THRIVE: Even with everything that’s taken place, until it is over there is still more to do.


If you are reading this then you are here and as such you have things to do and get done. This is the day that the Lord has made and so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! God has prepared in advance good works for us to accomplish today and it is up to get it done! So let’s be about the work of the Father and getting done those good works! Let’s focus on the things He has for us to get done today including making plans for what is next. Let’s not try to go it alone but instead choose to work on things together! We were never meant to go it alone and hence why God gave us one another! We were never meant to go it alone and hence why God sent the Holy Spirit! God cares too much to leave us on our own and promises to never leave us nor forsake/abandon us! So today let’s make sure we lean into God and cast all our cares upon Him because He cares for us! Let’s choose to listen to the prompting and directing of the Holy Spirit in order to be able to accomplish all that God has planned for us! Let’s remember God’s plans for us are for good and not for evil, they are to give us hope and a future! Yes, in this world we will have troubles but we don’t have to worry or mope about it because we know that Jesus overcame the world! Yes in this world we will face trials too but don’t fret or worry about that because we know that we should consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. We know that when we let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. So today, let us choose to lean in on God and trust Him, pursuing His plans, His purposes, and His calling on our lives!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. ‘

1 Chronicles 16:34

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 13


Are you ready for today? Do you have a to-do list? Do you know what you need to do? Invite Jesus into your heart and life today to lead and guide us in every good work!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

Prayer Of Salvation
"Oh Father God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake and has risen from the dead. Lord, I receive Your Word and I repent of my sins. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen."

THRIVE: When you don’t know what to do, do what you know to do.


When things don’t seem clear and you aren’t sure what to do, do what you know to do. God has given you directions so do that. God has given you wisdom so do that. God has given you hope so do that. God has a plan so do that. God has a purpose so do that. And in God’s timing, which is perfect, you will know what to do and then you can step up, step out, and do it. Be it at work! Be it at home! Be it somewhere in between! Let’s capture what God has for us to do today in the midst of the world being shaken and do it! Let’s capture what God has for us to do today so that we are doing the right things when the only thing left is unshakable and do it!

For me, that means I get to be the dad my wife needs me to be. For me, that means I get to be the dad my kids need me to be. For me, that means I get to focus on preparing for what is yet to come like scripts, decks, and videos that speak to men, youth, and kids about the importance and the responsibility of being the dads this world needs.



Verse of the Day:

‘Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. ‘

1 John 3:18

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Killing Sin – Day 2


Where are you today? Are you ready to lean in on God to be able to do what you know to do in the midst of uncertain times? Are you ready to lean in on God to be able to do what you know to do in the midst of shaky times? Are you not sure what to do? Are you not sure how to do it? The answer is to turn back to God and lean in on Him for wisdom and discernment, direction and instruction, so that in everything you do He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory and it will be for your good.

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

THRIVE: So there is a change in direction and so you provide input, …


The first day of the workweek is behind us. I grabbed the concept, the direction, the idea and produced recommendations to support it. So much change is taking place and yet with the final update published my final destination (from a reporting structure) is unclear. The good news is that my final destination (for eternity has been decided). So I lean into God for wisdom and direction! I lean into God for strength the press in and persevere. I lean into God to know what’s next and trust in Him for the perfect answer in the perfect timing and that He will help me walk through each day till the timing is right. In the new world, who can I talk to? In this new world even though I have a past and a history with people does this new change mean I have to hold back or stop reaching out to help? In this new world with so much decided and yet feeling like I am missing the why. When we consider what has been and is now taking place in this world, the words of the book of Hebrews comes to mind where it says:

‘At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”’

Hebrews 12:26-29

Even in looking up and looking at “everything that can be shaken will be shaken” another scripture showed up:

‘“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘

Haggai 2:6-7

Do you feel the shaking taking place in and around your life? What things do you need to let go of or give away? What things do you need to hold onto? Ever considered what things really matter and will last? It’s not the stuff! It’s the people! Even when we consider the gifts of God faith, hope, and love will last and the greatest of these is love. As we consider and contemplate this today will it change the way we choose to live out our today? No matter the struggles that come our way we need to remember that our struggles aren’t against flesh and blood but rather against powers and principalities of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. We can’t lose hope when we face these struggles but instead, we need to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds remembering that it is building our faith and that when we persevere and allow perseverance to finish its work we will be complete and lacking nothing. Struggles aren’t for the few but rather Jesus even warned us that “in this world we will have troubles” but He also provides us with a word of hope and He says “but take heart for I have overcome the world“.

So it’s the second day of the workweek. There is an emergency to take care of. There is change and shaking taking place. So let’s not lose hope but instead persevere! Let’s not lose hope but instead put our trust in and lean on God! Let’s not lose hope but instead choose unity at the speed of health to ensure we can all make it through this together.


Verse of the Day:

‘She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. ‘

Proverbs 31:20

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Killing Sin – Day 1


So what are you facing today? Are you ready to turn it over to God? Are you ready to go it His way?

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

THRIVE: Workweek is over and still decisions to be made…


Let us take hold of the reality of what we have learned through the book of Exodus when it comes to THRIVING and allow God’s Word to help us as we look ahead and into the future of this life. We learned about risk-taking, getting out of the boat, and allowing God to do new things in our lives, God answers prayer, and God is near to His people. We learned that God’s deepest work can come out through our trials, troubles, and pain. We learned how we are closer to a breakthrough than we think even during what we are going through. Just like the turbulence right before breaking through the sound barrier, life can get bumpy right before the breakthrough. During the struggle, we need to trust God and His choice of us for this calling and purpose rather than thinking we are the wrong choice. We need to trust God even when we do not understand. We need to keep turning to God when we do not know what to do or where to go. We need to fight our way through the pain, fear, and unbelief. God is in control! Do not give up! Lean in, kneel, and call out to God. We have learned the importance of picking our battles. We need to choose to fight the fight of trust – that God is good even when our circumstances are not. We need to choose to fight the fight of perseverance – to keep going and not quit (do not give in to the doubts and fears the devil is trying to use to get you to quit). We need to choose to fight the fight for unity – to move forward at the speed of health. We learned the why! It is important to know why! Why did God put Egypt through the plagues? Because He wanted to answer Pharoah’s question “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.” Egypt had a god for everything, and the plagues demonstrated that God was over and of them because they were not real gods. We need to understand WHY. Could simplification be the answer? What does that say and what does that mean for and to you? We learned the importance of leaving the things behind us to move forward to the things God has for us. We learned the importance of leaving the mistakes and trials of the past behind us. We learned the need to let go of the struggles and pains of the past. We learned the importance to instruct our kids. We learned God is so for you – taking you right where you are and leading you into a new beginning. We cannot get stuck in the past and not step up and step out into what God has planned for us. We need to do what we have to do to get where God needs us to be. We learned that we need to wake up to the reality of what is taking place instead of getting stuck we need to act. We need to pray and call on God rather than absorbing or accepting failure around us. We need to be able to accept success and breakthroughs when it is right in front of us. We cannot allow the fear of the unknown or the future to become our master again. We learned how we must let God make the change and take hold of the reality that God is able to exceedingly, abundantly more than you can ask or imagine. We learned how God wants to forgive you so much He came after you. He did all the work himself. Just needed to accept the gift. Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. We learned how God gave the cloud and the fire to comfort them. Do not let your heart be troubled. God has a change and a new way for you. God will stand between you and the enemy. We learned how today by faith in Christ you can be forgiven and start the journey with Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will lead you and guide you. He will come behind you to watch your back. We learned that we need to do what God is telling us to do. We need to stop going backward. We need to stop surrendering when we are on the verge of a breakthrough. Start moving towards what God is calling you to. Dare to sow, to pray, to give your best. The things you can do so do it. We learned how God had the wind stack up the water into walls and dried the ground. Let us keep our eyes on the Lord and keep moving towards what He is showing us and telling us. Pharaoh woke up to a supply chain issue – he questioned why he let them go and just because one day their eyes may be opened to the reality of the situation, it does not mean that we should not be moving forward into the promised land and glory had prepared in advance for us to step into. God does not send you to hell, He opened the door to forgiveness and heaven, and we need to choose the final destination. You are the only one who can keep you from eternal life with God and forgiveness. 

So, what is next for you? What will you decide? Are you ready to accept the change and move from surviving into thriving? Are you ready to receive what God has prepared in advance for you to do. Are you ready to accomplish the good works God has prepared in advance for you to do. Will you accept the calling? Will you step up and step out for the glory of God? The choice is yours! We have freewill and we can choose to be used by God or to abdicate our responsibility and calling. Remember the story of Esther and how she was called to save her people? Remember the story of when the people were praising Jesus and when told to tell them to stop, He answered that if they stopped the rocks would cry out


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. ‘

Proverbs 29:25

Today’s post from Be The Dads is 10 Challenges Every Dad Must Conquer – Day 3


Where are you today? What decisions are you facing? What challenges are you facing? What struggles are you facing? What opportunities are you facing? What will you do about it? Where will you turn for wisdom and advice? What will you do about the answer you receive? Will you go? Will you do it? Will you trust Him? Let’s give it up to God! Let’s go to Him for wisdom and advice! Let’s be obedient to His instruction and go do it!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)


THRIVE: Do what you know to do when you don’t know what to do. Finish strong!


I am so grateful for a loving and caring God. I am so thankful that He knows what I need even before I can ask. I am so thankful that He loves me so much that He gave me His Word. I am so thankful that He loves me so much that He gave His one and only Son. I am so thankful that He loves me so much that He doesn’t want me to go it alone and so He not only give me one another but also His Holy Spirit to be my comforter and my guide. So, what to do when you don’t know what to do? You do what you know how to do and turn to God and ask for His wisdom and discernment, for His leading and guiding, so that you can move forward for the glory of His kingdom.

