THRIVE by making a difference in the world around you!


What an incredible week. Today’s verse of the day along with the special guests that are speaking at church this weekend point to the importance of doing our part to serve those in need around us.

Today’s verse of the day comes to use from Luke:

‘Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. ‘

Luke 9:23-24

So are you ready to live a life of service? Are you ready to live a life of sacrifice? Are you ready to live a life of giving? The words found in Luke after today’s verse add to these questions when it says:

‘What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? ‘

Luke 9:25

Thriving isn’t about having lots of stuff but how you choose to live your life. God has provided, so what will you choose to do with that provision? Will you be a giver or a hoarder? Will you choose to reap something greater for the kingdom of God rather than keep the seeds He has given you in your pocket? Remember how God promised to give us seed to sow and bread to eat? Don’t eat the seed, let’s choose to sow so that we can reap greatly for the kingdom of God! Let’s pause a moment to capture what God’s Word says and helps us to understand:

  • Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
    Galatians 6:7-9
  • The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
    2 Corinthians 9:6
  • Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail.
    Proverbs 22:8
  • As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.
    Job 4:8
  • Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
    Luke 6:38
  • Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! – Psalm 126:5
  • Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. You have plowed iniquity; you have reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your own way and in the multitude of your warriors,
    Hosea 10:12-13
  • “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
    Matthew 7:12
  • Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
    Philippians 2:3
  • And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.
    Mark 4:24
  • Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
    Luke 12:24

So today to thrive, we know that we need to trust God rather than our own understanding. We need to take the gifts and talents, and the provision to glorify Him, sowing it to His purpose.

When we are in need we will turn to God because we know that God answers prayer. We need to live by faith and not by sight and to do that requires stepping out and taking risks. We need to make sure our vertical relationship with God is strong so that it will overflow and produce good horizontal relationships with people around us. We need to share what God is and has done in and through our lives, testifying of His goodness and faithfulness, through the highs and the lows. We need to remember and share that Jeremiah 29:11 is for everyone! We need to step into and live in the reality that nothing is impossible with God as it says in Matthew 19:26 and Luke 1:37. God knows your need and can provide just enough, not too much and not too little to meet your needs. So today lets decide to be Jesus’s hands and feet into the world around us! Let’s decide to be God’s ambassadors, God’s helpers, and God’s people!


Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 4 – How has becoming a father changed your perspective on a Father’s love for his children?


So where are you at today? Are you ready to thrive? Are you ready to thrive for the glory of God? Are you ready to make a difference? Are you ready to be the difference? Are you ready to go beyond just making a scratch or a dent and making a real difference? Then let’s decide we will thrive by inviting Jesus into the situation and walking out our lives in a relationship with Him. Let’s pray:


When someone asks you what season this is, what do you say?


Do you think seasons of the year like winter, spring, summer, or fall? Do you think seasons like what holidays are taking place like Christmas, New Year, Valentines Day, Easter, Independence Day, National Holidays, etc.? Do you think of the season of giving? Do you think a season to sow? Do you think a season to reap? Do you think a season to live?

What context or what location or what person will cause you to give your answer? Does it matter who asks? Does it matter where they ask? Does it matter how they ask? Does it matter what the situation currently is when they ask?

Let’s consider the seasons that are spoken of in the Bible:

  • ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account. And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment—wickedness was there, in the place of justice—wickedness was there. I said to myself, “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.” I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath ; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” ‘
    Ecclesiastes 3:1-21
  • He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;
    Daniel 2:21
  • While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
    Genesis 8:22
  • And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
    Galatians 6:9
  • He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
    Acts 1:7
  • He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.
    Psalm 104:19
  • He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
    Psalm 1:3
  • And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,
    Genesis 1:14
  • “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
    Isaiah 55:10-11
  • Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.
    1 Thessalonians 5:1
  • “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near.
    Matthew 24:32
  • Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
    2 Timothy 4:2
  • For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
    Song of Solomon 2:11-13
  • Check out more scriptures about seasons here: https://www.openbible.info/topics/seasons

What season is it for you? Are you seeing the signs of the times? Are you living for the season you are currently in? Are you being generous in the midst of your season? Are you ready for the season? As we celebrate the first coming of Jesus with Christmas are you ready for His second coming?


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 17TH


Giving Is Living


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”’

Acts 20:35

Let’s look into the context of this and try to get some additional details through the Amplified version.

‘However, from Miletus he sent word to Ephesus and summoned the elders of the church [to meet him there]. And when they arrived he said to them: “ You know well how I [lived when I] was with you, from the first day that I set foot in Asia [until now], serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and trials which came on me because of the plots of the Jews [against me]; [you know] how I did not shrink back in fear from telling you anything that was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public meetings, and from house to house, solemnly [and wholeheartedly] testifying to both Jews and Greeks, urging them to turn in repentance to God and [to have] faith in our Lord Jesus Christ [for salvation]. And now, compelled by the Spirit and obligated by my convictions, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly [and emphatically] affirms to me in city after city that imprisonment and suffering await me. But I do not consider my life as something of value or dear to me, so that I may [with joy] finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify faithfully of the good news of God’s [precious, undeserved] grace [which makes us free of the guilt of sin and grants us eternal life]. “And now, listen carefully: I know that none of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will see me again. For that reason I testify to you on this [our parting] day that I am innocent of the blood of all people. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose and plan of God. Take care and be on guard for yourselves and for the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd (tend, feed, guide) the church of God which He bought with His own blood. I know that after I am gone, [false teachers like] ferocious wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; even from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse and distorted things, to draw away the disciples after themselves [as their followers]. Therefore be continually alert, remembering that for three years, night or day, I did not stop admonishing and advising each one [of you] with tears. And now I commend you to God [placing you in His protective, loving care] and [I commend you] to the word of His grace [the counsel and promises of His unmerited favor]. His grace is able to build you up and to give you the [rightful] inheritance among all those who are sanctified [that is, among those who are set apart for God’s purpose—all believers]. I had no desire for anyone’s silver or gold or [expensive] clothes. You know personally that these hands ministered to my own needs [working in manual labor] and to [those of] the people who were with me. In everything I showed you [by example] that by working hard in this way you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed [and brings greater joy] to give than to receive.’ ” When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And they began to weep openly and threw their arms around Paul’s neck, and repeatedly kissed him, grieving and distressed especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see him again. And they accompanied him to the ship.’

Acts 20:17-38

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever considered what living life in this season Jesus’s way would do to the world around you?
  • Ever considered how Jesus changed the world by the way He chose to live His life?
  • Ever considered how Jesus changed the world by the message He shared to the world around Him?
  • Our human nature seems to conflict with how Jesus calls us to live.
  • Want to be great? Then you need to serve others.
  • Want to raise to great heights? Then you need to be humble and live in humility.
  • Want to be first? Then you need to let others go ahead of you and be last.
  • Want to be significant in the kingdom of God? Then you need to become like children and live with the faith of a child.
  • Want to be filled up? Then you need to be giving and be generous.
  • So we need to stop being so focused on ourselves and be more focused on others.
  • Not to compare or contrast but to serve, the give, and to love.
  • Take a look around or maybe just in the mirror and check out how much selfishness is taking place in this world.
  • Selfishness isn’t for a specific type of person but unfornately selfishness transcends time, race, and societies.
  • Remember how we are to be good stewards?
  • Remember how to whom much is given much is required?
  • Instead of letting the ads tell us what we are missing or lacking, let’s be filled with joy related to all that we have!
  • As we consider going into Christmas, rather than consumerism let’s be focused on Jesus, the birth of a savior, the reality of what His coming brought to this world, and the incredible joy and peace we have by having a relationship with Him and knowing He is coming back.
  • Let’s decide to live out lives open handed so that God can use us as conduits for His resources to better love and serve others.
  • Let’s draw closer to Jesus for our contentment and fulfillment rather than believing the ads that this or that product or service will do the trick.
  • Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts since He fills the void forever and as He spoke we will thirst no more, whereas the temporary filling of the void with stuff fades away over time and eventually causes us to thirst again.
  • So today lets choose to really live by really giving into the lives of others!
  • Let’s give that we can find heartfelt fulfillment!
  • Let’s give that we can experience the greatest thrills of our lives!
  • Let’s give that we can pour into the lives of others who may never be able to repay us.
  • Let’s give not expecting anything in return!
  • Let’s give to the weak!
  • Let’s give to the poor!
  • Let’s give to the sick!
  • Let’s be selfless by not expecting anything in return!
  • Let’s be generous!
  • Let’s live out our lives like our Heavenly Father who has given to us, blessed us, and offers us so much more than this world could ever offer!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What act of giving or service has brought you the most joy?
  • In what way is it really “more blessed” to give than receive?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.

— Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson QuotesSamuel Johnson Biography

As we continue through 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 kicked 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 so that 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 17:

‘Jesus said to His disciples, “Stumbling blocks [temptations and traps set to lure one to sin] are sure to come, but woe (judgment is coming) to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea, than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble [in sin and lose faith]. Pay attention and always be on guard [looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him. Even if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him [that is, give up resentment and consider the offense recalled and annulled].” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith [our ability to confidently trust in God and in His power].” And the Lord said, “If you have [confident, abiding] faith in God [even as small] as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree [which has very strong roots], ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea’; and [if the request was in agreement with the will of God] it would have obeyed you. “Which of you who has a servant plowing or tending sheep will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat?’ Will he not instead say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and appropriately clothe yourself [for service] and serve me while I eat and drink; then afterward you may eat and drink?’ He does not thank the servant just because he did what he was ordered to do, does he? So you too, when you have done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants [undeserving of praise or a reward, for we have not gone beyond our obligation]; we have merely done what we ought to do.’ ”

While Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance; and they raised their voices and called out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were [miraculously] healed and made clean. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying and praising and honoring God with a loud voice; and he lay face downward at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him [over and over]. He was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten [of you] cleansed? Where are the [other] nine? Was there no one found to return and to give thanks and praise to God, except this foreigner?” Jesus said to him, “Get up and go [on your way]. Your faith [your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s power] has restored you to health.” Now having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed or with a visible display; nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among you [because of My presence].”

Then He said to the disciples, “The time will come when you will long to see [even] one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look [the Messiah is] there!’ or ‘Look [He is] here!’ Do not go away [to see Him], and do not run after them. For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, gives light to the other part of the sky, so [visible] will the Son of Man be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be repudiated and rejected and considered unfit [to be the Messiah] by this [unbelieving] generation. And just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the time of [the second coming of] the Son of Man: the people were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, [they were indifferent to God] until the day that Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as it was in the days of Lot. People were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building [carrying on business as usual, without regard for their sins]; but on the [very] day that Lot left Sodom it rained fire and brimstone (burning sulfur) from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, whoever is on the housetop, with his belongings in the house, must not come down [and go inside] to take them out; and likewise whoever is in the field must not turn back. Remember [what happened to] Lot’s wife [when she looked back]! Whoever seeks to save his life will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] will keep it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. I tell you, on that night [when Messiah comes again] there will be two [sleeping] in one bed; the one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. There will be two women grinding [at the mill] together; the one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. [Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.”] And they asked Him, “Where, Lord?” He answered, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will be gathered.”’

Luke 17:1-37

So where are you at today? What season of life are you living? What season of life are you ready for? What season of life are you seeing before you? What season of life is behind you? Are you living a season of giving? Are you living a season of forgiving? Are you living a season of thanksgiving? Are you looking for a way to be able to even consider any of these? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life to help you get through the season you are currently living in? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


No take-backs…


Remember these words when you were a kid? When you gave something it means you couldn’t take it back? Ever realize the power of words that once they are out there you can’t take them back either? So let’s think before we speak and when we decide to give let’s do it with no strings attached. Remember playing tag and saying “no tag backs” as part of the rules? No take-backs point us to the reality that we can’t change our minds when this rule is in and at play. Ever considered scenarios in life when the no take-backs rule applies? Ever considered scenarios in life and in God’s Word when the no take-backs rule applies?

Ever caught the reality of the number of times in the Bible God gives gifts to His people and did not take them back? The people of Israel are God’s chosen people and He has never taken that back. In spite of the reality that many of the prominent leaders were broken sinners (even looking through the genealogy of Jesus we find many) and yet in the midst of it all, God never disowned them. In spite of this unfaithfulness, God remained faithful. Ever considered leaders like Jacob who deceived his brother and father? God still was able to use Jacob’s life for His glory and didn’t disown him. Ever considered leaders like Moses who could be quick to respond and hot-tempered in his life but God didn’t disown him. We see it over and over again throughout God’s Word how people trip up or have bad attitudes and yet God loves and doesn’t disown them. Looking for more examples? Check out the stories of Samson and Delilah, David and Bathsheba, and Hezekiah. Yes, they made mistakes but they repented and turned back to God. Yes, they sinned but they turned back to God and were forgiven and God was able to work in and through them. And yet God never took back the reality of His chosen people.

Paul even speaks to the forefathers and God’s promises that the promises which God made to the patriarchs when he called them are secured to their descendants, not on the ground of merit, but on the ground of God’s fidelity to his word of grace.

God’s blessings are based on His grace and not our works. Remember that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works so that nobody can boast! Remember that we are all justified by grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus! Remember that Abraham was justified by his faith, to the point of getting to be called a friend of God, not by works, or else he would have had something to boast about.

21Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

James 2:21-24

So whether it is in our lives or from God’s perspective, let’s take hold of God’s promises given to us and let’s think before we speak and can’t take back those words and let’s think before we gift something to someone and can’t take back.

Take-backs vs no Take-backs. Revocable vs Irrevocable. Let’s consider this as we look into today’s devotional.


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 6TH


Things God Will Never Take Back


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. ‘

Romans 11:29

Let’s get some additional context and details for this verse using the Amplified version.

‘I say then, has God rejected and disowned His people? Certainly not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His [chosen] people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left [of the prophets], and they are seeking my life .” But what is God’s response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to B aal .” So too then, at the present time there has come to be a remnant [a small believing minority] according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace [God’s unmerited favor], it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace [it would not be a gift but a reward for works]. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking [that is, God’s favor by obedience to the Law], but the elect [those chosen few] obtained it, while the rest of them became hardened and callously indifferent; just as it is written [in Scripture], “God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, [a spiritual apathy that has continued] to this very day .” And David says, “Let their table (abundance) become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a retribution to them. Let their eyes be darkened so that they do not see, And make their backs bend [under their burden] forever .” So I say, have they stumbled so as to fall [to spiritual ruin]? Certainly not! But by their transgression [their rejection of the Messiah] salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel jealous [when they realize what they have forfeited]. Now if Israel’s transgression means riches for the world [at large] and their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment and reinstatement be! But now I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, in the hope of somehow making my fellow countrymen jealous [by stirring them up so that they will seek the truth] and perhaps save some of them. For if their [present] rejection [of salvation] is for the reconciliation of the world [to God], what will their acceptance [of salvation] be but [nothing less than] life from the dead? If the first portion [of dough offered as the first fruits] is holy, so is the whole batch; and if the root (Abraham, the patriarchs) is holy, so are the branches (the Israelites). But if some of the branches were broken off, and you [Gentiles], being like a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them to share with them the rich root of the olive tree, do not boast over the [broken] branches and exalt yourself at their expense. If you do boast and feel superior, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root that supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by your faith [as believers understanding the truth of Christ’s deity]. Do not be conceited, but [rather stand in great awe of God and] fear [Him]; for if God did not spare the natural branches [because of unbelief], He will not spare you either. Then appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: to those who fell [into spiritual ruin], severity, but to you, God’s gracious kindness—if you continue in His kindness [by faith and obedience to Him]; otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they [the unbelieving Jews], if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much easier will it be to graft these who are the natural branches back into [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree? I do not want you, believers, to be unaware of this mystery [God’s previously hidden plan]—so that you will not be wise in your own opinion—that a partial hardening has [temporarily] happened to Israel [to last] until the full number of the Gentiles has come in; and so [at that time] all Israel [that is, all Jews who have a personal faith in Jesus as Messiah] will be saved; just as it is written [in Scripture], “The Deliverer (Messiah) will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob .” “This is My covenant with them When I take away their sins .” From the standpoint of the gospel, the Jews [at present] are enemies [of God] for your sake [which is for your benefit], but from the standpoint of God’s choice [of the Jews as His people], they are still loved by Him for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call]. Just as you once were disobedient and failed to listen to God, but have now obtained mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient so that they too may one day receive mercy because of the mercy shown to you. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all [Jew and Gentile alike]. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it would be paid back to him? For from Him [all things originate] and through Him [all things live and exist] and to Him are all things [directed]. To Him be glory and honor forever! Amen.’

