New beginnings…The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 19th)


Today as I start my read into the Bible, I am using a new version that I received as a gift from my in-laws for Christmas. It comes from the recently opened Museum of the Bible in DC and is called the Global Impact Bible as it speaks to the impact the Bible has had on people and the world in the areas of Science and Medicine, Arts & Entertainment, Education & Literacy, Languages, Government & Politics, Life Issues, and Exploration & Commerce.

Last night I had the opportunity to go an event put on by the Museum of the Bible and hear of the incredible things that are taking place both inside the building through artifacts, technology, and design as well as outside where they have worked on curriculum that can be used in schools to teach about the Bible and very exciting new ways using technology to educate with augmented reality and virtual reality. It sounds amazing and look forward to getting an opportunity to travel and see it as it would take approximately 72 hours to see everything. It’s an incredible educational organization that even reaches the college students through a program called Passages which brings groups to Israel.


Starting in January the theme for the readings is The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts.

Today’s reading comes from the English Standard Version out of the Book of Habakkuk chapter 2.

1 I will take my stand at my watchpost
and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith

2And the Lord answered me:
“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
4 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith.
5 “Moreover, wine is a traitor,
an arrogant man who is never at rest.
His greed is as wide as Sheol;
like death he has never enough.
He gathers for himself all nations
and collects as his own all peoples.”

Woe to the Chaldeans

6Shall not all these take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say,
“Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own—
for how long?—
and loads himself with pledges!”
7 Will not your debtors suddenly arise,
and those awake who will make you tremble?
Then you will be spoil for them.
8 Because you have plundered many nations,
all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,
for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them.
9 “Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house,
to set his nest on high,
to be safe from the reach of harm!
10 You have devised shame for your house
by cutting off many peoples;
you have forfeited your life.
11 For the stone will cry out from the wall,
and the beam from the woodwork respond.
12 “Woe to him who builds a town with blood
and founds a city on iniquity!
13 Behold, is it not from the Lord of hosts
that peoples labor merely for fire,
and nations weary themselves for nothing?
14 For the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
15 “Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink—
you pour out your wrath and make them drunk,
in order to gaze at their nakedness!
16 You will have your fill of shame instead of glory.
Drink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision!
The cup in the Lord‘s right hand
will come around to you,
and utter shame will come upon your glory!
17 The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
as will the destruction of the beasts that terrified them,
for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them.
18 “What profit is an idol
when its maker has shaped it,
a metal image, a teacher of lies?
For its maker trusts in his own creation
when he makes speechless idols!
19 Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake;
to a silent stone, Arise!
Can this teach?
Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
and there is no breath at all in it.
20 But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before him.”
Have you ever seen the statue of Habakkuk made by Donatello? It was the visual for today’s reading and the commentary speaks to the psychological realism, the anguish, the forlornness in capturing or representing the violent and evil times that Habakkuk lived in and through.
Jan 19 - Habakkuk 2 - ARTS - Zuccone_Donatello_OPA_Florence

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new way to walk through Your Word and for the new perspective to capture the impact You Word has on the world. I thank You Lord that the Museum of the Bible has opened in order to educate people on Your Word through education, experience, and so much more. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path! Your Word never returns void and I thank You for the trust You have built in me through spending time in Your Word. I thank You Lord for the opportunity to read through Your Word in a way that reveals the impact You have had on the earth through Your Word. Lord as I take hold of the reading from Habakkuk I take hold of how as much as things changes it feels like somethings remain the same. Even as Solomon had said in Ecclesiastes 1:9

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

As I consider this time and stand by faith in Jesus I look around and pray for revival. I look to You knowing that You know the beginning from the end and that Jesus has already won the victory and that I need to persevere as I walk through this life until I am returned to You either in old age or upon Jesus’ return. I won’t lose hope when things get tough because I know that when trouble comes my way I can take hope because Jesus has overcome the world. I won’t lose hope when I face trials of many kinds, but rather will consider it pure joy because I know that the testing of my faith produces steadfastness. And that when I let steadfastness have its full effect, that I will be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Lord, as I walk through Your Word this January I open up my eyes and my ears to the arts that are all around me and will take hold of what You have done in and through my life and all of time. I will not fear but rather live by faith in You! I will not lean on my own understanding but rather will acknowledge you in all my ways that You will make my path straight! As I look at the world around me and consider their need for You and for Your Word to become real in their lives, I give this up into Your hands in hopes that with the new Museum of the Bible and their course curriculum for schools that people around the world will get to experience the truth of Your Word and be transformed. Help me Lord to be an instrument of Your work. Grant me wisdom and discernment on how best to accomplish Your will in my life. Give me visions and dreams of what could be and how I can be a part by putting my hand to the plow in order that Your Work can be accomplished! Lord, here am I! Lord, as I stand in the gap lifting up those in my life that You have allowed me to bring into my life through so many avenues. Grant me the boldness, the wisdom, the discernment to receive Your direction and begin the new journey You will place before me so that I may give You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you realize the impact of what you are doing?


Do you realize who you are impacting? Do you realize what impact your words are having on others? Do you realize what impact your actions are having on others? Do you realize what impact your behavior is having on others? Do you realize what impact your attitude is having on others? Do you realize the impact of your decisions? Do you realize the impact of your character? Do you realize the impact of your honesty? Do you realize the impact of your integrity? Do you realize the impact of your intent? Do you realize the impact of your caring? Do you realize the impact of your openness? Do you realize the impact of your authenticity? Do you realize the impact of your reputation? Do you realize the impact of your fairness? Do you realize the impact of your experience?

Is your impact positive or negative? Is your impact improving things? Is your impact helping things? Is your impact building up or tearing down? Is your impact setting others up? for success? for failure?


Let’s jump in to read from Zephaniah to kick off our reading for today…

1The Lord gave this message to Zephaniah when Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah.