Can you believe it is the end of the workweek already? Let’s finish the week strong! Let’s give our day into God’s hand to help us navigate not only the information that will come our way but also the time we spend today with others, on projects, etc. Let’s choose to live today in a way that will glorify God! Let’s trust God knowing that whatever is going on it will be for His glory and our good! Let’s persevere as we move forward not giving up and not giving in to the lies or tricks of the devil. Let’s work for unity in health so that in and through it all God will be lifted up and glorified and others will see it and glorify our Father in heaven.


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. ‘

John 14:26

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Father Like The Father – Day 2


So are you ready to finish the week strong? Are you looking to figure out what to do? Are there many open questions? Is there uncertainty taking place? Let’s lean in on God! Let’s trust in God! Let’s not think we can figure it all out but instead turn to God and ask the Holy Spirit to help us! Let’s invite God into our life situation.

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.


Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)

THRIVE: Struggle well! Persevere!


In this world, you will have troubles! In this world, you will have struggles. It’s not about winning or losing but rather about persevering. Jesus tells us we can take heart when we face troubles because He has overcome the world. In James we read how we are to consider it pure joy when we face troubles of many kinds and that is because we know the full story. James tells us:

‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ‘

James 1:2-4

So let’s consider it pure joy because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. Let’s consider it pure joy because we know that when we let perseverance finish its work we will be mature, complete, and lacking nothing.

So today as we get started we need to be wise! James 1 provides us some important guidance here too:

‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. ‘

James 1:5-8

So let’s be wise and PICK OUR BATTLES! Let’s be people who fight the fight of TRUST! Trusting that God is good! Trust that everything God does is for His glory and for our good! Trusting that God is good even when our circumstances are not! God is good and faithful beyond our current circumstances. Let’s be the people who fight the fight of PERSEVERANCE! Let’s be the people won’t quit and will keep going! Let’s be the people who elevate the power and the authority of God! Let’s not get stuck isolated from others but instead build up relationships with others so that when they see we are struggling we won’t need to even ask for help they will see the need to fill. Let’s avoid getting isolated and allowing the devil to be able to mess with our minds and try to make us quit. Let’s be the people who fight the fight of UNITY! Let’s be the people who fight so that we can move forward in health. Let’s be the people who fight the fight of unity daily at the speed of health! Let’s consider and reflect don’t these fights as we read Exodus 16, and 17.


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. ‘

Romans 12:12

Today’s post from Be The Dads is How do I forgive my abusive dad? – Day 2


So where are you at today? Are you ready to thrive? Are you ready to fight the right fight? Are you ready to fight the fight of trust? Are you ready to fight the fight of perseverance? Are you ready to fight the fight of unity? Are you ready to heal through forgiveness? Are you ready to turn to Jesus and invite Him into your situation?

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.


Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)


THRIVE: What to do when you don’t know what to do?


The short answer is: Do what you know to do.

Today, as I enjoy the weekend with my family the workweek, has finished and yet the news/answers didn’t come. So what is going to happen? Don’t know! What will we do? Don’t know! Where will we be? Don’t know! But I do know what my team does and so we will keep doing that to the best of our abilities in order to not only support the various teams across the company but also produce the best-localized content we can for our customers, shoppers, and visitors.

So are you having to deal with unknowns? Are you having to deal with uncertainties? Are you having to deal with changes? Are you having to deal with obstacles? Are you having to deal lack of clarity? Are you having to deal with a lack of direction? So what are you going to do?

Do what you know how to do! Invite God into the situation and do what you know how to do!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. ‘

Proverbs 13:20

Today’s post from Be The Dads is The Daring Dad – Day 1.


So what are you dealing with today? Is God your go-to? Is God where you turn when you are facing uncertain times? Is God where you turn when you are facing challenging times? Is God where you turn when you are facing change? Are you ready to open that door to start a conversation and relationship with God so that not only can you be engaged to the world but allow God to engage with you in the midst of the trials, the troubles, the challenges, and the change? Let’s invite Jesus into our situation and walk it out with Him! God doesn’t want us to leave Him out of it but rather He desires to be with us, He is going before us, He is walking with us, He will never leave us nor forsake us, and so we just need to invite Him.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Today’s Reading from God’s Word:

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


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

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

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

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

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

A story about the power of forgiveness

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

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

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


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


Getting Back To Work


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

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

Nehemiah 4:15

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nehemiah 4:1-23

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

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

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

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

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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


Feeling down? Feeling stuck? Wondering if there is any way out?


During COVID I read two great books about being in a pit by Mark Batterson. Through those readings, I took hold of the reality that I don’t need to pray for safety but I do need to pray for protection in doing what God calls me to do. I learned to pray for wisdom and discernment in order to know God’s instruction and direction. So with God’s direction and instruction, I would just need to be obedient and pray for God’s protection as I step up and step out boldly to get done the good works God had prepared in advance for me to accomplish. The two books were In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day and Chase The Lion.

2020 was a year when I felt really down but had the theme of Hindsight is 2020 through it all and kept wondering when God would reveal to me what was going on and why I had to be in such a place, such a position, and if it would ever get out. I was feeling down. I was feeling stuck. I kept wondering what my way out would be and how God would bring it about because for most of the year He kept telling me to wait and stay. Through 2020 God blessed me by having to stay home more and foster a stronger and better relationship with my wife and kids. Through 2020 there were many great family moments that took place and having my family praying for me in and through it all while we all leaned upon God to help us make it. It took until December before it happened. It took until December before the why was revealed. It took until December before I was unstuck. It took until December before I found a way out. The interesting thing for me was how quick it took place when God said “now”. I learned about the opportunity on Thursday. I sought wisdom about the opportunity on Friday and gave my answer that I would go. I was working on my new job the following Tuesday, ramping up and gaining a new team. In the midst of the feeling down, I kept looking up to God! In the midst of feeling stuck, I kept holding onto God! In the midst of seeking a way out, I trusted God! Count your blessings! Testify to God’s goodness!

So don’t give up! Don’t try to go it alone! (I walked through it with my family sharing the journey with them and feeling loved through it all) Don’t try to go it alone! (Spend time seeking God, talking with God, and listening to God) Don’t be robbed by the devil who walks around like a roaring lion seeking who he can kill. Don’t be fooled by the devil whose plan is to steal, kill, and destroy, instead trust in God whose plan is to give you life and life more abundantly.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 15th


In The Pit


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. And he killed an Egyptian, a spectacular man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; so he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. ‘

II Samuel 23:20-21

Do you realize the context of where this information came from? Let’s get some additional context and expand on it using the Amplified version:

‘These are the names of the mighty men (warriors) whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth, a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains, also called Adino the Eznite (spear) because of the eight hundred men killed [by him] at one time. Next to him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the son of Ahohi. He was one of the three mighty men with David when they taunted and defied the Philistines assembled there for battle, and the men of Israel had gone. Eleazar stood up and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day; the people returned after him only to take the spoil [of the slain]. Next to Eleazar was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines were gathered into an army where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people [of Israel] fled from the Philistines. But he took his stand in the center of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines; and the Lord brought about a great victory. Then three of the thirty chief men went down and came to David at harvest time in the cave of Adullam, while an army of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David had a craving and said, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem by the gate, and carried and brought it to David. But he would not drink it, but poured it out [in worship] to the Lord. And he said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should drink this. [Is it not the same as] the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” So he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did. Now Abishai the brother of Joab the son of Zeruiah was chief of the thirty. He wielded his spear against three hundred men and killed them, and gained a reputation beside the three. He was the most honored of the thirty, so he became their commander; however, he did not attain to the [greatness of the] three. Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many notable acts, killed two [famous] warriors of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day. And he killed an Egyptian, an impressive and handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a club, snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed the man with his own spear. These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and gained a reputation beside the three mighty men. He was honored among the thirty, but he did not attain to the [greatness of the] three. David appointed him over his guard. Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; then Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, Shammah of Harod, Elika of Harod, Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh of Tekoa, Abiezer of Anathoth, Mebunnai the Hushathite, Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai of Netophah, Heleb the son of Baanah of Netophah, Ittai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the Benjamites, Benaiah of Pirathon, Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash, Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, Eliahba of Shaalbon, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Ararite, Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai the son of Maacah, Eliam the son of Ahithophel of Giloh, Hezro (Hezrai) of Carmel, Paarai the Arbite, Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai of Beeroth, armor bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah, Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, Uriah the Hittite—thirty-seven in all.’

2 Samuel 23:8-39

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you respond to problems?
  • Are you ready to turn them into platforms?
  • Are you ready to turn them into a legacy?
  • What are the battles you are faced with?
  • What are the challenges you are faced with?
  • What are the threats you are faced with?
  • Are you ready?
  • Are you preparing for the battles, the challenges, and the threats?
  • Are you preparing so you will be ready when they show up?
  • What are people running from? Could that be an opportunity for you to run towards?
  • Could the fact that others are running away mean you could get to the opportunity first because you are prepared and going upstream?
  • Do you trust God enough to go and do what He calls you to do?
  • Do you trust God enough to go and do what God has prepared in advance for you to do?
  • Do you trust God enough that when others fear something you are courageous and bold knowing if God calls you to it that He will lead, guide, and protect you through it?
  • We see how in Benaiah’s case his boldness and courageousness got him promoted to head of the bodyguards for David and commander-in-chief of Israel’s armies under Solomon.
  • We see how thousands of years later we marvel at the courage, the risk taking, and the faith of this brave, courageous, fearless, heroic, daring, gallant, confident, spirited, and determined warrior!
  • What comes to mind when you did something big for God out of faith?
  • What comes to mind when you think of the legacy you will leave behind?
  • Does anyone know about the faith it took?
  • Does anyone know about the faith experiences you went through?
  • Do you remember when your faith was greater than your fears?
  • Do you remember trusting God more than you would allow the fear of being unqualified to do it?
  • Do you remember when your accomplishments exceeded your expectations?
  • Do you remember times when you had to face and defeat warriors in your life?
  • Do you remember times when you had to face and chase lions in your life?
  • Do you remember times when you had to face and face giants in your life?
  • Oh the memories!
  • Oh the legacy!
  • As we step into our today, let’s seize the opportunities that come our way!
  • Let’s keep in mind our greatest blessings may start out as our biggest obstacles!
  • Let’s be ready! Let’s be prepared! Let’s be bold and courageous! Let’s get it done for the glory of God!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some of the events from your past that looked devastating at the time, but turned out to be great blessings?
  • Is there a lion that God is calling you to chase?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at? Are you in a pit? Are you facing a lion? Are you wondering what to do? Are you wondering how to proceed? Are you ready to trust God? Are you ready to do what God is calling you to do? Are you ready to leave a legacy? Are you ready to create a legacy? Are you ready to build the faith of others by sharing your story? Could 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?


