THRIVE: Allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your day!


Busy calendar? Is it because you have to be or because you let it be? Is it with the right people at the right time on the right topics? Invite God into your scheduling and allow Him to add/remove things from it based on His plans and purpose for your day! Invite the Holy Spirit to grant you wisdom and discernment about what meetings need to happen and which don’t. Invite the Holy Spirit into each meeting to give you the thoughts, the words, and the actions necessary to accomplish God’s will and for Him to receive the glory! Allow new things to be added when the Holy Spirit prompts. Allow existing things to be moved around when the Holy Spirit prompts. Focus on the good works God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish today!

Will you allow the Holy Spirit to clean up your heart, knowing that from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to fill up your heart with love, knowing that from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to heal and restore your heart, knowing that from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks? Will you guard your heart knowing that everything you do flows from it?

From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks

So who is in control of your day? Are you rejecting God’s wisdom and discernment or accepting it? Are you rejecting God’s purposes and plans for your day or accepting them? Are you rejecting God’s prompting or accepting it? Are you trying to go it alone or are you willing to go it with God and with others? Let’s choose to go through today with God and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through it so that we can accomplish God’s will for His glory!

THRIVE
LIVING FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!

Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ‘

Proverbs 4:23

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 20


Are you ready to talk with God in a direct way? Are you ready to avoid the fluffy stuff and start with straight-talking? Are you ready to speak with and listen to the Holy Spirit to help you get through today? Invite Jesus into your heart! Invite Jesus into your life! Allow Him to create a new heart in you and for you to be born again, becoming a new creation where the old stuff that was holding you back is gone and the new stuff that will help you finish the race called life strong!

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."

Are you a leader, a learner, or both?


Ever considered that if you are still alive then you still have something to learn? Ever considered the importance of being a continuous learner? Ever considered the importance of leaders not only being able but also being willing to learn? Nobody likes a know-it-all right? Or at least someone who is so proud and arogant to act like they know it all right? Leaders should be humble. Leaders should be servants. Leaders should be lifelong learners.

So what is the definition of a leader?

leader
[ˈlēdər]
NOUN
leader (noun) · leaders (plural noun) · Leader of the House (noun) · Leaders of the House (plural noun) · Leader of the House of Commons (noun) · Leaders of the House of Commons (plural noun) · Leader of the House of Lords (noun) · Leaders of the House of Lords (plural noun)
the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.
"the leader of a protest group"
synonyms:
chief · head · principal · boss · commander · captain · figurehead · controller · superior · kingpin · headman · mover and shaker · chairman · chairwoman · chairperson · chair · convener · moderator · director · managing director · MD · manager · superintendent · supervisor · overseer · administrator · employer · master · mistress · foreman · president · premier · governor · ruler · monarch · king · queen · sovereign · emperor · tsar · prince · princess · lord · lord and master · elder · patriarch · guru · mentor · authority
antonyms:
follower · supporter
(in the UK) a member of the government officially responsible for initiating business in the House of Commons or House of Lords.
an organization or company that is the most advanced or successful in a particular area.
"a leader in the use of video conferencing"
synonyms:
pioneer · front runner · innovator · trailblazer · pathfinder · groundbreaker · trendsetter · leading light · guiding light · torchbearer · flagbearer · pacemaker · originator · initiator · developer · discoverer · founder · architect · neoteric
the principal player in a music group.
BRITISH
the principal first violinist in an orchestra.
NORTH AMERICAN
a conductor of a band or small musical group.
BRITISH
a leading article or editorial in a newspaper.
a short strip of nonfunctioning material at each end of a reel of film or recording tape for connection to the spool.
a length of filament attached to the end of a fishing line to carry the hook or fly.
a shoot of a plant at the apex of a stem or main branch.
printing
(leaders)
a series of dots or dashes across the page to guide the eye, especially in tabulated material.
Bing definition of leader from Powered by Oxford Languages · Bing Translator

So what is the definition of a learner?

learner
[ˈlərnər]
NOUN
learner (noun) · learners (plural noun)
a person who is learning a subject or skill.
"a fast learner"
synonyms:
beginner · trainee · apprentice · pupil · student · mentee · novice · newcomer · starter · probationer · tyro · fledgling · fresher · freshman · freshwoman · neophyte · initiate · new recruit · raw recruit · new boy/girl · tenderfoot · novitiate
antonyms:
veteran · expert
Bing definition of leader Powered by Oxford Languages · Bing Translator

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 24th


Leaders Are Learners


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.’

Colossians 2:6-7

Let’s grab the context of this message to the Colossae church by expanding the text and using the Amplified version.

