So we made it to the first Wednesday of 2022. Some call it hump day – let’s consider it the day we decided to forgive and reconcile!


Is there a bump in your road today? Is today a hump day for you? What is causing it to have a bump? What is making it a hump day? And no it has nothing to do with camels. This week has been very interesting as we start it with a theme of REVIVE and the year with a theme of THRIVE. This week has also been interesting during this week of prayer and fasting that we started with repentance and our need to turn back to God, we then moved to renewal which we need each day, and today we step up and step into the topic of reconciliation.

Do you realize that it is God’s heart to reconcile relationships? Do you realize that the number one enemy or deterrent to relationships is sin? Sin brings distance and destruction to relationships that were meant to be close and life-giving. We find it in God’s Word where we read in 2 Corinthians 5:19 and so we can pray as it says in the Amplified version tells us:

‘But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him], that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God]. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us; we [as Christ’s representatives] plead with you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. ‘

2 Corinthians 5:18-20

The only way we can be reconciled to God is through the forgiveness of our sins and the peace that comes from Jesus. Forgiveness opens the door to reconciliation. I remember a time when I resisted forgiving some people who had wronged me and it put me into a downward spiral of bitterness, anger, frustration, and more. It took nearly hitting rock bottom before I was ready to turn back and forgive them. I remember the song 7×70 coming on the radio and God starting the process in me. He started with having me forgive others like Jesus taught in Matthew 5:23-24 where it says:

‘So if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and while there you remember that your brother has something [such as a grievance or legitimate complaint] against you, leave your offering there at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come and present your offering. ‘

Matthew 5:23-24

As I was finishing this then God’s Word came to me again that “as I forgive others God will forgive me” and so looking at Mark 11:25, we read:

‘Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [drop the issue, let it go], so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions and wrongdoings [against Him and others]. ‘

Mark 11:25

It was incredible the feeling that happened after asking God to forgive me as He had been speaking to me since the beginning that I needed to forgive them. Each time I had excuses why I shouldn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t. During my commute, each song that played spoke to me to forgive them. It took a lot of energy to resist it and not do it. I learned how not forgiving them was like taking poison and expecting them to die, it doesn’t work. So the key is first to forgive them as it is the cure to your heart and mind pains and brings a peace that surpasses all understanding. I remember that moment where I had forgiven others and asked God to forgive me and the weight that was lifted from my shoulders.

Let’s grab onto a few additional scriptures from Romans as we step into prayer:

‘For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more certain, having been reconciled, that we will be saved [from the consequences of sin] by His life [that is, we will be saved because Christ lives today]. Not only that, but we also rejoice in God [rejoicing in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received and enjoy our reconciliation [with God]. ‘

Romans 5:10-11

‘If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. ‘

Romans 12:18

The interesting thing is it always depends on us. We have the choice, the free will to decide how we will respond to what is being said and done to us. We can’t control what others may say or do but we can control how we respond to them.

So today as we step into prayer time, let’s grab hold of these areas:

  • Ask God to show you any areas in your relationship with Him that need to be forgiven and reconciled.
  • Ask God to give you the courage and strength to forgive those who have hurt you and to show you what steps you need to take to facilitate reconciliation.
  • Pray for peace, unity and reconciliation in your family, our church and in the larger Body of Christ.

So where are you at today? What is the bump on your road? Is it hump day and does it need to be? Might today be the day you take the step to be reconciled to others and reconciled to God? Might today be the day that you forgive all those you have been bitter towards and angry with? Might today be the day you step up and step into the most incredible relationship possible with Jesus? 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 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 help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank you Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 5 – Pointing Your Family to the Real Hero

Have you ever been forgiven even when you didn’t deserve it?


Do remember how it felt? Do you remember the freedom that came with it? Do you remember the weight lifted off your shoulders? Do you remember the peace that you felt? Did you learn anything from it? Did you learn anything through it? Did you learn anything because of it?

I have. I have posted many times over the years about forgiveness and even got to do a talk on it for work one time. I was even given permission to share it which I have done over the years too uploading it to YouTube and then sharing it with friends, family, and colleagues across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Forgiveness has an incredible power to break through bitterness. Forgiveness has an incredible power to break through anger. Forgiveness has an incredible power to break through depression. Forgiveness has an incredible power to break resentment. Forgiveness has an incredible power to help you move on. Forgiveness has an incredible power to help you break free. Forgiveness is the key to stopping that downward spiral. Forgiveness should be shared before you hit rock bottom. Forgiveness stops the behavior of taking the poison of anger, bitterness, and depression and thinking it is going to impact or harm the other person.

Let’s consider a few incredible scriptures about this:

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:14-15

31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and tenderhearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31-32

bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

Colossians 3:13

[But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]

Mark 11:26

‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:12

‘Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. ‘

Matthew 18:21-22

‘“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”’

Matthew 18:35

Let’s pause before we start today’s devotional to listen to a song that was my turning point called 7×70 by Chris August.

7×70 – The story behind the song
7×70 – the song

THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 9TH


Forgiven to Forgive


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. ‘

Mark 11:25

Let’s grasp the full context of this verse by expanding on it and getting extra details through the Amplified version. Let’s see how the power of prayer is impacted by our heart’s ability to forgive.

‘Jesus replied, “Have faith in God [constantly]. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea!’ and does not doubt in his heart [in God’s unlimited power], but believes that what he says is going to take place, it will be done for him [in accordance with God’s will]. For this reason I am telling you, whatever things you ask for in prayer [in accordance with God’s will], believe [with confident trust] that you have received them, and they will be given to you. Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [drop the issue, let it go], so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions and wrongdoings [against Him and others]. [But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.”] ‘

Mark 11:22-26

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize that forgiveness is a big deal?
  • Do you realize that forgiveness is a really big deal to God?
  • Do you realize that forgiveness is such a big deal to God that it is at the heart, the core, the center of the gospel message?
  • Do you realize that the Good News of Jesus is about Him having paid the price in full so that we have the opportunity to receive and accept God’s love and forgiveness into our lives?
  • Jesus paid it all on the cross so we sinners could be and can be forgiven.
  • Do you realize that the price Jesus paid tore down the barrier we had through sin by opening the door of forgiveness that allows us to find freedom and build our lives on a foundation of gratitude for all that He has done for us.
  • Forgiveness is the key, the core, the heart of Christian life.
  • So let’s guard our tongue so that we won’t break someone’s heart and pull at their feeling of love.
  • Let’s be leading with love so that our words don’t cause pain and suffering, anger and bitterness, resentment or even hate.
  • Let’s not allow other people’s words rob us from love, joy, peace, hope but instead let’s choose to forgive.
  • Forgiving others is a key piece of our spiritual walk and a spiritual life.
  • Let’s not allow our lack of forgiveness to hinder our prayers to God!
  • Let’s forgive quickly so that it never gets in the way of our prayer lives with God.
  • Let’s choose to forgive others so that we can walk in God’s grace and forgiveness.
  • Jesus already paid the price for us to be forgiven by God and now the choice is ours to make if we will choose to live our lives and accept that forgiveness.
  • Don’t allow resentment to get in the way of God’s love and forgiveness!
  • Don’t allow bitterness to get in the way of God’s love and forgiveness!
  • Don’t allow anger and depression to get in teh way of God’s love and forgiveness!
  • Let the decision to forgive be more about your relationship with God and less about if they deserve it, if they will do it again, if they even care, if it is vicious.
  • Forgiveness is for us. I have used the analogy in my stories that unforgiveness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die, it doesn’t work.
  • So when we forgive we stop taking the poison that is causing resentment, bitterness, anger, and depression.
  • God’s Word tells us to forgive so that He can bless us.
  • Resentment wants revenge. Choose forgiveness instead and enjoy God’s peace and love more deeply than ever before.
  • As I typed that last statement I felt the prompting to share my testimony now. So I will take a pause here in the devotional and share my YouTube video GoDaddy Story Slam Phil Davidson. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOHCePoPlPo&t=16s)
Forgiveness is the key!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some things that happen to us (emotionally, physically, relationally, and spiritually) when we harbor resentment?
  • Is there someone you need to forgive? Tell God about it.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has need to be forgiven.”

