THRIVE: As the work week closes and a long weekend begins, what level of change is required to thrive?


Workweek 2 is in the books and yet the busyness and balance continue to happen. The direction towards THRIVE is still top of mind. The reality that it is going to take change is at hand. Each week has closed with the reality of quite significant changes to the organization. Each week has included surprises that I couldn’t have predicted and don’t think I would have asked for. In the midst of it all, my hope is not in those changes but in the reality that God is in control of it all. Just like how in the first week of prayer and fasting God brought peace and hope in the midst of it all, God was still present as we navigated through week 2. We get a long weekend here and yet I know the 4-day workweek next week will contain more changes and possibly even some insight and visibility into what is going to be. Even as I contemplate and consider all of this I started my day with God’s Word and it spoke the following truth into my very situation:

‘For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. ‘

2 Timothy 1:7

So as we close out week 2 and head into the weekend while having a view towards week 3, let’s grab hold of God’s Spirit that doesn’t make us easily frightened · lacking courage · fearful · apprehensive · afraid · frightened · scared · faint-hearted · trembling · quaking · cowering · weak-kneed · shy · diffident · bashful · self-effacing · shrinking · unassuming · unassertive · reserved · retiring · reticent · quiet · timorous · nervous · modest · demure · coy · meek · humble · cowardly · pusillanimous · lily-livered · pigeon-hearted · spineless · craven · poor-spirited · recreant. Let’s grab hold of God’s Spirit that gives us and fills us with power. Let’s grab hold of God’s Spirit that gives and fills us with love. Let’s grab hold of God’s Spirit that gives and fills us with self-discipline. By grabbing onto this in the midst of the changes, we can be ready and prepared to thrive as we come out the other end. So let’s keep our eyes on Jesus rather than the distractions of the enemy like the winds and waves of a storm. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus and walk with Him into and through it all.


Today’s post from Be The Dads is Finding Dad – Day 4.


So where are you at today? What are you going through? Are you ready to thrive? Are you ready for the change that will required for you to thrive? Are you trying to see where to go or what to do? Let’s decide today that 2022 is the year to thrive and invite Jesus into our very situation. Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts to lead and guide us. Let’s choose to make the rest of our lives count for God by living with purpose, on purpose and for His purpose. Let’s pray:

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

THRIVE: Workweek #2 begins – Lots to do with all the change that is taking place…


With a new year there is always a lot of things to wrap up from the previous year but this year on top of the normal year-end review type things I am faced with some major changes coming down the pipe. As part of these changes, I need to prepare to explain and present our group to executives who will want to learn more about who we are as a team and what we do for the company. With the normal heavy lifting of reviews, this extra layer of work at first made me wonder and even stress a little bit. Thankfully our first week of the year was one of prayer and fasting which meant I was leaning into God more and so it allowed His truth and His promises to cause me to cast the cares, the anxieties, the worries onto Him because He cares for me. I grabbed hold of the 1 Peter 5:7 that says: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I was able to grab hold of the truth that for me to thrive required change, I couldn’t just keep living life the way I had been if I wanted to make 2022 a year to thrive. I didn’t realize it meant in both my personal and professional lives though. Be it with my girls leaving home in 2022. Be it org changes to kick-off 2022. Be it prepping for camps in 2022. So today as I prep for what this week will include, anticipating my wife and daughter coming home from their trip to a soccer showcase, getting my son to and from school, taking care of the home including a puppy, the animals, putting out the trash, and what not, writing up the review docs, writing up the org docs, writing up a report for a board meeting, scheduling the kick-off meeting for the camp core team, and whatever else comes my way.


Today’s verse of the Day comes to us from Ephesians 4:2 and says:

‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. ‘

Ephesians 4:2

So today in the midst of it all, God reminds me that I need to live out my today completely humble and so I can’t be walking around being proud or overbearing. God’s Word speaks to the need of being gentle and so living out my today
kind
 · kindly · tender · benign · humane · lenient · merciful · forgiving · forbearing · sympathetic · considerate · understanding · clement · compassionate · benevolent · kindhearted · tenderhearted · good-natured · sweet-tempered · loving · mild · soft · quiet · shy · demure · modest · humble · retiring · unassuming · still · tranquil · peaceful · peaceable · pacific · placid · serene · reposeful · reverent · meek · docile · lamblike · dove-like. God’s Word continues with the need to be patient that’s right, be
forbearing
 · uncomplaining · tolerant · long-suffering · resigned · stoical · calm · composed · serene · even-tempered · tranquil · imperturbable · unexcitable · accommodating · understanding · indulgent · kind · considerate · longanimous · equanimous · inexcitable · persevering · persistent · tenacious · diligent · assiduous · indefatigable · dogged · determined · resolved · resolute · obstinate · insistent · single-minded · purposeful · pertinacious. Which all comes together with love when He closes it out saying to bear with one another in love. Do you remember what love is? Let’s grab a quick look in 1 Corinthians 13 as a reminder where it says:

‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

So here we go into week 2 of 2022 with a mission and goal to THRIVE. Let’s grab a hold of it and live it out in love for one another.


Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 5 – How has becoming a father changed your perspective on a Father’s love for his children?


So where are you at today? Are you facing a lot of change? Don’t allow yourself to try and carry it alone and get overwhelmed, instead cast it on God who cares for you! Don’t be overwhelmed by it instead overwhelm it with love! If you are feeling the pressures of evil, Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it. Let’s invite Jesus into our very situation. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through our busy today. Let’s be transformed by the renewing of our heart, minds, and souls. Let’s pray:


What is your source? What fuels you?


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

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

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

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


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


POWER TO LIVE


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

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

I Corinthians 6:14

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

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

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

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

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

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

John MacArthur

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

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

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

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


Love you! Love you more! Love you most!


Ever gotten into one of those games where you try to express how much you care and it gets upped? Ever had someone or been someone who goes one level more? Going from more to most? More is additional or a higher degree than without more right? Most on the other hand is used when it is the greatest amount or degree. So what does it take to go to the level of more? What would it take to get to the greatest level of most?

Where do you turn to understand the degrees of love? Where do you turn to understand the levels of love? Where do you turn to understand the levels of love? Where do you turn to get started understanding what love is? For me I start with 1 Corinthians 13 where it tells me:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Then to compare the levels of love, I go to the reality that God is love and see what God’s Word has to say about that:

‘Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. ‘

1 John 4:8

‘Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. ‘

1 John 4:8-12

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. ‘

John 3:16-18.

God is love and gave us an example of true love. So we ought to love one another. We may not be able to love more than God who loves most but we can live our lives learning and leaning in to be able to love more and more. So as we head into the Christmas season when we celebrate the coming of Jesus, let’s decide to live out this holiday season in and with love. Let’s not only look for and expect the gift of love but let’s be people who are giving generously love to the world around us. Let’s both be friends to others but also decide to receive by faith Jesus into our lives and be called friends of God just like Abraham.

‘And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God , and this [faith] was credited to him [by God] as righteousness and as conformity to His will ,” and he was called the friend of God. ‘

James 2:23

THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 23RD


Can’t Love You More


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. ‘

John 15:13

Let’s look to get the context from the additional version and more details through the Amplified version.

