Tag Archives: Lead

What’s leading or directing your decisions?


Faced with a decision to make, what is guiding you? Faced with decision to make, what is directing your path? Faced with decision to make, who or what are you following?

How about at work when options come before you? How about in your country when it comes to picking leadership during the elections? How about in your community when you need to choose where and when and if to get involved?

Is it based on peer pressure? Is it based on group decision? Is it based on a gut feel? Is it based on analyzing all the data? Is it based on alignment to God’s way and will?

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Imagine how things would be different if everyone put God in the center of all of their lives! Imagine Jesus being the center for every decision and hence being lead by the Holy Spirit in every decision you make!

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Let’s stop focusing on the thing and start focusing on the creator! Let’s stop focusing on the created and start focusing on the creator! Let’s stop focusing on rituations and start focusing on having a relationship with God!


Today’s reading kicks off in this line in Hosea…

Idols Thrown Down

1“Put a shofar to your mouth! Like a vulture he comes against the house of Adonai. For they overstepped My covenant and transgressed My Torah. 2 Will they cry out to Me, ‘My God, we—Israel—knew You’? 3Israel has rejected goodness— an adversary will pursue him. 4They crowned kings, but not by Me. They appointed princes I did not approve. Their silver and gold they made into idols— just so they would be cut down. 5Samaria! Your calf is thrown down! My anger is kindled against them! How long will they be incapable of innocence? 6For a craftsman from Israel made it, so it is no god. For the calf of Samaria will be splinters. 7“For they sow wind, and reap a whirlwind. There is no mature grain— the sprout yields no meal. Should it produce anything, strangers would swallow it up. 8Israel has been swallowed up! Now they are among the nations, like an ornament with no delight in it. 9For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey alone by itself. Ephraim has hired lovers. 10Although they hire among the nations, I will now round them up. So they will begin to decrease under the burden of king and princes. 11“When Ephraim multiplied altars for making sin offerings, they became his altars for sinning. 12Though I were to write out for him ten thousand things from My Torah, they are regarded as something strange. 13Sacrifices are gifts for Me— should they sacrifice meat and then eat it? Adonai will not accept them. Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sin— they will return to Egypt. 14For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built temples, while Judah has multiplied fortified cities. So I will send fire upon its cities that will consume their citadels.”

–from Hosea 8

How far away can you get before you get into trouble? How far from under the protective cover can you get before you get hurt? How far will you wander before you turn back?

Days of Desolation Are Coming

1Do not rejoice, O Israel, do not celebrate like the peoples— for so you have gone whoring away from your God. You have loved a prostitute’s pay, on every grain-threshing-floor. 2Threshing-floor and wine-press will not sustain them, and new wine will fail her. 3They will not dwell in Adonai’s land. Instead Ephraim will return to Egypt, and eat unclean food in Assyria. 4They will pour no wine-offerings to Adonai— they would not be pleasing to Him. Their sacrifices will be like the bread of mourners for them. All that eat it will be defiled, for their bread is for their appetite, not coming into the House of Adonai. 5What will you do for a moed or for the day of Adonai’s feast? 6Look, even if they escape the desolation, Egypt will gather them up; Memphis will bury them. And their precious silver treasures? Weeds will possess them. Thorns will be in their tents. 7The days of punishment have come; the days of retribution have come. Let Israel know! The prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad! For great is your iniquity and great the hostility. 8Ephraim is a watchman with my God, a prophet. A bird catcher’s trap is on all his paths. Hostility is in the House of his God. 9They have deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity, He will punish their sin. 10“Like grapes in the wilderness I found Israel. Like early fruit on a fig tree in its first season I saw your fathers. They came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame. So they became as detestable as the thing they loved. 11Ephraim’s glory flies away like a bird— no birth, no pregnancy, no conception! 12For if they should raise their children, I would make them childless to the last man. Yes, woe to them when I depart from them! 13Ephraim, as I have seen, is like Tyre, planted in a meadow, but Ephraim will bring his children out to the slayer.” 14Give them, Adonai, what will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dried up breasts. 15“All their wickedness is at Gilgal, for there I despised them. Because of their wicked practices, I will drive them out of My House. I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious. 16Ephraim is blighted; their root is withered; they bear no fruit. Even if they bring forth children, I will slay the cherished ones in their wombs.” 17My God will cast them off, since they did not listen to Him. So they will become wanderers among the nations.

