Looking ahead requires that we have light to see where we are going…


As today begins and a new stage of life is about to begin, my hope and trust are in God as He takes my oldest into a new world. He is taking her into a new and exciting adventure where she will get to be trained and led to be able to save lives. With her background and degree in Pastor Ministries along with all the leadership and life experiences of mission trips and getting to be a representative on the church’s missions board, God is setting her up to be right where He needs her to be to change lives and glorify Him. So I decide today to lean in on God both for my oldest as well as for my wife and other kids. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness! Today will be an emotional day and yet I am so proud of her and excited for all God is going to do in and through her. 2022 is just the beginning of what is yet to come!

Verse of the Day:

‘Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. ‘

Psalms 119:105

Are you ready for 2022 and how God is about to do something new? Would you consider fasting and prayer over the first week of the year to help you draw closer to Him and receive His wisdom and direction for what is yet to come? Are you ready to walk out this year in His light? Are you ready to walk out this year within the beam of His lamp? Are you ready to be a part of something new?


Today’s post from Be The Dads is: Day 2 – Loving Your Family the Way God Loves You


So are you ready for the light? Are you in need of the light like Paul formerly known as Saul did? Are you aware that you need the light and are you ready to step into it? Could today be the start of something incredible?

Let’s pray:

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

As we step into our today, let’s pray:

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us . And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

Why such division when we are so closely related?


What’s going on in this world that is causing such division instead of unity? What’s going on in this world that is causing so much separation and disconnectedness instead of connections? What would it take for people to align? What would it take for people to unite? What would it take for people to agree?

As I considered the origin, the beginning, and if it could be shown that everyone goes back to a single mother, I came across this article: Science confirms how we all really are descended from ‘Eve’. From the Bible, we read that it all started with Adam and Eve and as such we should be one big happy family. Unfortunately, like many of the dysfunctional families in the Bible, we find in society we run into human nature and selfish desires. We can see how even the family tree that led to Jesus had troubles too. The thing we can learn from and through Jesus though is that we don’t have to be defined or limited by our heritage. We can be different and make a difference no matter what our family tree looks like. Could it just be that families are messy and that we just need to come together in love to patch things up?

Let’s check out Jesus’s family tree for a moment:

‘The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son (descendant) of David, the son (descendant) of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers [who became the twelve tribes of Israel]. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Aminadab, Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king. D avid was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa. Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jeconiah [also called Coniah and Jehoiachin] and his brothers, at the time of the deportation (exile) to Babylon. After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah (Christ). So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen; from David to the Babylonian deportation (exile), fourteen generations; and from the Babylonian deportation to the Messiah, fourteen generations. ‘

Matthew 1:1-17

Through Jesus’s lineage we find dysfunction although not all of it from a bad perspective:

  • Abraham unfairly banished Ishmael
  • Hagar rationlized that God favours some people over others
  • Jacob stole his brother Esau’s birthright through scheming and dishonesty
  • David committed adultery, had the husband of his mistress murdered, and married her to try and cover up a pregnancy
  • Tamar seduced her father-in-law so that she could have a child
  • Rahab who was a prostitute
  • Ruth who had a good reputation even though her people didn’t

Just as Jesus didn’t hide the dysfunction, as we get to read about it in the Word of God, Jesus didn’t hide skeletons in His closet but instead, He shone the light on it for the truth is what sets us free! Jesus’s lineage had broken people and wanted to make sure we know we aren’t alone, He is God with us! We all have a choice to receive Jesus into our hearts and lives! We all have a choice to allow the past to hold us back or to shine a light on it and break free of the strongholds and soul ties. We all get to choose if the past will hold us from becoming who God created us to be or if we will become the fullness of who God created us to be. We all have free will and we all get to choose for ourselves if we will be transformed and spend eternity with God or apart from God! It’s a choice! It’s a decision! It’s personal! So you get to decide your final destination and if you will bring Jesus into your life to help you get there or not.

So are you ready? Are you willing? Do you realize how close it is? It’s not out there somewhere but rather it is close enough for you to reach out and grab it!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 7th


Always Within Reach


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; ‘

Acts 17:26-27

Let’s grab the surrounding context and use the Amplified version for additional details too:

‘So Paul, standing in the center of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I observe [with every turn I make throughout the city] that you are very religious and devout in all respects. Now as I was going along and carefully looking at your objects of worship, I came to an altar with this inscription: ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you already worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who created the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, because it is He who gives to all [people] life and breath and all things. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories. This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him we actually have our being], as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ So then, being God’s children, we should not think that the Divine Nature (deity) is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination or skill of man. Therefore God overlooked and disregarded the former ages of ignorance; but now He commands all people everywhere to repent [that is, to change their old way of thinking, to regret their past sins, and to seek God’s purpose for their lives], because He has set a day when He will judge the inhabited world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed and destined for that task, and He has provided credible proof to everyone by raising Him from the dead.” Now when they heard [the term] resurrection from the dead, some mocked and sneered; but others said, “We will hear from you again about this matter.” So Paul left them. But some men joined him and believed; among them were Dionysius, [a judge] of the Council of Areopagus, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.’

Acts 17:22-34 (Sermon on Mars Hill)

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize that you have to connect with others before you can share the Good News of Jesus?
  • Do you realize that you have to have a relationship with others before they will allow you to speak into their lives?
  • Do you realize that you have to understand others before you can speak the hope of Jesus into their lives?
  • Through conversion, connections, relationships, and understanding, we will be able to find common ground and areas in which to share and discuss the truth of God!
  • We need to love people with God’s unconditional love!
  • Do you realize that God is in control? He always has been, is, and will be!
  • Do you realize God’s plans for people isn’t about governments?
  • Do you realize God’s plans for people isn’t about rulers?
  • Do you realize God’s plans for people isn’t about philosophies?
  • Do you realize God’s plan for people is all about salvation?
  • Have you noticed how through history, God uses grace to get people’s attention?
  • Have you noticed how through time, God uses grace to prepare their hearts to receive the Good News, the message of love and hope, the message of Christ?
  • Your role may be to till the soil of people’s hearts. Your role may be to water or plant seeds into the hearts of people. Realize that whatever your role, it is all to share God’s grace in preparation for them to be ready to hear and embrace God’s message of Jesus and forgiveness!
  • Do you realize how many people are out there? Do you realize they are in your family? Do you realize they are in your neighborhood? Do you realize they are amongst your friends? Do you realize that this is so that nobody is ever too far away or out of reach? We are always within reach of those with seeking hearts!
  • So let’s be ready!
  • Let’s study people!
  • Let’s ask discovery questions!
  • Let’s keep an eye out for those sprinkles of grace we can grab onto and connect them to God through!
  • Through those moments of grace, we are able to share the story of how we found Jesus and how He transformed our life.
  • He isn’t out there somewhere! He is Immanuel, God with us! He’s never too far from each person we know!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some glimpses of God’s grace in people’s lives around you?
  • What are some questions you can ask and topics you can discuss to connect them with God’s grace?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Many times people complain that God is not using them. God cannot do much through us until He gets in us.”

Confessions of a Happy Christian By Ziglar, Zig

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Nehemiah 4 – don’t give up because of the rejection or resistance of others. Don’t allow your fear of man to outweigh your faith in God! Invite God into your situation.
  • Nehemiah 5 – choose to live your life in a way that won’t give room for reproach to your enemies.
  • Nehemiah 6 – Stand strong in the faith! Fear Not, Just Believe!

So where are you today? Are you dealing with a messy family tree? Are you dealing with division and discord? Are you dealing with struggles and challenges? Are you dealing with division and distrust? Are you dealing with disconnects and aloneness? Are you ready for a change? Are you ready to turn to God and invite Him into your situation? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and allow true transformation to take place? 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?


The Power of light!


Ever been in a dark room with a little candle? Ever lit that little candle, keeping it low and seen what it shows or reveals? Ever lit that little candle, lifting high and noticing how much more you can see? That little light source can penetrate all that darkness and help you to see. Ever been in a situation where there are others with that same little candle? Ever seen the room light up when everyone is willing and lifts up their candles too? Light over darkness!

If you are interested in seeing what this experience is like (found this picture from back in 2017)

No photo description available.

So what do you do when you are faced with darkness? How do you respond when you encounter darkness? Are you prepared? Do you have a light source? How are you going to respond? What if the darkness you face isn’t in the physical realm but is darkness in the spiritual realm? Are you prepared in that case too? Do you have a light source?

Do you realize when you are in the darkness? Have your eyes adjusted to the point where you don’t remember what it is like or was like to walk in the light? Do you realize how far you are able to see or not see as the case may be? Do you stumble in the darkness? Do you have to go slower and take smaller steps in the darkness? Do you have to be more cautious since you aren’t able to see what is around you? How will you respond? What can you do?

In the physical world do you have an emergency kit or plan so you can have or get light? In the spiritual world do you have an emergency kit or plan so that you can have or get light?

Let’s grab hold of this truth from God’s Word which is light:

Amplified translation says it like this: ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. ‘ Psalms 119:105

When it is dark, will you worship? Would you consider calling to God and praising Him in the midst of it all? Let’s pause before we get into today’s devotional and listen to a song together:

Amy GrantThy Word (Lyric Video)

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


Stumbling in Darkness


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me.’

Micah 7:8

Let’s grab some extra context and details using additional verses and the Amplified version:

‘But as for me, I will look expectantly for the Lord and with confidence in Him I will keep watch; I will wait [with confident expectation] for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me [amid my tragedies], O my enemy! Though I fall, I will rise; Though I sit in the darkness [of distress], the Lord is a light for me. I will bear the indignation and wrath of the Lord Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case and executes judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light, And I will behold His [amazing] righteousness and His remarkable deliverance. Then my enemy [all the pagan nations] shall see it, And shame [for despising the Lord ] will cover her who said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will look on her [with satisfaction at her judgment]; Now she (unbelievers) will be trampled down Like mud of the streets. It shall be a day for building your walls, On that day the boundary [of Israel] shall be [greatly] extended. It shall be a day when the Gentiles will come to you From Assyria and from the cities of Egypt, And from Egypt even to the river Euphrates, From sea to sea and from mountain to mountain. Yet the earth [beyond the land of Israel] shall become desolate because of those who dwell in it, Because of the fruit of their deeds. Shepherd and rule Your people with Your scepter [of blessing], The flock of Your inheritance and Your possession Which dwells alone [separate and secure from attack] in the forest, In the midst of a garden land. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead As in the days of old [the days of Moses and Elijah]. “As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I shall show you marvelous and miraculous things.” The [pagan] nations shall see [God’s omnipotence in delivering Israel] and be ashamed Of all their might [which cannot be compared to His]. They shall put their hand on their mouth [in silent astonishment]; Their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick the dust like a serpent; Like crawling things of the earth They shall come trembling out of their fortresses and hiding places. They shall turn and come with fear and dread to the Lord our God And they shall be afraid and stand in awe before You [O Lord ]. Who is a God like You, who forgives wickedness And passes over the rebellious acts of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He [constantly] delights in mercy and lovingkindness. He shall again have compassion on us; He will subdue and tread underfoot our wickedness [destroying sin’s power]. Yes, You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. You shall give truth to Jacob And lovingkindness and mercy to Abraham, As You have sworn to our forefathers From the days of old.’

Micah 7:7-20

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever noticed all the bad things that are taking place around you and around the world?
  • Ever compared them to what the prophet Micah was condemning God’s people of and for?
  • Sins like:
    • murdering members of their own family
    • practicing bribery
    • corruptions in politics
    • oppressing the poor
    • defying their parents
  • We can check that out in the verses prior to the ones we reviewed above:
    • ‘Woe is me (judgment is coming)! For I am Like one who gathers the summer fruits, like one who gleans the vintage grapes. There is not a cluster of grapes to eat, No first-ripe fig which my appetite craves. The godly person [who is faithful and loyal to God] has perished from the earth, And there is no upright person [one with good character and moral integrity] among men. They all lie in wait to shed blood; Each hunts the other with a net. Concerning evil, both of their hands pursue it and do it diligently and thoroughly; The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe, And a great man speaks the [evil] desire of his soul. So they twist the course of justice between them. The best of them is [injurious] like a briar; The most upright is [prickly] like a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen [that is, the time predicted by the prophets] And your punishment comes; Now shall be their confusion. Do not trust in a neighbor [because of the moral corruption in the land]; Do not have confidence in a friend. Guard the doors of your mouth From her who lies in your bosom. For the son dishonors the father and treats him contemptuously, The daughter rises up [in hostility] against her mother, The daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— A man’s enemies are the men (members) of his own household. ‘
      Micah 7:1-6
  • Do you realize what such a time of sin can do and cause to the society as a whole?
  • Do you realize the darkness that can come out of this?
  • How do you think the people today will, have, or are going to respond?
  • Do you think the people of today can receive this message and turn back to God?
  • Do you think the people of today, God’s people, can respond with humility and courageous faith?
  • Do you think the people of today, God’s people, will admit and confess they stumbled in their self-made darkness and turn back to God in faith believing His promises to forgive, restore, and give them light again?
  • We find in Micah’s time they did.
  • Are you stuck in sin? Are you ready to be like these people and turn back to God?
  • Have you gone down the wrong road for a long time?
  • Are those destructive habits feeling comfortable to you?
  • How will you respond to the need for change? Will you see it as threatening?
  • Are you ready to step out of the darkness into the light or will you keep looking for excuses to stay in the darkness? in your darkness?
  • Are you ready to step into God’s light and have the darkness flee or are you going to complain that nobody understands?
  • Are you ready to step into God’s light and have the darkness flee or are you going to complain that change is too hard?
  • Are you ready to step into God’s light and have the darkness flee or are you going to complain that you’ll just fail again so why bother trying?
  • Are you ready to step into God’s light with boldness and courage rather than avoiding it because of self-pity?
  • A quote from from today’s devotional goes like this:

An alcoholic explained that she felt more comfortable with the destruction of her addiction than the prospect of change: “It may be hell, but at least I know the names of the streets.”