George Herbert

As we move into December we have finished the readings of the Tanakh and I thank Sefaria for their resources in helping me to see the Old Testament in a new way and my friend Lionel for having shared this tool with me. As we kick off December the idea my wife brought up came to mind about going through the book of Luke (who was a doctor) which happens to have 24 chapters which means we can read one a day and complete it in time for Christmas. To get as many details from this I am going to use the Amplified version to try and grasp all the details Luke gives us to consider and learn.

So today we will read Luke 9:

‘Now Jesus called together the twelve [disciples] and gave them [the right to exercise] power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. Then He sent them out [on a brief journey] to preach the kingdom of God and to perform healing. And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey [that might encumber you]— neither a walking stick, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city [to go to another]. And as for all those who do not welcome you, when you leave that city, shake the dust off your feet [breaking all ties with them] as a testimony against them [that they rejected My message].” So they began going from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing the sick everywhere. Now Herod [Antipas] the tetrarch [who governed a portion of Palestine including Galilee and Perea] heard about all that was being done [by Jesus], and he was thoroughly perplexed, because it was said by some that John [the Baptist whom he had ordered beheaded] had been raised from the dead, and by others that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the [other] prophets of old had been resurrected. Herod said, “I personally had John beheaded. Who is this man about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see Jesus. When the apostles returned, they told Him all that they had done. He took them with Him and He privately withdrew [across the Jordan] to a city called Bethsaida. But when the crowds learned of it, they followed Him; and He welcomed them and He began talking to them about the kingdom of God, and healing those who needed to be healed.

Now the day was ending, and the twelve [disciples] came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging, and get provisions; because here we are in an isolated place.” But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people.” (For there were about 5,000 men.) And He said to His disciples, “Have them sit down to eat in groups of about fifty each.” They did so, and had them all sit down. Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and He looked up to heaven [and gave thanks] and blessed them, and broke them and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd. They all ate and were [completely] satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were [abundant and were] picked up—twelve baskets full. Now it happened that as Jesus was praying privately, the disciples were with Him, and He asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist, and some say, Elijah; but others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back to life.” And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “The Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) of God!” But He strictly warned and admonished them not to tell this to anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected [as the Messiah] by the elders and chief priests and scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), and be put to death, and on the third day be raised up [from death to life].” And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake, he is the one who will save it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the [heavenly] Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truthfully, there are some among those standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

Now about eight days after these teachings, He took along Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He was praying, the appearance of His face became different [actually transformed], and His clothing became white and flashing with the brilliance of lightning. And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory, and were speaking of His departure [from earthly life], which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and splendor and majesty, and the two men who were standing with Him. And as these [men, Moses and Elijah] were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is delightful and good for us to be here; we should make three [sacred] tents; one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not realizing what he was saying. But even as he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were [greatly] afraid as they entered the cloud. Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, My Chosen One; listen and obey and yield to Him!” When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found there alone. And they kept silent, and told no one at that time any of the things which they had seen [concerning the divine manifestation]. On the next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him. And a man from the crowd shouted for help, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, because he is my only child; and a spirit seizes him, and suddenly he cries out, and it throws him into a convulsion so that he foams at the mouth; and only with [great] difficulty does it leave him, mauling and bruising him as it leaves. I begged Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Jesus answered, “You unbelieving and perverted generation! How long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here [to Me].” Even while the boy was coming, the demon slammed him down and threw him into a [violent] convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy and gave him back to his father. They were all amazed [practically overwhelmed] at the [evidence of the] greatness of God and His majesty and His wondrous work. But while they were still awed by everything Jesus was doing, He said to His disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: the Son of Man is going to be betrayed and handed over to men [who are His enemies].” However, they did not understand this statement. Its meaning was kept hidden from them so that they would not grasp it; and they were afraid to ask Him about it.

An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest [surpassing the others in esteem and authority]. But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and had him stand beside Him, and He told them, “Whoever welcomes this child in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me [also] welcomes Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you [that is, the one who is genuinely humble—the one with a realistic self-view]— he is the one who is [truly] great.” John replied, “Master, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name; and we tried to stop him because he does not follow along with us.” But Jesus told him, “Do not stop him; for he who is not against you is for you.” Now when the time was approaching for Him to be taken up [to heaven], He was determined to go to Jerusalem [to fulfill His purpose]. He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went into a Samaritan village to make arrangements for Him; but the people would not welcome Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and destroy them?” But He turned and rebuked them [ and He said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] And they journeyed on to another village.

As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus told him, “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” He said to another, “Follow Me [accepting Me as Master and Teacher].” But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.” But He said to him, “Allow the [spiritually] dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and spread the news about the kingdom of God.” Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord [as Your disciple]; but first let me say goodbye to those at my home.” But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things left behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.”’

Luke 9:1-62

So where are you at today? Are you in need of forgiveness? Forgiveness from God? Forgiveness from others? Are you in need of giving forgiveness? Is or are there people who you need to forgive? Could today be the day? Are you ready to give it and receive it? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Ever felt caught, tied down, or like you couldn’t escape?


I remember many years back getting to be a part of a program called Cleansing Stream as a young Christian and being told after the class and before the retreat that when they call you forward to go, even if you don’t think it is related or connected to you because you can’t know what things may be connected to generations past. I remember going through the classes and then how at the retreat the chains that felt like they were broken, the hope that was restored, and the unknown or not understood things that had been holding me back, tying me down, and things that just seemed to be how life was and couldn’t be escaped broke off. The biggest one was a lesson on forgiveness as this lady who didn’t know my past was apologizing as my grandmother and God brought back to mind something that had happened when I was little, I cried, it broke the chains that had been causing rage and anger when people hit me in the head that I never realized the source or the reason and yet it was gone after that encounter with God. There were many soul ties that were broken through that retreat – many I knew, some I am sure I am still clueless about, and others that broke chains that I didn’t even realize were holding me back. The chains of sin are broken by the blood of Jesus. The power of sin is broken thanks to Jesus. And through Jesus who gave up His life on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice, we are free, sin can never catch us, we are forgiven. Accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior was the most incredible decision in my life. Starting a relationship with Jesus was the biggest breakthrough in my life. It wasn’t about rituals or routines, it was about spending time talking to and listening to Him through the Holy Spirit and through God’s Word found in the Bible. What a transforming effect it had and continues to have on my life. It fills my heart with hope. It fills my heart with love. It fills my heart with faith. It fills my heart to overflow into the lives of the people around me (physically, emotionally, and even virtually in meetings).