–from Hosea 9

What is going to take to bring you back into alignment with God? Will you need to see something? Will you need to hear something? Will you need to feel something? Will you smell or sense something? What would need to happen to really get your attention?

Will you change the way you are living? Will you set an ethic to follow? Will you look to live righteously? Will you look to live a covenant of love? Will you soften your heart to the things and ways of God? Will you humble yourself and give your life up to God?

What will you sow? What will that cause you to reap?

Israel to be Shamed in Captivity

1A luxuriant vine is Israel, who produces fruit for himself. Like the abundance of his fruit he has multiplied his altars. Like the goodness of his land, they made beautiful sacred pillars. 2Their heart became smooth. Now they will bear their guilt. He will break down their altars. He will destroy their sacred pillars. 3Surely now they will say: “We have no king, for we have not feared Adonai. The king—what can he do for us?” 4They spoke words— empty oaths to make a covenant. But judgment springs up as hemlock in the furrows of the field. 5The inhabitants of Samaria will quarrel over the calves of Beth-aven. Indeed its people will mourn over it, but its priests will tremble over it. For its glory will surely depart from it. 6It also will be carried to Assyria as tribute to a warring king. Ephraim will receive shame and Israel will be put to shame by its own counsel. 7Samaria is being cut off. Her king is like a splinter on the surface of the water. 8The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel will be destroyed. Thorns and thistles will come up on their altars. And they will say to the mountains: “Cover us!” And to the hills: “Fall on us!” 9“From the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel. There they took their stand. Will not war over sons of iniquity overtake them in Gibeah? 10When I desire, I will chasten them, and peoples will gather against them when they are yoked to their two sins. 11Though Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh, I put a yoke over her fair neck. I will make Ephraim pull; Judah will plow; Jacob will drag a harrow by himself.”

Plow Up Your Ground

12Sow for yourselves righteousness. Reap in accord with covenant love. Break up your unplowed ground. For it is time to seek Adonai, until He comes and showers righteousness on you. 13You have plowed up wickedness, you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of delusion, for you have trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men. 14A tumult will arise among your people. All your strongholds will be demolished, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel in the day of battle, when a mother was dashed in pieces with her children. 15Just so has Bethel done to you because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel will be utterly cut off.

–from Hosea 10

What’s it going to take for God to get your attention? Do you realize what He has already done for you? Do you realize how much Jesus did? Do you realize what is at hand? Do you realize what is available? Do you realize it’s a choice we each have to make individually? So choose wisely! Choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and to follow Him all the rest of your life!

My Son Called Out

1“When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. 2They called out to them but they departed from their presence. They kept sacrificing to the Baalim and burning incense up to idols. 3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk. I took them on My arms. But they never acknowledged that I had healed them. 4With human cords I was drawing them, with bonds of love, and I became to them as One lifting a yoke from their jaws. I bent down to them and fed them. 5He will not return to the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian will be his king— because they refused to return. 6So a sword will fall on his cities, and destroy and devour his gate bars because of their own counsels. 7So My people are bent on turning from Me. Although they are being called upwards, none will rise up. 8“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I surrender you, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you as Zeboim? My heart is turning over within Me. My compassions are kindled. 9 I will not vent My fierce anger. I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God—not a man— the Holy One in the midst of you, and I will not come in fury.” 10They will walk after Adonai. He will roar like a lion. Indeed, He will roar and the children will come trembling from the west. 11“They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt, like a dove out of the land of Assyria, and I will settle them in their houses.” It is a declaration of Adonai.

–from Hosea 11

Make your choice fast! Make your choice soon! Don’t wait till it is too late! Take a look around and see the signs of the season! Every year when I go through the Bible, I feel like we are getting closer based on what is taking place in the world!