‘For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those [believers] at Laodicea, and for all who [like yourselves] have never seen me face to face. [For my hope is] that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in [unselfish] love, so that they may have all the riches that come from the full assurance of understanding [the joy of salvation], resulting in a true [and more intimate] knowledge of the mystery of God, that is, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge [regarding the word and purposes of God]. I say this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive [but thoroughly deceptive] arguments. For even though I am absent [from you] in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, delighted to see your good discipline [as you stand shoulder to shoulder and form a solid front] and to see the stability of your faith in Christ [your steadfast reliance on Him and your unwavering confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness].

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin], having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity (the Godhead) dwells in bodily form [completely expressing the divine essence of God]. And in Him you have been made complete [achieving spiritual stature through Christ], and He is the head over all rule and authority [of every angelic and earthly power]. In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but by the [spiritual] circumcision of Christ in the stripping off of the body of the flesh [the sinful carnal nature], having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God, [as displayed] when He raised Christ from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (worldliness, manner of life), God made you alive together with Christ, having [freely] forgiven us all our sins, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of legal demands [which were in force] against us and which were hostile to us. And this certificate He has set aside and completely removed by nailing it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through the cross.

Therefore let no one judge you in regard to food and drink or in regard to [the observance of] a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. Such things are only a shadow of what is to come and they have only symbolic value; but the substance [the reality of what is foreshadowed] belongs to Christ. Let no one defraud you of your prize [your freedom in Christ and your salvation] by insisting on mock humility and the worship of angels, going into detail about visions [he claims] he has seen [to justify his authority], puffed up [in conceit] by his unspiritual mind, and not holding fast to the head [of the body, Jesus Christ], from whom the entire body, supplied and knit together by its joints and ligaments, grows with the growth [that can come only] from God.

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were still living in the world, do you submit to rules and regulations, such as, “Do not handle [this], do not taste [that], do not [even] touch!”? (these things all perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men. These practices indeed have the appearance [that popularly passes as that] of wisdom in self-made religion and mock humility and severe treatment of the body (asceticism), but are of no value against sinful indulgence [because they do not honor God].’

Colossians 2:1-23

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What do you think is a great trait of a leader?
  • Ever been drawn to a powerful leader because of their excitement for learning a new skill or gaining new insights?
  • Ever felt repulsed or discouraged by a leader because they think they know-it-all and so no new ideas are welcomed?
  • Let’s choose to be leaders who build excitement and enthusiasm and creativity by being lifelong learners so that others want to connect, to meet, to create, and to build relationships.
  • Let’s choose to be leaders people want to connect with and follow because we are people who listen, learn, and get excited about it.
  • Let’s choose to learn in all areas of our lives.
  • Let’s make time to learn spiritually through God’s Word, Bible studies, devotionals, and the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit!
  • Let’s be ready and willing to learn to and grow!
  • Let’s keep learning so that we can keep moving forward, keeping that moment and energy for God and His Word.
  • Let’s decide to make time with God and His Word so that we don’t start to fade or atrophy in our spiritual lives!
  • Let’s grab hold of Paul’s analogies as to what we need to keep learning:
    • walking – walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin]
    • being rooted – having been deeply rooted [in Him]
    • being built up – being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.
  • Let’s remember this is a walk of faith!
  • A walk is slow and consistent.
  • A walk of faith needs to be in pursuit of God and His will.
  • A walk that characterizes our lives in relationship with God.
  • Roots from a plant that wants to survive run deep in order to have water, nutrients and strength.
  • So we need to allow our roots to run deep into God’s truth and grace to find our spiritual nutrition and our strength by having gone deep enough.
  • A sturdy building requires the right structure and design. Let’s choose to honor God buy building up our lives with Him at the center in order to have powerful spiritual experience through following Him, His will, His way with character so that in all that we think, say, and do we bring honor, glory, and praise to Him in Jesus’s name.
  • Do you think there is such thing as enough or do we need to keep going and never stop learning?
  • Do you think there is ever a time when we can coast or do we need to keep going and never stop learning?
  • Let’s learn from Paul’s example who pursued God’s will and purpose till the end.
  • Let’s learn from Paul’s example and never put our lives on cruise control but rather pursue God’s will in and through it all.
  • Let’s keep learning till the day we die.
  • Let’s reflect on God’s Word and how Paul, shortly before he was to be executed was requesting of Timothy that he bring him books to read.
    • ‘When you come bring the coat that I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments. ‘
      2 Timothy 4:13

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What happens to us when we stop learning?
  • What are you doing right now to keep walking, going deeper, and growing stronger?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Life is a classroom — only those who are willing to be lifelong learners will move to the head of the class.”

― Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What are you learning? What have you learned? Are you setting aside time to learn from God and His Word? Will you allow time for wisdom and discernment in the midst of your day? Will you allow the Holy Spirit who is our teacher in all things and reminds us of what Jesus has said lead and guide you today? Are you ready to start a relationship with Jesus? Are you ready to invite Him into your heart to help you navigate this thing called life so that you won’t ever have to go through anything alone again? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Ever feel like somebody’s watching you?


Does knowing you are being watched make a difference to how you live your life? Would knowing that there is always somebody watching make a difference to how you live your life? How would realizing that there are people watching and looking up to you as an example or role model change how you choose to live your life? Would it matter who was watching you? Would it matter when they were watching you? Would it matter where they were watching you? Would it matter why they were watching you? Would it matter how they were watching you?

I remember a coworker who could be a bit abrupt, loud, and even curse in meetings. I remember how things changed on take your kid to work day. I remember the team jokingly asking if they could bring their kid to work every day. How about you? Even when you don’t think anyone is looking, if you knew they were would that change your behavior? Even when you didn’t know who was watching but you knew they were, would that change your behavior?

What would it take for you to choose / decide to live your life in a way that anyone watching would see you as a good example? How would it be different from how you live your life today? Are you ready to give it a try? Are you ready to live your life today as a good example to and for anyone and everyone who is watching? Do you realize that charisma isn’t enough but that you require character? Will you lead with character? As I considered this I found this interesting post: Character vs. Charisma in Leadership.


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


Lead By Example


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. ‘

I Timothy 4:12

Let’s take a broader look into the context of this message from Paul to Timothy. We need to remember how old or young we are, we are being watched and as such need to live our lives in a way that will provide a good example to those watching you.

‘But the [Holy] Spirit explicitly and unmistakably declares that in later times some will turn away from the faith, paying attention instead to deceitful and seductive spirits and doctrines of demons, [misled] by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared as with a branding iron [leaving them incapable of ethical functioning], who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from [certain kinds of] foods which God has created to be gratefully shared by those who believe and have [a clear] knowledge of the truth. For everything God has created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified [set apart, dedicated to God] by means of the word of God and prayer. If you point out these instructions to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished [through study] on the words of the faith and of the good [Christian] doctrine which you have closely followed. But have nothing to do with irreverent folklore and silly myths. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness [keeping yourself spiritually fit]. For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come. This is a faithful and trustworthy saying worthy of full acceptance and approval. It is for this that we labor and strive [often called to account], because we have fixed our [confident] hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe [in Him, recognize Him as the Son of God, and accept Him as Savior and Lord]. Keep commanding and teaching these things. Let no one look down on [you because of] your youth, but be an example and set a pattern for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in [moral] purity. Until I come, devote yourself to public reading [of Scripture], to preaching and to teaching [the sound doctrine of God’s word]. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, [that special endowment] which was intentionally bestowed on you [by the Holy Spirit] through prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands on you [at your ordination]. Practice and work hard on these things; be absorbed in them [completely occupied in your ministry], so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself [concentrate on your personal development] and to your teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.’

1 Timothy 4:1-16

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are your skills and talents?
  • Beyond what you are do, how do you do it?
  • Let’s be focused on our character more than our abilities!
  • Let’s allow God to check our character in order to help it be good!
  • Let’s go beyond just being good examples of the things we can do!
  • Let’s be good examples by the character of hearts and lives!
  • Let them learn the skills and talents but make sure to live a life that helps them also learn about how to treat others (re: your character).
  • Let them learn more than just a handy skill or talent, add to it how to treat your family, how to treat coworkers, how to respond to others, even those who can be annoying or in the midst of difficult situations.
  • Let’s allow our character be on display in how we not only speak to but talk about others too.
  • Let’s be more focused on the well-being of others than trying to climb the corporate ladder!
  • Let’s take time to care for those struggling, hurting rather than stepping over others to get up the ladder!
  • Let’s make time to look past petty offenses and work to be ambassadors of peace by leading the way to reconciliation!
    • ‘But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him], that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God]. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us; we [as Christ’s representatives] plead with you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. ‘ — 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
  • Let’s choose to do the right thing, even when others may all go and do something that is wrong. Don’t just go with the flow and ruin your character!
  • So today you will be faced with choices to make and decisions to make, we all have freewill to use with each of them, so let’s choose love over selfishness, faith over doubt, hope over complaining, purity over sinful passions!
  • Let’s stop and make sure we aren’t in auto-pilot, doing things out of habit that are actually bad for us and for those who are watching.
  • Let’s stop and make sure that the habits we respond with are good before we just do them!
  • Let’s stop and make sure that the attitudes are positive and the behaviors are good before we allow auto-pilot to kick in!
  • If we discover or when we discover a bad habit, let’s stop and break it by responding in a better way!
  • When we discover a bad habit, let’s stop, pray to God for wisdom, and then respond in a new way!
  • Let’s stop the bad habits and start new ones!
  • Let’s choose to be Jesus with skin on to the world around us!
  • Let’s choose to live out our today in a way that points people to Jesus!
  • Let’s choose to be Jesus’s examples to those around us so that He can touch all of the people He brings into our lives today!
  • Don’t miss such an exciting and empowering life being offered to you by God!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Who is the best “leader by example” you know? Describe that person’s impact on others.
  • What new choices do you need to make, and what new habits do you need to develop?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Charisma may place you at the front of the line. Only character will keep you there.”