— Stumbling in Darkness – Oct 24th – The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
  • Let’s choose to be like God’s people and not use excuses!
  • Let’s choose to be like God’s people and express our faith in God’s mercy!
  • Let’s choose to be like God’s people and take action to step out of the darkness and into the light!
  • Let’s be bold and courageous so that we can get out of that situation that wounded us!
  • Let’s be bold and courageous so that we can get out of that situation that sin or addition that got us stuck!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • In what ways is staying in darkness easier and more attractive than taking positive steps towards change?
  • How can a person overcome feelings of self-pity and take steps forward?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

― Maya Angelou

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you needing some increased visibility with some light? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart as the light of the world? Are you ready to start spending time in God’s Word so that you have His light and lamp to help you move forward? Are you ready to take the step of change that will change your eternal destiny? 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?


In the darkness can you spot the light? Sins vs Repentance! Mistakes vs Forgiveness! Destiny!


Are you aware of the mistakes you have made? Are you aware of where or when you went off the straight path? Are you able to tell when you walked out of the light and into the darkness? Are you ready to face it and bring it into the light? Are you ready to confess to your mistakes and missteps? Are you ready to overcome hate with love? Are you ready to overcome darkness with light? Are you ready to overcome mistakes with forgiveness?

Do you realize that in the beginning there was darkness and God turned on the lights? Do you realize that Jesus came to help intensify and reveal His light to the world? Do you realize that ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ‘? So are you ready to face the reality that there are many who prefer the darkness to the light? Are you ready to take on the fact that there are people who love darkness over light in order to avoid having their sins exposed? Are you ready to draw closer to God who is light and has no darkness in Him? Are you ready to have clear sight and allow the light to enter through them in order to fill your entire body with light? Let’s decide to turn from our own wicked ways, stop taking pleasure in doing wrong, and stop enjoying living twisted evil ways! Let’s step out of the ignorance of walking in the dark and grab a hold of wisdom and truth by stepping in the light! Let’s choose to live with God in the light! Let’s choose to walk in the light in order to know where we are going and avoid stumbling around and getting lost in the darkness! Don’t be fooled by the wicked who are in and trying to draw you into the darkness and trip you up, causing you to stumble! Let’s choose LOVE so that the light will shine brightly into the world around us! Let’s choose to love God and love one another so that the light will be amplified! Even like the moon in the dark sky reflecting the light of the sun, let’s be light in this dark world by reflecting the light of the Son, Jesus Christ! Are you ready to expose the fruitless deeds by shining light on them? Are you ready for Jesus to return and in preparing getting rid of and taking off the old self, the dark deeds, and putting on the shiny armor of God which is right living? Are you ready to start living your life in righteousness? Let’s choose God’s wisdom which is like walking in the light over walking and stumbling in the dark! So let’s choose salvation through Jesus Christ so that there will be light and joy and hope and love in and through our lives! Let’s make the decision to repent and trust in Jesus Christ! Let’s make the decision to turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Let’s decide our final destination! For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation.

Turn on the light! Step into the light! Step out of the darkness! Be transformed!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 9th


Embrace The Darkness


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.’

Exodus 20:20-21

Reading this makes me curious about the context and more details and so let me find a bit more detail and incorporate the Amplified translation. It is interesting to see the giving of the 10 commandments and how people responded to God’s presence.

‘Now all the people witnessed the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the smoking mountain; and as they looked, the people were afraid, and they trembled [and moved backward] and stood at a [safe] distance. Then they said to Moses, “You speak to us and we will listen, but do not let God speak to us or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him [that is, a profound reverence for Him] will remain with you, so that you do not sin.” So the people stood at a [safe] distance, but Moses approached the thick cloud where God was. ‘

Exodus 20:18-21

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you in a time of darkness?
  • Have you been in a time of darkness recently?
  • Was it through tragedy?
  • Was it through loss?
  • Was it through confusion?
  • Was it through failure?
  • Was it through rejection?
  • Was it through spiritual emptiness?
  • How did you respond?
  • Were you so filled with light and love that you were able to take it head on?
  • Were you able to turn to God, cry out to God, lean on God, draw closer to God?
  • Were you able to walk it out with God?
  • Imagine getting the 10 Commandments from God and being Moses.
  • Imagine being the people who waited at the bottom of the mountain and are experiencing the sun blocked out by the smoke from the mountain, the trumpets blared, thunder boomed, lightning struck.
  • Consider the state of mind, their emotions and how they could be different based on their experiences.
  • The people were filled with fear because of the incredible and terrifying display of God’s majesty!
  • Can you imagine how they would rather hear from Moses as less intimidating and more on their level?
  • Imagine the fear of death from hearing God’s voice.
  • Moses has had past experiences and encounters with God and as such he wasn’t filled with fear.
  • Imagine having gotten to have the burning bush experience, the meeting with God and getting the 10 Commandments, his dealings with pharaoh, the parting of the Red Sea, the water from the rock, the manna from heaven, the quail from the sky, and so many more things that had built up and strengthen his faith and trust in God!
  • He knew that God was faithful no matter what!
  • When we are filled with faith, even when others step away from the challenge or the thread of darkness, we like Moses can move towards it, trusting in God!
  • He trust God was there!
  • When we face darkness our response speaks to our current faith levels.
  • If we step back or we step forward, it indicates the state of our faith and if it is weak and needs to be strengthened or strong and ready to go!
  • So let’s move in faith! Let’s allow God to strengthen us through our live experiences!
  • Let’s not lose hope! Let’s not fear! Let’s trust in God!
  • Let’s allow our experiences of seeing God’s faithfulness, grace, and power empower us to keep going!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you usually respond in times of confusion and darkness?
  • What do you need to do to strengthen your faith so that you move toward God in times of darkness?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Anxiety is not only a pain which we must ask God to assuage but also a weakness we must ask Him to pardon; for He’s told us to take no care for the morrow.”

— (Clive Staples) C. S. Lewis
Into The Wardrobe

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready to walk into the light? Are you ready to step out of the darkness? Are you ready to cast your cares on God because He cares for you? Are you ready to ask God to forgive you? Are you ready to stop worrying about tomorrow and focusing on today? 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?


Let your light shine!


This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

How about you?

Will you let your light shine?

As you prepare for your day today, will you let your light shine in this dark world? Are you prepared to let your light shine even if it is currently but a little light? Do you realize the impact that light has in darkness? Ever been in a dark room with a candle and then raised it up and see how much it lights up the room? So today, let’s let our lights shine so that the world will see it and glorify our Father in Heaven and people will be directed to the source of light!

Have you ever grasped at the reality that there is no darkness in God?

‘This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. ‘

1 John 1:5

So as we invite Jesus into our hearts we can allow that light in us to shine through us and from us into the world around us that others may get to see the love of God and find hope!


The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for June 15th


Like Neon Signs


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.’

Matthew 5:16

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • When people see your light what do they see?
  • If we compare ourselves to the signs lit up at night, we can consider what it is our light is selling or telling others.
  • Is your light bright or barely flickering?
  • Is your light big and bold or more subdued?
  • Either way, your light is speaking, saying, advertising something.
  • As you step into this dark world, what message are you looking to communicate?
  • As you step into this dark world, what will people notice when they spot your light? your neon sign of life?
  • What design are you giving to your life sign?
  • How have you decided to let it or make it shine for others to see?
  • Do you realize the impact of your design for your light on the world around you?
  • Are you advertising God’s grace?
  • Are you advertising God’s mercy?
  • Are you advertising God’s kindness?
  • Are you advertising God’s forgiveness?
  • Are you advertising God’s purposes?
  • Does your sign need some tweaking?
  • Does your sign need some updating?
  • Has your life caused your sign to look one way but God needs you to update it for His purposes?
  • When you need to, you have the ability and the opportunity to update and change your sign!
  • God’s grace can transform our hearts and in so doing allows us to change our sign!
  • God’s grace can transform our heart and so we can similarly change our sign to better reflect and represent who He is in and through our lives!
  • Where are you at today? Does your light sign need a redesign?
  • Where are you at today? Does your light sign need some bulbs replaced?
  • Where are you at today? Does your light sign need some brighter or bigger lights?
  • Where are you at today? What are you advertising?
  • Where are you at today? What do you want your sign to say?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Describe what your sign has looked like for the last couple of months.
  • What changes need to happen so that your sign points people to the grace and truth of your Father in heaven?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Every sin is the distortion of an energy breathed into us – an energy which, if not thus distorted, would have blossomed into one of those holy acts whereof ‘God did it’ and ‘I did it’ are both true descriptions.”

C. S. Lewis

“Man was designed for accomplishment, engineered for success and endowed with the seeds of greatness.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So do you have enough fuel in you from God to let your light shine bright? Do you have the right fuel in you from God so that when your light shines it is pointing people to God? Do you need some of that fuel today to help you step up and step out and step into this dark world? 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?


Can you see the light through the darkness?


On a clear night with a full moon there are times when you wouldn’t know night time, you may even see a shadow. On a cloudy night there are times where it is so dark you can barely see anything, but our eyes find any light they can grab a hold of. But what happens when you close your eyes in those times? What happens when you don’t know what you are walking out into? Can you see the light through the darkness?

Do you realize there are times in life where it can feel that way too? When someone speaks going through some dark times it usually means it was a time of despair, sadness, and without hope. When you can’t see the light in those dark times, it makes it really hard to move forward. Without the hope you might even give up trying or moving forward. Times when you just don’t think you can go on. Times when you don’t think the hurt will go away. Times when we couldn’t find any rhyme or reason to what was going on. So what do you do? Will you be willing to turn to someone in order for the light to get turned back on in this darkness?

Will you turn to someone you know? Will you turn to God and put your trust in Him that in the right time He will make a way even when we don’t see it and can’t find it? Will you invite God into the situation to be your light and your hope? Will you allow fellow believers into your situation in order for them to speak love and life and hope? Will you trust God for the answers?

Don’t put all your trust in money instead of God! God is love and there is no darkness in Him! The love of money is the root of all evil! Money can’t buy you love! God is offering it to you for free! Do you realize how much God loves you? God loves you so much that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. God didn’t send Jesus to the world to cause more doom and gloom not even to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. The thing is will we trust Him and invite Him into the situation. I know that 2020 was a dark time for me and many others. In my case it required leaning in on God a lot and trusting Him for wisdom and direction and that in the right time He would make a way. I didn’t make sense. It wasn’t easy. I depended on Him through His Word, His Spirit, and His people. Instead of falling into despair or depression, I fell into God’s hands and trust Him to get me through it. I would ask if it was time for a change or to move on but He never said yes. I would ask Him what should I do or what could I do and He kept saying to love and to forgive. In the midst of the darkness He wanted me to be light. In the midst of so many lives being impacted He wanted me to be salt in order to season people’s lives for His glory. So I had to press in and I had to press on through the troubles because I could take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! (See John 16:33 and 1 John 5:4) I had to press in and press on, considering it pure joy when I face trials of many kinds. James 1 continued to remind me:

‘ Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.’

James 1:2-4

So I made it and so can you. Let’s build up our endurance in faith. Let’s build up our steadfastness and patience in faith. Let’s allow them to be strengthened and fully developed so that we can become such faith filled people and receive all that God has prepared and planned for us so that we can join Him being complete and lacking nothing!

If it feels like it is going from dark to darker to darkest, remember that it is always darkest before the dawn!

Let’s be willing to turn to God and hear from God and then do what He says. Imagine being the widow that Elisha told to go and get vessels to pour her jug of oil into. How many vessels would you get? How much would you trust God and as such how many vessels would you go and get to be filled? Would you get your family involved to be a part of the miracle? Imagine how the darkness of that day brightened up. Imagine how that experience changed the perspective and faith of her kids. Let’s help them to see God’s hand at work in and through us!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 4th


Even in the dark


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.’