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Signs of the End

1As Yeshua was going out of the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, look! What stones and what buildings!” 2Yeshua said to him, “You see these great buildings? Not one stone here will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!” 3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple, Peter, Jacob, John, and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4“Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5Yeshua began to tell them, “Watch out that no one leads you astray! 6Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 8For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines. These things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Watch out for yourselves! They will hand you over to the courts, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them. 10The Good News must first be proclaimed to all the nations. 11When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Say whatever is given to you in that hour, for it is not you who speaks but the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 12Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. And children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13And you will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Birth Pangs Before Deliverance

14“But when you see ‘the abomination of desolation’ standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15The one on the roof must not go down, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16And the one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 17Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18Pray that it will not happen in winter. 19“For in those days there will be trouble such as has never happened, not since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. 20And unless Adonai had cut short those days, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He cut short the days. 21“And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there He is!’ do not believe it. 22For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the chosen. 23So be careful! See, I have told you everything beforehand.”

Messianic Victory

24“But in those days, after that trouble, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.’ 26And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then He will send out the angels and will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from the end of the earth, to the end of heaven.”

Keep Watch

28“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see all these things happening, know that it is near, at the door. 30Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 32But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, except the Father. 33“Keep on the lookout! Stay alert! For you do not know when the time is. 34It is like a man away on a journey. After leaving his house and putting his servants in charge and giving each his task, he also commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35Therefore stay alert, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, when the rooster crows, or in the early morning. 36So watch in case, coming suddenly, he finds you asleep. 37What I say to you I say to all: ‘Stay alert!’”

–from Mark 13

 

It’s time…to step up and lead!


People are watching you to see who you are. People are watching you to see if you are who you say you are. People are watching you to see what your character says about you. People are watching you to see how you will respond to the situations that come your way. People are watching you and how you act will impact their perception and actions towards and about you.

If we don’t step up and do what is right, it will create problems! If we don’t step up and lead, it will cause confusion and delays! If we don’t step up to do what we have been called to do, then someone else will be called to do the work! What will your legacy say about you? What will the memory of you mean to others? Will you be salt and light and make a difference in the lives of those around you? Do you see what is going on around you? How far down the slippery slope will you allow it to go before you will do something and get involved?

How do you want to be thought of? How do you want to be remembered? How are you going to live your life?

It’s time…to step up and lead!



Today’s reading starts with 1 Kings 16…

Zimri Ends Baasa’s Line

1Now the word of Adonai came to Jehu son of Hanani against Baasa, saying: 2“Since I raised you up from the dust and made you ruler over My people Israel, yet you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have caused My people Israel to sin, vexing Me with their sins. 3I am about to consume Baasa and his house. I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat. 4Anyone of Baasa who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field, the birds of the sky will eat.” 5Now the rest of the deeds of Baasa and what he did and his might, are they not written in Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 6Then Baasa slept with his fathers and was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah became king in his place. 7But the word of Adonai had already come by the hand of the prophet Jehu son of Hanani against Baasa and against his house, because of all the evil he had done in Adonai’s eyes, vexing Him with the work of his hands, becoming thus like the house of Jeroboam which He struck down. 8In the twenty-sixth year of King Asa of Judah, Elah son of Baasa became king over Israel in Tirzah, and reigned two years. 9Then his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariotry, conspired against him while he was in Tirzah, making himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was in charge of the palace in Tirzah. 10Then Zimri went in, struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of King Asa of Judah, and became king in his place. 11It came about when he became king, as soon as he sat on the throne, he struck down all the household of Baasa, leaving him not even one man, nor his kinsmen nor his friend. 12So Zimri destroyed the entire house of Baasa, according to the word of Adonai which He spoke against Baasa by the prophet Jehu, 13for all the sins of Baasa and the sins of his son Elah, which they committed and caused Israel to commit, vexing Adonai God of Israel with their useless idols. 14Now the rest of the deeds of Elah and all that he did, are they not written in Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

