How has God’s grace touched you?


Has His grace transformed your life – maybe not as you would have thought or planned or liked – so that you are thankful for your life?  Has His grace transformed your life in a way that allows you to speak life and love and hope into the people around you? Has His grace revealed His love and promises to you?

Do you lean into God’s grace daily to help you through each day of your life? Do you trust God’s grace in the midst of your daily life? In your highest of highs and lowest of lows? In your weakness? In your strength? Everywhere in between?

Is God’s grace enough for you? Is it something you can depend on beyond your own strength, your own knowledge, your own vision? Is it more than enough for you?

In the midst of our pain and suffering, in the midst of our weakness and sorrow, God’s grace is sufficient! God’s grace is enough! God’s grace is amazing! Remember what Paul said about that thorn in his side?

God's grace is enough - 2-corinthians-12_9

We don’t have to be perfect! We don’t have to be strong enough! We don’t have to be smart enough! We don’t have to have it all buttoned down! God’s grace is enough! His strength and His power is revealed in and through our weakness!

Do you realize how much you need it? Do you turn to God and ask for it?

Do you realize how He knows everything about you and loves you anyways? Do you realize there is nothing that surprises Him? Do you realize that He knows our everything thought and emotion? Do you realize that He loves you so much that He sent Jesus to pay the ultimate ransom in order to save you? His grace is enough, it’s actually more than enough!

So don’t try to go it alone! Invite Jesus into your life today! And allow God’s grace to be your strength when you are weak! Allow God’s grace to work in and through you today!


His Grace is Enough for You

Day 254: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. His grace comes from his great love … Psalm 106:40-48
  2. His grace is what you need … 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
  3. His grace comes through Jesus … Isaiah 27:1-28:29

Today’s reading from God’s Word…

Thankful? For? About? Because?


Don’t be useless! Appreciate what you have! Be thankful! What are you thankful for today? What are you thankful about today? What is the reason for your thankfulness?

Will you share it? Will you tell others about it? Will you speak of it?

You don’t want to be cut off from the vine! You want to allow the provision that flows from it to flow into and thru your life! You want to allow the purpose and the plans that flows from it to flow into and thru your life! You want to allow the promises that flows from it to flow into and thru your life! So don’t close up and hold onto it for yourself, but rather pass it along so that you can be used as a conduit to others!

You were created on purpose with a purpose for a purpose! So take that purpose and be useful! Don’t waste what you have been given, but rather take it and be a good steward of it so that you can multiply it and grow it and share it with those around you to the glory of God!

Let’s be faithful with the gifts we have been given! Let’s use them for unselfish purposes! Let’s focus on how we can use it to expand God’s kingdom! Let’s focus on how we can share God’s love with the world around us! Let’s take our thankfulness and share it so that other can also be thankful! Let’s take our joy and pass it on so that others can have joy! Let’s be ambassadors of peace so that others can find peace in the midst of everything going on in their lives! Let’s be faithful so that others can receive the good news and share in the blessings of God in and thru our lives and the life of the church!

Will you have compassion for those around you? Do you see a need? What will you do about it? Are you so focused on yourself that you are missing out on what God has enabled and empowered you to do for others? Will you put your trust in God rather than yourself? Don’t miss out on the truth and the hope so that you also miss out on why you can be thankful! God so loves the world that He sent His one and only Son, so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life! Will you receive the gift of Jesus into your life? Will you accept it with thanksgiving and praise? Will you lift Him up in a way that will give God all the praise, the honor, and the glory?

Don’t waste the gift you have been given! Don’t sell yourself and lose out on the most incredible gift of God! Don’t sell yourself and miss out the reality that you have already been bought for a price when Jesus went to the cross for you. Don’t waste or mutilate the incredible gifts of God and then miss out on the truth, the hope, and the love He has for you. Turn from your wicked ways and turn back to God! Humble yourself and pray! Seek God with all of your heart, all of your mind, all of your soul, and all of your strength! He will then hear from heaven, forgive your sins, and heal your land!

Do you really want to risk the anger of God against you? Do you really want to walk out from underneath His covering? Do you really want to go and try to do it all on your own?

Do you think it would be worth selling your soul and losing out on real life?

Do you think allowing lust and exposure to rob you of God’s real plan and purpose for your life?

Do you think you can trust them more than you could trust God? Do you realize what they are and will do to you?

Don’t be arrogant! Don’t be unconcerned! Instead, help the needy and the poor!

Consider your behavior and your acts for you don’t want to be humiliated!

Let’s conclude and consider how our reading ends today with Galatians 1…

1Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2and all the brothers and sisters with me,

To the churches in Galatia:

3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
No Other Gospel
6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under Godʼs curse! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under Godʼs curse!
10Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul Called by God

11I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
13For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15But when God, who set me apart from my motherʼs womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
18Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lordʼs brother. 20I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
21Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24And they praised God because of me.

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 15, 16, Galatians 1

Their is a difference between what we deserve vs what is available.


Ever messed up? Ever made a mistake? Ever missed the mark? Ever done something you were sorry for? Ever done something you weren’t proud of? Ever broken a rule? Ever broken the law? Ever done something unfair? Ever done something immoral? Ever done something immoral?

Do you realize what the penalty is? Do you realize what the repercussions are? Do you realize what could of or should of happened to you because of it? Do you realize the impact it had on others and on you?

Do you realize we all have a choice? Do you realize we all have options? Do you realize there is a way out? Do you realize there is a way into hope? Do you realize that there is a way to compensate for the faults? Do you realize that there is a way to compensate for the bad? Do you realize that there is a way to restore or regain what was lost? Do you realize that there is a way to be redeemed? Do you realize that there is a way to be vindicated? Do you realize there there is a way to get help?

Did you know that there is a way to hear a word of wisdom? Did you know that there is a way to hear a word of encouragement? Did you know that there is a way to hear a word that will sustain you? Did you know that there is a way to hear a word that will renew you?

Want help? Need help? Know where to go and find help?

Turn back to God! Cry out to Jesus! Trust in Him! Lean on Him and His ways!


Today’s reading starts in Isaiah 50..

1Thus says Adonai: “Where is the divorce certificate, by which I sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? See, you were sold for your iniquities, and for your transgressions your mother was sent away. 2Why was no one there when I came? Why was there no one to answer when I called? Is My hand too short to redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, I dry up the sea at My rebuke, I make rivers a wilderness— their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst. 3I clothe the heavens with blackness and make sackcloth their covering.”

Third Servant Song: Face Like Flint

4Adonai Elohim has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning. He awakens My ear to give heed as a disciple. 5Adonai Elohim has opened My ear, and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn back. 6I gave My back to those who strike, and My cheeks to those pulling out My beard; I did not hide My face from humiliation and spitting. 7For Adonai Elohim will help Me. Therefore I have not been disgraced. Therefore I set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed. 8The One who vindicates Me is near. Who will accuse Me? Let us stand up to each other. Who is My adversary? Let him confront Me. 9See, Adonai Elohim will help Me. Who is he who would condemn Me? See, they all wear out like a garment. A moth will eat them up. 10Who among you fears Adonai? Who hears the voice of His servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the Name of Adonai and lean on his God. 11“Behold, all you who kindle a fire, encircling yourselves with firebrands. Walk in the light of your fire and among the brands you have lit. This you will have from My hand: you will lie down in torment.”

–from Isaiah 50

Looking for justice? Turn to God! Looking for comfort? Turn to God! Looking for righteousness? Turn to God! Looking for salvation? Turn to God! Looking for strength? Turn to God! Looking for joy? Turn to God! Looking for gladness? Turn to God! Afraid of the unknown? Turn to God! Ask the Spirit of God to come into your heart! Ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior!

Comfort Zion With Justice

1“Listen to Me, you who pursue justice, you who seek Adonai. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. 2Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you. For when I called him, he was but one, then I blessed him and multiplied him.” 3For Adonai will comfort Zion. He will comfort all her waste places. He will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of Adonai. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and a sound of melody. 4“Pay attention to Me, My people, give ear to Me, My nation. For Torah will go out from Me, My justice as a light to the peoples. 5My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone out, and My arms will judge the nations. The coastlands will wait for Me— for My arm they will wait expectantly. 6Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants will die like gnats, but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness never wane. 7Listen to Me, you who know justice, a people with My Torah in their heart: Do not fear the taunt of men, nor be dismayed at their insults. 8For the moth will eat them like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool. But My righteousness will be forever and My salvation for all generations.” 9Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of Adonai, awake, as in days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon? 10Was it not You who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the sea a path for the redeemed to pass over? 11Now the ransomed of Adonai will return, and come to Zion with singing. Everlasting joy will be upon their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. 12“I, I am the One who comforts you. Who are you that you should fear man, who dies, or a son of man, who is given up like grass?” 13But you forgot Adonai your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. Are you in constant dread all day because of the fury of the oppressor as he makes ready to destroy? But where is the fury of the oppressor? 14Soon one bowed down will be released. He will not die and go to the Pit, nor will his bread be lacking. 15“For I am Adonai your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—Adonai-Tzva’ot is His Name. 16I have put My words in your mouth, and covered you with the shadow of My hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’” 17Awake, awake! Stand up, Jerusalem! From Adonai’s hand you have drunk the cup of His fury, the chalice of reeling that you have drained to the dregs. 18There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne, nor is there one to take her by the hand among all the sons she has raised. 19These two things have befallen you —who will mourn for you?— devastation and destruction, famine and the sword. How will I comfort you? 20Your sons have fainted. They lie at every street corner, like an antelope in a net. They are full of Adonai’s fury, the rebuke of your God. 21Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine. 22Thus says your Lord, Adonai your God who defends His people: “Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of reeling, the bowl of My wrath. You will never drink it again. 23Then I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who said to you, ‘Lie down, so we may walk over you.’ You have made your back like the ground and like a street for passersby.

–from Isaiah 51

Will you choose before it is too late? Will you ask Jesus into your life and follow after Him the rest of your life? Will you call upon Jesus and be saved?

Judgment is coming! Eternity is at stake! We each need to make our own choice and decision!

Don’t worry about revenge! The battle is the Lord’s and vengeance is His!

God Really Judges

1For the music director: “Do Not Destroy,” a Michtam of David. 2Do you really speak of justice, O “gods”? Do you judge with fairness, sons of man? 3No, in heart you devise injustice. Your hands weigh out violence on earth. 4The wicked are strangers from the womb. Speaking lies, they go astray from birth. 5Their venom is like a serpent’s venom, like a deaf cobra shutting its ear— 6not hearing the voice of charmers, or a cunning spell binder. 7O God, break their teeth in their mouths. Tear out the fangs of young lions, Adonai. 8Let them flow away like water that runs off. When he bends his bow, let the arrows be cut off. 9Like a slug melting away as it slithers, like a woman’s miscarriage, may they never see the sun. 10Even before your pots can feel a thorn —whether alive or ablaze— He will sweep the wicked away. 11The righteous one will rejoice when he beholds vengeance, when he washes his feet in the blood of the wicked. 12Then men will say: “There really is a reward for the righteous. There really is a God who judges on earth!”

–from Psalms 58

Don’t try to trick or deceive God! He knows your every thought! Don’t try to cheat God! He already owns everything and knows your heart! Walk with Him! Trust Him! Live life to the full in and through Him! Let’s be living lives that testify of God’s goodness and great love! Let’s be living lives that testify to His power and greatness! Let’s allow the Spirit of God to work in us and through us for the glory of our God! We need to be telling people God’s way! We need to go beyond man’s way and do it God’s way! From the beginning people tried to stop God, but as today’s reading tells us “If it is of God, you will not be able to stop them. You might even be found fighting against God.” Don’t lose hope in the trial, the troubles, and the persecution! Trust in God! Rejoice that you were considered worthy!

Ananias and Sapphira Lie to the Ruach

1On the other hand, a man named Ananias together with his wife, Sapphira, sold a property. 2He kept back some of the proceeds, with his wife’s full knowledge, and brought part of it and set it at the feet of the emissaries. 3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has satan filled your heart to lie to the Ruach ha-Kodesh and keep back part of the proceeds of the land? 4While it remained unsold, it was your own, wasn’t it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? How did this deed get into your heart? You haven’t lied to men but to God.” 5As soon as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and died. Great fear came upon all who heard about it. 6The young men got up and wrapped him in a shroud, then carried him out and buried him. 7After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter responded to her, “Tell me if you sold the land for this much.” She said, “Yes, for that much.” 9Then Peter said to her, “How did you agree to test the Ruach Adonai? Look, the feet of those who buried your husband are at the door—they will carry you out, too!” 10Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came back in, they found her dead and carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear came over the whole community and all who heard these things.

