpolluted by the ways of the world and pursue God’s will through a relationship with Jesus?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 27th


Upright or Uptight?


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 32:10-11

‘Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord , mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Decisions
  • Do you make bad decisions based on selfishness?
  • Do you make selfish decisions that cause other’s pain?
  • Do you make selfish decisions that cause tremendous stress?
  • Do you realize that you are doing it?
  • When you realize that you are doing it, how do you respond?
  • Do you turn to God?
  • Do you wait too long and multiply the pain and the stress?
  • Do you wait too long and allow it to build up and cause sorrow and outbursts of anger?
  • The statement “Methinks thou dost protest too much” comes to mind as I consider when people point out the faults.
  • Are you too busy trying to cover things up that you don’t have time to make things right?
  • Are you too busy trying to cover things up that you are ruining relationships by breaking trust rather than living with integrity and honesty in order to rebuild relationship?
  • You don’t need to be perfect! Are you willing to be honest though?
  • Will you be willing to confess like David did in Psalms 32?
  • Will you allow honesty to be the best policy?
  • Will you confess in order to stop having to carry around the pain and aguish of hiding or masking the sins of your life?
  • Are you ready to find true freedom by confessing to God your mistakes and allow His forgiveness to cleanse you and refill your heart with hope?
  • Will you allow God to intersect and intervene in your life so that you can receive His mercy and grace?
  • Will you invite Jesus into your heart so that you can find forgiveness and eternity with God?
  • Will you make the decision to walk out your life with God in order to live a life filled with thanksgiving and praise?
  • Will you make the decision to receive Jesus in order to be able to be thankful in all situations?
  • Will you make the decision so as to be able to consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds?
  • Will you make the decision so that you can take heart when you face troubles of this world?
  • Don’t you want to have thankfulness at home? at work? in our health? with our families? with our friends? with our country? with every good and perfect gift that comes from God?
  • Are you ready to spend eternity with God?
  • Are you ready to receive God’s infinite mercies?
  • Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and allow Him to clean up your heart health?
  • Are you ready to allow the Holy Spirit to help purify your thoughts and direct your actions?
  • It’s not possible to do enough in our own power to make it right. It just takes accepting the gift of grace through Jesus Christ into our lives!
  • God so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life with God.
  • For us to have the clean and pure heart that God desires requires that we receive it from God!
  • It comes from God’s kindness to see the worst in us and love us and forgive us!
  • So let’s choose to invite Jesus into our hearts and then shout for joy and celebrate our forgiveness and freedom that we have received through our decision to follow Jesus!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some selfish choices in your life that have made you uptight?
Take those to God and thank Him for His wonderful mercy and forgiveness.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The Christian church is a society of sinners. It is the only society in the world membership in which is based upon the single qualification that the candidate shall be unworthy of membership. 

Charles Clayton Morrison

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So how will you choose to live the rest of your life? As I was writing today the aha that this weekend is Palm Sunday came to mind and that the week ahead is the Passion Week leading up to Good Friday and Easter. What an incredible time to reflect and consider how we want our destiny to be.

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?


To Forgive or Not to Forgive that is the question


Do you realize the benefits of forgiveness? Do you realize the consequences of not forgiving? Do you think forgiveness makes you weak? The reality is that by forgiving you are able to take back the power from the one who made you the victim. Do you think forgiveness means the other person is off the hook? The reality is that forgiveness removes the bitter or angry root from your heart and gives you freedom. The reality is that by forgiving them it puts the incident back into their hands and in their court to deal with instead of you needing to carry it around with you. Do you think forgiveness is only for other people? The reality is that to many people they are able to forgive others and even ask God to forgive them but the challenge they have which causes them to carry the burden is that they have a problem forgiving yourself!

This morning I was reading the chapter on Forgiveness in the Death Row Chaplain by Rev. Earl Smith. It goes through various scenarios and various truths around forgiveness. Just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean they won’t have to pay for their actions. Not forgiving though means that even after they are gone (aka death row) you get to carry around memories, the pain, and the anxiety. I would strongly recommend reading the book as I only have 1 chapter left and having gotten to meet the chaplain at a men’s conference, it is definitely worth the read. Where have you been and where does God want you to go? Your past doesn’t define you and so will you be willing to forgive yourself? As you consider and reflect on your day and your life, how will you choose to live it out?