Coming Judgment against Judah

2“I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” says the Lord. 3“I will sweep away people and animals alike. I will sweep away the birds of the sky and the fish in the sea. I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble, and I will wipe humanity from the face of the earth,” says the Lord. 4“I will crush Judah and Jerusalem with my fist and destroy every last trace of their Baal worship. I will put an end to all the idolatrous priests, so that even the memory of them will disappear. 5For they go up to their roofs and bow down to the sun, moon, and stars. They claim to follow the Lord, but then they worship Molech, too. 6And I will destroy those who used to worship me but now no longer do. They no longer ask for the Lord’s guidance or seek my blessings.” 7Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord, for the awesome day of the Lord’s judgment is near. The Lord has prepared his people for a great slaughter and has chosen their executioners. 8“On that day of judgment,” says the Lord, “I will punish the leaders and princes of Judah and all those following pagan customs. 9Yes, I will punish those who participate in pagan worship ceremonies, and those who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit. 10“On that day,” says the Lord, “a cry of alarm will come from the Fish Gate and echo throughout the New Quarter of the city. And a great crash will sound from the hills. 11Wail in sorrow, all you who live in the market area, for all the merchants and traders will be destroyed. 12“I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners to punish those who sit complacent in their sins. They think the Lord will do nothing to them, either good or bad. 13So their property will be plundered, their homes will be ransacked. They will build new homes but never live in them. They will plant vineyards but never drink wine from them. 14“That terrible day of the Lord is near. Swiftly it comes— a day of bitter tears, a day when even strong men will cry out. 15It will be a day when the Lord’s anger is poured out— a day of terrible distress and anguish, a day of ruin and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, 16a day of trumpet calls and battle cries. Down go the walled cities and the strongest battlements! 17“Because you have sinned against the Lord, I will make you grope around like the blind. Your blood will be poured into the dust, and your bodies will lie rotting on the ground.” 18Your silver and gold will not save you on that day of the Lord’s anger. For the whole land will be devoured by the fire of his jealousy. He will make a terrifying end of all the people on earth.

–from Zephaniah 1

Will you turn to God? Will you ask for forgiveness? Will you humble yourself and pray? Will you follow His commands? Will you love God? Will you love people? Will you seek to do what is right? Will you invite Jesus into your heart? Will you choose Jesus before it is too late? Will you decide before the end times and judgement comes? What would it take? How bad would things have to get? How far down the downward spiral would you have to travel before you start looking up and asking God? We all have to decide for ourselves! Your choice and decision do make a difference! Don’t miss out because of your selfishness or pride!

A Call to Repentance

1Gather together—yes, gather together, you shameless nation. 2Gather before judgment begins, before your time to repent is blown away like chaff. Act now, before the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger begins. 3Seek the Lord, all who are humble, and follow his commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you— protect you from his anger on that day of destruction.

Judgment against Philistia

4Gaza and Ashkelon will be abandoned, Ashdod and Ekron torn down. 5And what sorrow awaits you Philistines who live along the coast and in the land of Canaan, for this judgment is against you, too! The Lord will destroy you until not one of you is left. 6The Philistine coast will become a wilderness pasture, a place of shepherd camps and enclosures for sheep and goats. 7The remnant of the tribe of Judah will pasture there. They will rest at night in the abandoned houses in Ashkelon. For the Lord their God will visit his people in kindness and restore their prosperity again.

Judgment against Moab and Ammon

8“I have heard the taunts of the Moabites and the insults of the Ammonites, mocking my people and invading their borders. 9Now, as surely as I live,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, “Moab and Ammon will be destroyed— destroyed as completely as Sodom and Gomorrah. Their land will become a place of stinging nettles, salt pits, and eternal desolation. The remnant of my people will plunder them and take their land.” 10They will receive the wages of their pride, for they have scoffed at the people of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 11The Lord will terrify them as he destroys all the gods in the land. Then nations around the world will worship the Lord, each in their own land.

Judgment against Ethiopia and Assyria

12“You Ethiopians will also be slaughtered by my sword,” says the Lord. 13And the Lord will strike the lands of the north with his fist, destroying the land of Assyria. He will make its great capital, Nineveh, a desolate wasteland, parched like a desert. 14The proud city will become a pasture for flocks and herds, and all sorts of wild animals will settle there. The desert owl and screech owl will roost on its ruined columns, their calls echoing through the gaping windows. Rubble will block all the doorways, and the cedar paneling will be exposed to the weather. 15This is the boisterous city, once so secure. “I am the greatest!” it boasted. “No other city can compare with me!” But now, look how it has become an utter ruin, a haven for wild animals. Everyone passing by will laugh in derision and shake a defiant fist.

–from Zephaniah 2

Will you choose to rebel? Will you choose redemption? There are many paths but only one that will lead you to God! Jesus told us that He is the way! Will you turn to Him? Will you allow Him to transform you from the inside out? My redeemer lives! Choose to be redeemed by Jesus! Don’t walk out on God (or think you should or could)! Don’t walk away from God (or think you can hide from Him)! Turn back to God! Ask Him to heal and forgive you! Come with a humble spirit! Allow Jesus to start a work in your heart that will transform you for the rest of your life and the rest of eternity!

Jerusalem’s Rebellion and Redemption

1What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem, the city of violence and crime! 2No one can tell it anything; it refuses all correction. It does not trust in the Lord or draw near to its God. 3Its leaders are like roaring lions hunting for their victims. Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time, who by dawn have left no trace of their prey. 4Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain. Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God’s instructions. 5But the Lord is still there in the city, and he does no wrong. Day by day he hands down justice, and he does not fail. But the wicked know no shame. 6“I have wiped out many nations, devastating their fortress walls and towers. Their streets are now deserted; their cities lie in silent ruin. There are no survivors— none at all. 7I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now! Surely they will listen to my warnings. Then I won’t need to strike again, destroying their homes.’ But no, they get up early to continue their evil deeds. 8Therefore, be patient,” says the Lord. “Soon I will stand and accuse these evil nations. For I have decided to gather the kingdoms of the earth and pour out my fiercest anger and fury on them. All the earth will be devoured by the fire of my jealousy. 9“Then I will purify the speech of all people, so that everyone can worship the Lord together. 10My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia will come to present their offerings. 11On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed, for you will no longer be rebels against me. I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you. There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain. 12Those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord. 13The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will never tell lies or deceive one another. They will eat and sleep in safety, and no one will make them afraid.” 14Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15For the Lord will remove his hand of judgment and will disperse the armies of your enemy. And the Lord himself, the King of Israel, will live among you! At last your troubles will be over, and you will never again fear disaster. 16On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, “Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! 17For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” 18“I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals; you will be disgraced no more. 19And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and fame to my former exiles, wherever they have been mocked and shamed. 20On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction, among all the nations of the earth, as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

–from Zephaniah 3

Jesus knew the price it would cost to be able to redeem the sins of this world! Jesus knew the cost of wanting to make a way when there wasn’t a way! Jesus knew that it would have to be something He took into His own hands in order to provide that way to bridge the gap and reconcile us back to God’s righteousness! And even though we didn’t deserve it, He came and gave His all! He gave His life on the cross! He conquered death! He is now seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us!

Have you decided to follow after Jesus? Have you decided to ask Him into your heart? Are you now walking in the hope that comes from that relationship? Are you now walking in the truth of Jesus to be able to lead you and guide you all the days of your life?

If not, why not start today? Go questions? Leave me a message!

Let’s get back into God’s Word…His love letter to us!