Do you know what to stop? Do you know what to avoid?


As I was starting my day the verse of the day jumped out at me with an interesting statement. I started with 6 things God hates and 7 that He detests. It brought to mind what things are being done that should be stopped? It also brought to mind what things are being done that should be avoided. After the last couple of days speaking to what we need and should be doing all founded on love, it was interesting to me to read today’s verse of the day. If we just love God and love people, we won’t find ourselves doing what God hates nor what He detests. So as we consider the DOs and how we can live out our lives with AGAPE or UNCONDITIONAL love and live our lives loving our neighbors as ourselves and as we learn through the story of the Good Samaritan – it means we need to love everyone! God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to give His life once for all in order to make a way to pay for our rebellion and rejection, put another way out sin, so that we can and are able to turn back to God and receive forgiveness, put another way repent of our wicked ways and be forgiven. And yet, here we are today and loving everyone isn’t the way the world is moving forward. It isn’t fake love but unconditional love that we are to be living. We are to be living AGAPE love not just PHILEO or EROS type of love which are temporary or can sway or change over time. AGAPE is something where even if you don’t like someone, you can still love them. You wouldn’t have PHILEO love nor EROS love for someone you don’t like. So today, let’s get our day started with and in love!


Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from the book of Proverbs:

‘ These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, [Ps. 120:2, 3.] A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren.’
Proverbs 6:16-19

So first let’s look to remove pride for we know that pride comes before the fall. Let’s eliminate the spirit that makes us overestimate ourselves and underestimate others. Second, let’s be truth seekers and truth tellers and remove a lying tongue. Third, let’s be justice and righteous and stop causing or instigating or creating situation that will cause the shedding of innocent blood. Forth, let’s bring our minds under the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help us purify and sanctify and cleanse our minds, taking captive every thought and making it obedient to Christ so as to stop the creation and the speaking and the acting of manufactured wicked thoughts and plans. Fifth, let’s turn back to God, let’s turn from wickedness and evil, let’s humble ourselves keeping our feet from running to evil and getting tripped up by the lies of the devil who is trying to rob, kill, and destroy us. Sixth, we need to be seeking truth and justice, keeping ourselves from making up stories and being false witnesses or gossips. Seventh, let’s be people who live their lives to produce love, hope, truth, and unity, people who are trying to draw people together and towards God by the words we speak, the thoughts we think, and the way we live our lives keeping from sowing discord among others.

Are you with me? Are you willing to try and be doers of God’s Word? Are you willing to be ambassadors of peace? Are you willing to be salt and light? Are you willing to lead with love even when it is hard and you may not be in agreement with others? Will you put God first, loving God? Will you put people second, loving your neighbor as yourself? Just these two love commands will make such an impact to the world around you for the glory of God, in Jesus’ name.


Let’s choose the way that leads to life! Let’s choose to live our lives in a way that produces good fruit! Let’s choose to live in a way that will produce life!


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? Another work week complete. Less than a week away from a new year beginning. Taking record of the lessons learned this year and how to use them to improve the year ahead that will start in a week. They say hindsight is 2020, let’s learn from it and not repeat the mistake nor increase the pain, let’s choose to be salt and light, being good stewards, and producing good fruits by the Spirit of God!

The 49 week challenge
Day 298

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 298 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

How interested are you in what will happen today? How interested are you in what will be required of you today? How interested are you in what decisions you will need to make today? How interested are you in hearing from God today? How interested are you in accomplishing what God is calling you to do today? What if it were life and death decision? What if it were everlasting life and everlasting death decision? What if the decision that you make today will determine how you will spend the rest of eternity? Would it make a difference?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading
from GOD’S WORD–THE BIBLE:

My Notes:

  • Consider all that we have to be thankful for
  • Remember your calling
  • Remember the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline
  • Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
  • Be strong in grace
  • Entrust to reliable people who will teach others
  • Let’s live according to the rules
  • Let’s endure for Jesus!
  • Let’s be faithful to God!
  • Let’s be a worker who handles the word of truth
  • Let’s build our lives on God’s solid foundation!
  • Let’s decide to invite Jesus into our hearts and become His
  • Let’s be useful to God and be ready to do the good work He prepares in advance for us to accomplish.
  • Do not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
  • Don’t be a gossip or troublemaker
  • Don’t be grumblers against God
  • Don’t be a grumbler against God’s plan and will
  • What would it take to get your attention? How severely would it have to be? Would it require the ground swallowing it or you up? Would it require a plague?
  • How long does it take for you to forget what God has done and you start grumbling?
  • God can take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it around and use it for good.
  • Don’t lose hope or faith in the midst of trials and troubles. Trust in God!
  • Remember the experiences of the past, the trials and troubles, and how God used it and turned it around for His glory and promised you Job 42:12
  • Lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge God who will make your path straight!

As day 298 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

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?

Today’s devotional that I am following is The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Will you trust Him?


Will you trust His plan? Do you realize what His plan is like? He can take what the enemy planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good! He can restore what has been broken! He can save the lost! He can set the captives free! Will you trust Him?

You need to deny the liars! You need to avoid allowing pride to make you think you can do it all on your own! You need to humble yourself and put all your hope and trust in God! Look for the truth rather than what will just make you feel better! Test the words and see if they are true! Make sure you don’t stir up so much trouble that it goes from being a wooden yoke to an iron one!

Hear God’s Word! Don’t lose hope! Yes in this world there will be troubles, but take heart for Jesus has overcome the world! Yes in this world you will have trials, but consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds for they will test your faith and the perseverance will help you to endure. Allow that endurance to carry you all the way without failing, so that in the end you will be perfect, complete, and lacking nothing!

As we continue into Jeremiah 29, we hear the message to the exiles. A message of hope in the midst of their circumstances! A message of salvation in the midst of their trials! A message for the future! In the midst of what you are going thru, flourish! In the midst of what is taking place, multiply! In the midst of what is going on, prosper! In the midst of what is taking place, seek peace! Don’t be deceived by liars and false prophets! Remember God’s timing is perfect and He has a plan! Just like in Jeremiah, God’s timing is perfect and He has a plan for you and me and the rest of this world! He will provide signs of the time so that you will know the time! He will provide direction so that you will know what to do!

Let’s review what was said…

A Letter to the Exiles

1This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2(This was after King Jehoiachin and the queen mother, the court officials and the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the skilled workers and the artisans had gone into exile from Jerusalem.) 3He entrusted the letter to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. It said:
4This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.
10This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
15You may say, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,” 16but this is what the Lord says about the king who sits on Davidʼs throne and all the people who remain in this city, your fellow citizens who did not go with you into exile— 17yes, this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will send the sword, famine and plague against them and I will make them like figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. 18I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse and an object of horror, of scorn and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them. 19For they have not listened to my words,” declares the Lord, “words that I sent to them again and again by my servants the prophets. And you exiles have not listened either,” declares the Lord.
20Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you in my name: “I will deliver them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will put them to death before your very eyes. 22Because of them, all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon will use this curse: ‘May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned in the fire.’ 23For they have done outrageous things in Israel; they have committed adultery with their neighborsʼ wives, and in my name they have uttered lies—which I did not authorize. I know it and am a witness to it,” declares the Lord.

–from Jeremiah 29

So don’t lose hope! Don’t walk away from God! Put all your hope and trust in Him! Invite Jesus into your heart! Align to Him and His ways! Be ambassadors of peace! Walk in His ways! Allow Him to direct your steps! Remember the end of the book, Jesus wins! He won the victory when He conquered the grave! He defeated the power of sin when He paid the penalty on the cross! So don’t lose hope! Put your trust in God! Don’t rebel against Him!

Need wisdom? Humble yourself and cry out to God! Let’s reflect on today’s Psalm…

A prayer of David.

1Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer—it does not rise from deceitful lips. 2Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right. 3Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed. 4Though people tried to bribe me, I have kept myself from the ways of the violent through what your lips have commanded. 5My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled. 6I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. 7Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. 8Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings 9from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. 10They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. 11They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. 12They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a fierce lion crouching in cover. 13Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down; with your sword rescue me from the wicked. 14By your hand save me from such people, Lord, from those of this world whose reward is in this life. May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies; may their children gorge themselves on it, and may there be leftovers for their little ones. 15As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

–from Psalms 17

We need to trust Him in and through it all! We need not lean on our own understanding, but put our trust in God! There is no darkness in Him! He is light! God is Love! Let’s try to live dead to sin and alive in Jesus! Let’s be slaves to doing what is right in God’s eyes! As we read in the final chapter of today’s reading from the book of Romans…

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or donʼt you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16Donʼt you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

–from Romans 6

 


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 28, 29, Psalm 17, Romans 6

82% might sound good, but we need to finish the race!


Ever heard people who are ready top stop when they get to 80%? Ever heard people who think 80% is enough or good enough? Well, today my daily reading program I have reached 82% but that isn’t good enough, I want to finish which means I have to keep going and pressing in and pressing on for another 65 days.

If someone runs 80% of a 100 meter or 100 yard dash does that do them any good? If someone runs 80% of a marathon does that do them any good? If someone plays 80% of a game will that be good enough?