Psalms 139:11-12

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Consider all the dark times David went through
  • Consider the times when it looked like the light of hope wouldn’t shine again
  • Consider the attacks
  • Consider the betrayals
  • Consider the threats
  • Consider when he betrayed by having an affair with Bathsheba
  • Consider when he betrayed by trying to cover up the affair
  • Consider when he betrayed by having her husband, one of his soldiers killed
  • Do you remember a time when you had to deal with pitch darkness in your spiritual life?
  • Do you remember having no visibility and thinking that nobody else would be able to see too?
  • Do you remember the hopelessness?
  • Do you remember the fear, worry, and doubts?
  • Be willing to hear and listen to what God is telling you!
  • Be willing to invite God into the situation!
  • I remember the downward spiral of not being willing to forgive
  • I remember the darkness and loneliness in those times
  • Remember that in our darkest moments God can still see clearly!
  • Take hold of that in order to allow that hope to help you keep going!
  • Just because we can’t see light, we can have hope like David did because we know that God can see through it all!
  • God sees us! He sees us when we are in the pit! He sees us when it is pitch dark! He sees all things clearly!
  • So no matter what it is or what we are going through, let’s hold onto the confidence that comes from our God!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Describe a time when you felt in the dark spiritually and emotionally.

Check out the video description on YouTube by searching godaddy story slam forgiveness – you will find a video titled GoDaddy Story Slam Phil Davidson. Feel free to pause here and watch and hear my story. It is a story I have been able to share and seen many other people’s lives touched because they decided to forgive. I have been approached to talk with people by divine appointment so that I could share this story to help them in their dark time. (wanted to make sure to provide this information for those listening to a podcast as I am embedding the video below)

How does it affect you to realize God see clearly even when you can’t see at all?
  • It helped me get through 2020, never giving up, always getting back up, and thanking God through it all
  • It helped me connect more with my wife and allowed us more time to share and to pray together
  • It helped me get more time with my kids and allowed us more time to share over meals.
  • It kept me going and provided me with a revelation towards the end of 2020 as the new door opened filled with God’s incredible blessings – on top of the ones He gave me through 2020 at home.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

There are seldom, if ever, any hopeless situations, but there are many people who lose hope in the face of some situations.

– Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Will you let a little light into the darkness? Will you be the light in the darkness? Will you invite God into the darkness? How will you handle those dark days? How will you transform them with the light and hope of God? How will you allow Jesus to transform your life and the life of those He has put around you?

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?


Advent


What is advent you might ask.

As I start today and consider the synonyms for advent, I consider arrival. Could it be a coincidence that today is the day chosen to reflect on the word advent? As I start today and consider the synonyms for advent, I consider appearance. Could it be a coincidence what arrived and appeared yesterday for my consideration? With other synonyms like development and approach or nearing and advance, what does it say about where I find myself today? When I consider the antonyms of departure or disappearance, and the implication this would have based on the decision it makes me wonder God’s plan and purpose during this time as 2020 is coming to a close.

As I consider and reflect on Jesus and how the word advent applies to Him, it causes me to consider the advent which brought Him into the world as a baby. As my devotional to read the bible in a year was closing it brought me into the book of Revelation where it speaks of the second advent when Jesus is coming back as the victor to wrap things up. Jesus came the first time that I could be saved. Jesus is coming the second time to draw those who have decided to receive Him as their Lord and Savior into the presence of God for the rest of eternity and to take care of the evil once and for all by casting it into the lake of fire. The peace that comes from knowing my name is in the lambs book of life helps me know that this life here is temporary but eternity will be spend with God.

So as I hear someone knocking on the door with a new opportunity, where this time it is being presented to me as a development opportunity, an advancement, a rise, and an emergence from what has taken place over this past year. When the conversation started it reminded me of a previous time when a new opportunity came up and great new and exciting experiences were had. It reminded me of conversations over 20 years ago, conversations 16 years ago, and unlike some of the things that happened more recently these thoughts felt very positive and like a good opportunity.

So is it a time for an advent in my life? Let’s consider words that include advent:

  • adventurousness – which is an adjective meaning Inclined to undertake new and daring enterprises or Requiring or characterized by boldness or daring; hazardous; risky
  • adventitiously – which is an adjective meaning Arising from an external cause or factor; not inherent
  • adventuresome – which is an adjective meaning Inclined to engage in risky activities or enterprises

and there are many more like:

Interestingly what comes to my mind is faith over fear, trust over worry, truth over lies, love over hate, and light over darkness.

Today’s Verse of the Day comes from the book of John:

‘ Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.’

— John 8:12

So let’s not walk in darkness but walk in the light! Let’s not hold back out of worry or fear but rather let’s step up and step out in faith believing and trusting God!

As I consider this and consider Jesus in the garden right before He was going to be crucified and considering the alternatives available to Him, He spoke the words to the Father:

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Luke 22:42

And so the key is to ask God, seek God, and knock. Make the plan and allow God to direct your steps. If it is right then God open the door so wide that I can’t miss it. If it isn’t then God please keep it closed so nobody can open it. My prayer is to accomplish Your will. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Help me Lord with provision of wisdom and discernment on how to proceed. Lord, forgive me for dragging myself through this year as Lord, I forgive all those who have shaken up my world this year to the point of feeling like I was walking on eggshells for a large portion of it. Forgiveness is such an important key as without it the bitter root can take hold and impact every other part of your life. Forgiveness opens up the door to be able to live a James 1:2-4 and John 16:33 type of days filled with joy and hope. Help me to not be tempted or deceived by the lies of the devil and his plans for evil. I ask all this Lord so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.


Where are you at today? Have you received Jesus into your heart and life? Are you prepared for the celebration of the first advent of Jesus this Christmas season? Are you prepared for the return of Jesus as part of the second advent? Do you want to be sure of your final destination? Why not receive the gift of grace through love and pray with me today?

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 this with me? Would you like to connect and discuss it with me? Would you like to make time to start your walk with Jesus? Do you have questions? Please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Put the past behind you and press forward towards the goal, finishing strong, putting up the good fight, and shining your light!


Let’s learn from our past rather than living there or getting stuck there. Let’s take the lessons learned and use them to help propel us forward. As we start today, finishing the work week, let’s press towards the goal and finish strong. Let’s not give up! Let’s not lose hope! Let’s not forget all that Jesus has already done! Let’s remember that God has gone before, preparing in advance the good works He has for us to do and so we don’t need to be forcing or finding ways, we need to be trusting Him, follow His leading, respond to His prompting through the Holy Spirit and when you are there, in that place God has prepared for you then shine the light and love of Jesus into that very situation!


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? Let’s not get stuck looking in the rearview mirror and miss what is right in front of us. Let’s not get distracted by what is in the rearview mirror and living out our lives distracted. Let’s look, learn, and press forward to accomplish the calling God has put on our lives.

The 49 week challenge
Day 283

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 283 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late.

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:

  • Hebrews 9:1-5
    • ‘Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now. ‘
      Hebrews 9:1-5
  • Exodus 36
    • ‘So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.” Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.” Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work. All those who were skilled among the workers made the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim woven into them by expert hands. All the curtains were the same size—twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide. They joined five of the curtains together and did the same with the other five. Then they made loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and the same was done with the end curtain in the other set. They also made fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the other set, with the loops opposite each other. Then they made fifty gold clasps and used them to fasten the two sets of curtains together so that the tabernacle was a unit. They made curtains of goat hair for the tent over the tabernacle—eleven altogether. All eleven curtains were the same size—thirty cubits long and four cubits wide. They joined five of the curtains into one set and the other six into another set. Then they made fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in one set and also along the edge of the end curtain in the other set. They made fifty bronze clasps to fasten the tent together as a unit. Then they made for the tent a covering of ram skins dyed red, and over that a covering of the other durable leather. They made upright frames of acacia wood for the tabernacle. Each frame was ten cubits long and a cubit and a half wide, with two projections set parallel to each other. They made all the frames of the tabernacle in this way. They made twenty frames for the south side of the tabernacle and made forty silver bases to go under them—two bases for each frame, one under each projection. For the other side, the north side of the tabernacle, they made twenty frames and forty silver bases—two under each frame. They made six frames for the far end, that is, the west end of the tabernacle, and two frames were made for the corners of the tabernacle at the far end. At these two corners the frames were double from the bottom all the way to the top and fitted into a single ring; both were made alike. So there were eight frames and sixteen silver bases—two under each frame. They also made crossbars of acacia wood: five for the frames on one side of the tabernacle, five for those on the other side, and five for the frames on the west, at the far end of the tabernacle. They made the center crossbar so that it extended from end to end at the middle of the frames. They overlaid the frames with gold and made gold rings to hold the crossbars. They also overlaid the crossbars with gold. They made the curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker. They made four posts of acacia wood for it and overlaid them with gold. They made gold hooks for them and cast their four silver bases. For the entrance to the tent they made a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen—the work of an embroiderer; and they made five posts with hooks for them. They overlaid the tops of the posts and their bands with gold and made their five bases of bronze.’
      Exodus 36:1-38
  • Exodus 37
    • ‘Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. He overlaid it with pure gold, both inside and out, and made a gold molding around it. He cast four gold rings for it and fastened them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. Then he made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold. And he inserted the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. He made the atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. Then he made two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. He made one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; at the two ends he made them of one piece with the cover. The cherubim had their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim faced each other, looking toward the cover. They made the table of acacia wood—two cubits long, a cubit wide and a cubit and a half high. Then they overlaid it with pure gold and made a gold molding around it. They also made around it a rim a handbreadth wide and put a gold molding on the rim. They cast four gold rings for the table and fastened them to the four corners, where the four legs were. The rings were put close to the rim to hold the poles used in carrying the table. The poles for carrying the table were made of acacia wood and were overlaid with gold. And they made from pure gold the articles for the table—its plates and dishes and bowls and its pitchers for the pouring out of drink offerings. They made the lampstand of pure gold. They hammered out its base and shaft, and made its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. Six branches extended from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms were on one branch, three on the next branch and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. And on the lampstand were four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. One bud was under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair—six branches in all. The buds and the branches were all of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold. They made its seven lamps, as well as its wick trimmers and trays, of pure gold. They made the lampstand and all its accessories from one talent of pure gold. They made the altar of incense out of acacia wood. It was square, a cubit long and a cubit wide and two cubits high —its horns of one piece with it. They overlaid the top and all the sides and the horns with pure gold, and made a gold molding around it. They made two gold rings below the molding—two on each of the opposite sides—to hold the poles used to carry it. They made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold. They also made the sacred anointing oil and the pure, fragrant incense—the work of a perfumer.’
      Exodus 37:1-29
  • Numbers 4
    • ‘The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “Take a census of the Kohathite branch of the Levites by their clans and families. Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting. “This is the work of the Kohathites at the tent of meeting: the care of the most holy things. When the camp is to move, Aaron and his sons are to go in and take down the shielding curtain and put it over the ark of the covenant law. Then they are to cover the curtain with a durable leather, spread a cloth of solid blue over that and put the poles in place. “Over the table of the Presence they are to spread a blue cloth and put on it the plates, dishes and bowls, and the jars for drink offerings; the bread that is continually there is to remain on it. They are to spread a scarlet cloth over them, cover that with the durable leather and put the poles in place. “They are to take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand that is for light, together with its lamps, its wick trimmers and trays, and all its jars for the olive oil used to supply it. Then they are to wrap it and all its accessories in a covering of the durable leather and put it on a carrying frame. “Over the gold altar they are to spread a blue cloth and cover that with the durable leather and put the poles in place. “They are to take all the articles used for ministering in the sanctuary, wrap them in a blue cloth, cover that with the durable leather and put them on a carrying frame. “They are to remove the ashes from the bronze altar and spread a purple cloth over it. Then they are to place on it all the utensils used for ministering at the altar, including the firepans, meat forks, shovels and sprinkling bowls. Over it they are to spread a covering of the durable leather and put the poles in place. “After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, only then are the Kohathites to come and do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the tent of meeting. “Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, is to have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the regular grain offering and the anointing oil. He is to be in charge of the entire tabernacle and everything in it, including its holy furnishings and articles.” The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “See that the Kohathite tribal clans are not destroyed from among the Levites. So that they may live and not die when they come near the most holy things, do this for them: Aaron and his sons are to go into the sanctuary and assign to each man his work and what he is to carry. But the Kohathites must not go in to look at the holy things, even for a moment, or they will die.” The Lord said to Moses, “Take a census also of the Gershonites by their families and clans. Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting. “This is the service of the Gershonite clans in their carrying and their other work: They are to carry the curtains of the tabernacle, that is, the tent of meeting, its covering and its outer covering of durable leather, the curtains for the entrance to the tent of meeting, the curtains of the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle and altar, the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard, the ropes and all the equipment used in the service of the tent. The Gershonites are to do all that needs to be done with these things. All their service, whether carrying or doing other work, is to be done under the direction of Aaron and his sons. You shall assign to them as their responsibility all they are to carry. This is the service of the Gershonite clans at the tent of meeting. Their duties are to be under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest. “Count the Merarites by their clans and families. Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting. As part of all their service at the tent, they are to carry the frames of the tabernacle, its crossbars, posts and bases, as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard with their bases, tent pegs, ropes, all their equipment and everything related to their use. Assign to each man the specific things he is to carry. This is the service of the Merarite clans as they work at the tent of meeting under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest.” Moses, Aaron and the leaders of the community counted the Kohathites by their clans and families. All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work at the tent of meeting, counted by clans, were 2,750. This was the total of all those in the Kohathite clans who served at the tent of meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them according to the Lord ’s command through Moses. The Gershonites were counted by their clans and families. All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work at the tent of meeting, counted by their clans and families, were 2,630. This was the total of those in the Gershonite clans who served at the tent of meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them according to the Lord ’s command. The Merarites were counted by their clans and families. All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work at the tent of meeting, counted by their clans, were 3,200. This was the total of those in the Merarite clans. Moses and Aaron counted them according to the Lord ’s command through Moses. So Moses, Aaron and the leaders of Israel counted all the Levites by their clans and families. All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to do the work of serving and carrying the tent of meeting numbered 8,580. At the Lord ’s command through Moses, each was assigned his work and told what to carry. Thus they were counted, as the Lord commanded Moses.’
      Numbers 4:1-49

