How important is being right to you?


Is being right to you more important than keeping a relationship? Is being right to you more important than the final outcome? Is being right to you more important than doing right?

Ever heard that winning doesn’t mean you won? Ever heard that being right doesn’t mean you did right? Ever heard that it is more important to live humbly and ready and willing to defer than to living to always be right? Do you have the courage to relinquish the desire to always be right in order to ensure peace in your relationships? Do you have the boldness to do what is right rather than trying to always be right? Are you more interesting your relationship to be right or to be happy? Are you more interested in being right than reaching shared goals? Are you more interested in being right than being able to learn and grow with one another?

Let’s pause and consider what God’s Word has to tell us before we start today’s devotional:

‘As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. ‘

Ephesians 4:1-16

So today are you ready to live a life that will glorify God more than always trying to be right? Are you ready to live a life that shows the desire for unity? Are you ready to live a life that demonstrates maturity? Are you ready to be doing right more than being right? Are you ready to be doing good more than being right? Are you ready to get started down this road?


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 22ND


Being Right by Doing Good


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.’

Galatians 6:9-10

Let’s get additional context and more details by grabbing additional verses and using the Amplified version.

‘Brothers, if anyone is caught in any sin, you who are spiritual [that is, you who are responsive to the guidance of the Spirit] are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness [not with a sense of superiority or self-righteousness], keeping a watchful eye on yourself, so that you are not tempted as well. Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love]. For if anyone thinks he is something [special] when [in fact] he is nothing [special except in his own eyes], he deceives himself. But each one must carefully scrutinize his own work [examining his actions, attitudes, and behavior], and then he can have the personal satisfaction and inner joy of doing something commendable without comparing himself to another. For every person will have to bear [with patience] his own burden [of faults and shortcomings for which he alone is responsible]. The one who is taught the word [of God] is to share all good things with his teacher [contributing to his spiritual and material support]. 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. For the one who sows to his flesh [his sinful capacity, his worldliness, his disgraceful impulses] will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in. So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially [be a blessing] to those of the household of faith (born-again believers). See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. Those who want to make a good impression in public [before the Jews] try to compel you to be circumcised, just so they will escape being persecuted for [faithfulness to] the cross of Christ. For even the circumcised [Jews] themselves do not [really] keep the Law, but they want to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh [that is, in the fact that they convinced you to be circumcised]. But far be it from me to boast [in anything or anyone], except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither is circumcision anything [of any importance], nor uncircumcision, but [only] a new creation [which is the result of a new birth—a spiritual transformation—a new nature in Christ Jesus]. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule [who discipline themselves and conduct their lives by this principle], and upon the [true] Israel of God (Jewish believers). From now on let no one trouble me [by making it necessary for me to justify my authority as an apostle, and the absolute truth of the gospel], for I bear on my body the branding-marks of Jesus [the wounds, scars, and other outward evidence of persecutions—these testify to His ownership of me]. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brothers and sisters. Amen.’

Galatians 6:1-18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever heard someone say something like “no good deed goes unpunished”?
  • Sounds strange right? Ever experienced or seen where it seems to play out?
  • Ever tried to do the right things and have the wrong outcome?
  • Ever tried to do the right things and have it blow up in your face?
  • Ever tried to do the right things and have others get upset with you?
  • Are you more interested in pleasing people or pleasing God?
  • Do you realize that by doing good deeds never backfires with God?
  • Are you more interested in your heavenly rewards than temporary earthly ones?
  • Are you grabbing hold of God’s promise that when we do the right thing to help people He will reward us?
  • What comes to mind when you think about “doing good”?
  • Are you paying enough attention to be able to notice positive things in other people’s lives?
  • Are you ready to do good when you notice that to the point being able to completement and affirm it in their lives?
  • Are you ready to do good by being available to be a good listener when someone needs to talk?
  • Are you ready to do good by speaking in love the truth into someone’s life?
  • Are you ready to do good by confronting someone about their bad behavior or actions?
  • Are you ready to do good by setting aside your personal agenda in preference to helping someone else?
  • How are you ready to do good?
  • When an opportunity to do good comes up will you be ready to respond?
  • When an opportunity to do good comes up will you respond and act?
  • Today you will have at least one opportunity to do good, will you be ready, will you react, will you respond in love and do good?
  • You do realize you are being watched right? What type of a role model are you being?
  • Are you treating your brothers and sisters in Christ in a way that the world will notice and realize how we love one another?
  • Are you loving your brothers and sisters in Christ so that people realize that you aren’t putting on an act but rather are authentically loving others?
  • Are you a doer of the Word rather than just a reader or speaker of the Word and doing lip service?
  • Are you ready to be living a life of doing good so that others will realize that faith in Jesus makes a difference?
  • Will you decide today to live your life doing good works that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish so that both you and other can experience how faith in Jesus makes a difference?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Who are some people you know who are examples of those who do good?
  • What are some things you can do today for others?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“We must first be made good before we can do good. We must first be made just before our works can please God.”

Hugh Latimer

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 22:

‘Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people [who listened devotedly to His teaching, and who respected His spiritual wisdom]. Then Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve [disciples]. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him and hand Him over to them. They were delighted and agreed with him to give him money. So he consented, and began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus to them [at a time when He was] separated from the crowd [because the people might riot or stop them from seizing Him]. Then came the preparation day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us, so that we may eat it.” They asked Him, “Where do You want us to prepare it?” He replied, “When you have entered the city, a man carrying an earthen jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house that he enters. And say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’ Then he will show you a large upstairs room, furnished [with carpets and dining couches]; prepare the meal there.” They left and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

When the hour [for the meal] had come, Jesus reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. He said to them, “I have earnestly wanted to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” And when He had taken bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup, which is poured out for you, is the new covenant [ratified] in My blood. But listen, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe (judgment is coming) to that man by whom He is betrayed and handed over!” And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this.

Now a dispute also arose among them as to which of them was regarded to be the greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles have absolute power and lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not to be this way with you; on the contrary, the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest [and least privileged], and the [one who is the] leader, like the servant. For who is the greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. “You are those who have remained and have stood by Me in My trials; and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you [the privilege] that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. “Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has demanded permission to sift [all of] you like grain; but I have prayed [especially] for you [Peter], that your faith [and confidence in Me] may not fail; and you, once you have turned back again [to Me], strengthen and support your brothers [in the faith].” And Peter said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death!” Jesus said, “I say to you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will [utterly] deny three times that you know Me.” And He said to them, “When I sent you out without a money belt and [provision] bag and [extra] sandals, did you lack anything?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money belt is to take it along, and also his [provision] bag, and he who has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. For I tell you that this [Scripture] which is written must be completed and fulfilled in Me: ‘And He was counted with the criminals’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment [and is settled].” They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

And He came out and went, as was His habit, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed Him. When He arrived at the place [called Gethsemane], He said to them, “Pray continually that you may not fall into temptation.” And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup [of divine wrath] from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.” Now an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony [deeply distressed and anguished; almost to the point of death], He prayed more intently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down on the ground. When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not fall into temptation.”

While He was still speaking, a crowd came, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve [disciples], was leading the way for them. He approached Jesus to kiss Him. And Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” When those who were around Him saw what was about to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus replied, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched the ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders [of the Sanhedrin] who had come out against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber? Day after day when I was with you in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power and authority of darkness are yours.”