Last night during the Saturday night service, we were in Philippians 3 where we here from Paul in his most intimate letter in the bible. We need to realize we haven’t completed yet! We need to realize we haven’t arrived yet! We need to realize that obtained everything God has planned for us yet! We need to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us. We need to leave the past achievements and troubles behind us and press forward! We need to We need to forget what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. So don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Don’t be afraid! Don’t complain! Don’t worry! Let’s press onward! Let’s strain towards what is ahead of us! Let’s get it done! Let’s finish strong!

Don’t give up! God hears your prayers!


He knows your name! He knows your every thought! He sees each tear that falls! He hears you when you call! It may be hard! It may seem impossible! But nothing is impossible with God! So don’t lose hope and don’t give up! Give it up to God for He hears your prayers and He knows your heart!

What are you in need of? What is the desire of your heart? What is your priority?

Today’s readings takes a look at someone who was in need and gave that need up to God…

A Barren Woman’s Petition is Granted

1Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim—his name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2He had two wives: the name of the one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. 3Now this man used to go up from his town every year to worship and to sacrifice to Adonai-Tzva’ot in Shiloh. (The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were kohanim of Adonai there.) 4Then on the designated day Elkanah would sacrifice and give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters, 5but to Hannah he would give only one portion—even though he loved Hannah—for Adonai had closed her womb. 6Her rival would taunt her bitterly to provoke her, because Adonai had closed her womb. 7So it was year after year, whenever she went up to the House of Adonai, that she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. 8Then her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you crying? Why won’t you eat? Why is your heart so sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” 9After eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah got up. Now Eli the kohen was sitting on his seat by the doorpost of the Temple of Adonai. 10While her soul was bitter, she prayed to Adonai and wept. 11So she made a vow and said, “Adonai-Tzva’ot, if You will indeed look upon the affliction of Your handmaid, remember me and not forget Your handmaid, but grant Your handmaid a son, then I will give him to Adonai all the days of his life and no razor will ever touch his head.” 12It came to pass, as she prayed long before Adonai, that Eli was watching her mouth. 13Now Hannah was praying in her heart—only her lips were moving, but her voice could not be heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. 14Then Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Get rid of your wine!” 15But in response Hannah said, “No, my lord, I am a woman with an oppressed spirit! I haven’t been drinking wine or beer. Instead I’ve been pouring out my soul before Adonai. 16Don’t consider your handmaid a wicked woman. For out of my great anguish and grief I’ve been praying until now.” 17Then Eli responded, “Go in shalom, and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you asked of Him.” 18“May your maidservant find favor in your eyes,” she said. So the woman went her way; she ate, and her countenance was no longer dejected. 19They rose up early in the morning and worshipped before Adonai, then went back to their home to Ramah. Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and Adonai remembered her. 20So it came to pass at the turn of the year that Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She called his name Samuel, “because I have asked Adonai for him.” 21When the man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer the annual sacrifice to Adonai and to fulfill his vow offering, 22Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “When the child is weaned, I will bring him, so he may appear before Adonai and stay there forever.” 23So her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what seems best to you. Stay until you have weaned him—only may Adonai establish His word.” So the woman stayed home and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with three bulls, one ephah of flour and a jar of wine, and brought him to the House of Adonai in Shiloh, while the child was still young. 25After they slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. 26“It’s me, my lord!” she said. “As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman that stood by you here, praying to Adonai. 27For this boy I prayed, and Adonai has granted me my petition that I asked of Him. 28So I in turn dedicate him to Adonai—as long as he lives he is dedicated to Adonai.” Then he bowed in worship there before Adonai.

–from 1 Samuel 1

Live in joy! Live in peace! Live believing and trusting in God! Praise Him and worship Him for what He is doing, has done and is going to do in and through your life! Walk in His ways! Allow Him to guide your every step! All things are possible for those who believe! Put your trust in God! Do you hear that still quiet voice? Are you obedient to the Spirit’s call? You don’t want to hear the loud booming voice, so allow God to be with you and guide your every step, your every thought, your every word and your every action!

Hannah’s Prayer of Exultation

1Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in Adonai, my horn is lifted high in Adonai. I smile wide over my enemies, for I rejoice in Your salvation. 2There is none holy as Adonai, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. 3Boast no more so proudly— insolence comes out of your mouth. For Adonai is the all-knowing God, and by Him deeds are weighed. 4The bows of the mighty are broken, but the stumbling are girded with strength. 5Those full hire themselves for bread, but those starving hunger no more. Even the barren gives birth to seven, but she with many sons languishes. 6Adonai causes death and makes alive, He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7Adonai makes poor and makes rich, He brings low and also lifts up. 8He raises the helpless from the dust. He lifts the needy from the dunghill, to make them sit with nobles, granting them a seat of honor. For the earth’s pillars are Adonai’s, and He has set the world on them. 9He guards the steps of His godly ones, but the wicked are silenced in darkness. For one does not prevail by might. 10Those who oppose Adonai will be shattered. He thunders against them in heaven. He judges the ends of the earth. He gives strength to His king, exalting the horn of His anointed one.”

Eli’s Sons Sin Against Adonai

11Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, while the boy served Adonai before Eli the kohen. 12Now Eli’s sons were worthless men; they did not acknowledge Adonai. 13Now this was the custom of the kohanim with the people: whenever any man offered a sacrifice, the kohen’s servant would come along, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up, the kohen would take for himself. This is how they dealt with all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh. 15Even before they burned the fat, the kohen’s servant would come and say to the one offering sacrifice, “Give the kohen meat for roasting, since he will not accept boiled meat from you—only raw.” 16If the man said to him, “Let them first burn the fat up as smoke, and then take as much as you desire,” he would reply, “No! But you must give it now—otherwise, I will take it by force.” 17Thus the sin of the young men was very great before Adonai, for the men despised the offering of Adonai. 18But Samuel was ministering before Adonai, as a boy girded with a linen ephod. 19Moreover, his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May Adonai give you offspring from this woman instead of the one she requested from Adonai.” Then they would return to their place. 21So Adonai visited Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the child Samuel grew before Adonai. 22Now Eli had grown very old. He heard all that his sons did to all Israel, and how they slept with the women who served at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. 23So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear evil reports from all these people concerning you. 24No, my sons! For this is not a good report that I hear Adonai’s people spreading around. 25If a man sins against another, God may pardon him; but if a man sins against Adonai, who will intercede for him?” But they did not listen to the voice of their father, because Adonai desired to put them to death. 26Meanwhile, the child Samuel kept growing and increasing in favor both with Adonai and also with men. 27Now there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus says Adonai: Did I not reveal Myself clearly to the house of your father when they were in Egypt belonging to Pharaoh’s palace? 28Also did I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My kohanim, to officiate at My altar, to burn incense and to wear an ephod before Me? Did I not give to the house of your father all the fire offerings of Bnei-Yisrael? 29Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by fattening yourselves with the choicest of every offering of Israel My people? 30Therefore Adonai God of Israel declares, I indeed said that your house and your father’s house should walk before Me forever. But now declares Adonai, far be it from Me! For I will honor those who honor Me, but those who despise Me will be disdained. 31Behold, the days are coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that no one in your household will reach old age. 32Moreover, you will behold the distress of My dwelling, despite all that is good that has been done to Israel. So no one in your household will reach old age, forever. 33Any man of yours that I did not cut off from My altar would make your eyes weep and your soul grieve. So all the increase of your household will die as young men. 34Now this will be the sign to you that will come on your two sons—Hophni and Phinehas—on the same day both of them will die. 35“Yet I will raise up for Myself a faithful kohen who will do according to what is in My heart and My mind. Then I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed one all the time. 36Anyone left in your household will come and bow low to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread, and will say: ‘Please, assign me to one of the priestly offices so that I may eat a morsel of bread.’”

–from 1 Samuel 2

So what will you do when you are called? How will you respond to the calling? God created you on purpose for a purpose! God has a plan for you and God’s plan is good! Have you experience God yet? Have you heard Him speak to you? Do you know what to do if you did? Don’t ignore Him! Don’t come up with excuses! Don’t delay till you hear the big booming voice! Go for it! Do not miss it!

Calling of Samuel

1Now the boy Samuel was in the service of Adonai under Eli. In those days the word of Adonai was rare—there were no visions breaking through. 2One day, Eli was lying down in his place—now his eyes had grown dim so that he could not see, 3and the lamp of God had not yet gone out. Samuel was lying down in Adonai’s Temple, where the ark of God was. 4Then Adonai called, “Samuel!” So he answered, “Here I am.” 5Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he replied, “I didn’t call—go back to sleep.” So he went back and lay down. 6Then Adonai called Samuel yet again. So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he answered, “I didn’t call, my son—go back to sleep.” 7Now Samuel had not experienced Adonai yet, since the word of Adonai had not yet been revealed to him. 8Adonai called Samuel again for the third time. So he got up and went to Eli, and said “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that Adonai was calling the boy. 9So Eli said to Samuel, “Go back to sleep, and if He calls you, say: ‘Speak, Adonai, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back and lay down in his place. 10Then Adonai came and stood and called as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11Then Adonai said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone that hears it will tingle. 12In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity that he knew about, because his sons brought a curse on themselves yet he did not rebuke them. 14Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.” 15Then Samuel lay down until the morning, when he opened the doors of the House of Adonai. But Samuel was afraid to tell Eli about the vision. 16Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” “Here I am,” he replied. 17“What is the word that He has spoken to you?” he said. “Please don’t hide it from me. May God do so to you and even more if you hide anything at all from me that He spoke to you.” 18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing. Then Eli said, “He is Adonai. May He do what is good in His eyes.” 19So Samuel grew up and Adonai was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20Then all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was entrusted as a prophet of Adonai. 21Adonai started to appear once more in Shiloh, for Adonai revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of Adonai.