As day 283 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?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s 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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The way… The reason… The result…


Ever considered if the path you are on is the way that you should be going? Have you ever considered that you mightn’t have it perfect? Ever considered the reason for what you are doing? Or what you are going through? Or why you are responding in a given way? Or if there might be a reason for a better way? What is the result that you are trying to accomplish? What is the result that you are going about it that way? What is the result that you think your reasoning is directing you in such a way? Will you be able to achieve it going that way? Will you be able to to achieve it for that reason?

We know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and so we are pursuing Him in order to spend eternity with Him, not by works because Jesus has already completed the works, but rather because of our faith we are doing works out of the overflowing of our faith so that God will receive the praise and the honor and the glory in Jesus’s name.


My daily reminder for the 7am hour speaks to being encouraged because God knows what we are going thru and the agenda in that meeting invite is:

Be encouraged! God knows what you’re going through.
Here are some good daily reminders:

  1. Wake Up! Decide to have a good day. “Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24
  2. Dress Up! The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
  3. Shut Up! Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking. “He who guards his lips guards his soul.” Proverbs 13:3
  4. Stand Up!… For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything.. “Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…” Galatians 6:9-10
  5. Look Up!… To the Lord. “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
  6. Reach Up!… For something higher. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6
  7. Lift Up!… Your Prayers. “Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.” Philippians 4:6

If you are interested in getting this invite on your calendar, text message or email me with one of two links your email address and I will forward it to you.


Today’s verse of the day comes to us from Isaiah 64:

“But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord.”

Isaiah‬ ‭54:17‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

Will you receive the benefits of a relationship with Jesus? Will you take hold of the promises of God? Let’s receive from today’s verse that it is true and it is our inheritance. in the midst of all the fear and doubt that is being distributed around the world, it is our turn, our role, our direction, our way, our reason to be turning to our brothers and sisters and lifting them up. Let’s be peacemakers. Let’s be encouragement. Let’s be salt and light to bring hope and spice to the lives of others as we point them to the truth, the way, the reason, and the purpose who is Jesus Christ. Let’s be doers of the Word so that others will see it and turn to our Heavenly Father and glorify Him. Let’s not grow weary in doing good. In the midst of troubles, let’s take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. In the midst of trials, let’s consider it our joy because we know that that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that when we let perseverance finish its work in us that we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to daily fill us up and strengthen us so that complete the destined Good works that God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish. God has already gone before us to restore our relationship with Him through all that Jesus has done through the crucifixion and the resurrection and the assertion to be sitting at the bight hand of the Father, interceding for you and me. So if God is for us, who can be against us. So let’s choose today to be bold and courageous in pursuing God will and way and purpose in and through our lives in faith in the one who’s is above all names, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. So let’s pray:


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? You are not alone, and I praise Jesus for reminding me that over my lunch hour yesterday. You are not alone and so why not look for ways to fill in the daily gaps with people you can encourage and be encouraged by? Make today count! They say hindsight is 2020, so learn from the past and how important it is to not go it alone. Lean on God! Lean on your brothers and sisters in Christ. So that as you move forward Your Father in heaven will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen

The 49 week challenge
Day 282

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 282 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late.

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:

  • Hebrews 8:5-13
    • ‘They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said : “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.’
      Hebrews 8:5-13
  • Exodus 25
    • ‘The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather ; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. “Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you. “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites. “Make a table of acacia wood—two cubits long, a cubit wide and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold molding around it. Also make around it a rim a handbreadth wide and put a gold molding on the rim. Make four gold rings for the table and fasten them to the four corners, where the four legs are. The rings are to be close to the rim to hold the poles used in carrying the table. Make the poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold and carry the table with them. And make its plates and dishes of pure gold, as well as its pitchers and bowls for the pouring out of offerings. Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times. “Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. And on the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair—six branches in all. The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold. “Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. A talent of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories. See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’
      Exodus 25:1-40
  • Jeremiah 31
    • ‘“At that time,” declares the Lord , “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.” This is what the Lord says: “The people who survive the sword will find favor in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel.” The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful. Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit. There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim, ‘Come, let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God.’ ” This is what the Lord says: “Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard, and say, ‘ Lord , save your people, the remnant of Israel.’ See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son. “Hear the word of the Lord , you nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’ For the Lord will deliver Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord — the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty,” declares the Lord . This is what the Lord says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord . “They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your descendants,” declares the Lord . “Your children will return to their own land. “I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning: ‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return, because you are the Lord my God. After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’ Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the Lord . “Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take. Return, Virgin Israel, return to your towns. How long will you wander, unfaithful Daughter Israel? The Lord will create a new thing on earth— the woman will return to the man.” This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity, the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: ‘The Lord bless you, you prosperous city, you sacred mountain.’ People will live together in Judah and all its towns—farmers and those who move about with their flocks. I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me. “The days are coming,” declares the Lord , “when I will plant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals. Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the Lord . “In those days people will no longer say, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ Instead, everyone will die for their own sin; whoever eats sour grapes—their own teeth will be set on edge. “The days are coming,” declares the Lord , “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ” declares the Lord . “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord . “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord ,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord . “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the Lord Almighty is his name: “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the Lord , “will Israel ever cease being a nation before me.” This is what the Lord says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,” declares the Lord . “The days are coming,” declares the Lord , “when this city will be rebuilt for me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah. The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the corner of the Horse Gate, will be holy to the Lord . The city will never again be uprooted or demolished.”’
      Jeremiah 31:1-40
  • Ezekiel 11
    • ‘Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the gate of the house of the Lord that faces east. There at the entrance of the gate were twenty-five men, and I saw among them Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people. The Lord said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are plotting evil and giving wicked advice in this city. They say, ‘Haven’t our houses been recently rebuilt? This city is a pot, and we are the meat in it.’ Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, son of man.” Then the Spirit of the Lord came on me, and he told me to say: “This is what the Lord says: That is what you are saying, you leaders in Israel, but I know what is going through your mind. You have killed many people in this city and filled its streets with the dead. “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: The bodies you have thrown there are the meat and this city is the pot, but I will drive you out of it. You fear the sword, and the sword is what I will bring against you, declares the Sovereign Lord . I will drive you out of the city and deliver you into the hands of foreigners and inflict punishment on you. You will fall by the sword, and I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord . This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be the meat in it; I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord , for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.” Now as I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell facedown and cried out in a loud voice, “Alas, Sovereign Lord ! Will you completely destroy the remnant of Israel?” The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, the people of Jerusalem have said of your fellow exiles and all the other Israelites, ‘They are far away from the Lord ; this land was given to us as our possession.’ “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.’ “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’ “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord .” Then the cherubim, with the wheels beside them, spread their wings, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. The glory of the Lord went up from within the city and stopped above the mountain east of it. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia in the vision given by the Spirit of God. Then the vision I had seen went up from me, and I told the exiles everything the Lord had shown me.’
      Ezekiel 11:1-25

As day 282 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?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s 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?

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

Imagine living somewhere that the light is so bright that there are no shadows…


Imagine getting to spend eternity with God who is light and there is no darkness in Him. Consider how every good and perfect gift comes our Heavenly Father of all light and how there is no variation, no rising and no setting, and as such there is no shadows when He turns which is so different from the sun and the moon and how in those natural things there are times when darkness comes thru events like eclipses. We are to be that same type of a light to this world. We are to be like a lighthouse, a city lit up on a hill. We are to not hide the light but lift it up that others may also come the reality and realization of who God is.

So what are we supposed to do and how are we supposed to live? We need to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to take offense and become angry. Our anger doesn’t promote the righteousness of God. So let’s get rid of those things that are getting in the way, things that are unclean and rampant outgrowth of wickedness. Let’s instead be taking hold and allowing to grow roots in our hearts the power of God which saves souls by humbly, with gentleness and modesty allowing our spirit to plant and nurture the Word of God to take root in our hearts. To do this we be to go beyond being hearer of the Word and start being doers of the Word. Start to do and live out God’s Word rather than being stuck analyzing and feeling wise and superior, live it out that God’s Spirit will be revealed in and through you. By becoming an active doer of the Word, we will live in obedience to God. So we need to be aware of what the thoughts are going through our minds so that we filter every word against and through the Word of God so that we don’t speak in ways that go against everything we are doing and believing. So let’s take hold and remember what true religion is supposed to look like, religion that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God is this: “to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.”

So today is July 4th, in a season of COVID-19, a season of protests and riots, a time that is so different from any time most have us have experienced in our life times, so what are you going to do with your today so as to bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name?


June is in the rear view mirror
Hindsight is 2020 – clarity of vision for the future…

The 49 week challenge – Day 186

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 186 link to join me and sign up.


With June in the rear view mirror, let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

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:

  • Are you hoping in hopes of getting to reap?
  • Are you working in hopes of getting to share in the harvest?
  • How will you use your freedom?
  • Will you choose to self-discipline?
  • Run to win this race and receive the prize from Jesus.
  • Live with your body under control rather than flailing and swinging at air.
  • Let’s live to receive the crown of righteousness from Jesus
  • Start by offering peace
  • Start with love love God and love your neighbor
  • We must have honest and accurate measurements.
  • We should treat everyone equally for God loves everyone.
  • We should treat everyone equally based on what they have done, not showing prejudice, be it to bring them celebrations of good work or to bring discipline for having done evil or wickedness.

As day 186 of 2020 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 this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 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? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Today’s devotional that I am following is The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Do you realize what happens when you see something?


Do you realize you can’t unsee it? Do you realize that it’s not a case of garbage in and garbage out, it’s garbage in and garbage sticks or stays? Have you ever seen something and wished you could unsee it? Have you ever looked at something thinking it was going to bring you joy or pleasure and realized it has robbed you or stolen something from you? Have you ever read something that had a big impact on your life? for the better or even for the worse? How do you filter what you should or shouldn’t see? How do you filter what your kids should or shouldn’t see? How do you filter what is good and beneficial to see vs what is bad and detrimental? Do you allow the lust of the eyes to look? The eyes are the lamp of the body! Are your eyes healthy and allowing light into your soul? Are your eyes being opened to be enlightened? Are your eyes able to see what is real? Where are your eyes fixed?

Imagine if the last thing your eyes saw before you could see no more was devastation. Imagine if the last things your eyes saw before you could see no more was killing. Imagine if the last things your eyes saw before you could see no more were loved ones (family) being killed and  friends being killed. Imagine if right after that your eyes couldn’t see anymore and those were the last images to ever be seen…Do you realize how important it is the things we allow ourselves to see? They can’t be unseen and could torment you for a very long time.

Imagine if you had received a promise that you would be saved from the devastation. Imagine if you were told that you would see it but that you wouldn’t have to suffer it. Imagine if you were told you would be rescued and don’t have to worry about the travesty that you were about to witness.

We don’t need to seek revenge! Vengeance is mine says the Lord! Vengeance is mine says the Lord, I will repay! We don’t need to bear a grudge, we are to love our neighbors! Don’t take revenge but instead leave room for God’s wrath! God knows what is happening to you! God knows what is going thru your mind and their mind! God is working this out in and thru each of you in a way that will produce good! God can take the plans for evil and turn them around and use them for good! Consider what happened to Joseph! Consider what happened to the exiles who stood strong with God! Consider Daniel and his friends! Was it easy? No! Was it worth it? Yes! Was God lifted up because of their faith and trust in Him? Yes! So don’t lose hope when you face trials of many kinds, but rather consider it pure joy for it will build up your faith and perseverance working in you so that in the end you will mature, complete, and lacking nothing! Don’t lose hope when you face troubles, because you will face troubles in this world, take hold of the hope of Jesus who overcame the world!

