THRIVE: Let the excitement energize you!


Happy Today everyone! So there is so much going on these past couple of weeks and it isn’t done yet. Many things extend days till late into the night. Many things are joyful and filled with celebrations. Now we need to harness these emotions and feelings to energize us to finish the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish. Let’s harness these emotions to be able to press in and press on to thrive for the glory of God!

Ever get that feeling in your gut, some describe it as butterflies? It can happen when you are feeling excited and when you are feeling nervous. What I try to do is tell myself something exciting is about or is happening whenever I get that feeling so that my brain does cause me to freak out when that feeling happens. Making that choice allows the energy that is building up to be used for good rather than evil. How about you? Do you allow the feeling to energize you or paralyze you? Do you allow the feeling to help you move forward or hold you back? Why not choose to use that energy to strengthen, motivate, and encourage you to do something great for God!

Last week there was the honor of senior awards and then the senior baccalaureate, yesterday was the senior parade after the last day of school and tomorrow is graduation day. So with all this excitement, I try to use it to help me make progress at work, and at home with extra family here for the celebration. The most excitement this week would have to have been celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. The week’s not over yet and so I am going to choose to harness this energy to help me focus and get stuff done in order to thrive for the glory of God! Let’s allow our faith to overpower and overwhelm our fear! Let’s allow the truth to overwhelm the lies! Let’s make today count!

THRIVE - LIVING FOR THE GLORY OF GOD

Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 8


Let’s decide to make today count! Let’s decide to learn through God’s Word! Let’s decide to live our lives in a way that allows God’s Word to speak in and through our words, actions, and thoughts! Let’s decide to live our lives in a way that will allow us to thrive for the glory of God! Invite Jesus into your life! Invite Jesus into your heart! Begin to live transformed lives!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

Prayer Of Salvation
"Oh Father God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake and has risen from the dead. Lord, I receive Your Word and I repent of my sins. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen."

THRIVE: Make today count!


Do you know why you should make today count? Do you realize there are many reasons? First of all, this is the day that the Lord has made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it! This is reason enough to make every today count! I have an extra special reason to make today count as 25 years ago I married the love of my life and she has made me the happiest man, husband, and father I could have imagined! 25 years ago God put into motion a relationship that would draw us closer to Him and strengthen our faith and our love for Him and for one another! For me, every day is Happy Today but today is extra special, and am so glad to get to share this with you and to spend forever with my wife. As I was getting ready this morning I noticed a shirt I hadn’t put out to wear today but it says “Married 25 years and looking forward to forever”. So I put it on and adjusted my planned wardrobe. With guests being here I have to pick my clothes the night before instead of in the morning in the dark and so I know what I was going to wear but an adjustment was needed in order to make today count! Fill it with hope! Fill it with joy! Fill it with faith! Most of all, fill it with love!

Wedding Day 1997

So make your today count! Not sure how or what to do? Invite God into the situation and ask Him to help you be a good steward of your time so that you can glorify Him and He can bless you! Have some cares or anxiety you’ve been carrying around and wondering how in such a situation you can make today count? God tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 that we are to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us! Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30 to go to Him when we are feeling weak and burdened and He will give us rest. He tells us that He will make a swap with us by allowing us to take His yoke and learn from Him and find rest in our souls! So let’s grab hold of the reality of today and be transformed and led and guided and instructed by the Holy Spirit in order to make today count! THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE, LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT!

MAKE TODAY COUNT!


‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. ‘

Ezekiel 36:26

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 6


Let’s be positive role models today! Let’s make today count in the words we use, the actions we take, and the thoughts we allow to take hold. Let’s consider and choose to consider it pure joy even when we face trials of many kinds! Let’s choose to make today count! Invite Jesus into your heart! Invite Jesus into your life! Allow Him to lead and guide you!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

Prayer Of Salvation
"Oh Father God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake and has risen from the dead. Lord, I receive Your Word and I repent of my sins. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen."

THRIVE: Shouldn’t every day be a yay day?


Another work week is drawing to a close and so we need to finish strong! How do you view the days of the week? For me, each day is Happy Today! Each day is a day that the Lord has made and so we should rejoice and be glad in it! I have some friends who view Friday as a better day and so they sometimes call it Fri-yay instead of Friday. I like using -eve when you get past lunch hour to indicate tomorrow and one of my friends liked Fridays so much they were able to make every day a derivative of Friday by having Thurs = Friday-eve, Wed = Friday-eve-eve, Tues = Friday-eve-eve-eve, Monday = Friday-eve-eve-eve-eve. How about you are you able to go into every day with a Happy Today mentality?

Let’s grab hold of the reality that:

‘The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. ‘

Psalms 118:24

or another translation puts it this way:

“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” 

Psalm 118:24

Each day is a rich and precious gift from God, with new grace and new opportunities.” Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow but to make the most of today!

‘ “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’

Matthew 6:25-34

Let’s make the most of our today, not being held back by the past but pressing toward eternity with God! Let’s make the most of our today, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed! Let’s make the most of our today because God created it and His mercies are new every day! Let’s be salt and light into this world so that people may see us doing the good works God created in advance for us to accomplish and give praise, honor, and glory to our Father in Heaven!

So no matter what day today is for you, let’s grab hold of God’s plans, purposes, and will for it and make it a Happy Today, being glad and rejoicing in it!

Let’s choose to thrive for the glory of God!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. ‘

Philippians 4:19

Today’s post from Be The Dads is
Popular – Day 3


Are you ready for a Happy Today? Are you ready to make the most of your day? Are you ready to allow every day to be a Happy Today? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life? Are you ready to allow Jesus to help you release the past and live in the present without worrying about the future?

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

Prayer Of Salvation
"Oh Father God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake and has risen from the dead. Lord, I receive Your Word and I repent of my sins. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen."

THRIVE: What will today bring?


We need to leave yesterday where it belongs, in the past. We can take the lessons with us but leave anything and everything else behind. We can’t think about or worry about tomorrow because we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. We need to focus on today! This is the day that the Lord has made and so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Will today bring good news or bad news? Will today bring comfort, pleasure, and peace or pain? Will today bring direction or distraction? Will today bring focus or indifference? Will today bring joy or sadness? Will today bring opportunity or threat? Will today bring challenges or acceptance? Will today bring war or peace? Will today bring unity or division? Will today bring trust or skepticism? Will today bring hope or pessimism and despair?

What will today bring? The bigger question is how will you respond?

We don’t get to choose what today will bring but we do get to choose how we will respond! So let’s choose to make today Happy Today! Let’s choose to make today Happy Today, no matter what! We have life, so let’s make today Happy Today! We have God, so let’s make today Happy Today! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!



Today’s Verse of the Day

‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ‘

1 John 1:9

Today’s post from Be The Dads is 10 Challenges Every Dad Must Conquer – Day 8


So where are you today? What struggles are you facing? Are you ready to attack the problems rather than the people? Are you ready to make sure your focus is on the right enemy? Are you ready to invite God into your situation so that you can have His perspective? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart so that He is able to help you overcome rather than be overwhelmed? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life so that you can live out the rest of your life as an overcome?

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)

catching up on the days I missed (back to Feb 9th)


THRIVE: What’s the news?


As I get started today there are many thoughts in my head. I am turning and seeking God’s wisdom and discernment as I am expecting to hear and learn more today. The news is interesting as there is the unpublished as well as the published news. The news is intriguing as it makes me wonder what the state of things will be as the new leadership takes place and the various roles and responsibilities are clarified. The unpublished news causes me to wonder how much others news is there that I am unaware of. The published news seems to continue to exclude details that directly connect or speak to where I am or will be. So what’s the news?

THRIVE: To vigorously grow to flourish; to take new ground in your life regardless of the circumstances.
Definition of THRIVE

When you know what you know it makes you wonder what about the things you don’t know. It mirrors the quote from Aristotle “The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.” And yet there is more… More conversations taking place. More learning sessions could trigger vigorous growth. More meetings that could speak to getting to flourish. More meetings that speak to taking new ground. And the key is to consume all of this information in order to better understand God’s direction and plans for this incredible year of 2022 in which the key is or the word is THRIVE.

So with a town hall session, a one-on-one, and scheduling of other learn sessions, today is a day of news.


Verse of the Day:

‘ “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. ‘

Luke 16:10

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Father Like The Father – Day 6


Are you facing challenges or opportunities? Are you facing trials of various kinds and need God’s help to consider them pure joy? Are you facing the troubles of this world and needing God’s help to take heart in that Jesus has already overcome the world? Let’s invite God into our situation for wisdom and discernment. Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts as our Lord and Savior.

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)


THRIVE: Turn to God! Find the joy in every situation!


After a great day with my family, dinner out with my wife, watching my daughter play some basketball, even in the midst of the blow out God is good and provides joy through it all. Joy of helping take down the tree. Joy of helping get the couch back in place. Joy of dinner with my beautiful wife. Joy of watching my daughter and her team play a tough game of basketball. Joy of coming home to my son and our dogs. There is joy in every situation. I consider the words I wrote on my window at work, back in the days when we went to the office and the assumptions that went along with it.

Happy Today!
Assumption 1: You are alive!
Assumption 2: No matter what happens!
 ∀ Today() = Happy!!

The bar is very low for every today to be happy! The assumptions tend to be easy to identify and achieve. If you are reading this then you are alive. Check Assumption 1 complete. What’s going to happen? Doesn’t matter, Assumption 2 says “No matter what happens”. Check Assumption 2 complete. So today’s let’s allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength so that we can thrive! Let’s let today be Happy Today! because of the overflow of the joy of the Lord in and through us!

Perspective makes a huge difference and impacts whether we will thrive, survive, or back up. Let’s move forward in the strength of God for His glory! Let’s take that step forward in order to glorify God and be an example to the world around us of how great our God is! It’s a choice we are all going to have to make today! Will we choose to let today be a Happy Today! or will we allow what happens to change our perspective on how great God is and that this is the day that the Lord has made and so we should rejoice and be glad in it. The choice is yours! Will you cling to God and allow today to be filled with the joy of the Lord? Will you turn your back and decide to have a sucky day?

I am excited to get to attend church this morning as the theme for this series is THRIVE. I am excited to get to hear from God’s Word in the book of Exodus and how through the story of Moses, God will encourage me as I step into this new week of uncertainty. Last week closed with an incredible phone call on my son’s birthday. God knew I needed a bit of a pick me up as I was having a pretty rough morning, and it was FRIDAY. It should have been HAPPY FRIDAY! since today()=Friday. But I was struggling and kept turning and praying and casting my cares upon God. I know He cares for me. I know He will never leave me and never abandon me. I know that I am never alone for God is with me. He was helping me get through the day and to make sure I stepped into the weekend uplifted and encouraged, God provided a call from a long-time friend and mentor to pick me up. God is so good! All the time! All the time! God is good!


Today’s verse of the day:

‘ Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. ‘

Matthew 5:6

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Strange Words – A Dad’s Prayer For His Children – Day 7


So are you struggling with finding joy? Are you struggling to thrive? Are you looking for a source of hope? Are you looking for a source of strength? Are you looking for a source of joy? Let’s invite Jesus into the situation! Let’s invite Him into our hearts to help fill it up with joy that overflows from it. Let’s invite Him into our lives as our Lord and Savior so that we can be new, we can be transformed, we can have joy.