–from 1 Samuel 3

In the old days God’s Spirit would fall on specific people, at specific times, for specific purposes! In the new Testament times, the Spirit is available to be with us as our comforter and our guide! He is available to be with us, never leaving us and never abandoning us! Will you receive the Spirit in your life? Will you live a Spirit filled life? Will you walk in the calling of God and navigate by the Spirit of truth? We all have a choice! We all get to choose! God is always available and always there! Will we choose to walk with Him rather than walk away from Him? Will you do what He asks? Will you walk in His ways? Will you accomplish His call on your life? Will you stick to it and complete the work He has given you to do? Will you point people to Jesus? Will they see Jesus in and through your life? Will you be Jesus with skin on to those God brings into your life?Will you be available to do what God is asking and calling you to do? Will you demonstrate servanthood? Will you demonstrate obedience? Will you demonstrate faith? Will you demonstrate walking in the power of the Spirit? Will you be a living sacrifice that is pleasing to God?

John’s Witness to Israel’s Leaders

1In those days, John the Immerser came proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea, 2“Turn away from your sins, for the kingdom of heaven is near!” 3For he is the one Isaiah the prophet spoke about, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, and make His paths straight.’” 4Now John wore clothing from camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the region around the Jordan. 6Confessing their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Jordan River. 7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his immersion, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Therefore produce fruit worthy of repentance; 9and do not think that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’! For I tell you that from these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10Already the axe is laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire! 11“As for me, I immerse you in water for repentance. But the One coming after me is mightier than I am; I am not worthy to carry His sandals. He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He shall clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but the chaff He shall burn up with inextinguishable fire.”

The Heavens Open at Yeshua’s Mikveh

13Then Yeshua came from the Galilee to John, to be immersed by him in the Jordan. 14But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be immersed by You, and You are coming to me?” 15But Yeshua responded, “Let it happen now, for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” So John yielded to Him. 16After being immersed, Yeshua rose up out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him. 17And behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased!”

–from Matthew 3

 

 

The rest of the story!


Is your story looking tough? Is your story looking troubled? Are you going through some tough times? Are you being challenged? Are you facing trials of many kinds? Are there walls or mountains? Are there valleys or pits? Are you feeling beat up? Are you feeling attacked? Are you losing hope? Are you feeling down? Are you feeling bad? Have you been devastated? Are you wondering what is going on?

Don’t lose hope and don’t give up! It’s not the end of your story!

I remember a time in my life that whenever I got to the books of Job or Revelation, I would wonder what was going to happen to me as God’s reading tends to speak right into where I am at to help me get through it. Ever since 2013, I have had a different view of what will happen when I get to Job. I am no longer looking at the trials as a negative but I am looking at the full story including the ending then wondering what miracle and blessings God will produce in and through this time. Revelation is always an interesting one for me too as it was the first book I was reading when I started to blog back in 2005. Every year I read it, it feels like the time is getting closer and closer based on what is taking place around the world. It also comes with the hope that comforts me that God will rescue me from what will be because He has already saved me through my faith and hope in Jesus!

Today’s readings are incredible to me because it brings the conclusion to both books to me in one day! (I still have a couple more chapters in Revelation after today, but final 2 chapters of Job)

Reflecting on Job where he began and then where a new beginning starts. Reflecting on Job where he had to go in order to learn and hear God’s love. Reflecting on Job and how I don’t know everything about what is going on right now, and that God is working in and through it for my good. Reflecting on the promise I received in 2013 as I was in transition between jobs and got the message of Job 42:12 speaking of how the second half of Job’s life was twice as good as the first half and his family was renewed.

First half (where Job began said…)

2He had seven sons and three daughters
3and his possessions were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen and 500 female donkeys, and a very large household. That man was the greatest of all the people of the East.
–from Job 1

Second half (where Job’s book end says…)

12So Adonai blessed Job’s latter days more than at his beginning. He had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys.
13He also had seven sons and three daughters.

So let’s no grow weary in doing what is good, what is right, what is just, and what is needed! Let’s walk with God in and through it all so that in the end not only will we have a testimony of His great love, we will be able to hear the amazing words “well done, my good and faithful servant”.

So no matter what you are going through right now, realize it’s not the end and that God’s not done with you yet! Stick close to Him and He will stick close to you! Seek Him with all of your heart and you will find Him! Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Your day is coming where you will meet with God and be renewed, redeemed, and restored!


Let’s jump into today’s reading … Job 41 continues from Job 40 speaking of the Leviathan. Today’s reading puts it like this…

1“See, his hope is wrong, he is laid low, even the sight of him.
2Is he not fierce when he is roused? Who then is able to stand before Me?
3Who has confronted Me that I should repay? Everything under heaven belongs to Me.
4“I will not keep silent about his limbs, or his might or the grace of his arrangement.
5Who can strip off his outer garment? Who can penetrate his double armor?
6Who can open the doors of his face, ringed with fearsome teeth?
7His rows of shields are his pride, shut up closely as with tight seal;
8each so close to the next, that no air can pass between.
9They are joined one to another; they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
10“He sneezes out flashes of light; his eyes are like the eyelids of dawn.
11Out of his mouth go flames, sparks of fire shoot out.
12Smoke pours from his nostrils, as a boiling pot over burning reeds.
13His breath sets coals ablaze and flames dart from his mouth.
14“Strength resides in his neck; dismay runs before him.
15The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; they are firm on him, immovable.
16His heart is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone.
17“When he rises up, the mighty are afraid; at his crashing they retreat.
18A sword that reaches him has no effect— nor with a spear, dart, or javelin.
19He regards iron as straw, bronze as rotten wood.
20Arrows do not make him flee; sling stones become like chaff to him.
21A club is regarded as stubble; he laughs at the rattling 0f a lance.
22“His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail like a threshing sledge in mud.
23He makes the deep boil like a cauldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
24He leaves a shining wake behind him; one would think the deep had white hair.
25Nothing on dry land is his equal— a creature without fear.
26He sees every haughty thing; he is king over all who are proud.”
–from Job 41

and Matthew Henry’s commentary captures and summarizes it like this (if you click the link he digs deeper into it)…

The description here given of the leviathan, a very large, strong, formidable fish, or water-animal, is designed yet further to convince Job of his own impotency, and of God’s omnipotence, that he might be humbled for his folly in making so bold with him as he had done. I. To convince Job of his own weakness he is here challenged to subdue and tame this leviathan if he can, and make himself master of him (v. 1-9), and, since he cannot do this, he must own himself utterly unable to stand before the great God (v. 10). II. To convince Job of God’s power and terrible majesty several particular instances are here given of the strength and terror of the leviathan, which is no more than what God has given him, nor more than he has under his check, (v. 11, v. 12). The face of the leviathan is here described to be terrible (v. 12, v. 14), his scales close (v. 15-17), his breath and neesings sparkling (v. 18-21), his flesh firm (v. 22-24), his strength and spirit, when he is attacked, insuperable (v. 25-30), his motions turbulent, and disturbing to the waters (v. 31, v. 32), so that, upon the whole, he is a very terrible creature, and man is no match for him (v. 33, v. 34).

–from Our Library /Commentaries /Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete) /Job /Job 41

Our reading continues into Job 42 which is the part I remember when trials come my way. I humble myself to God and trust in Him! Put another way, I do what I can do (I do my best) and I trust Him for the rest! Instead of what will I or did I lose, I loose to what God is going to do with what has been taken away and turn it around and bless me with next. It goes like this…

Job Retracts

1Job answered Adonai and said:
2“I know You can do all things; no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
3You ask, ‘Who is this, who darkens counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke without understanding, things too wonderful for me which I did not know.
4You said, ‘Hear now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you will inform Me.’
5I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye has seen You.
6Therefore I despise myself, and repent on dust and ashes.”

Job Restored

7After Adonai had spoken these words to Job, Adonai said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken about Me what is right, like My servant Job has.
8So now, take for yourselves seven young bulls and seven rams and go to My servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, for I will accept Job’s prayer and not deal with you according to your folly because you have not spoken correctly about Me, like My servant Job.”
9So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what Adonai told them; and Adonai accepted Job’s prayer.
10So Adonai restored what Job had lost, after he prayed for his friends and Adonai doubled everything that Job had before.
11Then all his brothers, all his sisters and everyone who had known him before, came to him and ate bread with him in his house. They consoled him and comforted him for all the calamity that Adonai had brought upon him. Each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring.
12So Adonai blessed Job’s latter days more than at his beginning. He had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys.
13He also had seven sons and three daughters.
14He called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch.
15Nowhere in the land were there found women as beautiful as the daughters of Job. Their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers.
16After this, Job lived 140 years; he saw his children and their children for four generations.
17And so Job died, old and full of days.
–from Job 42

As God’s Word tells us that those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength!