Let’s live our lives so that the people around us learn about Jesus and are saved! Let’s live lives that they want to have and will start to turn to and seek Jesus for themselves! Let’s let our lights shine into this dark world so that they will be able to see the hope and the love of God in and through our lives! Let’s be living sacrifices to God! Let’s live as holy temples to the Holy Spirit living in us so that it draws others towards God and points them to Jesus! Let’s be allowing God’s love to flow out of our hearts and thru our mouths to lift up people’s heads who are down, help them to receive the grace of God, help them be transformed by the power of Jesus as we were transformed!

It’s with our hearts that we believe and are justified! It’s with our mouths that we profess our faith and are saved!

Let’s help people so they won’t need to be put to shame! To do this we need to believe in Jesus and help them to do the same! For we know that as Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” It’s not about where you come from or came from, because it is about the God we believe in and He will bless all who call on Him! All those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved! 

If we don’t tell people about Jesus, how will they know? If we don’t tell people about Jesus, how can they call on Him and be saved? If we don’t go into the world and share the Good News, how will they know? We are being sent into the world! We are being sent out to share the Good News! We are being sent out to not only teach but also to create disciples! We are being send out to also baptize them in the name of Jesus! We are being sent out to deliver the Good News!

We just have to do our part! Different people over time have received the message, but not all of them have received it!

Let’s thank God for today! Let’s give Him praise! Let’s pray!

Even as the week of american thanksgiving day is drawing near, we should be thankful daily for all God is doing and has done in and thru our lives! We have so much to be grateful! We should be bearing fruit, good fruit because of the hope that is within us and the saving power of Jesus! We should be sharing the grace of God with everyone God gives us the opportunity to share it with! Let’s walk in love! Let’s talk in love! Let’s speak the truth in love! Let’s be doing good work to the glory of God! Let’s not give up but be strengthened by God so that we can have endurance and patience, giving joyful thanks to the Father! Let’s live as though we have been forgiven since we have received Jesus into our heart and have been saved! Let’s forgive others as we have been forgiven! Jesus paid it all, so we didn’t have to, although in all reality we couldn’t have done enough to pay it off!

No matter what we go thru today, let’s praise God and lift up Jesus!


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 39, 50, Romans 10, Colossians 1

Will you let your light shine today?


Do you realize the impact of your light on your neighborhood? your community? your workplace? your country? your world? Ever seen the impact of lifting up a candle vs keeping it low in a dark room? Ever seen the impact of opening the blinds on a dark room? Ever seen the impact of creating a window to the outside in a dark room?

This little light of mine

Ever seen the impact when a group of people lift their candles high in unity in a dark room?

A little light in the midst of darkness can clear things up

It makes a difference and the darkness flees.

be-lightjesus-inside-so-let-your-light-shine


Today’s reading begins with a calling to be light from Isaiah 60…

Future Glory for Jerusalem

1“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the lord rises to shine on you. 2Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the lord rises and appears over you. 3All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance. 4“Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. 5Your eyes will shine, and your heart will thrill with joy, for merchants from around the world will come to you. They will bring you the wealth of many lands. 6Vast caravans of camels will converge on you, the camels of Midian and Ephah. The people of Sheba will bring gold and frankincense and will come worshiping the lord. 7The flocks of Kedar will be given to you, and the rams of Nebaioth will be brought for my altars. I will accept their offerings, and I will make my Temple glorious. 8“And what do I see flying like clouds to Israel, like doves to their nests? 9They are ships from the ends of the earth, from lands that trust in me, led by the great ships of Tarshish. They are bringing the people of Israel home from far away, carrying their silver and gold. They will honor the lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has filled you with splendor. 10“Foreigners will come to rebuild your towns, and their kings will serve you. For though I have destroyed you in my anger, I will now have mercy on you through my grace. 11Your gates will stay open day and night to receive the wealth of many lands. The kings of the world will be led as captives in a victory procession. 12For the nations that refuse to serve you will be destroyed. 13“The glory of Lebanon will be yours— the forests of cypress, fir, and pine— to beautify my sanctuary. My Temple will be glorious! 14The descendants of your tormentors will come and bow before you. Those who despised you will kiss your feet. They will call you the City of the lord, and Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 15“Though you were once despised and hated, with no one traveling through you, I will make you beautiful forever, a joy to all generations. 16Powerful kings and mighty nations will satisfy your every need, as though you were a child nursing at the breast of a queen. You will know at last that I, the lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel. 17I will exchange your bronze for gold, your iron for silver, your wood for bronze, and your stones for iron. I will make peace your leader and righteousness your ruler. 18Violence will disappear from your land; the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there. 19“No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. 20Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the lord will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end. 21All your people will be righteous. They will possess their land forever, for I will plant them there with my own hands in order to bring myself glory. 22The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the lord, will make it happen.”

–from Isaiah 60

There is good news! Have you heard it? Have you received it? It’s Jesus! He gave His all that we would have the opportunity to receive the gift and have eternal life with Him!

Good News for the Oppressed

1The Spirit of the Sovereign lord is upon me, for the lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. 2He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 3To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the lord has planted for his own glory. 4They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. 5Foreigners will be your servants. They will feed your flocks and plow your fields and tend your vineyards. 6You will be called priests of the lord, ministers of our God.You will feed on the treasures of the nations and boast in their riches. 7Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. 8“For I, the lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the lord has blessed.” 10I am overwhelmed with joy in the lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. 11The Sovereign lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.

–from Isaiah 61

Let’s overwhelm out situations and circumstances with praise of God! Let’s praise God no matter the circumstances for He is in it and will get us thru it! Let’s praise Him in the morning and in the evening and throughout the day!

1Praise the lord! I will thank the lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. 2How amazing are the deeds of the lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. 3Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. 4He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our lord! 5He gives food to those who fear him; he always remembers his covenant. 6He has shown his great power to his people by giving them the lands of other nations. 7All he does is just and good, and all his commandments are trustworthy. 8They are forever true, to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity. 9He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever. What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has! 10Fear of the lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!

–from Psalms 111

Have you received the gift of Jesus? Have you learned the truth? What did it take for you to receive it? If you haven’t received it yet, what do you think it’s going to take? Let’s see what it took for Saul to receive it…

Saul’s Conversion

1Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest.2He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.
3As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
5“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.
And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!6Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! 8Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. 9He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.
10Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord!” he replied.
11The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. 12I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”
13“But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! 14And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”
15But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
17So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.
Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days.20And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”
21All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?”
22Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. 23After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. 24They were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him, but Saul was told about their plot.25So during the night, some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.
26When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! 27Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.
28So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.29He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. 30When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown.
31The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.
Peter Heals Aeneas and Raises Dorcas
32Meanwhile, Peter traveled from place to place, and he came down to visit the believers in the town of Lydda. 33There he met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. 34Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly. 35Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord.
36There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. 37About this time she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room. 38But the believers had heard that Peter was nearby at Lydda, so they sent two men to beg him, “Please come as soon as possible!”
39So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them. 40But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, “Get up, Tabitha.” And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! 41He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive.
42The news spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord. 43And Peter stayed a long time in Joppa, living with Simon, a tanner of hides.
–from Acts 9

It’s all about forgiveness! We have all missed the mark! It’s not about by how much or comparing my miss to your miss, it’s just the fact that we missed it! And the penalty is death! But God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son, that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life! Jesus came to pay the price so that we could be forgiven! As such not only do we need to ask God for forgiveness, we need to be forgiving others rather than allowing anger and bitterness to build up within us!

1So I decided that I would not bring you grief with another painful visit. 2For if I cause you grief, who will make me glad? Certainly not someone I have grieved. 3That is why I wrote to you as I did, so that when I do come, I won’t be grieved by the very ones who ought to give me the greatest joy. Surely you all know that my joy comes from your being joyful. 4I wrote that letter in great anguish, with a troubled heart and many tears. I didn’t want to grieve you, but I wanted to let you know how much love I have for you.

Forgiveness for the Sinner

5I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. 6Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. 7Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. 8So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him.
9I wrote to you as I did to test you and see if you would fully comply with my instructions. 10When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, 11so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.
12When I came to the city of Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord opened a door of opportunity for me. 13But I had no peace of mind because my dear brother Titus hadn’t yet arrived with a report from you. So I said good-bye and went on to Macedonia to find him.

Ministers of the New Covenant

14But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. 15Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 16To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
17You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.

–from 2 Corinthians 2

Do you believe who Jesus is?


Do you believe what the Bible says? Do you believe He is the one the prophets foretold of? Do you believe that He is the son of God? Do you believe that He died on the cross to pay for our sins? Do you believe that He conquered the grave and that the grave was empty when they went looking for Him? Do you believe He is who He says He is? Do you believe that He is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me? Do you believe Jesus is the resurrection and the life? Do you believe that He is coming back one day to defeat evil for good and bring a new heaven and a new earth? Do you believe Jesus is God?


Today’s reading starts by speaking to who He is before He was even born…

Eternal Ruler from Bethlehem

1But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah— least among the clans of Judah— from you will come out to Me One to be ruler in Israel, One whose goings forth are from of old, from days of eternity. 2Therefore He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth. Then the remnant of His brothers will return to Bnei-Yisrael. 3So He will arise and tend His flock with the strength of Adonai— in the majesty of the Name of Adonai His God. And they will live securely, for then He will be great to the ends of the earth. 4This One will be shalom. When Assyria invades our land when he treads on our citadels, then we will raise up against him seven shepherds and eight human princes. 5They will devastate the land of Assyria with the sword— even Nimrod’s land with a drawn blade. He will deliver us from Assyria, when he invades our land, when he tramples on our territory.

The Remnant of Jacob

6Now the remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples, like dew from Adonai, like abundant showers on grass that does not wait for a man, nor lingers for the sons of men. 7For the remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the forest beasts, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, who, if he passed through, would trample and tear to pieces, and there would be no deliverer. 8May your hand be raised up against your adversaries, and may all your foes be cut off. 9“Now in that day” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “I will cut off your horses among you, and I will destroy your chariots. 10I will cut off the cities of your land, and throw down all your strongholds. 11I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you will have no more diviners. 12I will cut off your carved images and your sacred pillars from among you, so you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands. 13I will uproot your Asherah poles from among you, and destroy your cities. 14So I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not listened.

–from Micah 5

Do you believe your name is in the book of life? Do you believe that you will be with God forever? Do you believe that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice? Do you believe that Jesus was the only sacrifice that makes it last without having to do it over and over again? Do you believe there is good and evil? Do you believe there is right and wrong?

Adonai Pleads His Case

1Hear what Adonai is saying: “Arise! Contend with the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. 2Hear, Adonai ‘s dispute, O mountains— the enduring foundations of the earth. For Adonai has a dispute with His people and He will argue His case with Israel. 3O My people, what have I done to you? Or how have I wearied you? Answer Me! 4When I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. 5O My people, remember, please: What did Balak, king of Moab, propose? What did Balaam son of Beor answer him? From Shittim as far as Gilgal, so that you might acknowledge the righteous acts of Adonai.”

What Is Adonai Seeking From You?

6With what shall I come before Adonai? With what shall I bow myself before God on high? Shall I present Him with burnt offerings, with year-old calves? 7Will Adonai be pleased with thousands of rams, with hordes of rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my belly for the sin of my soul? 8He has told you, humanity, what is good, and what Adonai is seeking from you: Only to practice justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. 9The voice of Adonai calls to the city— it is wisdom to fear Your Name— “Pay attention to the rod and to the One who appointed it.” 10Does the house of the wicked still have treasures of wickedness? Or is an undersized ephah denounced? 11Can I be pure with wicked balances? Or with a bag of deceptive weights? 12For the rich of the city are full of violence and its inhabitants speak lies. Their tongue in their mouth is deceit. 13So also I will strike you severely, desolating you because of your sins. 14You will eat but not be satisfied, and emptiness will be within you. You will try to escape, but you will not reach safety. Whatever you make safe, I will give to the sword. 15You will sow but not reap; You will tread olives but not anoint yourself with oil, and grapes but not drink wine. 16Now, you observe the statutes of Omri and every practice of the house of Ahab, and you walk in their counsels. Therefore I will make you a horror, and her inhabitants a hissing, so you will bear the scorn of My people.

–from Micah 6

Do you believe that God is good? Do you believe what you are doing is good? Do you believe that there is evil? Do you believe that we need Jesus because we all slip up or mess up or miss the mark at some point in our lives? Do you believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that nobody goes to the Father except through Him? Do you believe in truth? Do you believe that the truth will set you free? Do you believe there is a battle between good and evil? Do you believe there is a spiritual battle taking place around you? Do you believe God forgives? Do you believe Jesus was the ultimate source of sacrifice to provide forgiveness? Do you believe that if as a people we will humble ourselves and pray, seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways, that God will hear from heaven and heal our land?