Then they seized Him, and led Him away and brought Him to the [elegant] house of the [Jewish] high priest. And Peter was following at a [safe] distance. After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat among them. And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” But Peter denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him!” A little later someone else saw him and said, “You are one of them too.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, “This man was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly [deeply grieved and distressed]. Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking and ridiculing Him [and treating Him with contempt] and beating Him. They blindfolded Him and asked, “Prophesy, who is it that struck You?” And they were saying many other [evil and slanderous] things against Him, blaspheming [speaking sacrilegiously and abusively about] Him.

When day came, the Council of the elders of the people (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) assembled, both chief priests and scribes; and they led Jesus away to the council chamber, saying, “If You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe [what I say], and if I ask a question, you will not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” He replied, “ It is just as you say.” Then they asked, “What further need of testimony do we have? For we ourselves have heard it from His own mouth.”’

Luke 22:1-71

So where are you at today? Do you know right from wrong? Do you have a non-changing definition for right vs wrong? Are you ready to be more interested in doing good than being right? Are you ready to be more interested in learning and building a relationship with God? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and life 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?


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


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

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

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


Sin Can Never Catch Us


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

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

Psalms 103:12

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

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

Psalms 103:1-22

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

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


QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

R. G. Lee

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

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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


The News…


Is it breaking news? Is it constant news? Is it real news? Is it fake news? Is it good news? Is it bad news? These days if you are looking for news you can find it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Are you looking for breaking news? Are you looking for business news? Are you looking for sports news? Are you looking for local news? Are you looking for national news? Are you looking for world or international news? Are you looking for entertainment news? Are you looking for political news? Are you looking for weather news? Are you looking for real news?

I know myself, I have limited to almost removed most news from my routine because the only news they put on TV is bad news, news to try and scare or freak you out, news to keep you glued to the TV all day. I have focused interest areas and with Bing I am able to have a set of interests and whatever set happen to show up on the homepage those will be my content for the day and if they interest me enough, I might even open one or more up to get more details about them.

I was on a website and it was interesting to hear someone who used to work at the networks admit that a lot of the programming isn’t about the truth or the situation but finding topics that will freak people out and keep them glued to the TV in order to get ratings and advertising dollars. It just reinforced what I thought and hence why I don’t watch much news. I had a friend share some apps that only report good news which was pretty cool but I still don’t want to spend that much time on the news. I want to be aware and if/when things interest me I will do my own research scanning the internet rather than getting fed what the media channels want to force or baby feed us. Be it health related things. Be it local events. Be it elections. There are many sources and resources to ensure you get the full view in order to decide.

So what is the news for you? What does the news do for you? How do you get your news? Where do you get your news? Do you have a news quota? Do you have a news quota by type? good vs bad? sports/entertainment vs politics/heath/finance?

How do you know what to believe? How do you know what is real and what is made up? How do you know where to look? How do you know where to go? Can you get it at the store? Or are those just tabloids with crazy news? Can you get it on your mobile device? Or is that just stuff companies have scraped from your usage to guess? Can you get it on your computer? Can you get it on your TV? Can you get it from your radio?

News… what is it? newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events? a broadcast or published report of news? information not previously known to someone? a person or thing considered interesting enough to be reported in the news?

How personal is news to you? How specific is news to you? How real is news to you? How fake is news to you?

I found this interesting post that says:

Experts agree that defining news can be a difficult task. Most journalists agree that the following eight elements make up what is considered “news.”

https://www.fairtest.org/what-news

You will see if you check out that page they list out the following as making up what is considered news:

  • Immediacy
  • Proximity
  • Prominence
  • Oddity
  • Conflict
  • Suspense
  • Emotions
  • Consequence

Now let’s get into God’s Word from today’s devotional and capture the truth!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for September 22nd


Good News


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:15

Let’s capture more the context from this conversation about the great commission with the Amplified translation:

‘Later, Jesus appeared to the eleven [disciples] themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He called them to account for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen [from death]. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed [in Me] and has been baptized will be saved [from the penalty of God’s wrath and judgment]; but he who has not believed will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.” ‘

Mark 16:14-18

Some may wonder or ask what is “the gospel”. By definition, it is the teaching or revelation of Christ. A thing that is absolutely true. A set of principles or beliefs. The record of Jesus’ life and teaching in the first four books of the New Testament. You can also find searching around that The gospel is something to be preached and to be believed (1 Corinthians 15:11). The gospel is the proclamation of the glory of Christ rather than something we proclaim about ourselves (2 Corinthians 4:4-6). Yet the gospel has implications for our obedience. And yet others will tell you that it is good news, that Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for our sin so that we might become the children of God through faith alone in Christ alone. In short, “the Gospel” is the sum total of the saving truth as God has communicated it to lost humanity as it is revealed in the person of His Son and in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. If you aren’t sure whether or not you are God’s child, you might want to read God’s Plan of Salvation before you read on in this lesson.


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Remember the GREAT COMMANDMENT? To LOVE!
    • ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”’
      Mark 12:30-31
  • Remember the GREAT COMMISSION? To take the message to everyone?
    • ‘And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”’
      Mark 16:15-18
  • Are you a believer? Then these both apply to you!
  • It wasn’t limited to the people who were present!
  • It isn’t limited to pastors and preachers and priests!
  • It is for all of us who believe!
  • Some will go to far off places and share the Good News!
  • Some will go into the workplace and share the Good News!
  • Some will raise families and share the Good News!
  • Some will go into their communities and share the Good News!
  • But we as believers are all to grab hold of and share the Good News! The commandments to love and the commission to go and share!
  • So these are both on your job description, no matter what your job is!
  • Are you a living testimony to this Good News everywhere you go?
  • Are you living a transformed life because of the Good News?
  • Do you realize the importance of the GREAT COMMISSION?
    • It’s life or death!
    • It’s heaven or hell!
    • It’s about sharing the Good News of Jesus which happens to be the best news ever!
  • So are you living with the privileges that come from this Good News?
  • So are you living with the responsibility that comes from this Good News?
  • If it needs to get out to everyone, everywhere then will you make sure to do your part so that everyone who is everywhere you go will know it or heart it?
  • Will you do your part to get the Word out?
  • Did you catch what else was said in the commission beyond sending the message out?
    • He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
    • Saved = rescued from sin and death
    • Condemned = experience God’s righteous judgment
  • God chose us to be the paper boys and girls to deliver His Good News!
  • So let’s be God’s ambassadors as we go out today like we are called to be:
    • ‘Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.’
      II Corinthians 5:18-21
  • So as we go out today we represent the King of kings, the Lord of lords, let’s walk out our today humbly and proud of our God given role to make Him known to the world around us!
  • Let’s be finders! We once were lost but now we are found!
  • Someone, somehow, found us and showed up the truth!
  • So today find someone, somehow who needs to be found and help them to see the truth!
  • Don’t let it stop with you! Consider passing it on!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How does it feel to know that the greatest commandment and the great commission are on your job description?
  • What changes do you need to make to represent Christ more effectively?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The Gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.”