— Ike Reighard

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Proverbs 16 (Entrust your life, direction, and thoughts to God)
  • Proverbs 17 (Look to live at peace, in peace, and with peace)
  • Proverbs 18 (Don’t go it alone! Don’t be selfish! Don’t cause derision nor contempt!)

So where are you at today? Are you leading by example? Are you looking for an example to follow? Why not allow WWJD – What Would Jesus Do – help you to live your life right? Why not invite Jesus into every situation in order to help you to live out your today in a way that will be a good example? Why not invite Jesus into your today to help you know what can stay and what needs to be put away? 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 importance of leaders? Do you realize the importance of praying for those in leadership positions?


It is important to have good leaders because they guide others on their way. It is important to have good leaders because they will help mentor, be role models, motivate and support others, and help with communication. It is important to have good leaders because they help build a good environment which translates into success, morale, and connectivity/retention. It is important to have good leaders who are resilient, creative, humble, compassionate and visionary. It is important to have a good leader who can have a vision and communicate it. It is important to have a good leader who can inspire others. It is important to have a good leader who has a passion for the cause, the purpose, and the people. It is important to have a good leader who is able to inspire; who can motivate and rejuvenate people, build and maintain morale. It is important to have a good leader who is positive, in the midst of the highs and the lows. It is important to have a good leader who listens to people and is able to communicate well and clearly. Having a good leader is kind of like love. ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ‘ These are all great characteristics of a good leader!

So you get a picture of why a leader is important!

God is looking for leaders who will step up and stand firm on His purpose and calling for their lives. ‘“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. ‘ — Ezekiel 22:30

The consequences when that leader won’t show up and won’t follow God’s directions and prompting can be catastrophic. ‘So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord .”’ — Ezekiel 22:31

So let’s take hold of our role and the state of our heart and mind and how God’s Word directs us:

  • ‘ If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.’
    2 Chronicles 7:14
  • ‘ And seek (inquire for, require, and request) the peace and welfare of the city to which I have caused you to be carried away captive; and pray to the Lord for it, for in the welfare of [the city in which you live] you will have welfare.’
    Jeremiah 29:7
  • ‘ FIRST OF all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.’
    1 Timothy 2:1-2
  • ‘ Show respect for all men [treat them honorably]. Love the brotherhood (the Christian fraternity of which Christ is the Head). Reverence God. Honor the emperor.’
    1 Peter 2:17

And now that we are aligned with God and have set our hearts and mind on His plan, purpose, will, and wisdom, let’s grab hold of the importance of us praying for those in leadership!

  • ‘ He makes nations great, and He destroys them; He enlarges nations [and then straitens and shrinks them again], and leads them [away captive]. He takes away understanding from the leaders of the people of the land and of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no path. They grope in the dark without light, and He makes them to stagger and wander like a drunken man.’
    Job 12:23-25
  • ‘ Now therefore, O you kings, act wisely; be instructed and warned, O you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with reverent awe and worshipful fear; rejoice and be in high spirits with trembling [lest you displease Him].’
    Psalm 2:10-11
  • ‘ MY SON, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you, Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it]; Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures, Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient] God. [Prov. 1:7.] For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He hides away sound and godly Wisdom and stores it for the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him); He is a shield to those who walk uprightly and in integrity, That He may guard the paths of justice; yes, He preserves the way of His saints. [I Sam. 2:9; Ps. 66:8, 9.]’
    Proverbs 2:1-8
  • ‘ For skillful and godly Wisdom shall enter into your heart, and knowledge shall be pleasant to you. Discretion shall watch over you, understanding shall keep you,’
    Proverbs 2:10-11
  • ‘ Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.’
    Proverbs 11:14
  • ‘ THE KING’S heart is in the hand of the Lord, as are the watercourses; He turns it whichever way He wills.’
    Proverbs 21:1