None Upright Among Mankind

1Woe is me! For I am like gatherings of produce in summer, like gleanings of a vineyard. There is no cluster to eat, no first-ripe fig that I crave. 2The pious have perished from the land, there is none upright among mankind. All of them lie in wait for blood. A man hunts his brother with a net. 3Both hands are diligent at doing evil. The official and the judge ask for a bribe. The distinguished man utters a desire of his soul. Thus they weave it together. 4The best of them is like a prickly bush, the most upright like a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen— of your visitation—is coming. Then their confusion will occur. 5Do not trust in a friend. Do not trust in a close companion. Guard the openings of your mouth from her who lies on your breast. 6For son treats father with contempt; daughter rises up against mother; daughter-in-law against mother-in-law: a man’s enemies are the people of his own house.

Zion’s Vindication

7But I—I will watch for Adonai. I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. 8Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I have fallen—I will arise. Though I sit in darkness, Adonai is my light. 9I will bear the indignation of Adonai, because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my cause, and executes judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light, and I will behold His righteousness. 10Then my enemy will see it, and shame will cover her— she who said to me: “Where is Adonai, your God?” My eyes will gaze at her— now she will be trampled like mud in streets. 11A day to rebuild your walls— a day the boundary will be far off, 12a day when they will come to you from Assyria to the cities of Egypt, from Egypt to the River, from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain. 13Yet the land will become a wasteland because of her inhabitants, because of the fruit of their misdeeds. 14Tend Your people with Your staff, the flock of Your inheritance, dwelling alone, in a forest in the midst of a fertile garden. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. 15As in the days of your coming out from the land of Egypt I will show him wonders. 16Nations will see and be put to shame despite all their might. They will put a hand on their mouth, their ears will be deaf. 17They will lick dust like a snake. Like crawling things of the land, they will come trembling out of their hiding places. To Adonai Eloheinu they will submit in awe—in awe of You.

He Will Again Have Compassion

18Who is a God like You pardoning iniquity, overlooking transgression, for the remnant of His heritage? He will not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. 19He will again have compassion on us. He will subdue our iniquities, and You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. 20You will extend truth to Jacob, mercy to Abraham, that You swore to our ancestors from the days of old.

–from Micah 7

Do you believe that Jesus was at the creation? Do you believe that Jesus will be at the end? Do you believe that Jesus created everything? Do you believe that nothing was created without Him? Do you believe that Jesus is light and there is no darkness in Him? Do you believe that through Jesus we can become children of God? Do you believe it is important to be baptized? Jesus did! Do you believe Jesus is the one?

The Word Becomes Flesh

1In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it. 6There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that through him everyone might believe. 8He was not the light, but he came to bear witness concerning the light. 9The true light, coming into the world, gives light to every man. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through Him; but the world did not know Him. 11He came to His own, but His own did not receive Him. 12But whoever did receive Him, those trusting in His name, to these He gave the right to become children of God. 13They were born not of a bloodline, nor of human desire, nor of man’s will, but of God. 14And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15John testifies about Him. He cried out, saying, “This is He of whom I said, ‘The One who comes after me is above me, because He existed before me.’” 16Out of His fullness, we have all received grace on top of grace. 17Torah was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Yeshua the Messiah. 18No one has ever seen God; but the one and only God, in the Father’s embrace, has made Him known.

John’s Witness to Israel’s Leaders

19This is John’s testimony, when the Judean leaders sent kohanim and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20He openly admitted and did not deny; he admitted, “I am not the Messiah.” 21“What then? Are you Elijah?” they asked him. “I am not,” said John. “Are you the Prophet?” “No,” he answered. 22So they said to him, “Who are you? Give us an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23He said, “I am ‘the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of Adonai,”’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”24Now those sent were from the Pharisees. 25They asked him, “If you’re not the Messiah, Elijah, or the Prophet, why then are you immersing?” 26“I immerse in water,” John answered. “Among you stands One you do not know, 27coming after me, whose sandals I’m not worthy to untie.” 28These things happened in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was immersing.

Behold, the Lamb of God

29The next day, John sees Yeshua coming to him and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the One about whom I told you, ‘He who comes after me is above me, because He was before me.’ 31I didn’t know Him, but I came immersing with water so that He might be revealed to Israel.” 32Then John testified, “I have seen the Ruach coming down like a dove out of heaven, and it remained on Him. 33I did not know Him; but the One who sent me to immerse in water said to me, ‘The One on whom you see the Ruach coming down and remaining, this is the One who immerses in the Ruach ha-Kodesh.’ 34And I have seen and testified that this is Ben-Elohim.”

Yeshua’s First Disciples

35Again the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples 36and watched Yeshua walking by. He said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Yeshua. 38Yeshua turned around and saw them following. He said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is translated Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39“Come and see,” Yeshua tells them. So they came and saw where He was staying, and they spent that day with Him. It was about the tenth hour. 40Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John speak and followed Yeshua. 41First he finds his own brother Simon and tells him, “We’ve found the Messiah!” (which is translated Anointed One). 42Andrew brought Simon to Yeshua. Yeshua looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You shall be called Kefa (which is translated Peter).”

Disciples Offer Witness

43The next day, Yeshua decided to go to the Galilee. He finds Philip and says to him, “Follow Me!” 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the same town as Andrew and Peter. 45Philip finds Nathanael and tells him, “We’ve found the One that Moses in the Torah, and also the prophets, wrote about—Yeshua of Natzeret, the son of Joseph!” 46“Natzeret!” Nathanael answered. “Can anything good come from there?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47Yeshua saw Nathanael coming toward Him. He said, “Look, a true Israelite! There’s nothing false in him.” 48Nathanael said to Him, “How do you know me?” Yeshua answered, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49“Rabbi,” Nathanael answered, “You are Ben-Elohim! You are the King of Israel!” 50“Because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree, you believe?” Yeshua replied to him. “You will see greater things than that!” 51And He said, “Amen, amen I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God going up and coming down on the Son of Man!”

–from John 1

who-do-you-believe-jesus-is

Words!


Words have power! Words have meaning! Words have the power to build up! Words have the power to tear down! Be careful what comes out of your mouth! How is it possible that one day great and powerful things come out of your mouth with blessings and then the next that it speaks curses and negativity? What is in your heart? From the overflow of your heart, the mouth speaks! So we need to get to the root of the situation! We need to ask Jesus, invite Him into our hearts so that He can help us take care of this at the source! What comes out is just a symptom of what’s going on inside! How you act is just a symptom of what’s going on inside! You can’t just cut the plant off of a weed and expect it’s taken care of – that is like masking one bad behavior with behavior management. The issue is another weed will appear, as will some other behavior that comes from that same root. So let’s get to the root of the situation! Let’s ask God to help us take care of that! Let’s be obedient to His prompting so that we can be transformed from the inside out! Let’s live lives that shine bright for the glory of God and point others to His saving grace!

Today’s Word from Exodus starts on a similar topic…

1“Do not to spread a false report. Do not join hands with the wicked by becoming a malicious witness. 2“Do not follow a crowd to do evil. Nor are you to testify in a case, to follow a crowd and pervert justice. 3On the other hand, nor should you takes sides with a poor man in his case. 4“If you find your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you must surely bring it back to him again. 5If you see the donkey of the one that hates you lying down under its burden, do not leave it. Rather, you are to release it with him. 6“You are not to pervert justice to your poor in his dispute. 7Stay far away from a false charge. Do not kill the innocent and the righteous, for I will not justify the guilty. 8Take no bribe, for a bribe blinds those who have sight, and perverts the words of the righteous. 9“Do not oppress an outsider, for you know the heart of an outsider, since you were outsiders in the land of Egypt. 10“For six years you are to sow your land and gather the increase. 11But during the seventh year you are to let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor among your people may eat. Whatever they leave behind, the animals of the field may eat. You are to deal with your vineyard and your olive grove in the same way. 12“You are to do your work for six days, but on the seventh day you will rest, so that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and also the son of your handmaid and the outsider may be refreshed. 13“With all the things that I have said to you, take heed. Make no mention of the names of other gods, and do not let them be heard in your mouth.

Three Harvest Festivals

14“Three times in the year you are to ce­lebrate a festival for Me. 15You are to observe the Feast of Matzot. For seven days you will eat matzot as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Aviv, for that is when you came out from Egypt. No one is to appear before Me empty-handed. 16Also you are to observe the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors that you sow in the field, as well as the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather your crops from the field. 17Three times in the year all your men are to appear before Adonai Elohim. 18“Do not offer the blood of My sacrifice with hametz. Nor is the fat of My feast to remain out all night until the morning. 19Bring the choicest firstfruits of your land into the House of Adonai your God. “Do not boil a kid in its mother’s milk. 20“Behold, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you into the place that I have prepared. 21Watch for Him and listen to His voice. Do not rebel against Him because He will not pardon your transgression, for My Name is in Him. 22But if you listen closely to His voice, and do everything I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. 23For My angel will go before you, and bring you to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and the Jebusites, and I will cut them off. 24You are not to bow down to their gods or serve them, or do what they do. Rather, you are to utterly overthrow them, and break their pillars in pieces. 25You are to serve Adonai your God, and He will bless your food and your water. Moreover I will take sickness away from your midst. 26None will miscarry nor be barren in your land, and I will fill up the number of your days. 27“I will send My terror before you and throw all the people to whom you will come into panic, and make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28I will send the hornet before you, which will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites and the Hittites, from before you. 29I will not drive them out from before you in a single year. Otherwise the land would become desolate, and the animals of the field will multiply against you. 30But little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you are fruitful. Then you will possess the land. 31“I will set your border from the Sea of Reeds to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates River. For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you are to drive them out before you. 32Make no covenant with them or with their gods. 33They must not dwell in your land and cause you to sin against Me, for if you worship their gods, they will be a snare to you.”
–from Exodus 23
So let’s praise Him! Let’s seek Him! Let’s allow Him to penetrate our hearts and deal with the root of the problem(s)! Let’s be transformed by the Spirit through our faith in Jesus!
137Righteous are You, Adonai, and Your judgments are upright. 138You have commanded righteousness, Your testimonies, and great faithfulness. 139My zeal has consumed me, because my foes forgot Your words. 140Your word is thoroughly refined, and Your servant loves it. 141I am insignificant and despised, yet I have not forgotten Your precepts. 142Your justice is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth. 143Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, yet Your mitzvot are my delight. 144Your testimonies are righteous forever —make me understand, so I may live.
145I cried out with all my heart, “Answer me, Adonai! I will keep Your decrees.” 146I cried out to You, “Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.” 147I am up before dawn, crying for help— I put my hope in Your word. 148My eyes are up before every night watch, as I meditate on Your word. 149Hear my voice with Your loving kindness. Revive me, Adonai, with Your judgments. 150Pursuers of wicked schemes draw near— they are far from Your Torah. 151You are near, Adonai, and all Your mitzvot are truth. 152Long ago I learned from Your testimonies that You founded them firmly forever.
153See my affliction and rescue me, for I do not forget Your Torah. 154Defend my cause and redeem me. Restore my life through Your word. 155Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek after Your decrees. 156Great are Your mercies, Adonai. Restore my life with Your judgments. 157Many are my persecutors and my foes. Yet I do not turn from Your testimonies. 158I see the treacherous and loathe them, because they do not keep Your word. 159See how I loved Your precepts. Restore my life, Adonai, with Your loving kindness. 160Truth is the essence of Your word, and all Your righteous rulings are eternal.
161Princes persecute me for no reason, but my heart is in awe of Your words. 162I rejoice in Your word, as one who finds great spoil. 163I hate and abhor falsehood, but Your Torah I love. 164Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous judgments. 165Great peace have they who love Your Torah, and nothing causes them to stumble. 166I hope for Your salvation, Adonai, and do Your mitzvot. 167My soul has observed Your testimonies and I love them exceedingly. 168I observe Your precepts and Your laws, for all my ways are before You.
169Let my cry come to You, Adonai. Grant me understanding by Your word. 170Let my supplication come before You. Deliver me, according to Your promise. 171My lips utter praise, for You teach me Your statutes. 172My tongue sings of Your word, for all Your mitzvot are righteous. 173Let Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts. 174I long for Your deliverance, Adonai, and Your Torah is my delight. 175Let my soul live and praise You, and may Your rulings help me. 176I have strayed like a lost sheep— seek Your servant. For I did not forget Your mitzvoth.
–from Psalms 119
Instead of basing things off our words, let’s go to God’s Word!  Rather than looking for answers and values in what others say, let’s take a hold of the truth and what God says! What does God say about you? What does God’s Word say about Him? What will you do with this new found wisdom? God’s good to His promises! We can trust His Word!
The Role of Israel
1I tell the truth in Messiah—I do not lie, my conscience assuring me in the Ruach ha-Kodesh— 2that my sorrow is great and the anguish in my heart unending. 3For I would pray that I myself were cursed, banished from Messiah for the sake of my people—my own flesh and blood, 4who are Israelites. To them belong the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Torah and the Temple service and the promises. 5To them belong the patriarchs—and from them, according to the flesh, the Messiah, who is over all, God, blessed forever. Amen. 6But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all those who are descended from Israel are Israel, 7nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s seed; rather, “Your seed shall be called through Isaac.” 8That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God; rather, the children of the promise are counted as seed. 9For the word of promise is this: “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10And not only this, but also Rebecca having twins, from one act with our father Isaac. 11Yet before the sons were even born and had not done anything good or bad—so that God’s purpose and choice might stand not because of works but because of Him who calls— 12it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” 13As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15For to Moses He says, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16So then it does not depend on the one who wills or the one who strives, but on God who shows mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up—to demonstrate My power in you, so My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18So then He has mercy on whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills. 19You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20But who in the world are you, O man, who talks back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” 21Does the potter have no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honor and another for common use? 22Now what if God, willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath designed for destruction? 23And what if He did so to make known the riches of His glory on vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory? 24Even us He called—not only from the Jewish people, but also from the Gentiles— 25as He says also in Hosea, “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’ and her who was not loved, ‘Beloved.’ 26And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ there they shall be called sons of the living God.” 27Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of B’nei-Israel be as the sand of the sea, only the remnant shall be saved. 28For Adonai will carry out His word upon the earth, bringing it to an end and finishing quickly.” 29And just as Isaiah foretold, “Unless Adonai-Tzva’ot had left us seed, we would have become like Sodom and resembled Gomorrah.” 30What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness—that is, a righteousness of faith. 31But Israel, who pursued a Torah of righteousness, did not reach the Torah. 32Why? Because they pursued it not by faith, but as if it were from works. They stumbled over the stone of stumbling, 33just as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and whoever believes in Him shall not be put to shame.”
–from Romans