― Carl F.H. Henry

“Each of us must start from where we are with what we have and go from there. Then God will take the knowledge we have, expand it, and use our witness to claim others for Himself.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Psalms 142 (Call out to God and share your heart with Him)
  • Psalms 143 (Cry out to God with your asks and needs, invite Him into the situation)
  • Psalms 144 (Praise God for His help and His provision)

So where are you at today? Have you heard the Good News? Have you accepted the Good News? Have you received the Good News? Have you shared the Good News? Are you living the reality of the Good News? Are you ready to pick up and start this day with it? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Is the good life something done to you or something you do for others?


If you think of someone living the good life is it someone who has received or someone who is giving? When you think of someone living the good life is it someone who is doing something great for others or who is sitting back with all the luxuries of this world? What makes someone’s life a good life? Is it the amount they are able to collect, enjoy, and status? Is it the amount that is being poured out into others, the community, and those in need?

Ever taken a look to see what is out there on “the good life”? Doing a search it was interesting to see and read from sources like Forbes which provides The Ten Golden Rules on Living the Good Life, Planet of Success which provides What Is the Good Life?, and Psychology Today which provides What Is the Good Life? Happiness is a process. It is interesting to see what the world thinks of when it comes to the good life. It is interesting to see what things align with the Bible and what things differ. It is interesting to see how even those in the world speak as though they are not of the world based on how they are defining the good life.

How about you? How do you define the good life? Have you decided to live the good life? Are you living the good life? What would it take for you to live the good life? Why not get started today? Let’s live The Good Life!


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


The Good Life


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. ‘

James 3:13

Do you realize the context of this? Let’s see if we can expand upon it through God’s Word and using the Amplified translation:

Who is there among you who is wise and intelligent? Then let him by his noble living show forth his [good] works with the [unobtrusive] humility [which is the proper attribute] of true wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth. This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal). For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity). And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God’s will in thought and deed) is [the fruit of the seed] sown in peace by those who work for and make peace [in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbedness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].’

James 3:13-18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What characteristics come to mind when you think of people seem to have figured out the secret of this life?
  • Is it that they are grounded? Are you standing on the solid rock today so you can be grounded too? The solid rock that is Jesus?
  • Is it that they are unflappable? Are you able to stand firm and not be tossed by the wind or the waves? Do you have firm footing and focus on Jesus?
  • Is it their patience and how in the moment they can remain calm? Are you holding on tight to true love, unconditional love, the kind of love that starts with patience?
  • Is it their clarity of mind and how they can process listen to understand, speak to inform, and then make good decisions? Are you taking every thought captive?
  • Do you realize that it is probably because they have figured out how to tap into God’s wisdom? They aren’t superpowers for one or some but rather it is something that is available for all those who choose to turn to God and receive it because He gives it out without finding fault.
  • Will you turn to God’s Word, the Bible, to seek for wisdom?
  • Will you turn to Proverbs and learn about wise living?
  • Will you decide to put God first? Remember how we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous and that He will take care of the rest?
  • Have you had an encounter with God and come to the reality and realization of how awesome He is, how loving He is, and how much He can be trusted?
  • Once you do, your response in situations will change.
  • Once you do, your response will be filtered through Him.
  • Once you do, your response to situations will change.
  • Once you do, your response to interactions will change.
  • Once you do, your response to decisions will change.
  • Once you do, your heart will be different and the overflow of your heart that causes your mouth to speak will also be different.
  • Once you do, your purpose in life changes.
  • Once you do, God’s purpose comes into focus and leads your direction.
  • Once you do, pursuing God’s purpose and plan for your life with an open mind and a heart filled to overflowing with His love causes you to be living the most incredible life possible.
  • So are you ready to live life with integrity?
  • So are you ready to live life in a way that will make others successful?
  • So are you ready to live a life in a way that makes your spouse and kids know how much they are loved?
  • So are you ready to live a life with stewardship of all God gives to you?
  • So are you ready to live a life that is filled with thankfulness?
  • So are you ready to live a life where you don’t have anything to prove and as such you don’t need to brag or defend yourself?
  • So are you ready to live a life of reconciliation with others so that everyone comes out of the situation healthy and with respect and their reputation in tact?
  • So where are you at today?
  • Are you ready to live this kind of a life?
  • Do you know where you are at today?
  • That is a great place to start and to invite Jesus into the process with you.
  • Draw near to God and He will draw near to you!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Give yourself an honest assessment of your life at this point.
  • In what areas do you need to grow in God’s wisdom?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.”

― William WordsworthLyrical Ballads

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What is on your mind? What acts of kindness and of love will you do? What good conduct will you perform thanks to God’s wisdom? Do you know God? Are you living out your life in relationship with God? Would you like to invite Him into your life today so that you can live out the rest of your life with Him? Would you like to invite Him into your life today so that you can live out all of eternity with Him? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


It depends on you, so will you choose to do it?


It isn’t about them, it’s about you. It’s not about why, it’s about you. It’s not about how, it’s about you. It’s not about what, it’s about you. So are you ready to choose and decide that you will do good? So are you ready to choose and decide that it won’t be selective but that you will do good to all people? Are you ready and willing to start it today?

Today’s verse of the day from the Bible app (bible.com) comes from Galatians 6:10 and says:

‘Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. ‘

Galatians 6:10

You may be wondering what was being shared or discussed leading up to such a statement and so let me share what leads to this comment:

‘Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. ‘

Galatians 6:1-6

Are you ready to show people grace like the grace (the free and unmerited favor) God offers and gives to you through Jesus? Are you ready to help someone you find that has gotten caught in the snares of life and restore them gently? Are you prepared to be able to help them, being grounded and filled up with the Holy Spirit so that you won’t get pulled off course and tempted yourself? Are you ready to come alongside and help carry each other’s burdens? Are you focusing on the right things in order to not be tripped up or fooled into being selfish or self-centered? Don’t allow pride to ensnare you! Pride comes before the fall! Don’t be about comparing yourself with others but rather compare yourself to who God is calling you to be so that you can continue to move forward and mature into the person God created you to become. If you aren’t sure, compare yourself to what God’s Word has to say, who God says you are! Let’s take a moment and capture who God says were are so that we can reflect on it and when we start to wander or considering comparing ourselves to others, we can focus on these truths and focus on becoming more like Jesus and more like who God says we are:

There are so many more as the Bible is a love letter from God, our Heavenly Father! Needing to hear or see more? Check out FathersLoveLetter.com – Home where you can read it, listen to it, and even watch it!

So are you ready to take on the challenge of doing good to all the people you come in contact with? It’s in your hands! It’s up to you! God’s Word tells us “as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people“!


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


True Confession


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. ‘

Romans 10:9

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize the simplicity of being or becoming a Christians?
  • Do you realize it is about a relationship rather than rituals and routines?
  • Are you challenged by the idea of God’s grace? His free and unmerited favor?
  • Will you cling to the truth from God’s Word or way some have tried to create the notion that God is “a stern teacher and the hope that He grades on a curve”?
  • Will you click to the simple truth that receiving the gift of Jesus is enough rather than trying to come up with more or too many requirements by reading the Bible to become saved?
  • Take hold of today’s verse and realize that it is the way to be saved!
  • It’s not Jesus plus something else! It’s just Jesus!
  • Don’t be dragged into the list of works that are required for you to be saved!
  • They help us grow in the faith but they aren’t what saves us!
  • Now, as James puts it out of our faith we produce good works! Faith without works is dead!
  • We aren’t saved by works though!
  • We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus, not by works so that nobody can boast!
  • Works don’t earn us a place in heaven! Jesus paid it all!
  • We do works because we want to and we get to not because we have to!
  • Let’s grab hold of the two truths that are essential to salvation as shared by Paul:
    • we must agree that the Jesus who walked the earth is also the God of the universe!
    • we must grasp the truth that the Lord of life rose physically from the dead after He was crucified.
  • These are the two truths that form the bedrock of the Christian faith!
  • They connect us to God’s grace!
  • They motivate us to live lives that are pleasing to God every day!
  • So are you ready to do good to all people?
  • If you haven’t made the decision to invite Jesus into your heart, are you ready to now?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are the different effects of self-effort to earn God’s acceptance and faith in Christ?
  • How would you explain to others your belief in these two truths?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

To be like Christ is to be a Christian.