Signs and Wonders, Angelic Jailbreak, and Bold Witness

12Meanwhile, through the hands of the emissaries many signs and wonders were happening among the people. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. 13But no one else dared to join them, though the people continued to think highly of them. 14Yet more than ever those trusting in the Lord were added—large numbers of men and women. 15They even carried the sick into the streets and laid them on stretchers and cots, so that when Peter passed by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16Crowds were also gathering from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing those who were sick or tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all being healed. 17But the kohen gadol rose up, and all those with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. 18They grabbed the emissaries and put them in a public jail. 19But during the night an angel of Adonai opened the prison doors, and leading them out he said, 20“Go, stand in the Temple and speak to the people the whole message about this Life.” 21Now when they heard that, they entered the Temple at daybreak and began teaching. When the kohen gadol and those with him arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin, even the council of elders of Bnei-Yisrael, and sent to the prison to have the prisoners brought in. 22But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison. So they returned and reported, 23saying, “We found the prison locked with maximum security and the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened up, we found no one inside.” 24When the captain of the Temple and the ruling kohanim heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering where this would lead. 25But someone came and reported to them, “The men you put in prison are standing in the Temple and teaching the people!” 26Then the captain went off with the officers and brought the emissaries—but not with force, because they feared they might be stoned by the people. 27When they had brought them, they placed them before the Sanhedrin. The kohen gadol questioned them, 28saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name—and look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring on us the blood of this Man!” 29Peter and the emissaries replied, “We must obey God rather than men. 30The God of our fathers raised up Yeshua, whom you seized and had crucified. 31This One God exalted at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and removal of sins. 32And we are witnesses of these events—as is the Ruach ha-Kodesh, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” 33Now when they heard this, they became enraged and wanted to kill them. 34But a certain Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Torah respected by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35Then he said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful what you are about to do with these men. 36For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody; and a number of men, maybe four hundred, joined up with him. He was killed, and all who followed him were scattered and came to nothing. 37After this fellow, Judah the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and got people to follow him. He also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38So now I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or undertaking is of men, it will come to an end; 39but if it is of God, you will not be able to stop them. You might even be found fighting against God.” They took his advice, 40called in the emissaries, flogged them, ordered them not to continue speaking in the name of Yeshua, and let them go. 41So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were considered worthy to be dishonored on account of His name. 42And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming Yeshua as the Messiah.

–from Acts 5

So choose to be on the winning side! Choose to walk in the victory that has already been won. Jesus has won! So choose to walk with Him and be on His side!

The Victory of the Resurrection

1Now I make known to you, brothers and sisters, the Good News which I proclaimed to you. You also received it, and you took your stand on it,
2and by it you are being saved if you hold firm to the word I proclaimed to you—unless you believed without proper consideration.
3For I also passed on to you first of all what I also received— that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5and that He appeared to Kefa, then to the Twelve.
6Then He appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time— most of them are still alive, though some have died.
7Then He appeared to Jacob, then to all the emissaries,
8and last of all, as to one untimely born, He also appeared to me.
9For I am the least of the emissaries, unworthy to be called an emissary because I persecuted God’s community.
10But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace toward me was not in vain. No, I worked harder than them all—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
11Whether then it is I or they, so we proclaim, and so you believed.
12Now if Messiah is proclaimed—that He has been raised from the dead—how can some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Messiah has been raised!
14And if Messiah has not been raised, then our proclaiming is meaningless and your faith also is meaningless.
15Moreover, we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that He raised up Messiah—whom He did not raise up, if in fact the dead are not raised.
16For if the dead are not raised, not even Messiah has been raised.
17And if Messiah has not been raised, your faith is futile—you are still in your sins.
18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Messiah have perished.
19If we have hoped in Messiah in this life alone, we are to be pitied more than all people.
20But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also has come through a Man.
22For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah will all be made alive.
23But each in its own order: Messiah the firstfruits; then, at His coming, those who belong to Messiah;
24then the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all rule and all authority and power.
25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
27For God has “put all things in subjection underneath His feet.” But when the psalmist says that “all” has been put in subjection, it is clear that this does not include God Himself, who put all things under Messiah.
28Now when all things become subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also become subject to the One who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all.
29Otherwise, what will they do who are immersed for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, then why are they immersed for them?
30And why are we in danger every hour?
31I die every day—yes, as surely as the boast in you, brothers and sisters, which I have in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.
32If, for human reasons, I fought with “wild animals” at Ephesus, what good is that to me? If the dead are not raised, “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
33Do not be deceived! “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
34Come to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning! For some have no knowledge of God—I say this to your shame.
35But someone will say, “How are the dead raised?” and, “With what kind of body do they come?”
36Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
37As for what you sow—you are not sowing the body that will be, but a bare seed, maybe of wheat or something else.
38But God gives it a body just as He planned, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.
39All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of humans, another flesh of animals, another of birds, and another of fish.
40There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing while the earthly is another.
41There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
42So also is the resurrection of the dead: Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption!
43Sown in dishonor, raised in glory! Sown in weakness, raised in power!
44Sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body! If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
45So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.
47The first man is of the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven.
48Like the one made of dust, so also are those made of dust; and like the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.
49And just as we have borne the image of the one made from dust, so also shall we bear the image of the One from heaven.
50Now I say this, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and what decays cannot inherit what does not decay.
51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility , and this mortal must put on immortality.
54But when this corruptible will have put on incorruptibility and this mortal will have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55“Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?”
56Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Torah.
57But thanks be to God, who keeps giving us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah!
58Therefore, my dearly loved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord—because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

–from 1 Corinthians 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know where you can go?


Do you know where you can lean? Do you know where you can turn? Do you know who you can trust? Do you know who is the same yesterday, today, and forever? Do you realize that even though you may stray, He is still faithful? Do you realize that even though you may walk away, He is waiting on you and hoping you will come back? Do you realize even though you left the protection and the provision He is still calling and desiring for you to come back? Do you realize that in this world you will have troubles? Are you setting yourself up so that in those moments you will have what you need and you will be in relationship with Jesus who has told us to take heart because He has overcome the world? Do you realize that when you have a living relationship with Jesus, He provides a way that goes beyond all understanding providing you peace, so that you can consider it pure joy when you face trials of any kind? Do you realize what you are setting yourself up for when you walk out from the covering and the protection of Jesus? When you are in the open for the attacks of the enemy? Do you realize what God has to offer? Do you realize the gift that is available to you? Do you realize that it is free and just requires for you to choose it? The gift of salvation comes through grace, not by works so that nobody can boast!

So where are you at today?

Do you know where you can go?


Let’s get started with our reading from the book of Hosea…

Ephraim Multiplies Lies

1“Ephraim surrounded Me with lies and the house of Israel with deceit.” Though Judah roams restlessly with God, yet he is faithful with holy things. 2Ephraim is grazing on wind and pursuing the east wind. All day he multiplies lies and ruin: making a pact with Assyria, while carrying oil to Egypt. 3Adonai also has a dispute with Judah: He will punish Jacob for his ways, repaying him for his deeds. 4In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel, and in his vigor he strove with God. 5Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won; he wept and sought his favor. At Bethel he will find us, and there He will speak with us. 6Even Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot— Adonai is His memorial-Name. 7So you should return to your God, keep covenant loyalty and justice, and wait for your God continually. 8A merchant loves to extort, with deceptive balances in his hand. 9Now Ephraim has said: “How rich I have become! I found wealth by myself. I won’t be guilty of any sin with any of my property.” 10“Yet I have been Adonai your God, since the land of Egypt. I will yet again make you dwell in tents, as in the days of the moed. 11I also spoke through the prophets and I multiplied visions. Now through the prophets I will make parables. 12Since Gilead is full of iniquity, they are utterly worthless. In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls— even their altars will become heaps of rocks along the furrows of My field.” 13Now Jacob fled to the field of Aram, when Israel served for a wife— yes, he kept watch for a wife. 14So by a prophet Adonai brought Israel up out of Egypt, and by a prophet he was kept. 15Ephraim has provoked bitter anger, so his bloodguilt will remain on him— his Lord will repay him for his contempt.

–from Hosea 12

There is only one way back! It’s to turn to God! He is like the Father who is awaiting the prodigal or lost son, hoping and waiting and looking for any sign of his return! There is only one under heaven and earth by which we can be saved! Only GOD can save!

No Other Savior

1When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling. He exalted himself in Israel, but he became guilty through Baal, and died. 2But now, they sin more and more. They made themselves molten images, idols skillfully made from their silver, all of them the work of the craftsmen. They say about them: “Let those who sacrifice kiss the calves.” 3Therefore they will be like morning clouds, like dew passing away early, like chaff blown from the threshing-floor, or like smoke from a chimney. 4“Yet I have been Adonai your God since the land of Egypt. You should know no God but Me, and there is no Savior apart from Me. 5I Myself knew you in the wilderness, in a land of terrible drought. 6While they were fed, they were satisfied. Filled, their hearts became haughty. Therefore they forgot Me. 7So I became like a lion to them— like a leopard lying in wait by the way. 8I will meet them like a bear robbed of her cubs, and I will tear open their chests. There I will devour them like a lioness. A beast of the field will rip them to shreds. 9It has corrupted you, O Israel, for you are against Me— against your Helper! 10Where then is your king? So, will he save you in all your cities? Or your judges, to whom you said: ‘Give me a king and princes!’ 11I give you a king in My anger, and take him away in My wrath. 12Ephraim is bound by iniquity; his sin is treasured up. 13Pains of birth come on him. He is not a wise son. When the time comes, he should not delay at the opening of the womb. 14Should I ransom them from the hand of Sheol? Should I redeem them from death? O death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Comfort is hidden from My eyes.” 15Because he is the son of kinsmen, he should have been fruitful. An east wind will come— the wind from Adonai, coming up from the wilderness. His spring will become dry, and his fountain will dry up. He will plunder the treasury of every precious vessel.

–from Hosea 13

Jesus paid the price! He gave His life on the cross that we can be reconciled back unto God! He gave His life on the cross to provide a way for us to be forgiven for our sins! Not just some of them, but all of them! Will you give your mistakes, your problems, your issues, your problems, your sins up to Him and nail them to the cross? Jesus died once for all! No more sacrifices are needed — we just need to give them over to Him! Jesus not only died on the cross, He conquered the grave to provide for freedom! True freedom! Jesus knows! He isn’t surprised! He knows us better than we know ourselves! So don’t run away! Don’t get lost! Turn back to Him! Ask Him for forgiveness! Allow His power to break the chains of fear, of doubt, of worry, of bitterness, so that you can take hold of the gift of salvation and hope and love and freedom!

Anointed for Burial

1Now it was two days before Passover and the Feast of Matzah. The ruling kohanim and Torah scholars were searching for a way to grab Yeshua by stealth and kill Him. 2“But not during the festival,” they were saying, “so there won’t be a riot among the people.” 3And while Yeshua was in Bethany at the house of Simon ha-Metzora, reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive oil of pure nard. Breaking open the jar, she poured it over His head. 4But some got angry and said among themselves, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5It could have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor!” And they kept scolding her. 6But Yeshua said, “Leave her alone. Why do you cause trouble for her? She’s done Me a mitzvah. 7For you always have the poor with you, and you can do good for them whenever you want; but you won’t always have Me. 8She did what she could—she came beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9Amen, I tell you, wherever the Good News is proclaimed in all the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” 10Then Judah from Kriot, one of the Twelve, went out to the ruling kohanim to betray Yeshua to them. 11They were delighted when they heard this and promised to give him money. And Judah began looking for a chance to hand Him over.

New Covenant at the Last Seder

12Now on the first day of matzah , when they were slaughtering the Passover lamb, Yeshua’s disciples say to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 13He sends two of His disciples and tells them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, 14and wherever he enters, tell the homeowner, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 15He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” 16The disciples went out, came to the city, and found just what Yeshua had told them. And they prepared the Passover. 17When it was evening, He came with the Twelve. 18As they were reclining and eating, Yeshua said, “Amen, I tell you, one of you who is eating with Me will betray Me.” 19They began to be sorrowful and to say to Him one by one, “I’m not the one, am I?” 20He said to them, “It’s one of the Twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl. 21For the Son of Man indeed goes, just as it is written about Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born!” 22And while they were eating, He took matzah ; and after He offered the bracha, He broke it and gave it to them and said, “Take; this is My body.” 23And He took a cup; and after giving thanks, He gave to them and they all drank from it. 24And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25Amen, I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.”

Denial Predicted

26After singing the Hallel, they went out to the Mount of Olives.27And Yeshua said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28But after I’m raised up, I will go before you to the Galilee.” 29Peter said to Him, “Even though all fall away, I won’t!” 30And Yeshua said to him, “Amen, I tell you, today—this very night—before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” 31But Peter kept insisting exceedingly, “Even if I must die with You, I’ll never deny You!” And they all were saying the same.

A Night of Painful Prayer

32Then they come to a place whose name is Gethsemane; and Yeshua says to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33He takes with Him Peter, Jacob, and John; and He began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34And He tells them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch.” 35Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and began praying that if possible this hour might pass Him by. 36And He was saying, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You! Take this cup from Me! Yet not what I will, but what You will.” 37Then He comes and finds them sleeping; and He tells Peter, “Simon, you’re asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38Keep watching and praying, so that you do not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39Again He went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy. They didn’t know what to answer Him. 41And He comes the third time and says to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is being delivered into the hands of sinners. 42Get up, let’s go! Look, My betrayer is near.”