Have you ever been rejected where you once were welcomed?


Has the transformation of you life made it so you are rejected when you go “home”? Has your faith made it so that when you go “home” you are not welcomed? “Home” in quotes is because it isn’t necessarily home, it could be your hometown, it could be your home base of work, … When you are walking at a different level from when you used to, it can make  people feel uncomfortable and uneasy. When you are walking with passion and purpose for something that others don’t get or don’t believe in, it can cause angst that creates a sense of rejection. We see this in today’s reading as we look as Jesus returning to his hometown…

Jesus Is Rejected at Nazareth

(Matthew 13.53-58; Luke 4.16-30)
1Jesus left that place and went back to his hometown, followed by his disciples. 2On the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue. Many people were there; and when they heard him, they were all amazed. “Where did he get all this?” they asked. “What wisdom is this that has been given him? How does he perform miracles? 3Isn’t he the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters living here?” And so they rejected him.
4Jesus said to them, “Prophets are respected everywhere except in their own hometown and by their relatives and their family.”
5He was not able to perform any miracles there, except that he placed his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6He was greatly surprised, because the people did not have faith.
~from Mark 6 (GNT)

They knew you before and have a hard time dealing with the new and improved you. They know about your background and are unsure about who you appear to be today. God’s Word tells us about how when we are saved we become a new creation, we are born again, and to some that may seem weird or strange or scary and as such creates a feeling of rejection or denial. People who used to encourage you and believed in you, now for some reason have lost their faith in you. So don’t give up! Consider it all joy and fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Continue to be light! Continue to speak life! Continue to speak words that build up! Continue to speak truth! Continue to share the Love of Jesus Christ with everyone you encounter! Don’t give up!

Don’t raise up or praise things! Don’t bow down and worship stuff! Rather keep God in the position of God and keep your eyes on Him, for He is bigger and greater than anything that could come before you. He’s bigger than your problems, so magnify God! Let’s do everything we can today to draw closer to God! Let’s express gratitude in a way that will grow and develop leadership!

Let’s raise the bar! Let’s set expectations properly! Let’s not allow ourselves to be fooled or lead astray! Let’s turn to God, the author and perfector of our faith and allow Him to lead us and guide, strengthen us and encourage us, and not be deceived!

Warnings against Idols

1I want you to remember, my friends, what happened to our ancestors who followed Moses. They were all under the protection of the cloud, and all passed safely through the Red Sea. 2In the cloud and in the sea they were all baptized as followers of Moses. 3All ate the same spiritual bread 4and drank the same spiritual drink. They drank from the spiritual rock that went with them; and that rock was Christ himself. 5But even then God was not pleased with most of them, and so their dead bodies were scattered over the desert.
6Now, all of this is an example for us, to warn us not to desire evil things, as they did, 7nor to worship idols, as some of them did. As the scripture says, “The people sat down to a feast which turned into an orgy of drinking and sex.” 8We must not be guilty of sexual immorality, as some of them were—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them fell dead. 9 We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did—and they were killed by snakes. 10We must not complain, as some of them did—and they were destroyed by the Angel of Death.
11All these things happened to them as examples for others, and they were written down as a warning for us. For we live at a time when the end is about to come.
12If you think you are standing firm you had better be careful that you do not fall. 13Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.
14So then, my dear friends, keep away from the worship of idols. 15I speak to you as sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16The cup we use in the Lord’s Supper and for which we give thanks to God: when we drink from it, we are sharing in the blood of Christ. And the bread we break: when we eat it, we are sharing in the body of Christ. 17Because there is the one loaf of bread, all of us, though many, are one body, for we all share the same loaf.
18Consider the people of Israel; those who eat what is offered in sacrifice share in the altar’s service to God. 19Do I imply, then, that an idol or the food offered to it really amounts to anything? 20No! What I am saying is that what is sacrificed on pagan altars is offered to demons, not to God. And I do not want you to be partners with demons. 21You cannot drink from the Lord’s cup and also from the cup of demons; you cannot eat at the Lord’s table and also at the table of demons. 22Or do we want to make the Lord jealous? Do we think that we are stronger than he?
23“We are allowed to do anything,” so they say. That is true, but not everything is good. “We are allowed to do anything”—but not everything is helpful. 24None of you should be looking out for your own interests, but for the interests of others.
25You are free to eat anything sold in the meat market, without asking any questions because of your conscience. 26For, as the scripture says, “The earth and everything in it belong to the Lord.”
27If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you decide to go, eat what is set before you, without asking any questions because of your conscience. 28But if someone tells you, “This food was offered to idols,” then do not eat that food, for the sake of the one who told you and for conscience’ sake— 29that is, not your own conscience, but the other person’s conscience. “Well, then,” someone asks, “why should my freedom to act be limited by another person’s conscience? 30If I thank God for my food, why should anyone criticize me about food for which I give thanks?”
31Well, whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for God’s glory. 32Live in such a way as to cause no trouble either to Jews or Gentiles or to the church of God. 33Just do as I do; I try to please everyone in all that I do, not thinking of my own good, but of the good of all, so that they might be saved.
~from 1 Corinthians 10 (GNT)

Every year I feel that eternity is drawing closer! Every year I feel His return is getting closer! Every time I get to the book of Revelation it speaks something to me. I’m not there yet, however, there is something tugging at my heart, working in my gut, and so I lift up my family, my friends, and everyone I will meet today in hopes that I can be a light of Jesus to them. I pray that You Lord, will be there and that the light of Jesus will be reflected through me in a way that draw them closer to You. This is the day that You have made, so I will rejoice and be glad in it! Faith is the antidote of fear! So my hope and trust in You will help me to step up and stand up, being bold and courageous each day! Help me Lord to live by Your Wisdom! Help me Lord as we read at the end of the reading try to please everyone in all that I do, not thinking of my own good, but of the good of all, so that they might be saved.

Longing for God’s House

HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by the clan of Korah.
1How I love your Temple, Lord Almighty!
2How I want to be there!
I long to be in the Lord‘s Temple.
With my whole being I sing for joy
to the living God.
3Even the sparrows have built a nest,
and the swallows have their own home;
they keep their young near your altars,
Lord Almighty, my king and my God.
4How happy are those who live in your Temple,
always singing praise to you.
5How happy are those whose strength comes from you,
who are eager to make the pilgrimage to Mount Zion.
6As they pass through the dry valley of Baca,
it becomes a place of springs;
the autumn rain fills it with pools.
7They grow stronger as they go;
they will see the God of gods on Zion.
8Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty.
Listen, O God of Jacob!
9Bless our king, O God,
the king you have chosen.
10One day spent in your Temple
is better than a thousand anywhere else;
I would rather stand at the gate of the house of my God
than live in the homes of the wicked.
11The Lord is our protector and glorious king,
blessing us with kindness and honor.
He does not refuse any good thing
to those who do what is right.
12Lord Almighty, how happy are those who trust in you!
~from Psalm 84 (GNT)

Who will you trust? I put my trust in God!

God’s timing is perfect! He doesn’t call the perfected, but He uses the obedient! It’s not about how great we are, but how great He is! It’s not about how good we are, but about how GREAT HE is! What if the man of God came to you and called you a brave and mighty man? Ever wondered? Why me? Why now? If not you, then who? If not now, then when? God is true and can be trusted! He can do infinitely more than we could ever ask or imagine! Fear not, Just believe! Don’t put your trust in numbers! Put your trust in God! The battle belongs to the Lord!

Gideon

1Once again the people of Israel sinned against the Lord, so he let the people of Midian rule them for seven years. 2The Midianites were stronger than Israel, and the people of Israel hid from them in caves and other safe places in the hills. 3Whenever the Israelites would plant their crops, the Midianites would come with the Amalekites and the desert tribes and attack them. 4They would camp on the land and destroy the crops as far south as the area around Gaza. They would take all the sheep, cattle, and donkeys, and leave nothing for the Israelites to live on. 5They would come with their livestock and tents, as thick as locusts. They and their camels were too many to count. They came and devastated the land, 6and Israel was helpless against them.
7Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help against the Midianites, 8and he sent them a prophet who brought them this message from the Lord, the God of Israel: “I brought you out of slavery in Egypt. 9I rescued you from the Egyptians and from the people who fought you here in this land. I drove them out as you advanced, and I gave you their land. 10I told you that I am the Lord your God and that you should not worship the gods of the Amorites, whose land you are now living in. But you have not listened to me.”
11Then the Lord‘s angel came to the village of Ophrah and sat under the oak tree that belonged to Joash, a man of the clan of Abiezer. His son Gideon was threshing some wheat secretly in a wine press, so that the Midianites would not see him. 12The Lord‘s angel appeared to him there and said, “The Lord is with you, brave and mighty man!”
13Gideon said to him, “If I may ask, sir, why has all this happened to us if the Lord is with us? What happened to all the wonderful things that our fathers told us the Lord used to do—how he brought them out of Egypt? The Lord has abandoned us and left us to the mercy of the Midianites.”
14Then the Lord ordered him, “Go with all your great strength and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I myself am sending you.”
15Gideon replied, “But Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least important member of my family.”
16The Lord answered, “You can do it because I will help you. You will crush the Midianites as easily as if they were only one man.”
17Gideon replied, “If you are pleased with me, give me some proof that you are really the Lord. 18Please do not leave until I bring you an offering of food.”
He said, “I will stay until you come back.”
19So Gideon went into his house and cooked a young goat and used a bushel of flour to make bread without any yeast. He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, brought them to the Lord‘s angel under the oak tree, and gave them to him. 20The angel told him, “Put the meat and the bread on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” Gideon did so. 21Then the Lord‘s angel reached out and touched the meat and the bread with the end of the stick he was holding. Fire came out of the rock and burned up the meat and the bread. Then the angel disappeared.
22Gideon then realized that it was the Lord‘s angel he had seen, and he said in terror, “Sovereign Lord! I have seen your angel face-to-face!”
23But the Lord told him, “Peace. Don’t be afraid. You will not die.” 24Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it “The Lord is Peace.” (It is still standing at Ophrah, which belongs to the clan of Abiezer.)
25That night the Lord told Gideon, “Take your father’s bull and another bull seven years old,#

6.25: bull and another bull seven years old; or bull, the seven-year-old one.

tear down your father’s altar to Baal, and cut down the symbol of the goddess Asherah, which is beside it. 26Build a well-constructed altar to the Lord your God on top of this mound. Then take the second bull#

6.26: the second bull; or the bull.

and burn it whole as an offering, using for firewood the symbol of Asherah you have cut down.” 27So Gideon took ten of his servants and did what the Lord had told him. He was too afraid of his family and the people in town to do it by day, so he did it at night.