William Penn

“It’s exciting to know that an all-knowing, all-loving God, the creator of the universe, who knows even when a sparrow falls, loved me so much before I was born that He came to earth to lay down His own life that I might live.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you looking for the gift of grace? Are you looking to be able to be who God says you are? Are you looking to for a change? Ever considered that it may be something on the inside rather than trying to fill up that void or space with something from the outside? What if it just took inviting Jesus into your heart? Would you be ready to start that 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?


The good works have been prepared for you to do…


With the good works having been prepared in advance for you to do, will you do it? Being God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance as our way of life, will you do it? So the good works are ready for you to do it, will you be obedient to complete it? Will you take on the challenge, even if it isn’t easy, to walk out under the protection of God and complete the good good works? We aren’t to do the good works in an effort to receive our salvation but rather from the overflow of our faith is the reason why we do good works! Remember what we find in James about faith and works?

‘What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.’

James 2:14-26

So what do works look like or mean? Works are things we do, actions, our employment, our deeds, our actions or anything we do. We see good works referenced in Matthew 5 where it reads ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.’Matthew 5:16 We see good works referenced in Ephesians 2 where it reads ‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.’Ephesians 2:10. In Matthew we find it means good deeds whereas in Ephesians we find it means well doing, virtue, or piety. We read about good works in 1 Peter 2 as well where we read ‘Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.’I Peter 2:11-12. We see how Jesus tell us that God the Father is glorified by our good works in John 15:8. We hear from Paul about good works in Titus (2:14, 3:8, 3:14) as well as in 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Remember how we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus? Remember how at the end times we will have to give account for our lives? It is our obedience to completing the good works He has prepared in advance that will be how we get judged on the works we do in love as we can see from II Corinthians 5:10, Matthew 25:34-40, and Hebrews 6:10 which say:

‘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

‘Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’’

Matthew 25:34-40

‘For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. ‘

Hebrews 6:10

So what are good works? Being obedient to God’s calling, direction, and instruction! So as we learn from Jesus all the old testament laws can be summed up by loving God and loving people as He said in Galatians 5:14 that says: ‘For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ‘. It comes down to love and from the overflow of this love we do good works! Remember how God is love? Remember how in 1 Corinthians 13 Love gets defined? So let’s be living our lives in love and as love would require of us and in so finishing the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish!

‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for June 12th


Good Work


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘The labor of the righteous leads to life, The wages of the wicked to sin.’

Proverbs 10:16

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What does a good fit look like when you think of the workplace?
  • What type of work fits you best?
  • Do you realize the benefits of work that is a good fit?
  • Do you realize the benefits of work that matches your skills?
  • Do you realize the benefits of work that matches your personality?
  • Do you realize the benefits of work that matches your experience?
  • Do you realize the benefits of work that matches your passions?
  • Do you realize what can happen when you find work that matches all of them?
  • Do you see your work as an opportunity to honor God?
  • Do you go into work everyday working as unto the Lord?
  • Today’s verse from Solomon reminds us how this type of work leads to life!
  • Will you allow your work to be a source of blessings?
  • Are you willing to find that right fit and then work as unto the Lord in order to honor God?
  • Will you make the decision and then allow God to work in and through you?
  • Will you make the decision and then allow God to do great things and impact the lives of many others?
  • Ever checked out TGIF devotional by Os Hillman that speaks to workplace as your ministry?
  • Ever checked out the book “The Call” by Os Guiness that speaks to our spiritual calling? It speaks to how our spiritual “Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service.”?
  • Do you realize that what you do at work really matters?
  • Do you realize that by working with integrity and enthusiasm because of our knowledge from God that it really matters what we do and how we do it will make it count?
  • This realization will make your work fulfilling!
  • This fulfillment will overflow into areas outside of work too! Into your family! Into your neighborhood! …
  • At the end of a day we can be energized by everything that God has done in and through us and our day rather than coming home drained or angry!
  • We can be excited by everything God did in and through your day!
  • We can be energized by the joy of the Lord that will be contagious and fill your home and family!
  • So let’s be people who treat people fairly!
  • Let’s be people who earn the respect of others!
  • Let’s live our lives on purpose, with purpose, and for God’s purpose by delighting in following Him and getting the good works He has prepared in advance for us to accomplish done.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How much does your work give life, and how much does it rob you of life?
  • What do you need to do to align your work with God’s purposes and presence?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Aristotle

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So are you ready to live your life lead by love? Are you ready to make a decision to do the good works that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish? Are you ready to get started by receiving Jesus into your heart?

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

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

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


News… what’s in it for you?


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Sharing the Good News


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

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

Romans 10:15

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

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

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

― Keith Green

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Do you know what you need to get a high R.O.I (Return On Investment)?


Using a farming analogy, part of it is dependent on the soil and the other part of it is dependent on the seed. If it’s hard to invest in something, like hard soil, then the investment won’t get in far enough to be able to make a difference and grow and so will either sit there or disappear or get snatched up and is gone. If it’s not a clean or clear investment, like the rocky soil, then the investment won’t be able to take root even though it starts to grow but when things start to heat up they wither up because of lack of depth and are gone. If it’s an investment that is problematic or controversial, like the thorny soil, then the investment will start to grow but eventually get choked out by the problems and controversy. If the investment is sound and truthful, managed with good character and sound judgment, like the good soil, then the investment will start to grow and deliver a high return on investment. This is true for investing in people, in financial market, and property. Some times to get to the good soil requires us to do some work to help break through the hard soil, pull out the rocks in the rocky soil, weed out the thorns and weeds in the soil, to get good soil in which to investment fully. We may consider the work we do to get to the good soil as an investment too, which wouldn’t be wrong, it is just that it is the prep work that might be necessary to get or find the good soil in order to get a return of 30 fold, 60 fold, or even 100 fold.

Looking into Luke 8, we read the following:

‘When a large crowd was gathering together, and people from city after city were coming to Him, He spoke [to them] using a parable: “The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road and it was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the sky ate it up. And some seed fell on [shallow soil covering] the rocks, and as soon as it sprouted, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. And some fell into good soil, and grew up and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.” Now His disciples began asking Him what this parable meant. And He said, “To you [who have been chosen] it has been granted to know and recognize the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that though seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. “Now [the meaning of] the parable is this: The seed is the word of God [concerning eternal salvation]. Those beside the road are the people who have heard; then the devil comes and takes the message [of God] away from their hearts, so that they will not believe [in Me as the Messiah] and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are the people who, when they hear, receive and welcome the word with joy; but these have no firmly grounded root. They believe for a while, and in time of trial and temptation they fall away [from Me and abandon their faith]. The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, but as they go on their way they are suffocated with the anxieties and riches and pleasures of this life, and they bring no fruit to maturity. But as for that seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and noble heart, and hold on to it tightly, and bear fruit with patience. ‘

Luke 8:4-15 (AMP)

Reading the same parable from Matthew 13 (NKJV), we get another perspective:

‘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!”’