My chains are gone
And I've been set free
My chains are gone
And I’ve been set free

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 16th


Sin Can Never Catch Us


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.’

Psalms 103:12

Do you realize how far that is? Do you realize the context for this statement? Let’s check it out by expanding to the surrounding verses and using the Amplified version.

‘Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul, And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name. Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul, And do not forget any of His benefits; Who forgives all your sins, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle. The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all the oppressed. He made known His ways [of righteousness and justice] to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in compassion and lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins [as we deserve], Nor rewarded us [with punishment] according to our wickedness. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear and worship Him [with awe-filled respect and deepest reverence]. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father loves his children, So the Lord loves those who fear and worship Him [with awe-filled respect and deepest reverence]. For He knows our [mortal] frame; He remembers that we are [merely] dust. As for man, his days are like grass; Like a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it and it is no more, And its place knows it no longer. But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who [reverently] fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To those who honor and keep His covenant, And remember to do His commandments [imprinting His word on their hearts]. The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all [the universe]. Bless the Lord, you His angels, You mighty ones who do His commandments, Obeying the voice of His word! Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You who serve Him and do His will. Bless the Lord, all you works of His, in all places of His dominion; Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul!’

Psalms 103:1-22

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize how much God wants to forgive you?
  • Do you realize the length to which He is willing to go and has already gone?
  • Are you ready to grab hold of the truth of today’s verse and receive God’s forgiveness?
  • God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to pay the full price for your forgiveness!
  • Are you ready to believe it and receive it?
  • Ever considered the number of times God repeats Himself about how much He wants to forgive you?
  • Do you realize it isn’t because He needs to but rather because we are slow to accept and receive it. We are slow to believe it!
  • How many times do you need to hear something before you will believe it?
  • How many times do you need to see something before you will believe it?
  • Do you realize how important and how strong a sense people have had over the years for justice?
  • People thinking they should get what they deserve.
  • Do you realize the value of such a thought?
  • Do you realize what life and society as a whole would be like without it?
  • Do you realize how too strong of an attachment can rob you of the reality of God’s grace though?
  • Do you realize how it can keep you from accepting, believing, and even receiving God’s grace and forgiveness?
  • In the Old Testament, God tells us that the Messiah will come to pay for all our sins!
  • In the New Testament, Jesus pays the price, He takes His sinless life and exchanges it for our sins and nails it to the cross as the ultimate sacrifice of love!
  • Today’s verse comes King David’s Psalm that tells us of God’s forgiveness!
  • Today’s verse speaks of how this forgiveness puts our sin as far as the east is from the west!
  • In the earlier verse, we read another description comparing how as far as the earth is from heaven, that is how much God’s lovingkindness towards those who live in awe and reverence of Him!
  • It’s immesurable! Start heading east on the globe and you will go round and round and round forever! Start heading west on the globe and you will go round and round and round forever! That’s right they never meet! And that infinite distance is how far God removes our sins, our transgressions from us when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior!
  • Are you ready to hear it?
  • Are you ready to believe it?
  • Are you ready to receive it?
  • God’s love is immense, unending, and everlasting!
  • Through Jesus we don’t get what our sins deserve!
  • Instead of punishment, we receive forgiveness!
  • Instead of shame, we receive and are filled with hope!
  • Instead of fear, we receive and are showered with His love!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you have difficulty believing in the depths of your soul that God forgives you? Explain your answer.
  • What would it mean in your life for God’s grace to trump justice?


QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“My own definition of the grace of God is this: the unlimited and unmerited favor given to the utterly undeserving.”

R. G. Lee

“The Good News is not too good to be true, it’s too good not to be true.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Are you ready to be set free? Are you ready to believe? Are you ready to take hold of something that isn’t too good to be true but rather is true? Are you ready to grab hold of the Good News and invite Jesus into your heart and your life? Are you ready to begin the journey of a living relationship with Jesus? 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 have it or do you need it?


As this thought came to mind and I stirred around songs that speak to what you have or for those who haven’t made the decision could have, it was interesting because the first song that came up felt like the right one but I wasn’t sure if it would fit with today’s topic. So let’s take a moment and watch and listen to grab of the words being shared and what we can decide to accept and choose.

Zach Williams – Chain Breaker

As I consider how having started a relationship with Jesus and how it has transformed my life, my purpose, my plans, my perspective, and my responses and actions, I realize there are so many benefits to having a relationship with Jesus including but not limited to never being alone, never being abandoned, and always having someone to talk to about anything. When all I have is Jesus, I have everything that I need.

How about you? What do you have? What do you need? Do you have what you need? If we reflect on the song, are there things you would like Jesus to take from you? Are there things you would like Jesus to break off or break away from you? Are there things you would like to have more of like love, freedom, or just to be saved? Could today be the day you realize and accept Jesus into your life? Could today be the day you decide to invite Jesus into your life and allow Him to help transform you and your life from the inside out? Could today be the day you start new and afresh knowing you are good, clean and clear, forgiven and reconciled with God?

So what do you have? What do you need? Do know you you’ve got?


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


Know What You’ve Got


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ‘

Hebrews 13:5

Let’s consider the context of this message and grab hold of the moral directions that were being given and expand on it by using the Amplified version:

‘Let love of your fellow believers continue. Do not neglect to extend hospitality to strangers [especially among the family of believers—being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body [and subject to physical suffering]. Marriage is to be held in honor among all [that is, regarded as something of great value], and the marriage bed undefiled [by immorality or by any sexual sin]; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax M y hold on you [assuredly not]!” So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “The Lord is my Helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid . W hat will man do to me ?” ‘