So let’s not grow weary in doing good! Let’s not grow weary in praying for our leadership. Let’s even consider how we can join together and pray for those in authority. Ever seen or heard of the difference groups available to pray for those in leadership? Here is one example you can check out (https://www.presidentialprayerteam.org/) and that throughout the various leaders in my lifetime I have stayed subscribed to their emails because it is important to pray for those who are in leadership and authority over us! When I did a search for prayer groups for praying for leadership I was also able to find these references too:

So before reading this post did you already realize the importance of leadership? Before reading this post did you already realize the importance of praying for those in authority over you and those in leadership in general? Are you ready to get started or dig deeper now? Are you ready to pray for leaders before you walk into that meeting room? Are you ready to pray for leaders before you get to work? Are you ready to pray for leaders before you get to church? Are you ready to pray for leadership before you get out of bed in the morning? Are you ready to pray for leadership before you start your day? Will you choose to go beyond knowing to praying?


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


Praying for Leaders


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ‘

I Timothy 2:1-4

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you someone who complains about leadership or are you praying to God for them?
  • When it comes to the different leaders in your life does their specific focus area make a difference on your answer to the first question?
  • Do you complain about or pray for national politicians?
  • Do you complain about or pray for corporate managers?
  • Do you complain about or pray for bureaucrats at every level of government?
  • Do you complain about or pray for church leaders?
  • Are you praying for them because you know that good governance brings about peace and stability?
  • Are you praying for them because you know that with the peace and stability the gospel will be able to continue to spread?
  • Are you focusing your energy on things that matter or not?
  • Are you focusing your energy on bickering about politics, wars, bickering, and conflicts?
  • Are you focusing your energy on things that matter like sharing Christ and His Kingdom?
  • We may not agree with the politicians but we can decide to see things as they are with the kingship of Jesus where in that kingdom is grace and forgiveness!
  • Let’s make the choice to focus on God’s will and God’s way, they may not fully be seen yet but it is better this than focusing on the temporary and things that don’t and won’t last or matter.
  • As we learn from God’s Word, political power and any authority can be useful and helpful to the building of the kingdom of God if and when it comes along with providing peace and stability!
  • When we find we have peace and stability we are then able to focus on what matters most.
  • So today when your politicians come to mind, pray for them.
  • So today when your corporate leaders come to mind, pray for them.
  • So today when your church or religious leaders come to mind, pray for them.
  • When you pray for them, pray that under their leadership and authority there will be peace that will allow for you to focus on what really matters!
  • When you pray for them, pray that under their leadership and authority God’s Good News will be able to spread!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you usually think and talk about your political, corporate, and religious leaders?
  • Take some time now to pray for them and for the cause of Christ to spread.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

Today’s devotional had an author but in my desire to link to the quote and author I found many conflicting opinions on the origin and so no name is being given.

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you a leader or a follower? In reality we are all followers it is a matter of have we been given a position of leadership in some aspect of life. So are you praying for those in authority over you? Are you seeking wisdom on what to do and how to proceed? Are you needing direction and help? Are you needing hope and joy? 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 do you know if you are doing it right?


Are you using visuals? Are you using a manual? Are you interpreting it right? Is there anything that might be distorting your view? Is there anything that might be putting things off course? Ever heard stories about how people were off track by a fraction of a fraction at the beginning but the further along they got the more off track they ended up? So how do you know if you are doing it right?

Do you have a source of truth? Do you have a guide to help you? Do you have someone to lead you? Do you have something that can direct and correct you (like the Bible)? If you don’t then how do you know if you are doing it right?

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for August 3rd


Watch Out for Warped Worship


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.’

Exodus 20:4-6

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize all the visual stimulation that takes place today?
  • Do you absorb it through tv? movies? the internet?
  • Do you absorb it at home? at work? at school? somewhere in between?
  • Do those images or visuals teach you things?
  • What do you learn from them?
  • What do they say about what you are seeing?
  • Are you using yours eyes for good?
  • Are the ways or the things you are allowing to be seen by your eyes helping or hindering you?
  • Are they enhancing your view of God or are they distorting and diminishing your view of God?
  • Do you realize that it is possible for images to “dishonor God” and “mislead men” as is shared by J.I. Packer in his book Knowing God?
  • Have you ever considered how pictures have formed or distorted your views? What comes to mind when you think of the devil? Is it a little guy in a red suit with a forked tail and pitch fork? What comes to mind when you think of God? Is it an old guy with a white beard and a robe?
  • What has formed your view of God?
  • Do you allow art like images, statues, paintings, and other things to represent God?
  • Do you realize the impact of allowing this to happen?
  • Do you realize that God is so incredible that it is impossible for man’s abilities to represent the fullness and greatness of God?
  • How do you know what is right?
  • How do you know where to draw the line?
  • How do you know what is good enough to use to help others hear or learn about Jesus?
  • How do you know what art is good enough to depict the reality of Jesus’s life events?
  • Would you say you draw the line when it replaces the wonder and awe of God from His infinite greatness?
  • Would you say you draw the line when it limits God from His infinite greatness?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some depictions of God you’ve seen in popular culture?
  • In what ways do they accurately represent God, and in what ways do they distort our views of Him?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Nature has perfections in order to show that she is the image of God; and defects, to show she is only His image.”