Betrayed and Abandoned

43Right away, while Yeshua was still speaking, Judah comes up, one of the Twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the ruling kohanim, Torah scholars, and elders. 44Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “The One I kiss, He’s the One! Seize Him and lead Him away under guard.” 45As soon as Judah came, he drew near to Yeshua and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 46Then they threw their hands on Yeshua and seized Him. 47But one of the bystanders, drawing his sword, struck the servant of the kohen gadol and cut off his ear. 48Yeshua said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, to capture Me as you would against a revolutionary? 49Every day I was with you in the Temple teaching, and you didn’t seize Me. But this is so that the Scriptures would be fulfilled.” 50And all fled, abandoning Him. 51A certain young man was following Him, with nothing but a linen cloth around his body, and they grabbed him. 52But he ran away naked, leaving behind the linen cloth.

Falsely Charged

53Then they led Yeshua away to the kohen gadol . And all the ruling kohanim, elders, and Torah scholars gathered. 54Peter had followed Him from a distance, right into the courtyard of the kohen gadol . He was sitting with the guards, warming himself by the fire. 55Now the ruling kohanim and all the Sanhedrin kept trying to get evidence against Yeshua so they could put Him to death, but they weren’t finding any. 56Many were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimony wasn’t consistent. 57Some stood up and began to give false testimony against Him, saying, 58“We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’” 59Yet even then, their testimony didn’t agree. 60The kohen gadol stood up in the middle and questioned Yeshua, saying, “Do You have no answer? What is this they’re testifying against You?” 61But keeping silent, Yeshua did not answer. Again the kohen gadol questioned Him, “Are you Mashiach, Son of the Blessed One?” 62“I am,” said Yeshua, “and you shall see ‘the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Powerful One,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven’!” 63Tearing his clothes, the kohen gadol says, “Why do we still need witnesses? 64You’ve heard the blasphemy. What seems right to you?” Then all condemned Him as deserving death. 65Some began to spit on Him, to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, saying, “Prophesy!” Also the guards slapped Him around.

The Rooster Crows

66As Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the kohen gadol comes by. 67Seeing Peter warming himself, she looked straight at him. “You also were with Yeshua of Natzeret,” she says. 68But he denied it, saying, “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about!” Then he went outside to the gateway, and a rooster crowed. 69Seeing him, the servant girl began again to tell the bystanders, “This is one of them.” 70But again he denied it. And a little while later, the bystanders were again saying to Peter, “Surely you’re one of them, for you’re also a Galilean.” 71But he began to curse himself and to swear an oath: “I do not know this Man you’re talking about!” 72Right then, a rooster crowed a second time. Then Peter called to mind the word Yeshua had said to him: “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he broke down and began to weep.

–from Mark 14

How much do you need?


How much wisdom? How much grace? How much love? How much effort? How much hope? How much do you need?

Do you realize that God’s grace is enough? Do you realize that God’s love is enough? Do you realize that God will never leave you and never abandon you? Do you realize that when we ask God for wisdom, He will provide it without finding fault?

Know that empty spot that have or had that God was able to fill? It’s on purpose! God has wanted a relationship with you since the day you were born! And you were created to have such a relationship and until you start it there will be that empty spot, a void, something missing! People try to fill it with stuff – different kinds of stuff for different people, but the reality is that to fill that void, the empty spot all it takes is to ask Jesus into your heart!

Have you asked? If not, why not make today your day? Invite Him in, read His Word, and start a relationship that will last for eternity!


Today’s reading starts in the book of Proverbs where Solomon shares wisdom with us…

In All Your Ways Acknowledge Him

1My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my mitzvot.
2For length of days and years of life, and shalom they will add to you.
3Let kindness and truth never leave you— bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Then you will gain favor and a good name in the eyes of God and man.
5Trust in Adonai with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
7Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear Adonai and turn away from evil.
8It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
9Honor Adonai with your wealth and with the first of your entire harvest.
10Then your barns will be filled with plenty, your vats will overflow with new wine.

Discipline as the Father’s Love

11My son, never despise Adonai’s discipline or dread His correction.
12For Adonai loves those He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights.

Precious Pearls, A Tree of Life

13Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.
14For her trade-value is better than silver, and her yield better than fine gold.
15She is more precious than jewels and nothing you desire compares to her.
16Length of days is in her right hand. In her left hand are riches and honor.
17Her ways are pleasant ways, and all of her paths are shalom.
18She is a tree of life to those who embrace her, and blessed will be all who hold firmly to her.
19By wisdom Adonai founded the earth. By understanding He established the heavens.
20By His knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds drip dew.
21My son, hold on to sound wisdom and discernment, do not let them out of your sight.
22They will be life to your soul, and an ornament to grace your neck.
23Then you will walk on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.
24When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25Have no fear of sudden terror, or of the devastation of the wicked when it comes.
26For Adonai will be your confidence and will keep your foot from a snare.
27Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.
28Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later— I’ll give it tomorrow,” when you have it with you.
29Do not plot evil against your neighbor while he lives trustfully beside you.
30Do not quarrel with a man for no reason —if he has done you no harm.
31Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways.
32For the devious are detestable to Adonai, but He takes the upright into His confidence.
33Adonai’s curse is on a wicked house, but He blesses a righteous home.
34Though He scoffs at the scoffers, He gives grace to the humble.
35The wise inherit honor, but fools are held up in disgrace.

–from Proverbs 3 (TLV)

And remember…

A Father’s Lesson: Get Wisdom!

1Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction. Pay attention, to gain understanding.
2For I give you sound learning— do not forsake my instruction.
3When I was a son to my father, tender and special to my mother,
4he taught me and said to me: “Lay hold of my words in your heart, keep my commands and you will live!
5Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6Do not forsake her, and she will guard you. Love her, and she will watch over you.
7Wisdom is supreme—acquire wisdom! With all your acquisitions, get understanding.
8Prize her, and she will exalt you. She will honor you when you embrace her.
9She will set a garland of grace on your head. She will give you a crown of glory.”

Ways of Wisdom and Wickedness

10Listen, my son, and accept my words, so the years of your life will be many.
11I instructed you in the way of wisdom. I have guided you along straight paths.
12When you walk, your step will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble.
13Hold on tightly to instruction, do not let it go— guard it, for it is your life.
14Do not enter the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil people.
15Avoid it—do not travel on it— turn away from it and pass by.
16For they cannot sleep until they do evil. They are robbed of sleep until they make someone fall.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
18The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until the full day.
19The way of the wicked is like darkness. They do not know what makes them stumble.
20My son, pay attention to my words— incline your ear to my sayings.
21Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart.
22For they are life to those who find them and health to their whole body.
23Guard your heart diligently, for from it flow the springs of life.
24Put away perversity from your mouth, and keep devious lips far from you.
25Let your eyes look directly ahead, and fix your gaze straight in front of you.
26 Clear a level path for your feet, so all your ways will be firm.
27Do not turn to the right or to the left. Divert your foot from evil.

–from Proverbs 4 (TLV)

Don’t lose hope because of trial! Don’t lose hope because it isn’t easy! God never said it would be easy, but He did say He would be there to strengthen and encourage you all the way through! So let’s consider it all joy! Let’s allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength! Let’s choose to be filled with joy everyday! No need to doubt! No need to fear! Trust in God!

Greetings

1Jacob, a slave of God and of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, To the twelve tribes in the Diaspora: Shalom!

Rejoice in Trials

2Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
4And let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all without hesitation and without reproach; and it will be given to him.
6But let him ask in faith, without any doubting—for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord—
8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
9But let the brother in humble circumstances boast in his high position—
10and the rich person in his humble position, because like the flower of the grass he will pass away.
11For the sun arises with a scorching heat and withers the grass, and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed. So also the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will wither away.
12Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love Him.
13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”—for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He himself tempts no one.
14But each one is tempted when he is dragged away and enticed by his own desire.
15Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is full grown, it brings forth death.
16Do not be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
18By His will, He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.

Quick to Listen, Slow to Anger

19Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger—
20for human anger doesn’t produce the righteousness of God.
21So put away all moral filth and excess of evil and receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror—
24for once he looks at himself and goes away, he immediately forgets what sort of person he was.
25But the one who looks intently into the perfect Torah, the Torah that gives freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts—he shall be blessed in what he does.
26If anyone thinks he is religious and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is futile.
27Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

–from James 1

Don’t lose your cool! Be quick to listen and slow to speak! Be quick to listen and slow to anger! Lean not on your own understanding put your hope and trust in God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a need? Know anyone who can meet them all?


Where are you at today? What are you going through? Where are you headed? What are you going to need to make it through? Do you remember trials of the past? Do you remember what needs were met? Do you remember needs of the past? Do you remember how they were met? Do you have a need today? Where will you turn for help? Who can you trust? Who will you trust? Will you lift up to anyone? Will you give it to someone?


Today’s reading starts on a similar subject…

1Moses called to all Israel and said to them, “You have seen all that Adonai did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land— 2the great trials that your eyes saw, those great signs and wonders. 3But to this day Adonai has not given you a heart to know, or eyes to see, or ears to hear. 4I led you 40 years in the wilderness—your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet. 5Bread you have not eaten and wine and strong drink you have not drunk—in order that you may know that I am Adonai your God. 6“When you came to this place, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of the Bashan came out against us to battle, but we struck them down. 7We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh. 8So keep the words of this covenant and do them, so that you may prosper in all that you do.

You Are Standing Before the Lord

9“You are standing today, all of you, before Adonai your God—the heads of your tribes, your elders, your officials, all the men of Israel, 10your children, your wives, and the outsider within your camp (from your woodchopper to your water carrier). 11Each of you is to cross over into the covenant of Adonai your God that He is cutting with you today, and into His oath. 12“This is in order to confirm you today as His people. So He will be your God, just as He promised you and just as He swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. 13Not with you alone am I cutting this covenant and this oath, 14but with whomever is standing here with us today before Adonai our God and with whomever is not here with us today. 15“Indeed you know how we dwelt in the land of Egypt and how we crossed through the nations that we passed through. 16You saw their detestable things and their idols —wood and stone, silver and gold—that were with them. 17Beware in case there is among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from Adonai our God to go serve the gods of those nations. Beware in case there is among you a root producing poison and bitter fruit. 18“Now when someone hears the words of this oath and in his heart considers himself blessed, thinking, ‘Shalom will be mine, even though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart’—thus sweeping away the moist with the dry— 19Adonai will be unwilling to forgive him. For then the anger of Adonai and His jealousy will smoke against that person. So all the oath that is written in this scroll will settle on him, and Adonai will blot out his name from under the heavens. 20Adonai will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for ­calamity, according to all the oaths of the covenant written in this scroll of the Torah. 21“The following generation, your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a distant land will say, when they see the plagues of that land and the sicknesses Adonai afflicted on it: 22‘Sulfur and salt, the whole land burnt! It cannot be planted, it cannot sprout, no grass can grow up on it—like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which Adonai overturned in His anger and in His wrath!’ 23“All the nations will say, ‘Why has Adonai done this to this land? Why this great burning anger?’ 24“Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the covenant of Adonai, the God of their fathers, which He cut with them when He brought them out from the land of Egypt. 25They went and served other gods and bowed down to them—gods they never knew, that He had not allotted to them. 26So Adonai’s anger burned against that land, bringing on it every curse written in this scroll. 27Adonai has uprooted them from their soil, in anger and wrath and great fury, and hurled them into another land, as is the case this day.’ 28“The secret things belong to Adonai our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever—in order to do all the words of this Torah.

–from Deuteronomy 29

Don’t be double-minded. Don’t walk in confusion. Don’t walk in rebellion. Don’t walk in stubbornness. Let’s walk with God each and every step, trusting fully in Him! God’s plan is for good and His desire is that we will complete the work He has for us to do.

Don’t lose hope because you got out of alignment, turn back to God! Give it all up to Him! Ask for forgiveness and give Him all your heart, mind, and soul!

1“Now when all these things come upon you—the blessing and the curse that I have set before you—and you take them to heart in all the nations where Adonai your God has banished you, 2and you return to Adonai your God and listen to His voice according to all that I am commanding you today—you and your children—with all your heart and with all your soul, 3then Adonai your God will bring you back from captivity and have compassion on you, and He will return and gather you from all the peoples where Adonai your God has scattered you. 4Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the heavens, from there Adonai your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. 5Adonai your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, and you will possess it; and He will do you good and multiply you more than your fathers. 6Also Adonai your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants—to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live. 7“Adonai your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. 8Then you—you will return and listen to the voice of Adonai and do all His mitzvot that I am commanding you today. 9Adonai your God will make you prosper in all the work of your hand—in the fruit of your womb, and the offspring of your livestock, and the produce of your soil—for good. For Adonai will again rejoice over you for good, as He rejoiced over your fathers— 10when you listen to the voice of Adonai your God, to keep His mitzvot and His statutes that are written in this scroll of the Torah, when you turn to Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 11“For this mitzvah that I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it far off. 12It is not in the heavens, that you should say, ‘Who will go up for us to the heavens and get it for us, and have us hear it so we may do it?’ 13Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross over for us to the other side of the sea and get it for us, and have us hear it so we may do it?’ 14No, the word is very near to you—in your mouth and in your heart, to do it. 15“See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil. 16What I am commanding you today is to love Adonai your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His mitzvot, statutes and ordinances. Then you will live and multiply, and Adonai your God will bless you in the land you are going in to possess. 17But if your heart turns away and you do not listen, but are drawn away and bow down to other gods and worship them, 18I tell you today that you will certainly perish! You will not prolong your days on the land, where you are about to cross over the Jordan to go in to possess. 19“I call the heavens and the earth to witness about you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20by loving Adonai your God, listening to His voice, and clinging to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell on the land that Adonai swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob—to give them.