‘ “This is My commandment, that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another, just as I have loved you. No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends. You are my friends if you keep on doing what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you [My] friends, because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father. You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you. This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another. ‘

John 15:12-17

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you just talking the talk but not walking the walk?
  • Are you able to talk the talk and walk the walk?
  • Are you truly committed to your spouse? Do you love them?
  • Are you truly committed to your kids? Do you love them?
  • Are you truly committed to your friends? Do you love them?
  • If we consider that the measure of love as described in today’s verse is sacrifice then what is the level of sacrifice you have or are or will make for them?
  • If we consider that the measure of love as described in today’s verse is sacrifice then how often are you willing to give up your own pleasures in order to meet their’s?
  • If we consider that the measure of love as described in today’s verse is sacrifice then how often are you willing to give up your own comforts in order to meet their’s?
  • If we consider that the measure of love as described in today’s verse is sacrifice then how often are you willing to give up your own desires in order to meet their’s?
  • Do you love them enough to give up your own pleasures, comforts, and desires?
  • Do you love unconditionally?
  • Do you love genuinely?
  • When a test comes during a time of crisis, what does it reveal about the state of your heart and your love for others?
  • Consider soldiers and the commitment, sacrifice, and love they show by being willing to give their lives for one another.
  • Consider all those who have sacrificed their lives for their country, their democracy, their unit but most of all for their friends in the foxhole with them.
  • What about a crisis like chronical illness? What are you able to see through the response of others? Authentic love!
  • Are you able to show authentic love to annoying people by being patient?
  • Are you able to show authentic love to people who habitually and continually offend you by forgiving them?
  • Are you able to show authentic love by speaking the truth rather than just going and hiding?
  • So are you being self-absorbed or self-sacrificing?
  • Selfishness has been something to deal with for a very long time as the Bible teaches us about it. It’s not new! It’s not just something we are having to deal with!
  • Will you be willing to sacrifice even if the other person doesn’t get it?
  • Will you be willing to sacrifice even if the other person doesn’t appreciate it?
  • Will you just choose to live your life to demonstrate God’s love to you, in you, and through you?
  • Will you choose to live your life patiently in the midst of unappreciative and misunderstood people?
  • Will you persevere and allow perseverance to finish its work through the times of trials so that when it finishes its work you will be complete and lacking nothing?
  • Will you live focused on bringing the love of Jesus into the world around you?
  • Will you live your life in order to point people to Jesus and His love and ultimate sacrifice for each of us?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What does authentic love look like to you?
  • In what ways was Christ’s life as much of a sacrifice as His death?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The greatest enemy of Christianity may be people who say they believe in Jesus but who are no longer astonished and amazed. We have allowed screens to beat our imaginations into submissions and have become tourists rather than travelers. We have been stunted by mediocrity…”

Mike Yaconelli, Dangerous Wonder

As we continue through December we have finished the readings of the Tanakh and I thank Sefaria for their resources in helping me to see the Old Testament in a new way and my friend Lionel for having shared this tool with me. As we kicked off December the idea my wife brought up came to mind about going through the book of Luke (who was a doctor) which happens to have 24 chapters so that we can read one a day and complete it in time for Christmas. To get as many details from this I am going to use the Amplified version to try and grasp all the details Luke gives us to consider and learn.

So today we will read Luke 23:

‘Then the whole assembly got up and brought Him before Pilate. They began to accuse Jesus, asserting, “We found this Man misleading and perverting our nation and forbidding us to pay taxes to Caesar, and claiming that He Himself is Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), a King.” So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him, “It is just as you say.” Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this Man.” But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people [to rebel], teaching throughout Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as here [in Jerusalem].” When Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that He belonged to the jurisdiction of Herod [Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee], he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly pleased. He had wanted to see Him for a long time because of what he had heard about Him, and was hoping to see some [miraculous] sign [even something spectacular] done by Him. And he questioned Him at some length, but Jesus made no reply. The chief priests and the scribes were standing there, continually accusing Him heatedly. And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking and ridiculing Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. Now that very day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other—before this they had been enemies.

Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought this man before me as one who corrupts and incites the people to rebellion. After examining Him before you, I have found no guilt in this Man regarding the charges which you make against Him. No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and indeed, He has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore I will punish Him [to teach Him a lesson] and release Him.” [ Now he was obligated to release to them one prisoner at the Feast. ] But they [loudly] shouted out all together, saying, “Away with this Man, and release Barabbas to us!” (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection that happened in the city, and for murder.) Pilate addressed them again, wanting to release Jesus, but they kept shouting out, “Crucify, crucify Him!” A third time he said to them, “Why, what wrong has He done? I have found no guilt [no crime, no offense] in Him demanding death; therefore I will punish Him [to teach Him a lesson] and release Him.” But they were insistent and unrelenting, demanding with loud voices that Jesus be crucified. And their voices began to prevail and accomplish their purpose. Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted. And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he handed over Jesus to their will.

When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in [to the city] from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus. Following Him was a large crowd of the people, including women who were mourning and wailing for Him. But Jesus, turning toward them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not given birth, and the breasts that have never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be executed with Him.

When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing His clothes among themselves. Now the people stood by, watching; but even the rulers ridiculed and sneered at Him, saying, “He saved others [from death]; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) of God, His Chosen One.” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him and [cruelly] offering Him sour wine, and sarcastically saying, “If you are [really] the King of the Jews, save Yourself [from death]!” Now there was also an inscription above Him: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” One of the criminals who had been hanged [on a cross beside Him] kept hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us [from death]!” But the other one rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? We are suffering justly, because we are getting what we deserve for what we have done; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, [please] remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” Jesus said to him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” It was now about the sixth hour (noon), and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.), because the sun was obscured; and the veil [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two [from top to bottom]. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!” Having said this, He breathed His last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he began praising and honoring God, saying, “Certainly this Man was innocent.” All the crowds who had gathered for this spectacle, when they saw what had happened, began to return [to their homes], beating their breasts [as a sign of mourning or repentance]. And all His acquaintances and the women who had accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, watching these things.

A man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), a good and honorable man (he had not consented to the Council’s plan and action) a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for and expecting the kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. And [after receiving permission] he took it down and wrapped it in a linen [burial] cloth and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had yet been laid. It was the day of preparation [for the Sabbath], and the Sabbath was dawning. Now the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed [closely], and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they went back and prepared spices and ointments and sweet-smelling herbs. And on the Sabbath they rested in accordance with the commandment [forbidding work].’

Luke 23:1-56

So where are you at today? Are you loving? Are you feeling the love? Are you loving first? Are you loving more? Are you loving most? Are you ready to receive true and unconditional love from God? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and your life? Are you ready for things to be different? 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?


They say that sharing is caring… So are you showing how much you care as we head into the Christmas season?


Day 5 of December and it is hard to believe how fast 2021 has gone. It has had a bit more normalcy than 2020 did but still some challenges when it comes to engaging and connecting with others. So with the working from home, the physical distancing, the mandates that some politicians somehow think are needed even if they seem to interfere with our privacy and ability to support our local businesses, it is still challenging to be able to connect and engage with others in a social atmosphere in a lot of cases. So how are you caring for those around you? So how are you caring for those in need or with needs? So how are you caring for those who don’t have anyone else? So how are you caring for those who can’t go out? So how are you caring for those who can’t or won’t be able to meet the demands of the political mandates? So how are you caring for those who can’t care for themselves? So how are you caring for those who would normally be caring for the people who are sick, who are in need, who are at risk but have been removed from those positions by mandates made up by people?

Are you ready to share? Are you ready to do your part to make sure others know you care? Are you ready to let your family know you care by sharing with them? Are you ready to let your friends and neighbors know you care by sharing with them? Are you ready to let your coworkers know you care by sharing with them? Are you ready to let the service workers know how much you care by sharing with them? Are you ready to stand up for what is right and just so that those who can’t stand up for themselves know how much you care by sharing with them? Are you ready to let them know how much you care by sharing?

Sharing is caring because it helps you be more empathetic by caring for others unconditionally. Sharing is caring because it helps you build social skills that are needed to be well adjusted. Sharing is caring because it develops a selfless attitude in us by showing how much others are appreciated. Sharing is caring because it helps you take responsibility for caring for others in society. Sharing is caring because it brings hope and positivity into the lives of others. Sharing is caring because it teaches you to sacrifice for a greater good and purpose. Sharing is caring because it helps you live life with humility to the needs of others. Sharing is caring because it is an act of kindness where you are able to offer something that belongs to you to someone else because you believe they need it and that you have enough to pass it around. Sharing is caring because it has the potential to change a life and change the world. Sharing is caring because it demonstrates that you love. Sharing is caring because it demonstrates how you have shaken off selfishness in order to become more selfless.

So as we head into our today, are you ready to share in order to say that you care? Ever considered what you have that you can share with others? What about your faith?


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 5TH


Sharing Your Faith


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.’

Colossians 4:2-4

Let’s look at this to get more context and details by expanding a bit and using the Amplified version.

‘Masters, [on your part] deal with your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us, too, that God will open a door [of opportunity] to us for the word, to proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I have been imprisoned; that I may make it clear [and speak boldly and unfold the mystery] in the way I should. Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you]. As to all my affairs, Tychicus, who is a much-loved brother and faithful assistant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will give you all the information. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are doing and that he may encourage your hearts; and with him is Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will let you know everything about the situation here [in Rome]. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, wishes to be remembered to you; as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him); and from Jesus, who is called Justus. These are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision (Jewish Christians), and they have proved to be an encouragement and a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you and a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [He is] always striving for you in his prayers, praying with genuine concern, [pleading] that you may [as people of character and courage] stand firm, [spiritually mature] and fully assured in all the will of God. For I testify for him that he has worked strenuously for you and for the believers in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you. Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house. When this letter has been read among you, see that it is read in the church of the Laodiceans; and also that you in turn read my letter [that is coming to you] from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See to it that you fulfill [carefully the duties of] the ministry which you have received in the Lord.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. May grace (God’s unmerited favor and blessing) be with you.’