Romans 11:1-36

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • God’s got a plan and a purpose.
  • God gives us every good and perfect gift.
  • Nothing and nobody is able to sidestep or sidetrack – on a national and even personal level.
  • Paul in his leter to the Romans went ahead to make sure he answered the question on many people’s mind in today’s verse.
  • They understood the gentiles were coming to Christ and so wondered about what happened to the Jewish people.
  • They wondered if God had abandoned them.
  • Paul gives a definite answer “no”, God chose the Jewish people to repsent Him to every nation.
  • God’s plan isn’t over for His people, the Jews.
  • Jesus is their promised Messiah.
  • God’s gift of truth and His calling to follow Him are still pure and strong, even if the Jewish people walked away for while.
  • God’s love is patient and persistant and because of that He has patience and persistant with His people and is a picture of His relationship with us.
  • We find over and over in God’s Word his promises, people’s rejection of Him, and God’s grace to restore them.
  • We find how when we are disobedient it grieves God but even so He doesn’t give up on us or wring our hands.
  • God knows the past, the present, and the future and possesses wisdom and power to accomplish His purposes.
  • Nothing confuses Him!
  • Nothing can block His purposes!
  • God is love and Love is patient!
  • God’s not slow as some may think but is patient
  • God is incredibly patient!
  • God provides us with reassurance through His Word that He never takes back His gifts to us and His calling in our lives.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are God’s gifts and His calling in your life?
  • What are some ways God has shown His patience to keep pursuing you?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, it’s own aristocracy based on excellence of performance.”

James Bryant Conant, 1st U.S. Ambassador to West Germany

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 mean 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 6:

‘One Sabbath while Jesus was passing through fields of standing grain, it happened that His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” Jesus replied to them, “Have you not even read [in the Scriptures] what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him— how he went into the house of God, and took and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful [for anyone] to eat except the priests alone, and [how he also] gave it to the men who were with him?” Jesus was saying to them, “The Son of Man (the Messiah) is Lord [even] of the Sabbath.”

On another Sabbath He went into the synagogue and taught, and a man was present whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely [with malicious intent], to see if He would [actually] heal [someone] on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse Him. But He was aware of their thoughts, and He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward.” So he got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you directly: Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save a life or to destroy it?” After looking around at them all, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” And he did, and his hand was [fully] restored. But the scribes and Pharisees were filled with senseless rage [and lacked spiritual insight], and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Now at this time Jesus went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came, He called His disciples and selected twelve of them, whom He also named apostles (special messengers, personally chosen representatives): Simon, whom He also named Peter, and his brother Andrew; and [the brothers] James and John; and Philip, and Bartholomew [also called Nathanael]; and Matthew (Levi, the tax collector) and Thomas; and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; Judas [also called Thaddaeus] the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor [to the Lord]. Then Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a vast multitude of people from all over Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to listen to Him and to be healed of their diseases. Even those who were troubled by unclean spirits (demons) were being healed. All the people were trying to touch Him, because [healing] power was coming from Him and healing them all.

And looking toward His disciples, He began speaking: “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are you who are poor [in spirit, those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for the kingdom of God is yours [both now and forever]. Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are you who hunger now [for righteousness, actively seeking right standing with God], for you will be [completely] satisfied. Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are you who weep now [over your sins and repent], for you will laugh [when the burden of sin is lifted]. Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people hate you, and exclude you [from their fellowship], and insult you, and scorn your name as evil because of [your association with] the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for their fathers used to treat the prophets in the same way. But woe (judgment is coming) to you who are rich [and place your faith in possessions while remaining spiritually impoverished], for you are [already] receiving your comfort in full [and there is nothing left to be awarded to you]. Woe to you who are well-fed (gorged, satiated) now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now [enjoying a life of self-indulgence], for you will mourn and weep [and deeply long for God]. Woe to you when all the people speak well of you and praise you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.

But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you, bless and show kindness to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one also [simply ignore insignificant insults or losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity]. Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you. Whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you [only] love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend [money] to those from whom you expect to receive [it back], what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to receive back the same amount. But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful.

Do not judge [others self-righteously], and you will not be judged; do not condemn [others when you are guilty and unrepentant], and you will not be condemned [for your hypocrisy]; pardon [others when they truly repent and change], and you will be pardoned [when you truly repent and change]. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over [with no space left for more]. For with the standard of measurement you use [when you do good to others], it will be measured to you in return.”

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man guide [another] blind man? Will they not both fall into a hole in the ground? A student is not superior to his teacher; but everyone, after he has been completely trained, will be like his teacher. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice or consider the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, allow me to take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite (play actor, pretender), first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known and identified by its own fruit. For figs are not picked from thorn bushes, nor is a cluster of grapes picked from a briar bush. The [intrinsically] good man produces what is good and honorable and moral out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart; and the [intrinsically] evil man produces what is wicked and depraved out of the evil [in his heart]; for his mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart.

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not practice what I tell you? Everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and obeys them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a [far-sighted, practical, and sensible] man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and yet could not shake it, because it had been securely built and founded on the rock. But the one who has [merely] heard and has not practiced [what I say], is like a [foolish] man who built a house on the ground without any foundation, and the torrent burst against it; and it immediately collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”’

Luke 6:1-49

So where are you at today? Are you ready to receive God’s gifts and calling? Have you received God’s gifts and calling? Are you being a good steward of God’s gifts and calling? Are you ready to reconnect to Jesus in order to be able to live your life to the full? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


How much do you care? Do you care enough to give?


Do you care enough to give anything or everything you have? Do you care enough that you will be extremely generous and helpful? Do you care enough that you are willing to sacrifice for others?

Do you care for everyone or are there only some people would you be willing to do this for? Does it have to be someone close? Does it have to be someone you have a close relationship with? What would be the criteria for you to care for someone? What would be the criteria fr you to care enough to give? What would be the criteria for you to care enough to be extremely generous and helpful? What would be the criteria for you to do something or give sacrificially?

How are those criteria related to who you are? How are those criteria related to who they are? Are you someone who is a giver? Are you someone who is a taker? Are you someone who is generous? Are you someone who is greedy? Are you someone who is ready and willing to sacrifice? Are you someone who will surrender or forego it?

As we start today, let’s ask God for wisdom and discernment for each situation that we face and to change our hearts and our minds so that we will live out our today in a way that will bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory!


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


The Shirt Off Your Back


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.’

I Samuel 18:3-4

Let’s make sure to get the context for this verse by reviewing verses around them and the Amplified version.

‘When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bonded to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. Saul took David that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan stripped himself of the outer robe that he was wearing and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword, his bow, and his belt. So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he acted wisely and prospered; and Saul appointed him over the men of war. And it pleased all the people and also Saul’s servants. As they were coming [home], when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul with tambourines, [songs of] joy, and musical instruments. The women sang as they played and danced, saying, “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” Then Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed [only] thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” Saul looked at David with suspicion [and jealously] from that day forward. ‘

1 Samuel 18:1-9

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever had reasons to be wary of someone but still built a great relationship and friendship with them?
  • Ever had concerns for your position and looked for ways to keep it?
  • Ever realized that a relationship was more important that a position or title?
  • Would you be willing to give up the title, the power, the prestige, and the wealth for a friend?
  • Do you have a friend that you would be able to or be willing to do that for?
  • We see in our reading today that Jonathan was willing to give up the title, the power, the prestige, and the wealth for the sake of his friendship with David.
  • We see how Jonathan’s love and dedication to David surpassed his desires to inherity the throne from his father Saul.
  • We see in today’s verses how Jonathan’s commitment to his friendship with David motivated him to create a covenant with David.
  • To solidify his pledge to David, Jonathan gave David his royal robe.
  • Jonathan went above and beyond to show his commitment by also giving David his armor that included his sword, his bow, and his belt.
  • Have you a friend that you are so commited to that you would give them the shirt off of your back?
  • What would it take to be a friend like or to experience a frienship like that?
  • Jonathan was committed to David and to the reality that David would be the next king after Saul too.
  • What are your friendships based on? Mutual interest?
  • What are your friendships based on? Mutual respect?
  • What are your friendships based on? Mutual benefits?
  • Have you ever lost a friendship because it was going to be too costly to continue?
  • Have you ever given up on a friendship because it was going to cost you too much?
  • Have you ever had a friendship where it was none of the above but simply a friendship where you both were dedicated to the good of the other person?
  • We see that Jonathan and David had this type of a relationship and it didn’t matter the cost!
  • These types of relationships are rare and hard to find.
  • These types of relationships, if you can find one and make one, are life changing for both parties.
  • Do you realize how much this type of a relationship can make on your future?
  • Do you realize that a big reason for such a huge impact was the loyalty of that friend?
  • Do you have a friend who will be loyal and that you will be loyal to through thick and think, through highs and lows, and through the darkest of times?
  • Do you have a friendship based upon genuine love, genuine sacrifice, and genuine time?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Have you ever experienced a friendship like this? Explain your answer.
  • What would it look like if you were this kind of friend?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Whatever you are, it is your own friends who make your world.”

William James

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? What is your state of mind? What is your state of heart? How are you choosing to live your life? How have you decided to live out your today? What type of a friend will you be? Are you in need of help to be more generous and helpful? Are you looking for wisdom and guidance to help you be a better version of yourself? Are you ready to get started today? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Sowing and Reaping… What are you expecting as a harvest?


When you think of sowing and reaping what comes to your mind? Is it a farmer who has to plant his field in hopes that the weather will cooperate enough that he will get a harvest at the end of the season? Is it a principle that speaks to needing to plant in order to harvest? Is it a principle that speaks to if you don’t plant something how can you expect to get anything back in return? Is it a principle that if you plant good habits it will have a good return and if you plant bad habits you will get a bad return? Are you ready to plant in order to get a greater return? How are you sowing your talents? How are you sowing your behavior and attitude? How are you sowing your life? How will things go when you see Jesus face to face? (‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. ‘ II Corinthians 5:10)

As we consider these, let’s reflect on a few scriptures:

Let’s consider how we will use the talents we have been given:

‘“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

Let’s consider what happens when we sow and the outcome:

‘On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”’

Matthew 13:1-9,18-23

Even in the Old Testament we get insights:

‘“They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no bud; It shall never produce meal. If it should produce, Aliens would swallow it up.’

Hosea 8:7

‘He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail.’

Proverbs 22:8

‘You have plowed wickedness; You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, Because you trusted in your own way, In the multitude of your mighty men.’

Hosea 10:13

So let’s consider how we are living and the impact of our decisions.

‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. ‘

Galatians 6:7

‘But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. ‘

II Corinthians 9:6

So how are you sowing as part of your life? What does it say or point to when it comes what you will get to reap from it? Will you consider adjusting your life’s direction and how you are sowing? Will you consider adjusting your life in order to make sure to sow in the right people and places? Will you consider adjusting your life in a way that you are being generous in order to make sure that there is a bountiful harvest? The decision is yours!


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


The Law of Reciprocity


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.’

Proverbs 11:25

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize that sowing and reaping are predictable?
  • Do you realize that the laws of nature are predictable?
  • Do you realize that the law of reciprocity is predictable throughout your life?
  • Ever noticed or recognized how you get back what you give out?
  • What type of a giver are you?
  • Ever read the book of Proverbs to catch the examples of the law of reciprocity in action?
  • If you give anger then you can expect an angry reply.
  • If you give kindness then you can expect a kind reply.
  • If you are a good steward of your resources then we find a good return on our investments.
  • Do you realize the benefits of generosity?
  • Do you realize how it is better to give than receive and yet by giving you receive?
  • Today’s verse gives us two ways to look at the same principle from Solomon:
    • Let’s guard against selfishness!
    • Let’s take hold of how the generous will be made rich. If we can be a conduit for God then He will continue to push things through us.
    • Let’s be generous in our hearts! Let’s be caring people! Let’s be looking to find eternity with God for ourselves as well as others!
    • Let’s love as God loves!
    • Will you allow God to pour into your life so that you can pour out into the lives of others?
    • Will you be so filled with thankfulness that you give it away?
    • We need to be giving out of a willing heart rather than compulsion.
    • We need to be giving out of the overflow of our heart not because we are looking for nor expecting a return!
    • Let’s be giving and generous in order to make a difference.
    • By only focusing on the giving we don’t get stuck wondering when the return will come or why it is taking so long!
    • By only focusing on doing what God has asked of us we won’t get upset in times of blessings and times of adversity.
    • The law of reciprocity has the purpose of blessing us by changing the way we think and what we have in our hearts!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Why is it important for our hearts to be right when we give generously?
  • How is the law of reciprocity working out for you? Any changes needed?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”

― Henry David Thoreau

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What does sowing and reaping look like to you? What does generosity look like to you? What does giving look like to you? How are you choosing to use your talents and gifts? How are you choosing to use your resources? Make sure to remember to sow the seeds and to eat the bread that God gives you. Are you ready to decide? Are you ready to choose? 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 think you want it or deserve it? Are you ready for what is require if you step up?


Are you looking at your role, your position, your career and thinking you want to move up? As you consider that do you take a look at the job ladder details to see the requirements that come along with such a move? As you consider that are you comparing what you do to what others in the higher levels are doing? Are you considering it because you feel that it is part of the purpose and cause God has given you or in an effort to fill a gap/hole in your life? Are you considering it because you see what others are doing and realizing that you are doing what they do and more and so think you deserve it? Be cautious about pursuing it because you think you deserve instead of pursuing it because you feel that it is a part of God’s calling, God’s purpose for you, and God’s cause He has set in your heart to accomplish.

Are you feeling like people are asking a lot of you? Are you feeling that you are being pulled in many directions? Do you realize that by pursuing the change and moving up will cause it to increase rather than decrease? It may be different but be aware as you consider it if this different is equivalent to being better! The higher position may come with extra pay and authority but it also comes with additional responsibility and requirements. Are you ready for it? Is your heart in the right spot to be able to step up and handle it? Just like with so many things in life, we need to check our hearts and understand the why, the motivation before we jump into something. What is our motivation? Is it aligned with God’s plans, purposes and the cause He created you to accomplish? Then you will know if it is the right thing in the right place at the right time!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 18th


When Much is Given


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.’

Luke 12:48

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you one who speculates about things?
  • What would you speculate about the people who received today’s message from Jesus in Luke 12?
  • What would you speculate it sounds like to people who don’t have much?
  • What would you speculate it sounds like to people who think they want more?
  • What would you speculate it sounds like to people who are working so hard to make ends meet?
  • What would you speculate it sounds like to people who are barely surviving?
  • Do you realize how wealthy and rich you are today in comparison to those back in the day?
  • You may not be on the list of the rich and famous, but do you realize how much you have, how much higher the standards of living are?
  • What perspective do you look at your life and the world through today?
  • Are you looking at it and thinking about everything you have or everything you don’t have?
  • Are you looking at it and thinking about what everybody else has or how grateful you are for what you do have?
  • Ever noticed how most of the news that is broadcasted – internet, tv, radio, etc. – seems to highlight the negative, the challenges, the struggles?
  • Does it cause you to be in the me too mode or to be grateful for what you do have?
  • Let’s consider everything God has entrusted to us and what we would say to Jesus on that day when we come face to face and need to give an account for our lives.
  • That conversation won’t be about comparing you to anyone but yourself and what you have been called to do, purposed to do, and the cause you were to accomplish.
  • That conversation will be about how did you do in getting done what He gave you to do.
  • Will you hear “well done, good and faithful servant”?
  • Will you hear “you wicked, lazy servant”?
  • How are you using the gifts and talents God has given to you?
  • Let’s check out the parable Jesus spoke about the talents:
    • ‘ “For it is just like a man who was about to take a journey, and he called his servants together and entrusted them with his possessions. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and then he went on his journey. The one who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he [made a profit and] gained five more. Likewise the one who had two [made a profit and] gained two more. But the one who had received the one went and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. And the one who had received the five talents came and brought him five more, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted to me five talents. See, I have [made a profit and] gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.’ “Also the one who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have [made a profit and] gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.’ “The one who had received one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a harsh and demanding man, reaping [the harvest] where you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter seed. So I was afraid [to lose the talent], and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is your own.’ “But his master answered him, ‘You wicked, lazy servant, you knew that I reap [the harvest] where I did not sow and gather where I did not scatter seed. Then you ought to have put my money with the bankers, and at my return I would have received my money back with interest. So take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ “For to everyone who has [and values his blessings and gifts from God, and has used them wisely], more will be given, and [he will be richly supplied so that] he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have [because he has ignored or disregarded his blessings and gifts from God], even what he does have will be taken away. And throw out the worthless servant into the outer darkness; in that place [of grief and torment] there will be weeping [over sorrow and pain] and grinding of teeth [over distress and anger]. ‘ — Matthew 25:14-30
  • Are you taking responsibility for what you have been given? Is it causing you to take action?
  • Are you being held back by guilt? Is it causing you to lack motivation?
  • Why not take all that you have and all that has been given to you and invest them into the causes of God?
  • Why not take all that you have and all that you have been given and pursue your cause and your purpose in God?
  • Why not take all that you have and all that you have been given and invest in the things of God?
  • Why not take all that you have and all that you have been given and invest into God causes?
  • Why not take all that you have and all that you have been given and invest them into causes that God cares about?
  • Why not take all that you have and all that you have been given and invest them in things that will transform lives for the better?
  • Are you ready to make a difference in the lives of others today?
  • Are you ready to give more so that it can happen?
  • Are you ready to be a conduit of God’s love, God’s blessings into the lives of those God brings across your path today?
  • Realize what you have! Realize what you have been given! Remember to whom much is given, much is required! Remember the parable of the talents and consider the way you want to be greeted when you come face to face with Jesus.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Where do you see yourself on the scale of “haves” versus “have-nots”?
  • What would motivate you to invest more of your resources in God’s work?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Success is doing the very best I can every chance I get with what I have for a purpose that is bigger than I am and that will outlive me.”