Paul Preaches in Thessalonica

1Paul and Silas then traveled through the towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people. 3He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.” 4Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.
5But some of the Jews were jealous, so they gathered some troublemakers from the marketplace to form a mob and start a riot. They attacked the home of Jason, searching for Paul and Silas so they could drag them out to the crowd. 6Not finding them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the other believers instead and took them before the city council. “Paul and Silas have caused trouble all over the world,” they shouted, “and now they are here disturbing our city, too. 7And Jason has welcomed them into his home. They are all guilty of treason against Caesar, for they profess allegiance to another king, named Jesus.”
8The people of the city, as well as the city council, were thrown into turmoil by these reports. 9So the officials forced Jason and the other believers to post bond, and then they released them.

Paul and Silas in Berea

10That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.
13But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble. 14The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind. 15Those escorting Paul went with him all the way to Athens; then they returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him.

Paul Preaches in Athens

16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. 17He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.
18He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What’s this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he’s picked up?” Others said, “He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods.”
19Then they took him to the high council of the city. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said. 20“You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” 21(It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)
22So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, 23for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.
24“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. 26From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.
27“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.
30“God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. 31For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
32When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” 33That ended Paul’s discussion with them, 34but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

–from Acts 17

Will you allow Jesus to create a new heart you in? Will you allow Jesus to transform you into a new creation? Will you allow Jesus lead you into heaven? Let’s live out our lives to please God! Let’s be God’s ambassadors to this world! Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s not do it to puff ourselves up but to point people to the one who deserves all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Let’s be ambassadors of Christ to the world around us!

New Bodies

1For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.4While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
6So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

We Are God’s Ambassadors

11Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
16So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

–from 2 Corinthians 5

Do you realize the impact one person who chooses to do right can have?


With all the crazy things going on around us, imagine a leader who would turn back to what is right. Imagine a leader who will align to the truth. Imagine a leader who will not only know what is right, but do it. Imagine a leader who undoes the wrongs and replaces them with right. Imagine a leader who turns back to God and walks in alignment to His will. Imagine a leader who clings unto God for all his direction and instruction. Imagine a leader who turns things around to the point where prosperity starts to show up.

What will it take for that to not be imaginary? What will that take to become a reality?

How long will it take before people turn back to God? How long will it take before people decide it’s time to change?

Who will take a stand? Who will turn to God? Who will ask Him into their heart and mind? Who will decide that enough is enough? Who will ask God for help and wisdom?

Where will it begin? Where will it start? Where will they come from?

When will it happen? When will it begin? When will the people say that enough is enough? When will people choose to follow after God’s way?

Do you realize the impact one person
who chooses to do right can have?


This morning’s reading begins in 2 Kings…

Righteous King Hezekiah

1Now it was in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel that Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2He was 25 years old when he became king and he reigned for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi daughter of Zechariah. 3He did what was right in Adonai’s eyes, according to all his ancestor David had done. 4He removed the high places, smashed the pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made—for up to those days Bnei-Yisrael were still burning incense to it—it was called Nehushtan . 5He trusted in Adonai, the God of Israel. Indeed, none of all the kings of Judah after him was like him—and none before him. 6For he clung to Adonai. He did not turn away from following Him, but kept His mitzvot, which Adonai had commanded Moses. 7So Adonai was with him. Wherever he went he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territories, from watchtower to fortified city. 9Now it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of King Elah of Israel, that King Shalmaneser of Assyria marched against Samaria and besieged it, 10and at the end of three years they captured it. So Samaria was captured in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of King Hoshea of Israel. 11The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and placed them in Halah and Habor on the Gozan River, and in the towns of the Medes. 12For they had not listened to the voice of Adonai their God, but transgressed His covenant—all that Moses the servant of Adonai had commanded—they neither listened nor did it.

Proud Sennacherib Challenges Hezekiah

13Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched against all the fortified towns of Judah and seized them. 14So King Hezekiah of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish saying, “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me, whatever you impose on me, I will bear.” So the king of Assyria imposed on King Hezekiah of Judah 300 talents of silver and 30 talents of gold. 15Then Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the House of Adonai as well as in the treasuries of the royal palace. 16At that time Hezekiah stripped off the gold from the doors of the Temple of Adonai and from the doorposts that King Hezekiah of Judah had overlaid, and gave them to the king of Assyria. 17Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris and the Rab-shakeh from Lachish with a great army to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. So they went up and arrived at Jerusalem. Now when they arrived, they stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway of the fuller’s field. 18When they had called to the king, Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the royal palace, Shebnah the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder, came out to them. 19So the Rab-shakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: ‘What is this confidence you’ve relied on? 20You say you have a plan and military force for the battle—they are only words of a lip. Who do you rely on now, so that you have rebelled against me? 21Behold, you rely on this splintered reed as a staff—Egypt! If a man leans on it, it will go into the palm of his hand and pierce it—thus Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. 22“But if you say to me: ‘We trust in Adonai our God’—is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has removed, and then said to Judah and Jerusalem: ‘You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem’? 23“So now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. I’ll give you 2,000 horses—if you could put riders of your own on them! 24So, how can you repulse a single lieutenant—the least of my master’s servants? Yes, you’re relying on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen. 25“Moreover, have I now come up against this land to destroy it without Adonai’s approval? Adonai said to me: ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’” 26Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Don’t speak to us in the language of the Jews when the people on the wall are listening.” 27But the Rab-shakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall—who will eat their own wastes and drink their own urine with you?” 28Then the Rab-shakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the language of the Jews and said: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29‘Thus says the king: Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand! 30Nor let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in Adonai by saying: “Adonai will surely deliver us—this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.””’ 31“Don’t listen to Hezekiah! For thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me and come out to me. Then everyone will eat from his own vine and fig tree, and everyone will drink water from his own cistern, 32until I come, and take you away to a land like your own land—a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive oil and honey, that you may live and not die.’ “So don’t listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying: ‘Adonai will deliver us.’ 33Have any of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their country out of my hand? So will Adonai deliver Jerusalem from my hand?” 36But the people were silent and did not answer him a word, for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 37Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rab-shakeh.

–from 2 Kings 18

Who will restore? How will they go about the restoration? What will they do? Where will they start? Why? When will it begin?