Let’s pray:

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

What is your source? What fuels you?


Where does your power come from? Where does your hope come from? What allows you to keep going? What is the foundation that helps you stand firm? What is the ground you are allowing your roots to grow into? What is feeding you? What is filling you? What is it helping you to become?

Don’t allow bitter roots to take hold because they will eat you up from the inside out! Trade those feelings and emotions of bitterness for forgiveness! Don’t be chained in bitterness instead choose to be freed by forgiveness? The choice is yours! Forgiveness is the key! God is required! Having problems with a friend, family member, colleague? Have you been able to forgive them? Have you ever been forgiven even when you didn’t deserve it?

Have you invited Jesus into your heart to help clean house? Have you invited Jesus into your heart to help you uproot things that shouldn’t be there? Have you invited Jesus into your heart to help create a new heart, a new perspective, and a new life for you? When you allow God to be your source and fill you to overflowing then you are able to pour life and love and hope into the people God brings your way. When you allow Jesus to be your foundation and cornerstone then you are able to stand firm and be prepared by putting on the full armor of God! When we allow Jesus to be in charge then we are able to live out our lives in pursuit of His plans and purposes for our lives and be His hands and arms extended to reach a lost world and point them to an eternity with God instead of one where they will continue to suffer apart from God. What’s it cost? Your decision! It’s too expensive for us to be able to pay for it or even afford it and so God is giving it away to those who will accept and receive it! It’s not something we can borrow from others but rather something we have to decide and receive for ourselves. Unlike material things which can be borrowed for a season, faith in Jesus requires us to accept and receive it for ourselves. The decision is ours and ours alone to make. It’s personal! It’s intimate! It’s real! So we need to make the decision on our own and for ourselves!

Are you ready to truly live? God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future! Are you ready to fully live? Jesus came that we can have life and life to the full! Yes, in this world we will have troubles but with Jesus we have the promise that He has overcome the world! Yes, we will face trials but with Jesus we can consider them pure joy because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that when we let perseverance finish its work will be mature and complete, not lacking anything. So are you ready to be filled with the power to truly live? Are you ready to be filled with the hope that will allow you to truly live? Are you ready to be filled with the life that is powered by and fueled by God? Could today be the day it starts?


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 27TH


POWER TO LIVE


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.’

I Corinthians 6:14

Let’s get more context for this statement by expanding the verses around it and getting more details by using the Amplified version.

‘Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me]. Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will do away with both of them. The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body [to save, sanctify, and raise it again because of the sacrifice of the cross]. And God has not only raised the Lord [to life], but will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Am I therefore to take the members of Christ and make them part of a prostitute? Certainly not! Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall be one flesh .” But the one who is united and joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Run away from sexual immorality [in any form, whether thought or behavior, whether visual or written]. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the one who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]? You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body.’

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • If you consider your eyes as the sight then what is your aim in life?
  • If you consider your eyes as the sight then what are you pointing at or towards?
  • Are you pointing upwards and towards God and His purpose and plans?
  • Are you pointing to earthly things and away from God?
  • Are you earthly like the young in their faith Corinthians that Paul is speaking to?
  • Are you ready to level up your life in response to Paul’s writing?
  • We see how Paul is speaking to them in today’s verses about food and sex.
    • ‘Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me]. Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will do away with both of them. The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body [to save, sanctify, and raise it again because of the sacrifice of the cross]. ‘
      1 Corinthians 6:12-13
  • Are you ready to receive the truth that our body and our urges have come from God?
  • Are you ready to receive the truth that everything we are and have is to glorify God?
  • Are you ready to live free rather than being restricted or imprisoned within our bodies by food and sex?
  • Are you ready to live free by dedicating your body to God?
  • Are you ready to live free by dedicating your body to honoring God?
  • The body is important! The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit!
  • The body is so important that Christ’s body was raised from the dead!
  • The body is so important that one day our bodies will also be resurrected too!
  • God works in and through our bodies to enable us to accomplis His will and His purposes!
  • Our bodies may not be perfect but they do have purpose to honor God and help others!
  • So let’s consider our bodies sacred!
  • Let’s decide to not use our bodies for immoral behavior!
  • Let’s decide that they are too valuable for such things!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • In what ways are you using your body to honor God? In what ways are you failing to use it for that purpose?
  • What are some choices you can make today to use your body more effectively for Christ?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If Christ was not raised, His death was in vain. Your faith in Him would be pointless, and your sins would still be counted against you with no hope of a spiritual life.”

John MacArthur

So where are you at today? Are you ready to decide to live a life to the full? Are you ready to decide to live a life that has been redeemed? Are you ready to decide to live a life that has been forgiven and can forgive others? Are you ready to receive hope? Are you ready to receive joy? Are you ready to receive love? Are you ready to overflow in all of these into the lives of the world around you? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Do you have them? Will you use them?


If you knew there were three keys would you want them? If you knew there were three keys would you get them? If you knew there were three keys would you use them? Do you have them? Are you using them? Do you know how to use them? Do you know how they work? Do you realize the benefits?

Do you realize what love in action looks like? Will you receive it and live it?


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


The Three Keys


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. ‘

Romans 12:11-12

Let’s expand on this to ensure we get the full context of this message and let’s use the Amplified version to get more details:

‘Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good. Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor; never lagging behind in diligence; aglow in the Spirit, enthusiastically serving the Lord; constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ], steadfast and patient in distress, devoted to prayer [continually seeking wisdom, guidance, and strength], contributing to the needs of God’s people, pursuing [the practice of] hospitality. Bless those who persecute you [who cause you harm or hardship]; bless and do not curse [them]. Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty [conceited, self-important, exclusive], but associate with humble people [those with a realistic self-view]. Do not overestimate yourself. Never repay anyone evil for evil. Take thought for what is right and gracious and proper in the sight of everyone. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on his head .” Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.’

Romans 12:9-21

Today’s Word speaks to love in action! Today’s Word comes from Paul trying to give us some key principles to this walk of faith! Today’s Word gives us 3 keys to going far in our relationship with God!


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ready to take grasp of the principles to a walk of faith?
  • Paul boils it down to 3 keys
  • Key #1: “be joyful in hope”
    • hoping isn’t wishing
    • hoping is a strong expectation of God’s deliberate action
    • hoping is confident believing
    • So hope to the point your confidence makes you sing with anticipation of God’s divine work to be accomplished in and through your life.
  • Key #2: “patient in affliction”
    • In this world we will have troubles and difficulties
    • difficulties are a part of life
    • we are a fallen people in a fallen world
    • God desires for us to produce much spiritual fruit and just like other fruit producing trees, they require pruning to become more fruitful and as such God also will need to prune us to enable us to be fruitful
    • pruning hurts
    • let’s be patient and resist our natural tendency when we face troubles of trying to get out of them or escape them
    • let’s be patient and resist our natural response by considering it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds
    • let’s be patient in the midst of the afflictions and look to grasp wisdom and strength through the experience through God’s leading and guiding
    • let’s be patient in the midst of the afflictions and look to grasp wisdom and strength through the experience by looking to God for wisdom and discernment so that we come out the other side with faith that is stronger than when we went in.
  • Key #3: “keep praying”
    • the troubles can be hard and try to break us and cause us to give up but don’t give up, instead pray to God
    • the trials can be tough but let’s persevere in the testing of our faith so that when we let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
    • don’t give up because of unfulfilled expectations
    • don’t give up because of unforseen difficulties
    • don’t give up because of how long you have to wait on God’s answers
    • continue praying with resolve
    • let’s allow our prayers to deepen in the times of difficulty
    • let’s allow our prayers to take on new urgency in times of difficulty
    • let’s be ready to stop talking and start listening if the delays continue
    • let’s be ready to stop, listen, and obey God’s direction through His Spirit
    • let’s be ready to be sensitive to the prompting of God’s Spirit rather than trying to make prayer about ordering and answer or outcome but rather to hear from God and learn a lesson or gain wisdom and discernment.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Which of these keys is a strength in your walk right now?
  • Which needs some attention? What are you going to do about it?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Most people who fail in their dream fail not from lack of ability but from lack of commitment.


Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at? Have you started a relationship with God? Are you wanting a deeper relationship with God? Are you looking for God? Are you needing God? Could today be the day your journey begins? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


This is the day! How will you respond?


So you find out the time has come and today is the day. How will you respond? Are you ready? Are you prepared? Will you choose to act? The decision is yours! You can do it or not do it! You can choose to not decide which is the same as choosing not to do it! Your choice matters! Your response makes a difference! It will impact your destiny and final destination!

Are you ready? (Being Ready, Being Ready, Being Prepared, Always Being Ready)

  • Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. — Matthew 24:44
  • But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, — 1 Peter 3:15
  • Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. — Matthew 25:13
  • You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. — Luke 12:40
  • Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. — Luke 21:28
  • The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. — Proverbs 20:4
  • And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. — John 14:3
  • “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. … — Matthew 25:1-13
  • Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. — Matthew 24:42
  • I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. — John 16:33
  • Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” — Revelation 19:7-9
  • But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. — 1 John 2:27
  • As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. — 1 Timothy 6:17-19
  • Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. — Revelation 1:7
  • Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord Until He comes to rain righteousness on you. — Hosea 10:12
  • “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’” — Mark 13:33-37

How will you choose to live out today with purpose? How will you choose to live out today on purpose? How will you choose to live out today on purpose? God created each of us on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose, so today let’s decide to live with it!

This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Are you ready for the day of deliverance? Are you ready for the day of salvation? Are you ready for the day of redemption? Are you ready for the day of remission of sin?

Let’s praise God! Let’s celebrate with joy and exceeding gladness! Let’s rejoice with all of our heart to God for all He has done, He is doing, and will do! Let’s rejoice in God’s blessings! Let’s be jumping for joy! Let’s be walking with a spring in our step! Let’s be overflowing with joy to the point of skipping along! As I was looking into this verse, I came across a recommendation for things we can do today: (Psalm 118:24 Commentary-This is the Day)

  1.    Rejoice in the Lord 
  2.    Accentuate the Positive and Count Your Blessings 
  3.    Get Proper Rest 
  4.    Do Something for Someone Else 
  5.    Listen to Happy Music 
  6.    Exercise 
  7.    Make up your Mind to be Happy & Enthusiastic 
  8.   Take a Break and Do a Little Something for Yourself Every Day 
  9.   Claim the Promises of God 
  10.   And Cast your Burden on Lord 

This is the day! Are you ready? Will you grab hold of God’s Word and promises and look to live out your today doing these 10 things?


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


It’s Time


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”’

Mark 1:14-15

Let’s expand on this to get more context and use the Amplified version to grasp more details too:

‘The beginning of the [facts regarding the] good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written and forever remains in the [writings of the] prophet Isaiah: “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Y our way— A voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight !’ ” John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins [that is, requiring a change of one’s old way of thinking, turning away from sin and seeking God and His righteousness]. And all the country of Judea and all the people of Jerusalem were continually going out to him; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a [wide] leather band around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he was preaching, saying, “After me comes He who is mightier [more powerful, more noble] than I, and I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the straps of His sandals [even as His slave]. As for me, I baptized you [who came to me] with water [only]; but He will baptize you [who truly repent] with the Holy Spirit.”