Colossians 4:1-18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • So will you let God lead you to share your faith with others?
  • Will you allow God to work in and through you to share His love and your hope with others?
  • Will you allow God to open doors for you to share your faith with others?
  • Will you allow God to motivate your words and testimony of His impact on your life?
  • Will you share Jesus with the world through the way you choose to live your life?
  • Will you share how life is a partnership with God?
  • Will you allow God to do the heavy lifting and when others come ready that you will be ready to share with them?
  • Are you sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?
  • Will you respond and share when prompted by the Holy Spirit?
  • Will you go where the Holy Spirit leads you?
  • Will you no go where the Holy Spirit blocks or stops you?
  • We see how Paul had such an experience:
    • ‘Now they passed through the territory of Phrygia and Galatia, after being forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor]; and after they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; so passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. Then a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man from [the Roman province of] Macedonia was standing and pleading with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” And when he had seen the vision, we (including Luke) tried to go on into Macedonia at once, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. ‘
      Acts 16:6-10
  • Trying to bulldoze others with your faith won’t work.
  • We need God to prepare the heart and have the other person ready to receive the good news.
  • Side Note: I remember many years back when our admin came up to me and said I wasn’t like that last Christian who was on the team who went around threatening people that if they didn’t accept Jesus they were going to hell. I told her that wasn’t me and not how I operated. I try to live a life where people are able to see Jesus in and through the way I choose to live my life. I try to live my life in a way where if people are seeking or curious they can feel open and free to ask me. I try to live my life ready to share when prompted by the Holy Spirit.
  • So today let’s be prayed up so that we are filled up and ready to act based on the Spirit’s leading and direction.
  • So today let’s be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in order to do and accomplish what He asks of us.
  • So today let’s be obedient to the prompting of the Spirit.
  • Remember Paul’s original encounter with Jesus on the road to Demascus?
  • It was a life changing experience that kept him going for the rest of his life, spreading the truth and the good news of Jesus.
  • Let’s be ready like Paul to share the love and forgiveness of God as they are our live and breath imparted by Jesus.
  • Let’s be ready to tell everyone who is ready and willing about Jesus!
  • Let’s be ready to tell everyone who is ready and willing to hear about Jesus, no matter the consequences!
  • Let’s be ready to share our faith with the world around us rather than thinking or believing that we can leave that to the professionals.
  • God has put us right here and right now for the people who we have around us. We might be the only experience of Jesus and the church they may ever experience or see.
  • Be it inviting people to come to church. Be it asking God to help you with open doors to speak love and life through your faith in to the lives of friends and family.
  • Be ready for when the timing is right and the Spirit prompts you, tell them about the hope that is within you and how Jesus has transformed you life.
  • We don’t have to be professional speakers or preachers to be able to communicate authentically the love of God and how He has worked in and through your life.
  • We don’t have to be biblical scholars who can answer all the questions either.
  • People are looking for authentic faith.
  • People are looking for authentic love.
  • People are looking for authentic people.
  • Will that be you the one who can show that to them?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Take a few minutes to ask God for an open door to share your faith with particular people who are on your heart.
  • Write an outline of what you will tell them when God opens the door. Write about what your life was like before you trusted Christ, the even when you trust Him, and the difference He has made in your life.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Since the Lord in the great commission clearly tells us to ‘Go ye therefore into all the world, teaching and preaching’, I felt that not only was I instructed to do so but I wanted to do so. As a believer I felt I needed through my own life to be an example of my belief.”

Zig Ziglar

As we move into December we have finished the readings of the Tanakh and I thank Sefaria for their resources in helping me to see the Old Testament in a new way and my friend Lionel for having shared this tool with me. As we kick off December the idea my wife brought up came to mind about going through the book of Luke (who was a doctor) which happens to have 24 chapters which mean we can read one a day and complete it in time for Christmas. To get as many details from this I am going to use the Amplified version to try and grasp all the details Luke gives us to consider and learn.

So today we will read Luke 5:

‘Now it happened that while Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret (Sea of Galilee), with the people crowding all around Him and listening to the word of God; that He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake, but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little distance from the shore. And He sat down and began teaching the crowds from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon [Peter], “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch [of fish].” Simon replied, “Master, we worked hard all night [to the point of exhaustion] and caught nothing [in our nets], but at Your word I will [do as you say and] lower the nets [again].” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their nets were [at the point of] breaking; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats [with fish], so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all his companions were completely astounded at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon [Peter]. Jesus said to Simon, “Have no fear; from now on you will be catching men!” After they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example].

While Jesus was in one of the cities, there came a man covered with [an advanced case of] leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean and well.” And Jesus reached out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him. Jesus ordered him to tell no one [that he might happen to meet], “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your purification, just as Moses commanded, as a testimony (witness) to them [that this is a work of Messiah].” But the news about Him was spreading farther, and large crowds kept gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their illnesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray [in seclusion]. One day as He was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the Law sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present with Him to heal. Some men came carrying on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed, and they tried to bring him in and lay him down in front of Jesus. But finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof [and removed some tiles to make an opening] and lowered him through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their [active] faith [springing from confidence in Him], He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven.” The scribes and the Pharisees began to consider and question [the implications of what He had said], saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies [by claiming the rights and prerogatives of God]? Who can forgive sins [that is, remove guilt, nullify sin’s penalty, and assign righteousness] except God alone?” But Jesus, knowing their [hostile] thoughts, answered them, “Why are you questioning [these things] in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But, in order that you may know that the Son of Man (the Messiah) has authority and power on earth to forgive sins” —He said to the paralyzed man, “I say to you, get up, pick up your stretcher and go home.” He immediately stood up before them, picked up his stretcher, and went home glorifying and praising God. They were all astonished, and they began glorifying God; and they were filled with [reverential] fear and kept saying, “We have seen wonderful and incredible things today!”

After this Jesus went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi (Matthew) sitting at the tax booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk].” And he left everything behind and got up and began to follow Jesus [as His disciple]. Levi (Matthew) gave a great banquet for Him at his house; and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes [seeing those with whom He was associating] began murmuring in discontent to His disciples, asking, “Why are you eating and drinking with the tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews]?” And Jesus replied to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but [only] those who are sick. I did not come to call the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to repent], but sinners to repentance [to change their old way of thinking, to turn from sin and to seek God and His righteousness].” Then they said to Him, “The disciples of John [the Baptist] often practice fasting and offer prayers [of special petition], and so do the disciples of the Pharisees; but Yours eat and drink.” Jesus said to them, “Can you make the wedding guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But days [for mourning] will come when the bridegroom is [forcefully] taken away from them. They will fast in those days.” He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old one; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new [fermenting] wine will [expand and] burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine, wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is fine.’ ”

Luke 5:1-39

So where are you at today? Are you someone who is needing others to share their faith with you? Are you someone who needs to be sharing their faith with others? Are you ready to share to show that you care? Are you ready to care enough to share? God called me many years ago to start this blog and so I obeyed and many lives have been touched through my sharing of my faith because I cared for those God loves. So are you ready to receive this love of God through Jesus? Are you ready to start your own journey in a relationship with Jesus? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


What’s up with you? Are you ready to explain why you are that way?


Ever been questioned about why you act the way you do? Ever been questioned about why you believe the way you do? Ever been asked how you seem so confident? Ever been asked about how you seem so sure? Ever been asked how in the midst of storms to be at peace? Ever been asked about how in the midst of troubles you seem to have hope? Ever been asked how in the midst of trials you seem to be filled with joy?