Matthew 13:1-9 (NKJV)

‘“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 13:18-23

Remember how I also mentioned that the return is based on the seed? In the above scriptures, the seed is the good news of Jesus. It is a good seed and one that when planted, watered, and cared for will grow and the way it grows is dependent on the soil. If we don’t plant good seed then our return will be flawed too. What if you think you are planting flowers and then learn you are planting thorns? What if you think you are planting flowers and then learn that you are planting weeds? What if you think you are planting seeds and then learn that you are planting quick dry cement pellets? To get a good return on investment requires that we are investing the right things into the right areas.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 12th


100X


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘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 13:23

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What is your response to God?
  • What was your response to God?
  • Have you responded to God?
  • Which type of soil best reflects your response?
  • Are you willing to allow the work required to have good soil? Are you willing to do the work to get to good soil?
  • Are you ready to do the work necessary to get the multiplication factor?
  • The four responses exist everywhere! Be it out in the community! Be it in the church! Be it in Christian groups!
  • Did God’s truth when revealed to you make a dent?
  • Did God’s truth when revealed to you and difficulties surfaced find you falling into despair?
  • Did God’s truth when revealed to you and worries surfaced find you robbed of your joy because your put your focus on pleasures and possessions that steal your heart?
  • Did God’s truth when revealed to you help you to stand strong, resisting the temptations, and find that you are able to grow in faith and touch the lives of many others? maybe 10x, 30x, 60x, or even 100x?
  • Will you allow your faith to grow and not get tempted in order that your life can bring healing to relationships, families, friends, and more?
  • Will you allow your faith to grow and not get tempted in order that your life can help direct and instruct others who are in need?
  • We all get to choose! We have freewill and the type of soil we will be and live is our decision!
  • How will you choose to live out your today?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

What type of soil have you been for most of our Christian life? What are you now?
  • since 2000 it feels like a large part of the time was as good soil
  • there have been times of difficulties, trials, and troubles, and it was God who helped get me through it, even in times when I resisted His direction and instruction till the point when I couldn’t anymore.
  • before that I was wobbling between rocky and thorny soil
What are some changes you’d need to make to be a fourth-type-of-soil person?
  • Capture the reality that it is all about having a relationship with God! Inviting Jesus into my heart and living out my life with Him, talking and listening to Him, bringing Him into every aspect of life.
  • Avoid compartmentalizing things and letting God into every part!
  • Be better at listening and obeying His instruction through the Holy Spirit

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at personally? Where are you going to invest your time, money, and energy? Are you willing to do the hard work to make sure you have good soil? Are you ready to do the hard work to make sure you and others are physically, emotionally, and spiritual ready to receive the good news and to grow, produce fruit, and even be pruned in order to produce a multiplication factor of return? Where is your heart at today? Is it good soil and ready to receive God’s Word and truth? Is it soil that needs help and requires you invite Jesus into your heart? Are you ready to live a transformed 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?


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


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

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

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

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


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


“Father, forgive them”


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Luke 23:34

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


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

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

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

–― C.S. LewisMere Christianity

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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

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

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


Did you hear the news?


How often when someone comes up to you asking “did you hear the news?” do you think “what news?”? I know since COVID hit and being at home most of the time, I get less news information than ever. I don’t watch TV news in general because they never provide good news and in a lot of cases try to create fear in order to keep people glued to the TV. I used to get a lot of my news during my commute which with working from home is now non-existent. The only other news I used to get was from work and with working from home and fewer random encounters be it on the way to the kitchen, the restroom, or to lunch area, even this has somewhat dried up. The good news is that I have worked hard to retain my connections and relationships with people which has allowed me to stay in the know and get news that is relevant to family and friends. Be it personal news about family, health, travel, or job changes. Be it social news that is important to them. I tend to reach out when God puts someone on my heart to check in on them. I tend to ping them using one of the many tools available from social media like Facebook and LinkedIn or chat type tools like Slack and email. How often though does it end up that you missed it? Like you find out a coworker has left the company after they left meaning you didn’t get a chance to say goodbye and wish them the best? Like some new discovery or idea that made it across the broadcast networks? Good news or bad news, is there ever news that you missed and wish there had been a way for you to have known more quickly? I think it goes back to relationships! First a relationship with God so that the Holy Spirit can prompt you with His still quiet voice to reach out. Next a relationship with people so that they keep you in the know and you are able to use scheduled or random times to connect and keep in touch. Do you have and do you invest in your relationships in order to stay connected? Do you have and do you invest enough to be able to know which branches need to be cut off versus just pruned? Just like in a garden both are required, both can be painful, and both are produce more fruit!


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


In case you missed it


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 5:11-12

‘“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Will you choose to do what is right? No matter what?
  • What does it say about you and who you are?
  • What does it say about your motives and your character?
  • Will you do right even when you may or will get persecuted for it?
  • Will you do right like the disciples in Acts 5 who even after being thrown in jail for sharing Jesus at the temple they went back at daybreak after being released and told by an angel to?
    • ‘Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.” And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.’
      Acts 5:17-21
  • Will you do the right thing even if it means you will be reviled? Looking up what reviled means produced this list: criticize, censure, condemn, attack, inveigh against, rail against, lambaste, flay, savage, brand, stigmatize, denounce, blacken someone’s reputation, defame, smear, slander, libel, traduce, cast aspersions on, cast a slur on, malign, vilify, calumniate, besmirch, run down, abuse, knock, slam, pan, bash, take to pieces, take apart, crucify, hammer, lay into, slate, roast, skewer, bad-mouth, rubbish, slag off, monster, pummel, bag, vituperate against, or excoriate?
  • Will you do the right thing even if evil things may be said of you?
  • Will you do the right thing even if it means you may be falsely accused?
  • In this life we will have troubles, that’s right God doesn’t promise that it will be easy but He does promise that it will be worth it!
  • Will you do the right thing even if it threatens your life on earth?
  • The original disciples all died as martyrs.
  • Will you be light in a dark world, even when so many like or prefer the darkness as is shared in John 3?
    • ‘“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”’
      John 3:18-21
  • Will you keep the faith? Will you let your light shine? Even if it means people put on sunglasses because they don’t like the light or if it mean you may get ignored or attacked because of it?
  • It’s not a new New Testament thing. We saw Moses’ face light up after visiting with God and the response. We saw people mocking and hating Moses and other prophets for bringing God’s news or message to them.
  • Let’s take a stand and stand up for God! If we don’t stand for something we will fall for anything!
  • Let’s do the right thing and make the right decision(s) in order that we can receive the reward from God!
  • Let’s pray and stand for our brothers and sisters around the world for there are many who are being persecuted, attacked, and even killed for their faith in Jesus!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What does it mean to you that Jesus compared us to the Old Testament prophets?
  • It’s not a new occurrence for people to be attacked, persecuted, mocked, and even killed for standing up and delivering the message of God.
In this passage, Jesus promised great reward for our faith. What do you think He meant?
  • An eternal reward!
  • An eternity spent in heaven with God!
  • In Matthew 10 we read:
    • ‘“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.’ — Matthew 10:32-33

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So did you catch the news? Are you ready to take hold of the Good News of Jesus?