Ike Reighard

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready to take on more? Are you ready to take on more for the glory of God? Are you ready for what it will take to receive what you desire? Will you invite Jesus into the situation to help you understand your purpose, your plans, and your cause? Could today be the beginning of something incredible? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


What are you sowing? You realize the fruit is based on the seed, right?


Ever heard the saying you “you reap what you sow”? Your actions dictate the consequences. If someone reaps what they sow, they suffer or benefit as a result of their own actions. So how will you choose to live your life? What are you sowing? What are you planting in your life and the life of those you come in contact with? What are your intentions and motives that will take root from that seed? What fruit will get produced from the seeds that you are planting? Will the seeds you plant cause you to suffer or to benefit? What seeds are you allowing to take root in your heart and mind? When it starts to grow and produce fruit, will it be to your benefit or detriment? Will the fruit be something that you will be able to share and bless others with? Let’s consider what the Bible has to say on this subject, in the Amplified translation it says:

‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap. ‘

Galatians 6:7

So if we need to sow in order to reap, be it good or bad, we need to consider today as we step into this day both what we will sow and how we will sow. Will we sow good or evil? Will we sow love or hate? Will we sow hope or discouragement? Will we sow joy or sadness? Will we sow truth or lies? What will you decide to sow today, knowing that whatever you sow, this and this along is what you will reap?

The choice is yours! The decision is yours! It’s freewill and so you get to choose and you now know that whatever you choose will determine what you will get out of it! It can be good or bad, depends on what you plant!


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


From the Root to the Fruit


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;’

Proverbs 3:9

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you handle what you have? Are you being a good steward?
  • How do you or why do you acquire things? Don’t allow it to be out of greed!
  • Let’s remember the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it and so everything is His and we are to just be good stewards of what He gives us for the time we have.
  • Let’s remember that we are just borrowing it from God while we are here on earth.
  • Let’s be thankful for all that God has given us!
  • Let’s be take care of what we have been given by God!
  • Let’s be generous or as God’s Word puts it “hilarious givers” for His glory with what He has given us!
  • Let’s be giving from our firstfruits to God! Not the leftovers or the damaged but the best of the firstfruits!
  • Let’s give first to God from our increase, from our firstfruits before looking at how to spend it on ourselves.
  • Let’s overflow the love of God from our hearts!
  • Let’s overflow the love of God from our handiwork!
  • Let’s use what He has given us to honor and please God!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
As you think about your desires for things and your use of them, what brings a smile to God’s face, and what makes Him frown?
What is one thing you can do today to honor God with your possessions?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Plant a kernel of wheat and you reap a pint, plant a pint, and you reap a bushel. Always the law works to give you back more than you give.

Anthony Norvell

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Isaiah 43 (sefaria.org)
    • But now thus said the LORD— Who created you, O Jacob, Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I will redeem you; I have singled you out by name, You are Mine.
    • When you pass through water, I will be with you; Through streams, They shall not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire, You shall not be scorched; Through flame, It shall not burn you.
    • For I the LORD am your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
  • Isaiah 44 (sefaria.org)
  • Isaiah 45 (sefaria.org)

Ever checked out Acts 10 and learned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the gentiles or non-Jews? Ever checked out Acts 2 and learned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the Jews in the upper room? Are you ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit and receive power from God? Have you already received Jesus into your heart as Your Lord and Savior?

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 do you fill your tank with?


What is it that motivates you? What is it that keeps you on track? What is it that gives you direction? What is it that gives you the force to move forward or move on? What is it that is giving you momentum? What is it that keeps you aligned? What is it that keeps you focused? What is your source? What is it that keeps you loyal? What is it that keeps you going, no matter what?

Are you focused on God and His will and plans? Are you focused on the will of man and their selfish ambitions? Are you focused on God’s Word? Are you focused on the worlds instant gratification and greed? Are you focused on having your tank filled by God and then overflowing into the lives of others? Are you focused on getting as much as you can as quickly as you can? Are you more focused on the influx or the outflux in your life? Are you more interested in what you can get than what you can give?

Do you realize that what you allow into your heart makes a difference? Do you realize that how you fill up your life tank makes a difference? It can energize and motivate you or it can consume and corrode you. It is important in life to choose wisely! It is important in life to be blessed and be generous! It is more important in life to be a giver than a taker!

Do you realize how much God loves? God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but would have everlasting life! That’s right God loves so much that He is a giver! Do you realize that God loves so much that He even allows us to test Him with giving to see who can give more? Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you blessing without measure. That is right and God loves a hilarious giver, you may have heard cheerful but if you look into it deeper it is really that He loves a hilarious giver. So will you live to give or will you live to receive? Have you ever heard it is better to give than to receive? Did you realize that comes from the Bible? Check it out in Acts 20:35. So the cool part is that it isn’t a decision that will be forced on you but it is something you get to freely decide on your own. Will you choose to receive the gift of grace through Jesus or not? The choice is yours!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for April 17th


What’s in your box?


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 6:24
(You Cannot Serve God and Riches)

‘“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What is your one thing?
  • If you were given the opportunity to have 1 thing but it can be anything, what would you choose?
  • There are so many things competing for your attention, what will you choose?
  • There are so many things competing for your affection, what will you choose?
  • There are so many things competing for your heart, so what will you choose to rule over or fill your heart?
  • What are they offering you to try and convince you to choose them?
  • What are they tempting you with to try and convince you to choose them?
  • What do they have to offer that might capture your attention, if only for a moment?
  • Are they offering you pleasure?
  • Are they offering you thrills?
  • Are they offering you status?
  • Are they offering you the ability to impress?
  • Are they offering you the opportunity to escape?
  • But is what they are offering you real? Is what they are offering you going to last?
  • Where are you hearing such offers?
  • Is it in the office? Is it on TV? Is it through advertising? Is it on the billboard on that drive? Is it through friends? …
  • Are they trying to fulfill a dream that you have?
  • But who will you trust? Who will you go to? Who will you listen to? Who has what you really need?
  • Are you buying what they are selling?
  • Will they convince you to accept their offer or temptation?
  • Remember, you only can choose one thing! Like today’s verse tells us!
    • ‘“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.’ — Matthew 6:24
  • Consider these verses too…
    • Romans 6:16 – ‘ Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?’
    • 2 Peter 2:19 – ‘ They promise them liberty, when they themselves are the slaves of depravity and defilement–for by whatever anyone is made inferior or worse or is overcome, to that [person or thing] he is enslaved.’
  • In the busy things of life, in the noises that come along with it, will you stop and find a quiet place where you can listen for and hear that still quiet voice that will speak truth and life in love to you from the Holy Spirit?
  • Will you set time aside to turn to and listen to the one who will will speak the truth of who Jesus is and what God is offering you?
    • John 14:6 shares: ‘ Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.’
  • Will you choose God and accept His plan for you that gives you hope and a future?
  • Will you choose God and accept Jesus who came that you can have the adventure of v life and life more abundantly or to the full?
  • So what will you allow to fill your tank? your life? your box?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Identify some of the competing voices and their promises in your life.
  • TV – shows and ads
  • Radio – shows and ads
  • Internet – sites, stores, ads
  • Video games and ads
  • I have had to turn on ad blockers and even uninstall games because of the types of ads they play
  • I have had to turn to DVR shows so that I can skip ads or parts of shows
What have you had in your box in the past year or so? What are you putting in your box now?
  • God has been so critical to me over the past year to help me through some rough and tough times
  • He helped me keep from putting anger and frustration, bitterness and unforgiveness into my heart or allowing bitterness to take root

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Whatever you choose to serve becomes that which you worship.”  

IKE REIGHARD

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So what is it or who is it that you will serve? How will that impact your worship? How will that impact the rest of 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 would it take to put your life in someone else’s hands?


How much would you need to trust someone to put your life in their hands? Would they need to have a special qualification? Would they need to have a special relationship? Would they need to have a special job? Would they need to be close or even family? Would they have to have a medical background or even be a doctor? Would they have to have known you for a while? Would they have to know your heart and thoughts?

As I consider wills and estate planning it is something to consider. As I get older it is something to consider. But realistically things can happen to us outside of our control at any age that could put us in a position where we need someone else to speak for us, act for us, and for all practical reasons put our lives in someone else’s hands. Be it for a sickness. Be it for an injury. Be it for some other medical issue. Be it for some mental or emotional reason. It could happen and do you know who that power would or should go to? Is there someone who can speak when you can’t speak? Is there someone who can act when you can’t act? Is there someone you trust enough to put your life into their hands?

Would you give your life into someone’s hands? Would you submit your life into someone’s hands?

How much do you trust you family? How much do you trust your friends? How much do you trust your coworkers? How much do you trust God?

What would it take to put your life in someone else’s hands?


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


“Into Your hands”


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Luke 23:46

‘And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Imagine the crushing pain Jesus was feeling from the weight of the sins of the world and their punishment being placed on Him.
  • Even though God had to step back because those sins had been put upon Jesus and Jesus moaned “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” when it got to the last moment of His life, Jesus entrusted His life and His spirit into the hands of God.
  • Jesus trusted the Father completely and was able to give up His spirit to Him!
  • So when we face trials and troubles, let’s make our first response to turn to God and give our lives into His hands so that He can give us comfort and direction.
  • Don’t lose hope and don’t give up, give it to God! Put your trust and hope in Him!
  • Nothing is too big for God! All things are possible with God!
  • Worry changes nothing but prayer changes everything!
  • Let’s follow Jesus’ example and in all our ways acknowledge God so that He can make our paths straight!
  • When you feel alone, in a dark place, don’t give up turn to God and trust in God the Father, call on Him and lean on Him rather than your own understanding!
  • When we are facing challenges and troubles in life, let’s be life Jesus and call out to our Heavenly Father and tell Him that we are in His hands because we trust in Him!
  • Our faith will please God!
  • Our faith will open doors to answers and experiences we would never have expected!
  • Let’s take hold of the truth and the blessings that God cares for us!
  • Let’s cast our cares on God because He cares for us!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What have been some dark times in your life?
When we acknowledge that we are in God’s hands, what can we expect from Him?
  • a peace that surpasses all understanding in the midst of the pain and the confusion and the trials
  • a joy unspeakable in the midst of trials
  • a hope that comes in the midst of troubles

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

You can trust the man who died for you.” 

Lettie B. Cowman

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?


Will you honor your leaders by giving them control? Letting them choose?


As these questions come to mind it is very interesting to me to reflect on God’s working in and through my life and the leaders He has installed above me. Will you first give God control? Will you honor Him by giving Him control and the choice of how things will move forward? Will you trust God enough to do what He is calling you to do? Will you obey His calling even if it seems so much bigger than you? I remember learning that lesson many years back how nothing is bigger than God and how if He calls you to it, He will get you through it! In my case I resisted to the point of being given an ultimatum of stepping up into the position of president of the HOA or being nothing and so I went with God’s direction and accepted to step into the position of president of the HOA. I have learned through this that God is able to work through those He puts in authority over me too.

In my work I can remember the times when I was given options by my manager between two roles and asked which I would want. I shared my view of the two roles and that I wanted him to put me where it will help him the most. I remember a more recent experience where I thought I had arrived in the role that was for me when a new one came up and so I went to the head of our division and asked his opinion as I wanted to make sure I was in the role that would be most beneficial to him and the organization. To see the level to which he went to help me decide and how God opened the door so wide that I knew exactly which role to take helps me to this day to keep trusting God and those He puts in authority over me. There is always a reason and a purpose. We may not see it in the moment or understand it in the experience but there is always a reason and a purpose. God’s plan is good! God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future!

So be it at work, in volunteering, or at church, will you honor your leaders and give them control? Will you give them the power to choose for you?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 19th


One more night with the frogs


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Exodus 8:9-10

‘And Moses said to Pharaoh, “Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only.” So he said, “Tomorrow.” And he said, “ Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you stuck finding excuses for why you can’t or won’t or shouldn’t?
  • What would it take to go from can’t to can?
  • What would it take to go from won’t to will?
  • What would it take to go from shouldn’t to should?
  • What’s keeping you from deciding now?
  • Is it the fear that the situation may change?
  • Is it the worry that the problem might completely go away?
  • Is it the fear that someone else might come up with a better idea?
  • Is it the worry that something out of our control may happen and so any decision isn’t required?
  • Don’t allow fear to keep you from trying to clean up a mess!
  • Don’t allow worry to keep you from getting involved and making a difference!
  • Don’t just put up with the situation because you are afraid of making a mistake!
  • Are you stuck in a “why do today what we can put off till tomorrow” type of person?
  • You do realize that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed right?
  • So let’s think through decisions and start working on the problems today!
  • Sooner or later we are going to need to act!
  • Don’t be paralyzed by fear and find yourself procrastinating!
  • We can plan but don’t fall into analysis paralysis!
  • Having problems making decisions? What is the fear below the surface that is causing it?
  • How can you address those fears in order to be able to live out the bold and courage life that God has desired for you to live?
  • Let’s address the fears and replace them with faith so that we don’t need to be like pharaoh and have another night with frogs!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some fears that can lead to procrastination?
  • failure
  • mistakes
  • accidents
  • judgment
  • mocking
  • getting laughed at
How can someone address those fears so that they no longer interfere with life?
  • make it ok to fail as long as you learn from it and don’t make the same mistakes over and over
  • attack the problems rather than the people
  • build a healthy and supportive culture to work within

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

Abraham Lincoln

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So will you do today what God is calling you to accomplish? Will you do today what is in front of you since you know you aren’t guaranteed tomorrow? Will you trust God enough that you will allow your faith to rule over your fears in order to get done what God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish?

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?


God so loves you that…


Ever considered how much God loves you? Ever considered how God’s perfect love is so different from the conditional love of the world and that is how He loves you? Do you realize the extent to which God has gone to let you know how much He loves you?

Let’s check out some examples from God’s own Word:

  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16
  • Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. — John 15:13
  • But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:8
  • See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. — 1 John 3:1
  • There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. — 1 John 4:18
  • For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. — Jeremiah 29:11
  • The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. — Jeremiah 31:3
  • Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. — John 15:13
  • But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. — Psalm 86:15

God so loves us that He gave! God so loves us that He allows us to be called children of God! God so loves us that He created us on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose, and the plan is good, to prosper us, to give us a hope and a future, not to harm us!

So are you ready and willing to receive such a love from God? God is love! We know from 1 Corinthians 13 that love is defined as follows:

'Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. '

I Corinthians 13:4-8

Is today the day that you will say yes? Is today the day that the rest of your life will begin? Are you ready to receive love like you have never known nor felt before? Will you make today the day you accept the offer from God to “be mine”?


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

Everybody Needs A Shepherd

MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 23:1-3

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.’