–from Deuteronomy 30

God’s grace is enough! God’s love is enough! Receive your second chance and press on with God! Walk with integrity! Walk with boldness and courage! Walk with God!

Walking with Integrity

1A psalm of David. Adonai, who may dwell in Your tent? Who may live on Your holy mountain? 2The one who walks with integrity, who does what is right, and speaks truth in his heart, 3who does not slander with his tongue, does not wrong his neighbor, and does not disgrace his friend, 4who despises a vile person in his eyes, but honors those who fear Adonai, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, and does not change, 5who lends his money without usury, and takes no bribe against the innocent. One who does these things will never be shaken.

–from Psalms 15

Ask Jesus into your life! Walk every step of every day with Him! Grab hold of the legacy left for you! Grab hold of the truth of who you are through Jesus! Let’s live now as heirs! We don’t have to wait till we leave this earth and are in heaven to live all out with and for and through God! Why not you! Why not now! Let’s start today! Don’t get shutdown or shutout from being everything God desires you to be! Don’t allow fear or frustration, doubt or trials to keep you from becoming everything God has planed and desires for you to be! Don’t try to do it all in your own strength but rather allow the supernatural power of God to work His promises out in and through your life! Let’s live out our lives as the promises of God provide and direct us!

Living as Heirs

1Now I am saying, so long as the heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, even though he is the owner of everything. 2Instead, he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. 3So also, when we were underage, we were subservient to the basic principles of the world. 4But when the fullness of time came, God sent out His Son, born of a woman and born under law— 5to free those under law, so we might receive adoption as sons. 6Now because you are sons, God sent the Ruach of His Son into our hearts, who cries out, “Abba! Father!” 7So you are no longer a slave but a son—and if a son, also an heir through God. 8But at that time, when you did not know God, you served those who by nature are not gods at all. 9But now you have come to know God—or rather you have come to be known by God. So how can you turn back again to those weak and worthless principles? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 10You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain! 12I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong— 13you know it was because of a physical ailment that I proclaimed the Good News to you the first time; 14and though my physical condition was a trial to you, you did not hate or reject me. No, you welcomed me as a messenger of God—or even as Messiah Yeshua. 15So where is your sense of joy? For I testify that you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me, if possible. 16So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?! 17Others zealously court you—not in a good way, but they wish to shut you out so that you will court them. 18To be courted is good, but let it always be in a good way—and not just when I am there with you. 19My dear children! Again I suffer labor pains until Messiah is formed in you. 20I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, for I don’t know what to make of you.

Midrash on Abraham’s Two Sons

21Tell me, you who want to be under Torah, don’t you understand the Torah? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and one by the free woman. 23But one—the son by the slave woman—was born naturally; while the other—the son by the free woman—was through the promise. 24Now these things are being treated allegorically, for these are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, giving birth to slavery—this is Hagar. 25But this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery along with her children. 26But the Jerusalem above is free—she is our mother. 27For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren woman who bears no children. Break forth and shout, you who suffer no labor pains. For more are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband.” 28Now you, brothers and sisters—like Isaac, you are children of promise. 29But just as at that time the one born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Ruach, so it is now. 30But what does the Scripture say? “Drive out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son” of the free woman. 31So then, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman.

–from Galatians 4

Do you realize what Jesus went through for us? So that we could be reconciled to God? He paid it all! He laid it all on the line so that we would have a way back and a way to God! So will you choose to receive the gift of eternal life? We all have freewill and we all need to make a choice! We are supposed to be robots but rather God wants relationships with us, so let’s choose today to start that relationship with Him! Let’s choose to continue and renew our relationships with Him! Let’s glorify Him in and through it all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Handed Over to the Romans

1Right at daybreak, the ruling kohanim held a meeting to consult with the elders and Torah scholars and the whole Sanhedrin. They tied up Yeshua, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate. 2Pilate interrogated Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Yeshua answers him, “As you say.” 3The ruling kohanim began to accuse Him of many things. 4Again, Pilate asked Him, “Aren’t you going to answer? Look how many charges they’re bringing against You!” 5But Yeshua did not answer, so Pilate was amazed. 6Now during the feast, he used to release to them one prisoner, anyone they were asking for. 7Now a man named Bar-Abba had been in jail with the rebels who had committed murder during the rebellion. 8The crowd came up and began to request what he was accustomed to do for them. 9But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10For he knew that out of envy the ruling kohanim had handed Him over. 11But the ruling kohanim stirred up the crowd, so he would release Bar-Abba to them instead. 12Then answering again, Pilate said to them, “So what do you want me to do with the One you call the King of the Jews?” 13They shouted back, “Execute Him!” 14Pilate responded, “Why? What evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Execute Him!” 15Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Bar-Abba for them. And after he had Yeshua scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified. 16The soldiers took Him away, into the palace, the governor’s mansion called the Praetorium. And they call together the cohort of soldiers. 17They dress Him up in purple. After braiding a crown of thorns, they put it on Him. 18And they began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19Over and over, they kept hitting Him on the head with a staff and spitting on Him; and kneeling down, they worshiped Him. 20When they finished mocking Him, they stripped the purple off Him and put His own clothes back on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.

Crucified as King of the Jews

21Now Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was coming in from the countryside. The soldiers force this passerby to carry Yeshua’s cross-beam. 22They bring Yeshua to the place called Golgotha (which is translated, Place of a Skull). 23They were offering Him wine mixed with myrrh, but He didn’t take it. 24Then they crucify Him and divide up His clothing among themselves, casting lots for them to see who should take what. 25Now it was the third hour when they nailed Him on the stake. 26And the inscription of the charge against Him was written above: “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 27And with Him they execute two outlaws, one on His right and one on His left. 28[footnote: Later mss. add: So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘He was counted with the sinners.’ See Isa. 53:12.] 29Those passing by were jeering at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days, 30save Yourself by coming down from the stake!” 31Likewise the ruling kohanim, along with the Torah scholars, were also mocking Him among themselves. “He saved others,” they were saying, “but He can’t save Himself? 32Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the stake, so we may see and believe!” Even those executed with Him were ridiculing Him.

Death and Burial

33When the sixth hour had come, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34At the ninth hour Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” 35When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, “Look, He’s calling for Elijah.” 36Then someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine. He put it on a stick and was offering it to Yeshua to drink, saying, “Wait, let’s see if Elijah comes to take Him down.” 37But letting out a loud cry, Yeshua breathed His last. 38Then the curtain of the Temple was split in two, from top to bottom. 39When the centurion, who was standing in front of Him, saw the way Yeshua breathed His last, he said, “This Man really was the Son of God!” 40There were also women watching from a distance. Among them were Miriam from Magdala, Miriam the mother of Jacob the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41They would follow Him and serve Him when He was in the Galilee. Many other women who had gone up together with Him to Jerusalem were there also. 42Now evening had already come. Since it was the Day of Preparation, that is, the day before Shabbat, 43Joseph of Arimathea, a respected council member who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body. 44Pilate was surprised that He was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him whether Yeshua had been dead for long. 45When Pilate learned this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen, and laid Him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47Miriam from Magdala and Miriam the mother of Joses were watching where Yeshua’s body was placed.

–from Mark 15

 

 

 

 

 

Are you facing giants today?


At work? At school? On the field? On the road? I remember how my mom used to say “the bigger they are the harder they fall”. Don’t be afraid of giants!

It’s kind of like being in the midst of a storm, where does your focus go? Where should it go?

Last night before rehearsal the topic of Peter getting out of the boat and walking on water and the importance of keeping our eyes on Jesus. We can’t focus on the waves. Wave can’t focus on the storm. We can’t focus on the giants. We need to keep our focus on Jesus and what He calls us to be and to do. We need to remember all He has done and then move forward in all that He is doing and is about to do as He goes before us to prepare the good work He has for us to do!

Today’s reading kicks off on the topic of giants…

Who Brings Down Giants?

1“Hear, O Israel! You are about to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself—cities great and fortified up to the heavens. 2The people are great and tall, sons of the Anakim. You know them, and you yourselves have heard, “Who can stand before the sons of Anak?” 3But you will know today that Adonai your God is the One who is crossing over before you as a devouring fire. He will destroy them, and He will bring them down before you, so that you may drive them out and make them perish quickly, as Adonai has promised you. 4“After Adonai your God has driven them out from before you, do not say in your heart, ‘It is because of my righteousness that Adonai has brought me in to possess this land.’ It is because of the wickedness of these nations that Adonai is driving them out from before you. 5It is not by your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you are going in to possess their land. Rather, because of the wickedness of these nations, Adonai your God is driving them out from before you, and in order to keep the word Adonai swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 6So you should understand that it is not because of your righteousness that Adonai your God is giving you this good land to possess—for you are a stiff-necked people.

What Happened to the Tablets?

7“Remember, never forget, how you provoked Adonai your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day you left the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against Adonai. 8At Horeb you provoked Adonai to wrath, and Adonai was angry with you—enough to destroy you. 9When I went up the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that Adonai cut with you, I stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights; I did not eat bread or drink water. 10Adonai gave me the two tablets of stone written by the finger of God. Moreover, on them were all the words that Adonai had spoken with you on the mountain from the midst of the fire, on the day of the assembly. 11“Now at the end of 40 days and 40 nights, Adonai gave me the two tablets of stone—the tablets of the covenant. 12Adonai said to me, ‘Get up! Go quickly down from here, for your people whom you brought out from Egypt have acted corruptly. They have quickly turned from the way I commanded them; they have made a molten image for themselves.’ 13Furthermore Adonai spoke to me saying, ‘I have seen this people, and it is indeed a stiff-necked people. 14Leave Me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under the heavens. Then I will make you into a nation mightier and greater than they.’ 15“So I turned and came down from the mountain while the mountain was burning with fire. Now the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. 16When I looked, you had indeed sinned against Adonai your God—you had made yourselves a metal calf. So quickly you had turned aside from the way Adonai had commanded you! 17So I took hold of the two tablets, threw them out of my two hands, and smashed them before your eyes. 18“Then I fell down before Adonai like the first time, for 40 days and 40 nights. I did not eat bread or drink water—because of all your sin that you committed, doing evil in Adonai’s sight, provoking Him to anger. 19For I was afraid of the fierce wrath and fury which Adonai bore toward you—to destroy you. But Adonai listened to me that time also. 20Adonai was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, so I prayed for Aaron also at the same time. 21I took your sin—the calf you had made—and burned it in the fire. I crushed it, grinding it up so well that it was as fine as dust, and I threw its dust into the wadi flowing down from the mountain. 22“Again at Taberah and Massah and Kibroth-hattaavah, you provoked Adonai to wrath. 23When Adonai sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, ‘Go up and possess the land I have given you,’ then you rebelled against the commandment of Adonai your God and didn’t believe Him or listen to His voice. 24You have been rebellious against Adonai from the day that I knew you. 25“So I threw myself down before Adonai those 40 days and 40 nights, because Adonai had said He would destroy you. 26I prayed to Adonai and said, ‘O Lord, Adonai, do not destroy Your people—Your inheritance that You have redeemed through Your greatness and brought out from Egypt with a mighty hand. 27Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Pay no attention to the stubbornness of this people or to their wickedness or their sin. 28Otherwise the land from which You brought us out may say, “Because Adonai was not able to bring them into the land that He spoke of to them, and because He hated them, He has brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.” 29Yet they are Your people—Your inheritance that You brought out by Your great power and Your outstretched arm.’

–from Deuteronomy 9

Don’t turn away from God! Don’t walk away! Don’t complain or grumble! Build up your relationship with Him! Build up your hope and trust in Him! Be willing to wait on Him! Be willing to listen to what He says to you! Be willing to be obedient to His instruction and directions!

Just because you mess up, don’t lose hope! Turn back to Him! He is the God of the second chances, third chances, fourth changes…. So don’t beat yourself up too much but rather turn back to God and ask Him for forgiveness and wisdom into how to proceed! He doesn’t setup boundaries to keep you from having fun, but rather to protect you. His plans for you are good! He is LOVE! So let’s give Him our hearts so that He can move in and work in and through us!