God’s Word today continues into Genesis 11. Pride can cause problems. If our focus isn’t on the right things, we can go in the wrong direction. Let’s read about Babel…

Tower of Babel

1Now the entire earth had the same language with the same vocabulary.
2When they traveled eastward, they found a valley-plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
3They said to one another, “Come! Let’s make bricks and bake them until they’re hard.” So they used bricks for stone, and tar for mortar.
4Then they said, “Come! Let’s build ourselves a city, with a tower whose top reaches into heaven. So let’s make a name for ourselves, or else we will be scattered over the face of the whole land.”
5Then Adonai came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of man had built.
6Adonai said, “Look, the people are one and all of them have the same language. So this is what they have begun to do. Now, nothing they plan to do will be impossible.
7Come! Let Us go down and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand each other’s language.”
8So Adonai scattered them from there over the face of the entire land, and they stopped building the city.
9This is why it is named Babel, because Adonai confused the languages of the entire world there, and from there Adonai scattered them over the face of the entire world.
–from Genesis 11

Genesis 11 continues with the genealogy from Shem to Abram…

From Shem to Abram

10These are the genealogical records of Shem: Shem was 100 years old when he fathered Arpachshad—two years after the flood.
11Shem lived 500 years after he fathered Arpachshad, and he fathered sons and daughters.
12Arpachshad lived 35 years when he fathered Shelah.
13Arpachshad lived 403 years after he fathered Shelah, and fathered sons and daughters.
14Shelah lived 30 years and he fathered Eber.
15Shelah lived 403 years after he fathered Eber, and fathered sons and daughters.
16Eber lived 34 years and he fathered Peleg.
17Eber lived 430 years after he fathered Peleg, and he fathered sons and daughters.
18Peleg lived 30 years and he fathered Reu.
19Peleg lived 209 years after he fathered Reu, and he fathered sons and daughters.
20Reu lived 32 years and he fathered Serug.
21Reu lived 207 years after he fathered Serug, and he fathered sons and daughters.
22Serug lived 30 years and fathered Nahor.
23Serug lived 200 years after he fathered Nahor, and he fathered sons and daughters.
24Nahor lived 27 years and he fathered Terah.
25Nahor lived 119 years after he fathered Terah, and he fathered sons and daughters.
26Terah lived 70 years when he fathered Abram, Nahor and Haran.
27These are Terah’s genealogies: Terah fathered Abram, Nahor and Haran. Haran fathered Lot.
28Haran died before Terah his father, in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
29Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah—the daughter of Haran, father of Milcah and Iscah.
30Sarai was barren; she did not have a child.
31Terah took Abram his son and Lot, Haran’s son, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and he took them out of Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.
32Terah’s days were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.
–from Genesis 11

Today’s reading continues into the book of Acts after the power of the Holy Spirit had come over the disciples. Let’s take a look at how God is using His chosen ones today…

A Lame Beggar Walks

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

So what has God given you today? You may not have what they want, but you do have what they need! Never forget that! Never downplay that! Never think you don’t have what they need! Jesus is the answer! It doesn’t matter what the question is, the answer is Jesus! So what will you face today? How will Jesus be the answer to help someone else out? Will you step up, will you stand up, will you stand out, and call down the power of Jesus into the situation? If not you, then who? If not now, then when? If not right there, when where? If not that, then what? Why not make today a great day to glorify god?

Acts 3 continues…will you allow the continuing book of Acts that we are living out today to speak and point people to Jesus?

Peter Speaks at the Temple

11While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people together came running toward them in the place called Solomon’s Portico.
12But when Peter saw, he responded to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us—as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
13The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Yeshua—the One you handed over and disowned before Pilate, though he had decided to release Him.
14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you.
15You killed the Author of life—the One God raised from the dead! We are witnesses of it.
16Now through faith in the name of Yeshua, His name has strengthened this man whom you see and know. Indeed, the faith through Yeshua has given this man perfect health in front of you all.
17“Now brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your leaders did.
18But what God foretold through the mouth of all His prophets—that His Messiah was to suffer—so He has fulfilled.
19Repent, therefore, and return—so your sins might be blotted out,
20so times of relief might come from the presence ofAdonai and He might send Yeshua, the Messiah appointed for you.
21Heaven must receive Him, until the time of the restoration of all the things that God spoke about long ago through the mouth of His holy prophets.
22Moses said, ‘Adonai your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your brothers. Hear and obey Him in all that He shall say to you.
23And it shall be that every soul that will not listen to that Prophet shall be completely cut off from the people.’
24Indeed, all the prophets who have spoken from Samuel on have announced these days.
25You are the sons of the prophets and also of the covenant that God cut with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘In your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’
26God raised up His Servant and sent Him first to you, to bless you all by turning each of you from your wicked ways.
–from Acts 3

Wow! To point others to Jesus! To tell them that your power comes from Jesus! If people really ask will you tell them? Will you let them know that your joy comes from the Lord? Will you tell them that your peace that goes beyond all understanding comes from God? Will you tell them the power of forgiveness you learned through a relationship with Jesus? Will you tell them that all things are possible for those who believe? Will you tell them of how it is better to be small in God’s world than anything else outside of it? Where will you point them? They are searching! They are seeking! They are wondering! They are watching you, whether you know it or not! People are watching to see what makes you tick! So when that time comes up and they ask…”What makes you like that?” Will you be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you? Be prepared! It will happen! I know because from time to time, it happens to me! God will bring you before kings, in my case executives who ask me. It happens with people from every aspect of life! It doesn’t matter how high a position or low a position they have, they all are looking for hope! Will you point them in the right direction? Will you point them to God! Will you speak to the hope that comes from a relationship with Jesus! Will you be the one who plants the seed? Will you be the one who waters? So that God can make it grow! So they may choose to have their name in the book of life!

Today’s reading concludes in Revelation 20…Don’t be afraid to do what is right and speak the truth in love!

The First Resurrection

1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a great chain.
2He seized the dragon—the ancient serpent, who is the devil and satan—and bound him for a thousand years.
3He also threw him into the abyss and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed. After these things, he must be released for a short while.
4Then I saw thrones, and people sat upon them—those to whom authority to judge was given. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Yeshua and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image, nor had they received his mark on their forehead or on their hand. And they came to life and reigned with the Messiah for a thousand years.
5The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.
6How fortunate and holy is the one who has a share in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no authority, but they shall be kohanim of God and the Messiah, and they shall reign with Him for a thousand years.

Judgment After 1000 Years

7When the thousand years has ended, satan shall be released from his prison,
8and he shall come out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for the battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea.
9And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the kedoshim and the beloved city—but fire fell from heaven and consumed them.
10And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are too, and they shall be tortured day and night forever and ever.
11Then I saw a great white throne, and the One seated on it. The earth and heaven fled from His presence, but no place was found for them.
12And I saw the dead—the great and the small—standing before the throne. The books were opened, and another book was opened—the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what was written in the books, according to their deeds.
13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Sheol gave up the dead in them. Then they were each judged, each one of them, according to their deeds.
14Then death and Sheol were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death—the lake of fire.
15And if anyone was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
–from Revelation 20

So if you are reading this, it’s not too late to decide yet. Leave me a comment if you would like to chat. Ask Jesus into your heart if you are ready! Ask Him to forgive you! Ask Him to help you through the rest of your days! Ask Him where to get plugged in – finding a Bible believing, Bible preaching church where you can be supported.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you see what’s going on around you?


In a world where there is good and evil, good and bad things can happen. In a world with people who are trying to get away with doing bad things, consequences of the actions happen. Do you see what is going on around you? Are you doing anything about it? Are you saying anything about it? Do you realize that even with your best efforts and best intentions things may still happen?

Today’s reading starts in Job 1. Job saw what was taking place and so he was doing his part to cover it. He was putting God first and in such lifting up his children too. What the devil plans for evil, God can turnaround and use for good. As I see Job in today’s reading, I am comforted because I know the end of the story. I know how God used Job as a message for me as I was transitioning jobs and had it timed to the point where on my last day of the old job, I was reading the end of Job and to this day, Job 42:12 is a promise from God I am holding onto.

We see in Job how the devil has to ask for permission. Do you realize God is able to show off who you are and your trust in Him? Imagine God saying to the devil “Did you notice my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth—a blameless and upright man, who fears God and spurns evil” about you? (replace Job with your name) No matter the test and no matter the trial, don’t give up! Remember God’s promise that in this world we will have troubles, but to take faith for Jesus has already overcome the world. Remember God’s promise that we should consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds for the testing will produce endurance and that as we let the endurance have its perfect results it will bring us to a point of completeness and perfection, lacking nothing.

We see in Job how the devil says that it’s because of God’s protection and blessing that Job believes. God allows the devil to try…and Job’s response in receiving such terrible news was to humble himself and worship God. Through it all Job didn’t sin or cast reproach on God.

Today’s reading continues into Job 2. We see it begins again with God asking the devil what he has been up to. He brings up Job again to the devil and again the devil gives reasons for why Job is still holding firmly to his integrity even after what the devil had done already. So the devil brings up tormenting and testing Job by attacking his own physical body, but God wouldn’t allow it to kill Job. So the devil afflicted Job with boils all over his body. Even when his wife confronted him about his integrity, Job didn’t give up hope and faith in God. He responded with “You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Should we accept the good from God and not accept the bad?”.  Today’s reading from Job concludes with his friends coming and witnessing what has taken place – humbling themselves and weeping for him. For seven days and nights they did not speak because they saw he was in great pain.

Don’t lose hope! Don’t lose faith! Put your hope and trust in God! Even when his friends came to confront him because of everything going on figuring he must have done something to get God made at him, he stood firm.

Today’s reading continues into Luke 6.  We need to remember that God isn’t just God of parts but He is God of all. We need to remember He has it all under control. Be it the days of the week (as Jesus was questioned about the Sabbath) or anything else. Don’t lose hope and don’t lose faith! They questioned Him when they were in the field. They challenged Him when He healed a man at the synagogue. We can put our trust in God! He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to redeem us and set us free! So don’t lose hope and don’t lose faith.

Today’s reading also speak to Jesus’ choosing of his 12. His inner circle. He went to the Father and prayed. Which is right where we need to turn no matter what wisdom, instruction, direction, or help we need. So let’s grab hold of that and ask in Jesus’ name.

So let’s walk in the blessings of Jesus, today’s reading continues with these blessings…

  • Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
  • Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.
  • Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
  • Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and spurn your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.

We can take a hold of Jesus’ promises and the truth which He spoke. We know that we need to get ourselves right with God. We know that others need to start a relationship with God too so that He can do a work in them, but we need to be God’s hands of love extended and arms of compassion embracing.