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you proud of your heritage?
  • What do you brag about from it?
  • Does it tend to be individualistic?
  • Does your story speak of going it alone?
  • Christians are never alone! We have Emmanuel, God with us!
  • We have a shepherd who guides us!
  • We have a shepherd who directs us!
  • We have a shepherd who paid the price of freedom in order to be able to care for us, direct us.
  • He paid the price with the life of Jesus that frees us from the slavery to our sins.
  • We have a shepherd whose authority over us is shaped in and by love and so He demonstrates it through affection and attention to us.
  • Will you take the example of the Good Shepherd in order to be able to lead those entrusted to you as their good shepherd?
  • Will you be a shepherd who will love them?
  • Will you be a shepherd who will give them the affection and attention they need?
  • Will you be a shepherd who will lead the flock in order that they will find provision, and protection?
  • Will you be a shepherd who will be able to bring a peace and a security to his flock who may have a tendency to panic or even forget to trust you?
  • So let’s trust our Good Shepherd who is God!
  • Let’s trust Him because we know that He will lead us to plenty and peace!
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
As our Shepherd, what is God’s authority over us?
  • To care for us
  • To provide for us
  • To protect us
  • To pour out His affection for us
  • To provide us His peace that surpasses all understanding
  • To provide us His security in the midst of the storms and floods of life
As our Shepherd, what has God promised to do for us?
  • To provide for us and give us rest
  • To lead us and correct us
  • To provide a place for us
QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

This is a wise, sane Christian faith: that a man commit himself, his life, and his hopes to God; that God undertakes the special protection of that man; that therefore that man ought not to be afraid of anything.

George MacDonald

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Genesis 41
    • God’s timing is perfect!
    • Sometimes it takes time to get us ready! Sometimes it takes time to make sure others are ready!
    • Sometimes we need someone else to help us understand!
    • Remember to give God the credit! It isn’t you but God through you!
    • God can use dreams to prepare and inform us what is yet to come so that we won’t be surprised and can be prepared!
    • Knowing what God is about to do can allow and enable you to prepare and plan and execute on your role through it all!
    • If you need to deliver the message then do it with humility!
    • Allow God to bring healing for your past hurts so that you can forgive the past and move forward with the hopes and promises of God into the future!
  • Genesis 42
    • Do you know if the others have had a change of heart?
    • Do you know if they continue in their wicked ways?
    • How will you respond if you discover that they seemed to have changed for the better?
    • Will your past limit your future?
    • Will the events of your past taint your view of the future?

So are you ready to be loved like you have never been loved before? Are you ready to love like you have never loved before? Will you take hold of the reality of what love is? Do you realize that the Bible is God’s love letter to us? Have you ever listened to, watched, or read Father’s Love Letter?

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 kind of a giver are you?


Are you a good giver to those you love? Are you a good giver to those you know? Are you a good giver to those in need? Are you a good giver to strangers? Would you be considered a generous giver? Would you be considered a hilarious giver? What is your motivation for giving? What is your example for giving? What is your example for being generous? How have you learned to give?

Do you give out of compulsion? Do you give out of the overflow of your heart? Do you give because you want to or because you have to? Are your motivations to give God the glory or to get a pat on the back?


Today’s verse of the day comes to us from Luke 11:13 and says: “If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!”
‭‭— Luke‬ ‭11:13‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

Ever reflected on the reality that every good and perfect gift come from God? Have you asked God to send you the Holy Spirit? Have you asked God to speak to you through the Holy Spirit in order to have peace that surpasses all understanding? Have you asked God to speak to you through the Holy Spirit in order to have wisdom and discernment to be able to navigate this thing called life? Have you asked God to speak to you through the Holy Spirit in order to have instruction and direction for this situation you find yourself in? What would it take for you to get to the point of stopping yourself from trying to do it all on your own and in your own power and turn back to God and ask for help? Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us in producing good fruit so that in and through it all, God will receive the praise and the honor and the glory in Jesus’s name, Amen.


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? As we start our today, let’s reflect on 2020 and what lessons we have learned since they say that hindsight is 2020. With 3/4 of the year behind us now, what can we takeaway in order to help us move forward with the right mental attitude or put another way, with a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). What lessons can we take to help bring clarity for what is right in front of us?

The 49 week challenge
Day 286

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 286 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late.

The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

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

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


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

My Notes:

  • Hebrews 10
    • ‘The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, my God.’ ” First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.’
      Hebrews 10:1-39
  • Psalms 40
    • ‘I waited patiently for the Lord ; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord , who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened — burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord , as you know. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord ; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. Be pleased to save me, Lord ; come quickly, Lord , to help me. May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.’
      Psalms 40:1-17
  • Isaiah 26
    • ‘In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord , the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust. Feet trample it down— the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor. The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth. Yes, Lord , walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness. But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord . Lord , your hand is lifted high, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame; let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them. Lord , you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. Lord our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone do we honor. They are now dead, they live no more; their spirits do not rise. You punished them and brought them to ruin; you wiped out all memory of them. You have enlarged the nation, Lord ; you have enlarged the nation. You have gained glory for yourself; you have extended all the borders of the land. Lord , they came to you in their distress; when you disciplined them, they could barely whisper a prayer. As a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, Lord . We were with child, we writhed in labor, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth, and the people of the world have not come to life. But your dead will live, Lord ; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed on it; the earth will conceal its slain no longer.’
      Isaiah 26:1-21
  • Joshua 10
    • ‘Now Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and totally destroyed it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and had become their allies. He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters. So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon. “Come up and help me attack Gibeon,” he said, “because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.” Then the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it. The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.” So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites. On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal. Now the five kings had fled and hidden in the cave at Makkedah. When Joshua was told that the five kings had been found hiding in the cave at Makkedah, he said, “Roll large rocks up to the mouth of the cave, and post some men there to guard it. But don’t stop; pursue your enemies! Attack them from the rear and don’t let them reach their cities, for the Lord your God has given them into your hand.” So Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely, but a few survivors managed to reach their fortified cities. The whole army then returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah, and no one uttered a word against the Israelites. Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me.” So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks. Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” Then Joshua put the kings to death and exposed their bodies on five poles, and they were left hanging on the poles until evening. At sunset Joshua gave the order and they took them down from the poles and threw them into the cave where they had been hiding. At the mouth of the cave they placed large rocks, which are there to this day. That day Joshua took Makkedah. He put the city and its king to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it. He left no survivors. And he did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho. Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Makkedah to Libnah and attacked it. The Lord also gave that city and its king into Israel’s hand. The city and everyone in it Joshua put to the sword. He left no survivors there. And he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho. Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Libnah to Lachish; he took up positions against it and attacked it. The Lord gave Lachish into Israel’s hands, and Joshua took it on the second day. The city and everyone in it he put to the sword, just as he had done to Libnah. Meanwhile, Horam king of Gezer had come up to help Lachish, but Joshua defeated him and his army—until no survivors were left. Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Lachish to Eglon; they took up positions against it and attacked it. They captured it that same day and put it to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it, just as they had done to Lachish. Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron and attacked it. They took the city and put it to the sword, together with its king, its villages and everyone in it. They left no survivors. Just as at Eglon, they totally destroyed it and everyone in it. Then Joshua and all Israel with him turned around and attacked Debir. They took the city, its king and its villages, and put them to the sword. Everyone in it they totally destroyed. They left no survivors. They did to Debir and its king as they had done to Libnah and its king and to Hebron. So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord , the God of Israel, had commanded. Joshua subdued them from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza and from the whole region of Goshen to Gibeon. All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the Lord , the God of Israel, fought for Israel. Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.’
      Joshua 10:1-43

As day 286 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you generous or do you need to be challenged to be generous?


Are you a giver or a taker? Are you an encourager or a discourager? Are you are builder or a wrecker? If the opportunity to be generous comes up are you ready to give? It isn’t about the amount but rather the heart. We know and see this when we read in the bible about the widows mite where Jesus says ‘Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”’ So it isn’t about the quantity, it is about the heart! Are you ready to give in and out of season? Ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you? Are you looking for opportunities to fill the gap? Are you looking for opportunities to give help? Are you looking for opportunities to meet a need? Are you ready to be generous? Is there anyone who encourages you to be generous? Are you an encourager who encourages others to be generous? Are you a joyous giver? Are you a hilarious giver? Are you a cheerful giver?


June in the rearview mirror
Hindsight is 2020. How will you address the need and desire for a clear vision forward?

The 49 week challenge – Day 206

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 206 link to join me and sign up.

With June in the rear view mirror, let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

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

Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:


My Notes:

  • Today’s reading starts on the subject of giving in 2 Corinthians 9:
    • ‘There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given. Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!’ — 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
  • Today’s reading continues with Psalms 112:
    • ‘Praise the Lord . Blessed are those who fear the Lord , who find great delight in his commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever. Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord . Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honor. The wicked will see and be vexed, they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.’ — Psalms 112:1-10
  • Today’s reading concludes with Nehemiah 5:
    • ‘Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews. Some were saying, “We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain.” Others were saying, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.” Still others were saying, “We have had to borrow money to pay the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards. Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our fellow Jews and though our children are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others.” When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry. I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles and officials. I told them, “You are charging your own people interest!” So I called together a large meeting to deal with them and said: “As far as possible, we have bought back our fellow Jews who were sold to the Gentiles. Now you are selling your own people, only for them to be sold back to us!” They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say. So I continued, “What you are doing is not right. Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies? I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let us stop charging interest! Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the interest you are charging them—one percent of the money, grain, new wine and olive oil.” “We will give it back,” they said. “And we will not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say.” Then I summoned the priests and made the nobles and officials take an oath to do what they had promised. I also shook out the folds of my robe and said, “In this way may God shake out of their house and possessions anyone who does not keep this promise. So may such a person be shaken out and emptied!” At this the whole assembly said, “Amen,” and praised the Lord . And the people did as they had promised. Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year—twelve years—neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. But the earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land. Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations. Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people. Remember me with favor, my God, for all I have done for these people.’ — Nehemiah 5:1-19

As day 206 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
The Sinner’s Prayer

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 legacy do you want to leave?


Are you interested in the one? Are you interested in yourself? Are you interested in others? Are you interested in helping one? Are you interested in helping a multitude?

Will you give them fish to help them for a day? Will you teach them to fish and help them for a lifetime? Will you help them build a fish pond and set them up to help generations to come?

What are you saying? What are you doing? Is it a matter of the heart or are you just going through the motions and not really in it? Do you believe? Are you pretending? What’s it going to take for it to be real? Are you acting out of love? Are you acting out of fear?

God sees beyond the surface! God knows your heart! God knows your every thought! Nothing is hidden from Him!

Why not turn back to Jesus! Why not invite Him into your life? Why not allow Him into your heart? Why not follow after Him and His lead and His example? Be transformed! Be renewed! And be for real! No more acting! Be true! No more pretending! Be real!

This world needs you to be! Live in a way that will leave a legacy! Be transformed! Bring transformation around you!


Today’s reading continues in the book of Isaiah…

Night Vision of Ariel

1Oy , Ariel, Ariel! City where David camped. Year to year again—festivals in a cycle. 2But I will distress Ariel. There will be lamenting and moaning— then will she be like Ariel to Me? 3I will encamp against you all around, I will set up siege-works against you and will raise up ramps against you. 4You will be brought low, you will speak from the ground. From the dust where you are prostrate your speech will come. Your voice will be like a ghost out of the ground, and your speech will whisper out of the dust. 5Yet the multitude of your foes will become like fine dust, and the multitude of the terrifying like chaff that passes away. It will happen in an instant, suddenly. 6You will be visited by Adonai-Tzva’ot with thunder, earthquake, huge noise, whirlwind and storm-wind, and the flame of a consuming fire. 7It will be like a dream, a night vision: the multitude of all the nations warring against Ariel, yes, all warring against her, the ramparts around her and her besiegers. 8It will be like a hungry man dreaming and behold, he is eating, but awakes with his hunger unsatisfied, or like a thirsty man dreaming and behold, he is drinking, but awakes faint, his soul thirsting. So it will be with the multitude of all the nations warring against Mount Zion. 9Wait, and be astounded! Blind yourselves, and be blind! Drunk, but not with wine, Stagger, but not with strong drink. 10For Adonai has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep, and has shut your eyes—the prophets, and covered your heads—the seers. 11So this entire vision is for you like the words of a sealed scroll, which they give to one who knows books, saying, “Read this, please,” but he says, “I can’t, because it’s sealed.” 12Then the scroll is given to one who does not know books, saying, “Read this, please,” but he says, “I don’t know books.” 13So Adonai says, “Since these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, yet their hearts are far from Me, and their fear of Me is a mitzvah taught by men. 14Therefore, behold, once more I will do a marvelous work among this people— a marvel and a wonder— so the wisdom of their wise will perish, and the discernment of their discerning will be concealed.” 15Oy , those who go to great depths to hide their plans from Adonai! Their works are in the dark. They say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?” 16Your perversity! Should the potter be regarded the same as the clay? Should the thing made say to its maker, “You did not make me”? Or the thing formed say of its former, “You have no understanding?” 17Will it not be just a very little while before Lebanon turns into a garden, and a garden will seem like a forest? 18In that day the deaf will hear words of a book, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. 19The meek will add to their joy in Adonai, and the needy of humanity will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20For the ruthless will come to an end and the scorner will be finished, and all watching to do evil cut off. 21Those who make a man out to be guilty with a word, and trap him who reproves at the gate, and deny justice with meaninglessness. 22Therefore, thus says Adonai, Redeemer of Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: “Jacob will no longer be ashamed, no longer will his face grow pale; 23for when he sees his children, the work of My hands in his midst, they will sanctify My Name; they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24Those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur will learn instruction.”

–from Isaiah 29

Wondering where to start? Wondering where to turn? Wondering where to go?

Turn to God! Ask Jesus into your heart! Ask Him to give you eyes to see and ears to hear! Ask Him to give you wisdom! Open His Word! Read His Word daily! Open the Bible! Don’t have one and want one? You can read it online at http://bible.com! You can read it on your phone by getting the Bible app at http://bible.com/app! You can get paper versions at bookstores or contact a local church or ask a friend (if they are like me, they have several)! It’s God’s love letter to us! It’s a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path! It’s a book of wisdom, instruction, direction, hope, love! (more free resources…)

No Help In Egypt

1“Oy , the rebellious children” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “Who carry out a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Ruach, so they may add sin to sin, 2who go down to Egypt, but did not consult Me, to take refuge in Pharaoh’s stronghold, to seek shelter in Egypt’s shadow. 3Therefore Pharaoh’s stronghold will become your shame, and the shelter in Egypt’s shadow will become your disgrace. 4For though their princes are at Zoan and their ambassadors reach Hanes, 5they will all be ashamed of a people who cannot profit them. They are neither help nor profit, but shame and disgrace.” 6The burden concerning the beasts of the Negev: Through a land of trouble and anguish, in which are lioness and lion, viper and flying serpent, they are carrying their riches on the backs of young donkeys, their treasures on camel humps, to a people who cannot profit them. 7Egypt’s help is futile and pointless. Therefore I have called her “Rahab who just sits.”

Witness Against False Prophets

8Now go, write it on a tablet for them and inscribe it in a scroll, so that it may be as a witness for the last day, forever. 9For this is a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to obey the Torah of Adonai. 10They say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right. Speak to us smooth words. Prophesy illusions. 11Get out of the way! Turn away from the path! Let’s hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.” 12Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: “Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and rely on perversity, 13therefore this sin will be to you like a crack bulging in a high wall, about to fall— its collapse comes suddenly, in an instant! 14Its collapse is like smashing a clay jar, so ruthlessly shattered that a shard will not be found among the pieces to take fire from the hearth or scoop water from the cistern.”

Longing to Be Gracious

15For thus says Adonai Elohim, the Holy One of Israel: “By repentance and rest you are saved, in quietness and trust is your strength— but you were not willing.” 16But you said, “No, we will flee on horses!” Therefore you will flee. And, “We will ride on swift horses!” Therefore your pursuers will be swift. 17A thousand will flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you will flee, until you are left like a flag on the top of a mountain, and like a banner on a hill. 18Therefore Adonai is longing to be gracious to you. Thus He will be exalted, so He may have mercy on you. For Adonai is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him. 19For the people of Zion who are dwelling in Jerusalem will weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. When He hears you, He will answer. 20Though Adonai gives you the bread of adversity and the water of oppression, your teachers will no longer be hidden, but your eyes will see your teachers. 21Your ears will hear a word behind you saying: “This is the way, walk in it. When you turn to the right, or when you turn to the left.” 22You will defile your graven images overlaid with silver, and your metal images covered with gold. You will throw them away like a menstrual cloth. You will say, “Be gone!” 23Then He will give you rain for your seed, which you will sow in the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed in wide-open pasture. 24The oxen and the young donkeys that till the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and pitchfork. 25There will be, on every high mountain and on every lofty hill, streams running with water— on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter— like the light of seven days— in the day Adonai binds up the brokenness of His people, and heals the wounds He inflicted. 27Look, Adonai’s Name comes from afar, burning with His anger, in thick rising smoke, His lips full of indignation, His tongue like a consuming fire, 28His Ruach like an overflowing torrent rising up to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of the worthless, to put in the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads away. 29You will have songs as in the night when you keep a holy festival, and gladness of heart like one walking with the flute to go to the mountain of Adonai, to the Rock of Israel.