Blaise Pascal

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you pursuing the truth? Are you able to determine the difference between right and wrong? Are your views accurate or are they being distorted by the world? Are you ready to turn to God and receive His gift of grace through Jesus? Is today your day to reset and get back on track? Is today the day you decide to start the journey to get back on track? 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 comes to mind when you think of the North Star?


Is it direction? Is it a destination? Is it a focal point? Is it the brightness? Does it help you make decisions? Does it help you make progress towards your goals? Does it help you stay focused?

What comes to mind for you when you think of your North Star? Is it about a goal? Is it about a destination? Is it about a purpose? Is it about shining? Is it about getting somewhere? Is it about moving forward? What is your North Star?

In the workplace you may hear about a North Star vision – something that is to help lead and guide the organization forward with specific principles and direction.

In life you may hear about a North Star as something someone is chasing, following, pursuing in order to achieve a goal or purpose.

Are you thinking of a north star vision as something that is so clear that it will allow you and others to grab hold of it and create that world? It tends to be a longer term vision like 5-10 years. It’s purpose is to help give focus and keep everyone focused. It helps the organization transform while giving the directional guidance to move forward.

Does the sky come to mind when you think of the North Star on a clear night? Does the journey of many slaves trying to make it to the northern states or Canada come to mind? Does a astronomy class or planetarium experience come to mind?

What comes to mind when you think of the North Star?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for June 25th


Being a North Star


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.’

Daniel 12:3

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • People have used the North Star to determine their course for centuries
  • The North Star could help them get back on course if they had strayed or gotten blown off course
  • The North Star would keep them on track
  • Today’s verse shows us how wise people are like a North Star
  • Wise people are like signposts that help others know which way to go
  • Wise people by faith in God are able to direct others in areas such as family, work, church, and their neighborhood
  • Wise people help people know the path to follow
  • Wise people by their faith help people stay on track and how to live
  • Want to be or become one of these signposts of God to help people?
  • We can receive wisdom through studying God’s Word
  • We can receive wisdom through sensitivity to and moving with the Holy Spirit
  • We can receive wisdom through spending time around wise people
  • Are you willing to make the investment? Are you willing to spend the time and energy to make it happen?
  • Are you willing to make the emotional investment required for it to become a reality?
  • Are you ready to face all the questions that will come up and then to lean in more on God for the answers?
  • Are you willing to press in and persevere in order to become wise?
  • Are you willing to pay the price in order to become a signpost and a star to guide others towards God and through this life?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you want to be the kind of wise person who has a profound influence on others? Why or why not?
  • Are you willing to pay the price? Explain your answer.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“To see His star is good, but to see His face is better.”

— D. L. Moody

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So are you searching for your north star? Are you looking to shine like the north star? Are you wondering where to start? 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?


Are you leading by example?


If someone were watching you, what would they see? If someone were learning from you, what would they discover? If someone were following you, where would they end up? Are you being a good role model? Are you setting a good example? What would others learn from observing you?

Are you teaching them how to serve? Are you teaching them how to love? Are you teaching them how to live? Are you teaching them how to lead? Are you giving them a good example of a servant leader? Are you teaching them how to follow Jesus? Are you teaching them how to trust Jesus? Are you teaching them how to hope with Jesus? Are you teaching them how to have a relationship with Jesus? Are you leading by example?