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?


In the midst of the good, the bad, and the ugly do you know how to cure a troubled heart?


2020 was a crazy year. If only one of the many things that took place in this world in 2020 had happened it would have been crazy. For better or for worse a lot of things happened an in reality there were a bunch that were for good in the moment and others that looking back were necessary but others the jury is still out on as the fallout is still to be determined.

How about you? Can you see the good that happened in 2020? At home? In your community? At work? In the country? Around the world? There are enough people who focus on the bad and the ugly and so for me I am going to focus on the good and the necessary. At home this year the family drew closer together as we were all locked in together which allowed for family dinners, family movie nights, game nights, and even a quick get-a-way to a airBnB place on the coast. On the home front my marriage was strengthened through more time together including evening prayer and devotional together. Working from home was a challenge when it comes to social interactions but it did open the door for more time seeing family since I wasn’t commuting two plus hours a day or in the office for another ten hours on top of that. And at work even with the transitions and changes and roles and managers, the year of 2020 in hindsight were necessary to prepare me mentally and emotionally for the change that was to take place as the year drew to a close. 2020 in the workplace closed with a final change before taking two weeks off over Christmas and New Years with family.

Can you think of all the good and necessary things that happened in your life in 2020? Would you consider writing them down so that you don’t forget that in the midst of all that was 2020 that there was some good to be had? Give it a try! Share it with family and friends! Keep it as a reminder for when the next time crazy chooses to rear its head!


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


A Sure Cure for Troubled Hearts


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: John 14:1-3

‘“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • To cure a troubled heart requires perspective – the right perspective.
  • Faith in God gives us ultimate security!
  • Even though on this earth we will have troubles, we can take heart because of God’s love and how through Jesus we have locked in our place in eternity with Him!
  • Remember the destination! Thanks to Jesus, He has gone ahead of us to prepare a place for us in heaven in which we will spend eternity with Him! (Have you received Jesus? What destination have you chosen?)
  • We can find peace and comfort in knowing that we have a forever home with Jesus in heaven!
  • So count on God’s promises! Trust in Him!
  • Take hold of the reality of a home in heaven and eternity with Him!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are things that sometimes (or often) trouble your heart?
  • Finances
  • Job
  • Relationships
How do these promises give you confidence and peace?
  • We know that God is good and His plans for us are good!
  • We know that we can trust God and He is preparing an eternity, a forever home for us because of our receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.

Corrie Ten Boom

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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

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

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


Do Good!


Do you realize when you are supposed to do good? Do you realize to whom you are supposed to be good? Do you realize how often you are supposed to do good?

Today’s Verse of the Day gives us the answers:

‘ So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers].’

— Galatians 6:10


When you have an occasion to do good, do good! When you have the opportunity to do good, do good! No matter who it might be that you are with, do good! When we say “do good” looking at the amplified version of the scripture above we see it says to be a blessing, do what is for their spiritual good, do what is useful to them, do what is profitable to them, do what is spiritually advantageous to them. So we should be looking for opportunities and occasions where we can do good! We should be making opportunities and occasions to do good! And that goodness shouldn’t be limited but rather should be useful and profitable to them. That goodness shouldn’t be charity or meaningless but rather should be for their spiritual good and advantage!

Are you ready to answer that call? Are you ready to be that answer? Are you ready to be good in a world that doesn’t share much good news? Are you ready to do good in a world that seems to highlight the bad and the evil? Are you ready to share and be light? Are you ready to share and be salt? Are you ready to be share hope? Are you ready to share grace? Are you ready to share love? Are you ready to do good? Are you ready to do good on every opportunity and occasion? Are you ready to do good to everyone that comes into your life?

Let’s do good all the time to all people!

As I was looking for the right picture for this post it was interesting to me that there were so many TO DO list type of suggestions. Are you a list person? Do you have a TO DO list? Do you have a TODAY list? Do you like to check off your list? Imagine having a list where you know the good you can/could do in advance so that when the opportunity comes up you are ready to do good to everyone and on all occasion? Will you give it a try? Imagine how your doing good today will make it somebodies Happy Today!

Let’s do good all the time to all people for their spiritual good!


Some say that hindsight is 2020. When you are looking back do you see missed opportunities where you good have done good? When you are looking back are you seeing opportunities where you didn’t return good when you were given evil or bad? When you are looking back are you seeing times when your response to the words, the actions, and the thoughts could have been for good rather than what happened? Let’s take hold of God’s Word and as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Not just sometimes! Not just when they are being nice to us! Not just when they are being good to us! Not just when we are in the mood! Let’s do good all the time to all people!

The 49 week challenge Day 332

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 332 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:


Notes:

  • ‘Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.” The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died. The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, O Holy One, you who are and who were; for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.” The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done. The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.’
    — Revelation 16:1-21
  • ‘If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord , and they will fear you. The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them. However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you: You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country. Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed. The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out. The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed. The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away. The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you. You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. The sights you see will drive you mad. The Lord will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head. The Lord will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your ancestors. There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone. You will become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the peoples where the Lord will drive you. You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off. You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land. The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail. All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you. The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or olive oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you. Because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you. Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For in her dire need she intends to eat them secretly because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of your cities. If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God— the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. The Lord will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God. Just as it pleased the Lord to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess. Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see. The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.’
    — Deuteronomy 28:1-68
  • ‘Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled! She obeys no one, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord , she does not draw near to her God. Her officials within her are roaring lions; her rulers are evening wolves, who leave nothing for the morning. Her prophets are unprincipled; they are treacherous people. Her priests profane the sanctuary and do violence to the law. The Lord within her is righteous; he does no wrong. Morning by morning he dispenses his justice, and every new day he does not fail, yet the unrighteous know no shame. “I have destroyed nations; their strongholds are demolished. I have left their streets deserted, with no one passing through. Their cities are laid waste; they are deserted and empty. Of Jerusalem I thought, ‘Surely you will fear me and accept correction!’ Then her place of refuge would not be destroyed, nor all my punishments come upon her. But they were still eager to act corruptly in all they did. Therefore wait for me,” declares the Lord , “for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them— all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger. “Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder. From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring me offerings. On that day you, Jerusalem, will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me, because I will remove from you your arrogant boasters. Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill. But I will leave within you the meek and humble. The remnant of Israel will trust in the name of the Lord . They will do no wrong; they will tell no lies. A deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid.” Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord , the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” “I will remove from you all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals, which is a burden and reproach for you. At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you. I will rescue the lame; I will gather the exiles. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they have suffered shame. At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the Lord .’
    — Zephaniah 3:1-20

As day 332 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Will you let your light shine today?


Do you realize the impact of your light on your neighborhood? your community? your workplace? your country? your world? Ever seen the impact of lifting up a candle vs keeping it low in a dark room? Ever seen the impact of opening the blinds on a dark room? Ever seen the impact of creating a window to the outside in a dark room?

This little light of mine

Ever seen the impact when a group of people lift their candles high in unity in a dark room?