Punishing Rod

30Adonai will make His glorious voice heard, and reveal His arm descending with fierce fury in a consuming fire, in cloudburst, rainstorm and hailstones. 31For at the voice of Adonai, Assyria will be terrified— when He strikes with the rod. 32Every stroke of His punishing rod that Adonai brings down on him —with tambourines and harps, and battles brandishing His arm— He will fight against them. 33For Topheth has long been ready, prepared for the king, its fire pit made deep and wide, a pyre of fire with plenty of wood. The breath of Adonai, like a torrent of brimstone, sets it aflame.

–from Isaiah 30

We don’t have to be stuck in our old ways! We can choose to have a new start! We can choose to be born again! We can choose to be transformed! We can ask Jesus in and allow His hope to fill us up! We can leave the past where it belongs behind us! We can stop allowing setbacks to define us and just let them be a setup for a comeback! We need to put our trust in God! We need to start a living relationship with Jesus! And then let’s move forward transformed for the glory of God! While you are living, it’s never too late to start believing in Jesus! So why not you? Why not now? Why not right where you are right now?

Jesus gave His life on the cross so that we can live! Don’t allow it to be for nothing! Receive it!

Lazarus Is Dead

1Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Miriam and her sister Martha. 2This was the same Miriam who anointed the Master with perfume and wiped His feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. 3So the sisters sent a word to Yeshua, saying, “Master, the one you love is sick!” 4When Yeshua heard this, He said, “This sickness will not end in death. It is for God’s glory, so that Ben-Elohim may be glorified through it.” 5Now Yeshua loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6However, when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was for two more days. 7Then after this, He said to His disciples, “Let’s go up to Judea again.” 8“Rabbi,” the disciples say to Him, “just now the Judean leaders were trying to stone You! And You’re going back there again?” 9Yeshua answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours in the day? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of the world. 10But if a man should walk around at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11After He said this, He tells them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I’m going there to wake him up.” 12So the disciples said to Him, “Master, if he has fallen asleep, he will get better.” 13Now Yeshua had spoken about his death, but they thought He was talking about ordinary sleep. 14Then Yeshua told them clearly, “Lazarus is dead! 15I’m glad for your sake I wasn’t there, so that you may believe. Anyway, let’s go to him!” 16Then Thomas called the Twin said to the other disciples, “Let’s go too, so that we may die with Him!”

Comforting the Mourners

17So when Yeshua arrived, He discovered that Lazarus had been in the tomb already for four days. 18Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19and many of the Judeans had come to Martha and Miriam to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Yeshua was coming, she went out to meet Him; but Miriam sat in the house. 21Martha said to Yeshua, “Master, if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died! 22But I know, even now, that whatever You may ask of God, He will give You.” 23Yeshua said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to Him, “I know, he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Yeshua said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life! Whoever believes in Me, even if he dies, shall live. 26And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27She says to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, Ben-Elohim who has come into the world.” 28After she said this, she left and secretly told her sister Miriam, “The Teacher is here, and He’s calling for you.” 29As soon as Miriam heard, she quickly got up and was coming to Him. 30Now Yeshua had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met Him. 31The Judeans, who were with Miriam in the house and comforting her, seeing how quickly she got up and went out, followed her. They thought she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32So when Miriam came to where Yeshua was, she saw Him and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died!” 33When Yeshua saw her weeping, and the Judeans who came with her weeping, He was deeply troubled in spirit and Himself agitated. 34“Where have you laid him?” He asked. “Come and see, Master,” they tell Him. 35Yeshua wept. 36So the Judeans said, “See how He loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Couldn’t this One, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have also kept this man from dying?”

Yeshua’s Word Raises the Dead

38So Yeshua, again deeply troubled within Himself, comes to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Yeshua says, “Roll away the stone!” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to Him, “Master, by this time he stinks! He’s been dead for four days!” 40Yeshua says to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they rolled away the stone. Yeshua lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard Me. 42I knew that You always hear Me; but because of this crowd standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43And when He had said this, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44He who had been dead came out, wrapped in burial clothes binding his hands and feet, with a cloth over his face. And Yeshua tells them, “Cut him loose, and let him go!”

Better that One Man Die

45Therefore many of the Judeans, who had come to Miriam and had seen what Yeshua had done, put their trust in Him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Yeshua had done. 47So the ruling kohanim and Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we doing?” they asked. “This Man is performing many signs! 48If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our holy place and our nation.” 49But one of them, Caiaphas, who was kohen gadol that year, said to them, “You know nothing! 50You don’t take into account that it is better for you that one man die for the people rather than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” 51Now he did not say this by himself; but as the kohen gadol that year, he prophesied that Yeshua would die for the nation. 52And not for the nation only, but also so that He might gather together into one the scattered children of God. 53So from that day on, they plotted to kill Him. 54Therefore Yeshua no longer walked openly among the Judeans, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with His disciples. 55Now the Jewish Passover was near; and many people went up out of the regions to Jerusalem before Passover, to purify themselves. 56So they were searching for Yeshua, saying to one another as they stood in the Temple, “What do you think? Won’t He come to the feast at all?” 57Now the ruling kohanim and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it so that they might arrest Him.

–from John 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing is impossible with God!


Is the load on you too heavy? Have you considered giving any of it over to God? Is the work too much? Have you considered giving any of it up to God? Is the stress to much? Have you considered not carrying it all on your own? Would you be up for a swap? Would you be up for some help? Do you realize there is help available? Do you realize that if you will trade the yoke on your shoulders with the one on Jesus’ shoulders you will be in for a better ride? Jesus’ yoke is told of this way:

29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

–from Matthew 11:29-30

It may be hard but it’s not impossible! It may look high but it’s not impossible! It may seem deep but it’s not impossible! It may seem rough but it’s not impossible!

Nothing is impossible for God!
Nothing is impossible with God!

The battle belongs to God! So don’t try to fight it on your own! You may have a part, but He is in control! You may have a role, but the battle belongs to the Lord! God’s army is greater than anything the devil can throw against you! There are more that are for you than there are who are against you!


Today’s reading begins in 2 Kings…

Floating Ax Head

1Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Behold now, the place where we are living in your presence is too cramped for us. 2So please, let’s go to the Jordan and pick from there each one a beam, and make ourselves a place there to live.” “Go,” he answered. 3Then one of them said, “Will you please come with your servants?” “I will go,” he answered. 4So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they began to cut down trees. 5But as one of them was cutting down a beam, the axe-head fell into the water; and he cried, and said, “Ah, my master! It was borrowed.” 6Then the man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it there, and made the ax head float. 7Then he said, “Pick it up for yourself.” So he reached out his hand and took it.

Fiery Armies of Heaven

8Now the king of Aram was warring against Israel. He consulted with his officers, saying, “In such and such a place will be my camp.” 9But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, saying, “Be careful not to pass this place, for the Arameans are coming down there.” 10So the king of Israel sent word to the place the man of God told him and warned him about, and so he was on his guard there—more than once or twice. 11His heart upset over this matter, the king of Aram summoned his officers and said to them, “Tell me, which one of us is on the king of Israel’s side?” 12But one of his officers said, “No, my lord the king. Rather, Elisha the prophet who is in Israel keeps telling the king of Israel the very words that you speak in your bedroom!” 13So he said, “Go, see where he is, so I may send and seize him.” Then it was reported to him, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” 14So he sent horses, chariots and a great army there. They arrived at night and surrounded the city. 15Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was surrounding the city. So his attendant said to him, “Alas, my master! What are we going to do?” 16“Fear not,” he replied, “for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17Then Elisha prayed and said, “Adonai, please open his eyes that he may see.” Then Adonai opened the eyes of the young man and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to Adonai and said, “Please strike this people with blinding light.” So He struck them with blinding light according to the word of Elisha. 19Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the road, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man whom you seek.” So he led them to Samaria. 20Upon their arrival in Samaria, Elisha said, “Adonai, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So Adonai opened their eyes, and they could see—behold, they were in the middle of Samaria. 21When the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “Shall I surely strike them down, Avi?” 22“Don’t strike them down,” he replied. “Would you strike down those whom you have captured with your own sword and bow? Set before them bread and water that they may eat and drink and go back to their master.” 23So he prepared a great feast for them. After they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went back to their master. Ever since, the marauding bands of Aram stopped invading the land of Israel. 24Now it came to pass after this, that King Ben-hadad of Aram gathered all his army and marched against Samaria and besieged it. 25Now there was a great famine in Samaria, since they were besieging it, until a donkey’s head was sold for 80 pieces of silver, and the quarter of a kav of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver. 26As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him saying, “My lord the king, help!” 27But he said, “If Adonai doesn’t help you, how would I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the winepress?” 28Then the king asked her, “What’s the matter with you?” She answered, “This woman said to me: ‘Give your son that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I told her: ‘Give your son that we may eat him’—but she hid her son.” 30Now it came to pass when the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes—as he was passing by on the wall, the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth underneath upon his flesh. 31Then he said, “May God do so to me and even more, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today.” 32Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king had sent a messenger ahead, yet even before the messenger arrived, Elisha said to the elders, “Do you see, this son of a murderer was sent to take away my head! Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold the door fast against him. Is not the sound of his master’s footsteps behind him?” 33While he was yet talking with them, behold, the messenger came down to him. So the king said, “Look! This evil is from Adonai—why should I wait for Adonai any longer?”

–from 2 Kings 6

Ever noticed that even when you believe for the big things others may not have the faith to believe? Just because they struggle doesn’t mean you have to! Trust in God! Believe in Him and His Word! Don’t lose hope! Don’t lose faith! Remember that nothing is impossible for God!

Scattering an Aramean Army

1Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of Adonai. Thus says Adonai: Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will sell for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.” 2Then the officer on whose hand the king was leaning responded to the man of God and said, “Look, even if Adonai should make windows in heaven, could this thing happen?” He announced, “Behold, you will see it with your own eyes, but will not eat any of it!” 3Now there were four men with tza’arat at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why should we sit here till we die? 4If we say: ‘Let’s go into the city,’ then the famine is in the city, so we will die there; but if we sit still here, we’ll die also. So come, let’s go into the camp of the Arameans. If they spare us, we’ll live; and if they kill us, we’ll just die.” 5So they got up at twilight to go to the camp of the Arameans. But when they arrived at the edge of the Aramean camp, behold, no one was there! 6For Adonai had caused the army of the Arameans to hear a noise of chariots and a noise of horses—indeed a noise of a huge army. So they said one to another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians to assault us.” 7So they got up and fled at twilight, abandoning their tents, their horses and their donkeys—the entire camp just as it was—and fled for their lives. 8When these men with tza’arat came to the edge of the camp, they entered into one tent, ate and drank, and took from there silver, gold, and clothes, then went and hid them. Then they returned and went into another tent, and took from there too, and went and hid them. 9Then they said to each other, “It’s not right, what we’re doing. This day is a day of good news, and we’re keeping silent! If we wait till the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go now and report to the king’s household.” 10So they came and called out to the city gatekeepers, and told them, “We went to the camp of the Arameans, and look, there was not a single soul there, no human voice—just the horses and the donkeys tied up, and the tents just as they were.” 11Then the gatekeepers called out, and it was reported to the royal palace inside. 12When the king got up in the night, he said to his courtiers, “Let me tell you now what the Arameans have contrived against us. They know that we are hungry, so they went out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, thinking, ‘When they come out of the city, we’ll capture them alive and get into the city.’” 13But one of his courtiers answered and said, “Please let some men take five of the remaining horses left in the city—look, they are just like the whole multitude left in it, and look, they will be just like the whole multitude of Israel that has already perished—so let’s send and see.” 14So they took two chariots with horses, and the king sent them after the army of the Arameans, saying, “Go and see.” 15They went after them to the Jordan, and behold, all the way was strewn with clothes and equipment, which the Arameans had thrown away in their haste. Then the messengers returned and reported to the king. 16So the people went out and ransacked the camp of the Arameans. Then a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel—just as was the word of Adonai. 17Now the king appointed the officer on whose hand he leaned, to have charge of the gate—but the people trampled on him at the gate, and he died—just as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him. 18For when the man of God had spoken to the king, “Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, will be tomorrow about this time at the gate of Samaria,” 19that officer had answered the man of God and said, “Look, even if Adonai should make windows in heaven, could such a thing happen?” and he replied, “Behold, you will see it with your own eyes, but will not eat any of it!” 20That’s what happened to him—for the people trampled on him at the gate, and he died.

–from 2 Kings 7

Don’t miss out because of lack of faith and hope and trust in God! Don’t give up because of what your eyes see or ears hear or mind thinks! Turn to God! Listen to what He says! Be obedient and trust Him with all you have! Give it up to Him who is able to multiply it! Give it up to Him who is able to exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine! He knows what we need before we even ask! You can’t surprise God! So choose to follow Him! Choose to give the little you have into His hands so that He can take it and multiply it and meet your needs! Let’s then give Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bless the Maker of Heaven and Earth

1Not to us, Adonai, not to us, but to Your Name be the glory— because of Your love and Your faithfulness. 2Why should the nations say: “Where is their God now?” 3Our God is in the heavens— He does whatever pleases Him! 4Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. 5They have mouths, but cannot speak; eyes, but cannot see. 6They have ears, but cannot hear; noses, but cannot smell. 7They have hands, but cannot feel; feet, but cannot walk, nor utter a sound with their throat. 8Those making them will become like them —everyone trusting in them. 9O Israel, trust in Adonai— He is their help and their shield! 10O house of Aaron, trust in Adonai— He is their help and their shield! 11O you who fear Adonai, trust in Adonai— He is their help and their shield! 12Adonai has been mindful of us, He will bless: He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron; 13He will bless those who fear Adonai, the small together with the great. 14May Adonai increase you more and more —you and your children. 15May you be blessed by Adonai, Maker of heaven and earth. 16The heavens are the heavens of Adonai, but the earth He gave to the children of men. 17The dead do not praise Adonai, nor do any who go down into silence. 18But we—we will bless Adonai both now and forever. Halleluyah!

–from Psalms 115

Don’t lose your soul over stuff! Don’t give away what you have to someone who won’t use it for God’s plans! Don’t waste! Don’t be tricked! Don’t be fooled! Don’t make a deal with the devil! Seek God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength so that you will find wisdom for your very situation! Let’s make sure we choose wisely so that our names are in the book of life! We all have the chance and the opportunity to make the decision for ourselves. So choose life! Ask Jesus into your heart before it is too late! Follow after Him all the days of your life – as long or as short as it may be! Choose life!

The Vile Prostitute and the Beast

1Then one of the seven angels holding the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the sentencing of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. 2The earth’s kings committed sexual immorality with her, and those who dwell on the earth got drunk with the wine of her immorality.” 3So he carried me away in the Ruach into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls. She was holding a golden cup in her hand full of detestable things and the filth of her immorality, 5and on her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes and the detestable things of the earth.” 6And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the kedoshim and with the blood of the witnesses of Yeshua. When I saw her, I was totally astounded. 7But the angel said to me, “Why are you astonished? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8The beast that you saw was, and is not, and yet is about to rise up from the abyss and head for destruction. Those who dwell on the earth—whose names have not been written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world—will be astonished when they see the beast, because he was and is not and is to come. 9“This calls for a mind having wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated. They are also seven kings— 10five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. 11The beast that was and is not—he himself is the eighth, and is one of the seven, and is heading for destruction. 12The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. 13These kings are of one mind, and they give their power and authority to the beast. 14They will make war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them—because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful.” 15Then he tells me, “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. 16The ten horns that you saw, and the beast—these will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire. 17For God has put it into their hearts to do His will, and to be of one mind, and to give their royal power to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled. 18And the woman that you saw is the great city exercising kingship over the kings of the earth.”

–from TheRevelation 17

Stand for what is right! Stand for what is true! Stand for what is just! It’s about God’s will!

Don’t allow lies and deception to sway you from doing what God has called you to do!

Choose to love! Choose truth! Choose to speak the truth in love!

Jesus paid it all! All to Him I owe! He too my bad and turned it into good!