The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for June 6th


A Fate worse than death


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

““Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How are you living your life when it comes to those God brings across your past?
  • How are you living your life when it comes to the outcasts and the oppressed?
  • Are you overflowing in the love of God that is and has been poured into you?
  • Are you able to overflow in tenderness and kindness?
  • Are you able to stand up for those who can’t standup for themselves?
  • Are you able to stand up against those who are hurting or holding them back?
  • Are you able to take a stand against the proud in order to protect the powerless?
  • Are you able to stand firm in order to support the poor?
  • Are you more focused on receiving than giving?
  • Are you more focused on receiving Jesus’ promises than living a life that is aligned with His commandments and warnings?
  • Will you be someone who overflows the love, the abundant ness, the peace, and the joy of God into the lives of others?
  • Will you be someone who protects against those who mislead, wound, or take advantage of helpless people?
  • Will you be someone who protects the children in alignment with God’s righteousness and fierce justice instead of having to receive it and deal with it for having mislead, wounded, or taken advantage of the children?
  • Don’t be found to be an abuser who would be better off drowned in the ocean!
  • Turn to Jesus! Ask Him to help you to get into alignment with Him and to forgive and help you be born again!
  • Are you in a position of power? Then you need to heed Jesus’ warning!
  • When you encounter children, poor people, displaced people, employees who serve under you, and anyone else you have authority over, you need to handle it as a sacred trust from God!
  • Remember we report to God and He is the final judge!
  • We will have to give Him an answer for our attitudes!
  • We will have to give Him an answer for our behavior!
  • So don’t ignore them!
  • Don’t use them for selfish gain!
  • Don’t make jokes at their expense!
  • Don’t take them for granted!
  • Let’s listen and walk in obedience to God’s instruction!
  • Let’s decide and choose walk out our lives in relationship with Jesus!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Who are the people in your life who are “little ones”?
  • What are some specific things you need to change to value them more highly?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

”If Christ lives in us, controlling our personalities, we will leave glorious marks on the lives we touch. Not because of our lovely character, but because of His.”

— Eugenia Price

So are you ready to lead by example? Are you ready to leave a legacy? Are you ready to make a difference in the lives God brings your way? Are you ready to make a difference? 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?

Leadership: Are you doing it for power or to serve? Do you want it for power or to serve?


It is an interesting question and depending on the person you ask you will get different answers. Some run for leadership positions out of pride with a desire for power. Some take on leadership positions out of humility with a desire to serve. Some find themselves in positions of leadership because of their servants hearts and humble living. How about you? Do you do what you do in order to serve others? Do you do what you do in order to gain power over others?

An interesting question or quote some may have heard that it is lonely at the top. If that is the case then have they climbed the mountain alone? If that is the case then were they just walking and not leading? As I was looking for the quote “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.”, I found this interesting article by John C. Maxwell titled “Are you really leading, or are you just taking a walk?

The ways of the world and the ways of God seem to run into conflicts because of these differing views. So are you leading with a vision of where you are going that will cause others to want to follow you? Are you leading with a vision to serve those who are following you or trying use your position to control them? Where is your heart at? What is your motivation? What is it that you really want? Have you been called to lead? If so then will you accept the calling and do it God’s way?


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


The Paradox of Leadership


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 20:26

‘Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Consider reading the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins
  • How do you hire a CEO?
    • Are you looking for someone who is a charismatic leader?
    • Are you looking for someone who is a genius who brings their helpers?
    • Are you looking for someone who is looking to be the center of attention?
    • Are you looking for someone who demands to be the center of attention?
    • Are you looking for someone who is looking to receive the praise?
    • Are you looking for someone who looks down at the other employees? Looks to them like helpers who deserve no recognition?
    • Are you looking for someone who is a humble visionary?
    • Are you looking for someone who can lead with passion?
    • Are you looking for someone who will share the recognition and the praise?
    • Are you looking for someone who will give credit to everyone and anyone?
  • Are they looking for someone from a world or a Jesus leadership strategy?
  • As you see in today’s verse of the day, Jesus’ leadership strategy goes against the natural and normal tendency of man and tells those who want to lead that they need to serve!
  • Jesus went beyond just telling them but rather He was a living example to those who were with Him. Remember how He took a towel and started going around the table to wash the feet of the people at the table?
  • Let’s read the full paragraph:
    • ‘And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”’
      — Matthew 20:24-28
  • If we want to lead then we need to be willing to serve and do the lowest of jobs in order to serve others. Jesus’ washing of the feet of the men at the table would have taken Jesus who was the top and had him doing the job of the lowest servant in a home.
  • So are you willing to serve your family in order to lead them well?
  • Are you willing to serve your employees in order to lead them well?
  • Will you take time to do the most humble tasks?
  • Will you make time to engage the people and care enough to ask about them and their families?
  • Will you make time to go out and be with the people where they are at and help rather than pile on?
  • Don’t be too busy to be able to serve and connect with people or you will find yourself going for a walk by yourself and when you get to the top you will find it quite lonely because you forgot to bring others with you.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What impact do “geniuses with a thousand helpers” have on those under them?
  • Feel undervalue
  • Feel disconnected
  • Feel temporary
What impact do “humble visionaries” have on people? What are two things you can do today to be a servant to those around you?
  • Feel connected
  • Feel valued
  • Will follow and all get to have the mountain top experiences together!
  • Reach out and connect with them – speaking the truth in love and chipping in to help them right where they are at.