Hezekiah Restores the Temple

1Hezekiah became king when he was 25 years old, and he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2He did right in the eyes of Adonai, just as his father David had done. 3In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the House of Adonai and repaired them. 4He brought in the kohanim and the Levites and assembled them into the eastern square. 5Then he said to them: “Listen to me, Levites! Sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the House of Adonai, the God of your fathers, and remove the defilement out of the holy place. 6Our fathers acted unfaithfully and did evil in the sight of Adonai Eloheinu and have forsaken Him. They turned their faces away from Adonai’s dwelling place and turned their backs on Him. 7They also shut the doors of the porch and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or offering any burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel. 8Therefore, the wrath of Adonai was upon Judah and Jerusalem. He has made them an object of horror, dread and scorn, as you are seeing with your own eyes. 9Behold, for this our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons, daughters and wives are in captivity. 10“Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with Adonai, the God of Israel, so that His fierce anger may turn away from us. 11My sons, now do not be negligent, for Adonai has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and to be His ministers and to burn incense to Him.” 12Then these Levites arose: from the sons of Kohath, Mahath son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah; from the sons of Merari, Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel; from the sons of Gershon, Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah; 13from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; from the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14from the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and from the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15When they had gathered their brothers and sanctified themselves, they went in, as the king ordered according to the words of Adonai, to cleanse the House of Adonai. 16So the kohanim went into the inner part of the House of Adonai to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the House of Adonai every impure thing that they found in the temple of Adonai. Then the Levites received it and carried it out to Kidron Valley. 17They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they reached the porch of Adonai. For eight days they consecrated the House of Adonai and finished on the sixteenth day of the first month. 18Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have purified the entire House of Adonai—the altar of burnt offering with all its vessels, the table of the rows of bread with all the vessels. 19We have also prepared and concecrated all the articles that King Ahaz discarded in his unfaithfulness, while he was king. Behold, they are now before the altar of Adonai.” 20Then King Hezekiah arose early gathered the leaders of the city and went up to the House of Adonai. 21They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs and seven he-goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, the sanctuary and Judah, and he commanded the kohanim—the sons of Aaron—to offer them on the altar of Adonai. 22So they slaughtered the bulls and the kohanim took the blood and sprinkled it against the altar; next they slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood against the altar; then they slaughtered the lambs and sprinkled the blood against the altar. 23The he-goats for the sin offering were brought before the king and the congregation, and they laid their hands on them. 24The kohanim then slaughtered them and purified the altar with their blood to make atonement for all Israel, for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. 25He stationed the Levites in the House of Adonai with cymbals, harps and lyres, according to the command of David, of Gad the king’s seer and of Nathan the prophet. For the command was by the authority of Adonai through His prophets. 26So the Levites stood with David’s instruments and the kohanim with the trumpets. 27Then Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song of Adonai also began with the trumpets, together with the instruments of King David of Israel. 28The entire congregation prostrated themselves, while the singers sang and the trumpeters played. All this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29Now at the completion of the burnt offering, the king and all who were present with him knelt down and worshiped. 30Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to Adonai with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed down and worshiped. 31Then Hezekiah responded and said, “You have now consecrated yourselves to Adonai. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the House of Adonai.” The congregation brought in sacrifices and thankofferings, and all whose hearts were willing brought burnt offerings. 32The number of the burnt offerings that the congregation brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs—all of these as a burnt offering to Adonai. 33The animals consecrated as sacrifices were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34The kohanim, however, were too few to flay all the burnt offerings, so their kinsmen, the Levites, helped them until the work was completed, and until other kohanim had consecrated themselves. For the Levites had been more conscientious to consecrate themselves than the kohanim. 35There were also a great many burnt offerings, along with the fat of the peace offerings and the drink offering at every burnt offering. Thus the avodah of the House of Adonai was reestablished. 36Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because of what God had enabled the people to accomplish, because it happened so suddenly.

–from 2 Chronicles 29

Consider how Jesus came to free us! Consider how Jesus came to give us salvation! Consider how Jesus came to teach us so that we wouldn’t stumble! Consider how Jesus told us it wasn’t going to be easy, but that it would be worth it! Consider how if we all aligned to Jesus’ teaching how things would be different! Consider how if we followed Jesus’ teaching how things would be different! So why not start now and see the impact your choice can make on a generation? We each have a calling and a purpose! God created us on purpose with purpose for a purpose! So don’t give up! Give it up to God! Invite the Holy Spirit to walk with you and help you with every step of every day! Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your every word and action! Let’s grab hold of the truth, for the truth will set us free!

Let’s ask for what we have need us! Let’s walk out our lives with Jesus as our Lord and Savior! Let’s ask in the name of Jesus, the name above all names!

1“I have spoken these things to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. 2They will throw you out of the synagogues. Yes, an hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3They will do these things because they have never known the Father or Me. 4But I have spoken these things to you so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.”

The Ruach Reveals Truth

5“But now I am going to the One who sent Me, and not one of you is asking Me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6Because I have spoken these things to you, grief has filled your heart. 7But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away! For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8“When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12“I still have much more to tell you, but you cannot handle it just now. 13But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. 15Everything that the Father has is Mine. For this reason I said the Ruach will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.”

Death and Resurrection Foretold

16“A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me.” 17Then some of His disciples said to one another, “What does He mean by telling us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me’? And, ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18They kept on saying, “What’s this He’s saying, ‘A little while’? We don’t know what He’s talking about!” 19Yeshua knew that they wanted to question Him, so He said to them, “Are you asking each other about this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me’? 20Amen, amen I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will celebrate. You will be filled with sorrow, but your sorrow will turn to joy! 21“When a woman is in labor, she has pain because her hour has come. But when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, because of the joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22So also you have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you! 23“In that day, you will ask Me nothing. Amen, amen I tell you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 24Up to now, you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be full. 25“These things I have spoken to you in metaphors. An hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in metaphors, but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26In that day, you will ask in My name—and I’m not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from God. 28I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” 29His disciples say, “See, now You’re speaking plainly and not in metaphors. 30Now we know that You know everything and have no need to be asked anything. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” 31Yeshua answered them, “Do you now believe? 32Look, the hour is coming—indeed has come—when you will be scattered, each to his own, and you will abandon Me. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!”

–from John 16

Public servants are to bless the people.


Have you ever read the plan for government in the Bible?

1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

–from Romans 13

Have you ever read that they are to be a blessing to the people?

1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Do you realize that sometimes the government that is needed to point us back to God may not be the one we want or choose? Do you realize the importance of turning to and walk with God? Let’s pray for a revival! Let’s pray that the people will turn back to God rather than keep trying to remove God from everything! When you remove God from everything, what do you expect will happen?


Let’s take a look into today’s reading for the day…

The Shunammite’s Land Restored

1Now Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life saying, “Arise and go with your household, and stay wherever you can stay, because Adonai has called for a famine—indeed it has already come—on the land for seven years.” 2So the woman arose and did according to the word of the man of God. She and her household went and stayed in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 3Now at the end of seven years the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, and she went to the king to appeal for her house and her farm. 4Now the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, “Please tell me,” he was saying, “all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5Then it came to pass, just as he was telling the king how he had revived someone who was dead, behold, there was the woman whose son he had revived, appealing to the king for her house and her farm. So Gehazi said, “My Lord the king, this is the woman and this is her son whom Elisha revived.” 6When the king asked the woman, she told him the story. So the king assigned to her a court official, saying, “Restore all that was hers, and all the revenue of the field since the day that she left the land until now.”