Hebrews 13:1-6

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you content with what you have or are you wanting what others have?
  • Are you considering what you have rather than comparing and coveting what your neighbor has?
  • What is causing the insecurity that makes you think or feel you need what others have?
  • What is the reason behind the fear?
  • Fear wants to rob from us! The Bible tells us that faith is the antidote of fear!
  • The devil wants to stir up fear and worry in order to rob us for peace and contentment.
  • Are you ready to fear not and start to believe in God?
  • If it isn’t fear that is causing you to not be content, could it be greed?
  • Do you realize how craving things rather than God and a relationship with Him robs our hearts?
  • Do you realize how craving things robs ruins relationships?
  • Don’t be robbed by greed! Take hold of God and invite Jesus into your heart! He is the only one who can fill that hole you would keep trying to fill!
  • Let’s not allow fear and greed to rob us of everything God desires for us!
  • When that feeling arises, let’s take hold of it and give it over to God!
  • When that thought comes to mind, let’s take every thought captive in order to be able to have the right response.
  • Let’s decide to get rid of every covetous thought!
  • Let’s decide to replace any covetous thought with a thought of contentment!
  • You might be wondering how do we do that. Let’s in the moment remember that every good and perfect gift comes from God! Let’s in the moment remember how we have the promise that God will never leave us nor forsake/abandon us.
  • Let’s allow our hearts to be filled to overflowing with love, mercy, grace, and strength from God!
  • Let’s take hold of the reality that thanks to God we have everything that we need!
  • Let’s invest our time and efforts in building up our relationship with Jesus so that we can have true contentment and the richness of His love and friendship.
  • God promises to be as close as our breath!
  • God promises to never leave us for a second!
  • Do you have an empty spot that you are trying to fill?
  • What is the cause or the reason for the empty feeling?
  • If we allow God to pour into our hearts to overflowing, it will never feel empty and will allow us to be able to pour out into the lives of so many others that God brings across our path.
  • Let’s decide to be people who allow God to fill us to overflowing so that we can overflow His presence into the lives of others who are in need and needing to be filled up!
  • Let’s take hold of this incredible relationship with Jesus who is our King, our Savior, and our Best Friend!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How much do you crave things? What do you hope they’ll do for you?
  • In what way does Christ’s presence give us true contentment?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“It is a dangerous thing to ask why someone else has been given more. It is humbling and indeed healthy to ask why you have been given so much.”

Condoleezza Rice

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you in need or want? Are you in the know or seeking? Are you looking for an answer? Are you ready to be set free? Are you ready to have the invisible chains broken off of your life? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Are you ready to be filled so that you can overflow? What if it is with forgiveness?


Are you ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Remember how Jesus told us that whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life in John 4:14? Another benefit of this spring of water welling up in our is that it can fill us with the ability to forgive and we need to be able to do a lot of that. Remember how many times Jesus said we need to forgive when He was asked in Matthew 18:22? Jesus tells us “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Do you realize the benefits of forgiving others? It pulls up the root of bitterness. It brings freedom. I shared a story about my lesson in forgiving at work as part of a story slam that was helping people get to know one another. Not forgiving someone is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die, it doesn’t work. Forgiving doesn’t mean you accept it or approve of it! Forgiving means you aren’t going to let it control or have power over you anymore. If you are interested in learning more, if you do a search for “Story Slam Forgiveness GoDaddy“, you can check it out. Forgiving someone can be hard. But we want God to forgive us right? And Jesus paid the ultimate price to make it a reality! So are you ready?

Let’s not allow bitter roots to take hold of our hearts and keep us from the freedom God wants us to have! Let’s forgive others so that God doesn’t have any barriers to being able to forgive us. Reconciliation is important to God to the point where He wants us to do it even before we bring Him an offering as we read in Matthew 5 which says:

21You have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Do not murder’ and ‘Anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to the fire of hell.

23So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

25Reconcile quickly with your adversary, while you are still on the way to court. Otherwise, he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Matthew 5 (biblehub.com)

Ready to be filled up to overflowing so that you can pour into the lives of others? Are you ready to pour out with a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation? Are you ready to become an ambassador of peace? Could today be the day that transforms the rest of your story?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for August 1st


A Fountain of Forgiveness


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ‘

I John 1:9

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Would you leave a tube of medicine that is sitting next to you alone if you were suffering with an open sore that the medicine would heal the hurt?
  • Will you receive, accept, and use the gift that heals guilt from God?
  • Are you ready to receive and accept the gift of forgiveness?
  • He is ready and willing and has promised to forgive us, if we are ready to claim it!
  • Does it sound too good to be true for you? It is true!
  • Is the devil pumping so many lies in your head or just your own self-talk making you believe that what you did is too bad or that you have been doing it for too long and so there is no way God could forgive you?
  • Is the the thought or worry or fear that you may do it again that is keeping you from receiving the gift of forgiveness?
  • Jesus paid it all! He died on the cross once for all sin!
  • God’s promise of forgiveness is a comprehensive promise! Not a once and done or once and leave you alone!
  • Jesus paid it all for all of our sins! The ones we’ve committed and the ones we haven’t committed yet!
  • God knows everything! The present, the past, and the future and so nothing is going to surprise Him!
  • He knew us before we were born and knit us in our mother’s womb.
  • God is faithful and just to forgive us if we will confess our sins to Him! As it says in 1 John 1:9
  • God’s promises are true! His promises are dependable!
  • Our confessions opens the door for God to flow from the fountain of forgiveness fueled through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus!
  • So take hold of God’s promise!
  • Respond quickly to the Holy Spirit when He prompts you like He prompted me when the words “as you forgive others, I will forgive you” in my story slam.
  • Let’s act when we get prompted by God!
  • Let’s thank God for all He has done, is doing, and will do!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you access God’s promise of forgiveness most of the time, some of the time, or very seldom? Explain your answer.
  • As you read today’s paragraphs, did the Spirit tap you on the shoulder to remind you of a sin you need forgiveness for? If He did, thank Him now for His grace and forgiveness. [you will have to check out the devotional to know the paragraphs of today, my notes will give you some insight though]

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining where we are.”

― Max DePreeLeadership Is an Art

“The phrase, ‘God said it, I believe it, and that settles it’ is partially true. My friend, if God said it, that settles it, whether we believe or not.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you in need of forgiveness? Are you ready to forgive others? Are you ready to allow God to be your fountain of forgiveness who can not only forgive you but also allow you to forgive others? 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?


Forgiveness is the key! God is required!


As I started my morning and saw today’s verse, it brought me back to a time when I didn’t realize the value and need to forgive. I brought back memories of how when I was prompted daily that I needed to forgive them for what they had done and yet I refused and gave excuse after excuse why I couldn’t, why I shouldn’t, and why I wouldn’t. With the ability to look back and see the bigger picture, I realize I wasn’t the only one impacted but because of the pain, the betrayal, the lies, and the deception, the devil got me to be focusing inwardly rather than outwardly and miss out on everything else that took place. The best example is that the person I was going to partner with on the project was equally harmed when they took what they had given me and put that on him instead. Over the years, I have gotten to reconnect and we discovered many similarity in terms of what happened to us and how it didn’t seem like the people who made the decisions understood or cared at the time or in the moment. The reality was it had to get really bad before I was able to listen. I nearly hit rock bottom. I was pretty much at the end of my rope. And then tax season hit and God was able to get my attention because I was turning and listening to Him in that moment. And then the song 7×70 came on the radio and the flow of forgiveness began. And then those words came to me “as you forgive others, I will forgive you” which is how today’s story connects to today’s devotional.