We hear about the second chances when God produced the second set of tablets…

Two New Tablets

1“At that time Adonai said to me, ‘Carve for yourself two tablets of stone like the first ones and come up to Me on the mountain. Make yourself an ark of wood. 2I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets that you smashed, and you are to put them in the ark.’ 3“So I made an ark of acacia wood, cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. 4Like the first inscription, Adonai wrote on the tablets the Ten Words He had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly, then gave them to me. 5Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made—and there they are, just as Adonai commanded me. 6“(Bnei-Yisrael traveled from the wells of the sons of Jaakan to Moserah—there Aaron died and was buried, and his son Eleazar served as kohen in his place. 7From there they journeyed to Gudgod, and from Gudgod to Jotbah—a land of wadis flowing with water. 8At that time Adonai set the tribe of Levi apart to carry the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai, to stand before Adonai to serve Him and to pronounce blessings in His Name—as is the case to this day. 9Therefore Levi has no portion or inheritance with his brothers—Adonai is his inheritance, just as Adonai your God had promised about him.) 10“I stayed on the mountain like the first time—40 days and 40 nights. Adonai listened to me that time also and was not willing to destroy you. 11Adonai said to me, ‘Rise up, go, journey ahead of the people so that they may go in and possess the land that I swore to their fathers to give to them.’ 12“So now, O Israel, what does Adonai your God require of you, but to fear Adonai your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13to keep the mitzvot of Adonai and His statutes that I am commanding you today, for your own good? 14Behold, to Adonai your God belong the heavens and the highest of heavens, the earth and all that is in it. 15Only on your fathers did Adonai set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them—you—from all the peoples, as is the case this day.

Circumcise Your Hearts

16“Circumcise the foreskin of your heart therefore, and do not be stiff-necked anymore. 17For Adonai your God is God of gods and Lord of lords —the great, mighty and awesome God, who does not show partiality or take a bribe. 18He enacts justice for the orphan and widow, and loves the outsider, giving him food and clothing. 19Therefore love the outsider, for you were outsiders in the land of Egypt. 20Adonai your God you will fear—Him will you serve. To Him will you cling, and by His Name will you swear. 21He is your praise and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your eyes have seen. 22Your fathers went down to Egypt with 70 persons, and now Adonai your God has made you like the stars of the heavens in number.

–from Deuteronomy 10

We shouldn’t hide from God! In reality we can’t anyways! And when and while we build up our relationship with Him, He will walk with us and talk with us and lead us on our way! Let’s not grow weary in doing good works! Let’s turn to God when we are being attacked! Let’s turn to God when we don’t know what to do! Let’s walk with Him through the mountain top highs as well as the low times in the valleys of life!

Hide Not Your Face from Me

1A psalm of David. Hear my prayer, Adonai, give ear to my petitions. In Your faithfulness and Your righteousness, answer me! 2Do not bring Your servant into judgment, for in Your eyes no one living is righteous. 3For an enemy pursues my soul. He crushes my life down to the ground. He makes me dwell in darkness, like those long dead. 4So my spirit grows faint within me. My heart is shocked within me. 5I remember the days of old. I meditate on all You have done. I ponder the work of Your hands. 6I spread forth my hands to You. My soul longs for You as a parched land. Selah 7Answer me speedily, Adonai— my spirit fails. Hide not Your face from me, lest I become like those who go down into the Pit. 8Make me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You I trust. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. 9Deliver me from my enemies, Adonai. I hide myself in You. 10Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. Let Your good Ruach lead me on level ground. 11For Your Name’s sake, Adonai, revive me. In Your justice bring my soul out of trouble. 12In Your mercy cut off my enemies and destroy all who harass my soul, for I am Your servant.

–from Psalms 143

Let’s not be self-centered! Let’s not be selfish! Let’s be generous! Let’s be givers! Let’s share what God has given us! I remember a story from camp growing up where there were warm fuzzies and cold prickelies. And someone had told one of the people who had been giving out of warm fuzzies that if they kept doing that they could run out. Out of fear when others would give them warm fuzzies, they started to give them cold prickelies back. Eventually things got really bad but the truth set everyone free. As long as we are giving love, we will never run out! So we need to be living in love and generously sharing love with those God has brought into your life! Be willing to give grace to others as God provides and has exemplified grace to you! There is a cost, but it is totally worth it.

Eagerness to Give

1Now we make known to you, brothers and sisters, the grace God has given to Messiah’s communities in Macedonia— 2that in much testing by affliction, the abundance of their joy and their extreme poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3For I testify that according to their ability, and even beyond their ability, they gave of their own free will— 4begging us with much urging for the favor of sharing in the relief of the kedoshim. 5Moreover, it was not just as we had hoped, but they gave of themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. 6So we urged Titus that, just as he had made a start before, so he should also complete this gracious service for you. 7But as you excel in everything—in faith and speech and knowledge and all diligence, and in your love for us—also excel in this grace. 8I am saying this not as a command, but I am trying to prove by the diligence of others the genuineness of your love as well. 9For you know the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah—that even though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that through His poverty you might become rich. 10Now I give my opinion in this matter, that it is a credit to you that a year ago you were the first to start—not only to do but even to be willing. 11But now finish doing it, so that just as there was eagerness to be willing, so also to finish it, out of what you have. 12For if the eagerness is present, the gift is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he doesn’t have. 13For it is not relief for others and hardship for you, but as a matter of equality. 14Your abundance at this present time meets their need, so that their abundance may also meet your need—so that there may be equality. 15As it is written, “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.”

An Offering by Special Delivery

16But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same devotion for you. 17For indeed he not only accepted our appeal, but went to you with eagerness and on his own initiative. 18We are sending along with him the brother whose fame in connection with the Good News has spread throughout all of Messiah’s communities. 19Not only that, but he has also been appointed by the communities as our travel companion with this gracious gift, which is administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20We are taking this precaution, so that no one will blame us in regard to the way we administer this generous gift. 21We have regard for what is honorable—not only before the Lord, but also before people. 22Also with them we are sending our brother whom we have tested many times and found to be diligent in many things, but now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you. 23As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brothers, they are the emissaries of the communities, a glory to Messiah. 24Therefore, before Messiah’s communities show them the proof of your love and of our boasting about you.

–from 2 Corinthians 8

We are to live in love! God’s plan is perfect! Are you willing to do it His way rather than trying to mess with it? Are you willing to go His way rather than try to switch it up? Are you about the truth or trickery? Are you about love? Are you about hope? Are you about forgiveness? There is a cost but in the end your return on investment is totally worth it.

Abide in Marriage

1Then getting up from there, Yeshua goes to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. Again crowds gather around Him, and, as was His custom, He began to teach them once more. 2Pharisees came up, and to test Him they began asking, “Is it permitted for a man to divorce his wife?” 3And He replied to them, “What did Moses command you?” 4The Pharisees said, “Moses permitted a man to write a bill of divorce and to put her away.” 5But Yeshua said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment! 6But from the beginning of creation, God ‘made them male and female. 7For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate!” 10In the house, the disciples began questioning Him about this again. 11And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12And if she divorces her husband and marries another, she is committing adultery.”

Let the Little Ones Come!

13Now people were bringing little children to Yeshua so He might touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14But when Yeshua saw this, He got angry. He told them, “Let the little children come to Me! Do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15Amen, I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it!” 16And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

The Cost of Discipleship

17As Yeshua was setting out on His way, a man ran up to Him, fell on his knees before Him, and asked, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18“Why do you call Me good?” Yeshua said to him. “No one is good except One—that is God. 19You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,’ do not cheat, ‘honor your father and mother.’” 20The man responded, “Teacher, all these I have kept since my youth!” 21Looking at him, Yeshua loved him and said, “One thing you lack. Go, sell as much as you have, and give to the poor; and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” 22But at this statement, the man became sad and went away grieving, for he had much property. 23Then looking around, Yeshua says to His disciples, “How hard it will be for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24The disciples were amazed at His words. But Yeshua answers again and says to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26The disciples were even more astonished, saying among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” 27Looking at them, Yeshua said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God!” 28Peter began to say to Him, “Look, we’ve left everything to follow You!” 29“Amen, I tell you,” Yeshua replied, “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for My sake and for the sake of the Good News, 30who will not receive a hundred times as much now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and property, along with persecutions; and in the olam ha-ba , eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Death and Resurrection Revealed

32They were on the way going up to Jerusalem, and Yeshua was going ahead of them. And they were amazed, while those who followed were fearful. Again Yeshua took the Twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to Him. 33He said, “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the ruling kohanim and the Torah scholars. They will condemn Him to death and hand Him over to the Gentiles. 34They will mock Him and spit on Him, scourge Him and kill Him. Yet after three days, He will rise again!” 35Then Jacob and John, the sons of Zebedee, come up to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.” 36And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 37They said to Him, “Let us sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.” 38But Yeshua answered them, “You don’t know what you’re asking! Are you able to drink the cup I drink, or endure the immersion I must endure?” 39They said to Him, “We are able.” And Yeshua said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink, and you will endure the immersion I must endure. 40But to sit on My right or left is not Mine to grant—it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41Now when the ten heard, they started to get angry with Jacob and John. 42And calling them over, Yeshua said to them, “You know those recognized as rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones play the tyrant over them. 43Yet it is not this way among you. But whoever wants to be great among you shall be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first among you shall be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Ben-David Heals the Blind

46Then they came to Jericho. Now as Yeshua was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47When he heard that it was Yeshua of Natzeret, he began to cry out, “Ben-David, Yeshua! Have mercy on me!” 48Many were warning him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, “Ben-David, have mercy on me!” 49Yeshua stopped and said, “Call him over.” So they call the blind man, saying, “Take heart! Get up, He’s calling you!” 50Throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and came to Yeshua. 51And answering him, Yeshua said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Rabboni, I want to see again!” 52Yeshua said to him, “Go! Your faith has made you well.” Instantly he regained his sight and began following Yeshua down the road.

–from Mark 10

 

 

 

Enough of the grumbling! Will you trust Him? Will you remember all He has done for you?


Are you grumbling because you aren’t getting your way? It’s not happening the way you want? It’s not happening the way you expect? It’s not happening in the time you desired?

Do you trust God? Do you believe His plans are good? Do you remember how His timing is perfect? Are you grumbling rather than seeking God’s wisdom? Why?

Do you really want to be walking away from God rather than towards Him? Do you really want to be trying to go it alone rather than go it His way? How far off track do you really want to go? What kind of trouble do you want to get yourself into? Stop being self-centered and selfish and look to God for answers and wisdom and direction! Work on your relationship with Him! Develop your relationship with Him! And see how it will take you through the valley and to the mountain tops! When we go it or do it God’s way – there is victory!

If we will go it His way, His peace that goes beyond guard our hearts and mind! If we will go it His way out of obedience and trust, His grace will be enough! So let’s seek Him first and let Him take care of the rest!


Today’s reading starts with people grumbling because it’s not happening the way they expected or wanted…

Nuhushtan: Snake on a Pole

1When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked Israel and captured some of them. 2Then Israel vowed to Adonai and stated, “If you deliver this people into our hand, we will put their cities under the ban of destruction!” 3Adonai listened to Israel’s plea and delivered up the Canaanites. They put them and their cities under the ban of destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah. 4They travelled from Mount Hor along the route to the Sea of Reeds in order to go around the land of Edom. The spirit of the people became impatient along the way. 5The people spoke against God and Moses: “Why have you brought us from Egypt to die in the wilderness, because there is no bread, no water, and our very spirits detest the despicable food? 6So Adonai sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people and many of the people of Israel died. 7The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against Adonai and you! Pray to Adonai for us, that He may take away the snakes!” So Moses prayed for the people. 8Adonai said to Moses, “Make yourself a fiery snake and put it on a pole. Whenever anyone who has been bitten will look at it, he will live.” 9So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole, and it happened that whenever a snake bit anyone and he looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

Journey to Moab

10Bnei-Yisrael moved on and encamped at Oboth. 11Then they set out from Oboth and camped in Ije-abarim, in the wilderness facing Moab toward the sunrise. 12From there they set out and camped in the Wadi Zered. 13They set out from there and camped along the Arnon, which is in the wilderness extending into Amorite territory. The Arnon is also the border between Moab and the Amorites. 14Therefore, it is said in the Book of the Wars of Adonai, “…Vaheb in Suphah and the wadis of the Arnon, 15and the slope of the wadis that leads to the site of Ar and lie along the border of Moab—” 16And from there—on to Beer. This is the well where Adonai said to Moses, “Gather the people and I will give them water.” 17Then Israel sang this song, “Spring up, O well! Sing about it!” 18The well the princes dug, that the nobles of the people sank with their scepter and their staffs.” From the wilderness they went on to Mattanah. 19From Mattanah they went on to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20and from Bamoth to the valley in the field of Moab where the peak of Pisgah overlooks the wasteland.