23Rejoice in that day and jump for joy! For behold, your reward is great in heaven! For their fathers used to treat the prophets the same way.”
24But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.
25Woe to you who are full, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you shall mourn and weep.
26Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets the same way.”
27“But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28bless those who curse you, pray for the ones who mistreat you.
29To the one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also. And from the one who takes your cloak, do not hold back your shirt.
30Give to every one who asks you; and whoever takes something of yours, make no demands upon him.
31“Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
33And if you do good to those who are doing good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do this.
34And if you lend to those from whom you expect to take, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same.
35“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of Elyon, for He is kind to the ungrateful and evil ones.
36Be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate to you.”
37Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Pardon, and you will be pardoned.
38Give, and it will be given to you—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing, will be given into your lap. For whatever measure you measure out will be measured back to you.”
39He also spoke this parable to them: “The blind cannot show the way to the blind, can he? Won’t they both fall into a pit?
40A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.
41“Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the beam in your own eye?
42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly the speck in your brother’s eye, to take it out.”
43“For there is no good tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again does a rotten tree produce good fruit.
44Each tree comes to be known by its own fruit. For figs are not gleaned out of briars; neither are bunches of grapes gathered from thorn bushes.
45“Out of the good treasure of his heart the good man brings forth good, and out of evil the evil man brings forth evil. For from the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks.”
46“Why do you call Me ‘Master, Master’ and do not do what I say?
47Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and does them, I will show you what he is like.
48He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock. And when a flood came, the torrent burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built.
49“But the one who hears yet does not do is like a man who built a house upon land without a foundation. When the torrent burst against it, immediately it collapsed—and the destruction of that house was great!”
— from Luke 6

Today’s reading closes in Revelation. Revelation is a good example where you can’t just make assumptions based on what happens at the beginning. Job was similar when you compare Job 1 to Job 42 (specifically Job 1:3 with Job 42:12). If you don’t read all of Revelation then you don’t hear about the final battle – that Jesus wins and so do all of us who remained on His team. So don’t lose hope and don’t lose faith today. God knows the beginning and the end. God’s Word tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that His plans for us are good, they are to give us a hope and a future. So don’t give up! Let’s press on! And don’t feel like you have to go and do it all on your own – for God’s Word tells us in Genesis how it wasn’t good to be alone. That’s why He gave us one another!

Today’s reading closes with Revelation 4 where we hear John being called to hear and see and learn of the things that need to happen before the end. We see all the worshipping that takes place.

 

 

 

 

Have you ever been rejected where you once were welcomed?


Has the transformation of you life made it so you are rejected when you go “home”? Has your faith made it so that when you go “home” you are not welcomed? “Home” in quotes is because it isn’t necessarily home, it could be your hometown, it could be your home base of work, … When you are walking at a different level from when you used to, it can make  people feel uncomfortable and uneasy. When you are walking with passion and purpose for something that others don’t get or don’t believe in, it can cause angst that creates a sense of rejection. We see this in today’s reading as we look as Jesus returning to his hometown…

Jesus Is Rejected at Nazareth

(Matthew 13.53-58; Luke 4.16-30)
1Jesus left that place and went back to his hometown, followed by his disciples. 2On the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue. Many people were there; and when they heard him, they were all amazed. “Where did he get all this?” they asked. “What wisdom is this that has been given him? How does he perform miracles? 3Isn’t he the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters living here?” And so they rejected him.
4Jesus said to them, “Prophets are respected everywhere except in their own hometown and by their relatives and their family.”
5He was not able to perform any miracles there, except that he placed his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6He was greatly surprised, because the people did not have faith.
~from Mark 6 (GNT)

They knew you before and have a hard time dealing with the new and improved you. They know about your background and are unsure about who you appear to be today. God’s Word tells us about how when we are saved we become a new creation, we are born again, and to some that may seem weird or strange or scary and as such creates a feeling of rejection or denial. People who used to encourage you and believed in you, now for some reason have lost their faith in you. So don’t give up! Consider it all joy and fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Continue to be light! Continue to speak life! Continue to speak words that build up! Continue to speak truth! Continue to share the Love of Jesus Christ with everyone you encounter! Don’t give up!

Don’t raise up or praise things! Don’t bow down and worship stuff! Rather keep God in the position of God and keep your eyes on Him, for He is bigger and greater than anything that could come before you. He’s bigger than your problems, so magnify God! Let’s do everything we can today to draw closer to God! Let’s express gratitude in a way that will grow and develop leadership!

Let’s raise the bar! Let’s set expectations properly! Let’s not allow ourselves to be fooled or lead astray! Let’s turn to God, the author and perfector of our faith and allow Him to lead us and guide, strengthen us and encourage us, and not be deceived!

Warnings against Idols

1I want you to remember, my friends, what happened to our ancestors who followed Moses. They were all under the protection of the cloud, and all passed safely through the Red Sea. 2In the cloud and in the sea they were all baptized as followers of Moses. 3All ate the same spiritual bread 4and drank the same spiritual drink. They drank from the spiritual rock that went with them; and that rock was Christ himself. 5But even then God was not pleased with most of them, and so their dead bodies were scattered over the desert.
6Now, all of this is an example for us, to warn us not to desire evil things, as they did, 7nor to worship idols, as some of them did. As the scripture says, “The people sat down to a feast which turned into an orgy of drinking and sex.” 8We must not be guilty of sexual immorality, as some of them were—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them fell dead. 9 We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did—and they were killed by snakes. 10We must not complain, as some of them did—and they were destroyed by the Angel of Death.
11All these things happened to them as examples for others, and they were written down as a warning for us. For we live at a time when the end is about to come.
12If you think you are standing firm you had better be careful that you do not fall. 13Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.
14So then, my dear friends, keep away from the worship of idols. 15I speak to you as sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16The cup we use in the Lord’s Supper and for which we give thanks to God: when we drink from it, we are sharing in the blood of Christ. And the bread we break: when we eat it, we are sharing in the body of Christ. 17Because there is the one loaf of bread, all of us, though many, are one body, for we all share the same loaf.
18Consider the people of Israel; those who eat what is offered in sacrifice share in the altar’s service to God. 19Do I imply, then, that an idol or the food offered to it really amounts to anything? 20No! What I am saying is that what is sacrificed on pagan altars is offered to demons, not to God. And I do not want you to be partners with demons. 21You cannot drink from the Lord’s cup and also from the cup of demons; you cannot eat at the Lord’s table and also at the table of demons. 22Or do we want to make the Lord jealous? Do we think that we are stronger than he?
23“We are allowed to do anything,” so they say. That is true, but not everything is good. “We are allowed to do anything”—but not everything is helpful. 24None of you should be looking out for your own interests, but for the interests of others.
25You are free to eat anything sold in the meat market, without asking any questions because of your conscience. 26For, as the scripture says, “The earth and everything in it belong to the Lord.”
27If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you decide to go, eat what is set before you, without asking any questions because of your conscience. 28But if someone tells you, “This food was offered to idols,” then do not eat that food, for the sake of the one who told you and for conscience’ sake— 29that is, not your own conscience, but the other person’s conscience. “Well, then,” someone asks, “why should my freedom to act be limited by another person’s conscience? 30If I thank God for my food, why should anyone criticize me about food for which I give thanks?”
31Well, whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for God’s glory. 32Live in such a way as to cause no trouble either to Jews or Gentiles or to the church of God. 33Just do as I do; I try to please everyone in all that I do, not thinking of my own good, but of the good of all, so that they might be saved.
~from 1 Corinthians 10 (GNT)

Every year I feel that eternity is drawing closer! Every year I feel His return is getting closer! Every time I get to the book of Revelation it speaks something to me. I’m not there yet, however, there is something tugging at my heart, working in my gut, and so I lift up my family, my friends, and everyone I will meet today in hopes that I can be a light of Jesus to them. I pray that You Lord, will be there and that the light of Jesus will be reflected through me in a way that draw them closer to You. This is the day that You have made, so I will rejoice and be glad in it! Faith is the antidote of fear! So my hope and trust in You will help me to step up and stand up, being bold and courageous each day! Help me Lord to live by Your Wisdom! Help me Lord as we read at the end of the reading try to please everyone in all that I do, not thinking of my own good, but of the good of all, so that they might be saved.

Longing for God’s House

HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by the clan of Korah.
1How I love your Temple, Lord Almighty!
2How I want to be there!
I long to be in the Lord‘s Temple.
With my whole being I sing for joy
to the living God.
3Even the sparrows have built a nest,
and the swallows have their own home;
they keep their young near your altars,
Lord Almighty, my king and my God.
4How happy are those who live in your Temple,
always singing praise to you.
5How happy are those whose strength comes from you,
who are eager to make the pilgrimage to Mount Zion.
6As they pass through the dry valley of Baca,
it becomes a place of springs;
the autumn rain fills it with pools.
7They grow stronger as they go;
they will see the God of gods on Zion.
8Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty.
Listen, O God of Jacob!
9Bless our king, O God,
the king you have chosen.
10One day spent in your Temple
is better than a thousand anywhere else;
I would rather stand at the gate of the house of my God
than live in the homes of the wicked.
11The Lord is our protector and glorious king,
blessing us with kindness and honor.
He does not refuse any good thing
to those who do what is right.
12Lord Almighty, how happy are those who trust in you!
~from Psalm 84 (GNT)

Who will you trust? I put my trust in God!

God’s timing is perfect! He doesn’t call the perfected, but He uses the obedient! It’s not about how great we are, but how great He is! It’s not about how good we are, but about how GREAT HE is! What if the man of God came to you and called you a brave and mighty man? Ever wondered? Why me? Why now? If not you, then who? If not now, then when? God is true and can be trusted! He can do infinitely more than we could ever ask or imagine! Fear not, Just believe! Don’t put your trust in numbers! Put your trust in God! The battle belongs to the Lord!