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Immediately coming up out of the water, he (John) saw the heavens torn open, and the Spirit like a dove descending on Him (Jesus); and a voice came out of heaven saying: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased and delighted!” Immediately the [Holy] Spirit forced Him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted [to do evil] by Satan; and He was with the wild animals, and the angels ministered continually to Him.

Now after John [the Baptist] was arrested and taken into custody, Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of [the kingdom of] God, and saying, “The [appointed period of] time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life] and believe [with a deep, abiding trust] in the good news [regarding salvation].” As Jesus was walking by the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon [Peter] and Simon’s brother, Andrew, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “ Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example]. Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, who were also in the boat mending and cleaning the nets. Immediately Jesus called to them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers, and went away to follow Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example]. They went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. They were completely amazed at His teaching; because He was teaching them as one having [God-given] authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out [terribly from the depths of his throat], saying, “ What business do You have with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet (muzzled, silenced), and come out of him!” The unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions, and screeching with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all so amazed that they debated and questioned each other, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits (demons), and they obey Him.” Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere throughout the district surrounding Galilee. ‘

Mark 1:1-28

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Reflecting on the past, when do you think would have been the best time for Jesus to come?
  • Considering God knows the beginning and the end, what do you think made Him choose that time to send Jesus?
  • Isn’t it interesting how God chose to pick a time over 2000 years ago without all the ability to communicate we have today in an isolated place?
  • Imagine if we could have gotten Jesus to show up now with all the TV, Internet, and worldwide broadcasting abilities but God had a different plan that requires us to be involved (people to be involved).
  • When Jesus stepped out of eternity and into our space/time continuum people got the opportunity to choose to believe in Him.
  • Since that time everyone gets a time where they get the opportunity to receive the gospel and the choice is offered up to them.
  • Paul in Romans 1:19-20 shares how everyone gets enough light to decide or reject the Good News and so nobody has an excuse.
    • ‘For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth, because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them. For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense. ‘ — Romans 1:18-20
  • Jesus came humbly to this earth to give up Himself for the lives of others.
  • Jesus wasn’t some slick salesman with some flashy marketing campaign!
  • Jesus came as an iterant preacher to share the Good News.
  • Jesus came with his group of followers that He found along the way.
  • Today He comes through friends and family members, even strangers on the street
  • Today He comes through people reaching out to show they care about you.
  • Today He comes through people who reach out to pour love into the lives of others.
  • Today He comes through people who share the Good News they have heard and how it transformed their life!
  • Today He comes through people who share God’s love with them and then it is decision time if they will choose to receive it, accept it, embrace it, and move forward in it.
  • How about you? Do you have it? Do you share it? Do you want it? Do you need it?
    • If you want to get started today, skip to the bottom of this post and join me in the prayer, you can jump back up to this section to continue reading if you want.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you believe God orchestrates a momen (or several of them) for people to hear the gospel and respond, or is it just by chance?
  • How will you know if it’s time for your family members and friends to hear?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“I believe the greatest single mistake Christians make is not using sales knowledge and common sense in spreading the word about the benefits of walking through this life with Jesus Christ.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Are you ready? Is it your turn? Is it your time? Will you decide to invite Jesus into your heart? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


What can you do?


Can you do some things? Can you do all things? Can you do nothing? How come?

What is the motivation for the do? What is the reason for the do? What is the purpose for the do? What is the benefit for the do?

Are you content? Does that contentment help you do? Does that contentment help you know what to do? Does that contentment help you understand what you need to do?

Let’s pause for a moment and consider these two areas: What can you do and What keeps you content.

‘I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ‘

Philippians 4:10-20

So what is going on in your life today? Are you at the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, or somewhere in between? Are you dealing with something? Are you celebrating something? Are you working through something? Do you know where you are going? Do you know where you’ve been? Do you know where you are at today?

Yes, 2020 was a challenging year. 2021 has had its ups and downs. So how will you choose to move on from this point? What is it that you are in need of? What is it that you are missing? What is it that you need to pursue? What is it that you need to focus on? What are your priorities? What is your purpose? What is your role? What is your choice? What is your decision? What will be your next step forward? We need to keep moving forward in this world or we will start to fall behind. We need to keep moving forward in this world because standing still won’t help you keep from falling behind. The key is direction! The key is wisdom! The key is discernment! The key is waiting on God and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide, to direct you you with wisdom and discernment, to enlighten you with a cause and a purpose to pursue. So are you ready to to lean in on God rather than your own understanding? Are you ready to be content where you are at and yet want more of God, God’s purpose, God’s plan, God’s cause in and through your life? Are you ready to get started today? Are you ready to do what God is calling you to do? If you are then you will also get to know and experience how all things are possible through God, if we will believe and trust, obey and follow, pursue and do what He has created and purposed us to do!

So where are you at today? What is it that God is calling you to do? Are you ready to do it knowing that through God all things are possible? Will today be the beginning for you?


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


All Things


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’

Philippians 4:13

Looking at this verse in the Bible app, it pointed to John 15:5 and so wanted us to take a quick peek there to see what it shares too.

‘“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. ‘

John 15:5

Do you see the “do” connection? Connected with Jesus and producing His good fruit, we can do “all things”. Disconnected from Jesus, no matter what fruit is being produced, it will do “nothing”. So this reminds of back in the day when God called me to step up into a role I thought was too much for me, too big for me, and too stressful for me, and in my own strength, with my own knowledge, and in my own power, I was probably right. But God called me to step up, step in, and to do it! When God calls you to it, He will get you through it since through Him we can do all things! I remember as I reflect on the two do conditions above how I had to get to the breaking point, the ultimatum had to be thrown down and on that day in the hot tub the options of being president or being nothing came my way! We can’t let the devil cause us to be paralyzed by fear of the unknown when God is calling us to do. Over the years I have had to remember and reflect upon how You don’t want to add up to nothing! Over the years I have had to remember how Stepping up and stepping out…God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called! Over the years I have had to remember how I didn’t want to end up being nothing for God! So Nothing is impossible with God! So Fear will paralyze, excitement will energize! Will you be paralyzed and do nothing? Will you be energized and be excited and be looking for what God is going to do next? That gut feel I have even had to program in my brain to use it as excitement rather than fear! So even as we prepare for today’s devotional, I reflect back on how with God all things are possible! Nothing is impossible with God! Worry changes nothing! Nothing is too big. Bring it to God and let Him show you the way! Nothing is impossible with God! Have you heard the song lyrics “impossible isn’t a word, it is just a reason for someone not to try”? Will you answer the call from God even if you don’t feel qualified? How well connected are you? What would you do if you were asked to do something super important? Let’s do it when God calls us to it!


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Yes, in this world we will have troubles but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world!
  • Yes, we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know it builds our faith and our perseverance and that when perseverance has completed its work we will be complete and lacking nothing!
  • So let’s grab hold of today’s verse and the reality of staying connected to Jesus so that we can be content through everything.
  • Let’s stay connected to God even when we face opposition from the enemy.
  • Let’s stay connected to God so that we believe even when it is hard to believe.
  • Let’s stay connected to God so that we can endure and build our endurance.
  • Let’s stay connected to God so that we can be the leaders God created us to be.
  • Let’s stay connected to Jesus who endured because of the joy He had and knew was yet to come.
  • Ever heard today’s verse get quoted and wondered if what they are saying or how they are using it is really what it means or meant?
  • It’s not a prayer for a blank check to be able to do anything or everything.
  • It’s not a prayer to get anything you want from God’s account.
  • If we take this statement in context of everything else Paul is saying, we can see how “all things” connects to his message around contentment.
  • Paul connects his ability to be content in all situations, the good, the bad, and the ugly, to being delighted in Jesus above all else.
  • Being content in all situations isn’t easy. You may find it easier during the good times than in the bad and ugly times.
  • Being content can be hard!
  • And so rather than trying to do it in our own strength, Paul explains the key being to stay connected to and focused on Jesus!
  • By staying connected to and focused on Jesus, Jesus can give us the perspective we need in the moment!
  • By staying connected to and focused on Jesus, Jesus can give us the strength to carry on.
  • Contentment comes through our relationship with Jesus! Not the lies or temptations of this world.
  • Contentment comes through our relationship with Jesus! Not the promises or tricks of the devil.
  • With Jesus, all things are possible, even being able to find peace instead of dreading every passing moment.
  • So are you connected to Jesus? Are you focused on Jesus? Do you have faith in Jesus?
  • Let’s allow all of this to help build our confidence in Jesus and in the reality that He will provide for our needs in response to our every situation!
  • Are you content? What is it in your heart that is keeping you from being able to live contently?
  • Are you turning to Jesus for wisdom to help you know what is going on and to help you get back on track to contentment?
  • Are you turning to Jesus so that He is able to give you the perspective and strength to endure the challenges of life with grace and gratitude?
  • Are you staying connected to Jesus so that as the world is watching you to see if you are genuine that they can see that you are?
  • Are you content no matter what or are you complaining about hitting small bumps in the road?
  • Are you content through the ups and downs to the point where your joy is unshaken so that they will see and realize the power and hope that comes in and through Jesus?
  • Jesus is the real deal!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How can you prepare your heart so that you continue to experience contentment during difficult times?
  • Describe how Christ can give you wisdom and strength during those times.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“You never test the resources of God until you attempt the impossible.”

F.B. Meyers

“The Savior I love and worship is an every day, every need Lord who knows my needs and supplies them even before I ask.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you needing to endure what is going on? Are you needing to persevere? Are you needing to trust God? Are you needing to be something rather than nothing? Are you ready to connect and stay connected to Jesus so that all things will be possible? Are you ready to connect and stay connected to Jesus so that you won’t end up with nothing? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Do you realize the impact of a little on a lot?


I think it comes down to perspective. Imagine that you are facing a huge situation that you need to take care of. Imagine you have a little bit of faith, say the size of a mustard seed, in God. This is where my math brain kicks in and shows how even that little bit of faith when multiplied or combined with the power of God that is infinite, means it is infinite. Anything positive, no matter how small, times infinity equals infinity. So when we look at this huge situation we are facing from the perspective of our faith times God’s power, all things are possible.

We see this from Mark 9:23 when we read the words of Jesus that say: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.

God’s math is incredible! God is the God of the multiplication! God goes beyond addition into multiplication so that 1+1 is greater than 2.

So next time an obstacle comes your way, change your focus from how big your problem is to how big your God is and then with the faith you can muster up, give the situation up to God and believe that He will be true to His Word because we love Him and are being called according to His purposes and so He will work all things together for good, even taking what the enemy meant for evil and turn it for good!