Ever been able to give an answer? I remember at work one time someone said they had some questions and do I have time to chat. We went into a conference room where he said he noticed I seem to be a religious person and wanted to know and understand more so that maybe he could have and live a different life. When he said religious it triggered something in me as religious has certain connotations to me and made me think of rituals and routines rather than relationships and after he explained himself, I explained to him that it isn’t religious, it is about a personal relationship with Jesus. After talking it over for a while he asked me how he could have this relationship and I was able to lead him to the Lord including the sinners’ prayer. I wasn’t looking for such an encounter or such a meeting but I have been preparing so that if or when such an event was to happen I would be ready! I have taken hold of the fact that I am to be ready in and out of season to give a reason for the hope that is within me. I remembered how in God’s Word it wants me to be prepared in season and out of season! I have chosen to live a life that proclaims God’s goodness in the way I choose to treat, engage, and speak with others so that Jesus in me is shining out to the world around in so that in the case or on the day when someone comes to me and asks about the reason for the hope that is within me and how my life has been transformed or seems different from others, I will be ready to share Jesus with them and how Jesus encountered me and how through a relationship with Him, I have been transformed from the inside out! I will be ready to overflow God’s love that has filled my heart and pour into the lives of others! How about you? Do you have this hope? If you don’t then do you want it? If you do then are you ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you? If you don’t think you are then get prepared because the day is coming! If you don’t think you are ready then get ready!

People are watching us every day and when they noticed the difference they start watching more closely. And one day they might even build up the courage to approach you about it and ask you about it. So let’s get ready! Let’s be prepared! Let’s allow the love and hope of Jesus to flow out of our lives ad God continues to pour it into our lives!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 19th


Defending Hope


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; ‘

I Peter 3:15

Let’s get additional context around this statement and use the Amplified version to get a better understanding:

‘Now who is there to hurt you if you become enthusiastic for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness [though it is not certain that you will], you are still blessed [happy, to be admired and favored by God]. D o not be afraid of their intimidating threats, nor be troubled or disturbed [by their opposition]. But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect. And see to it that your conscience is entirely clear, so that every time you are slandered or falsely accused, those who attack or disparage your good behavior in Christ will be shamed [by their own words]. For it is better that you suffer [unjustly] for doing what is right, if that should be God’s will, than [to suffer justly] for doing wrong. For indeed Christ died for sins once for all, the Just and Righteous for the unjust and unrighteous [the Innocent for the guilty] so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit; in which He also went and preached to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the great patience of God was waiting in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons [Noah’s family], were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that [rescue through the flood], baptism [which is an expression of a believer’s new life in Christ] now saves you, not by removing dirt from the body, but by an appeal to God for a good (clear) conscience, [demonstrating what you believe to be yours] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God [that is, the place of honor and authority], with [all] angels and authorities and powers made subservient to Him.’

1 Peter 3:13-22

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you ready for it?
  • You don’t know the day or the time or even the location!
  • Are you ready to give an answer?
  • What if it happens at work? on vacation? at the grocery store?
  • What is it that makes them ask? Is it your kindness? Is it your joy? Is it your generosity? Is it the way you treat others? Is it an event in the news? Is it a family problem? Not sure…
  • So are you ready or getting ready? What if it happens today?
  • Do you know what you will say? Do you know what you would say?
  • Do you know how you would say it?
  • We don’t know how they will ask or why they will ask.
  • Some ask from an intellectual perspective.
  • Some ask from an ethical perspective.
  • Some ask from a personal perspective.
  • No matter the how they are asking, the why they are asking tends to be related to wanting to know if your faith experience is rich, is real, and makes a difference!
  • They are looking for hope!
  • Will you be a hope dealer?
  • They are looking to know they are loved!
  • Will you be a love dealer?
  • They are looking to know they forgiven!
  • Will you be an ambassador of reconciliation?
  • They are looking to be accepted by God!
  • Will you be a messenger for God?
  • Are you ready to tell them the truth? That Jesus encountered you and can meet with them right here and right now?
  • Are you ready to tell them it isn’t fake but that it is real?
  • Are you ready to tell them God loves them too?
  • Is your heart ready? Have you allow Jesus to work in your heart so that from the overflow of your heart the mouth speaks with such love, hope, and power it points people back to Jesus?
  • Are you able to share the truth with authenticity?
  • It’s not about winning an argument!
  • It’s not about intimidating someone to accept God!
  • It’s about loving them authentically and sharing the truth of God with them!
  • It’s not about rituals and routines but rather a living relationship with God!
  • It’s about becoming children of our loving Father, God!
  • So let’s grab a hold of Peter’s recommendation to enter into the conversation with “meekness and fear” with the awe of God for the opportunity and the responsibility and the priviledge to share the light of the God’s Word into a dark world and into darkened and hopeless or saddened hearts!
  • Are you ready?
  • Let’s be ready! If needed, get ready now!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • If someone asked you about your faith today, what would you say and how would you say it?
  • What are some specific things you can do to “sanctify” Christ in your heart so you’ll be ready?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If knowing Jesus means a lot to you—and if you know Him, it does—then let me urge you to pray for God’s guidance so that you might witness effectively, and for God’s courage so that you will witness often.”

― Zig Ziglar, The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you seeking? Are you asking? Are you knocking? Are you ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you? Are you ready to witness to the world around you who Jesus is? 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?


A new week begins – lead start it with LOVE!


As we prepare for this day and this week ahead, let’s turn to the ultimate love letter (God’s Word) and the ultimate source of love (which is God) to be filled up to overflowing into the world around us. Ever looked at God’s Word as a love letter to you from your Heavenly Father? God’s Word tells us that God is love and we get the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 where we read about God’s love, now let’s look to live our lives so that we can replace the word love with our name. Give it a try and see which characteristics of love you need to work on as you start this day.

‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Since God is love, we can replace Love with God and say: God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, God does not boast, God is not proud. God does not dishonor others, God is not self-seeking, God is not easily angered, God keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.

Now give this a try and consider where you need to focus or need to improve: [insert your name here] is patient, [insert your name here] is kind. [insert your name here] does not envy, [insert your name here] does not boast, [insert your name here] is not proud. [insert your name here] does not dishonor others, [insert your name here] is not self-seeking, [insert your name here] is not easily angered, [insert your name here] keeps no record of wrongs. [insert your name here] does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. [insert your name here] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. [insert your name here] never fails.

So considering what authentic love looks like let’s consider before we walk into today what it means and what it will take to live our lives with authentic love and live our lives as love would lead us. Is there something we can do to be more patient or kind? Is there something we can do to be more selfless than selfish? Is there a way to live out today without envying or boasting? Is there something we can do to humble rather than proud? Is there a way to honor others? Is there something we can do to serve others? Is there something we can do to be of good humor or pleased? Is there a way for us to forgive rather than keep a log of the wrongs against us? Is there a way to do the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish so that we can rejoice with and in the truth? How can we protect today? How can we trust today? How can we hope today? How can we persevere today no matter what troubles come our way so that we can consider them pure joy and allow perseverance to finish the work in us?

So are you ready for today? Are you ready to make today count? Are you ready to make today a Happy Today no matter what? Are you ready to rejoice in today because God made it? Are you ready to love in and through today because that is what this world needs and what God wants? Remember how the commandments were summarized in two love commmands?

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ — Mark 12:30
  • The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” — Mark 12:31

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


Authentic Love


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”’

John 13:34-35

Let’s get a bit more context about when Jesus said this and use the Amplified version in case it gives us some more details.

‘So when Judas had left, Jesus said, “Now is [the time for] the Son of Man [to be] glorified, and God is glorified in Him; [if God is glorified in Him,] God will also glorify Him (the Son) in Himself, and will glorify Him at once. Little children, I am with you [only] a little longer. You will look for Me and, as I told the Jews, so I tell you now, ‘Where I am going, you are not able to come.’ I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow Me now; but you will be able to follow later.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, why cannot I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You!” Jesus answered, “Will you [really] lay down your life for Me? I assure you and most solemnly say to you, before a rooster crows you will deny and completely disown Me three times.’