Rise of Omri

15In the twenty-seventh year of King Asa of Judah, Zimri reigned for seven days in Tirzah. Now the people were encamped against Gibbethon of the Philistines. 16When the people encamped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired and even struck down the king,” then all Israel proclaimed Omri—the commander of the army—king over Israel that very day in the camp. 17Then Omri and all Israel with him went up from Gibbethon and besieged Tirzah. 18When Zimri saw that the city was captured, he went into the citadel of the royal palace, and burned down the royal palace over him with fire. So he died too, 19because of the sins which he committed, doing what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, walking in the way of Jeroboam and in the sin which he had committed, making Israel sin. 20Now the rest of the deeds of Zimri and his treason that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 21Then the people of Israel were divided into two factions: half of the people followed Tibni son of Ginath, making him king, while the other half followed Omri. 22But the people following Omri prevailed against the people following Tibni son of Ginath. Tibni died, and Omri became king. 23In the thirty-first year of King Asa of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel, and reigned 12 years, six years in Tirzah. 24Then he bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and built a city on the hill. He named the city that he built Samaria, based on the name Shemer, the owner of the hill. 25But Omri did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, and acted more wickedly than all who were before him. 26For he walked in all the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and in the sins that he had caused Israel to commit, vexing Adonai God of Israel, with their useless idols. 27Now the rest of the deeds of Omri that he did and the valiant deeds that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 28So Omri slept with his fathers and was buried in Samaria. Then his son Ahab became king in his place.

Ahab Even Worse

29In the thirty-eighth year of King Asa of Judah, Ahab son of Omri began to reign over Israel; and Ahab son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria 22 years. 30But Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, more than all who were before him. 31Now, as if it was a trifling thing to walk in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, he also took as wife Jezebel the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshipped him. 32He also erected an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he had built in Samaria. 33Also Ahab made the Asherah pole. So Ahab did yet more to provoke the Adonai God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

Curse of Jericho Rebuilt

34During his days, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. At the cost of Abiram his firstborn, he laid its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son Segub, he set up its gates—according to the word of Adonai, which He had spoken through Joshua son of Nun.

–from 1 Kings 16

How bad does it really have to get before God will get your attention? How far away will you walk before you realize you are no longer under His covering? How bad do you want your own way that it ends up impacting a family, a community, a region, a country, the world? What’s it going to take for people to see what is really going on and grab a hold of the truth and then turn back to God? What’s it going to take?

Do you realize you don’t have to have a lot to make a difference? Do you realize all it takes is faith, obedience, and to give the little you do have up to God? Do you realize that the miracle is in proportion to the size of your faith? Do you realize the miracles that can happen when you believe and act out of obedience to God? Not the size of what you have but the size of your faith! (not the little flower and oil — the number of jars)

Elijah Proclaims Famine

1Now Elijah the Tishbite, one of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab: “As Adonai God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be no dew or rain these years, except at my word.” 2Then the word of Adonai came to him saying: 3“Leave this place, turn eastward, and hide yourself by the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan. 4It will come about that you will drink from the wadi. I have also commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5So he went and did according to the word of Adonai—he went and lived by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6The ravens kept bringing him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the wadi. 7Then it came to pass after a while that the wadi dried up, because there was no rain in the land. 8Then the word of Adonai came to him saying: 9“Arise, go to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have just commanded a widow there to provide for you.”

Miracle of Flour and Oil

10So he arose and went to Zarephath. Now when he came to the town gate, to his surprise, a widow was there gathering sticks. So he called her and said, “Please bring a little water in a jar that I may drink.” 11As she was going to fetch it, he called her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12So she said, “As Adonai your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in the jar, and a little oil in the jug. Now look, I am gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go in and prepare it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13Elijah said to her, “Fear not! Go and do as you said, but first make me a little cake from what you have there. Bring it out to me and afterwards, make some for you and for your son. 14For thus says Adonai God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be exhausted nor shall the jug of oil be empty until the day Adonai sends rain on the land.’” 15So she went and did according to the word of Elijah—and she and he, and her household ate for many days. 16The jar of flour was not exhausted, nor did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of Adonai which He spoke through Elijah.