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


Mountain moving Faith


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ‘

Matthew 17:20

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Can you envision the metaphor explained in today’s verse?
  • Are you able to grasp the magnitude of this spiritual principle?
  • Remember the context of a farming culture and how powerful this truth would be to and for them.
  • The smallest of seeds they would plant would be the mustard seed.
  • This seed in time would become one of the largest plants in their garden.
  • Like the mustard seed, God can help our faith grow tall and strong!
  • Jesus let’s us know it can grow strong enough to move mountains!
  • Jesus let’s us know that no matter how big the problem seems, with faith we can get through it, over it, and even around it, and when needed have it picked up and moved out of the way.
  • So let’s believe and trust in God! Let’s be filled with faith!
  • Let’s see how as our faith grows all that God is able to do in and through our lives!
  • Let’s watch God move mountains for us and for our loved ones because of our faith in Him!
  • We are works in progress and even those who have great faith today had to go through a journey and allow God to build their faith and show them miracles that go them to where they are today!
  • So let’s plant that little see of faith into our lives and allow God to water it, weed it, fertilize it, and make it grow strong and healthy!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you have faith at least the size of a mustard seed today? Explain your answer.
    • Camp – enough campers and counselors to have a great camp for our campers.
  • What are some mountains of difficulty that you need to be moved in your life?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Faith is different from proof: The latter is human; the former is a gift from God.”

Blaise Pascal

“Faith is your reaction to God’s ability.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So no matter what comes your way, it is your decision as to which is bigger. No matter what comes your way, it is your decision to focus on the problem or on God. No matter what comes your way, it is your decision to change the perspective so that even with your little bit of faith, God’s infinite power will be able to overcome it. In this world we will have troubles but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! And even when we face trials of many kinds, we can consider it pure joy because of our faith in God ‘knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. ‘ So let’s pray:

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

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

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


How far you are willing to go is based on …


When you think about how much you are willing to do for someone, what is it based on? When you consider how far you will go and how much you will do, is it based on integrity? When you consider how far you will go and how much you will do, is it based on sincerity? When you consider how far you will go and how much you will do, is it based on reliability? When you consider how far you will go and how much you will do, is it based on consistency? When you consider how far you will go and how much you will do, is it based on commitment? When you consider how far you will go and how much you will do, is it based on competence? So if that is the case, is how far you are willing to go based on TRUST?


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


Trust is a Must


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 5:11

‘But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you able to make every day a happy today?
  • Are there days because of stress, trials, troubles, or tribulation that your emotional health gets shaken up?
  • Has there ever been a time where your joy through such challenges gets eroded?
  • Was it all the demands on your life in that season?
  • Was it all the conflicts in your life to deal with?
  • Will you make time to be with God, to lean on God, to trust in God so that He can fill you and help you to be able to press on in the midst of it all with joy?
  • With people we may be challenged to believe or trust… Are you ready to believe and trust God?
  • Will you believe and trust His character in order for the joy of the Lord to be your strength?
  • Will you receive God’s love and goodness be your motivation and help you to keep going?
  • Do you realize and have a relationship with the person who is God? He’s not somewhere out there, He is Emmanuel, God with us!
  • Have you started a relationship with Him and been able to lean in through the good and challenging times?
  • Have you started to talk with God and walk with God through all of your life and all of your days?
  • Have you allowed Him out of the Sunday only box? Have you made Him your every day friend who walks with you through this thing called life?
  • Will you turn to God for wisdom and discernment?
  • Will you trust God enough for protection that if He says go then you will go and if He says stay you will stay?
  • Will you shout for joy thanks to God?
  • Will you use the stresses to push you closer to God?
  • Will you use your struggles to push you closer to God?
  • Will you turn to God when faced with challenges and struggles?
  • Will you turn to God as your rock that keeps your footing stable?
  • Will you turn to God as your shelter that keeps you protected from the enemies?
  • Will you accept all of this in order to live out your life with joy? No matter what happens?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Whom do you know whose relationship with God becomes stronger during times of struggle?
  • Glenn
  • Paul
  • Bob
  • Steve
  • Janet
  • Allen
What about God’s love, care, and provision causes you to shout for joy?
  • That I get to have a relationship with Him. Once I got that aha moment it transformed everything.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

‘Courage is nothing more than fear that said its prayers this morning.’

Adrian Rogers

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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

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

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


Do you realize what it takes to be really Happy?


Ever heard someone say “Happy Today” or every day of the week say “Happy Monday”, “Happy Tuesday”, “Happy Wednesday”, Happy Thursday”, “Happy Friday”, “Happy Saturday”, and “Happy Sunday”? What do you think when you hear it? Do you doubt it? Do you question it? Do you receive it? Do you accept it? How do you respond?

It is a frame of mind! It is part of what you believe! It cannot be forced! It cannot be faked! It is not dependent on your circumstances! It requires your focus be on the right thing! It requires that your perspective be in the right place! It requires that we security in the Lord! It requires that we have clear direction! It requires that we live out our lives with God, not just in rituals or routines but in relationship with Him! It requires that we remember and testify to what God has already done! It requires that we become a new creation where the old things are gone and we have become new! A few examples of this can be found in verses like “this is the day that the Lord has made so I will rejoice and be glad in it“, “the joy of the Lord is my strength“, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.“, “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.“, and so many more for more references, check out (Bible Verses About Joy: 25 Scriptures on Happiness – FaithGateway, 22 Bible Verses about Joy – Uplifting Scripture Quotes (biblestudytools.com)).

Do you realize it is contagious? I didn’t till the day when I started to feel a bit sad because my “Happy Today” life of saying it to others before they could say it to me switched and I started to lose, not being as quick on the draw. I thought I was hiding my dismay well enough except that Katie asked me what’s the matter as I walked into the kitchen area and so I admitted that it was that I was losing in the “Happy Today” race. She turned my perspective around when she share the reality that the office temperature had changed with more joy and love and hope in it because of me sharing it with others. She said something that made me ok with not being so quick on the draw, that when I lost it actually meant that I had already won because they were now saying it too. Don’t you want to be a joy spreader? Do you want to be living your life truly happy? Don’t you want people to be looking forward to seeing you and hearing you share joy and hope and love with them? Will today be the day that it changes or begins?


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


Be Really Happy


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 5:3

‘“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever reflected on the Beatitudes as they are called? Ever considered through them all that we have to be happy about?
    • ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
      Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
      Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
      Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
      Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
      Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
      Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
      Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
      Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
      Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’ — Matthew 5:3-12
    • Notice how it finishes telling us to rejoice, to be happy, to be exceedingly glad? Let’s set our focus and our gaze and our perspective in heaven! Let’s store up our treasures in heave since that is where our reward will be!
    • Are you willing to hear and listen to something that is different from what the world tells you?
    • Are you willing to hear and listen to something so different from what the world tells you to think and believe?
    • Do you realize that being blessed means being happy, really happy?
    • Are you ready to be able to experience a joy like you have never experienced before?
    • Are you ready to have a paradigm shift in terms of what can and will bring you happiness?
    • Are you ready to discover some different sources of happiness?
    • Are you ready to not only here about the “who” are blessed but also to learn the “why”?
    • Will you receive this joy, this happiness that surpasses all understanding, because you realize the humility and reality of how little you have to offer and how Jesus gave it all, He paid the price in full in order to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way?
    • Will you give up pride that creates a divide between you and God and come humbly to Him?
    • Will you give up pride that creates a divide between you and the people around you and live with humility?
    • Will you come with humility because you know that in comparison to the purity and perfection of God you will come up short?
    • Will you come with humility and receive the gift of grace through forgiveness from God thanks to Jesus?
    • Will you come with humility and receive the gift of grace from God through Jesus in order to find purpose?
    • Will you come with humility and receive the gift of grace from God through Jesus in order to be able to enter into God’s presence?
    • Will you choose today to receive Jesus and accept Him into your heart in order to be able to live out this life blessed on earth till you go to heaven?
    • Are you ready to start a relationship with God today?
    • Are you ready to go from knowing about God to knowing God?
    • Are you ready to go from hearing about God to seeing God in action?
    • Are you ready to be really happy?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Has there ever been a time when you felt “poor in spirit”? If so, describe it.
In what way is the reality of our spiritual need an open door to experiencing God?
  • Sometimes we need to get to the end of our rope, the end of ourselves, or rock bottom before we are ready to turn back and look up to God.

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Jesus clothed the Beatitudes with His own life.”

Carl F.H. Henry

“I must recognize that the enemy within the camp — the flesh, the old nature, self, I, the old Adam, — is a usurper. By faith I must reckon him to be in the place that God put him — crucified with Christ. I must realize that now my life is hid within Christ in God; that He is my life.”

Major Ian Thomas

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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

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

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


How large of a sign would it take to get your attention?


Would a meteor shower do the trick? What about an alignment in the sky to create a Christmas star? What if you could have the sky light up and show you both of them? What if there was a lunar eclipse? What if there was a solar eclipse? What if there were both within a month? What if the sky then went dark like the end of a movie? What if it were something everyone could see? What if it were something everyone could see at the exact same time? Would it have to happen during the day time or night time? Would timing be a factor in getting your attention through a sign? How big would it have to be? Would it need to take over every media station to get your attention? Would it require some type of an alarm to go off to get your attention? How large of a sign would it take to get your attention?

What if it was on a day when A Comet, A Meteor Shower And A Total Eclipse Of The Sun?

What would be your response to seeing the sun became black like sackcloth of goat hair, and the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth and the sky receded like a scroll being rolled up? Would that be enough to get your attention?


When Jesus first came as a baby, it was a significant enough sign that wise men travelled from far off to come and find him. When Jesus first came as a baby, it was significant enough that the shepherds were not only informed by angels but also went to find him. Are you ready for when Jesus comes back?


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘ She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God].’

Matthew 1:21

Do you realize why you need Jesus? Do you realize what you need to be saved from? Do you realize how you have missed the mark and how Jesus can restore and reconcile you back? Do you realize the plan God has for you? Are you willing to give up your selfish desires in order to pursue His plan and purpose for your life in order to achieve and arrive at the true end and scope of life? Do you want to spend eternity with God or apart from God? Do you want to spend eternity where there is no more sorrow and no more pain or would you rather spend eternity where there will be gnashing of teeth?

Jesus came with the gift of love. Jesus came with the gift of grace. It is up to us if we will choose to accept it and receive it for ourselves.


✨MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU✨

The Weary World Rejoices: A 2020 Advent Devotional

The Advent season typically brings joy and Christmas carols, but maybe this year has been hard for you. In this 5-day plan, you’ll discover how those present at the nativity scene responded to God in the midst of their circumstances, and how their stories can give you hope.

— The Weary World Rejoices: A 2020 Advent Devotional

So today’s focus as we read from God’s Word are (Day 4):

My Notes:

  • ‘ Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor].’
    — Luke 2:13-14
  • Ever considered or reflected on the reality of angels? I know I have, ever since that first Easter play when I got to be the angel at the tomb. I receive the revelation of how frightening the angels would and could be to someone. I also looked at various angelic encounters in the Bible and how many of them started with “don’t be afraid” right before the person screamed. There are angelic visitations in both the old and new testaments. There are angelic visitations like the one where they were recognizable to Lot and Abraham encountered. There are angelic visitations in dreams like Joseph’s encounter and revelation of Jesus as well as when he was to escape to Egypt. There are angelic visitations in visions like we see with Ezekiel and and John. There were the encounters where Balaam’s donkey could see the angel but he couldn’t till the third time. There are the angelic visitations like the ones the shepherds had when they learned about the birth of Jesus.
  • Angels can be frightening and we read in God’s Word how they tell the people to not be afraid:
    • Daniel 10:8-1912 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
    • Genesis 21:1-2111 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring[b] will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”
    • Luke 2:1-12And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
    • Matthew 28:1-10The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
    • Acts 27:1-2621 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”

Where are you at today? Are you feeling weary? Are you looking for support and encouragement? Are you wanting to get your journey with God started? Let’s pray together.