Let’s take a moment and reflect on the story, here is the YouTube link where I shared the story of forgiveness with a bunch of coworkers as part of a story slam. https://youtu.be/tOHCePoPlPo

So through this I have known when future events happen that my first response is to forgive. I have gotten the opportunity to do that additional times throughout my career and life and even as recently as in 2020. God’s ways are not our ways! God’s ways are better than our ways! God’s ways are higher than our ways! He knows the beginning and the end! He knows the reason and the purpose! His plans for us are good and not for evil! His plans are to give us a hope and a future! He knows what’s in our hearts and the hearts of others! He is able to work all things for good when we love God and pursue His purpose for us! So today if you are facing a challenge, might you need to forgive someone? Might you need to lean harder onto God rather than your own understanding? Might you need to take time and make time to hear Him speak to you in the moment in order to give you the wisdom and discernment you need to get today done? Remember how He has gone before you to prepare in advance the good works He has for you to accomplish. So let’s get ready, let’s be prepared so that we can finish the good work He has prepared for us to accomplish.

Ever typed unforgiveness and spotted the red underline? That is because unforgiveness isn’t a word! I captured when it happened to me but am noticing that it isn’t happening anymore and so I thought I would look it up and see what I find. I found they have put it in the dictionary as another word for unforgivingness.

definition of unforgiveness
unforgiveness isn’t a word – so let’s forgive

The weird thing to me is that as I typed the above, this is how it shows up:

unforgivingness now has the redline – so it’s not a word either – so let’s forgive.

The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for June 16th


Love God and Forgive Others


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. ‘

Matthew 6:14

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • God’s love is unconditional and so is His forgiveness!
  • Jesus paid the price, once for all! We just need to be willing to accept that gift and receive it.
  • With Jesus having paid the price for our sins and our forgiveness, do you feel that you are forgiven or do you hold yourself back from receiving it fully?
  • Have you received God’s forgiveness? Are you willing to reciprocate and forgive others? even if they have hurt you?
  • We all get hurt by people, it is up to us to forgive or not!
  • I used the analogy in my talk about how bitterness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die, it doesn’t work.
  • Should it matter how small or how big the hurt is when it comes to our need to forgive?
  • When you get hurt does it cause you anger?
  • When you see in justice does it cause you anger?
  • Do you realize that you need to deal with or resolve that anger or it will have bad results on you?
  • Ever not forgiven and watched anger turn into resentment and then resentment turn into bitterness?
  • Ever not forgiven one person and then discovered that it has impacted your attitude towards others and poisoned relationships with others?
  • Do you realize the reality that this poison called bitterness actually causes emotional stress and stress related illnesses?
  • Are you allowing that event to play over and over and over in your mind?
  • Are you allowing that event to cause you to plan or plot revenge?
  • Are you allowing that event to impact your health through your eating patterns and your sleeping patterns?
  • Are you allowing that event to start to impact your relationship with God?
  • Are you finding that you aren’t willing to respond to that still quiet voice?
  • Are you finding that you are just going through the motions rather than having a real relationship with God?
  • Are you allowing that event to hurt you even though the other person may not even realize it happened?
  • Are you aware that because they aren’t aware they may not even care about what you are putting yourself through?
  • So let’s break the cycle of bitterness and forgive!
  • Let’s choose to forgive the one who hurt us and ask God to keep filling us up with His love to bring healing.
  • Let’s choose to forgive the one who hurt us and ask God to keep filling us up with His forgiveness deeply.
  • Let’s choose to forgive the one who hurt us and ask God to help us drink deeply from His fountain of love so that we overflow in our own lives with His love and grace and forgiveness.
  • The choice to forgive belongs with each of us, just like the choice to receive Jesus. Freewill!
  • If we will choose to receive Jesus then He is able to be a fountain that will fill up our hearts and overflow into the world around us.
  • If we choose to forgive, then we are opening up the floodgates of God’s presence and power in and through our lives to overflow into the world around us.
  • Are you willing to give up the bitterness and stop allowing it to poison you and your life?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some consequences of bitterness in people’s lives?
  • Is there someone you need to forgive? Start the process now.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”

― Henry Wadsworth LongfellowThe Complete Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Jeremiah 28 (sefaria.org)
  • Jeremiah 29 (sefaria.org)
    1. For I am mindful of the plans I have made concerning you—declares the LORD—plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a hopeful future.
    2. When you call Me, and come and pray to Me, I will give heed to you.
    3. You will search for Me and find Me, if only you seek Me wholeheartedly.
    4. I will be at hand for you—declares the LORD—and I will restore your fortunes. And I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places to which I have banished you—declares the LORD—and I will bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.
  • Jeremiah 30 (sefaria.org)

So where are you at today? Is there bitterness holding you back from being able to be everything God desires for you to be? Is there bitterness poisoning you from being at full capacity? Are you in need of forgiveness from God or from others? Are you willing to give it? Are you willing to receive it? Do you realize the importance of it? Why not start with God today and allow Him to help you work through the process? 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?



Two important keys – Repent and Forgive!


Do you realize the importance of these two actions or activities? Do you realize the importance to both your spiritual and physical well being? Do you realize the impact of making these a part of the way you live your life? Do you realize the positive impact they both will have on your physical, emotional, and spiritual well being?

How do you respond when you have messed up? What if it impacts other people, does that change your response? What if it causes others to become emotional in their response to you? What if you don’t know you did something that impacted someone else but from their actions and words you get the inclination? Are you willing to put yourself out there in order to mend bridges?

How do you respond when someone else messes up? How do you respond when someone else hurts you? How do you respond when someone else impacts your life in a negative way? What if it hurts you emotionally? What if it hurts you psychologically? What if it hurts you physically? Are you willing to put yourself out there in order to avoid the downward spiral of bitterness and frustration?

God’s Word speaks to us about the importance of both repentance and forgiveness. Let’s reflect on a few before we consider some personal experiences…

God’s Word aka Scripture says:

  • ‘ For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.’
    Matthew 6:14
  • ‘ But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.’
    Matthew 6:15
  • ‘ And even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and turns to you seven times and says, I repent [I am sorry], you must forgive him (give up resentment and consider the offense as recalled and annulled).’
    Luke 17:4
  • ‘ Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released.’
    Luke 6:37
  • ‘ Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven! [Gen. 4:24.]’
    Matthew 18:22

As I reflect on this I remember that drive to the tax lady, I remember going into the office to ask someone from a long ways back to forgive me. I was sincere and humble as I repented for what I had done and they were gracious, not really remembering the incident and then saying that they forgave me so we could move forward. For my own good it was important to do that and because God had prompted me to do that too while at the same time teaching me the importance of forgiving others. I have shared this story over time be it when I shared how the song by Chris August 7×70 triggered the experience, be it sharing it as a testimony to my coworkers as a way for people to get to know each other, taking that video and sharing it on social media to my friends, family, and connections, be it the numerous times I have gotten to share it with people who are dealing with really tough situation that are frustrating them, causing them anger, and worst of all allowing a bitter root to grow.