Resurrection of a Boy

17After these things, it came to pass that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house fell sick, and his sickness was getting much worse until he had no breath left in him. 18So she said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, man of God? Have you come to me to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” 19He said to her, “Give me your son.” Then he took him from her arms, carried him up to the upper room where he was staying and laid him on his own bed. 20He cried out to Adonai and said, “Adonai my God, have You brought such evil even on the widow with whom I am staying, by causing her son to die?” 21Then he stretched himself upon the child three times. He cried out to Adonai and said, “Adonai my God, please let this child’s soul come back into his body!” 22Adonai listened to the cry of Elijah, so the soul of the child came back into his body and he was revived. 23Then Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. Elijah said, “See! Your son is alive.” 24Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word in your mouth is truth.”

–from 1 Kings 17

So will you turn back to God? Will you invite Him into your life? Will you walk with him out of reverence and obedience? Will you lift Him up and give Him praise? Let’s answer the call and do what He asks of us!

Who Can Stand in Your Presence?

1For the music director, on stringed instruments: a psalm of Asaph, a song. 2In Judah God is known. In Israel His Name is great. 3In Salem is His sukkah and His dwelling place in Zion. 4There He broke the fiery shafts of the bow, the shield, the sword, and the battle. Selah 5You are brilliant, more majestic than nourishing mountains. 6The valiant have been plundered— they slumbered in their sleep. The mighty could not lift their hands. 7At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and rider lay dead asleep. 8You are awesome, yes You are! Who can stand in Your presence once You are angry? 9From heaven You pronounced judgment. The earth feared and was still— 10when God rose up to judgment, to save all the humble of the land. Selah 11For wrath upon man will bring You praise, a remnant of wrath You put on as a belt. 12Make vows to Adonai your God and fulfill them. Let all around Him bring tribute to the One who is to be feared. 13He cuts off the breath of princes. The kings of earth are in awe of Him.

–from Psalms 76

Do you want to be left behind? Do you want to have to deal with the pain and the suffering? Will you choose before He comes back? Will you wait till then and decide before the final judgment? What is holding you back? What would it take for God to get your attention? It’s time! He’s coming back soon! He needs those who believe to step up and lead! He needs those who believe to be salt and light! Let’s answer the call and step up and lead as God is calling us to do and to be who God is calling us to be.

144,000 Marked with a Seal

1After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or against any tree. 2Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He cried out with a loud voice to the four angels who were permitted to harm the earth and the sea, 3saying, “Do no harm to the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4Now I heard the number of those marked with the seal: 144,000 from every tribe of Bnei-Yisrael— 5 12,000 from the tribe of Judah; 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben; 12,000 from the tribe of Gad; 6 12,000 from the tribe of Asher; 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali; 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh; 7 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon; 12,000 from the tribe of Levi; 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar; 8 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun; 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph; 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin.

Countless Worshipers Before the Throne

9After these things I looked, and behold, a vast multitude that no one could count—from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues—was standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands 10and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11And all the angels were standing around the throne, along with the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might belong to our God forever and ever. Amen!” 13Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these dressed in white robes, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” 14Then he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15For this reason, they are before the throne of God, and they serve Him day and night in His Temple. The One seated on the throne will shelter them. 16They shall never again go hungry, nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat. 17For the Lamb in the midst of the throne shall shepherd them and guide them to springs of living water, and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

–from The Revelation 7

It’s not about how much you have, but what you do with the little you do have! Take a look around you! Do you see what is going on all around the world? Every time I go through the book of Revelation, I sense we are getting closer and closer! Consider what God’s Word says! Take a look around at what is going on around the world! And then consider how you will choose and respond!