A little light in the midst of darkness can clear things up

It makes a difference and the darkness flees.

be-lightjesus-inside-so-let-your-light-shine


Today’s reading begins with a calling to be light from Isaiah 60…

Future Glory for Jerusalem

1“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the lord rises to shine on you. 2Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the lord rises and appears over you. 3All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance. 4“Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. 5Your eyes will shine, and your heart will thrill with joy, for merchants from around the world will come to you. They will bring you the wealth of many lands. 6Vast caravans of camels will converge on you, the camels of Midian and Ephah. The people of Sheba will bring gold and frankincense and will come worshiping the lord. 7The flocks of Kedar will be given to you, and the rams of Nebaioth will be brought for my altars. I will accept their offerings, and I will make my Temple glorious. 8“And what do I see flying like clouds to Israel, like doves to their nests? 9They are ships from the ends of the earth, from lands that trust in me, led by the great ships of Tarshish. They are bringing the people of Israel home from far away, carrying their silver and gold. They will honor the lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has filled you with splendor. 10“Foreigners will come to rebuild your towns, and their kings will serve you. For though I have destroyed you in my anger, I will now have mercy on you through my grace. 11Your gates will stay open day and night to receive the wealth of many lands. The kings of the world will be led as captives in a victory procession. 12For the nations that refuse to serve you will be destroyed. 13“The glory of Lebanon will be yours— the forests of cypress, fir, and pine— to beautify my sanctuary. My Temple will be glorious! 14The descendants of your tormentors will come and bow before you. Those who despised you will kiss your feet. They will call you the City of the lord, and Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 15“Though you were once despised and hated, with no one traveling through you, I will make you beautiful forever, a joy to all generations. 16Powerful kings and mighty nations will satisfy your every need, as though you were a child nursing at the breast of a queen. You will know at last that I, the lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel. 17I will exchange your bronze for gold, your iron for silver, your wood for bronze, and your stones for iron. I will make peace your leader and righteousness your ruler. 18Violence will disappear from your land; the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there. 19“No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. 20Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the lord will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end. 21All your people will be righteous. They will possess their land forever, for I will plant them there with my own hands in order to bring myself glory. 22The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the lord, will make it happen.”

–from Isaiah 60

There is good news! Have you heard it? Have you received it? It’s Jesus! He gave His all that we would have the opportunity to receive the gift and have eternal life with Him!

Good News for the Oppressed

1The Spirit of the Sovereign lord is upon me, for the lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. 2He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 3To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the lord has planted for his own glory. 4They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. 5Foreigners will be your servants. They will feed your flocks and plow your fields and tend your vineyards. 6You will be called priests of the lord, ministers of our God.You will feed on the treasures of the nations and boast in their riches. 7Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. 8“For I, the lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the lord has blessed.” 10I am overwhelmed with joy in the lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. 11The Sovereign lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.

–from Isaiah 61

Let’s overwhelm out situations and circumstances with praise of God! Let’s praise God no matter the circumstances for He is in it and will get us thru it! Let’s praise Him in the morning and in the evening and throughout the day!

1Praise the lord! I will thank the lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. 2How amazing are the deeds of the lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. 3Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. 4He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our lord! 5He gives food to those who fear him; he always remembers his covenant. 6He has shown his great power to his people by giving them the lands of other nations. 7All he does is just and good, and all his commandments are trustworthy. 8They are forever true, to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity. 9He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever. What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has! 10Fear of the lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!

–from Psalms 111

Have you received the gift of Jesus? Have you learned the truth? What did it take for you to receive it? If you haven’t received it yet, what do you think it’s going to take? Let’s see what it took for Saul to receive it…

Saul’s Conversion

1Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest.2He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.
3As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
5“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.
And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!6Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! 8Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. 9He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.
10Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord!” he replied.
11The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. 12I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”
13“But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! 14And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”
15But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
17So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.
Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days.20And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”
21All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?”
22Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. 23After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. 24They were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him, but Saul was told about their plot.25So during the night, some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.
26When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! 27Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.
28So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.29He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. 30When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown.
31The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.
Peter Heals Aeneas and Raises Dorcas
32Meanwhile, Peter traveled from place to place, and he came down to visit the believers in the town of Lydda. 33There he met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. 34Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly. 35Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord.
36There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. 37About this time she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room. 38But the believers had heard that Peter was nearby at Lydda, so they sent two men to beg him, “Please come as soon as possible!”
39So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them. 40But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, “Get up, Tabitha.” And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! 41He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive.
42The news spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord. 43And Peter stayed a long time in Joppa, living with Simon, a tanner of hides.
–from Acts 9

It’s all about forgiveness! We have all missed the mark! It’s not about by how much or comparing my miss to your miss, it’s just the fact that we missed it! And the penalty is death! But God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son, that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life! Jesus came to pay the price so that we could be forgiven! As such not only do we need to ask God for forgiveness, we need to be forgiving others rather than allowing anger and bitterness to build up within us!

1So I decided that I would not bring you grief with another painful visit. 2For if I cause you grief, who will make me glad? Certainly not someone I have grieved. 3That is why I wrote to you as I did, so that when I do come, I won’t be grieved by the very ones who ought to give me the greatest joy. Surely you all know that my joy comes from your being joyful. 4I wrote that letter in great anguish, with a troubled heart and many tears. I didn’t want to grieve you, but I wanted to let you know how much love I have for you.

Forgiveness for the Sinner

5I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. 6Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. 7Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. 8So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him.
9I wrote to you as I did to test you and see if you would fully comply with my instructions. 10When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, 11so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.
12When I came to the city of Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord opened a door of opportunity for me. 13But I had no peace of mind because my dear brother Titus hadn’t yet arrived with a report from you. So I said good-bye and went on to Macedonia to find him.

Ministers of the New Covenant

14But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. 15Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 16To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
17You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.

–from 2 Corinthians 2

Have you been touched? Have you been able to keep quiet? Have you been able to keep it to yourself?


Has your life had a divine encounter? Has your life been transformed? Have you had your eyes opened to the truth? Are you able to see things more clearly because of the transformation? Are you keeping it all to yourself? Are you not sharing the good news with others? How have you been able to keep it to yourself? What is keeping you from sharing?

God had a plan for me and when I moved thousands of miles away from my comfort zone, He provided a divine encounter. He provided a special invitation to a Christmas pageant/production at a near by church. He provided a powerful encounter of worship and preaching that drew us even closer. He provided incredible teaching from God’s Word that opened my eyes to the truth. He provided divine appointments where not only was I able to learn about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but also to experience it. He provided divine appointments where I didn’t only learn about freedom through Cleansing Stream, but also had been freed from years of violent responses when I was hit in the head through the power of forgiveness. Not only did I get to hang out with a bunch of men at a men’s retreat, but God spoke to me about how He wanted me to get more involved in my community where I was called into a higher level of leadership within my homeowners association. It also got me plugged into serving at the church where I was involved in productions – acting, signing on the stage as well as off stage with media, and production. It has impacted me at work and my interactions with others to the point where I even started to blog about it. My plan was a private site but God called me to open it up and to share my time with Him with others that His Word would be heard and be a testimony to many others. So to say the least, I haven’t been able to keep quiet. Today’s Word triggered this thought and topic to me because the two men who had a divine encounter with Jesus couldn’t keep it to themselves either.