Sharing here in case you want to pause and hear it… https://youtu.be/tOHCePoPlPo

The interesting thing is it isn’t a once in a lifetime thing but it becomes a lifetime process of both repenting for missing the mark be it with God or with others as well as forgiving others. It is quite amazing what you can learn through it and if you are humble enough, you may even find things that will help make you better and stronger. By forgiving you take back the power rather than allowing the other person to have power over you that causes and triggers pain, anger, and bitterness. By repenting you give control back to God and remove the opportunity and ability of the devil to try and cause you guilt and pain. We all have freewill and we all have the opportunity to decide how we will live and respond and act. I know the experience described in the video took place over a decade ago and yet I have needed to forgive regularly since them in other teams and experiences I have had to go through. Forgiveness becomes my first response to the action so that bitterness has no chance to take root in my life. I then turn to God to get wisdom and discernment to help me get through it. Even when no answer seems to be in sight and it seems to happen again and again and again. God told us in His Word how we are to keep forgiving, not seven times but seventy times seven times, just like in that song I heard on the radio, that day so long ago on the way to get my taxes done, and take it from me, it makes a difference! You don’t want to hope on the downward spiral for months, getting worse, feeling worse, and heading for rock bottom. It doesn’t matter if it is or was in the 1900s or the 2000s or beyond or before, it matters how we choose to respond! If we did something that needs for us to ask for forgiveness through repentance then we should do it. If we received something that requires for us to forgive and possibly multiple times then we should do it. Forgiveness isn’t about saying it is ok or that what they did is acceptable, it is taking back the control and choosing to live life God’s way with healthy boundaries and God’s protection and strength while allowing the Holy Spirit to give us the wisdom and discernment to know how to engage or disengage from the situation.

So how about you? Are you struggling because you need to repent for something? Are you struggling because you need to forgive for something? Are you riding the bitter train on the downward spiral to rock bottom? Are you allowing the bitter root to grow and get bigger and take up more space in your heart and mind? Are you ready to pull it up and pull it out in order to get off the bitter train express? Are you ready to forgive in order to find freedom? The choice is yours! Choose wisely before you have to hit rock bottom and the consequences of allowing bitterness and whatever happened to control you. How will you decide today?


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


A Cause Worth Dying For


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 35:27

‘Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What is your main focus? Finding and getting the things or doing the things that will bring the most pleasure?
  • What is your main focus? Finding and getting the latest thing that is supposed to make life easier?
  • What is your main focus? To find and get something that will last?
  • What purpose is your heart seeking or searching for?
  • What is that space you are trying to fill?
  • Do you realize it is a God shaped hole that need for you to invite God into it to be filled?
  • Are you aware of the greater purpose? That thing you are to do that is greater than yourself?
  • What energizes you? Is it political? Is it the planet? Is it helping the homeless? Is it to protect freedom?
  • Are the causes you are supporting or interested in causes that will last or are they temporary?
  • Are the causes you are supporting or interested in causes that help temporarily or for the long term?
  • Is what you are doing something that will last through eternity?
  • Are you sharing Jesus with people which will open the door for them to enter into eternity with God?
  • Are you focused on knowing Jesus and honoring Him in everything you do?
  • Are you working as unto the Lord?
  • Are you focused on building your relationship with God and allowing that relationship to overflow into the lives of all those He brings around you?
  • The cause we need to be most focused on is the cause of having a relationship with Jesus!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some causes your friends are excited about?
  • Political parties and elections
  • Save the planet
  • Volunteering for special causes
  • Making Jesus known
  • Proving they are right
If an objective observer looked at your life, what would he or she conclude that you are devoted to? Explain your answer.
  • God – My relationship with Jesus
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Children in need
  • Making Jesus known

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

Helen Keller

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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

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

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


Know how Easter weekend moves / changes dates on our calendars?


Today is Good Friday. My phone’s verse of the day ended up being Luke 23:34 AMPC. My devotional for today’s verse of the day ended up being Luke 23:34 NKJV. The phone can adjust because it is software. The book was printed years ago and hence would always have this verse on April 2nd. And yet they both showed up today on Good Friday!

Do you have any plans for Good Friday? Will you do something different than a normal Friday? Might you find a church service that is taking place in person or even online? Might you make time to spend it with family and friends to remember the sacrifice that was made for us? Might you reflect on or read through the scripture that describes Good Friday’s activities?

Ever realize how God’s timing is perfect? He is rarely early and He is never late, He is right on time! So what are you in need of today? How will you spend your time? Will you be a good steward of your time today? Do you realize that it is the most valuable, non-renewal resource in your life? You will either spend it or use it or lose it and you will never get it back again. So will you make the most of your today? Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, so how will you make the most of your today so that you can live it without regret? How will you live it so that you can produce good fruit in and through it? Will you take time, make time to do something that will make a difference? Will you do something that will make a difference in the lives of those closest to you? Will you do something that will make a difference in the lives of those God brings across your path today? Will you live today with purpose?

Some days are fixed by date but others are based on a different calendar and hence move around on our calendars today. So how will today be fruitful and useful? Happy Today!


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


“Father, forgive them”


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Luke 23:34

‘Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Consider what Jesus spoke from the cross.
  • Consider what Jesus went through on the cross.
  • Consider how Jesus responded from the cross.
  • Jesus had so much grace that he spoke “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
  • Even though they were putting Him to death, He knew why He came and so He gave Himself to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way.
  • Jesus spoke to the Father to forgive them after the excruciatingly painful and stressful Passion week He had just endured.
  • Consider the betrayal and the attacks He experience.Authorities/Leaders wanting to kill Him
  • A follower – Judas betrayed Him
  • Another – Peter denied knowing Him 3 times
  • All the others fled when He was being arrested
  • He was left alone
  • He was beaten to the point where His face was unrecognizable
  • He was flogged with a cat-o’-nine-tails 39 times until His back was a bloody
  • He had to carry His own cross to His crucifixion
  • He had spikes put through His wrists and feet
  • Jesus chose to forgive rather than to be bitter
  • Jesus chose to forgive rather than seek vengeance
  • He hadn’t done anything to deserve it but yet He hung on the cross between two criminals
  • So what did He choose to do with all those people looking on as He hung on the cross? Turn to the Father and ask Him to forgive them.
  • Next time we face troubles or trials or persecution, what will be our first response? Will it be to turn to God? Will it be to forgive?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How would you have responded if you had heard Jesus pray for those people?
  • Wow
  • Asked the people what they were thinking when they heard Him
What does His prayer of forgiveness for those people mean to you today?
  • That He was willing to take whatever it took to be able to make a way for people to be saved from the penalty of sin.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive.”

–― C.S. LewisMere Christianity

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

Detainment:

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

Incarceration:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Paybacks


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 31:23

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


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

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

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


To Forgive or Not to Forgive that is the question


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

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

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

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

Have I got a deal for you…

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


The 365 Plan


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: II Timothy 1:7

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


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

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

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

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


What’s harder to say “I’m Sorry” or “I forgive you”?


Is there anything harder to have to do or say? Do you realize the important and the power and the freedom that comes from what you say? Is it harder to admin you did something wrong than to forgive someone else who did something wrong to you? Is it harder to give forgiveness or receive it?