Teaching in the Temple

1Then Yeshua looked up and saw the rich dropping their gifts into the treasury box. 2He also saw a poor widow dropping in two small copper coins. 3And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all the rest. 4For all these put in their gifts from their surplus. But she, out of her poverty, put in all she had to live on.” 5And while some were talking about the Temple, how it was decorated with beautiful stones and offerings, Yeshua said, 6“As for these things you are looking at, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!” 7And they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, so when will these things happen? What will be the sign that these things are about to take place?” 8And He said, “Watch out that you are not led astray! For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He’ and ‘The time is near!’ Do not follow them. 9And when you hear of wars and chaos, do not be terrorized. For these things need to happen first, but the end will not come at once.” 10Then He continued telling them, “Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes along with famines and epidemics in various places, and there will be terrors along with great signs from heaven. 12But before all these things, they will grab you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues and prisons, and leading you away to kings and governors on account of My name. 13This will lead you to be a witness. 14So make up your minds not to prepare ahead of time to defend yourselves— 15for I Myself will give you speech and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16But you will be handed over even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—and they will put some of you to death. 17And you will be hated by all because of My name. 18Yet not a hair of your head will be lost. 19By your endurance, you will gain your souls. 20“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must get out, and those in the countryside must not enter her. 22For these are the days of punishment, to fulfill all that has been written. 23“Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath on this people. 24They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 25“There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars. And upon the earth nations will be confused by the roaring of the sea and its waves. 26People will lose heart from fear and anticipation of what is overtaking the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to happen, stand straight and lift up your heads, because your salvation is near!” 29Then Yeshua told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30As soon as they sprout their leaves, you see it and you know at once that summer is near. 31So also, when you see these all these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 34“But watch out so your hearts are not weighed down by carousing, strong drink, and the worries of life. Do not let that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35For it will come rushing upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36But stay alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things about to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.” 37So during the days Yeshua was teaching in the Temple, but in the nights He went out and stayed on the Mount of Olives. 38And all the people would come early in the morning to hear Him in the Temple.

–from Luke 21

Is the world hearing the story through how you are living your life?

 

 

 

 

How important is your brand?


Do you realize how important your name is? Do you realize how important your character is? Do you realize how important having a good name = good reputation + good character?

When people see you what is their first response or reaction? Is it positive or negative? Is it to run to or run away from you? Is it to smile or to frown? Do they give you a warm welcome?

Are you a peacemaker? Are you an encourager? Are you a blessing? Are you sharing hope and love? Are you helper? Are you someone who steps up? Are you someone who helps get it done?

Today’s reading continues in Proverbs on this very topic…

1A good name is to be chosen rather than great wealth, and grace rather than silver or gold. 2Rich and poor have this in common— Adonai is the Maker of them all. 3A crafty person sees danger and hides, but the naïve keep going and suffer for it. 4The reward of humility and fear of Adonai is riches, honor and life. 5Thorns and snares are in the path of the perverse, but one who guards his soul stays far from them. 6Train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not turn from it. 7The rich rule over the poor, the borrower is a slave to the lender. 8One who sows injustice will reap trouble, and the rod of his fury will perish. 9One with a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. 10Throw out a scoffer and strife will go out, quarreling and disgrace will cease. 11One who loves purity of heart and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend. 12The eyes of Adonai guard knowledge, but He undermines the words of the faithless. 13The slacker says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the streets.” 14The mouth of a seducing woman is a deep pit—into it will fall one with whom Adonai is angry. 15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but a rod of discipline will drive it far from him. 16The one who oppresses the poor to increase his own gain, and the one who gives to the rich— both end in poverty. 17Incline your ear and listen to the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge. 18For it is delightful if you keep them within you, ready on your lips. 19So that your trust may be in Adonai, I made them known to you this day, even you. 20Have I not written to you thirty sayings of admonition and knowledge, 21to show you true and reliable words, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you? 22Do not rob a poor person because he is poor, nor crush the needy at the gate, 23for Adonai will plead their case, and rob life from those who plunder them. 24Do not be friends with one given to anger or associate with a hot-tempered person, 25lest you learn his ways, and entangle your soul in a snare. 26Do not be one who shakes hands or puts up security for debts. 27If you do not have enough to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you? 28Do not move an ancient boundary stone which your fathers set up. 29Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings. He will not stand before obscure people.