John 13:31-38

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • There is a difference between being impressed and being transformed.
  • Flashy stuff or experiences can impress but it takes authentic love to bring transformation.
  • Will you choose to live your life with authentic love in order that those questioning this love that Christians speak of is for real?
  • Are you ready to live your life with authentic love that shows how Jesus in you touches hearts and changes lives?
  • Are you ready to live your life showing love in action? Not just chit chat but in action.
  • Are you ready to live your life with authentic love in order to break through the hypocrisy that others have heard or seen before?
  • So are you loving your brothers and sisters in Christ?
  • Today’s verse speaks that this is like a litmus test that will allow others to know it is for real.
  • Today’s verse speaks that this is like a litmus test that will allow others to know we are following Jesus.
  • You know you are being watched right?
  • You do realize you are being watched right? What type of a role model are you being?
  • Ever feel like somebody’s watching you?
  • What does authentic love in action look like to you?
    • Is it trying to mend a broken heart?
    • Is it showing up at the hospital when someone was hurt or sick?
    • Is it bringing a meal or some friendly company to someone who is stuck at or just got home from the hospital?
    • Is it showing up to help put the pieces together after a blowup or breakup?
    • Is it being present in the moments of need?
    • Is it stepping up or stepping in to help?
    • Is it listenting when nobody else will?
  • People will wonder if what we are talking about is for real.
  • It is our actions through authentic love that proves that it is for real.
  • The overflowing and outpouring of God’s love through our relationship with Jesus!
  • Our loyalty to Jesus is demonstrated through our authentic love for one another.
  • Let’s be Jesus with skin on to the world around us!
  • Let’s be Jesus’s hands reaching out and arms embracing to the needy people around us.
  • So let’s be ready to be living out authentic love to the people God brings into our lives.
  • Let’s make sure we pass the litmus test of authentic love!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How would you define “authetic love”? What does inauthentic love look like?
  • What is one thing you can do today to demonstrate authentic love to someone in need?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Love each other as God love each one of you, with an intense and particular love. Be kind to each other: it is better to commit faults with gentleness than to work miracles with unkindness.”

Mother Teresa

“Learn to love and you learn to serve.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Nehemiah 7 – Let’s come together and do our part.
  • Nehemiah 8 – If you don’t remember then go back to the source, the Word of God.
  • Nehemiah 9 – Reflect and remember all that God has done.

So where are you today? Are you ready to be filled with love so that you can overflow love into the lives of others? Are you ready to fill your heart with love so that from the overflow of your heart the words your mouth speaks will be in love? Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts as the fountain of love to help clean it up and clean it out, filling it to overflowing with love! 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?


Considering what will last, will you spend your time on what will impact them?


So what will last, you may be asking yourself? Souls and Faith, Hope, and Love with the greatest of the 3 being LOVE. So people’s souls will last and their destination is the difference, the opportunity, and the focus point. So as we begin today are you ready to spend your time investing in what will last? Are you ready to invest in the lives of others in a way that will point them to God and enable them to make the decision to spend eternity in heaven with God? Are you ready to invest in both growing your faith, hope, and love in the hopes that it will then be able to overflow into the lives of everyone you come in contact with? Faith is the substance of things hoped for and a conviction of things not seen. Hope when fulfilled is the tree of life whereas hope deferred makes us heartsick. Love is best defined by 1 Corinthians 13 so let’s take a look at it, since it is the greatest of the 3.

‘If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all. Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete]. But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.’

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

So today, let us choose to focus on making an impact on and in the world we live in by focusing on what is going to last forever. Let’s get and be filled up with faith, hope and love to the point of overflowing! Let’s then overflow into the people God brings to mind, across our paths, and into our lives today so that we can point them to an eternity where they will get to live with God in Heaven and not in the abyss of hell apart from God.


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


Each One Reach One



MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.’

Colossians 4:5-6

Let’s dig a bit more into this with the surrounding context and using the Amplified version.

‘Masters, [on your part] deal with your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us, too, that God will open a door [of opportunity] to us for the word, to proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I have been imprisoned; that I may make it clear [and speak boldly and unfold the mystery] in the way I should. Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you]. As to all my affairs, Tychicus, who is a much-loved brother and faithful assistant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will give you all the information. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are doing and that he may encourage your hearts; and with him is Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will let you know everything about the situation here [in Rome]. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, wishes to be remembered to you; as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him); and from Jesus, who is called Justus. These are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision (Jewish Christians), and they have proved to be an encouragement and a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you and a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [He is] always striving for you in his prayers, praying with genuine concern, [pleading] that you may [as people of character and courage] stand firm, [spiritually mature] and fully assured in all the will of God. For I testify for him that he has worked strenuously for you and for the believers in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you. Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house. When this letter has been read among you, see that it is read in the church of the Laodiceans; and also that you in turn read my letter [that is coming to you] from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See to it that you fulfill [carefully the duties of] the ministry which you have received in the Lord.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. May grace (God’s unmerited favor and blessing) be with you.’

Colossians 4:1-18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize your environment is an opportunity to shine for God?
  • Do you realize your environment is an opportunity to be salty for God?
  • Do you realize the unbelievers around you and how they need the salt and light of Jesus in their lives too?
  • Do you realize or look for opportunity to be salt and light into their lives?
  • Don’t be too busy doing your own thing to miss out on being able to do God’s things in the lives of the people God brings across your path.
  • Don’t be too self absorbed in your own stresses that you miss the open door opportunities to speak hope and love in faith to the world around you.
  • Don’t consider it a bother when they come your way, consider it an opportunity to be salt and light in their lives.
  • Keep your eyes open for when they come by so that you can make an effort to be salt and light into their lives.
  • Someone come to mind in this life where so much is being done virtually? Why not reach out and let them know and check in to make sure they are doing ok and if there is anything you can do to help them.
  • Do you realize your mission to reach as many people as possible like Paul did?
  • Do you realize how many people in your mist are lost and need someone to shine the light and hope of Jesus into their situations?
  • Do you realize how many people in your mist are lost and need you to spice things up for them with salt of Jesus into their lives?
  • Will you speak to people others are ignoring?
  • Will you go to places others won’t go?
  • Consider every interaction an opportunity!
  • Consider every interaction as an open door to represent Jesus to them!
  • Lead with God’s grace, giving it to them freely.
  • Let God’s love overflow out of your heart and be how your words speak to them.
  • We need to be both reaching out in love as well as seasoning our words with the His salt.
  • Salt that goes bad has no purpose and gets thrown out on the roads.
  • So let’s instead use salt with the purposes it has in life!
    • salt adds taste
    • salt preserves
  • So let’s be salty so as to add flavor to people’s lives!
  • So let’s be salty so that we are the most creative, optimistic, compassionate, sensitive, and alive people to the world around us!
  • Let’s be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within us too!
  • There will come a time when someone will ask you to explain yourself, why are you like that? what is allowing you to be that way? So be ready to give people the reason for that spunk in your step and share the truth, the love, the hope of Jesus in your life!
  • Let’s be the people God created us to be in the place God has positioned us to be.
  • Let’s reach out to those God has allowed us to have relationship with so that they can encounter Jesus like we did.
  • Let’s help them realize it isn’t about rituals and routines but about an intimate relationship with Jesus.
  • Let’s be salty in this world we live!
  • Let’s be salty so that we can touch the life of the one(s) that need it.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • At this point in your life, how salty are you? Explain your answer.
  • Who are some unbelievers God has put in your life? How can you be salty with them?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“I’m convinced that the lost person will respond to a sincere believer far better than to an insincere Bible scholar.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Are you one who knows Jesus and is living for Him and will pick up the call to be salty and make a difference in the world around you? Are you one who knows Jesus and is living in a relationship with Him to fill you to overflowing with faith, hope, and love in order to be able to pour it out over all those God brings into your life? Are you someone looking for answers, seeking hope, or looking for love? Are you someone whose final destination is unknown to you? Are you ready to decide and choose to spend eternity with God in Heaven? Will today be your day? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


What would it take for you to invite someone to be comfortable and be themselves?


When you are at work are there people that you have built relationships with to whom you can invite them to a meeting, a party, or even your house and tell them to make themselves comfortable and feel free to be themselves like this was all about them? When you are at home are there people out there that you have built relationships with to whom you would invite to make themselves comfortable in your home and act like they were at home? 

What would it take for you to feel that comfortable or sure and open that door? Would there have to be a level of trust? Would there have to be a level of understanding? Would there have to be a level of love? Would there have to be a level of commitment? Would there have to be a good relationship? 

Ok, so someone comes over to visit you at your place. Do you welcome them in? Do you help them get in and get settled? Do you say “make yourself at home”? Why or why not? What is the decision or tipping point to you being able to open that door? 


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


Make Yourself At Home


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. ‘

John 14:23

Ever considered the context of this message? Do you realize the relationship Jesus had been forming with these men? Do you realize the place God had in their hearts? Let’s check out a bit more context in this conversation and add details with the Amplified version.