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

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

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

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

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


Ramping up and Finishing Strong!


With just 2 working days on my calendar for 2020, I will focus my time on ramping up and finishing strong. Reconnecting with people. Joining meetings that give me perspective. Working on those items on my todo list so they get moved to the to done list. Transition will be a word for 2021. What a year this has been, just as the ride started to feel like it was coming to an end there was one more turn and loop to add some joy and excitement to the year. God is so good. God’s plan is for good and not for evil. God’s plan is one to give us hope and a future. Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Yes. In this world we will face troubles, Jesus tells us that but He didn’t just say that and drop the mic for us to worry or freak out from, He tells us this information so that we can have hope and take heart because He has overcome the world. We also know from James that we are going to face trials of many kinds. 2020 is a good example of this and by taking time to serve others in the midst of your trials, you will learn and realize how much you have to be joyful for. We shouldn’t be playing the compare game which is why I said to serve others and be available to listen. Be it multiple transitions of jobs or roles or managers or even organizations this year has been filled with them. So in the midst of it all because of our faith and hope in and from and thru Jesus, we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds. Thru the process of building our faith, perseverance, God will be able to strengthen us and build us so that in the end we will be complete and lacking nothing. So today as this weary world rejoices with renewed joy and renewed hope, I turn where I do on the highest of highs and in the lowest of lows, to God’s Word.


Today’s Verse of the Day:

“Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].”

‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

In the midst of the unknown and the trials and troubles, have ever wondered what God’s will for you is? Do you turn to Him and His Word to find out? For me I have been trying to live out today’s verse of the day by choosing that every day is Happy Today and share it with everyone. Not everyone is ready or willing to receive it. To some it is only possible for certain days of the week. For others it is hard for them to consider the idea. Either way I remember circling the aisles and hallways spreading the joy with Happy Monday, Happy Tuesday, Happy Wednesday, Happy Thursday, and Happy Friday, sometimes I would mix it up on Thursday afternoons and say Happy Friday-Eve. Over time people started to say it to me before I was able to say it to them and started to feel like I was losing till I was asked by Katie who was our office manager why I looked sad and after I told her she told me I had it wrong. I have actually adjusted the office temperature to the point where there is more joy and that when I lose in terms of not saying it first, it was just showing that I had already won. Wow. Revelation received. The devil will try to twist the good to try and hold you back and trip you up. Imagine if that had of gone on for a while the impact on the office temperature? So don’t lose hope. Don’t give up. Turn to God’s Word and allow the joy of the Lord be your strength.

Joy is to be a continual feast! Joy isn’t based on circumstances but is to be a well within that can be drawn upon. Let’s make our lives a prayer to God, as we are living sacrifices and we pray without ceasing. So let’s keep our hearts pointed to heaven as God’s heart points to us for as we draw close to God He draws closer to us. So let’s live out our lives with gratitude and praise, worshipping Him in all we think, says, and do. So let’s not just be readers or hearers of the Word but rather let’s be doers of the Word, putting God’s instruction into practice. Let’s not be about living our own way but instead be about living our lives in prayer, worship, and rest. Let’s choose to live our lives in a way to bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.


✨MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU✨

The Weary World Rejoices: A 2020 Advent Devotional

The Advent season typically brings joy and Christmas carols, but maybe this year has been hard for you. In this 5-day plan, you’ll discover how those present at the nativity scene responded to God in the midst of their circumstances, and how their stories can give you hope.

The Weary World Rejoices: A 2020 Advent Devotional

So today’s focus as we read from God’s Word are (Day 1):


My Notes:

  • ‘ He came into the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him [did not know Him]. He came to that which belonged to Him [to His own–His domain, creation, things, world], and they who were His own did not receive Him and did not welcome Him. But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name–[Isa. 56:5.] Who owe their birth neither to bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!] And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth. [Isa. 40:5.]’
    — John 1:10-14
  • Imagine living in a world where people didn’t know God, couldn’t recognize Him, wouldn’t receive Him, and wouldn’t even welcome Him.
  • Have you met Jesus? Not just read about Him or heard about Him, met Jesus? I learned later in my life that it isn’t all about rituals and routines, a process or procedure, it is all about a living relationship with Jesus!
  • Are you a child of God? Is your name written in the Lambs Book of Life?
  • Do you believe in Jesus? Do you trust in Jesus? Do you rely on Jesus?
  • Have you been born again?
  • Will you lean in on that so that even in the midst of this weary world and be able to rejoice out of the love and overflow of Jesus in your heart?

Where are you at today? Are you feeling weary? Are you looking for support and encouragement? Are you wanting to get your journey with God started? Let’s pray together.

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

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

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

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

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


It’s Official!


Has 2020 caused you to become weary? As we are heading into the Christmas season are you able to in the midst of it all find a way to rejoice? God’s ways aren’t necessarily our ways but they do tend to be higher and better than our ways. I couldn’t have imagined as 2020 draws to a close so many changes, so much excitement, so much favor, so much direction to appear. Right when I figured things had settled down there was one more change lined up to my surprise as it went from 3×6 to 4×7.

So yesterday 4 and 7 became official as I moved to my new team. Today my new team will move to me as well. They found out yesterday too and so the journey begins to connect with everyone and look for opportunities and ways to best serve and support them. Over the next little while I will also be working to transition my old job away to others and will need to help my old team connect with the respective product teams.

A couple words came to mind today that lead me forward. Manager and Steward. Manager isn’t an owner, they are to manage. To be a good manager requires being a good steward of everything God has given me.

As I reflect on being a good steward 2 thoughts came to mind “to whom much is given, much is required” from Luke 12 and the parable of the talents from Matthew 25. As I reflect on this year and consider what happened, I can see how God was preparing me for something new and for that to truly happen it required things to be taken away. As I reflect on this year and consider what happened, I can see how God was using me to show His hand over my life through it all from comments I later received about someone having my back which told me God’s favor but don’t think the person who said it realized it. As I reflect on this year and consider all the changes and the uncomfortable feelings I praise God for having never left me or abandoned me but was with me through it all. There were a bunch of trials in which to try to live out life considering them pure joy. There were a bunch of trouble in which I tried to take heart because I know that Jesus has already overcome the world.


So as we step up and step into today, not wanting to be held back from all that God has prepared and planned, grabbing hold of the verse of the day for today is key. Forgiveness!

‘ Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].’

— Colossians 3:13

✨MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU✨

A Weary World Rejoices
– Five Days of Preparing Your Heart for Christmas

Our first Christmas devotional has the prelude of:

Weariness can steal the joy from our Christmas journey! Let the Nativity refresh your heart as you walk with Zechariah, Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary and the shepherds in preparation to experience Emmanuel this holiday season.

— A Weary World Rejoices – Five Days of Preparing Your Heart for Christmas

So today’s focus as we read from God’s Word are: (Day 5)


Today’s Reading:


My Notes:

  • Today’s devotional is so powerful and has such incredible points about Zechariah that speaks to our hearts, Elizabeth that speaks to significance, Joseph that speaks to laying our agendas to the side, Mary that speaks to an eagerness to receive grace, the shepherds and the awe and wonder, and all of this combines into a thrill of hope in order for all of us, the weary world to rejoice! So let’s take time to reflect on this year and consider our lives in relations to all of those from our devotional and how in the midst of the weariness we feel or may feel how we can receive from God rejoice!
  • ‘ IN THOSE days it occurred that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole Roman empire should be registered. This was the first enrollment, and it was made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all the people were going to be registered, each to his own city or town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, To be enrolled with Mary, his espoused (married) wife, who was about to become a mother. [Matt. 1:18-25.] And while they were there, the time came for her delivery, And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn. And in that vicinity there were shepherds living [out under the open sky] in the field, watching [in shifts] over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people. For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord! [Mic. 5:2.] And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find [after searching] a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. [I Sam. 2:34; II Kings 19:29; Isa. 7:14.] Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor]. When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing (saying) that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. So they went with haste and [by searching] found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known what had been told them concerning this Child, And all who heard it were astounded and marveled at what the shepherds told them. But Mary was keeping within herself all these things (sayings), weighing and pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when [the Baby] was to be circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.’
    — Luke 2:1-21
  • ‘ He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him.’
    — Isaiah 53:3
  • ‘ He shall see [the fruit] of the travail of His soul and be satisfied; by His knowledge of Himself [which He possesses and imparts to others] shall My [uncompromisingly] righteous One, My Servant, justify many and make many righteous (upright and in right standing with God), for He shall bear their iniquities and their guilt [with the consequences, says the Lord]. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great [kings and rulers], and He shall divide the spoil with the mighty, because He poured out His life unto death, and [He let Himself] be regarded as a criminal and be numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore [and took away] the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors (the rebellious). [Luke 22:37.]’
    — Isaiah 53:11-12

Where are you at today? Are you feeling weary? Are you looking for support and encouragement? Are you wanting to get your journey with God started? Let’s pray together.

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

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

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

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

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


What would you trade for joy?


How much would it be worth? Do you think anyone would want to give up good things if it meant receiving joy? Do you think anyone would want to give up bad, hard, or even painful things it meant receiving joy? What would you give up for joy? What would you trade for joy? Do you realize there is someone who will trade your sorrows? your shame? your sickness? your pain? Would you be willing to lay them down for joy?

God has a plan and a purpose for you and your life! His plan isn’t to harm you but to prosper you! His plan is to give you a hope and a future! Are you willing to receive it? Would you be willing to lay down the sorrows, the shame, the sickness, and the pains if you knew you would receive joy back?

What if joy was a choice? What if we could consider it pure joy when we faced trials of many kinds because we trust God and know that He can take what the devil planned for evil and turn it around for good? What if we could consider it pure joy when we faced trials of many kinds because we trust God and know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. What if we could consider it pure joy when we faced trials of many kinds because we trust God and we know that by persevering and pressing on that by letting perseverance finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything!

It takes an encounter with Jesus! I know from my encounter with Him, going from rituals to relationship turned my life around! It’s not about doing something a certain way, it is walk it out with Jesus! It’s not about standing or sitting or kneeling the right way, it is about talking and listening with Jesus! It’s life changing! He can take your pain, your sorrows, your shame, and your sickness and turn them around into joy! Let’s allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength as we persevere today in the name of Jesus!

Today we will face many choices! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Be aware of God’s plans, purpose, provision, and prosperity through it all! Blessed beyond anything money could buy!

Side note: I received some great notes during our first night of Inspire 2017 that I will post later from a message shared last night by Matthew Barnett who ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days and he shared what he learned on each continent thru each race! Life principle to grab a hold of! (message coming soon)


Despair Turned to Joy — Day 65: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalm 30:8-12, Mark 13:1-31, Leviticus 14

1. Call out to God who turns lives around … Psalm 30:8-12

8To you, Lord, I called;to the Lord I cried for mercy: 9“What is gained if I am silenced,if I go down to the pit?Will the dust praise you?Will it proclaim your faithfulness? 10Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.” 11You turned my wailing into dancing;you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever. –from Psalm 30

Today’s devotional speaks to our reading as follows…

God can turn your life right around. God turns ‘wailing into dancing’ (v.11a). He removes our ‘sackcloth’ and replaces it with ‘joy’ (v.11b). All this happens when you cry ‘mercy’ (vv.8,10).