Elisha Weeps in Damascus

7Then Elisha went to Damascus. At the time King Ben-hadad of Aram was sick, and he was told, “The man of God has come all the way here.” 8So the king said to Hazael, “Take an offering in your hand and go meet the man of God, and inquire of Adonai by him saying: ‘Will I recover from this illness?’” 9So Hazael went to meet him and took an offering in his hand, of every good thing of Damascus—forty camel-loads—then came and stood before him and said, “Your son Ben-hadad king of Aram has sent me to you saying: ‘Will I recover from this illness?’” 10Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him: ‘You will surely recover.’ However, Adonai has also shown me that he will surely die.” 11Then he fixed his gaze steadily on him until he was ashamed, and then the man of God wept. 12When Hazael asked, “Why is my lord weeping?” he answered, “Because I know the evil that you will inflict on the men of Israel: their strongholds you will set on fire, their young men you will slay with the sword, their little ones you will dash into pieces, and their pregnant ones you will rip open.” 13Then Hazael said, “But what is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do anything of such magnitude?” Elisha answered, “Adonai has shown me that you will be king over Aram.” 14Then he departed from Elisha and went to his master, who asked him, “What did Elisha say to you?” He answered, “He told me that you would surely recover.” 15But the next day he took a thick cloth, soaked it in water and spread it on his face, so that he died. Then Hazael became king in his place.

Edom Revolts Against Jehoram

16Now in the fifth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel—Jehoshaphat had been king of Judah—Jehoram the son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah became king. 17He was 32 years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did—for Ahab’s daughter was his wife—and he did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes. 19Nevertheless, Adonai was not willing to destroy Judah, for the sake of David His servant, since He had promised to give him a lamp for his children all days. 20In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and set up their own king. 21Then Joram crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. It came about that he rose by night and struck the Edomites who had surrounded him and the chariot commanders, but his troops fled to their tents. 22So Edom kept rebelling from under the hand of Judah to this day. Then Libnah also revolted at the same time. 23Now the rest of the acts of Joram and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 24Then Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. Then his son Ahaziah became king in his place. 25In the twelfth year of Joram son of King Ahab of Israel, Ahaziah son of King Jehoram of Judah began to reign. 26Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, the daughter of King Omri of Israel. 27Now he walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, as the house of Ahab had done—for he was a son-in-law of the house of Ahab. 28He marched with Joram son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramot-gilead, but the Arameans wounded Joram. 29So King Joram returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. Ahaziah son of King Jehoram of Judah went down to see Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

–from 2 Kings 8

What type of a legacy do you want to leave? What type of person do you want to be remembered as? Do you want to be remembered? Do you want to leave a legacy that lasts? Will you build it upon the one foundation that will stand the test of time in God? Or will you try to go it alone and build it on the world’s shifting sands?

Jehoram Slays His Brothers

1Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. Jehoram his son became king in his place. 2His brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah—all these were the sons of King Jehoshaphat of Israel. 3Their father had given them great gifts of silver, gold and precious things, along with fortified cities in Judah, but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn. 4Now when Jehoram had risen over his father’s kingdom and made himself strong, he slew all his brothers with the sword, along with some of the officers of Israel. 5Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. 6He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did (for Ahab’s daughter was his wife), and he did evil in the eyes of Adonai. 7However, Adonai was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant He had made with David, and since He had spoken a word to give a lamp to him and his sons always. 8In his days Edom rebelled against Judah’s rule and set up a king over themselves. 9So Jehoram crossed over with his officers and all his chariots with him. He rose up by night and struck the Edomites who were surrounding him and the chariot commanders. 10Thus Edom has been in rebellion against Judah to this day. Then Libnah also revolted from under his hand at that time—because he had forsaken Adonai, the God of his fathers. 11Moreover, he built high places on the mountains of Judah and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot and led Judah astray.

Elijah’s Letter of Judgment

12A letter from Elijah the prophet came to him saying: “Thus says Adonai, the God of your father David: Since you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, leading Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into prostitution just as the house of Ahab committed prostitution and you have also slain your brothers—your own family, who were better than you— 14behold, Adonai is going to strike your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions with a monumental catastrophe. 15You yourself will be striken by multiple illnesses of your intestines, day after day, until your intestines drop out because of the illness.” 16Then Adonai stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabs that neighbored the Cushites. 17They rose up against Judah, invaded it and carried away all the possessions found in the royal palace, as well as his sons and his wives. No son was left to him except Jehoahaz, his youngest. 18After all this, Adonai smote his intestines with an incurable disease, 19and it continued day after day for two years, so that at the end his bowels fell out because of his sickness and he died in great agonies. His people made no fire in his honor like the fire of his fathers. 20He was 32 years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years and he passed away, to no one’s regret. He was buried in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

–from 2 Chronicles 21

God is faithful to His Word and His promises! He is love! He is truth! So you don’t have to worry about how His promises will play out, you have to live out your promises and your life to glorify Him! Let’s live as living sacrifices to God! Let’s make a difference even if it is only to that one! Let’s take hold of God’s love and live it out! Let’s allow Him to shine through us so that we can be light to this dark world! Let’s allow Him to spice us up so that we can be salt to this world!

Let Your Heart Take Courage

1Of David. Adonai is my light and my salvation: whom should I fear? Adonai is the stronghold of my life: whom should I dread? 2When evildoers approached me to devour my flesh —my adversaries and my foes— they stumbled and fell. 3Though an army camp besieges me, my heart will not fear. Though war breaks out against me, even then will I be confident. 4One thing have I asked of Adonai, that will I seek: to dwell in the House of Adonai all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of Adonai, and to meditate in His Temple. 5For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His sukkah, conceal me in the shelter of His tent, and set me high upon a rock. 6Then will my head be high above my enemies around me. In His Tabernacle I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy. I will sing, yes, sing praises to Adonai. 7Hear, Adonai, when I call with my voice, be gracious to me and answer me. 8To You my heart says: “Seek My face.” Your face, Adonai, I seek. 9Do not hide Your face from me. Do not turn Your servant away in anger. You have been my help. Do not abandon me or forsake me, O God my salvation. 10Though my father and my mother forsake me, Adonai will take me in. 11Teach me Your way, Adonai, and lead me on a level path— because of my enemies. 12Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes. For false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. 13Surely I trust that I will see the goodness of Adonai in the land of the living. 14Wait for Adonai. Be strong, let Your heart take courage, and wait for Adonai.