Brought Before Pilate

1Then the entire assembly got up and brought Yeshua to Pilate. 2And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow subverting our nation, forbidding payment of taxes to Caesar and saying that He Himself is Messiah—a king.” 3So Pilate questioned Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” “As you say,” Yeshua replied. 4Then Pilate said to the ruling kohanim and the crowds, “I find no case against this Man.” 5But they kept insisting, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, starting from the Galilee to as far as here.” 6But when Pilate heard this, he asked whether the Man was a Galilean. 7And when he learned that Yeshua was from Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

Brought Before Herod

8Now Herod was overjoyed when he saw Yeshua, for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had heard about Him and was hoping to see some miracle done by Him. 9He was questioning Yeshua on many issues, but Yeshua did not answer at all. 10And the ruling kohanim and the Torah scholars stood their ground, strongly accusing Him. 11Now Herod together with his soldiers were treating Him with contempt and mocking Him. They put splendid clothing on Him and sent Him back to Pilate. 12And Herod and Pilate became friends with one another from that very day, for previously they had been enemies with one another.

Pilate’s Decree

13Now Pilate called together the ruling kohanim, the leaders, and the people. 14And he said to them, “You brought this Man to me as one who incites the people to revolt. But having examined Him in your presence, I have found no case against this Man regarding what you accuse Him of doing. 15Nor did Herod, for he sent Him back to us. Indeed, He has done nothing that is worthy of death. 16Therefore I will scourge Him and release Him.” 17[footnote: Some mss. add: Now Pilate needed to release one prisoner to them at the feast.] 18But they shouted out all together, saying, “Take this fellow away! Release to us Bar-Abba!” 19(He was someone who had been thrown into prison for a rebellion in the city and murder.) 20Again Pilate addressed them, wanting to release Yeshua; 21but they kept shouting out, saying, “Execute, execute Him!” 22And a third time he spoke to them, “Why? What evil has this One done? I have found in Him no fault deserving of death. Therefore, I will scourge and release Him.” 23But they were insistent, demanding with loud shouts that He be executed. And their voices prevailed. 24So Pilate decreed that their demand be put into effect. 25And He released the one they were asking for, the one thrown in jail for insurrection and murder. But he handed over Yeshua to their will.

Executed on the Stake

26As they led Him away, they grabbed a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the countryside. They placed on him the cross-beam, to carry behind Yeshua. 27Now a great multitude of people was following Him, including women who were mourning and singing dirges for Him. 28But Yeshua, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but for yourselves and your children. 29For indeed, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are barren, and the wombs that never gave birth, and the breasts that did not feed.’ 30’Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ 31”For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 32Others, two evildoers, were also led away to be put to death with Him. 33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him and the evildoers, one on His right and the other on His left. 34But Yeshua was saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Then they cast lots, dividing up His clothing. 35The people stood there watching. And even the leaders were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Messiah of God, the Chosen One!” 36The soldiers likewise mocked Him, coming up and bringing Him sour wine, 37and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” 38Now there was also an inscription over Him: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 39One of the evildoers hanging there was jeering at Him, saying, “Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself—and us!” 40But the other one, rebuking him, replied, “Don’t you fear God, since you are under the same sentence? 41We’re getting what we deserve for our actions, and rightly so—but this One has done nothing wrong.” 42And he said, “Yeshua, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” 43Yeshua said to him, “Amen, I tell you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Temple Curtain Torn in Two

44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45for the sun died out. And the curtain of the Temple was torn in two. 46And Yeshua, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I entrust My spirit.’” When He had said this, He breathed His last. 47Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began glorifying God, saying, “Truly this was a righteous Man.” 48And all the crowds assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had happened, began to turn back, beating their breasts. 49But all Yeshua’s acquaintances, and the women who were following Him from the Galilee, were standing at a distance, watching these things.

Buried in a Rich Man’s Tomb

50Now there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and righteous man. 51(He had not been in agreement with the council and their action.) He was from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52This man went to Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body. 53And he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut out of the rock, where no one had ever yet been laid. 54Now it was the Day of Preparation, and Shabbat was approaching. 55The women who had come with Him from the Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how His body was laid. 56Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. But on Shabbat they rested according to the commandment.

–from Luke 23

Will you follow thru in order get your inheritance?


What if you saw something and wanted it? Would you be willing to do something to get it? Would you be willing to give up something to get it? Would you be willing to lead the way knowing that you won’t get any of that stuff because you are choosing to get something you wanted? How much would you be willing to do for the benefit of others? How obedient would you be to your calling in order to bless others?

As we ponder these questions, let’s review what is in today’s reading…

Settling the East Side

1The sons of Reuben and Gad had very large herds and flocks, and, they saw that the territory of Jazer and Gilead were ideal for livestock.
2So the sons of Reuben and Gad came and said to Moses, Eleazar the kohen, and the princes of the community saying,
3“Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon—
4the territory Adonai conquered before the community of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock.”
5Then they said, “If we have found favor in your eyes, let this territory be given to your servants as a possession. Don’t make us cross the Jordan.”
6Moses replied to the sons of Gad and Reuben, “Should your countrymen go to war while you dwell here?
7Why do you dishearten Bnei-Yisrael from going across to the land that Adonai has given to them?
8Your fathers did this when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land.
9They went up to the Valley of Eshcol and viewed the land, but they discouraged the hearts of Bnei-Yisrael not to enter the land which Adonai had given them.
10The anger of Adonai was aroused that day, and He swore an oath saying:
11‘The men who came out of Egypt, from 20 years old and upward, will not see the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for they have not followed after Me with a whole heart—
12except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they were wholehearted after Adonai.’
13The anger of Adonai burned against Israel and He caused them to wander in the wilderness 40 years until all the generation doing that evil in Adonai’s sight was gone.
14“Now look, here you stand in the place of your fathers as a brood of sinful men to add more to Adonai’s great wrath against Israel!
15If you turn away from Him, He will repeat again leaving this people in the wilderness, you being the cause of this people’s destruction.”
16Then they came up to him and said, “We will build sheepfolds for our livestock and cities for our children.
17But we are prepared to arm ourselves and go ahead of Bnei-Yisrael until we have brought them to their place. Our children will live in the cities fortified against the inhabitants of the land.
18We will not return to our homes until each one of Bnei-Yisrael has received his inheritance.
19Yet we will not inherit with them on the side beyond the Jordan, since our inheritance has come on the east side of the Jordan.”
20Moses said to them, “If you will do this—if you will arm yourselves for battle for Adonai,
21and if all of you cross the Jordan until Adonai has driven His enemies from before Him
22and the land is subdued before Adonai—then afterward you may return and be free before Adonai and Israel. Then this territory will be your possession before Adonai.
23“But if you don’t do this, behold, you sin against Adonai! Be assured! Your sin will find you out!
24Build for yourselves cities for your children and pens for your flocks. Then do what has come out of your mouth.”
25The sons of Gad and Reuben said to Moses saying, “Your servants will do just as my lord is commanding.
26Our children, our wives, our flocks, and all of our herds will remain here in the cities of Gilead.
27But your servants, every one armed for battle, will cross over for the war before Adonai, just as my lord says.”
28Moses then gave orders about them to Eleazar the kohen, Joshua son of Nun, and to the chiefs of the fathers of the tribes of Bnei-Yisrael.
29Moses said to them, “If the sons of Gad and Reuben cross over the Jordan with you, everyone armed for battle before Adonai, when the land is subdued before you, then give them the territory of Gilead as a possession.
30However, if they do not cross over fully armed, they are to possess the land of Canaan with you.”
31The sons of Gad and Reuben answered saying, “What Adonai has said to your servants, so we will do.
32We will cross fully armed before Adonai into Canaan, but our inheritance will be on this side of the Jordan.”
33Moses then gave to them—the sons of Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, son of Joseph—the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og, king of Bashan—the land with its cities and the territory around the cities.
34The sons of Gad built up Dibon, Ataroth and Aroer,
35as well as Atroh-shophan, Jazer and Jogbehah,
36Beth-nimrah and Beth-haran as fortified cities, as well as sheep pens.
37The sons of Reuben built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim,
38Nebo, Baal Meon, (cities whose names were changed) and Sibmah. They gave other names to the rebuilt cities.
39The sons of Machir son of Manasseh went up to Gilead, captured it, and drove out the Amorites who were there.
40So Moses gave Gilead to Machir son of Manasseh, and he lived there.
41Jair, a son of Manasseh, went and captured their settlements and named them Jair’s Villages.
42Nobah went and conquered Kenath and its settlements and named them Nobah after his own name.

–from Numbers 32

Will you pray for others? Will you ask God to intervene on their behalf? Will you lift their needs up before God? Will you lift up the people of Israel that they may reconcile with God? Will you lift up the people of Israel that they would walk in alignment with God? Will you lift up God’s people and ask God to guide them and protect them?

Intercession for Restoration of Zion

1A contemplative song of Asaph. Why have You cast us off forever, O God? Why does Your anger smolder against the flock of Your pasture?
2Remember Your congregation, which You purchased of old, redeemed as the tribe of Your inheritance, and Mount Zion, where You dwelt.
3Lift Your steps toward the perpetual ruins— an enemy has done all evil to the Sanctuary!
4Your adversaries have roared in the midst of Your meeting place. They have set up their standards as signs.
5It seemed like bringing up axes into a thicket of trees—
6and now all its carved work they smash with hatchet and hammers!
7They set Your Sanctuary on fire, burning it to the ground. They defiled the dwelling place of Your Name.
8They said in their hearts: “Let us crush them totally!” They burned down all the meeting places of God in the land.
9We do not see our signs. No longer is there any prophet— and no one among us knows how long.
10How long, O God, will the adversary mock? Will the enemy revile Your Name forever?
11Why do You hold back Your hand, Your right hand? Draw it out of Your bosom and consume them!
12Yet God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the land.
13You split the sea with Your power. You smashed the monsters’ heads in the waters.
14You crushed the heads of Leviathan, giving him as food to the desert dwellers.
15You opened up spring and brook. You dried up ever-flowing rivers.
16The day is Yours, the night also is Yours. You provided moon and sun.
17You set all the borders of earth. You made summer and winter.
18Remember how the enemy mocked, Adonai, and how foolish people despised Your Name.
19Do not deliver Your turtledove’s soul to the wild beast. Do not forget the life of Your afflicted ones forever.
20Look upon the covenant— for haunts of violence fill the dark places of earth.
21Do not let the oppressed turn back in shame. But let the poor and needy praise Your Name.
22Rise up O God, and defend Your cause. Remember how the fool mocks You all day.
23Do not forget the noise of Your foes, the uproar of those rising up against You, ascending continually.

–from Psalms 74

Would you be willing to suffer so that others may come to know the reality of Jesus? the reality of salvation? the reality of forgiveness? the reality of peace? the reality of healing?

Greetings

1Paul, an emissary of Messiah Yeshua through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To God’s community at Corinth, with all the kedoshim who are throughout Achaia:
2Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

Encouragement Through Hardships

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement.
4He encourages us in every trouble, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any trouble, through the very encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.
5For just as the sufferings of Messiah overflow into us, so also through Messiah our encouragement overflows.
6If we are suffering hardship, it is for your encouragement and salvation. Or if we are encouraged, it is for your encouragement, which produces in you the patient endurance of the same sufferings that we also suffer.
7Our hope for you is firm, since we know that as you are partners in our sufferings, so also in our encouragement.
8For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our trouble that happened in Asia. We were under great pressure—so far beyond our strength that we despaired even of living.
9In fact, we had within ourselves the death sentence—so that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead.
10He who rescued us from so great a danger of death will continue to rescue us—we have set our hope on Him that He will rescue us again.
11You also are helping by your prayer for us, so that from many people thanks may be given on our behalf for the gracious gift given us through the help of many.
12For our reason for boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world, and most especially toward you, with simplicity and godly sincerity—not by human wisdom but by the grace of God.
13For we write nothing to you other than what you can read and understand—and I hope you will understand in full
14just as you understood us in part, so that we are your reason for boasting just as you also are ours in the Day of our Lord Yeshua.

Paul’s Change of Plans

15Because of this confidence, I was planning to come to you first, so that you might have a second benefit—
16to pass by you on my way to Macedonia and again from Macedonia to come back to you, and to be helped by you on my journey to Judea.
17So when I was planning to do this, I didn’t do so lightly, did I? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh—so it might be with me “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time?
18But as God is faithful, our message to you is not both “Yes” and “No.”
19For Ben-Elohim—Yeshua the Messiah, who was proclaimed among you by us, by myself and Silvanus and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No.” Rather, in Him it has always been “Yes.”
20For in Him all the promises of God are “Yes.” Therefore also through Him is the “Amen” by us, to the glory of God.
21Now it is God who establishes us with you in Messiah. He anointed us,
22set His seal on us, and gave us the Ruach in our hearts as a pledge.
23But I call God as my witness—to spare you, I didn’t come to Corinth again.
24Not that we lord it over you in matters of faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy—for in the faith you are standing firm.

–from 2 Corinthians 1

 

We were never meant to do it alone!


So will you share the burden? Will you share the load? Will you reach out to help? Will you ask for help? Will you be humble enough to serve someone else? Will you be humble enough to ask for help and let others know there is a need? You were never meant to do it alone! Everyone has been given gifts and talents that are available to help others too! Everyone has been created on purpose with a purpose for a purpose! We are commanded to be selfless rather than selfish! We are command to put away self-centeredness so that we can have relationships that won’t fall apart!

In the beginning we hear about it this way…

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” –from Genesis 2:18

We read in John…

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. –from John 13:34

We read in Galatians…

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
–from Galatians 6:2

We read in 1 John…

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12

So let’s consider others as we start this day! Let’s consider what they are going through! Let’s be less focused on self and more focused on how we can share the burden, how we can love one another, and how we can go thru this without trying to do it alone!

Remember what God said to us:

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” –from Deuteronomy 31:6


Today’s reading starts with delegating work because we aren’t supposed to do it all on our own! We each have our part to play in the larger plan! Will you answer the call? Will you be obedient to the call? Will you choose to live selfless rather than looking for what’s in it for you? I remember at one of the companies I have worked at being in a workshop and it talked about motivators for people and they had an acronym WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). As I look back now and reflect, it seems like the wrong way to think, however, it does let you know that in many cases people are thinking that when being asked to do something. Do you realize when you give there is something for you? Do you realize when you serve there is something for you? Do you realize when you help there is something for you? Do you realize when you ask there is something in it for them? It’s not all about you!

Preparing the Sanctuary to Move

1Adonai spoke to Moses and to Aaron saying, 2“Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families and by their ancestral households, 3everyone from 30 years of age to 50, all who come to serve doing the work in the Tent of Meeting. 4“This is the task of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting—the most holy things. 5Whenever the camp is about to move out, Aaron and his sons are to take down the shielding curtain and cover the Ark of the Testimony with it. 6Then they are to cover this with porpoise hide, then spread over it a cloth of solid blue. Then they are to put its poles in place. 7“Then over the table of the Presence they are to spread a solid blue cloth, then lay on it the plates, ladles, bowls, and jars for the drink offering. The bread that is continually there is to remain there. 8Over them they are to spread a solid scarlet cloth, cover it with a covering of porpoise hide, then install its poles. 9“Then they are to take a blue cloth and cover the menorah for light, along with its lamps, tongs, snuffers and oil jars that they use to tend to it. 10They then are to wrap it and all its accessories in a cover of porpoise hide and place it all on a carrying frame. 11“Over the golden altar they are to spread a blue cloth and cover that with a covering of porpoise hide, then put its poles in place. 12“They are to take all the utensils used for the service of the ministry of the Sanctuary, wrap them in a blue cloth, cover them with porpoise hide, and place them on a carrying frame. 13“They are to remove the ashes from the altar, then spread over it a purple cloth. 14They are to put onto it all the utensils with which they tend to the altar, among them the firepans, meat forks, shovels and sprinkling bowls. They are to spread over it a covering of porpoise hide and install its poles. 15“When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the Sanctuary and all its holy implements, and when the camp is ready to move out, after this the sons of Kohath may come to do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy items or they will die. These are the task of the sons of Kohath with regard to the Tent of Meeting. 16“Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen will have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the regular grain offering and the anointing oil. He is to have charge of the Tabernacle and all that is in it, including its holy items and all its implements.” 17Adonai spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, 18“You are not to let the families of the tribe of the Kohathites be cut off from among the Levites. 19Do this for them so that they may live and not die whenever they approach the most holy items–-Aaron and his sons are to go into the Sanctuary and assign each man his job and his responsibility. 20But the Kohathites are not to go in to look at what is holy, not even momentarily, or they will die.”