Gideon

1Once again the people of Israel sinned against the Lord, so he let the people of Midian rule them for seven years. 2The Midianites were stronger than Israel, and the people of Israel hid from them in caves and other safe places in the hills. 3Whenever the Israelites would plant their crops, the Midianites would come with the Amalekites and the desert tribes and attack them. 4They would camp on the land and destroy the crops as far south as the area around Gaza. They would take all the sheep, cattle, and donkeys, and leave nothing for the Israelites to live on. 5They would come with their livestock and tents, as thick as locusts. They and their camels were too many to count. They came and devastated the land, 6and Israel was helpless against them.
7Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help against the Midianites, 8and he sent them a prophet who brought them this message from the Lord, the God of Israel: “I brought you out of slavery in Egypt. 9I rescued you from the Egyptians and from the people who fought you here in this land. I drove them out as you advanced, and I gave you their land. 10I told you that I am the Lord your God and that you should not worship the gods of the Amorites, whose land you are now living in. But you have not listened to me.”
11Then the Lord‘s angel came to the village of Ophrah and sat under the oak tree that belonged to Joash, a man of the clan of Abiezer. His son Gideon was threshing some wheat secretly in a wine press, so that the Midianites would not see him. 12The Lord‘s angel appeared to him there and said, “The Lord is with you, brave and mighty man!”
13Gideon said to him, “If I may ask, sir, why has all this happened to us if the Lord is with us? What happened to all the wonderful things that our fathers told us the Lord used to do—how he brought them out of Egypt? The Lord has abandoned us and left us to the mercy of the Midianites.”
14Then the Lord ordered him, “Go with all your great strength and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I myself am sending you.”
15Gideon replied, “But Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least important member of my family.”
16The Lord answered, “You can do it because I will help you. You will crush the Midianites as easily as if they were only one man.”
17Gideon replied, “If you are pleased with me, give me some proof that you are really the Lord. 18Please do not leave until I bring you an offering of food.”
He said, “I will stay until you come back.”
19So Gideon went into his house and cooked a young goat and used a bushel of flour to make bread without any yeast. He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, brought them to the Lord‘s angel under the oak tree, and gave them to him. 20The angel told him, “Put the meat and the bread on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” Gideon did so. 21Then the Lord‘s angel reached out and touched the meat and the bread with the end of the stick he was holding. Fire came out of the rock and burned up the meat and the bread. Then the angel disappeared.
22Gideon then realized that it was the Lord‘s angel he had seen, and he said in terror, “Sovereign Lord! I have seen your angel face-to-face!”
23But the Lord told him, “Peace. Don’t be afraid. You will not die.” 24Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it “The Lord is Peace.” (It is still standing at Ophrah, which belongs to the clan of Abiezer.)
25That night the Lord told Gideon, “Take your father’s bull and another bull seven years old,#

6.25: bull and another bull seven years old; or bull, the seven-year-old one.

tear down your father’s altar to Baal, and cut down the symbol of the goddess Asherah, which is beside it. 26Build a well-constructed altar to the Lord your God on top of this mound. Then take the second bull#

6.26: the second bull; or the bull.

and burn it whole as an offering, using for firewood the symbol of Asherah you have cut down.” 27So Gideon took ten of his servants and did what the Lord had told him. He was too afraid of his family and the people in town to do it by day, so he did it at night.

28When the people in town got up early the next morning, they found that the altar to Baal and the symbol of Asherah had been cut down, and that the second bull had been burned on the altar that had been built there. 29They asked each other, “Who did this?” They investigated and found out that Gideon son of Joash had done it. 30Then they said to Joash, “Bring your son out here, so that we can kill him! He tore down the altar to Baal and cut down the symbol of Asherah beside it.”
31But Joash said to all those who confronted him, “Are you arguing for Baal? Are you defending him? Anyone who argues for him will be killed before morning. If Baal is a god, let him defend himself. It is his altar that was torn down.” 32From then on Gideon was known as Jerubbaal,#

6.32: Jerubbaal: This name in Hebrew means “Let Baal defend himself.”

because Joash said, “Let Baal defend himself; it is his altar that was torn down.”

33Then all the Midianites, the Amalekites, and the desert tribes assembled, crossed the Jordan River, and camped in Jezreel Valley. 34The spirit of the Lord took control of Gideon, and he blew a trumpet to call the men of the clan of Abiezer to follow him. 35He sent messengers throughout the territory of both parts of Manasseh to call them to follow him. He sent messengers to the tribes of Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they also came to join him.
36Then Gideon said to God, “You say that you have decided to use me to rescue Israel. 37Well, I am putting some wool on the ground where we thresh the wheat. If in the morning there is dew only on the wool but not on the ground, then I will know that you are going to use me to rescue Israel.” 38That is exactly what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the wool and wrung enough dew out of it to fill a bowl with water. 39Then Gideon said to God, “Don’t be angry with me; let me speak just once more. Please let me make one more test with the wool. This time let the wool be dry, and the ground be wet.” 40That night God did that very thing. The next morning the wool was dry, but the ground was wet with dew.
~from Judges 6 (GNT)

Gideon Defeats the Midianites

1One day Gideon and all his men got up early and camped beside Harod Spring. The Midianite camp was in the valley to the north of them by Moreh Hill.
2The Lord said to Gideon, “The men you have are too many for me to give them victory over the Midianites. They might think that they had won by themselves, and so give me no credit. 3Announce to the people, ‘Anyone who is afraid should go back home, and we will stay here at Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand went back, but ten thousand stayed.
4Then the Lord said to Gideon, “You still have too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will separate them for you there. If I tell you a man should go with you, he will go. If I tell you a man should not go with you, he will not go.” 5Gideon took the men down to the water, and the Lord told him, “Separate everyone who laps up the water with his tongue like a dog, from everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.” 6There were three hundred men who scooped up water in their hands and lapped it; all the others got down on their knees to drink. 7The Lord said to Gideon, “I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites with the three hundred men who lapped the water. Tell everyone else to go home.” 8So Gideon sent all the Israelites home, except the three hundred, who kept all the supplies and trumpets. The Midianite camp was below them in the valley.
9That night the Lord commanded Gideon, “Get up and attack the camp; I am giving you victory over it. 10But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. 11You will hear what they are saying, and then you will have the courage to attack.” So Gideon and his servant Purah went down to the edge of the enemy camp. 12The Midianites, the Amalekites, and the desert tribesmen were spread out in the valley like a swarm of locusts, and they had as many camels as there are grains of sand on the seashore.
13When Gideon arrived, he heard a man telling a friend about a dream. He was saying, “I dreamed that a loaf of barley bread rolled into our camp and hit a tent. The tent collapsed and lay flat on the ground.”
14His friend replied, “It’s the sword of the Israelite, Gideon son of Joash! It can’t mean anything else! God has given him victory over Midian and our whole army!”
15When Gideon heard about the man’s dream and what it meant, he fell to his knees and worshiped the Lord. Then he went back to the Israelite camp and said, “Get up! The Lord is giving you victory over the Midianite army!” 16He divided his three hundred men into three groups and gave each man a trumpet and a jar with a torch inside it. 17He told them, “When I get to the edge of the camp, watch me, and do what I do. 18When my group and I blow our trumpets, then you blow yours all around the camp and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’”
19Gideon and his one hundred men came to the edge of the camp a while before midnight, just after the guard had been changed. Then they blew the trumpets and broke the jars they were holding, 20and the other two groups did the same. They all held the torches in their left hands, the trumpets in their right, and shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21Every man stood in his place around the camp, and the whole enemy army ran away yelling. 22While Gideon’s men were blowing their trumpets, the Lord made the enemy troops attack each other with their swords. They ran toward Zarethan as far as Beth Shittah, as far as the town of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.
23Then men from the tribes of Naphtali, Asher, and both parts of Manasseh were called out, and they pursued the Midianites. 24Gideon sent messengers through all the hill country of Ephraim to say, “Come down and fight the Midianites. Hold the Jordan River and the streams as far as Bethbarah, to keep the Midianites from crossing them.” The men of Ephraim were called together, and they held the Jordan River and the streams as far as Bethbarah. 25They captured the two Midianite chiefs, Oreb and Zeeb; they killed Oreb at Oreb Rock, and Zeeb at the Winepress of Zeeb. They continued to pursue the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was now east of the Jordan.
~from Judges 7 (GNT)

When you ask, are you asking in the name of Jesus? What’s holding you back?


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for the new things I am going to learn and experience. Speak to me through Your word I pray. I pray Lord that You will grant me wisdom and help me to absorb all the information that I will need to accomplish my job. Bless my family, friends, and new acquaintances that You love would shine through me into each of these relationships. Lord, I thank You and praise You, I will honor  and glorify You in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Love – when you walk into a room, what is your intent? To make people do what you want? To make people learn something? To learn something from others? Are you walking in saying: “look at me”? “ok, I am here we can start now”? or “how can I help”? or … Let’s try something different today and walk into each situation wanting to love on people, caring for people, sharing with people.

"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another


Look to God daily as your source of wisdom, strength, and direction. Don’t let what others do or say tear you down, but shine for Jesus and press on. God’s Word has said that in this world we will have trouble, no may, but will. But to take heart, for Jesus has overcome the world. His Word also tells us:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

In today’s reading we hear:

"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

Jesus didn’t come to change the law, but to fulfill the law.


You aren’t alone, for Jesus has sent His Holy Spirit, the Helper, the Comforter, to help guide and encourage us. Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Do you take time to stop and listen when You have to make a decision to the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit wanting to direct you, comfort you, encourage you?

"But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

"These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.

"And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.

"But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.


Do not be sad, for Jesus is risen. He is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for me and for you. He took all the abuse to the point of death, that through our believing in Him, we could be reconciled with God. Let His joy fill you up.

"A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father."

Then some of His disciples said among themselves, "What is this that He says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?" They said therefore, "What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is saying."

Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, "Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.

"And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.


I love Jesus yes I do, I love Jesus, how about you?

"These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father."

His disciples said to Him, "See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God."

Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."


Today’s Reading:

John 15:12-16:33; Psalm 109:30-31; Proverbs 20:5


WORSHIP

I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth;
Yes, I will praise Him among the multitude.
For He shall stand at the right hand of the poor,
To save him from those who condemn him.
Psalm 109:30-31

WISDOM

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. (Proverbs 20:5 )