David called out to God, ‘Help me out of this!’ (v.10, MSG). God did: ‘You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy’ (v.11, NLT)

It is amazing and wonderful to hear story after story of Jesus turning people’s lives around, bringing them out of despair, setting them free from drugs, restoring marriages and changing lives – turning ‘mourning into dancing’ and sackcloth into ‘gladness’.

No wonder David ends this psalm by saying, ‘I can’t thank you enough’ (v.12, MSG).

–from Day 65: Bible In One Year 2017

2. Watch out for God’s great turnaround … Mark 13:1-31

1As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” 2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” 3As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4“Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” 5Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 17How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again. 20 “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. 21At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. 24 “But in those days, following that distress, “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. 28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. –from Mark 31

Every year when I get to this verse and to the book of Revelation, I feel we are getting closer! I know we won’t miss it and I know that many of the threats and fears people try to use to persuade others are the signs of the end times which we know will come and so I continue to turn to God daily as my guide and my counselor! I know that Jesus wins! I know that my eternity is in His hands and I will get to spend eternity with Him! Eternity with God! A choice I have made! There is no need to fear! Have faith the antidote to fear! Feel the excitement rather than the anxiety! Trust in God! Walk out each day with Jesus, building up your relationship with Him!

Today’s devotional speaks to our reading as follows…

Everything you experience now in terms of God turning things around is only a foretaste of the great turnaround that will occur when Jesus returns.

The Jerusalem temple at the time of Jesus was one of the most impressive sights in the ancient world. Yet Jesus saw beyond the earthly splendour of the buildings and knew that its glory was momentary. In this passage he points the disciples beyond the architectural splendour and makes a series of prophecies about the future.

Turnaround of the temple

As they leave the temple, one of the disciples says to Jesus, ‘Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!’ (v.1). Jesus says all this is going to be turned right around. He says, ‘You’re impressed by this grandiose architecture? There’s not a stone in the whole works that is not going to end up in a heap of rubble’ (v.2, MSG).

Jesus prophesied the destruction of the temple, which occurred in AD 70. This may be what he is referring to when he says, ‘Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too – these things will happen’ (v.30, MSG).

Turnaround when Jesus returns

Jesus’ prophecies about the destruction of the temple are not an isolated event. They are characteristic of the whole period until Jesus’ second coming and they foreshadow what will happen at the end. He therefore doesn’t limit his words to the immediate future, but continues on with prophecies about the end itself.

Jesus prophesies about the events surrounding his return. Jesus warns us that as we approach the end times, things are going to get about as bad as they can get. There will be ‘wars and rumours of wars’ (v.7), ‘earthquakes’ and ‘famines’ (v.8b). And these are only the ‘beginning of birth-pains’ (v.8c). Worse is to come: ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken’ (vv.24–25).

Just before the dawn is the darkest hour. But after the darkest hour comes the new dawn. God is going to turn things right around with the return of Jesus: ‘And then they’ll see the Son of Man enter in grand style, his Arrival filling the sky – no one will miss it! He’ll dispatch the angels; they will pull in the chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole’ (vv.26–27, MSG).

As Jesus speaks of the great turnaround that will take place in the events of the future, he also urges his followers to make a turnaround now in their own lives. Three times he encourages his disciples to ‘watch out’ and ‘be on your guard’ (vv.5,9,23). Jesus wants us to turn around from focusing on the wrong things, and to watch out for three things:

Deception

He warns his disciples to watch out for false messiahs who will be particularly active during times of war, earthquake and famine (v.5).

Persecution

Jesus says that there will be an intensification of persecution (v.9) where ‘everyone will hate you because of me’ (v.13).

Distress

As well as deception and persecution, the last days ‘will be days of distress unequalled from the beginning’ (v.19).

In the face of all this, Jesus says ‘do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit’ (v.11). Jesus’ people are encouraged to watch out and be assured that God is in control of these events and Jesus is coming back to turn things right around.

–from Day 65: Bible In One Year 2017

3. Thank God for the greatest turnaround in history … Leviticus 14:1-57

Cleansing From Defiling Skin Diseases

1The Lord said to Moses, 2“These are the regulations for any diseased person at the time of their ceremonial cleansing, when they are brought to the priest: 3The priest is to go outside the camp and examine them. If they have been healed of their defiling skin disease, 4the priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the person to be cleansed. 5Then the priest shall order that one of the birds be killed over fresh water in a clay pot. 6He is then to take the live bird and dip it, together with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, into the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. 7Seven times he shall sprinkle the one to be cleansed of the defiling disease, and then pronounce them clean. After that, he is to release the live bird in the open fields.
8“The person to be cleansed must wash their clothes, shave off all their hair and bathe with water; then they will be ceremonially clean. After this they may come into the camp, but they must stay outside their tent for seven days. 9On the seventh day they must shave off all their hair; they must shave their head, their beard, their eyebrows and the rest of their hair. They must wash their clothes and bathe themselves with water, and they will be clean.
10“On the eighth day they must bring two male lambs and one ewe lamb a year old, each without defect, along with three-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, and one log of oil. 11The priest who pronounces them clean shall present both the one to be cleansed and their offerings before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
12“Then the priest is to take one of the male lambs and offer it as a guilt offering, along with the log of oil; he shall wave them before the Lord as a wave offering. 13He is to slaughter the lamb in the sanctuary area where the sin offering and the burnt offering are slaughtered. Like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest; it is most holy. 14The priest is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. 15The priest shall then take some of the log of oil, pour it in the palm of his own left hand, 16dip his right forefinger into the oil in his palm, and with his finger sprinkle some of it before the Lord seven times. 17The priest is to put some of the oil remaining in his palm on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, on top of the blood of the guilt offering. 18The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed and make atonement for them before the Lord.
19“Then the priest is to sacrifice the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be cleansed from their uncleanness. After that, the priest shall slaughter the burnt offering 20and offer it on the altar, together with the grain offering, and make atonement for them, and they will be clean.
21“If, however, they are poor and cannot afford these, they must take one male lamb as a guilt offering to be waved to make atonement for them, together with a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, a log of oil, 22and two doves or two young pigeons, such as they can afford, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.
23“On the eighth day they must bring them for their cleansing to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting, before the Lord. 24The priest is to take the lamb for the guilt offering, together with the log of oil, and wave them before the Lord as a wave offering. 25He shall slaughter the lamb for the guilt offering and take some of its blood and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. 26The priest is to pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand, 27and with his right forefinger sprinkle some of the oil from his palm seven times before the Lord. 28Some of the oil in his palm he is to put on the same places he put the blood of the guilt offering—on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. 29The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make atonement for them before the Lord. 30Then he shall sacrifice the doves or the young pigeons, such as the person can afford, 31one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, together with the grain offering. In this way the priest will make atonement before the Lord on behalf of the one to be cleansed.”
32These are the regulations for anyone who has a defiling skin disease and who cannot afford the regular offerings for their cleansing.

Cleansing From Defiling Molds

33The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 34“When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mold in a house in that land, 35the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, ‘I have seen something that looks like a defiling mold in my house.’ 36The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mold, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house. 37He is to examine the mold on the walls, and if it has greenish or reddish depressions that appear to be deeper than the surface of the wall, 38the priest shall go out the doorway of the house and close it up for seven days. 39On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mold has spread on the walls, 40he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town. 41He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town. 42Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house.
43“If the defiling mold reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered, 44the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mold has spread in the house, it is a persistent defiling mold; the house is unclean. 45It must be torn down—its stones, timbers and all the plaster—and taken out of the town to an unclean place.
46“Anyone who goes into the house while it is closed up will be unclean till evening. 47Anyone who sleeps or eats in the house must wash their clothes.
48“But if the priest comes to examine it and the mold has not spread after the house has been plastered, he shall pronounce the house clean, because the defiling mold is gone. 49To purify the house he is to take two birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop. 50He shall kill one of the birds over fresh water in a clay pot. 51Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 52He shall purify the house with the bird’s blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop and the scarlet yarn. 53Then he is to release the live bird in the open fields outside the town. In this way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.”
54These are the regulations for any defiling skin disease, for a sore, 55for defiling molds in fabric or in a house, 56and for a swelling, a rash or a shiny spot, 57to determine when something is clean or unclean.
These are the regulations for defiling skin diseases and defiling molds.

–from Leviticus 14

Let’s be part of the revival! Let’s trust God! Let’s humble ourselves and pray and seek God so that He will forgive our sins and heal our land!

Today’s devotional speaks to our reading as follows…

Can God revitalise the church? Can he transform a nation? Can he reduce the crime rate and empty the prisons? Can he turn around the state of marriage and family life?

The greatest turnaround in history took place on the cross through the blood of Jesus that was shed for us. What looked like an utter defeat, God turned around into the greatest victory of all time. In doing so he made it possible for each of us to be part of God’s turning the world around today in our communities.

All this is foreshadowed in the Old Testament passage for today. Again and again in the book of Leviticus we read of the need for cleansing because of sin and guilt. Sacrifice is required (14:19). Atonement is necessary (vv.18,19,31). The blood (vv.14,25,28) of a lamb (vv.10,12,23–24) without defect (v.10) that brings atonement and cleansing from sin (vv.11,19,20,23,29,31).

The apostle Paul explains how this all points to Jesus’ great turnaround ‘to which the Law and the Prophets testify’ (Romans 3:21). Everything we read about in Leviticus today is designed to ‘testify’ about Jesus. Paul continues, ‘This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe… by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus’ (vv.22–24).

As a result, you can approach God today with confidence. In this passage in Leviticus, we read of cleansing taking place through water (Leviticus 14:7,8) as well as blood (vv.14,25,28). This is picked up in the New Testament as a foreshadowing of how Jesus cleanses us. So the writer of Hebrews says, ‘Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water’ (Hebrews 10:22; see also 1 John 5:6).

He then finishes his explanation by explicitly drawing on the sacrificial imagery we see in our passage to explain how this is all achieved: ‘God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood’ (Romans 3:25).

This is how history is turned around. This is how ‘Big John’s’ life was turned around. This is how my life was turned around. This is how despair is turned to joy. Thank God for Jesus.

–from Day 65: Bible In One Year 2017

Will you trust Him?


Will you trust His plan? Do you realize what His plan is like? He can take what the enemy planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good! He can restore what has been broken! He can save the lost! He can set the captives free! Will you trust Him?

You need to deny the liars! You need to avoid allowing pride to make you think you can do it all on your own! You need to humble yourself and put all your hope and trust in God! Look for the truth rather than what will just make you feel better! Test the words and see if they are true! Make sure you don’t stir up so much trouble that it goes from being a wooden yoke to an iron one!

Hear God’s Word! Don’t lose hope! Yes in this world there will be troubles, but take heart for Jesus has overcome the world! Yes in this world you will have trials, but consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds for they will test your faith and the perseverance will help you to endure. Allow that endurance to carry you all the way without failing, so that in the end you will be perfect, complete, and lacking nothing!