Naso

21Again Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 22“Take a census also of the sons of Gershon, by their ancestral households and by their families. 23Count all the males from 30 to 50 years of age, everyone coming to work in the service of the Tent of Meeting. 24This is the task of the Gershonite families in working and carrying burdens. 25They are to carry the curtains of the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, its covering, the outer covering of porpoise hide, the curtains for the entrance for the Tent of Meeting, 26the curtains surrounding the courtyard and the altar, the curtain for the entrance, the ropes and all the equipment used in its operations. They are to do all that needs to be done with these things. 27The sons of the Gershonites are to do all their tasks, whether carrying or doing other work, according to the word of Aaron and his sons. You are to assign to them all that is their responsibility to carry. 28This is the duty of the families of the sons of the Gershonites regarding the Tent of Meeting. Their duty will be under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the kohen. 29Next, count the sons of Merari, according to their families and their ancestral houses, 30sons 30 years old and upward to 50, everyone coming to work in the service of the Tent of Meeting. 31This is their task in the service of the Tent of Meeting: the frames of the Tabernacle, its crossbars, posts and bases, 32as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard, plus their bases, tent pegs, ropes, and all their paraphernalia with everything related to their operation. Assign to them by name their duties and tasks. 33This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari as they work under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the kohen.” 34So Moses, Aaron and the princes of the community counted the sons of the Kohathites according to their families and their ancestral households. 35All the men who came to do the service of the Tent of Meeting, from 30 to 50 years of age, 36were counted by families—2,750. 37This was the total of those in the families of the Kohathites, every one serving in the Tent of Meeting—Moses and Aaron counted them according to the mouth of Adonai by Moses’s hand. 38The sons of Gershon were counted according to their families and their ancestral households. 39Males from 30 years old and upward to 50, all those coming into the work of the service of the Tent of Meeting, 40numbered according to their families and ancestral households 2,630. 41These were those counted from the families of the sons of Gershon, each serving in the Tent of Meeting—Moses and Aaron counted according to the mouth of Adonai. 42Those were counted from the families and ancestral households of the sons of Merari, 43from 30 years of age upward to 50, who came to the work of the service of the Tent of Meeting. 44Numbered by their families, they were 3,200. 45These were those numbered from the families of the sons of Merari by Moses and Aaron in accordance with the mouth of Adonai by Moses’s hand. 46Thus Moses, Aaron and the princes of Israel counted all the Levites by their families and by their ancestral houses. 47All the men from 30 to 50 years old who came to do the work of the service and of carrying the Tent of Meeting 48numbered 8,580. 49From the mouth of Adonai by Moses’s hand, each man was assigned his work and his burden to carry. So they were counted, as Adonai commanded Moses.
–from Numbers 4

Will you do your part?  Will you answer the call? Will you do your part? Will you be a good steward of what God has given you?

Today’s reading continues into Psalms with  …

The Victorious King

1For the music director, a psalm of David. 2Adonai, the king rejoices in Your strength! How greatly he delights in Your salvation. 3You granted him his heart’s desire, and You did not withhold the request of his lips. Selah 4For You met him with the best blessings. You set on his head a crown of pure gold. 5He asked You for life, You gave it to him, length of days forever and ever. 6His glory is great through Your salvation. Honor and majesty You bestow on him. 7For You bestow on him eternal blessings, gladden him with joy in Your presence. 8For the king trusts in Adonai, and in the lovingkindness of Elyon he will not be shaken. 9Your hand will find all your enemies. Your right hand will overtake those who hate You. 10You will make them like a fiery furnace at the time of your appearing. In His wrath Adonai will swallow them up and fire will consume them. 11You destroy their offspring from earth, their seed from the children of men. 12Though they intended evil against You and devised a plot, they cannot succeed. 13For You make them turn their backs. You aim Your bowstrings at their faces. 14Be exalted, Adonai, in Your strength! We will sing and praise Your might.
–from Psalms 21

Will you live to glorify God? Will you live to be a blessing? Will you live trusting Him? Will you do it His way?

Today’s reading concludes with John…

Fish for Breakfast with the Risen One

1After these things, Yeshua revealed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. Now here is how He appeared.
2Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in the Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two of the other disciples were together.
3Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” “We’re coming with you too,” they said. They went out and got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.
4At dawn, Yeshua stood on the beach; but the disciples didn’t know that it was Yeshua.
5So Yeshua said to them, “Boys, you don’t happen to have any fish, do you?” “No,” they answered Him.
6He said to them, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat, and you’ll find some.” So they threw the net, and they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.
7Therefore the disciple whom Yeshua loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tied his outer garment around himself—for he was stripped down for work—and threw himself into the sea.
8But the other disciples came in the boat from about two hundred cubits offshore, dragging the net full of fish.
9So when they got out onto the land, they saw a charcoal fire with fish placed on it, and bread.
10Yeshua said to them, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.”
11Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net to shore. There were 153 fish, many of them big; but the net was not broken.
12Yeshua said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing it was the Lord.
13Yeshua comes and takes the bread and gives it to them, and likewise the fish.
14This was now the third time that Yeshua was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.

Love Restores Peter

15When they had finished breakfast, Yeshua said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs!”
16He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Take care of My sheep!”
17He said to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him for a third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You!” Yeshua said to him, “Feed My sheep!”
18“Amen, amen I tell you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”
19Now this He said to indicate by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God. And after this, Yeshua said to him, “Follow Me!”
20Peter, turning around, sees the disciple following. This was the one whom Yeshua loved, who also had reclined against Yeshua’s chest at the seder meal and said, “Master, who is the one who is betraying You?”
21Seeing him, Peter said to Yeshua, “Lord, what about him?”
22Yeshua said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”
23Therefore this saying went out among the brothers and sisters, that this disciple would not die. Yet Yeshua did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”

John’s Witness

24This is the disciple who is an eyewitness of these things and wrote these things. We know that his testimony is true.
25There are also many other things that Yeshua did. If all of them were to be written one by one, I suppose that not even the world itself will have room for the books being written!
–from John 21

Will you be a peacemaker? Will you be someone who helps setup reconciliation? Will you let love be your language? Will you allow love to restore others? Will you allow God to testify through your words, your actions, and your thoughts? Do you love Him?

Did you realize that selfishness is the top reason for relationships falling apart? Do you realize that until you take care of it, no matter where you turn, you are bringing that baggage with you and setting yourself up to repeat it? So what will you do about it?

 

 

 

 

 

Passion (Day#1)


For this week, I am taking a break from the daily reading in order to daily reflect on this weeks and it’s importance to the world and to my life. This is the passion week. This is the most powerful week of the year. Today’s reading will be from Matthew 21 and each day I will be reading 1 chapter at a time…

Baruch Ha-Ba! Blessed Is He Who Comes!

1Now as they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Yeshua sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go into the village before you. Right away, you’ll find a donkey tied up and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to Me. 3If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Master needs them.’ And right away he will send them.” 4This happened to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet, saying, 5“Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘See, your King is coming to you, humble and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 6The disciples went and did as Yeshua had directed them. 7They brought the donkey and colt and put their clothing on them, and He sat on the clothing. 8Most of the crowd spread their clothing on the road, and others began cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road. 9The crowds going before Him and those following kept shouting, saying, “Hoshia-na to Ben-David! Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hoshia-na in the highest!” 10When He entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11And the crowds kept saying, “This is the prophet Yeshua, from Natzeret in the Galilee.” 12Then Yeshua entered the Temple and drove out all those selling and buying in the Temple. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those selling doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of thieves’!” 14The blind and lame came to Him in the Temple, and He healed them. 15But when the ruling kohanim and Torah scholars saw the wonders He performed, and the children crying out in the Temple and saying, “Hoshia-na to Ben-David,” they became indignant. 16And they said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” “Yes,” Yeshua said to them. “Haven’t you ever read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing toddlers You have prepared praise for Yourself’?” 17Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He spent the night there.

Faith Moves Mountains

18Now early in the morning, as He was returning to the city, He became hungry. 19Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came up to it and found nothing on it except leaves only. And He said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree shriveled up at once. 20When the disciples saw it they were astonished. “How did the fig tree shrivel on the spot?” they asked. 21Yeshua answered them, “Amen, I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22And whatever you ask in prayer, trusting, you shall receive.”

Questions about Yeshua’s Authority

23Now when He entered the Temple, the ruling kohanim and the elders of the people came to Him while He was teaching, saying, “By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority?” 24Yeshua replied to them, “I also will ask you one question. If you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25John’s immersion, where was it from? From heaven or from men?” They began to dialogue among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the crowd, for all hold up John as a prophet.” 27So answering Yeshua, they said, “We don’t know.” Then He said to them, “Neither am I telling you by what authority I do these things.”

A Parable about Intentions and Actions

28“Now what do you think? A man had two sons, and he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go work in the vineyard today.’ 29The son answered, ‘I won’t,’ but afterward he had a change of heart and went. 30The man went to the second son and said the same thing. But he answered, ‘I will, sir,’ and didn’t go. 31Which of the two did the will of the father?” “The first,” they said. Yeshua said to them, “Amen, I tell you, the tax collectors and prostitutes are going ahead of you into the kingdom of God. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him. But the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and even after you saw this, you had no change of heart to believe him.”

Parable of the Vineyard

33“Listen to another parable. There was a master of a household who planted a vineyard. He put a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a tower. Then He leased it to some tenant farmers and went on a journey. 34Now when fruit season drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. 35But grabbing his servants, the tenants beat up one, killed another, and stoned still another. 36Again the master sent other servants, even more than the first, and they did the same thing to them. 37Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38“But when the tenants saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir! Come on, let’s kill him and get his inheritance!’ 39So grabbing him, they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40Therefore when the master of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41“He will bring those miserable men to a miserable end,” they said to Him, “and will lease the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the fruits in their seasons.” 42Yeshua said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures? ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone. This came from Adonai, and it is marvelous in our eyes.’ 43Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to people producing its fruits. 44Whoever falls on this stone will be shattered; but the one upon whom it falls, it will crush him.” 45When the ruling kohanim and Pharisees heard Yeshua’s parables, they realized He was talking about them. 46Although they were trying to seize Him, they feared the crowds, because they regarded Him as a prophet.
–from Matthew 21

What type of a leader are you? Do you come into the room on your high horse? Do you come in humbly? Do you come in saying look at me? Do you come in humbly make an entrance? Do you try to make a big thing about it and say “I am here, we can start now”? Do you come to serve? Let’s model our lives after Jesus and give of ourselves today! Let’s stand up for what is right! Let’s do what we have been called to do! Let’s live our lives that others will see our works and praise our Father in Heaven! Let’s let our lights shine! Let’s not doubt who He is and where His power comes from! Let’s not doubt that living in us is the same power that raised Jesus from the grave! Let’s not doubt that living in us is the same power that raised the dead! Let’s not doubt that living in us is the same power that can move mountains! Let’s not doubt that living in us is the same power that calms the raging seas!

Let’s shine this week! Let’s help others come to know about the passion that happens this week! Let’s invite others to come to church with us! Let’s praise God for having sent Jesus to die in our place that we could be reconciled back to Him!

 

 

 

 

Give!


Ever heard it is better to give than receive? Ever asked how you could be a more generous giver? Ever wondered how much you will get to give away? How do you give? Do you give financially? Do you give of your time? Do you give of your energy? Do you give of your love?

Do you realize giving isn’t all about the size? It’s about the heart and the obedience of giving? Consider how Jesus spoke to how the widow gave more than others even though she gave but 2 mites. God is looking for people who give out of compulsion or guilt, He desires a cheerful giver!

Are you a giver or a taker? Are you a giver or a receiver? Are you a giver? You have been given incredible gifts and talents on purpose for a purpose! How will you use them? How will you share them? Do you realize the most important thing that you can give or receive? It’s forgiveness! It breaks ! It sets people free! It’s why Jesus gave His all on the cross! He gave it as an eternal sacrifice so that no more and no less would be necessary for humanity to be able to be reconciled to God! We just need to accept it and receive and then start to live it out!

Today’s reading continues into various offerings that were written into the Jewish law…

1“This is the Torah of the trespass offering. It is most holy. 2In the place where they slaughter the burnt offering, he is to slaughter the trespass offering. And he is to splash its blood around on the altar. 3He should offer all of its fat, the fat tail and the fat that covers the innards, 4along with the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, plus the cover on the liver that he is to remove with the kidneys. 5Then the kohen should burn them up as smoke on the altar for an offering made by fire to Adonai. It is a trespass offering. 6Every male among the kohanim may eat it. It is to be eaten in a holy place—it is most holy.

Fellowship Offerings for Kohanim

7“As is the sin offering, so is the trespass offering, there is one Torah for them: they are for the kohen who makes atonement with them. 8The kohen who offers anyone’s burnt offering, that kohen is to have for himself the hide of the burnt offering which he has offered. 9Every meal offering that is baked in the oven, and all that is prepared on the flat plate and on the pan, is to belong to the kohen who offers it. 10Every grain offering, whether mixed with oil or dry, belongs to all the sons of Aaron equally. 11“Now this is the Torah of the sacrifice of fellowship offerings which may be offered to Adonai. 12If he brings it for a thanksgiving, then he is to present with the sacrifice of thanksgiving matzah cakes mixed with oil, matzah wafers anointed with oil, and fine flour cakes mixed with oil. 13He is to present his offering with the sacrifice of his fellowship offerings for thanksgiving along with cakes of bread with hametz. 14From each he is to offer one out of every offering as a gift to Adonai. It will belong to the kohen who sprinkles the blood of the fellowship offerings. 15The meat of the sacrifice of his fellowship offerings for thanksgiving is to be eaten on the day of his offering. He is not to leave any of it until the morning. 16“But if the sacrifice of his offering is a vow or a freewill offering, it is to be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice. On the next day what remains of it may be eaten. 17But what remains of the meat of the sacrifice on the third day is to be burned up with fire. 18If any of the meat of the sacrifice of his fellowship offerings is eaten on the third day, it will not be accepted, nor will it be credited to him who offers it. It will be a foul thing—and the soul who eats any from it will bear his own iniquity. 19“The meat that touches any unclean thing is not to be eaten. It is to be burned up with fire. As for the meat, everyone who is clean may eat it, 20but the soul who eats of the meat of the sacrifice of fellowship offerings belonging to Adonai, having his uncleanness on him, that soul is to be cut off from his people. 21If anyone touches any unclean thing, whether the uncleanness of man, or an unclean animal or any unclean detestable thing, and eats some of the meat of the sacrifice of fellowship offerings belonging to Adonai, that soul is to be cut off from his people.” 22Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: 23“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, saying: You are to eat no fat of a bull or sheep or goat. 24The fat of a dead animal and the fat of a torn animal may be used for any other service, but you must not eat it. 25For if anyone eats the fat of the animal from which an offering is made by fire to Adonai, then the soul who eats it is to be cut off from his people. 26“You are not to eat any blood, whether it is from a bird or an animal, in any of your dwellings. 27Whoever it is who consumes any blood, that soul is to be cut off from his people.’” 28Then Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: 29“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, saying: Whoever brings the sacrifice of his fellowship offerings to Adonai is to present his offering to Adonai out of the sacrifice of his fellowship offerings. 30With his own hands he is to bring Adonai’s offerings by fire. He is to present the fat with the breast, so that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before Adonai. 31The kohen is to burn up the fat as smoke on the altar, but the breast will belong to Aaron and his sons. 32The right thigh you are to give to the kohen for a contribution out of the sacrifices of your fellowship offerings. 33The one among Aaron’s sons who offers the blood of the fellowship offerings and the fat is to have the right thigh for a portion. 34For the breast of the wave offering and the thigh contribution I have taken from Bnei-Yisrael out of the sacrifices of their fellowship offerings and have given them to Aaron the kohen and to his sons as their portion forever from Bnei-Yisrael.” 35This is the anointed portion of Aaron and the anointed portion of his sons out of the offerings of Adonai made by fire, on the day when he presented them to serve Adonai in the office of kohen. 36Adonai commanded these to be given to them from Bnei-Yisrael on the day that he anointed them. It is their portion forever throughout their generations. 37This is the Torah of the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the trespass offering, the ordination offering, and the sacrifice of fellowship offerings, 38which Adonai commanded Moses at Mount Sinai, on the day He commanded Bnei-Yisrael to present their offerings to Adonai, in the wilderness of Sinai.
–from Leviticus 7

Will you set it apart? Will you set it up as something special for use by God? Will you dedicate your work to God? Will you make your life a living sacrifice to God? What will you consecrate to God? Moses set apart the line of Aaron to God, to serve Him, to give!