–from Proverbs 22

What do you hunger for? How much is that driving your actions and your decisions? How is that impacting your way of living? How is that impacting your brand image? How is it impacting your life? How is it impacting your family and friends? How is it impacting your workplace and neighborhood and community?

Don’t be greedy! Don’t be selfish! Don’t live in a way that isolates yourself and pushes others away! Share the love of God with the world around you! Consider the benefits of what you are doing or considering doing and what good it will cause or create!

Advice About Appetites

1When you sit down to dine with a ruler, consider carefully what is set before you, 2and put a knife to your throat if you possess a large appetite. 3Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive. 4Do not wear yourself out to get rich. Be wise enough to restrain yourself. 5When you cast your eyes 0n riches, it is gone; for it surely sprouts wings and flies off into the sky like an eagle. 6Do not eat the food of a stingy person, or desire his delicacies. 7For as he thinks within himself, so is he. “Eat and drink”, he says to you, but his heart is not with you. 8You will vomit up the morsel you ate, and will waste your pleasant words. 9Do not speak in the ears of a fool, for he will disdain the wisdom of your words. 10Do not move an ancient boundary stone, or encroach on fields of the fatherless, 11for their redeemer is strong. He will plead their case against you. 12Apply your heart to discipline and your ears to words of knowledge. 13Do not withhold correction from a child. If you strike him with a rod, he will not die. 14Punish him with a rod, and deliver his soul from Sheol.

Wisdom’s Path to the Future

15My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart also will be glad. 16Yes, my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. 17Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be in the fear of Adonai. 18For surely there is a future, and your hope will never be cut off. 19Listen, my son, and be wise, and guide your heart in the right way. 20Do not join those drinking too much wine or gorging on meat, 21for both drunkards and gluttons will be impoverished— grogginess will clothe them with rags. 22Listen to your father who begot you and do not despise your mother when she is old. 23Acquire truth and do not sell it, acquire wisdom, instruction and understanding. 24The father of a righteous one rejoices greatly. Whoever fathers a wise child delights in him. 25Let your father and your mother be glad, let she who bore you rejoice! 26My son, give your heart to me, and let your eyes observe my ways. 27For a prostitute is a deep pit, an adulterous woman is a narrow pit. 28Indeed, she lies in wait like a robber, and increases the unfaithful among men.

Lingering Long Over Wine

29Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has fights? Who has complaining? Who has bruises for no reason? Who has red eyes? 30Those who linger long over wine, who go looking for mixed wine. 31Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it glides down smoothly. 32In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper. 33Your eyes will see strange things. Your heart will utter perverse things. 34Then you will be like one lying down in the heart of the sea, or sprawled on the top of a mast. 35“They hit me! But I was not hurt. They beat me up! But I did not feel it. When will I wake up? I will look for another drink.”

–from Proverbs 23

Those with integrity walk safely! Where is integrity in your life? What are you doing to make sure that you have integrity? How are you living so that your brand and character are good?

Pledge of Integrity

1A psalm of David. I will sing of lovingkindness and justice. To You, Adonai, I will sing praises. 2I will behave wisely in the way of integrity —when will You come to me? I walk in my house with integrity in my heart. 3No base thing will I set before my eyes. Twisted behavior I hate— it will not cling to me. 4A perverse heart will depart from me. I will know nothing evil. 5Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret —him I will silence. Who has haughty eyes and a proud heart —him I will not tolerate. 6My eyes are on the trustworthy of the land, to be in my company. One walking in a blameless way will serve me. 7No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house. No one who utters lies will endure before my eyes. 8Each morning I silence all the land’s wicked ones— to cut off from Adonai’s city every evildoer.

–from Psalms 101

So will you lead by example? Will you lead with an attitude of humility? Will be a servant leader? Will you lead and look out for the wellbeing of those who are following? Will others see Jesus when they watch and follow after you? Will you make a difference to the world around by setting an example? How will your brand make an impact, make a difference, make a change to the world around you?