28When the people in town got up early the next morning, they found that the altar to Baal and the symbol of Asherah had been cut down, and that the second bull had been burned on the altar that had been built there. 29They asked each other, “Who did this?” They investigated and found out that Gideon son of Joash had done it. 30Then they said to Joash, “Bring your son out here, so that we can kill him! He tore down the altar to Baal and cut down the symbol of Asherah beside it.”
31But Joash said to all those who confronted him, “Are you arguing for Baal? Are you defending him? Anyone who argues for him will be killed before morning. If Baal is a god, let him defend himself. It is his altar that was torn down.” 32From then on Gideon was known as Jerubbaal,#

6.32: Jerubbaal: This name in Hebrew means “Let Baal defend himself.”

because Joash said, “Let Baal defend himself; it is his altar that was torn down.”

33Then all the Midianites, the Amalekites, and the desert tribes assembled, crossed the Jordan River, and camped in Jezreel Valley. 34The spirit of the Lord took control of Gideon, and he blew a trumpet to call the men of the clan of Abiezer to follow him. 35He sent messengers throughout the territory of both parts of Manasseh to call them to follow him. He sent messengers to the tribes of Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they also came to join him.
36Then Gideon said to God, “You say that you have decided to use me to rescue Israel. 37Well, I am putting some wool on the ground where we thresh the wheat. If in the morning there is dew only on the wool but not on the ground, then I will know that you are going to use me to rescue Israel.” 38That is exactly what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the wool and wrung enough dew out of it to fill a bowl with water. 39Then Gideon said to God, “Don’t be angry with me; let me speak just once more. Please let me make one more test with the wool. This time let the wool be dry, and the ground be wet.” 40That night God did that very thing. The next morning the wool was dry, but the ground was wet with dew.
~from Judges 6 (GNT)

Gideon Defeats the Midianites

1One day Gideon and all his men got up early and camped beside Harod Spring. The Midianite camp was in the valley to the north of them by Moreh Hill.
2The Lord said to Gideon, “The men you have are too many for me to give them victory over the Midianites. They might think that they had won by themselves, and so give me no credit. 3Announce to the people, ‘Anyone who is afraid should go back home, and we will stay here at Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand went back, but ten thousand stayed.
4Then the Lord said to Gideon, “You still have too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will separate them for you there. If I tell you a man should go with you, he will go. If I tell you a man should not go with you, he will not go.” 5Gideon took the men down to the water, and the Lord told him, “Separate everyone who laps up the water with his tongue like a dog, from everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.” 6There were three hundred men who scooped up water in their hands and lapped it; all the others got down on their knees to drink. 7The Lord said to Gideon, “I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites with the three hundred men who lapped the water. Tell everyone else to go home.” 8So Gideon sent all the Israelites home, except the three hundred, who kept all the supplies and trumpets. The Midianite camp was below them in the valley.
9That night the Lord commanded Gideon, “Get up and attack the camp; I am giving you victory over it. 10But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. 11You will hear what they are saying, and then you will have the courage to attack.” So Gideon and his servant Purah went down to the edge of the enemy camp. 12The Midianites, the Amalekites, and the desert tribesmen were spread out in the valley like a swarm of locusts, and they had as many camels as there are grains of sand on the seashore.
13When Gideon arrived, he heard a man telling a friend about a dream. He was saying, “I dreamed that a loaf of barley bread rolled into our camp and hit a tent. The tent collapsed and lay flat on the ground.”
14His friend replied, “It’s the sword of the Israelite, Gideon son of Joash! It can’t mean anything else! God has given him victory over Midian and our whole army!”
15When Gideon heard about the man’s dream and what it meant, he fell to his knees and worshiped the Lord. Then he went back to the Israelite camp and said, “Get up! The Lord is giving you victory over the Midianite army!” 16He divided his three hundred men into three groups and gave each man a trumpet and a jar with a torch inside it. 17He told them, “When I get to the edge of the camp, watch me, and do what I do. 18When my group and I blow our trumpets, then you blow yours all around the camp and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’”
19Gideon and his one hundred men came to the edge of the camp a while before midnight, just after the guard had been changed. Then they blew the trumpets and broke the jars they were holding, 20and the other two groups did the same. They all held the torches in their left hands, the trumpets in their right, and shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21Every man stood in his place around the camp, and the whole enemy army ran away yelling. 22While Gideon’s men were blowing their trumpets, the Lord made the enemy troops attack each other with their swords. They ran toward Zarethan as far as Beth Shittah, as far as the town of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.
23Then men from the tribes of Naphtali, Asher, and both parts of Manasseh were called out, and they pursued the Midianites. 24Gideon sent messengers through all the hill country of Ephraim to say, “Come down and fight the Midianites. Hold the Jordan River and the streams as far as Bethbarah, to keep the Midianites from crossing them.” The men of Ephraim were called together, and they held the Jordan River and the streams as far as Bethbarah. 25They captured the two Midianite chiefs, Oreb and Zeeb; they killed Oreb at Oreb Rock, and Zeeb at the Winepress of Zeeb. They continued to pursue the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was now east of the Jordan.
~from Judges 7 (GNT)

God is watching over you today with compassion. He sees what we are going through. He is love, there is no darkness in Him.


Job 7:18

20  If I have sinned, what [harm] have I done You, O You Watcher and Keeper of men? Why have You set me as a mark for You, so that I am a burden to myself [and You]?

Job referred to God as a watcher or observer of humanity. He was expressing the feeling that God seemed like an enemy to him-someone who mercilessly watched him squirm in his misery. We know that God does watch over everything that happens to us. We must never forget that he sees us with compassion, not merely with critical scrutiny. His eyes are eyes of love. (ref: http://www.youversion.com/?reading_plan=life-application-study-bible-devotion)


Be anxious for nothing, but through prayer and supplication, bring your cares and concerns before God.

Philippians 4:6

6  Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.


Psalm 14

1  THE [empty-headed] fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable deeds; there is none that does good or right. 2  The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any who understood, dealt wisely, and sought after God, inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him [of vital necessity].3  They are all gone aside, they have all together become filthy; there is none that does good or right, no, not one. 4  Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread and who do not call on the Lord?5  There they shall be in great fear [literally–dreading a dread], for God is with the generation of the [uncompromisingly] righteous (those upright and in right standing with Him).6  You [evildoers] would put to shame and confound the plans of the poor and patient, but the Lord is his safe refuge.7  Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord shall restore the fortunes of His people, then Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad.

Proverbs 14

1  EVERY WISE woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.2  He who walks in uprightness reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, but he who is contrary and devious in his ways despises Him.3  In the fool’s own mouth is a rod [to shame] his pride, but the wise men’s lips preserve them.4  Where no oxen are, the grain crib is empty, but much increase [of crops] comes by the strength of the ox.5  A faithful witness will not lie, but a false witness breathes out falsehoods.6  A scoffer seeks Wisdom in vain [for his very attitude blinds and deafens him to it], but knowledge is easy to him who [being teachable] understands.7  Go from the presence of a foolish and self-confident man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.8  The Wisdom [godly Wisdom, which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of [self-confident] fools is to deceive.9  Fools make a mock of sin and sin mocks the fools [who are its victims; a sin offering made by them only mocks them, bringing them disappointment and disfavor], but among the upright there is the favor of God. 10  The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy.11  The house of the wicked shall be overthrown, but the tent of the upright shall flourish.12  There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.13  Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful, and the end of mirth is heaviness and grief.14  The backslider in heart [from God and from fearing God] shall be filled with [the fruit of] his own ways, and a good man shall be satisfied with [the fruit of] his ways [with the holy thoughts and actions which his heart prompts and in which he delights].15  The simpleton believes every word he hears, but the prudent man looks and considers well where he is going.16  A wise man suspects danger and cautiously avoids evil, but the fool bears himself insolently and is [presumptuously] confident.17  He who foams up quickly and flies into a passion deals foolishly, and a man of wicked plots and plans is hated.18  The simple acquire folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.19  The evil men bow before the good, and the wicked [stand suppliantly] at the gates of the [uncompromisingly] righteous.20  The poor is hated even by his own neighbor, but the rich has many friends.21  He who despises his neighbor sins [against God, his fellowman, and himself], but happy (blessed and fortunate) is he who is kind and merciful to the poor.22  Do they not err who devise evil and wander from the way of life? But loving-kindness and mercy, loyalty and faithfulness, shall be to those who devise good.23  In all labor there is profit, but idle talk leads only to poverty.24  The crown of the wise is their wealth of Wisdom, but the foolishness of [self-confident] fools is [nothing but] folly.25  A truthful witness saves lives, but a deceitful witness speaks lies [and endangers lives].26  In the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children shall always have a place of refuge.27  Reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death. 28  In a multitude of people is the king’s glory, but in a lack of people is the prince’s ruin.29  He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is hasty of spirit exposes and exalts his folly. 30  A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.31  He who oppresses the poor reproaches, mocks, and insults his Maker, but he who is kind and merciful to the needy honors Him. 32  The wicked is overthrown through his wrongdoing and calamity, but the [consistently] righteous has hope and confidence even in death.33  Wisdom rests [silently] in the mind and heart of him who has understanding, but that which is in the inward part of [self-confident] fools is made known. 34  Uprightness and right standing with God (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) elevate a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.35  The king’s favor is toward a wise and discreet servant, but his wrath is against him who does shamefully.


Lord, I remember Your prophesy over me and the word of Ezekiel 22:30

30  And I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.

Here I am Lord. Here I stand for You, calling out to You. Help me bring You praise and honor and glory. Help me stand firm on the foundation You have built in Jesus.


Notes:

  • walk in uprightness reverently and worshipfully
  • do not lie
  • be teachable and understand
  • remember to forgive so that you don’t end up finding out later there is bitterness – a root of bitterness that messes you up
  • stay on the narrow road
  • trust God
  • lean not on your own understand
  • be prudent – look and consider well where you are going
  • Love Your God with all your heart, your mind, and your strength
  • Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
  • share loving-kindness and mercy, loyalty and faithfulness
  • work hard
  • seek wisdom first
  • be truthful
  • have reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord –> Confidence and a place of refuge
  • –> fountain of life
  • be slow to anger
  • have a calm and undisturbed mind and heart
  • be kind and merciful to the needy
  • remember the end – no matter what, there is always hope and confidence, for know Who we believe in.
  • Let’s help raise up moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation that God will elevate the nation
  • be wise and discreet

How important is it for you to do what is right? Will you do it out of love or out of fear? What motivates you to act?


If someone was coming to take something important to you, what is your first response or reaction? Is it a human response or spirit lead?

And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"

When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?" And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

But Jesus answered and said, "Permit even this." And He touched his ear and healed him.

When do you want to do something? Is it in the light or in the dark? Do you do it where people can see you or do you do it in darkness to hide it from others?

Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness."

Have you ever been in a situation where someone said you were going to do something, but you denied it and said I would never do that? And then did it? Or where you warned someone and they said they would never do that? Jesus has the power to forgive and to help you forgive. We all need Him and His power to forgive and be forgiven.

Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, "This man was also with Him."

But he denied Him, saying, "Woman, I do not know Him."
And after a little while another saw him and said, "You also are of them."
But Peter said, "Man, I am not!"
Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, "Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean."

But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are saying!"
Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Have you ever been in a situation where you have told people something, but they wouldn’t believe you? They saw you do it, but they still question you? Have you ever said or felt, I have had enough, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you anyways? Or that they would try to use it against you, even though it was all done for good?

Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, "Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?" And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him.

As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, "If You are the Christ, tell us."

But He said to them, "If I tell you, you will by no means believe. And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go. Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God."

Then they all said, "Are You then the Son of God?"
So He said to them, "You rightly say that I am."
And they said, "What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth."

Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, "We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King."

Have you ever been in a situation where people are trying to get you in trouble and won’t let the truth get in the way of what they want? Or maybe not you, but someone else in trouble?

Then Pilate asked Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?"
He answered him and said, "It is as you say."
So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no fault in this Man."

But they were the more fierce, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place."

When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.

Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, said to them, "You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. I will therefore chastise Him and release Him" (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).

And they all cried out at once, saying, "Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas"-who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.

Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. But they shouted, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!"

Then he said to them the third time, "Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go."

But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.


Today’s Reading:

Luke 22:47-23:11,13-25; Psalm 110:4-7; Proverbs 20:7


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that is within it. I thank You for my wife, my children, my friends, and all those I have met or will meet. Lord, though I find myself in a place where I “new”, where I have a lot to learn, I put my hope and trust in You, for I know that You will guide my step and guide my path. I know that Your rod will protect and correct  me and that Your staff will guide me. I lift up this day to You and pray that You will be pleased with my work as I work for You desiring to give You praise and honor and glory. I lift this all up to You today in Jesus’ name. Amen.


WORSHIP

The LORD has sworn
And will not relent,
"You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek."
The Lord is at Your right hand;
He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath.
He shall judge among the nations,
He shall fill the places with dead bodies,
He shall execute the heads of many countries.
He shall drink of the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He shall lift up the head.
Psalm 110:4-7

WISDOM

The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.
Proverbs 20:7