Check out the category in this blog on forgiveness or forgive or unforgiveness which by the way isn’t a word!

Need to hear or watch something to reflect on it better? Here is a video you can watch:

Have I got a deal for you…

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 26th


The 365 Plan


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: II Timothy 1:7

‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Fear Not!
  • We need to remember that God is bigger than our situation and circumstance
  • Do you realize that the topic of “Fear Not” happens 365 times in the Bible? There is even a site where you can have 1 a day. It’s a book too “Fearful To Fearless
  • Enough for every day! So we don’t need to live a day in fear!
  • We can trust God every day and so rebuke the fear the world sends our way.
  • We can trust God in threatening experiences and situations!
  • We can trust God when facing the most difficult people!
  • God knows we are prone to fear and hence gives us so many reminders and verses to tell us to fear not!
  • God doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed!
  • God doesn’t want situations to overwhelm us!
  • So when things get stressful or difficult let’s change the way we respond and turn to God first!
  • I use the idea in my head that both excitement and nervousness create the same butterflies in my stomach and so when that feeling kicks in I choose to think of it as how excited I am getting about the situation!
  • Let’s choose to trust God rather than run away in fear!
  • Let’s choose to turn to God first, remember how He is greater than any problems or situations that can come our way, His grace is more than enough, and then take hold of God’s ability to overcome anything!
  • Today’s devotional reminds me of the two lion books I read by Mark BattersonChase the Lion and In a pit with a lion on a snowy day. It reminds me how my prayer life has changed to seek wisdom and discernment from God to make sure I am doing the right things and then a prayer for protection and health as I step up and step out in faith to do what God is asking of me and calling me to do.
  • Let’s take hold of Paul’s reminder to Timothy – “if you are afraid, it’s not from God”!
  • Let’s take hold of Paul’s reminder to Timothy – “God is the author of power, love, and right-thinking”!
  • So rather than holding onto fear, let’s count on God!
  • So what situation(s) is/are making you feel threatened?
  • What situation(s) is/are making you feel out of control?
  • What situation(s) is/are making you feel overwhelmed?
  • Are you ready and willing to cast your cares on God knowing that He cares for you?
  • Are you ready and willing to stop when that situation happens, look to God for wisdom and discernment, listen to His assurance through the Holy Spirit, and step forward in faith?
  • Are you ready to take a hold of today’s verse of the day and step up and step out with power, love, and a sound mind?
  • Let’s choose to trust God today!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some recurring situations that cause you to run away in fear or fight back in defiance?
  • Challenge my abilities
  • Challenge my integrity
  • Challenge my character

When that happens again, what about God do you need to remember? How will this reflection help you in critical moments?
  • Remember who God says I am
  • Remember who God is
  • Respond in alignment with the Holy Spirit’s leading and guiding!

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So will you face the fear and choose to forgive? Will you reflect on the past and choose to forgive? Will you forgive yourself and forgive others in order to be able to release the past and walk out into your future with true freedom? Will you accept forgiveness from God, from others, and from yourself? Will you allow faith to overcome fear? Will you allow forgiveness to overcome anger, bitterness, and hate? Will you let love rise to the top and be how you lead and live your life?

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?


Seeing a challenging situation?


How do you respond to challenging situations? Are you someone who is willing to burn bridges or rather someone who prefers to build bridges? Are you someone who is ready to end relationships rather than work on restoring them? Are you someone who looks to find common ground on which to build? Are you someone who is ready to just walk away?

Imagine a year with challenges. Will you try to go it in your own strength or will you lean on God for wisdom and direction into what to do and how to respond? Will you take it all personally and put up walls? Will you look to understand or just cut ties and move on? Will you look to talk it through or will you take offense and turn your back on them? Are you ready and willing to give forgiveness a try? Are you willing to go the route of forgiveness rather than be robbed because of anger, bitterness, and frustration?

Ever realized where burning bridges came from? It was a military tactic to prevent the possibility of retreat. It was a military tactic to prevent others from following you. Most people who use it today probably take it to mean doing something that can’t easily be undone or reversed usually due to an offense or being mistreated. Before you choose to burn bridges you better be sure you don’t ever want to go back that way. If you are going to burn a bridge is it because your integrity requires it? If you are going to burn a bridge is it because you need to support a friend? If you are going to burn a bridge is it because someone is trying to put out your light or flame through lies and taking advantage of you? If you are going to burn a bridge is it because the environment is toxic and you want to make sure you never go back?