–from Psalms 27

Let’s not be swayed by others’ ways! Let’s not be pulled off course by lies and tricks! Let’s hold tight to Jesus and let’s walk out our lives so that on that day we can hear Him say “well done my good and faithful servant”. Let’s keep our eyes on Him! Let’s walk with Him and talk with Him every day! Let’s choose to let others see Jesus in and through us!

Judgment of Babylon

1After these things, I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his glory. 2He cried out with a mighty voice, saying: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a den for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit and for every unclean bird and for every unclean and detestable beast. 3For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the fury of her immorality. The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich off the power of her self-indulgence.” 4Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you participate in her sins and receive her plagues! 5For her sins have piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. 6Pay her back just as she has paid out, and give her back double for her deeds! In the cup she has mixed— mix a double dose for her! 7As she has exalted herself and indulged herself in luxury, so give her the same measure of torment and grief! For in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen— I am no widow; I shall never see grief.’ 8For this reason her plagues will arrive in a single day— death and grief and famine— and she shall be burned down with fire. For mighty is Adonai Elohim who judges her!” 9Then the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and indulged in luxury with her shall weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning— 10standing far off because of the terror of her torment, saying: “Alas, alas, O great city— O Babylon, the mighty city! For in a single hour your judgment has come!” 11And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, because no one buys their merchandise anymore— 12shipments of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all kinds of citron wood; all kinds of ivory products; all kinds of products made of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, oil, fine flour, and wheat; cattle, sheep, horses, and chariots; and slaves—that is, human souls. 14The fruit of your soul’s desire has gone from you, and all the expensive and beautiful things are lost to you —never again will people find them. 15The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, shall stand far off for fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16saying, “Alas, alas, O great city— clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! 17For in a single hour so much wealth has been ruined!” And every ship captain and passenger, sailors and all who make their living at sea, stood at a distance 18and were crying out, seeing the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’ 19And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, “Alas, alas, O great city— in her all who had ships at sea grew rich from her wealth! For in a single hour has she been ruined! 20Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you kedoshim, emissaries and prophets! For God has judged her condemnation of you!” 21Then a mighty angel picked up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying: “So shall Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, never to be found again! 22And the sound of harpists and musicians, flautists and trumpeters, shall never be heard in you again! And the craftsman of any craft shall never be found in you again! And the sound of a mill shall never be heard in you again! 23And the light of a lamp shall never shine in you again! And the voice of the bridegroom and bride shall never be heard in you again! For your businessmen were the tycoons of the world, for all the nations were deceived by your sorcery! 24And in her was found the blood of the prophets and kedoshim and all those slaughtered on the earth.”

–from The Revelation 18

Jesus gave His all! He gave up His life on the cross to be able to bridge the gap created by sin so that we can be reconciled back to God! It’s a gift from God so nobody can boast! It’s God’s love that made Him make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! He had to take care of it and make a way himself! So now we have to do our part and choose Him! Jesus conquered death! He rose from the grave! Opening up a way for us to be reconciled back to God! He is the way, the truth, and the life! He is the only way to the Father! So we need to receive this gift and follow after Him the rest of our lives! He is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me!

Have you chosen? You know the choice now. So make the choice before it is too late! Choose to be with Jesus for the rest of eternity! Don’t wait too long and miss out and be separated from God! Let’s choose wisely!

Women Visit the Garden Tomb

1Now on the first day of the week, at daybreak, the women came to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. 2They found the stone had been rolled away from the tomb; 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Yeshua. 4And while they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you search for the living among the dead? 6He is not here, but He is risen! Remember what He told you when He was still in the Galilee, 7saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be executed, and on the third day rise up.” 8And they were reminded of His words. 9And when they returned from the tomb, they told all these things to the eleven and to everyone else. 10Now it was Miriam from Magdala, Joanna, the Miriam of Jacob and others together with them who were telling these things to the emissaries. 11But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Leaning in, he sees only the linen cloths. And he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.

Eyes Open in Emmaus

13Now behold, two of them on that very day were traveling to a village named Emmaus, a distance of about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14They were speaking with one another about all the things that had been happening. 15While they were talking and discussing, Yeshua Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him. 17Then He said to them, “What are these things you are discussing with one another as you are walking along?” They stood still, looking gloomy. 18Then the one named Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?” 19Yeshua said to them, “What kind of things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Yeshua from Natzeret, who was a Prophet, powerful in deed and word before God and all the people— 20how the ruling kohanim and our leaders handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they executed Him. 21But we were hoping that He was the One about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22“But also some women among us amazed us. Early in the morning they were at the tomb. 23When they didn’t find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said He is alive! 24Some of those with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women said, but they did not see Him.” 25Yeshua said to them, “Oh foolish ones, so slow of heart to put your trust in all that the prophets spoke! 26Was it not necessary for Messiah to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them the things written about Himself in all the Scriptures. 28They approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther on. 29But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is already gone.” So He went in to stay with them. 30And it happened that when He was reclining at the table with them, He took the matzah , offered a bracha and, breaking it, gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from them.

Good News for the Disciples in Jerusalem

32They said to one another, “Didn’t our heart burn within us while He was speaking with us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and others with them gathered together, 34saying, “The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!” 35Then they began telling about the events on the road and how He became recognized by them in the breaking of the matzah . 36While they were speaking of these things, Yeshua Himself stood in the midst of them and said, “Shalom Aleichem!” 37But they were startled and terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost. 38Then He said to them, “Why are you so shaken? And why do doubts arise in your heart? 39Look at My hands and My feet—it is I Myself! Touch Me and see! For a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41But while they were still in disbelief due to joy and wonder, He said to them, “Do you have anything to eat here?” 42They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, 43and He took it and ate it in their presence. 44Then He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you—everything written concerning Me in the Torah of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. 45Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and He said to them, “So it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance for the removal of sins is to be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Yeshua Ascends into Heaven

50Then Yeshua led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51And while blessing them, He departed from them and was taken up into heaven. 52After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53And they were continually in the Temple, praising God.

–from Luke 24

 

 

 

 

Are you aware of what impact you are having?


Do you know what your words are saying to people? Do you know what your actions are doing to people? Do you realize the impact you are having on others? Do realize what you are doing? Are you even aware of what’s taking place? Consider it! Consider the response(s) you are getting!