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

27Jesus left that place, and as he walked along, two blind men started following him. “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” they shouted.
28When Jesus had gone indoors, the two blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I can heal you?”
“Yes, sir!” they answered.
29Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Let it happen, then, just as you believe!”— 30and their sight was restored. Jesus spoke sternly to them, “Don’t tell this to anyone!”
31But they left and spread the news about Jesus all over that part of the country.
— from Matthew 9 (GNT)

When we are freed and start to speak of what God has done in and through our lives, there will be people who try to play it down or call it something else. Jesus even faced that type of doubt and fear…

Jesus Heals a Man Who Could Not Speak

32As the men were leaving, some people brought to Jesus a man who could not talk because he had a demon. 33But as soon as the demon was driven out, the man started talking, and everyone was amazed. “We have never seen anything like this in Israel!” they exclaimed.
34 But the Pharisees said, “It is the chief of the demons who gives Jesus the power to drive out demons.”
— from Matthew 9 (GNT)

There are many people who don’t know. There are many people who have never heard. There are people held back by fear. There are people held back by doubt. But what can you do? What can you say to speak hope and life to those God brings into your life? You may be the only experience they have ever had and so you need to speak up and speak out. You need to provide a hand up rather than just a handout. Today, let’s make a difference!

Jesus Has Pity for the People

35 Jesus went around visiting all the towns and villages. He taught in the synagogues, preached the Good News about the Kingdom, and healed people with every kind of disease and sickness. 36 As he saw the crowds, his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were worried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 So he said to his disciples, “The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in. 38Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest.”
— from Matthew 9 (GNT)

Not everyone is going to want to hear! Not everyone is going to want to respond! But don’t fear, just believe and put your trust in God! God has greater plans for you! God’s plan for you and those around you isn’t that anyone should perish, but that through Jesus Christ we will all have eternal life with Him! So don’t stop sharing because some people don’t what to hear. Don’t stop sharing because some people threaten you. Press in to what God calls you to and get it done! It’s incredible what God can do in and through us if we open up and allow Him to flow through us into the lives of those He brings into our lives. But don’t allow pride to trip you up. Don’t allow others to lift you up but point them all to Jesus. There is a risk when people are able to see and experience God working through you that they may get misdirected and think it is about you, but we need to make sure we point them to the true source and the true savior of the world … Jesus!

In Iconium

1The same thing happened in Iconium: Paul and Barnabas went to the synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of Jews and Gentiles became believers. 2But the Jews who would not believe stirred up the Gentiles and turned them against the believers. 3The apostles stayed there for a long time, speaking boldly about the Lord, who proved that their message about his grace was true by giving them the power to perform miracles and wonders. 4The people of the city were divided: some were for the Jews, others for the apostles.
5Then some Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, decided to mistreat the apostles and stone them. 6When the apostles learned about it, they fled to the cities of Lystra and Derbe in Lycaonia and to the surrounding territory. 7There they preached the Good News.

In Lystra and Derbe

8In Lystra there was a crippled man who had been lame from birth and had never been able to walk. 9He sat there and listened to Paul’s words. Paul saw that he believed and could be healed, so he looked straight at him 10and said in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” The man jumped up and started walking around. 11When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they started shouting in their own Lycaonian language, “The gods have become like men and have come down to us!” 12They gave Barnabas the name Zeus, and Paul the name Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13The priest of the god Zeus, whose temple stood just outside the town, brought bulls and flowers to the gate, for he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice to the apostles.
14When Barnabas and Paul heard what they were about to do, they tore their clothes and ran into the middle of the crowd, shouting, 15 “Why are you doing this? We ourselves are only human beings like you! We are here to announce the Good News, to turn you away from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven, earth, sea, and all that is in them. 16In the past he allowed all people to go their own way. 17But he has always given evidence of his existence by the good things he does: he gives you rain from heaven and crops at the right times; he gives you food and fills your hearts with happiness.” 18Even with these words the apostles could hardly keep the crowd from offering a sacrifice to them.
19Some Jews came from Antioch in Pisidia and from Iconium; they won the crowds over to their side, stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, thinking that he was dead. 20But when the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he and Barnabas went to Derbe.

The Return to Antioch in Syria

21Paul and Barnabas preached the Good News in Derbe and won many disciples. Then they went back to Lystra, to Iconium, and on to Antioch in Pisidia. 22They strengthened the believers and encouraged them to remain true to the faith. “We must pass through many troubles to enter the Kingdom of God,” they taught. 23In each church they appointed elders, and with prayers and fasting they commended them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
24After going through the territory of Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 25There they preached the message in Perga and then went to Attalia, 26and from there they sailed back to Antioch, the place where they had been commended to the care of God’s grace for the work they had now completed.
27When they arrived in Antioch, they gathered the people of the church together and told them about all that God had done with them and how he had opened the way for the Gentiles to believe. 28And they stayed a long time there with the believers.
— from Acts 14 (GNT)

Let’s sing songs of praise to God! Let’s celebrate the incredible things He is and has and will do in and through our lives! Let’s make each day so filled with joy because He is with us that it will be hard for others to hold back or to get down, let’s give us a reason for the joy that is within us! Let’s not allow our circumstances to direct our attitudes and actions. Let’s allow Jesus working in us to drive our attitude and responses to everything that comes our way!

12Many enemies surround me like bulls;

they are all around me,
like fierce bulls from the land of Bashan.
13They open their mouths like lions,
roaring and tearing at me.
14My strength is gone,
gone like water spilled on the ground.
All my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like melted wax.
15My throat is as dry as dust,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have left me for dead in the dust.
16An evil gang is around me;
like a pack of dogs they close in on me;
they tear at my hands and feet.
17All my bones can be seen.
My enemies look at me and stare.
18  They gamble for my clothes
and divide them among themselves.
19O Lord, don’t stay away from me!
Come quickly to my rescue!
20Save me from the sword;
save my life from these dogs.
21Rescue me from these lions;
I am helpless before these wild bulls.
22  I will tell my people what you have done;
I will praise you in their assembly:
23“Praise him, you servants of the Lord!
Honor him, you descendants of Jacob!
Worship him, you people of Israel!
24He does not neglect the poor or ignore their suffering;
he does not turn away from them,
but answers when they call for help.”
25In the full assembly I will praise you for what you have done;
in the presence of those who worship you
I will offer the sacrifices I promised.
26The poor will eat as much as they want;
those who come to the Lord will praise him.
May they prosper forever!
27All nations will remember the Lord.
From every part of the world they will turn to him;
all races will worship him.
28The Lord is king,
and he rules the nations.
29All proud people will bow down to him;#

22.29: Probable text will bow down to him; Hebrew will eat and bow down.
all mortals will bow down before him.
30Future generations will serve him;
they will speak of the Lord to the coming generation.
31People not yet born will be told:
“The Lord saved his people.”
— from Psalm 22 (GNT)

So today as we get started, let’s put on the full armor of God and be prepared for what will be ahead of us. Let’s share the Good News of how God has worked in and through our lives and how He wants to make a difference in the lives of those around us. Yes, you reading this text, that is you. He wants to make a difference in your life because He loves you so much. Yes, you reading this, He wants to hear you sharing the Good News with others as you have been transformed and saved. Yes, you reading this text, if you want to hear more or talk more, please leave me a comment for me to respond to … feel free to read through other postings if that is more comfortable for you. Do a search about something that is on your mind.