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

No man has ever risen to the real stature of spiritual manhood until he has found that it is finer to serve somebody else than it is to serve himself.

Woodrow Wilson

“Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.”

Zig Ziglar

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 want to be a leader?


What do you think it takes to be a good leader? How do you think you need to live in order to be a good leader?

Are you above reproach? Are you faithful to your wife? Are you temperate? Are you self-controlled? Are you respectable? Are you hospitable? Are you able to teach? Are you a heavy drinker or violent? These both could disqualify you. Are you gentle? Are you peaceable? Are you free from the love of money? Are you able to manage your own home well? Are you able to keep you children under control and with respect? Are you doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord?

what kind of leader are you

Ever heard the quote “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.” by John Maxwell?

Do you realize that we need to be servant leaders following Jesus’ example?

Do you want to be a leader? Do you want to be a good leader? Do you have a vision and a mission that will help lead people in the right direction? Do you have a vision and a mission that people will want to follow?


August is in the rearview mirror
August is in the rearview mirror and clearly visible. Life goes so fast are you prepared for what is ahead? Do you have clarity of vision? Do you have clarity of purpose? Do you realize the lessons you have gone through in the past, they say hindsight is 2020 after all. Will you take those lessons and apply them as you go forward? Will you lead?

The 49 week challenge – Day 258

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 258 link to join me and sign up.

The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

How interested are you in what will happen today? How interested are you in what will be required of you today? How interested are you in what decisions you will need to make today? How interested are you in hearing from God today? How interested are you in accomplishing what God is calling you to do today? What if it were life and death decision? What if it were everlasting life and everlasting death decision? What if the decision that you make today will determine how you will spend the rest of eternity? Would it make a difference?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from GOD’S WORD – THE BIBLE comes to us from:

My Notes:

‘Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.’
1 Timothy 3:1-16

‘I will give thanks to you, Lord , with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge. You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever. Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished. The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord , have never forsaken those who seek you. Sing the praises of the Lord , enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted. Lord , see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, that I may declare your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion, and there rejoice in your salvation. The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. The Lord is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God. But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. Arise, Lord , do not let mortals triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. Strike them with terror, Lord ; let the nations know they are only mortal.’
Psalms 9:1-20

‘The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.’
1 Timothy 4:1-16

‘A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all. The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. Humility is the fear of the Lord ; its wages are riches and honor and life. In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them. Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken. The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended. One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend. The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful. The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!” The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit; a man who is under the Lord ’s wrath falls into it. Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away. One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.
Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord , I teach you today, even you. Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge, teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth, so that you bring back truthful reports to those you serve?
Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life.
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.
Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors.
Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.’
Proverbs 22:1-29

‘Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah rested with his ancestors. Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother’s name was Jekoliah; she was from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord , just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the Lord , God gave him success. He went to war against the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod. He then rebuilt towns near Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines. God helped him against the Philistines and against the Arabs who lived in Gur Baal and against the Meunites. The Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful. Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate and at the angle of the wall, and he fortified them. He also built towers in the wilderness and dug many cisterns, because he had much livestock in the foothills and in the plain. He had people working his fields and vineyards in the hills and in the fertile lands, for he loved the soil. Uzziah had a well-trained army, ready to go out by divisions according to their numbers as mustered by Jeiel the secretary and Maaseiah the officer under the direction of Hananiah, one of the royal officials. The total number of family leaders over the fighting men was 2,600. Under their command was an army of 307,500 men trained for war, a powerful force to support the king against his enemies. Uzziah provided shields, spears, helmets, coats of armor, bows and slingstones for the entire army. In Jerusalem he made devices invented for use on the towers and on the corner defenses so that soldiers could shoot arrows and hurl large stones from the walls. His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. They confronted King Uzziah and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord . That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the Lord God.” Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord ’s temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the Lord had afflicted him. King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house —leprous, and banned from the temple of the Lord . Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land. The other events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. Uzziah rested with his ancestors and was buried near them in a cemetery that belonged to the kings, for people said, “He had leprosy.” And Jotham his son succeeded him as king.’
2 Chronicles 26:1-23


As day 258 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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


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?
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why not email or text me instead?

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?

sign-post-what-is-directing-your-decision-and-path

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!

jesus-at-the-center-of-it-all

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!

you-have-a-choice-to-make-choose-wisely

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