Will you trust God in the midst of trials, troubles, and tribulations? Will you take heart when you face them by leaning in on God? Will you consider the joy of why you are needing or getting to go through such trials and tribulations? Let’s not get worried or confused but instead cast our cares on God! Let’s not forget the bigger picture and as the disciples discovered in Acts 5, they were considered worthy of suffering for the name of Jesus. Let’s consider it pure joy as we read in James 1. And let’s trust God’s timing! God’s timing is perfect and through perseverance finishing its work we can get to the place of being complete and lacking nothing!

So how will you see things the next time you are faced with a challenging situation? Will you be burning bridges? Will you be building bridges? Will you allow festering of bitterness? Will you allow healing of forgiveness? The decision and the choice are yours!


Today’s daily devotional:

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for March 8th


Building Bridges


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 5:9

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Conflicts
  • Will you allow anger to simmer to the point of destructive bitterness?
  • Will you allow anger to simmer to the point of destructive hatred?
  • Will you allow anger to simmer to the point of destructive responses?
  • Will you allow anger to simmer to the point of destroying relationships?
  • Will you allow anger to simmer to the point of using sarcasm or insult to hurt others?
  • How do you respond when faced with conflict?
    • clinched fist?
    • raising voice?
    • become demanding?
    • use intimidation?
    • avoid eye contact?
    • get quiet?
    • give in or give up?
  • What could or how could you respond differently in order to build trust and understanding?
  • Are you willing to show how you treasure your relationship with others out of mutual respect?
  • Are you willing to work hard to work through challenges in order to show how much you treasure the relationship?
  • Will you look for the best in order to try and resolve the situation/conflict and find the misunderstanding?
  • If this has been going on for a while, are you willing to take the time to bring the healing into the situation?
  • What would it take to get you from bitterness to forgiveness? Forgiveness is the key!
  • Will you be a peacemaker to help build the bridges you find broken down and abused?
  • Will you be a peacemaker to help people get beyond the anger and frustration and bitterness and be able to start to heal through forgiveness?
  • Let’s be people who bring hope, trust, and love into the situation!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How has conflict affected your stress levels, your happiness, and your relatioships?
  • Yes – check out the story on YouTube with keywords Story Slam, GoDaddy, and Forgiveness.
Where and how might you be a peacemaker to build bridges between people in conflict?
  • be a good listener in order to try and understand the gap that needs a bridge

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The meek man will attain a place of soul rest. As he walks on in meekness he will be happy to let God defend him. The old struggle to defend himself is over. He has found the peace which meekness brings.

A. W. Tozer (1897–1963)

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What decision is before you? How are you going to decide to proceed?

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?


Catalysts…


As the week draws to a close and my morning exercise time and reading are done. The word that came to my mind was catalyst as the book I am reading/reviewing triggered something in me. It kindled up thoughts of my childhood and the word “Gentle Giant” is now bouncing around in my head. It may have triggered the idea to write a book from the perspective of a young boy who is big for his age and the impact it has on his life, then and now. You never know when a catalyst for something may appear. You never know what the catalyst might be nor what it might be a catalyst for. When I think of my story about forgiveness, the catalyst ended up being tax season. When I think about my story of stepping up when called because God doesn’t call the qualified but rather qualifies the called. When I think about my story of relationship over rituals and routines, the catalyst of a big move. There are many other stories and they each had a catalyst. How about you? Are you ready for the catalyst that might appear in your life today?

“What is a catalyst?”, you may ask.

What is a catalyst?

Are you ready if a catalyst occurs in your life today?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for February 26th