Today’s reading starts with us learning about Joseph. Consider the situation described. Consider if you were one of the brothers how you would feel. Imagine if you were told such a dream by one of your siblings. Imagine if you being treated as second fiddle to them. How would you feel? Now imagine if you were Joseph. Hmmm. How will God use that situation? How will God’s greater plan turn what some planned for evil and use it for good? God doesn’t get surprised! So let’s take a look and see what we can grasp from the story today…

Joseph, Favored Son

1Now Jacob dwelled in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan.
2These are the genealogies of Jacob. When Joseph was 17 years old (he was a youth), he was shepherding the flocks with his brothers—with the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.
3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his other sons because he was the son of his old age. So he had made him a long-sleeved tunic.
4When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak to him in shalom.
5Then Joseph dreamed a dream and told his brothers—and they hated him even more.
6He said to them, “Please listen to this dream I dreamed.
7There we were binding sheaves in the middle of the field. All of a sudden, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.”
8“Will you truly be a king over us?” his brothers said to him. “Will you really rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and because of his words.
9But then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers, saying, “I have just dreamed another dream. Suddenly, there was the sun and the moon and the eleven stars bowing down to me!”
10He told it to his father as well as his brothers. Then his father rebuked him and said to him, “What’s this dream you dreamed? Will we really come—your mother and I with your brothers—to bow down to the ground to you?”
11So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the speech in mind.

Joseph Betrayed

12Then his brothers went to graze their father’s flocks at Shechem.
13Israel said to Joseph, “Aren’t your brothers grazing the flocks in Shechem? Come, let me send you to them.” “Here I am,” he said to him.
14Then he said to him, “Go now, and check on the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flocks and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron and he went to Shechem.
15A man found him there, wandering in the field, and the man asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16“I’m looking for my brothers,” he said. “Please tell me where they’re grazing.”
17The man said, “They moved on from here. For I heard them saying, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.
18Now they saw him from a distance. Before he was close to them they plotted together against him in order to kill him.
19They said to one another, “Here comes the master of dreams!
20Come on now! Let’s kill him and throw him into one of those pits, so we can say that an evil animal devoured him. Then let’s see what becomes of his dreams.”
21But Reuben heard and rescued him out of their hands, saying, “We must not beat him to death.”
22In order to rescue him from their hand and to return him to his father, Reuben said to them, “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him!”
23So as soon as Joseph came up to his brothers they stripped Joseph of his tunic (the long sleeved tunic that he had on).
24Then they took him and threw him into the pit. (Now the pit was empty, with no water in it.)
25Then they sat down to eat bread. When they looked up, behold, there was a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balsam, and myrrh—going to bring them down to Egypt.
26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come on!
27Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites. Let’s not lay our hand on him—since he’s our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers listened to him.
28When some men, Midianite merchants, passed by, they dragged Joseph up and out of the pit and they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver, and they brought Joseph to Egypt.
29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes.
30Then he returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! And I—where should I go?”
31So they took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a billy goat, and they dipped the tunic into the blood.
32Then they sent the long-sleeved tunic, and it was brought to their father, and they said, “We found this. Do you recognize whether or not it is your son’s tunic?”
33He did recognize it and said, “My son’s tunic! An evil animal has devoured him! Joseph must be torn to pieces!”
34Jacob tore his clothing and put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days.
35All his sons got up along with all his daughters to console him, but he refused to be comforted. He said, “For I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” So his father kept weeping for him.
36Meanwhile the Midianites sold him into Egypt, to Potiphar an official of Pharaoh, the commander of the bodyguards.
–from Genesis 37

Can you see the innocence of Joseph’s stories or do you think he was acting maliciously? Can you see the frustration of his brothers with the coat of many colors, with the dreams, with the favoritism? Can you see the build up that was taking place? Do you think they went too far? Do you think it could have been handled differently? Do you think someone might have been able to speak into the situation and diffuse it? God doesn’t get surprised and can use every situation to His glory. He can take what others plan for evil and turn it around use it for good! So no matter where you are and what you are going through keep your focus on God and put your hope and trust in Him! Do what you are supposed to do and let God take care of the rest. Even if you are tricked. Even if you are misjudged. Even if you are forgotten. God will not forget and God will never leave you nor abandon you! Put your hope and trust in Him!

Today’s reading continues in Genesis…Are you good to your word? Are you able to do what you promised? Will you play with trickery and then get bit when you get tricked? How will you walk? How will live? How will your example model life for others?

Judah and Tamar

1About that time Judah went down from his brothers and he camped near an Adullamite man, whose name was Hirah.
2There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man whose name was Shua, and he took her as wife and slept with her.
3Then she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and he named him Er.
4She became pregnant again and gave birth to a son, and she named him Onan.
5She gave birth to yet another son and she called him Shelah. He was in Chezib when she gave birth to him.
6Then Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.
7But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in Adonai’s eyes, so Adonai put him to death.
8Then Judah said to Onan, go to your brother’s wife to perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up a seed for your brother.
9But Onan knew that the seed would not be his. So every time he went to his brother’s wife he would destroy it on the ground so as not to provide a seed for his brother.
10What he did was evil in Adonai’s eyes, so He put him to death also.
11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Stay as a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up,” because he thought, “Otherwise he too might die, like his brothers.” So Tamar went and stayed in her father’s house.
12Now the days became many, and Shua’s daughter, Judah’s wife, died. After Judah consoled himself, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
13Then Tamar was told, “Look! Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his flocks.”
14And she removed her widow’s clothes from herself, covered herself with a veil, wrapped herself, and sat by the entrance to the springs on the way to Timnah (for she saw that Shelah had grown up and she had not been given to him as a wife).
15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face.
16So he turned aside to her along the way and said, “Please let me sleep with you” (for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law). “What,” she asked, “will you give me to sleep with me?”
17“I will send you a young goat from the flock,” he said, “Provided you give a pledge until you send it,” she said.
18“What kind of pledge shall I give you?” he asked. “Your seal, and your cord, and your staff in your hand,” she said. So he gave them to her and he slept with her, and she got pregnant by him.
19After she got up and left, she removed her veil from herself and put on her widow’s clothes.
20When Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend the Adullamite to take back the pledge from the woman’s hand, he could not find her.
21He asked the men of her area saying, “Where is the cult prostitute? She was at the springs along the way.” But they said, “There hasn’t been a cult prostitute here.”
22So he returned to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her, and the people of that place also said, ‘There hasn’t been a cult prostitute here.’”
23Then Judah said, “Let her take them for herself, or we’ll be held in contempt. Behold, I did send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”
24About three months later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has been a prostitute—look, she’s even pregnant by prostitution.” “Bring her out!” Judah said, “and let her be burned.”
25As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law saying, “I’m pregnant by the man to whom these things belong.” Then she said, “Do you recognize whose these are—the seal, the cords and the staff?”
26Then Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I didn’t give her to my son Shelah.” He was not intimate with her again.
27Now when it was time for her to give birth, behold there were twins in her womb.
28While she was giving birth, one stuck out his hand, and the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it to his hand saying, “This one came out first.”
29But as he was pulling his hand back in, behold, his brother came out. So she said, “How you have broken through! The breach is because of you.” And he named him Perez.
30Afterward his brother, on whose hand was the scarlet thread, came out. And he named him Zerah.
–from Genesis 38

Thing may not be what they appear! We need to turn to God even when the situation seems familiar and in the past you handled it a specific way. We need God’s wisdom daily, in every situation, in every circumstance, we need His direction and guidance. So ask, seek, knock – for those who ask find answers, those who see will find, and those who knock get it opened for them.