This morning I was reading the book by Earl Smith that I purchased a while back at a men’s conference where my son came with me and we even have a picture of them together. The book is Death Row Chaplain: Unbelievable True Stories from America’s Most Notorious Prison and in today’s reading the topic of forgiveness came up. As I reflected on the times when I needed forgiveness vs the times I needed to forgive and the lessons I was able to learn in and through the experiences, I realized that forgiveness is the key to true freedom! This is true in multiple ways. Consider how forgiving someone else frees you from anger and frustration, bitterness and anger, and the downward spiral that creates. I shared part of my story as part of a Story Slam experience I have had with GoDaddy and have been able to take the recording and post it up on YouTube (https://youtu.be/tOHCePoPlPo). I remember the power of forgiveness when I went through Cleansing Stream and broke the chains I didn’t even realize I had that caused me to explode if someone hit me in the head and I tasted blood (I usually use the analogy of the Incredible Hulk, don’t make me angry, you won’t like it when I am angry). At Cleansing Stream retreat they recommended you go forward for prayer even if you didn’t think something applied to you and so I did and a lady at the front started apologizing as if being my grandmother for having hit me when I was a child, it was out of fear and worry and she wanted me to forgive her (side note my grandmother had passed away long before this happened) and so I did and it transformed my life and the life of a young camper I was privileged to be his camp counselor. It was also great timing too as I only had 1 child so far who was just a baby and it protected them from the hulk showing up when we would horse play as they grew up. The greatest forgiveness and example of the power of forgiveness came through Jesus who gave His life for you and for me so that we could be forgive and reconciled back to God. The freedom that it brings to live life to the full without worry or fear that I can’t or won’t measure up. The freedom that it brings to live life to the full without the worry and fear of everything wrong I had and have and will do in order that in and through it all He can receive the praise, the honor, and the glory.

As I learned over the years, not being saved till I passed the age of 30, even asking for forgiveness is hard, until you realize that you need it and you need to apologize. And then through the various times where I had to learn to forgive and to say I am sorry, I am learning that it is a necessary part of life and that it will benefit everyone involved.

So, what’s hard for you to say? What’s harder for you to hear?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for March 14th


The hardest word to hear


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:  Psalms 27:14

‘Wait on the Lord ; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord !’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Waiting is hard to do, especially in an instant gratification society.
  • God uses discipline waiting to teach us lessons we can’t learn another way.
  • Waiting because you need to learn a lesson
  • Waiting because you need a redirection
  • Waiting because you need turn back to God and ask Him to forgive you because you have gone off track
  • Waiting because you need other people or situations to play out before you can proceed, providing an even greater and more powerful outcome
  • When you are given a stop sign or red light to stop and wait at, choose to use that time to pursue God with all of your heart so that you can understand the purpose of waiting and be able to embrace the lessons, the corrections, the redirections, and God’s perfect timing better.
  • So let’s trust God to be God and get excited about what He is doing when He calls us to wait.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Describe the last time you experienced waiting on God.
  • 2020 as things felt like I needed to do something, to make a move, to get out but I kept getting the answer to wait. After 3 bosses and 6 roles I got the green light and took a new role to close out 2020 with my 4th boss and 7th role to close out 2020 on a good note in preparation for what has been a great 2021.
Which of the reasons above might have been God’s purpose in this experience?
  • In all the change I am thinking it was multi-fold. First I had to wait for the people and situation to get in the right position. Second, I had to learn about myself and others through the changes.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Though God take the sun out of the heaven yet you must have patience.”

GEORGE HERBERT

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Is it harder to say something or to hear something? Does it matter what it is that you are needing to say or hear?

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

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

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

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

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

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


Making the most out of another chance.


In life have you ever felt like you were getting a second chance at life because of something that happened in a relationship? In life have you ever felt like you were getting a second chance at life because of something that happened in a job? In life have you ever felt like you were getting a second chance at life because of something that happened with your health? In life have you ever felt like you were getting a second chance at life because of something that happened in accepting a gift? In life have you ever felt like you were getting a second chance at life because of something that happened in a accepting forgiveness?

Ever felt like you have gotten a third chance? a fourth chance? even more chances?

Will you make the most of a second chance? or another chance? Will you be grateful and live a transformed life as you step up and into your chance? Will you avoid the tripping hazards or issues of the past and press forward to make the most of your chance? Will you live a different life? Will you live a healthier life? Will you live a more loving life? Will you live a more grace filled life? Will you live a more forgiving life? Will you be willing to give others another chance?

How will getting another chance change the way you approach life?


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

Second and Third Chances

MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Colossians 2:13-14

‘And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. ‘

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What’s the difference between excusing sin and forgiving it?
  • Excusing sin doesn’t solve the problem, it just shrugs it off or pushes it down the road. The weight and the burden don’t get taken care of.
  • Forgiving sin takes care of it once and for all, paying the price and setting the person free. The weight and the burden are replace by relief, healing, and deliverance.
What are some things you’ve thought or done that need to be forgiven by Jesus?
  • I remember when I encountered Jesus at the end of 2000 and start of 2001 and how it transformed my life.
  • I remember the jet back journey between things like Cleansing Stream, Bible studies, Men’s groups and retreats, Spiritual Emphasis weeks, Prayer and Fasting and all the sins that were taken care of and nailed to the cross
  • I am glad that when I trip up, I don’t have to carry the burden anymore but can bring it to God right away and thanks to Jesus nail it to the cross where it is dealt with once and for all.
QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

This is the mystery of the riches of divining grace for sinners; for by a wonderful exchange our sins are now not ours but Christ’s, and Christ’s righteousness is not Christ’s but ours. 

MARTIN LUTHER

Today’s reading from Tanakh


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

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

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

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

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

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


Passion (Day #6)


Are you living above board? Are you living a life of integrity? Are you living a life of secrecy or a life of openness? Are you living in the shadows, lurking for your opportunity? Are you walking in the light where all can see? What is your intention? What is your purpose? What is your goal? What’s in your heart? It all comes down to it being a matter of the heart!! From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks! Will you live a life that leaves a legacy? Will you live a life that will proclaim the goodness of God? What motivates you? Is it all about money? If someone were to give you enough money would that be enough? If someone were going to try and get you to do something is there enough money in the world that could sway you? What would be the consequences of your actions? Could that money cover it up enough that you could live with yourself? Will you live a life of character or will you be swayed and live a life of betrayal?

Let’s take a look at today’s reading before I ask more questions that come from the last supper in Matthew 26

The Conspiracy Grows

1Now it happened that when Yeshua had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, 2“You know that Passover comes in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be executed.” 3Then the ruling kohanim and elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the kohen gadol named Caiaphas. 4They plotted together in order that they might seize Yeshua by stealth and kill Him. 5“But not during the festival,” they were saying, “so there won’t be a riot among the people.”