Defeat of Sihon and Og

21Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites saying, 22“Permit us to pass through your land. We will not turn aside into field or vineyard nor drink water from the wells. We will travel on the king’s highway until we will have passed through your territory.” 23But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory. Instead, Sihon called out his entire army and marched out into the desert to oppose Israel. When he came to Jahaz, he fought against Israel. 24But Israel struck him by the sword’s edge and conquered his land from Arnon to Jabbok as far as the Ammonites, because the border of the sons of Ammon was fortified. 25Israel conquered all these cities and occupied all the Amorite cities, Heshbon and all its towns. 26Heshbon was the city of King Sihon of the Amorites, who had fought with the former king of Moab and had taken from his control all the land as far as the Arnon. 27Therefore the poets say, “Come to Heshbon! Let her be rebuilt! Let the city of Sihon be restored! 28For fire went out from Heshbon, a blaze from the city of Sihon! It consumed Ar of Moab, the masters of Arnon’s heights! 29Woe to you, O Moab! You have been destroyed, people of Chemosh! He has given up his sons as refugees and his daughters as captives to Sihon, king of the Amorites. 30But we overthrew them! Heshbon as far as Dibon is destroyed! We have demolished them as far as Nophah up to Medeba.” 31So Israel was living in the land of the Amorites. 32After Moses sent spies to Jazer, they captured her towns and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33Then they turned and went up the road to the Bashan. Og, king of the Bashan, went out to confront them, he and all his people, in battle at Edrei. 34Adonai said to Moses, “Do not fear him. I have given him with all his people and his land into your hand. You are to do to him just as you did to Sihon, the Amorite king who was living in Heshbon.” 35So they struck him and his sons and his entire army until no survivor was left to him, and they possessed his land.

-from Numbers 21

So let’s put our hope and trust in Jesus! Let’s allow Him to be our Lord and our Savior! Let’s allow His sacrifice to pay the ransom of our soul and then live in alignment and in relationship with Him for the rest of our lives! Let’s live to glorify God! Let’s live to testify to His great love for us! Let’s allow our lives to be living sacrifices that testify of His greatness!

Rich and Poor Alike

1For the music director: a psalm of the sons of Korah. 2Hear this, all you peoples. Give ear, all you inhabitants of the world, 3both low and high, rich and poor together. 4My mouth speaks wisdom, My heart’s meditation is understanding. 5I will turn my ear to a proverb. I will utter my riddle on the harp: 6Why should I fear in evil days? when the iniquity of my deceivers surrounds me? 7Or those trusting in their wealth, boasting about their great riches? 8No man can redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him. 9For the redemption of a soul is costly— so, one should stop trying forever. 10Will he live forever— and never see the Pit? 11Surely he must see, even wise men die. The fool and the brutish will alike perish, leaving their wealth to others. 12Their inward thought is: Their houses are eternal, their dwellings for generation after generation. They name their lands after themselves. 13But the pompous man will not endure— he is like the beasts that perish. 14Such is the way of the self-confident, and their followers who approve their sayings. Selah 15Like sheep they are destined for Sheol. Death will be their shepherd and the upright will rule over them in the morning. Their image will decay in Sheol— far from its lofty place. 16But God redeems my soul from the power of Sheol— for He receives me. Selah 17Do not be afraid when a man gets rich, when his house’s splendor increases. 18For when he dies he takes nothing away. His splendor will not follow him down. 19Though during his life he congratulates himself, and men praise you when you do well for yourself— 20He will still join his fathers’ company, who will never see the light. 21A pompous man, without understanding— he is like the beasts that perish.

–from Psalms 49

Don’t forget the past! Don’t repeat the past! Don’t be one who forgets the past and is doomed to repeat it! Learn from the past! Learn through the experience of others! Don’t feel like you have to figure it all out on your own! Do you really want to go through all the pain if someone else has already done it and can share their experiences with you? If you have gone through stuff, be willing to share it and prevent others from having to go through the pains you did. Do you think it is a good idea to test God? There is only 1 time/1 place in the Bible where God says to test Him and it is in the area of giving!

Warnings from History

1For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea. 2They all were immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3And all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink—for they were drinking from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the Rock was Messiah. 5Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert. 6Now these things happened as examples for us, so we wouldn’t crave evil things, just as they did. 7Do not be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8And let’s not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day 23,000 fell. 9And let’s not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were destroyed by serpents. 10And let’s not grumble, as some of them did—and were destroyed by the destroying angel. 11Now these things happened to them as an example, and it was written down as a warning to us—on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12Therefore let the one who thinks that he stands watch out that he doesn’t fall. 13No temptation has taken hold of you except what is common to mankind. But God is faithful—He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can handle. But with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so you will be able to endure it.

Feast with the Lord—Not with Idols

14Therefore, my dearly loved ones, flee from idolatry. 15I speak as to sensible people—judge for yourselves what I say. 16The cup of blessing that we bless—isn’t it a sharing of Messiah’s blood? The bread which we break—isn’t it a sharing of Messiah’s body? 17Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body—for we all partake of the one bread. 18Consider physical Israel. Those who eat the sacrifices—aren’t they partners in the altar? 19What am I saying then—that an idol sacrifice is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20No, I’m saying that what the pagans sacrifice is to demons and not to God, and I don’t want you to become partners with demons. 21You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we? 23“Everything is permitted”—but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permitted”—but not everything builds up. 24Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, without raising questions of conscience. 26For “the earth is the Lord’s, and its fullness.” 27If an unbeliever invites you over and you want to go, eat whatever is set before you, without raising questions of conscience. 28But if anyone says to you, “This is from an idol sacrifice,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29not your own conscience, I mean, but the other person’s. For why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I give thanks for? 31Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give no offense either to Jewish or Greek people or to God’s community—33just as I also try to please everyone in everything, not seeking my own benefit but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved.

–from 1 Corinthians 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t go it alone!


Do you think you are all that and that you don’t need help? Do you think you can do it all on your own? Do you think if you try hard enough, work longer, and don’t give up that you will make it?

Don’t go it alone! We were never made to go it alone! That is why God gave us one another! When things get tough we need to come together and help each other out! Rather than murmuring about hardships, we need to turn to God and turn to one another and ask for help!

Will you step up to help someone in need? Will you humble yourself and ask for help? Will you do something about it vs grumbling and complaining about it? Let’s not be so proud that we won’t give someone a hand up! Let’s not be so proud that we won’t ask for help when we need it! We may just need wisdom! We may just need love! We may just need encouragement! We may just need hope! We may just need to realize we aren’t alone! We may need provision! But don’t grumble or murmur or worry – turn to God! Lift up your cares to Him because He cares for you! It’s about a relationship not about complaining!

Don’t go it alone!


Today’s reading starts off with some murmuring and grumbling…

70 Elders to Share the Burden

1The people were murmuring in the ears of Adonai about hardship, and when Adonai heard, His anger burned. The fire of Adonai blazed among them, ravaging the outskirts of the camp. 2The people cried out to Moses, so Moses prayed to Adonai and the fire died out. 3The name of that place was thus called Taberah because fire from Adonai had burned among them. 4The grumblers among them began to have cravings, so Bnei-Yisrael began to wail repeatedly, saying, “If we could just eat some meat! 5We remember the fish that we used to eat in Egypt, for free—the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic! 6But now we have no appetite. We never see anything but this manna .” 7Now the manna was similar to coriander seed and had an appearance like gum resin. 8The people went about, gathered it up, and ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into cakes. It had a taste like something made with olive oil. 9When the dew descended on the camp at night, the manna descended with it. 10Moses heard the people wailing by their families, each man at the door to his tent. Adonai’s anger became very hot, and Moses was troubled. 11So Moses asked Adonai, “Why have You brought trouble on Your servant? Haven’t I found favor in Your eyes—that You laid the burden of all these people on me? 12Did I conceive all these people, or did I give birth to them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom just as the nurse carries an infant’—to the land You promised to their fathers? 13Where can I get meat for all these people? For they wail to me saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14I am not able to carry all these people by myself! The load is too heavy for me! 15If this is how You are treating me, kill me now! If I have found favor in Your eyes, kill me please—don’t let me see my own misery!” 16Adonai said to Moses, “Bring me 70 of the elders of Israel whom you know to be elders of the people and their leaders. Take them to the Tent of Meeting, so they may stand with you there. 17Then I will come down and speak with you there, and, I will take some of the Ruach that is on you and will place it on them. They will carry with you the burden of the people, so you will not be carrying it alone.” 18“Now to the people say: Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because you will eat meat, for you wailed in Adonai’s ears saying, ‘If only we could eat meat! It was better for us in Egypt!’ Now Adonai will give you meat and you will eat! 19You will eat—not for one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20but for an entire month—until it is coming out of your nostrils and it becomes loathsome to you! For you rejected Adonai who is among you, and you wailed to His face saying, ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?” 21Moses then said, “600,000 foot soldiers—the people I am in the middle of—yet You say, ‘I am going to give them meat to eat for an entire month?’ 22If flocks and herds were slaughtered, would they have enough? Or if all the fish in the sea were caught, would they have enough?” 23Adonai said to Moses, “Is Adonai’s arm too short? Now you will see whether My word will come true for you or not.”

Seventy Elders Prophesying

24So Moses went out and told the people Adonai’s words. He gathered 70 of the elders of the people and had them stand around the Tent. 25Adonai descended in the cloud and spoke with him. He took some of the Ruach that was on him and placed it on each of the 70 elders. It so happened that when the Ruach first rested on them, they prophesied—but never again. 26Two men, however, had remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad and the name of the other was Medad. The Ruach rested on them. They were among those listed, but they had not gone out to the Tent. So they prophesied in the camp. 27A young man ran and told Moses and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!” 28Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses since his youth, cried out and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!” 29But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous on my behalf? If only Adonai would make all the people prophets! If only Adonai would put the Spirit on all of them!” 30Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Quails From the Sea

31Now a wind went out from Adonai and drove quails from the sea. He brought them into the camp to about a day’s journey in any direction, about two cubits above the ground all around the camp. 32The people went out all that day and all that night and all the following day and collected quail. No one gathered less than ten omers. They spread them out all around the camp. 33Yet while the meat was between their teeth, before it was swallowed, Adonai’s anger burned against the people. So Adonai struck the people with a severe plague. 34For that reason the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah , because they buried the people who were craving. 35From Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed to Hazeroth and stayed in Hazeroth.

–from Numbers 11

Stick with God rather than trying to go it all alone or gossip or murmur or grumble.

Would you want to be called to the principals office? How about if it was the principals of life rather than just school? Do you really want to be wining and complaining to the point where you get called out? Are you ready to account for yourself? Would you humbly bring yourself to the person you are having a problem with before you get called out? Ever day we are faced with choices! Ever day we choose what we will do, what we will say and how we will respond! So choose wisely! You don’t want to end up in detention or timeout.

Today’s reading continues as Miriam and Aaron are speaking against Moses and then get called out by God…

Miriam and Aaron Speak Against Moses

1Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on account of the Cushite woman he married, because he had married a Cushite woman. 2They asked, “Has Adonai spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t He also spoken through us?” Adonai heard it. 3Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than anyone on the face of the earth. 4Immediately, Adonai said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “The three of you, come out to the Tent of Meeting.” So the three came out. 5Adonai descended in a column of cloud, stood at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and called to Aaron and Miriam. The two of them stepped forward. 6“Hear now My words!” He said. “When there is a prophet of Adonai, I reveal Myself in a vision, I speak to him in a dream. 7Not so with My servant Moses. In all My house, he is faithful. 8I speak with him face to face, plainly and not in riddles. He even looks at the form of Adonai! Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?” 9Adonai’s anger burned against them, and He left them. 10When the cloud lifted up from above the Tent, behold, Miriam had tza’arat, like snow! As Aaron turned toward her, behold, she had tza’arat! 11He said to Moses, “Please, my lord, don’t hold against us the sin we have committed so foolishly! 12Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby, who comes from his mother’s womb with his flesh half-eaten away!” 13So Moses cried to Adonai saying, “O God, heal her now!” 14Adonai said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, would she not be in shame for seven days? Let her be confined outside the camp for seven days. After that she may be brought back.” 15So Miriam was restricted to outside the camp for seven days. The people did not move on until Miriam was brought back. 16Afterward, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Wilderness of Paran.

–from Numbers 12

So let’s praise Him! Let’s worship Him! Let’s lift Him up throughout the day! Let’s glorify Jesus in all we think, say, and do!

Praise Him, All Creation!

1Halleluyah! Praise Adonai from the heavens! Praise Him in the highest! 2Praise Him all His angels! Praise Him all His armies. 3Praise Him, sun and moon! Praise Him, all stars of light. 4Praise Him, highest heavens, and waters above the heavens. 5Let them praise the Name of Adonai, for He commanded and they were created. 6He set them in place forever and ever. He made a decree that will never pass away. 7Praise Adonai from the earth, sea monsters and all depths, 8fire and hail, snow and vapor, storm wind doing His bidding, 9mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, 10beasts and all cattle, crawling things and winged birds, 11kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of earth, 12both young men and maidens, old men and children. 13Let them praise the Name of Adonai, for His Name alone is exalted. His glory is above earth and heaven. 14He has raised up a horn for His people, a praise for all His kedoshim, for the children of Israel— a people near to Him. Halleluyah!

–from Psalms 148

They say that imitation is the highest level of flattery – so why no imitate Jesus? Let’s be helpers! Let’s be stewards! Let’s be trustworthy! Let’s not judge others! Let’s be blessings! Let’s endure! Let’s speak kindly! Let’s reveal God’s power!

More choices! We get to choose! We get to choose how we live and in effect we get to choose the results!