Shepherds Lead by Example

1Therefore I appeal to the elders among you—as a fellow elder and witness of Messiah’s sufferings, and a partaker also of the glory about to be revealed— 2shepherd God’s flock among you. Watch over it not under compulsion but willingly before God, not for dishonest gain but eagerly. 3Don’t lord it over those apportioned to you, but become examples to the flock. 4When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5Likewise, you younger ones, submit yourselves to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may lift you up at the appropriate time. 7Cast all your worries on Him, for He cares for you. 8Stay alert! Watch out! Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, searching for someone to devour. 9Stand up against him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being laid upon your brothers and sisters throughout the world. 10After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace—who has called you into His eternal glory in Messiah—will Himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11All power to Him forever! Amen.

Final Greetings

12Through Silvanus, whom I consider our faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! 13Messiah’s community in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings. So does my son Mark. 14Greet one another with a kiss of love. Shalom to you all who are in Messiah. Amen.

–from 1 Peter 5

You have been put in such a place at such a time for a purpose and on purpose! Don’t let fear keep you from doing what is good, what is right, what is just! Let’s live as God is calling us to live! Let’s live as God created and made us to live in order to bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory! Let’s allow our brand to glorify Him in heaven!

A Dinner Conversation on Shabbat

1Now when Yeshua went into the home of one of the leaders of the Pharisees to eat a meal on Shabbat, they were watching Him closely. 2And there before Him was a man swollen with fluid. 3So Yeshua said to the Torah lawyers and the Pharisees, “Is it permitted to heal on Shabbat, or not?” 4But they kept silent. So Yeshua took hold of him and healed him, and He sent him away. 5Then He said to them, “Which of you, with a son or an ox falling into a well on Yom Shabbat, will not immediately pull him out?” 6And they could not reply to these things. 7Yeshua began telling a parable to those who had been invited, when He noticed how they were choosing the seats of honor. He said to them, 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding, don’t take the seat of honor, for someone more highly esteemed than you may have been invited by him. 9Then the one who invited both of you will come to you and say, ‘Give up this seat.’ And with shame, you would proceed to take the lowest seat. 10But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest seat so that when the one who invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you shall be honored in the presence of all those who are dining with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” 12Then Yeshua was also saying to the one who invited Him, “When you host a luncheon or dinner, don’t invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors. Otherwise they might invite you in return as your payback. 13But when you host a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind; 14and you will be blessed, since they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” 15Now hearing this, one of those dining with Yeshua said to Him, “Blessed is he who eats bread in the kingdom of God.” 16But Yeshua said to him, “A certain man was hosting a large banquet, and he invited many. 17At the time for the banquet, he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, everything is already prepared.’ 18“But every one of them began to beg off. The first said to him, ‘I bought a farm, and I’m obligated to go out to see it. I’m asking you to have me excused.’ 19Then another one said, ‘I’ve purchased five teams of oxen, and I’m going to check them out. I’m asking you to have me excused.’ 20Still another said, ‘I’ve married a wife, so I cannot come.’ 21“The slave came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house got angry and said to his slave, ‘Quickly go out into the squares and alleys of the city and bring here the poor, the maimed, the blind, and the lame.’ 22“And the slave said, ‘Master, I have done as you instructed, and still there is room.’ 23“So the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the thoroughfares and fenced areas, and press them to come in so my home may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my banquet.’”

Telling Parables Along the Road

25Now great crowds were traveling with Yeshua; and He turned and said to them, 26“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters—and yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. 27Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple. 28“For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and figure out the cost, to see if he has enough to finish it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and isn’t able to finish everything, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and wasn’t able to finish!’ 31“Or what king, going to make war against another king, won’t first sit down to consider whether he is able with ten thousand to confront the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If not, while the other is still far away, he sends an ambassador and asks for peace. 33So in the same way, whoever does not renounce all that he has, cannot be My disciple. 34“Therefore, salt is good; but if the salt should lose its flavor, how shall it be made salty again? 35It is not suitable for the soil or for a manure heap—it is thrown out. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

–from Luke 14