‘ And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, bereaved, and helpless]; I will come [back] to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. On that day [when that time comes] you will know for yourselves that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him [I will make Myself real to him].” Judas (not Iscariot) asked Him, “Lord, what has happened that You are going to reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered, “If anyone [really] loves Me, he will keep My word (teaching); and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling place with him. One who does not [really] love Me does not keep My words. And the word (teaching) which you hear is not Mine, but is the Father’s who sent Me. “I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] You heard Me tell you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming back to you.’ If you [really] loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going [back] to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does take place, you may believe and have faith [in Me]. I will not speak with you much longer, for the ruler of the world (Satan) is coming. And he has no claim on Me [no power over Me nor anything that he can use against Me]; but so that the world may know [without any doubt] that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father has commanded Me [and act in full agreement with Him]. Get up, let us go from here.’

John 14:16-31

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • If God left this message for His disciples don’t you think we should pick it up too?
  • Love God! Loving God is linked to obeying God!
  • Obey God! God richly rewards our faithfulness!
    • ‘ “If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, bereaved, and helpless]; I will come [back] to you. ‘ John 14:15-18
    • ‘The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him [I will make Myself real to him].” ‘ John 14:21
    • ‘Jesus answered, “If anyone [really] loves Me, he will keep My word (teaching); and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling place with him. ‘ John 14:23
  • Let’s grab hold of Jesus’s promises of a rich relationship with God out of our obedience driven by love!
  • Let’s grab hold of the reality of feeling at home with God as we read in verse 23.
  • We need to be in relationship with God who we know and trust!
  • When we don’t know someone important who comes into our homes we feel on edge because we don’t know what to expect or if we are living up to the situation.
  • When we know someone well, a friend or family member, and they come into the house you are prepared and can experience anticipation rather than fear.
  • You are able to kick back with them, talk, listen, unwind, and speak to and from the heart.
  • You are able to deal with quiet moments or disruptions without fear or worry.
  • You are able to pick right back up like you didn’t miss a beat.
  • You are able to fill each others tanks because of the love and understanding.
  • You are feel great and at peace because you know they love you and you can trust them.
  • It’s unconditional love and so there is no pretenses, no masks, and no head games.
  • By building that loving and trusting relationship with God opens the door for such conversations and time together, with the same stress free moments together.
  • Don’t take God for granted or even consider that you are on the same level as Him.
  • Let’s decide to love and obey God as we would do or want with a close friend.
  • Let’s decide to live our lives as ambassadors to our loving King.
  • Let’s decide to live our lives with love and obedience as the loved child we are of our very powerful Father.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What does it mean to you to be at home with God?
  • Are your love for God and your obedience to Him making you feel more at home with Him? Why or why not?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“It is the most astounding thing what happened to a tax gatherer, a fisherman, a farmer and a small business man — the disciples — when they lived with Jesus. They were transformed as the marvelous alchemy of His spirit had its way with them.”

Henry Drummond

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Where are you with others? Where are you at with God? Are you loving and obeying God and feeling at home? Are you feeling a bit uncomfortable at times because you miss the market on one of those areas? Loving God? Obeying God? Are you ready to step up and step in to live your life in alignment with God? Are you ready to live a life of love out of obedience to God? Are you ready to get started on your journey 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?


What’s it going to take to get there? Are you willing to take it step by step? Even it means getting there little by little?


Are you ready to move forward step by step? Are you ready to be taking ground little by little? Are you ready to press forward and press in one step at a time to get there?

What if you knew that God would be there with every little step you took? Would that encourage you to take that first step and not stop till you get there? Ever heard the lyrics to the song Little by Little? Ever tried to take too big of a step and found it hard and gave up? Ever tried to take too big of a step and then ended up going backward? Ever pressed in and pressed on but took a smaller step the next time? The lyrics to Little by Little that thought could be helpful were the following:

Little By Little
by: Ron Hamilton

1st verse
When mountains tower rugged and high,
Rise to the challenge, look to the sky.
Trust in the Lord and start out to climb,
Reach for the goal one step at a time.

chorus:
Little by little, inch by inch;
By the yard it's hard,
By the inch, what a sinch;
Never stare up the stairs,
Just step up the steps;
Little by little, inch by inch.

2nd verse
Growing in Christ takes work every day,
Reading your Bible, learning to pray.
Build Godly habits, seek help divine.
Great things are done one step at a time.

chorus:
Little by little, inch by inch;
By the yard it's hard,
By the inch, what a sinch;
Never stare up the stairs,
Just step up the steps;
Little by little, inch by inch.
Little By Little

So let’s take it one step at a time. Let’s not try to overreach our boundaries but rather let’s take it one step at a time and make sure we are heading in the right direction and don’t end up way off course! Let’s do it in a way that will not only be productive and helpful but also keep us encouraged and motivated. Let’s decide to make a difference in this world one step at a time, one person at a time, one act of kindness at a time for the glory of God!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 28th


One At A Time


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.’

Matthew 9:22

Let’s make sure before we move forward that we have the context and better understanding of this statement and the circumstances around it by grabbing the context from the verses around it and by using the Amplified version.

‘While He was saying these things to them, a ruler (synagogue official) entered [the house] and kneeled down and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just now died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and began to accompany the ruler, with His disciples. Then a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the [tassel] fringe of His outer robe; for she had been saying to herself, “If I only touch His outer robe, I will be healed.” But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Take courage, daughter; your [personal trust and confident] faith [in Me] has made you well.” And at once the woman was [completely] healed. When Jesus came to the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players [who were professional, hired mourners] and the [grieving] crowd making an uproar, He said, “Go away; for the girl is not dead, but is sleeping.” And they laughed and jeered at Him. But when the crowd had been sent outside, Jesus went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. And the news about this spread throughout all that district. ‘

Matthew 9:18-26

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever been in a big hurry but someone needed you for something?
  • Jesus’s group was but the divine enounter on the trip was scheduled for Him to touch a life.
  • Everyone was trying to get Jesus to the home of Jairus whose daughter was ill and seemed to be dying and so they wanted Him to get there to save her.
  • Jesus agreed to go with Jairus as we read above.
  • The disciples figured this would give Jesus some great PR.
  • They probably figured such a high profile healing would do miracles for movement or cause.
  • As we see they were surrounded by a huge crowd.
  • In the midst of the crowd was a lady who had been sick for years.
  • She believed and had the faith that if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’s robe that she would be healed.
  • So she reached out and touched it and was instantly healed.
  • Jesus knew and felt it and wanted to make sure she and everyone to know how much He cares and so stopped to talk with her.
  • The people who were trying to escort Him quickly to the dying little girl probably started to get nervous by such a delay.
  • Jesus’s timing was and is perfect and so He finished His conversation with the lady healed of the blood problem.
  • As He finished and they were ready to go, the little girl had died, but Jesus is the Lord of life and so that wasn’t an obstacle or problem to Him. (Check out the story of Jesus resurrecting Lazarus from the dead in John 11:38-54)
  • Ever had people try to make a bad situation worse? Did you request they leave?
  • Just like Jesus got the doubters to leave, we need to remove such people from the situation in order for faithfilled people to rise up.
  • Jesus was able to enter into the situation and the young girl woke up and got up.
  • How would you have responded? You are faced with a chronically sick woman and a critically sick little girl who needed immediate attention?
  • Jesus realize how much that woman had been through, the feeling of rejection, the feeling of abandonment, she needed more than just a physical healing, she needed an encounter with Jesus!
  • Jesus knew that nothing was out of his power and control and so He knew that He needed to make the time for this older woman and speak life and hope into her life.
  • Jesus knew that by taking this time to pour into her life that she would be ready and able to have a true relationship with God!
  • She needed Jesus time now! Jesus can take care of healing and death, so Jesus chose to take care of the urgent and important over the important in the moment and then took care of the important issue too.
  • Do you realize how important you are to God? You are so important that God wants to spend time with you to start, build, and have a relationship with you!
  • Just like the lady with the chronical illness, who needed Jesus to talk to her, to connect with her, to impart love and power to her in that moment, Jesus knows we need it too!
  • God gave priority to the here and now because He knew He was able to take care of the original request and save Jairus’s daughter too.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What does this story tell you about God’s priorities in His relationship with you?
  • Take some time now to respond to God’s love and tell him how you feel about Him.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

When you come to the end of everything you know And are faced with the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen. Either there will be something solid for you to stand on, Or you will be taught how to fly.

Barbara J. Winter

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Are you needing faith to be able to take that next step? Are you ready to take that next step in faith? Are you pursuing God’s instruction and direction? Are you ready to experience what that next step will bring? Are you ready to tell God how you feel about Him? Are you ready to tell God that you want Him to move into your heart and be your Lord and Savior? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


What do you want to leave behind?