God’s Word speaks to that today too…

Learning to Imitate Messiah’s Emissary

1So let each one think of us in this way—as Messiah’s helpers and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2In this case, moreover, what is required of stewards is to be found trustworthy. 3But to me it matters very little to be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore do not judge anything before the time—wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light the things hidden in darkness and also make clear the motives of the hearts. Then the praise for each one will come from God. 6Now I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so you might learn from us not to go beyond what is written. Then none of you will be puffed up in favor of one against the other. 7For who makes you different? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 8Already you are full! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! Indeed, I wish you were kings, so we also might be kings with you! 9For it seems to me that God has put us, the emissaries, on display last of all—like men sentenced to death. For we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people. 10We are fools for Messiah’s sake, but you are wise in Messiah! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, but we are dishonored! 11To this very hour we are both hungry and thirsty, dressed in rags and mistreated and homeless. 12We toil, working with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless. When we are persecuted, we endure. 13When we are slandered, we speak kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the dregs of all things—even to this moment. 14I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to warn you as my dearly loved children. 15For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Messiah, yet you do not have many fathers. For in Messiah Yeshua, I became your father through the Good News. 16I urge you therefore—be imitators of me. 17For this reason I have sent you Timothy, my dearly loved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Messiah, just as I teach everywhere in every community. 18Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing; and I will find out not the talk of those who are puffed up, but their power. 20For the kingdom of God does not consist of talk but of power. 21What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

–from 1 Corinthians 4

So what are you going to do? How are you going to live? What will others see in and through you?

Are you ready? He will be back again! He came once as the savior and next time … So let’s be prepared! Let’s be ready! Let’s receive the gift of grace! Let’s share the gift of grace! Let’s be ready to celebrate when He comes back again! Let’s choose to follow Him now! Let’s choose to ask Him into our hearts today! Let’s start the incredible relationship God has always wanted to have with us that will last forever!

The Kingdom Is Coming Now

1The beginning of the Good News of Yeshua ha-Mashiach, Ben-Elohim. 2As Isaiah the prophet has written, “Behold, I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way. 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, and make His paths straight.’” 4John appeared, immersing in the wilderness, proclaiming an immersion involving repentance for the removal of sins. 5All the Judean countryside was going out to him, and all the Jerusalemites. As they confessed their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothes made from camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7“After me comes One who is mightier than I am,” he proclaimed. “I’m not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of His sandals! 8I immersed you with water, but He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh.”

The Spirit Rests on Yeshua

9In those days, Yeshua came from Natzeret in the Galilee and was immersed by John in the Jordan. 10Just as He was coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens ripping open and the Ruach as a dove coming down upon Him. 11And there came a voice from the heavens: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased!” 12That instant, the Ruach drives Him into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by satan. And He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were taking care of Him.

Fishermen Follow Him

14Now after John was put in jail, Yeshua came into the Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God.15“Now is the fullness of time,” He said, “and the kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins, and believe in the Good News!” 16Passing along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Simon’s brother Andrew casting a net in the sea, for they were fishermen. 17And Yeshua said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 19Going a little farther, He saw Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired hands and followed Him.

Demons Flee at His Command

21And they went into Capernaum. Right away, on Shabbat, He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22And they were astounded at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one having authority and not as the Torah scholars. 23Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24“What have we to do with You, Yeshua of Natzeret? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are! You’re the Holy One of God!” 25Yeshua rebuked him, saying, “Quiet! Come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, after throwing the man into convulsions and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They were all so amazed that they asked among themselves, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him!” 28And immediately news about Him spread throughout the region surrounding Galilee.

The Hurting Become Whole

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with Jacob and John to the house of Simon and Andrew. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever. Right away, they told Yeshua about her. 31He came and raised her up by taking her hand. The fever left her, and she began to take care of them. 32When evening came, at sunset, the people brought to Him all the sick and those who were afflicted by demons. 33The whole town gathered together at the door. 34He healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. And He would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 35Very early, while it was still night, Yeshua got up, left, and went away to a place in the wilderness; and there He was praying. 36Then Simon and those with him hunted for Yeshua. 37And when they found Him, they said to Him, “Everybody’s looking for You.” 38He said to them, “Let’s go somewhere else, to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also—this is what I came for.” 39And He went throughout all the Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40A man with tza’arat comes to Him, begging Him and falling on his knees, saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41Moved with compassion, Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him. He said, “I am willing. Be cleansed.” 42Immediately, the tza’arat left him, and he was cleansed. 43Yeshua sent him away at once, sternly warning him. 44He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go show yourself to the kohen. Then, for your cleansing, offer what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45But he went out and began to proclaim and spread the word, so much that Yeshua could no longer enter a town openly but had to stay out in wilderness areas. Still, they kept on coming to Him from everywhere.

–from Mark 1

 

 

How important is purity in your camp?


How about your home? How about your family? How about your friends? How about your company? How about your team? How about your relationships? How about your workplace? How about your neighborhood? How about your church?

Are you living it? Are you being protective of it? Are you aware of what is going on? Have you setup safety rules about it? Have you setup boundaries to enforce it? Will you work to avoid and prevent jealousy? Will work to produce unity?

Is it a priority to you? Is it a priority to those around you? Is it a priority for those above you? Is it a priority for those under you?

How can you tell? Is there evidence? Is there something visible that demonstrates it to be true?

Will you be a blessing to others? Would you pray his on others?

24The LORD bless you, and keep you; 25The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; 26The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace. 27“So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.

–from Numbers 6


 

Today’s reading that starts with Numbers 5, Numbers 6 kicks off on this topic. Today’s reading then concludes in 1 Corinthians 1.

We need to make the unity of the body a priority! We need to be thankful for what God has done and continues to do in and through our lives! We need to keep our focus on God’s wisdom! We need to be people who live out Jesus to this world! We need to give away the grace that God has provided us! We need to be ambassadors of peace! We need to be living testimonies of who God is!

So s let today be a great day! Help others find the truth!


Today’s reading concludes with…

Greetings

1Paul, called as an emissary of Messiah Yeshua by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2To God’s community in Corinth—having been made holy in Messiah Yeshua, called as kedoshim—with all who everywhere call on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, both theirs and ours: 3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father, and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah!

Thanksgiving

4I always thank my God for you because of God’s grace that was given to you in Messiah Yeshua. 5For in Him you were made rich in every way—in all speaking and all knowledge—6just as the evidence of Messiah was confirmed among you. 7So you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you eagerly wait for the revealing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 8He will also strengthen you until the end—blameless in the Day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Yeshua the Messiah our Lord.

Concern about Disunity

10Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, through the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by those who are from Chloe’s household, that there are rivalries among you. 12I say this because you are each saying, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Kefa,” or “I follow Messiah.” 13Has Messiah been divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you immersed into the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I immersed none of you, except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one should say that I had immersed you into my own name. 16(I also immersed the household of Stephanas; besides them, I don’t recall if I immersed anyone else.) 17For Messiah sent me not to immerse, but to proclaim the Good News—not with cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Messiah would not be made of no effect.

Whose Wisdom Is Foolish?

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the intelligent.” 20Where is the wise one? Where is the Torah scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For seeing that—in God’s wisdom—the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased—through the foolishness of the message proclaimed—to save those who believe. 22For Jewish people ask for signs and Greek people seek after wisdom, 23but we proclaim Messiah crucified—a stumbling block to Jewish people and foolishness to Gentile people, 24but to those who are called (both Jewish and Greek people), Messiah, the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For you see your calling, brothers and sisters, that not many are wise according to human standards, not many are powerful, and not many are born well. 27Yet God chose the foolish things of the world so He might put to shame the wise; and God chose the weak things of the world so He might put to shame the strong; 28and God chose the lowly and despised things of the world, the things that are as nothing, so He might bring to nothing the things that are— 29so that no human might boast before God. 30But because of Him you are in Messiah Yeshua, who became to us wisdom from God and righteousness and holiness and redemption— 31so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in Adonai.”
–from 1 Corinthians 1

 

 

 

We’ve all been created on purpose for a purpose!


You weren’t an accident! You are an accident! You’ve been created on purpose for a purpose! So let’s live up to that calling! Let’s pursue that purpose! Let’s complete the work set in front of us to do!

Do you know where to turn? when you have questions? when you have concerns?

God’s plan is good! God’s plan is great! So let’s live out our lives as living testimonies of His greatness! Let’s allow our goal and purpose to become more like Jesus! Let’s allow grace and forgiveness to flow from our lives! Let’s allow people to be transformed through our encounters because we point them to the one true God! Let’s allow our words and our actions to be the gospel in action! Let’s allow God to be seen through our relationships! So that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name!

Let’s celebrate, because God’s not dead!


Today’s reading starts with the calling of the Levites and then into praising God and closes with the incredible resurrection of Jesus!  He is risen! He is sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us! So let’s choose to live!


The Levite Families and Duties

1These are the generations of Aaron and Moses current at the time Adonai spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai. 2These are the names of Aaron’s sons: Nadab the first-born, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 3These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed kohanim whom he consecrated to be priests. 4But Nadab and Abihu died before Adonai for offering unauthorized fire before Adonai in the Sinai wilderness—they had no children. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as kohanim under Aaron their father. 5Then Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 6“Gather the tribe of Levi near, and appoint them to attend to Aaron the kohen. 7They are to keep watch over duties for him and the entire community before the Tent of Meeting while performing the service of the Tabernacle. 8They are to tend to all the implements of the Tent of Meeting and the service of Bnei-Yisrael while performing the service of the Tabernacle. 9You are to give the Levites to Aaron and his sons. Out of Bnei-Yisrael they are dedicated entirely to him. 10You are to appoint Aaron and his sons to maintain the priesthood; any commoner who approaches must be executed.” 11Then Adonai said to Moses saying, 12“See, I have taken the Levites from among Bnei-Yisrael in place of the firstborn who open the womb among Bnei-Yisrael. The Levites will be Mine, 13because all the firstborn are Mine. In the day when I was striking down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated to Myself every firstborn in Israel—whether man or animal—as Mine. I am Adonai.” 14Adonai spoke in the Sinai wilderness to Moses saying, 15“Count the sons of Levi. According to their ancestral house, by their families, every male a month old and upward you are to number them.” 16So Moses numbered them in accordance with the word of Adonai, just as he was commanded. 17These were the sons of Levi, by their names: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 18These then were the names of the sons of Gershon by their families—Libni and Shimei. 19The sons of Kohath by their families were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 20The sons of Merari, by their families, are Mahli and Mushi. These then were the families of the Levites by their ancestral households. 21To Gershon belonged the family of the Libnites and the family of the Shimeites. These were the families of the Gershonites. 22The number of every male one month old and upward who were counted was 7,500. 23The Gershonites were to camp behind the Tabernacle on the west. 24The prince of the ancestral house of the Gershonites was Eliasaph son of Lael. 25The duties of the sons of Gershon in the Tent of Meeting were the Tabernacle, the tent, its coverings, the curtain of the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, 26the curtains of the courtyard, the screen of the entrance of the courtyard around the Tabernacle and altar, its ropes and all related to its use. 27To Kohath belonged the family of the Amramites, the family of the Izharites, the Hebronites and the Uzzielites. These were the Kohathite families. 28The number of every male one month old and upward was 8,600. Their duties were caring for the Sanctuary. 29The Kohathite families were to camp along the side of the Tabernacle on the south. 30The prince of the ancestral household of the Kohathites was Elizaphan son of Uzziel. 31They were responsible for the Ark, the table, the menorah, the altars, and the implements of the Sanctuary used in service with them, the curtain and all involved with its use. 32The chief prince of the Levites was Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen appointed over those whose responsibility was the care of the Sanctuary. 33To Merari belonged the families of the Mahlites and the Mushites. These were the families of Merari. 34Their number by count of every male one month old and upward was 6,200. 35The prince of the household of the father of the Merarites was Zuriel son of Abihail. They were to camp on the north side of the Tabernacle. 36The sons of Merari were appointed over the care of the frames of the Tabernacle, its crossbars, posts, bases, and all equipment for its use, 37the posts of the surrounding courtyard, their bases, pegs and ropes. 38Those camping in front of the Tent of Meeting, on the east, toward the sunrise, were Moses, Aaron, and his sons. They were to care for the Sanctuary on behalf of Bnei-Yisrael. But anyone unauthorized who approached had to be executed. 39All the Levites counted by Moses and Aaron at the word of Adonai, by their families, inclusive of every male one month old and upward, were 22,000.

Redemption of the Firstborn

40Adonai said to Moses, “Count every firstborn male of Bnei-Yisrael from one month old and upward and make a list of their names. 41Set the Levites apart for me in place of all the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael, and, all the livestock of the Levites in place of the firstborn of the livestock of Bnei-Yisrael. I am Adonai.” 42So Moses counted all the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael as Adonai commanded him. 43The sum total of the firstborn males of Bnei-Yisrael, one month old and upward, listed by name, was 22,273. 44Again Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 45“Take the Levites in place of all the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael, and the livestock of the Levites in place of their livestock. The Levites will be Mine. I am Adonai. 46To redeem the 273 firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael exceeding the number of the Levites, 47you are to collect five shekels for each, based on the shekel of the Sanctuary, which is 20 gerahs. 48Give the money for the redemption of the extra ones of the firstborn of them to Aaron and his sons.” 49Hence Moses collected the redemption money for those exceeding the number redeemed by the Levites. 50From the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael he collected silver weighing 1,365 shekels, according to the Sanctuary shekel. 51Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and his sons, just as Adonai commanded him, in accordance with the mouth of Adonai.
–from Numbers 3

God’s got a plan! So let’s live it out! And give Him all the praise!