As we continue into Jeremiah 29, we hear the message to the exiles. A message of hope in the midst of their circumstances! A message of salvation in the midst of their trials! A message for the future! In the midst of what you are going thru, flourish! In the midst of what is taking place, multiply! In the midst of what is going on, prosper! In the midst of what is taking place, seek peace! Don’t be deceived by liars and false prophets! Remember God’s timing is perfect and He has a plan! Just like in Jeremiah, God’s timing is perfect and He has a plan for you and me and the rest of this world! He will provide signs of the time so that you will know the time! He will provide direction so that you will know what to do!

Let’s review what was said…

A Letter to the Exiles

1This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2(This was after King Jehoiachin and the queen mother, the court officials and the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the skilled workers and the artisans had gone into exile from Jerusalem.) 3He entrusted the letter to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. It said:
4This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.
10This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
15You may say, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,” 16but this is what the Lord says about the king who sits on Davidʼs throne and all the people who remain in this city, your fellow citizens who did not go with you into exile— 17yes, this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will send the sword, famine and plague against them and I will make them like figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. 18I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse and an object of horror, of scorn and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them. 19For they have not listened to my words,” declares the Lord, “words that I sent to them again and again by my servants the prophets. And you exiles have not listened either,” declares the Lord.
20Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you in my name: “I will deliver them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will put them to death before your very eyes. 22Because of them, all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon will use this curse: ‘May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned in the fire.’ 23For they have done outrageous things in Israel; they have committed adultery with their neighborsʼ wives, and in my name they have uttered lies—which I did not authorize. I know it and am a witness to it,” declares the Lord.

–from Jeremiah 29

So don’t lose hope! Don’t walk away from God! Put all your hope and trust in Him! Invite Jesus into your heart! Align to Him and His ways! Be ambassadors of peace! Walk in His ways! Allow Him to direct your steps! Remember the end of the book, Jesus wins! He won the victory when He conquered the grave! He defeated the power of sin when He paid the penalty on the cross! So don’t lose hope! Put your trust in God! Don’t rebel against Him!

Need wisdom? Humble yourself and cry out to God! Let’s reflect on today’s Psalm…

A prayer of David.

1Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer—it does not rise from deceitful lips. 2Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right. 3Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed. 4Though people tried to bribe me, I have kept myself from the ways of the violent through what your lips have commanded. 5My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled. 6I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. 7Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. 8Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings 9from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. 10They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. 11They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. 12They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a fierce lion crouching in cover. 13Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down; with your sword rescue me from the wicked. 14By your hand save me from such people, Lord, from those of this world whose reward is in this life. May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies; may their children gorge themselves on it, and may there be leftovers for their little ones. 15As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

–from Psalms 17

We need to trust Him in and through it all! We need not lean on our own understanding, but put our trust in God! There is no darkness in Him! He is light! God is Love! Let’s try to live dead to sin and alive in Jesus! Let’s be slaves to doing what is right in God’s eyes! As we read in the final chapter of today’s reading from the book of Romans…

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or donʼt you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16Donʼt you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

–from Romans 6

 


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 28, 29, Psalm 17, Romans 6

Where does your hope come from?


Where does your help come from? What do you believe? Whom do you follow? With who do you align? Are you walking with or walking away? Are you talking with or talking to or talking at? Are you managing or are you building a relationship? Do you see what is going on around you? Will you be salt and light and make a difference? Will you be positive and encouraging so that people turn back to God? Will you allow your life to shine so that people will glorify your Father in heaven? Will you trust in God no matter what? Will you have hope because you know that the best is yet to come? Yes in this world we will have troubles, but as Jesus tells us, “take heart for I have overcome the world“. Yes, we will face trials, but as God’s Word tells us, “consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds” not just for kicks or for giggles, but so that in and through them we will come thru the other end complete and lacking nothing. My hope is in Jesus! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! So don’t lose hope! Don’t lose faith! Trust in God! Don’t go it alone! Don’t try to do it your own way and in your own strength! Turn to God and follow after Him and His ways!


Today’s reading starts in Isaiah …

Vision of Jerusalem’s Catastrophe

1The burden of the Valley of Vision: What is the matter with you now? For you have gone up to the rooftops. 2You were full of noise, a boisterous city, an exultant town? Your dead were not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle. 3All your rulers have fled together, then captured without a bow. All who were caught were taken into exile together, though they had fled far off. 4Therefore I said, “Look away from me! Let me weep bitterly— don’t try to comfort me about the ruin of the daughter of my people.” 5For my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot has a day of panic, trampling and confusion— in the Valley of Vision— of tearing down a wall, a catastrophe on the mountain. 6Elam took up the quiver, with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. 7So it will come to pass that your choicest valleys will be full of chariots and horsemen posted at the gate. 8So He will expose Judah’s defense, and in that day you will look for the armor in the Forest House. 9Then you will see the breaches in the walls of the city of David—for they will be many—though you collect the water of the lower pool. 10Though you counted the houses of Jerusalem, you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11You even made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool—but you did not look to the Maker, or consider the One who planned it long before. 12Now in that day, Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot will call for weeping and wailing, for baldness and putting on sackcloth. 13But instead, there is joy and gladness, slaughtering cattle and killing sheep, meat and drinking wine! “Let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die!” 14But Adonai-Tzva’ot revealed in my ears: “Surely this sin will not be atoned for until you die,” says my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot. 15Thus says my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot: “Go, say to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the house: 16‘What are you doing here, and who are you to be here, that you cut out a grave for yourself, carving out a tomb on the height, chiseling a crypt for yourself in the rock? 17Behold, strong man, Adonai is about to hurl you headlong, and seize you firmly. 18He will roll you up tightly and toss you like a ball into a large country. There you will die, and your glorious chariots will be the shame of your Master’s house. 19I will remove you from your post, and pull you down from your station. 20“In that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. 21I will clothe him in your robe and fasten your sash on him. I will give your authority into his hands, so he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22I will set the key of the house of David upon his shoulder—what he opens, no one can shut; what he shuts, and no one can open. 23I will fasten him as a peg in a firm place, and he will be a throne of honor to his father’s house. 24They will hang all the glory of his father’s house on him—offspring and posterity, all the small vessels, from bowls to all the jars. 25“In that day,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot, “the peg that was fastened in a firm place will give way, break away and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off.” For Adonai has spoken.

–from Isaiah 22

Let’s try to get our nation back on track. Let’s try to get it back in alignment with God’s Word, God’s Will and God’s Ways. Let’s not allow it to stray and have to deal with the consequences. Let’s put our hope and trust in God! Just as in the old testament, we have watched how people have had to get into pretty bad situations before they had the aha moments which got them to stop and turn back to God! I pray we don’t have to hit rock bottom before we do turn back to God as a nation! How bad do you need it to be before you will turn back? How bad do you need it to be before you start to intercede for others? How will you point people to the hope that is within you?

How much shaking will it take before God can get your attention? Sometimes it takes shaking things up to get your attention! Are you ready?

Shaking Tyre and Sidon

1The burden of Tyre. Wail, ships of Tarshish! For Tyre is destroyed. There is no house and no harbor. From the land of Cyprus, it was revealed to them. 2Be still, inhabitants of the coastland, you merchants of Sidon, your messengers crossing the sea. 3On many waters the grain of Shihor, the harvest of the Nile was her revenue and a marketplace of nations. 4Be ashamed, O Sidon. For the sea has spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, “I have not writhed or given birth. I have not reared young men or brought up maidens.” 5When the report reaches Egypt, they will be in anguish at the report about Tyre. 6Cross over to Tarshish. Wail, you inhabitants of the island! 7Is this your jubilant city? Whose antiquity is from long ago, whose feet have taken her to settle in far off lands? 8Who planned this against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of earth? 9Adonai-Tzva’ot has planned it, to defile the pride of all glory, to shame all the honored of earth. 10Overflow through your land like the Nile, O daughter of Tarshish! There is no restraint any more. 11His hand has stretched out over the sea, He has shaken the kingdoms. Adonai has given a commandment concerning Canaan, to destroy its strongholds. 12He said, “You will exult no more.” O crushed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, cross over to Cyprus— even there you will have no rest. 13Look, the land of the Chaldeans— this is the people who no longer exist. Assyria set it up for desert animals. They set up their siege towers; they stripped its palaces; they made it a ruin. 14Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For your stronghold is destroyed. 15Then it will come about in that day that Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years, like the days of one king. At the end of 70 years it will happen to Tyre just as in the song of the prostitute: 16“Take a harp, stroll about the city, forgotten harlot! Skillfully play many songs, so you may be remembered.” 17Then it will come about after the end of 70 years that Adonai will take note of Tyre. She will return to her trade and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Yet her profit and her wages will be set apart to Adonai. They will not be stored up or hoarded. For her profit will be for those who dwell in the presence of Adonai, as ample food and as fine clothing.

–from Isaiah 23

So will you turn to Jesus? Will you cry out to Jesus? Will you ask Him into your life? Will you ask Him into your heart? Will you pursue Him? Will follow after Him? Will you listen to Him? Will you be obedient to Him? Will you receive His mercies? Will you walk in His light? Will you reflect it into the world around you? Will you receive Him before it is too late? Will grab hold of the love and the hope He is offering? Will you love Him? He loves you so much He gave up His life on the cross to provide for forgiveness for you!

Mercy for a Sinful Woman

1But Yeshua went to the Mount of Olives. 2At dawn, He came again into the Temple. All the people were coming to Him, and He sat down and began to teach them. 3The Torah scholars and Pharisees bring in a woman who had been caught in adultery. After putting her in the middle, 4they say to Yeshua, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of committing adultery. 5In the Torah, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” 6Now they were saying this to trap Him, so that they would have grounds to accuse Him. But Yeshua knelt down and started writing in the dirt with His finger. 7When they kept asking Him, He stood up and said, “The sinless one among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Then He knelt down again and continued writing on the ground. 9Now when they heard, they began to leave, one by one, the oldest ones first, until Yeshua was left alone with the woman in the middle. 10Straightening up, Yeshua said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11“No one, Sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Yeshua said. “Go, and sin no more.”