There are times when your troubles may try to follow you. Keep your eyes on Go and allow His Spirit to lead you and guide you, protect you and shield you. Do you realize that there are some people who believe in a lot of gods? Do you realize there are people who aren’t aware of GOD? Will you share the truth? Will you share the love? Will you share the reason for the hope that is within you? Will you be a catalyst for hope, love, joy? Will you point people to the one who is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than you could ever ask or imagine?

Today’s reading continues into Acts…Let’s catch up with Paul and see how he is doing and what we can learn from his experiences…

Synagogue Responses Vary

1After passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
2As was his custom, Paul went to the Jewish people; and for three Shabbatot, he debated the Scriptures with them.
3He opened them and gave evidence that Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead, saying, “This Yeshua, whom I declare to you, is the Messiah.”
4Some of them were convinced and became attached to Paul and Silas, as were a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and no small number of the leading women.
5But some of the Jewish people became jealous. Taking some wicked fellows of the marketplace and gathering a crowd, they stirred the city into an uproar. They attacked Jason’s house, trying to bring Paul and Silas out to the mob.
6When they did not find them, they instead began dragging Jason and some of the brethren before the city officials, shouting, “These men who have upset the world have come here too,
7and Jason has welcomed them! They are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Yeshua.”
8Hearing these things, the crowd and the city officials were confused.
9But after receiving bail from Jason and the rest, they released them.
10As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. Upon arrival, they made their way to the Jewish synagogue.
11Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, because they received the message with goodwill, searching the Scriptures each day to see whether these things were true.
12Therefore many of them believed, as well as quite a few prominent Greek women and men.
13But when the Jewish people of Thessalonica learned that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea, they came there too, agitating and inciting the people.
14Then the brothers immediately sent Paul away to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there.
15Those escorting Paul brought him as far as Athens. After receiving an order for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.

An Unknown God in Athens

16Now while Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was aroused within him when he saw that the city was full of idols.
17So he was debating in the synagogue with the Jewish people and the God-fearers, as well as in the marketplace every day with all who happened to be there.
18Also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What’s this babbler trying to say?” while others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign deities”—because he was proclaiming the Good News of Yeshua and the resurrection.
19So they took Paul to the Aereopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are talking about?
20For you are bringing some strange things to our ears, so we want to know what these things mean.”
21Now all the Athenians and foreigners visiting there used to pass their time doing nothing but telling or hearing something new.
22So Paul stood in the middle of the Aereopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I see that in all ways you are very religious.
23For while I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an Unknown God.’ Therefore what you worship without knowing, this I proclaim to you.
24The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by hands.
25Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, since He Himself gives to everyone life and breath and all things.
26From one He made every nation of men to live on the face of the earth, having set appointed times and the boundaries of their territory.
27They were to search for Him, and perhaps grope around for Him and find Him. Yet He is not far from each one of us,
28for ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His offspring.’
29Since we are His offspring, we ought not to suppose the Deity is like gold or silver or stone, an engraved image of human art and imagination.
30Although God overlooked the periods of ignorance, now He commands everyone everywhere to repent.
31For He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness, through a Man whom He has appointed. He has brought forth evidence of this to all men, by raising Him from the dead.”
32Now when they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some began scoffing. But others said, “We will hear from you again about this.”
33So Paul left from their midst.
34But some men joined with him and believed—among them Dionysius (a member of the council of the Aereopagus), a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
–from Acts 17

So how will you press on? How will you move forward? How will you answer the call? How will you explain the hope that is within you? How will you give an answer when someone asks? Do you have a story? Do you have a testimony of what God has done in and through you? Do you have a story of how you were transformed? Do you have a story ready to tell when someone asks? Be prepared! God is setting up the good works He has for you to do! Be prepared to get it done!

Today’s reading concludes in Matthew. Are you feeling the pressure of this world? Are you carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Would you be willing to hand it over to God? Would you be willing to trade it for something that is easy and light? Let’s hear what Jesus has to say…

Signs and Wonders Bear Witness

1When Yeshua had finished instructing His twelve disciples, He went on from there to teach and preach in their towns.
2Now when John heard in prison about the works of the Messiah, he sent word through his disciples
3and said to Yeshua, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
4Yeshua replied, “Go report to John what you hear and see:
5the blind see and the lame walk, those with tza’arat are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised and the poor have good news proclaimed to them.
6Blessed is the one who is not led to stumble because of Me.”

A Prophet Without Honor

7Now as they were leaving, Yeshua began to talk to the crowd concerning John. “What did you go out to the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
8No? So what did you go out to see? A man dressed in finery? Look, those who wear finery are in the palaces of kings!
9Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, even more than a prophet.
10This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way before You.’
11“Amen, I tell you, among those born of women, none has arisen greater than John the Immerser. Yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12From the days of John the Immerser until now, the kingdom of heaven is treated with violence, and the violent grasp hold of it.
13For all the prophets and the Torah prophesied until the time of John.
14And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.
15He who has ears, let him hear!
16“But to what shall I compare this generation? It’s like children sitting in the marketplaces who call to one other, saying,
17‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We wailed, but you did not mourn.’
18“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’
19The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
20Then Yeshua began to denounce the towns where most of His miracles had happened, because they did not turn from their sins.
21“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have turned long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22Nevertheless I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the Day of Judgment than for you.
23And you, Capernaum? Will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you will go down to Sheol! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.
24Nevertheless I tell you that it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom on the Day of Judgment than for you.”
Yeshua Teaches the Ways of His Father
25At that time Yeshua said in response, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and discerning and revealed them to infants.
26Yes, Father, for this way was pleasing to You.
27“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.
28Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and ‘you will find rest for your souls.’
30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
–from Matthew 11

Jesus offers a trade! Jesus is willing to take our weary and burdened lives and give us rest. Jesus is willing to swap the heaven and hard life for an easy and light one. Are you willing to do it His way? Are you willing to give it over to Him? In this world we will have troubles, but we are able to take heart for He has overcome the world! In this world we will face trials, but we can consider them pure joy for when they complete their work in us we will be complete and lacking nothing!