Let All Peoples Praise You

1For the music director, with stringed instruments, a psalm, a song. 2May God be gracious to us and bless us. May He cause His face to shine upon us— Selah 3so that Your way may be known on earth, and Your salvation among all nations. 4Let the peoples praise You, O God. Let all the peoples praise You. 5Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You will judge the peoples fairly, and guide the nations on the earth. Selah 6Let the peoples praise You, O God. Let all the peoples praise You. 7The earth has yielded its harvest— God, our God will bless us. 8God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear Him.
–Psalms 67

Wondering why? Wondering how? Wondering where? Wondering who? Wondering what? Wondering when?

The Lamb of God is Resurrected

1Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it is still dark, Miriam from Magdala comes to the tomb. She sees that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb. 2So she comes running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Yeshua loved. She tells them, “They’ve taken the Master out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put Him!” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out, going to the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and arrived at the tomb first. 5Leaning in, he sees the linen strips lying there. But he didn’t go in. 6Then Simon Peter comes following him, and he entered the tomb. He looks upon the linen strips lying there, 7and the face cloth that had been on His head. It was not lying with the linen strips, but was rolled up in a place by itself. 8So then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also entered. He saw and believed. 9For they did not yet understand from Scripture that Yeshua must rise from the dead. 10So the disciples went back to their own homes.

Yeshua Appears to Miriam

11But Miriam stood outside the tomb weeping. As she was weeping, she bent down to look into the tomb. 12She sees two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where Yeshua’s body had been lying. 13“Woman, why are you crying?” they say to her. She says to them, “Because they took away my Master, and I don’t know where they’ve put Him.” 14After she said these things, she turned around. And she sees Yeshua standing there. Yet she didn’t know that it was Yeshua. 15Yeshua says to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Thinking He’s the gardener, she says to Him, “Sir, if You’ve carried Him away, tell me where You’ve put Him, and I will take Him away.” 16Yeshua says to her, “Miriam!” Turning around, she says to Him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17Yeshua says to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am going up to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’” 18Miriam from Magdala comes, announcing to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord,” and what He had said to her.

Yeshua Appears to the Disciples

19It was evening on that day, the first of the week. When the doors were locked where the disciples were, for fear of the Judean leaders, Yeshua came and stood in their midst! And He said to them, “Shalom aleichem!” 20After He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Yeshua said to them again, “Shalom aleichem! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22And after He said this, He breathed on them. And He said to them, “Receive the Ruach ha-Kodesh! 23If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; but if you hold back, they are held back.” 24One of the Twelve, Thomas called the Twin, was not with them when Yeshua came. 25The other disciples were saying to him, “We’ve seen the Lord!” But he replied to them, “Unless I see the nail prints in His hands, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand in His side, I will never believe!” 26Eight days later the disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them. Yeshua comes, despite the locked doors. He stood in their midst and said, “Shalom aleichem!” 27Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe!” 28Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Yeshua said to Him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed? Blessed are the ones who have not seen and yet have believed!”

The Reason for Signs and Wonders

30Yeshua performed many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these things have been written so that you may believe that Yeshua is Mashiach Ben-Elohim, and that by believing you may have life in His name.

–from John 20

 

 

 

To each according to their abilities…


Some are strong! Some are smart! Some are innovators! Some are investors! Some are numerous! Some are wealthy! Some are discerning! Some are wise! Some are flexible! Some are good with their hands! Some are good with planning! Some are good at doing! Some are good at closing! With the gifts and talents you have been given, will you choose to be a good steward of those abilities? Will you choose to use them for a greater purpose? Will you choose to use them on purpose? Will you choose to answer and listen to the call and pick it up? God’s got great plans for you and your life!

As today’s reading begins we see in Numbers 1 how God has asked Moses to get a count of the men who are old enough to join the army. In today’s reading we hear of the calling for the Levites. We will get to hear and learn more as we continue into the book.

Census of Fighting Men

1In the wilderness of Sinai, on the first day of the second month in the second year from the Exodus from the land of Egypt, Adonai spoke to Moses in the Tent of Meeting saying, 2“Do a head count of all the community of Bnei-Yisrael by their families and their ancestral house, with a total of every male one by one. 3You and Aaron are to muster by their divisions every son from 20 years and upward available to serve in the army of Israel. 4One man from each tribe, each head of his father’s household, is to assist you. 5“These then are the names of the men who will assist you: from Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur. 6From Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai. 7From Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab. 8From Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar. 9From Zebulon, Eliab son of Helon. 10From the sons of Joseph—from Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud, from Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur. 11From Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni. 12From Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. 13From Asher, Pagiel son of Ochran. 14From Gad, Eliasaph son of Deuel. 15From Naphtali, Ahira son of Enan.” 16These were those selected from the community, princes of their ancestral tribes. They were heads of the thousands of Israel. 17So Moses and Aaron took these men designated by name. 18They assembled all the community on the first day of the second month. They declared their lineage according to their families, the households of their forefathers, with the number of the names of those 20 years old and upward being listed individually. 19Moses numbered Israel in the wilderness of Sinai just as Adonai had commanded him. 20The sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn (their generations, their families, by their ancestral households, according to the count of their names, every male from 20 years and upward, all available for the army), 21those counted from the tribe of Reuben were 46,500. 22From the sons of Simeon (their generations, according to their families, their ancestral households, whose names were counted by polls, every male 20 years and upward, every one who would go with the army), 23they counted from the tribe of Simeon 59,300. 24From the sons of Gad (their generations according to their families, to their ancestral households, in the count of names of every male 20 years old and upward, every one available to go out with the army), 25those counted from the tribe of Gad were 45,650. 26From the sons of Judah (their generations, by their families, their ancestral households, the count of their names, all who would go out with the army), 27those counted from the tribe of Judah were 74,600. 28From the sons of Issachar (their generations, according to their families, their ancestral households, by number of the names of every male 20 years old and upward, going out with the army), 29those counted from the tribe of Issachar were 54,400. 30From the sons of Zebulon (their generations, according to their families, to their ancestral households, by number of the names of everyone 20 years old and upward going out with the army), 31those counted from the tribe of Zebulun were 57,400. 32From the sons of Joseph—the sons of Ephraim (their generations according to their families, to their ancestral households, by count of the names of all those 20 years old and upward going out with the army), 33those numbered from the tribe of Ephraim were 40,500. 34From the sons of Manasseh (their generations according to their families, their ancestral households, by number of the names of those 20 years old and upward going out with the army), 35those counted from the tribe of Manasseh were 32,200. 36From the sons of Benjamin (their generations by their families, their ancestral households, by number of the names of every one 20 years old and upward going out with the army), 37those numbered from the tribe of Benjamin were 35,400. 38From the sons of Dan, their generations by their families their ancestral households, by number of everyone 20 years old and upward who would go out with the army, 39those numbered from the tribe of Dan were 62,700. 40From the sons of Asher (their generations by their families, their ancestral households, by number everyone 20 years old and upward who could go out with the army), 41those counted from the tribe of Asher were 41,500. 42From the sons of Naphtali (their generations by their families, their ancestral households, by number everyone 20 years old and upward who would go out with the army), 43those counted from the tribe of Naphtali were 53,400. 44These were the ones numbered—Moses, Aaron and the princes of Israel counted them. Each of the twelve men represented his ancestral house. 45So all those counted from Bnei-Yisrael, according to their ancestral houses, from 20 years old and up—all able to go out with the army in Israel— 46all those who were counted totaled 603,550.

Duties of the Levities

47The Levites, however, were not counted by the tribe of their ancestors, 48for Adonai told Moses saying, 49“Definitely you are not to number the tribe of Levi, nor take the sum of them among Bnei-Yisrael. 50Instead, you are to appoint the Levites over the Tabernacle of the Testimony, over all its implements and all pertaining to it. They are to carry the Tabernacle and all its utensils, tend to it and camp around it. 51Whenever the Tabernacle sets out, the Levites are to dismantle it, and whenever the Tabernacle is pitched, the Levites are to set it up. But the commoner who comes near to it must be put to death. 52Bnei-Yisrael will encamp, each man with his own camp, each with his own standard, according to their own divisions. 53The Levites are to camp around the Tabernacle of the Testimony, so that there will be no wrath unleashed on the community of Bnei-Yisrael. So the Levites are to maintain care of the Tabernacle of the Testimony. 54So Bnei-Yisrael did—all that Adonai commanded Moses, so they did.
–from Numbers 1

Today’s reading continues in John reading of Jesus’ betrayal and trial. He gave so much for our opportunity to be reconciled to God! He left heaven to accomplish God’s will! He left heaven because no human would be able to do what needed to be done for us to be reconciled back unto God! He gave His all! He was an overcomer! He first died for us because He loved us! He then conquered the grave so that we could be freed! Oh what an incredible love that He would give His life up for us! He didn’t expect us to be perfect, He gave us His perfection! He provided the pathway to freedom and forgiveness even to those who would reject, betray, and even say they didn’t know Him!

We have to make a choice! We make a decision! Will we accept Jesus? Will we receive the gift? Will we ask Him into our lives? Will we receive the gift of mercy and grace? Will we accept the gift of forgiveness and freedom? Will we share it with others? Will we give it away? Will we share forgiveness with others? Will we share love with others? Will we share mercy with others? Will we share hope with others? Will we share grace with others? Will you be an ambassador of peace? Will you be an ambassador for reconciliation?

How about you?

 

Betrayed and Arrested

1When Yeshua had said these things, He went out with His disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. 2Now Judah, who was betraying Him, also knew the place, because Yeshua had often met there with His disciples. 3So Judah, having taken a band of soldiers and some officers from the ruling kohanim and Pharisees, comes there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4Then Yeshua, knowing all the things coming upon Him, went forward. He said to them, “Who are you looking for?” 5“Yeshua ha-Natzrati,” they answered Him. Yeshua tells them, “I am.” Now Judah, the one betraying Him, was also standing with them. 6So when Yeshua said to them, “I am,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7So again He asked them, “Who are you looking for?” And they said, “Yeshua ha-Natzrati.” 8Yeshua answered, “I told you, I am! If you’re looking for Me, let these men go their way.” 9This was so the word would be fulfilled that He spoke: “I did not lose one of those You have given Me.” 10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the servant of the kohen gadol , and cut off his right ear. Now the servant’s name was Malchus. 11So Yeshua said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath! The cup the Father has given Me—shall I never drink it?”

Interrogated and Tried

12Then the band of soldiers, with the captain and the officers of the Judeans, seized Yeshua and tied Him up. 13They led Him first to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the kohen gadol that year. 14Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Judean leaders that it was better for one man to die on behalf of the people. 15Simon Peter was following Yeshua with another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the kohen gadol , so he went with Yeshua into the court of the kohen gadol . 16But Peter was left standing outside by the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the kohen gadol , went out and spoke to the doorkeeper and brought Peter in. 17The maidservant at the door says to Peter, “Aren’t you one of this Man’s disciples too?” He says, “No, I’m not.” 18The servants and officers were standing around a fire they had made, because it was cold and they were warming themselves. And Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself. 19The kohen gadol then questioned Yeshua about His disciples and His teaching. 20“I have spoken openly to the world,” Yeshua answered him. “I always taught in the synagogues and the Temple, where all the Jewish people come together. I spoke nothing in secret. 21Why question Me? Ask those who have heard what I spoke to them. Look, they know what I said.” 22When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby gave Yeshua a slap, saying, “Is that the way you answer the kohen gadol ?” 23Yeshua answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, give evidence of the wrong; but if rightly, why hit Me?” 24Then Annas sent Him, still tied up, to Caiaphas, the kohen gadol . 25Now Simon Peter was standing outside and warming himself. So they said to him, “Aren’t you one of His disciples too?” He denied it and said, “No, I’m not!” 26One of the servants of the kohen gadol , a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with Him?” 27Again Peter denied it, and immediately a rooster crowed. 28Then they led Yeshua from Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the Praetorium, so they would not become unclean but might eat the Passover. 29Therefore Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring against this man?” 30They answered, “If He weren’t an evildoer, we wouldn’t have handed Him over to you.” 31Then Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him by your Torah!” The Judean leaders responded, “We are not authorized to put anyone to death.” 32This happened so that the word Yeshua spoke would be fulfilled, signifying what kind of death He was about to die. 33So Pilate went back into the Praetorium, called for Yeshua, and asked Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34“Are you saying this on your own,” Yeshua answered, “or did others tell you about Me?” 35Pilate answered, “I’m not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and ruling kohanim handed You over to me! What have You done?” 36Yeshua answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Judean leaders. But as it is, My kingdom is not from here.” 37So Pilate said to Him, “Are you a king, then?” Yeshua answered, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, so that I might testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” After he said this, he went out again to the Judean leaders. He said to them, “I find no case against Him. 39But it’s your custom that I release someone for you at Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40They shouted back, “Not this One, but Bar-Abba!” Now Bar-Abba was a revolutionary.
–from John 18