The Light of the World

12Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows Me will no longer walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13Then the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself, so Your testimony is not valid.” 14Yeshua answered them, “Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is valid. For I know where I came from and where I am going. But you don’t know where I come from or where I am going. 15You judge according to the flesh, but I do not judge anyone. 16Yet even if I do judge, My judgment is true, because it is not I alone but I with the Father who sent Me. 17Even in your Torah it is written that the testimony of two men is true. 18I am one witness for Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness for Me.” 19Then they said to Him, “Where is your Father?” Yeshua answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you knew Me, you would also know My Father.” 20He spoke these words in the treasury while teaching in the Temple, but no one arrested Him because His hour had not yet come. 21Then again Yeshua spoke to them, “I am going away. You will look for Me and die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22“He won’t kill Himself, will He?” the Judeans asked. “Is that why He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23Yeshua said, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world 24Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. If you don’t believe that I am, you will die in your sins.”25So they asked Him, “Who are you?” Yeshua replied, “What have I been telling you from the beginning? 26I have much to say and judge about you. But the One who sent Me is true, and I tell the world what I heard from Him.” 27They didn’t understand that He was talking to them about the Father. 28So Yeshua said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am. I do nothing by Myself, but speak just what the Father has taught Me. 29The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to Him.” 30As He was speaking these things, many people put their trust in Him. 31Then Yeshua said to the Judeans who had trusted Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly My disciples. 32You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!” 33They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s children and have never been slaves to anyone! How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34Yeshua answered them, “Amen, amen I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now the slave does not remain in the household forever; the son abides forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed! 37I know you are Abraham’s children; yet you are trying to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38I tell of what I have seen with the Father; so also you do what you heard from the Father.” 39“Abraham is our father,” they replied to Him. Yeshua said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40But now you are seeking to kill Me—a Man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. This Abraham did not do! 41You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born as illegitimate children—we have one Father, God Himself!” 42Yeshua said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for from God I came and now I am here. For I have not come on My own, but He sent Me. 43Why don’t you understand My speech? Because you’re not able to hear My word! 44You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks lies he is just being himself—for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45“But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46Which one of you convicts Me of sinning? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe Me? 47He who belongs to God hears the words of God. The reason you don’t hear is because you do not belong to God.” 48The Judean leaders responded, “Aren’t we right to say you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49Yeshua answered, “I do not have a demon! I honor My Father, yet you dishonor Me. 50But I do not seek My own glory; there is One who is seeking and judging. 51Amen, amen I tell you, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.” 52“Now we know You have a demon!” the Judean leaders said to Him. “Abraham and the prophets died. Yet You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste death.’ 53You are not greater than our father Abraham who died, are You? The prophets also died! Who do You make Yourself out to be?” 54Yeshua answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father who gives Me glory—the One of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55Yet you do not know Him, but I know Him. If I say I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you. Yet I do know Him and keep His Word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; he saw it and was thrilled.” 57Then the Judeans said to Him, “You’re not even fifty years old and you’ve seen Abraham?” 58Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, before Abraham was, I am!” 59Then they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Yeshua hid Himself and went out from the Temple.

–from John 8

How do you live when things are going well?


Are you thankful for what you have? Are you appreciative for what you have? Are you grateful for what you have? Do you thank God for such blessings? Do you try to stay as close to God as when you were being through tough times? Are you wandering off? Are you straying from God and His ways? Are you moving away from center and swaying away? Do you think you can do it on your own? Have you forgotten about God? Are you setting the stage so that the next generation may think you did it on your own and there is no God? Are you setting up a future where things could go bad, really bad because people will be walking out from under the covering and protection of God?

Take a look around you! Consider the generation now and what “self” type living has done and is doing to the world around you! We need to never forget what He has done, what He is doing, and what He has promised daily! We need to make sure that not only are we going to be ok, even during a time of peace and prosperity, but that the next generation realizes that the reason for where we are at – blessed and peaceful – is because of God’s love and covering and instruction and wisdom! Don’t let them forget! Pass on the Good News! Help them to see and know about God! Help them see and know the truth of having a relationship with God!

Today’s reading continues in 1 Kings with Solomon as king and Israel at a place of peace and abundance…

Solomon’s Official Staff

1Now King Solomon reigned over all Israel, 2and these were his officials: Azariah son of Zadok, the kohen; 3Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud, the recorder; 4Benaiah son of Jehoiada, in charge of the army; Zadok and Abiathar, kohanim; 5Azariah son of Nathan, in charge of the officers; Zabud son of Nathan the kohen, the king’s personal attendant; 6Ahishar, in charge of the household; Adoniram son of Abda in charge of the forced labor. 7Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household; each had to make provision for a month in the year. 8These were their names: Ben-Hur, in the hill-country of Ephraim; 9Ben-Deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan; 10Ben-Hesed, in Arubboth (his were Socoh and all the land of Hehper); 11Ben-Abinadab in all the height of Dor (Taphath, Solomon’s daughter was his wife); 12Baana son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah as far as beyond Jokmeam; 13Ben-Geber, in Ramot-Gilead (his were the villages of Jair son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and also his were the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, 60 great cities with walls and bronze bars); 14Ahinadab son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also took Basemath, Solomon’s daughter, as wife); 16Baana son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; 17Jehoshaphat son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18Shimei son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19Geber son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan; and one who was the officer in the land. 20Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea in abundance, eating and drinking and rejoicing.

–from 1 Kings 4

So proclaim God’s goodness so that the next generation will know! Tell of the things God has done through the highs and the lows so that they will know where to turn and who to turn to! Testify about where you were, what happened, and how God got you thru to the other side! They need to know so that when they face challenges they know where to turn and what to do! Let’s remember how Jesus came to fulfill the law and how He gave His all that we could be reconciled to God and be saved!

Our Righteous Judge

1For the music director, to the tune of “The Death of the Son,” a psalm of David. 2I will praise Adonai with my whole heart. I will tell about all Your wonders. 3I will be glad and rejoice in You. I will sing praise to Your Name, Elyon! 4When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before You. 5For You upheld my right and my cause. You sat upon the throne, judging righteously. 6You rebuked the nations, You destroyed the wicked— blotting out their name forever and ever. 7The enemy is finished, in ruins forever. You overturned their cities— even the memory of them has perished. 8But Adonai reigns forever. He established His throne for judgment. 9He judges the world in righteousness and governs the peoples justly. 10Adonai is a stronghold for the oppressed, a high tower in times of trouble. 11Those who know Your Name trust You— for You, Adonai, never have forsaken those who seek You. 12Sing praises to Adonai, who dwells in Zion. Declare His deeds among the peoples. 13He who avenges blood remembers. He will not forget the cry of the afflicted. 14Be compassionate to me, Adonai. See my affliction from those hating me. Lift me up from the gates of death. 15Then I will tell all your praises in the gates of the daughter of Zion, rejoicing in Your salvation. 16The nations sank into the pit they made. The net they hid caught their own foot. 17Adonai is known for executing judgment. The wicked one is trapped in the work of his own hands. Selah 18The wicked will turn to Sheol, as will all the nations that forget God. 19For the needy will not forever be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever. 20Arise, Adonai, do not let man triumph. Let the nations be judged before You. 21Strike them with terror, Adonai. Let the nations know they are only human. Selah

–from Psalms 9

Turn to God! Call upon Him! Ask Him! Speak with Him! Build a relationship with Him! Never forget Him!

1Therefore leaving the basic teaching of the Messiah, let us move on toward maturity—not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of trust in God, 2of teaching about immersions, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3Now this we will do, if God permits. 4For it is impossible for those who once were enlightened—having tasted of the heavenly gift and become partakers of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, 5and having tasted the good word of God and the powers of the olam ha-ba , 6and then having fallen away—to renew again to repentance, since they are again crucifying Ben-Elohim for themselves and publicly disgracing Him. 7For the earth—having soaked up the rain frequently falling on it—brings forth vegetation useful to those for whom it is farmed; and it shares in God’s blessing. 8But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed—its end is to be burned over. 9But even though we speak like this, loved ones, concerning you we are convinced of better things—things coming with salvation. 10For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love that you showed for His name, in having served and continuing to serve the kedoshim. 11But we long for each of you to show the same eagerness for the certainty of hope to the very end— 12so you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those inheriting the promises through trust and perseverance.

The Promise and the Oath

13Now when God made His promise to Abraham—since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14saying, “Surely I will bless you, and surely I will multiply you.” 15And so after waiting patiently, Abraham reached the promise. 16For people swear by someone greater; and the oath, as confirmation, is an end to all their disputing. 17In the same way God, determining to point out more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchanging nature of His purpose, guaranteed it with an oath. 18So by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19We have this hope as an anchor of the soul, both firm and steady—a hope that enters the inner place behind the curtain. 20Yeshua has entered there as a forerunner on our behalf, having become Kohen Gadol “forever, according to the order of Melechizedek .”

–from Hebrews 6

So will you be fishers of men? Will you plant seeds of hope? Will you plant seeds of love? Will you plant seeds of encouragement? Will you shine light, life, hope into the world around you? Will you speak love, joy, peace to the people around you? Will you make a difference to the people God has brought into your life? How will you make a difference today? How will lives be transformed because you shared Jesus with them?

Calling Fishermen at the Kinneret

1It happened that the crowds were pressing upon Yeshua to hear the word of God as He was standing by the Lake of Kinneret, 2when He saw two boats standing beside the lake. Now the fishermen had left them and were washing the nets. 3Getting into one of the boats, Simon’s boat, Yeshua asked him to push out a ways from the land. Then sitting down, He taught the crowds from the boat. 4When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Go out into the deep water, and let down your nets for a catch.” 5Simon replied, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and caught nothing. But at Your word I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets began to break. 7So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Yeshua’s knees, saying, “Go away from me, Master, for I am a sinful man!” 9For amazement had gripped him and all who were with him, over the catch of fish they had netted; 10so also Jacob and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were partners with Simon. But Yeshua said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on, you will be catching men.” 11So when they had brought the boats to the landing, they left everything and followed Him.

Yeshua Heals and News Spreads

12Now while Yeshua was in one of the towns, a man covered with tza’arat appeared. And when he saw Yeshua, he fell on his face and begged Him, saying, “Master, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 13Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be cleansed!” Immediately, the tza’arat left him. 14Yeshua ordered him to tell no one, but commanded him, “Go and show yourself to the kohen. Then bring an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 15But the news about Yeshua was spreading all the more, and many crowds were coming together to hear and to be healed of their diseases. 16Yet He would often slip away into the wilderness and pray.

Crowds Gather from the Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem

17Now on one of those days, Yeshua was teaching. Pharisees and Torah scholars were sitting there, who had come from every village of the Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem. And Adonai’s power to heal was in Him. 18And behold, men were carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher, trying to bring him in and place him before Yeshua. 19But when they found no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his stretcher through the tiles, right in the middle before Yeshua. 20When He saw their faith, He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven.” 21Then the Torah scholars and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this fellow speaking blasphemies? Who can pardon sins but God alone?” 22Yeshua, knowing their thoughts, replied to them, “Why are you raising questions in your hearts? 23Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to pardon sins….” He said to the paralyzed one, “I tell you, get up and take your cot, and go home!” 25Immediately he got up before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. 26Astonishment took hold of them, and they glorified God and all were filled with awe, saying, “We’ve seen incredible things today!”

The Banquet at Levi’s House

27After these things, Yeshua went out and observed a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28And leaving everything, he got up and followed Him. 29Levi made a great banquet for Yeshua at his house, and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining with them. 30The Pharisees and their Torah scholars began murmuring to His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31And Yeshua answered and said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a doctor, but those who are sick do. 32I did not come to call the righteous, but the sinful to repentance.” 33But they said to Him, “John’s disciples often fast and offer prayers, as do the disciples of the Pharisees. But Your disciples are eating and drinking.” 34But Yeshua said to them, “You cannot make the guests of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? 35But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” 36Now he was also telling them a parable. “No one tears a patch from a new garment to use it on an old garment. Otherwise he will rip the new, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, it will be spilled out, and the skins will be destroyed. 38But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39No man who drinks old wine wants new, because he says, ‘The old is fine.’”

–from Luke 5