Doing God’s Will


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Joshua 1:8

‘This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you understand or are you confused when it comes to God’s will?
  • Do you think it requires God speaking audibly to you? Either with a still quiet voice or a loud booming one?
  • Do you think it requires signs?
  • Do you think you can find it through reading God’s Word?
  • Do you think you can find it by meditating on God’s Word?
  • God can’t and doesn’t fit in a box and He is able to use a multiple of ways to communicate His will to you.
  • Do you want to know God’s will? Are you putting yourself in a position to be able to hear it?
  • The noise of life and drown out a lot of things and as such you may need to make room to help you hear it.
  • Do you make time to hear from God through His Word? I know through my life God has spoken to me during my morning time with Him through His Word. It still amazes me how a book written so long ago is alive and can speak to me right here, right now, into my very life and situation.
  • Want to know what to do and where to go? Why go to the lamp unto your feet and the light unto your path?
  • Why not turn to God’s Word in order to understand right and wrong, good and evil, and grasp the heart of God? Why not turn to His Word and receive God’s wisdom for your life?
  • What to know God’s heart? Read His Word!
  • What to examine your own heart? Read His Word!
  • Consider the direction you are heading!
  • If God says you are heading the wrong direction or missing the mark, why not turn back to Him and ask Him not only for wisdom but forgiveness for having tried to walk away?
  • If you want to know His will, you need to spend time with Him and His Word!
  • Are you willing to do work in order to receive wisdom and instruction and correction?
  • Are you willing to dive deeper into God’s Word in order to receive more than surface level wisdom and knowledge?
  • Are you willing to mine out the wisdom and knowledge of God in order to be blessed and build strong and successful relationships with God and with others?
  • Will you allow God’s Word to permeate and penetrate your mind so that throughout your day His Word is able to speak to you in every moment and situation to help you make good decisions?
  • Do you want to be productive? Why not take hold of God’s Word and allow it to lead and guide you as the lamp unto your feet and the light unto your path that it is supposed to be?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Describe the blend of how God uses circumstances, the Spirit’s whisper, and His Word to guide us.
  • Circumstances can push us in a direction
  • God’s Spirit’s whisper can direct us in what we should do — if we are willing to be quiet enough to hear it and obedient enough to do it.
  • God’s Word is alive! The Bible is God breathed!
    • ‘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
What would it take (in motivation, discipline, and time) for you to make internalizing God’s Word a habit in your life?
  • A catalyst
  • A decision to start
  • A dedication to never stop
  • To choose to pick up God’s Word and start walking in it and with it.

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“When we want to know God’s will, there are three things which always concur: the inward impulse, the Word of God and the trend of circumstances. Never act until these three things agree.”

— F.B. Meyer

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?


Decide and Get Ready!


There are days when to move forward you need to know where everyone stands and so you need to check and ask. You can’t assume you know but rather you need to ask and validate. You need to the truth to be on the table and focused for we know that the truth will set us free. We can’t just put out statements or rumors, we need to look at the data and analyze it so that we can then come together understanding the good, the bad, and the ugly in order to be able to attack the problem, solve the problem, and move on united.

Be it with a team, a group, a family, a friend, or others, we need to put the problem in the center of the table and attack the problem rather than each other using the truth in love. We need to be united in our care for one another rather than name calling or attacking each others that will create an even greater divide. We need to come together using the truth to heal the disenfranchised and reunite the entire group of people.

We need the truth for that will set us free! We need to be united because divided we will fall. So let us not allow the lies, the rumors, the miscellaneous information detract us from the healing process and becoming united together.

The battle isn’t against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities of this dark world. The devil comes to rob, kill, and destroy and uses lies and division is his #1 tool. So let’s be committed to the healing process which will mean we will need to be committed to the truth.

Today my focus on preparing for camps and all the work and planning associated with it.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for January 10th

Designer Label

MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Genesis 1:26

‘Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” ‘

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Where did you get your sense of identity?
  • When you were growing up where did you get your sense of identity?
  • As an adult where do you get your sense of identity?
  • Does it change or is it fixed?
  • Does it evolve or is it solid?
  • Was it from your parents, your friends, your teachers, your employers, your employees, …?
  • Have you ever heard or receive the message about how God created?
  • Have you ever had your identity based on how God created and why God created you?
  • Have you ever had your identity based on the purpose and the plan that you were created for?
  • You were created on purpose, for a purpose, with a purpose! You are not an accident or a mistake! God wasn’t surprised!
  • Have you ever compared or considered what God says about you rather than what people are saying about you?
  • How about what you say vs what God says? Going to stop the list for a sec and bring in a visual for us to have for reflection and consideration.
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Be honest.
  • An older me
  • A wiser me thanks to what God has done in and through my life
  • A better me thanks to what God has done in and through my life
  • A servant of the most High God who loves God and loves people
How would it affect your attitude and choices today if you saw yourself as someone who has been skillfully crafted by Almighty God?
QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

If God exists and we are made in His image we can have real meaning, and we can have real knowledge through what He has communicated to us. 

— FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER

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?