Consecration of the Kohanim

1Then Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: 2“Take Aaron and his sons with him, the garments, the anointing oil, the bull of the sin offering, the two rams and the basket of matzot . 3Then assemble all the congregation at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.” 4So Moses did as Adonai commanded him. When the congregation was assembled at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, 5Moses said to the congregation, “This is what Adonai has commanded to be done.” 6Moses brought Aaron and his sons and washed them with water. 7He put the tunic on Aaron, tied the sash on him, clothed him with the robe, put the ephod on him, and tied the skillfully decorated sash of the ephod around him and fastened it on him. 8He then placed the breastplate on Aaron, and inside the breastplate he put the Urim and the Thummim. 9He set the turban on his head, and on front of the turban he set the golden plate, the holy crown, just as Adonai commanded Moses. 10Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the Tabernacle and all that was in it, and so consecrated them. 11He sprinkled the oil on the altar seven times and anointed the altar and all its utensils, the basin with its stand, to consecrate them. 12He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him. 13Then Moses brought Aaron’s sons, and clothed them with tunics, tied sashes on them, and fastened headbands on them, as Adonai had commanded Moses. 14Then he brought the bull of the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull of the sin offering. 15Moses then slaughtered it, took the blood and dabbed it onto the horns of the altar with his finger, and so purified the altar. Then he poured out the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it, to make atonement for it. 16He then took all the fat that was on the innards, the cover of the liver, and the two kidneys and their fat, and burned it up as smoke on the altar. 17But the bull and its hide, its flesh and its dung, he burned with fire outside the camp, as Adonai had commanded. 18He then presented the ram of the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. 19Then Moses slaughtered it and splashed the blood around on the altar. 20After he cut the ram into its pieces, Moses burned the head, the pieces, and the fat. 21He washed the innards and the legs with water. Then Moses burned the whole ram up in smoke on the altar. It was a burnt offering for a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to Adonai, as Adonai had commanded Moses. 22Then he presented the second ram, the ram of ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. 23Moses slaughtered it, took some of its blood and put it on the tip of Aaron’s right ear, on the thumb of his right hand and on the great toe of his right foot. 24Then Moses brought Aaron’s sons and put some of the blood on the tips of their right ears, on the thumbs of their right hands and on the great toes of their right feet. Then Moses splashed the blood around on the altar. 25He took the fat, the fat tail, and all the fat that was on the innards, as well as the cover of the liver, the two kidneys with their fat and the right thigh. 26Then out of the basket of matzah that was before Adonai, he took one matzah cake, one cake of oiled bread and one wafer, and placed them on the fat and on the right thigh. 27He put all these in Aaron’s hands and in the hands of his sons, and waved them for a wave offering before Adonai. 28Then Moses took them from their hands and burned them up in smoke on the altar with the burnt offering. They were a consecration for a soothing aroma. It was an offering by fire to Adonai. 29Moses took the breast and waved it for a wave offering before Adonai. It was Moses’ portion of the ram of ordination, just as Adonai commanded Moses. 30Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar, and sprinkled it on Aaron, on his garments, and on his sons, and on his sons’ garments with him. So he consecrated Aaron, his garments, his sons and his sons’ garments with him. 31Moses then said to Aaron and to his sons, “Boil the meat at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and eat it there, along with the bread that is in the basket of ordination, as I commanded, saying: ‘Aaron and his sons are to eat it.’ 32What remains of the meat and of the bread you should burn with fire. 33You are not to go out from the entrance of the Tent of Meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are fulfilled, for he will be filling your hands for seven days. 34What has been done this day, Adonai has commanded to be done, in order to make atonement for you. 35You are to stay at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting day and night for seven days, and keep Adonai’s command, so that you do not die, for so I have been commanded.” 36Thus Aaron and his sons did all the things that Adonai commanded through Moses.
–from Leviticus 8

What’s in your heart? What’s in your mind? What’s coming out of you? What are you saying in words? What are you saying in actions? What are others hearing by watching and listening to you? They are watching…Are they seeing you doing good? Will you stand up for what is right? Are you being an ambassador of peace? Are you sharing the gift of forgiveness? Are you helping break the chains and bondage of sin through offering, giving, handing out the hope of forgiveness? Are you about helping others? Are you about being a giver? Do people give you a hard time because you are doing good things? Do people give you a hard time because of the work you are doing? Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Complete the work that the Father has given you to do! Let the goal to be hearing Him say “well done my good and faithful servant”.

Healing on Shabbat

1After this there was a Jewish feast, and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem.
2Now in Jerusalem there is a pool by the sheep gate, called Bethzatha in Aramaic, which has five porches.
3In these a crowd of invalids was lying around—blind, lame, disabled.
4
5Now a certain man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years.
6Seeing him lying there and knowing he had been that way a long time, Yeshua said to him, “Do you want to get well?”
7The invalid answered Him, “Sir, I have nobody to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I’m trying to get in, somebody else steps down before me!”
8Yeshua tells him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!”
9Immediately, the man was healed! He took up his mat and started walking around. Now that day was Shabbat,
10so Judean leaders were saying to the man who was healed, “It’s Shabbat! It’s not permitted for you to carry your mat.”
11But he answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
12They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Pick up your mat and walk’?”
13But the man who had been healed didn’t know who it was, for Yeshua had slipped away into the crowd in that place.
14Afterwards, Yeshua finds him in the Temple. He said to him, “Look, you’ve been healed! Stop sinning, so nothing worse happens to you.”
15The man left and told the Judean leaders that it was Yeshua who had made him well.

Sent by the Father

16Because Yeshua was doing these things on Shabbat, the Judean leaders started persecuting Him.
17But Yeshua said to them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.”
18So for this reason the Judean leaders kept trying even harder to kill Him—because He was not only breaking Shabbat, but also calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
19Therefore Yeshua answered them, “Amen, amen I tell you, the Son cannot do anything by Himself. He can do only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.
20For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He does. He will show Him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.
21For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever He wants.
22The Father does not judge anyone, but has handed over all judgment to the Son
23so that all should honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
24“Amen, amen I tell you, whoever hears My word and trusts the One who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed over from death into life.
25Amen, amen I tell you, an hour is coming and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of Ben-Elohim. Those who hear will live!
26For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted the Son to have life in Himself.
27Also He has given the Son authority to judge, because He is the Son of Man.
28“Do not be amazed at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice
29and come out! Those who have done good will come to a resurrection of life, and those who have done evil will come to a resurrection of judgment.
30I can do nothing on My own. Just as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, for I do not seek My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me.”

The Father Testifies about the Son

31“If I testify about Myself, My witness is not valid.
32There is another who testifies about Me, and I know that the testimony He gives is true.
33You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth.
34I do not receive the testimony of man, but I say these things so that you may be saved.
35He was the lamp that was burning and shining, and you wanted to rejoice for a while in his light.
36“But the testimony I have is greater than that from John. The works the Father has given Me to finish—the very works I am doing—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.
37And the Father who sent Me has testified concerning Me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form.
38Nor do you have His Word living in you, because you do not trust the One He sent.
39You search the Scriptures because you suppose that in them you have eternal life. It is these that testify about Me.
40Yet you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life!
41“I do not accept glory from men.
42But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves.
43I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me. But if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.
44How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that comes from God alone?
45“Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have put your hope.
46For if you were believing Moses, you would believe Me—because he wrote about Me.
47But since you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
–from John 5

 

 

 

 

How much? More than enough…


Ever seen a need? Ever heard of a need? Ever given to a need? Ever received for a need? How much would you expect? How did you respond? Did you give your best? Did you provide what you should? What if there was a need and an offering was taken? Would you give your best? Would you expect everyone to do what they can? Would you think you don’t need to because everyone else will take care of it? Not everyone can give the same! Not everyone’s best is the same amount! But when given in faith believing, like the woman who gave two mites, can be used by God! When given in faith believing, like the boy who gave up his lunch of fish and loafs, can be used by God! When given in faith believing, like the widow who only had a little oil, can be used by God! So will you do your part? Will you give what is put onto your heart? Will you be part of the miracle of more than enough? Like at the feeding of the 5000 where there were leftovers? Will you give as you are led like at the giving prompted by Moses where there was more than enough and required Moses to tell everyone to stop?

Today’s reading gets us started on this very topic…

More Than Enough!

1“So Bezalel and Oholiab are to work, along with every wise-hearted man in whom Adonai has placed insight and understanding to know how to perform all the labor for the service of the Sanctuary, according to everything Adonai has commanded.” 2Then Moses called Bezalel, Oholiab and all the wise-hearted men in whose minds Adonai had set wisdom, along with everyone whose heart stirred him up to come do the work. 3They received from Moses the entire offering that Bnei-Yisrael had brought for the work of the service of the Sanctuary, to build it. They brought freewill offerings to him morning after morning. 4Then all the skilled men who were doing all the work of the Sanctuary came, one by one from the work he was doing, 5and said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for the work of this construction that Adonai has commanded to be done.” 6So Moses gave an order, and they proclaimed it throughout the camp saying, “Let neither man nor woman make anything else as an offering for the Sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing more. 7For the work material they had was sufficient for all the work, with much left over. 8So all the wise-hearted men among them did the work. They made the Tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen, along with blue, purple and scarlet, with cheruvim—the work of a skillful craftsman. 9The length of each curtain was 28 cubits and the width of each curtain was four cubits. All the curtains had one measure. 10Then he coupled five curtains to one another, and the other five curtains he also coupled together. 11He made blue loops on the edge of the curtain that was outermost within the first set. He did the same along the edge of the curtain that was outermost in the second set. 12He made 50 loops in one curtain and 50 loops on the edge of the curtain that was in the second set, so that the loops were opposite to one another. 13Also he made 50 clasps of gold and coupled the curtains one to another with the clasps, so the Tabernacle was one. 14Then he made curtains from goat hair for a tent over the Tabernacle. He made 11 curtains. 15The length of each curtain was 30 cubits, and the width of each was four cubits. The 11 curtains had one measure. 16He coupled five curtains by themselves, and six other curtains by themselves. 17He made 50 loops on the edge of the curtain that was outermost in the first set and 50 loops on the edge of the curtain that was outermost in the second set. 18Also he made 50 bronze clasps to couple the tent together, so that it would be one. 19Then he made a covering for the tent of ram skins, dyed red, along with a covering of sealskins above. 20He also made the framework of boards for the Tabernacle from acacia wood, standing upright. 21The length of a board was ten cubits, the width was a cubit and a half. 22Each board had two supports, joined one to another. He did this for all the boards of the Tabernacle. 23So he built the boards for the Tabernacle, 20 boards from the south side southward. 24And he made 40 silver bases under the 20 boards, two bases under one board for its two supports, and two bases under another board for its two supports. 25Also for the second side of the Tabernacle, on the north side, he made 20 boards, 26along with their 40 silver bases, two under one board and two under the next. 27For the back part of the Tabernacle westward he made six boards. 28He also made two boards for the corners of the Tabernacle in the back, 29so that they could be doubled underneath, and in same way to be fixed to the top, at the first ring. He did this for both of them at the two corners. 30So there were eight boards, along with their silver bases, 16 in all, two under each board. 31Then he made crossbars from acacia wood, five for the boards on one side of the Tabernacle, 32five for the boards on the other side of the Tabernacle, and five crossbars for the boards of the Tabernacle for the back part, westward. 33He built the middle crossbar to pass through, in the center of the boards, from one end to the other. 34He overlaid the boards with gold and made golden rings for them, as holders for the crossbars, and overlaid the crossbars with gold. 35Then he made the curtain of blue, purple, scarlet and finely twisted linen, along with the cheruvim, the work of a skillful craftsman. 36He made four pillars of acacia, and overlaid them with gold, having golden hooks, and he cast four silver bases for them. 37Then he made a parokhet for the entrance of the tent, of blue, purple, scarlet and finely twisted linen, the work of a color weaver. 38Also he made the five pillars with their hooks, and overlaid their capitals and bands with gold, along with their five bronze bases.
–from Exodus 36

What a generous heart to give so much! What an incredible miracle to meet every need and more! Do you believe? Do you of a need? What are you doing about it? Do you know of an offering? Are you prepared in your heart to what it means? Do you realize the impact it will have on the world? Do you realize the impact it will have on the plans of God? Do you want to get to be a part? It’s not a matter of the size, it’s a matter of the heart!

Ark, Table, Menorah, Incense Altar

1Bezalel also made the Ark from acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 2He overlaid it with pure gold inside and out, and made a crown of gold for it all around. 3He cast four golden rings for it, in the four feet, two rings on the one side, and two on the other. 4He also made poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold. 5Then he put the poles into the rings on the sides of the Ark, to carry the Ark. 6He made an atonement cover of pure gold, two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide. 7Then he forged two cheruvim of gold, from hammered work, at the two ends of the atonement cover, 8one cheruv at one end, and one cheruv at the other. He made the atonement cover from a single piece with the cheruvim on the two ends. 9So the cheruvim spread out their wings on high, overshadowing the atonement cover with their wings, with their faces to one another, and the faces of the cheruvim toward the atonement cover. 10Then he made the table of acacia wood, two cubits long, a cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11He overlaid it with pure gold and made a golden crown all around. 12Also he made a border for it, a hand-width around, and made a golden crown for the border all around. 13He cast four golden rings for it, and put the rings into the four corners that were on the four feet. 14The rings were close to the borders, as holders for the poles to carry the table. 15He also made the poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold, to carry the table. 16He forged the articles that were on the table, the dishes, pans, bowls and jars, with which to pour, out of pure gold. 17Then he made the menorah of pure gold, of hammered work, even its base, its stem, its cups, its bulbs and its flowers, were one piece with it. 18There were six branches going out of the sides, three branches out of one side, and three branches out of the other. 19Three cups made like almond blossoms were in one branch, a bulb within a flower, and three cups made like almond blossoms in the next branch, another bulb within a flower. It was just so for the six branches going out of the menorah. 20Also within the menorah were four cups made like almond blossoms, bulbs and flowers, 21with a bulb under two branches of one piece, a second bulb under two branches of another piece, and a bulb under two branches of a third piece, for six branches extending out of it. 22Their bulbs and their branches were one piece with it, an entire hammered work of pure gold. 23He also made the seven lamps, along with tongs and censers of pure gold. 24He made them from a talent of pure gold, along with all the pieces. 25He made the altar of incense from acacia wood, a cubit long, a cubit wide, squared, and two cubits high. The horns were one piece with it. 26Then he overlaid it with pure gold on top, on the sides all around and over its horns. Also he made a crown of gold for it all around. 27He made two golden rings for it underneath the crown, on two sides as holders for poles in order to carry it. 28He made the poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold. 29Then he made the holy anointing oil, and the pure incense of sweet spices, the blend of a perfumer.
–from Exodus 37

So let’s be people with open arms! Let’s greet people! Let’s be loving! Let’s be outreaching! Let’s be embracing! Let’s be discipling! Let’s be building unity! Let’s be keeping our eyes on those who try to bring up strife and division and turn away from them! Let’s shine our lights so that stumbling blocks and deception can’t hide and will be revealed and exposed! Let’s walk in such obedience to God that others will praise Him! Let’s live to exalt God in the name of Jesus that many lives can be saved and many lives can be transformed!

Welcome the Apostolic Team

1Now I recommend to you our sister Phoebe—who is a servant-leader of Messiah’s community at Cenchrea— 2so you may receive her in the Lord, in a way worthy of kedoshim, and help her in whatever matter she may need from you. For she herself has become a patroness of many, including me as well. 3Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Messiah Yeshua, 4who risked their own necks for my life. Not only I give them thanks, but also all of Messiah’s communities among the Gentiles. 5Greet also the community that meets in their house. Greet Epaenetus whom I dearly love, who is the first fruit in Asia for Messiah. 6Greet Miriam, who has worked hard for you. 7Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kin and fellow prisoners who are well known among the emissaries. They were in Messiah before me. 8Greet Ampliatus, whom I dearly love in the Lord. 9Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Messiah, and Stachys whom I dearly love. 10Greet Apelles, who is approved in Messiah. Greet those from the household of Aristobulus. 11Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those from the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. 12Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis whom I dearly love, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother—who was also a mother to me. 14Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters with them. 15Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, also Olympas and all the kedoshim with them. 16Greet one another with a holy kiss. All of Messiah’s communities greet you. 17Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep your eye on those who are causing divisions and stumbling blocks, contrary to the teaching that you learned. Turn away from them. 18For such people do not serve our Lord the Messiah, but only their own belly. By their smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 19Your obedience has become known to all, so I rejoice over you—but I want you to be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil. 20Now the God of shalom will soon crush satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Yeshua be with you. 21Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kin. 22I, Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23Gaius, host to me and the whole community, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, greets you, and so does brother Quartus. 24[footnote: Some mss. add: The grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you all. Amen.]

Closing Blessing

25Now to the One who is able to strengthen you according to my Good News and the proclamation of Yeshua the Messiah, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages 26but now is revealed and through the Writings of the Prophets has been made known to all the nations, according to the commandment of the eternal God to bring about obedience of faith— 27to the only wise God, through Yeshua the Messiah, to Him be the glory forever. Amen.
–from Romans 16