A Woman Anoints Yeshua for Burial

6Now while Yeshua was in Bethany at the house of Simon ha-Metzora, 7a woman came up to Him with an alabaster jar of very expensive oil. And she poured it on His head as He was reclining at the table. 8But when the disciples saw this, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9It could have been sold for a lot, and the money given to the poor!” 10But Yeshua, knowing this, said to them, “Why do you cause trouble for this woman? She’s done Me a mitzvah. 11You always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have Me. 12For when she poured this oil on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13Amen, I tell you, wherever this Good News is proclaimed in all the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

Betrayed and Sold for Silver

14Then one of the Twelve, the one called Judah of Kriot, went to the ruling kohanim 15and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?” And they weighed out thirty shekels of silver for him. 16From then on, Judah began looking for a chance to hand Him over. 17Now on the first day of matzah , the disciples came to Yeshua, saying, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 18He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; at your house I am to keep the Passover with My disciples.”’” 19The disciples did as Yeshua had ordered them, and they prepared the Passover. 20Now when it was evening, Yeshua was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21As they were eating, He said, “Amen, I tell you, one of you will betray Me.” 22And being very sorrowful, they began, each one, to say to Him, “I’m not the one, am I, Master?” 23And He replied, “The one who dipped his hand in the bowl with Me, he’s the one who will betray Me. 24The Son of Man indeed goes, just as it is written about Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born!” 25And Judah, the one betraying Him, replied, “I’m not the one, am I, Rabbi?” Yeshua said to him, “You’ve said it yourself.” 26Now while they were eating, Yeshua took matzah ; and after He offered the bracha, He broke and gave to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27And He took a cup; and after giving thanks, He gave to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the removal of sins. 29But I say to you, I will never drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father’s kingdom.” 30After singing the Hallel, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31Then Yeshua said to them, “This night you will all fall away because of Me; for it is written, ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32But after I am raised up, I will go before you to the Galilee.” 33But Peter replied to Him, “Though all fall away because of You, I’ll never fall away.” 34Yeshua said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35“Even if I must die with You,” Peter says to Him, “I’ll never deny You!” And so said all the disciples.

“Your Will Be Done”

36Then Yeshua comes with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He tells the disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37And He took along Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, and He began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then He tells them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.” 39Going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me! Yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40Then He comes to the disciples and finds them sleeping; and He tells Peter, “So couldn’t you keep watch with Me for one hour? 41Keep watching and praying, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42Again for a second time He went away and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, let Your will be done.” 43And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So He left them again and prayed a third time, saying the same words once more. 45Then He comes to the disciples and says to them, “Still sleeping? Taking your rest? Look, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being delivered into the hands of sinners. 46Get up, let’s go! Look, My betrayer is near.”

Taken into Custody

47While Yeshua was still speaking, here came Judah, one of the Twelve, and with him a big crowd with swords and clubs, from the ruling kohanim and elders of the people. 48Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The One I kiss, He’s the One—seize Him!’ 49And immediately Judah drew near to Yeshua and said, “Shalom, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50“Friend,” Yeshua said to him, “do what you’ve come to do.” Then they came up and threw their hands on Yeshua and seized Him. 51And suddenly, one of those with Yeshua stretched out his hand and drew his sword, and he struck the kohen gadol ’s servant and cut off his ear. 52Then Yeshua said to him, “Put your sword back in its place! For all who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 53Or do you suppose that I cannot call on My Father, and at once He will place at My side twelve legions of angels? 54How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55At that hour Yeshua said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, to capture Me as you would a revolutionary? Every day I sat teaching in the Temple, and you didn’t seize Me. 56But all this has happened so that the writings of the prophets would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples fled, abandoning Him. 57Now those who had seized Yeshua led Him away to Caiaphas, the kohen gadol , where the Torah scholars and elders had gathered. 58Peter was following Him from a distance as far as the courtyard of the kohen gadol . And after going inside, he was sitting with the guards, to see the outcome.

Yeshua’s Trial Begins

59Now the ruling kohanim and all the Sanhedrin kept trying to get false testimony against Yeshua so they could put Him to death. 60But they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61and said, “This fellow said, ‘I’m able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days!’” 62The kohen gadol stood up and said to Yeshua, “Have You no answer? What’s this they’re testifying against You?” 63But Yeshua kept silent. The kohen gadol said to Him, “I charge You under oath by the living God, tell us if You are Mashiach Ben-Elohim!” 64“As you have said,” replied Yeshua. “Besides that, I tell you, soon after you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the kohen gadol tore his clothes and said, “Blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, you’ve heard the blasphemy. 66What’s your verdict?” “Guilty,” they answered. “He deserves death!” 67Then they spat in His face and pounded Him with their fists. Others slapped Him and demanded, 68“Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Which one hit You?”

Peter Denies Yeshua

69Meanwhile, Peter was sitting in the courtyard. A servant girl came over to him and said, “You also were with Yeshua of the Galilee.” 70But he denied it before everyone, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” 71When he went onto the porch, another servant girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Yeshua ha-Natzrati.” 72Again he denied it with an oath: “I don’t know the Man!” 73A little while later, some of the bystanders approached Peter and said to him, “Surely you’re one of them, too—your accent gives you away.” 74Then he began to curse and to swear an oath: “I do not know the Man!” Right then, a rooster crowed. 75Then Peter reminded himself of the word Yeshua had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went away and wept bitterly.
–from Matthew 26

Jesus knew the time and the day! Jesus knew what had to happen! Jesus didn’t complain or worry about it, rather He went with the attitude that he gets to do it! He gave it up into God the Father’s hands because it was thy way to bring reconciliation to the world! And so He lead by example providing us with the example of communion by the breaking of bread and the sharing of wine. His body that was broken for us and His blood that was shed. The perfect innocent lamb sacrificed so that we could have a path to reconciliation with God! We get the opportunity to choose! We get the opportunity to decide! We get to ask Him into our hearts and lives! We get to call on the name of Jesus and be saved!

We see how in Gethsemane He wanted His disciples to watch and experience what He was going through. We see the weight of the world’s sins being put upon Him! We see the pressure and stress that it caused as He started to sweat blood! And as He gives it all up to the Father, the betrayer shows up.

Ever heard the saying “the kiss of death”? Ever wondered where that got its roots?

Jesus knew the time. Jesus didn’t want anyone to get hurt in and through it, which is why He went with them. He also wanted to make sure people knew what they were doing and give them an out. He even healed the ear of one of the centurions who was coming to take Him away. He knew that His purpose was to complete and fulfill the scriptures! Fear strikes hard! It scatters the group! Dreams dashed — or at least it would appear (except that we know the rest of the story)

Don’t someone who just makes up accusations that are true or real. There are people who are just out there trying to trip you up! Don’t be one of them!

There is forgiveness! There is hope! No matter what you said or did! But you need to turn back to God! You need to ask Jesus into your heart and your life! And then the process will begin! Jesus paid it all! When He gave His life on the cross, it means no more sacrifice of blood is needed! He was good enough for all of eternity so that all can turn to Him and be saved! Once for all! So no matter what you have done, it’s not too late to ask Him in and be forgiven! Why not today before the sun goes down decide to ask Him into your life! Why not go to an Easter service and celebrate the resurrection power of Jesus on Sunday?

Is today your day?