Are you someone who is collecting things that others will need to deal with and figure out how to handle once you pass? Are you someone who is giving things to others that will help them into the future? Are you doing it in a way that will leave behind a better place than how you found it?

Do you realize what will last? Love and Souls. God’s Word tells us that faith, hope, and love will last forever! On this side of eternity we need them all. On the other side of eternity, once we enter into God’s presence love will be the greatest because we will see God and so won’t need faith, we will be with God and His love will overwhelm us that we will have His reality rather than needing to hope for a better future. We are all eternal beings and as such we can hand over to the next generation and to the world around us a legacy of people who choose to accept Jesus into their hearts so that we can all spend eternity with God in heaven rather than apart from God in the pits of hell.

Will you choose to live out your today in a way that will point people to God? Will you choose to live out your today in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory? Will you choose to live out your today in a way that creates a legacy where people remember who Jesus is and how important He is to you? Will you choose to live out your today in a way where your family, friends, and even strangers will get to experience the love of God through you in your encounter with them?

What do you want to leave behind? What will your legacy be?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 20th


An Immortal Legacy


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.’

Ecclesiastes 3:14

Let’s look to get more context for this verse by expanding the reading and using the Amplified version of the Bible:

‘He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good as long as they live; and also that every man should eat and drink and see and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, it endures forever; nothing can be added to it nor can anything be taken from it, for God does it so that men will fear and worship Him [with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is God]. That which is has already been, and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by [so that history repeats itself]. Moreover, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness, and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness. I said to myself, “God will judge both the righteous and the wicked,” for there is a time [appointed] for every matter and for every deed. I said to myself regarding the sons of men, “God is surely testing them in order for them to see that [by themselves, without God] they are [only] animals.” For the [earthly] fate of the sons of men and the fate of animals is the same. As one dies, so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no preeminence or advantage for man [in and of himself] over an animal, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust. Who knows if the spirit of man ascends upward and the spirit of the animal descends downward to the earth? So I have seen that there is nothing better than that a man should be happy in his own works and activities, for that is his portion (share). For who will bring him [back] to see what will happen after he is gone?’

Ecclesiastes 3:11-22

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize that what you do matters?
  • Do you realize that what you do for God matters?
  • Do you ever compare how others are doing in contrast to you?
  • Do you ever compare the progress of others who aren’t serving God to yourself?
  • Do you ever get discouraged by such comparison?
  • Do you ever get discouraged by coveting others?
  • Are you ready to trust God, no matter what?
  • Are you ready to give your all for God and for eternity?
  • Are you ready to give your all to honor God?
  • Are you ready to give your all to show how much you trust God?
  • Are you ready to give your all to share God’s truth?
  • Are you ready to give your all in pursuit of God? following after Him and His will?
  • Are you ready to allow God to work in and through you for His glory?
  • Do you realize that God remembers all of your work and effort?
  • Are you more interested in the applause of man or God?
  • Are you doing what you do to glorify God or to get credit from people?
  • Do you realize how many times by pursuing trying to get the applause or credit of people we can become disappointed?
  • Do you realize the benefits of living your life in reverence of God, to honor God, and to glorify God since He has the final determination?
  • Let’s choose to live our lives for something that has real value!
  • Let’s choose to live our lives for something that will show eternal value!
  • We are all going to leave a legacy!
  • How will God value the eternal value of the life you have lived?
  • Will you hear well done good and faithful servant because of your stewardship?
  • Let’s choose to live our lives in a way that will glorify God and so that we can get to the end of the race with confidence that God will be happy with what we have done!
  • Let’s choose to be graded by God rather than people!
  • Let’s choose to live our lives in a way that will be valued by God!
  • Let’s choose to live our lives in a way that will put a smile on God’s face!
  • Let’s choose to live our lives with faith, hope, and love!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are you doing these days that has eternal value?
  • What adjustments do you need to make so that your legacy is more pleasing to God?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The greatest investment you can make in this world is in God’s Word and God’s people. They are two things that last forever and pay eternal dividends.”

— Rick Warren

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you seeking answers and direction? Are you sharing answers and direction? Are you collecting or distributing a legacy? Are you pursuing out of love or lust? Are you searching and living out your life from an overflow of love? Are you ready to be filled to overflowing with God’s love? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart so that you will have a fountain of love that will never run out within you? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Needing some comfort today?


Yesterday set me in a position where I need God’s favor, God’s help, and most of all God’s comfort in the midst of it all. Be it a miscommunication associated with my daughter’s home coming transportation and so now trying to see if we can still get a bus for the right day. Be it getting what the team needs from a different team to be able to get things done for that other team. Be it working out dates for a camp (which looks to be coming together, thanks be to God!). I am starting this day both with needs of divine intervention as well as God’s comfort to support and encourage me through it all.

So I invite the Holy Spirit into each situation for He is my comforter and my guide. So I lift each of these needs up and cast them on God because He cares for me. My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ blood and righteousness! And so I ask for God’s peace that surpasses all understanding to guard my heart and my mind in order to get through this day with hope and peace by the grace and comfort of God!

How about you? Do you have something weighing on you? Do you have something that needs prayer? If you would like someone to join with you in prayer, please feel free to email prayerrequest@from2005toeternity.com so I can pray with you. God knows what we have need of before we ask. Are you willing to humble yourself enough to ask? Are you ready for God’s peace that surpasses all understanding to enter into your situation? Are you ready to be comforted by the comforter who is the Holy Spirit? Are you ready to receive comforting? Are you ready to give comfort? What is it that today will be for each of us?


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


Bringing Comfort


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ‘

II Corinthians 1:3-4

Today’s verse is an interesting one where we learn how God is comforting us so that we are able to comfort others in the midst of the troubles that are taking place. Let’s learn from how God comforts us in order to be able to comfort others. Let’s grab hold of the full context of this as verses 3-7 speak to Comfort in Suffering and verses 8-11 speak to Delivered from Suffering. Let’s grab hold of God’s truth and God’s promises. Remember the promise that He will not leave us and will not forsake and will not abandon us! Let’s check out the greater context using the Amplified version:

‘Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]. But if we are troubled and distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted and encouraged, it is for your comfort, which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same sufferings which we experience. And our hope for you [our confident expectation of good for you] is firmly grounded [assured and unshaken], since we know that just as you share as partners in our sufferings, so also you share as partners in our comfort. ‘

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

‘For we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about our trouble in [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor], how we were utterly weighed down, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life [itself]. Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the sentence of death [and were convinced that we would die, but this happened] so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead. He rescued us from so great a threat of death, and will continue to rescue us. On Him we have set our hope. And He will again rescue us [from danger and draw us near], while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then thanks will be given by many persons on our behalf for the gracious gift [of deliverance] granted to us through the prayers of many [believers]. ‘

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you like pain?
  • Do you question pain and suffering?
  • Are you one of those people who say “no pain, no gain”?
  • Are you someone who makes a funny face when someone says “no pain, no gain”?
  • Do you ever wonder where God is in the midst of the pain or suffering?
  • Do you ever wonder why this is happening?
  • Ever reflected on the various reasons for suffering that are called out in the Bible?
    • natural disasters
    • consequences of our own sins
    • effects of other people’s sins on us
  • We may or may not ever figure out the cause or the reason.
  • We can’t control what happens to us but we can control our response.
  • So when it happens (and if it hasn’t yet, it will as we read in John 16:33) we can take hold of Jesus’s additional statement to take heart because He has overcome the world and as such we have 2 things we can include in our response:
    • turn to God for comfort
    • comfort others who are in pain too
  • God never promised that life would be pain-free.
  • Beware of preachers who try and tell you or even promise you unlimited prosperity and wealth for they are hoaxes and not biblical.
  • God does promise to be with us in and through the pain and suffering though. He promises that we won’t have to go through it alone!
  • He offers for us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us!
  • He promises that our pain will never be in vain!
  • He promises to step into the very situation in order to give us comfort in and through the experience.
  • Remember that what the devil planned for evil God is able to turn around and use for good!
  • So invite God in so that you can feel His presence in the midst of the pain and suffering!
  • So invite God in so that He can provide you with comfort in the midst of your pain and suffering!
  • So invite God in so that He can provide enough comfort that you will be able to comfort others even in the midst of your own pain and suffering!
  • So let’s cling to God through this time! No matter how long or short it may be, let’s not let go but instead let God in and cling to Him through it all!
  • Let’s cling to God and allow His mercy and His comfort to help us!
  • We need Him to be comforting us to be in any shape or form to be able to comfort others!
  • With God’s comforting we are then able to comfort those who are in despair, feeling emptiness and heartache.
  • Let’s not try to coverup or camouflage the situations but be real in and through them.
  • Let’s not try to use canned phrases or methods to try and comfort others but instead allow the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and discernment for the very situation!
  • Let’s be present! The ministry of presence can be sufficient to help us in the midst of our troubles and pain and suffering.
  • Let’s be present! Let’s allow God’s wisdom to help us to keep quiet or to speak as He leads! We don’t want to say something that will make it worse!
  • We need to grab hold of God’s mercy and grace and how it comforted us. We need to remember and experience God’s kindness, tenderness, patience, and love in the dark times in order to be able to support others when they are in their dark times!
  • Let’s not forget what God has done and let’s use it to help others!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Describe a time when you were hurting. What questions did you ask? What brought real comfort?
  • Who are some people around you today who need to be comforted? What will you do?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“There is nothing you will ever face that you and God can’t handle. The Lord promises us He will give us the grace to bear whatever burden comes our way.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you in need of comforting? Are you supposed to come alongside someone to help comfort them as God has comforted you? Are you in the midst of being comforted and still need to be able to comfort others? Are you in need of help to be filled up in order to share? Let’s turn to God and turn to prayer for help in navigating where we are at:

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?


Who can you love?


Are you someone who walks around with unconditional love for everyone? Are you someone who is able to love those who oppose, reject, attack, deceive, trick, and misrepresent you? Are you someone who is able to love those who society seems to reject; the homeless, the widows, the orphans, the imprisoned, and those who have different views from you? Are you someone who only loves those who love you? Who do you love? Who will you love? Who can you love?

Do you remember what love is? Let’s grab the definition from 1 Corinthians 13 which says:

‘Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

So knowing what love is, who can you love? Who will you love? Who do you love? Do you realize that God loves you so much He wrote you a letter called the Bible? Have you ever seen, heard, or watched The Father’s Love Letter?


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


Can You Love The Unlovely?


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, ‘

Matthew 5:44

Let’s grasp a bit more context on this one and use the Amplified version to acquire even more context:

‘ “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

Matthew 5:43-48

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Does it make sense to you to love those who love you?
  • Does it make sense to you to love those who hate you?
  • The world seems to work in a way that people love those who love them but hate those who hate them.
  • God’s Kingdom is different and runs by different rules as Jesus explains and commands.
  • God is aware of how human nature works but Jesus calls us to a higher standard!
  • Jesus calls us to be different, radical, and counterculture in how we choose to love!
  • Jesus calls us to not only love those who love us but to go the extra step to love those who annoy or antagonize us.
  • Jesus calls us to not only love those who love us but to go the extra step to love those who try to hurt us and even curse us.
  • Remember how God is treating us? While we were yet sinners Christ died for us!
  • Remember how God loves us? God so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son!
  • We had and have nothing to offer Him and yet He decided to go above and beyond to make a way to makes things right!
  • Even with our arrogance, rebellion, and apathy, He cares enough and cared enough, He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to conquer sin and the grave in order to make a way for us to be reconciled to Him!
  • God cares and loves us so much that Jesus went to the cross and died for us, to pay the price that we could never pay on our own!
  • The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!
  • Let’s stop being so selfish and miss out on the opportunity to love others as Jesus loves us!
  • Let’s stop being selfish and put our focus and our love on God and others!
  • Remember how the commandments can be summarized by love God and love people?
  • God hasn’t given up on us and He keeps loving us!
  • How will you choose to respond? Will you accept and receive the gift of grace? Will you pass it on to the people around you, including the unlovely?
  • We all have a choice to make today: Will we choose to be selfish and not love everyone God brings across our path? Will we choose to be like God and love everyone God brings across our path?
  • Is it going to be easy? Probably not.
  • Is it going to be worth it? Definitely!
  • Let’s not try to go it on our own and alone but instead choose love and go it with God!
  • Let’s decide to go it with God who will lead us, fill us, and use us to change lives!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • In what ways is “loving the unlovely” like God?
  • What steps can you take today to be a display case of God’s grace?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Loving the lovely is an easy test to pass. Loving the unlovely requires much patience and wisdom.”

— Ike Reighard
Screenshot of the Google Books display of the above quote

“The best way for our faith to grow and expand is by expressing that faith to others.”

— Zig Ziglar
Screenshot of the Google Books display of the above quote

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you able to love the unlovely? Do you need to be filled up with God’s love to overflow for it to even be a consideration? Are you ready to turn to God and ask Him to fill you to overflowing with such love? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart so that you will be filled with the fountain of love that will never run dry? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


What is the answer to “Why do you …?” Is it LOVE?


Why you do something can be questioned by some in an effort to determine your motivation and purpose. For some it is the love people. For others it is the love of money. For some it is the love of position or power. For some it is the love of the product or service. For some it is the love of family. What is your motivation for what you are doing today? What is the purpose behind what you are doing and how you are doing it?

We know why Jesus came to the earth, it was out of love. We know why the Father send Jesus and had Jesus go through all He did, it was love for you and me. We know that God’s commandments can all be summarized in two love statements: LOVE God! Love People!

So are you ready to live out your today with LOVE being the motivation and the purpose? Are you ready to live out your today with LOVE as your fuel source? Do you remember what love is and what love looks like? Let’s take a moment and reflect on it before we jump into today’s devotional.

‘Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

So let’s be patient and kind! Let’s avoid being envious, boastful, and proud! Let’s be honoring to and of others! Let’s be selfless rather than selfish! Let’s keep from being easily angered! Let’s not be keeping records of wrong! Let’s rejoice in the truth rather than in evil! Let’s protect! Let’s trust! Let’s hope! Let’s persevere! Let’s live so filled with and overflowing with LOVE that through God we can live out our lives with all things being possible and seeing how LOVE never fails!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 5th


Jesus Loves Them


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” ‘

Matthew 19:14

Let’s bubble out a bit to get more context around what Jesus was sharing with the people and try to grasp some additional insights by using the Amplified translation:

‘Then children were brought to Jesus so that He might place His hands on them [for a blessing] and pray; but the disciples reprimanded them. But He said, “Leave the children alone, and do not forbid them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After placing His hands on them [for a blessing], He went on from there.’

Matthew 19:13-15

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you think of people in tiers?
  • Do you think of people in classes of society?
  • Do you think of people at different levels?
  • Do you realize how in the old days and in some societies today they still do tier men, women, and children in distant third place?
  • Have you ever noticed how when Jesus came on the scene that He tipped things upside down?
  • It is kind of like how in some companies they use the upside down pyramid to explain the org where the person at the top is at the bottom and the people who are the workers are at the top?
See the source image
Which model of leadership are you following or seeing?
See the source image
Are you old school traditional leadership or new school emerging leadership model?
See the source image
Do you realize the benefits of flipping things on their head to make things better?
  • Back to Jesus flipping things on their heads, we see examples where He broke the mold of accepted religious behaviors.
  • We see how He reached out and touched the lives of those who were sinning or sinners and far from God in order to love them and draw them closer to God.
  • We see how instead of ignoring women that He reached out to them (like the woman at the well) and included them in His circle as equals.
  • We see how He loved and included the children as we read in today’s verse.
  • Jesus honored them and welcomed them into His inner circle, His life, and into His heart.
  • We need to make sure we prioritize our kids but not just their activities and schedules but also their emotional and spiritual lives too.
  • We need to make time and leave energy to be able to pour into their lives.
  • When we consider our priorities are we also putting our efforts and energies in those same areas?
  • If you say your priorities are God, your wife, your kids, and then everything else and you check out your calendar, your checkbook, your schedule would it prove out to be true? Or would it reveal some adjustment may need to be instated/installed?
  • Let’s take our cues from Jesus!
  • Let’s see our children the way He did and does!
  • Let’s treat them with respect!
  • Let’s treat them with patience!
  • Let’s treat them with LOVE!
  • Let’s carve out time to love on them just like Jesus did!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • To what extent are children in your life a joy, an annoyance, or a burden?
  • What are some thing that need to change so that you can devote more emotional energy and time to them?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Start your child’s day with love and encouragement and end the day the same way.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Job 1 (Sometimes you go through troubles and trials not because you are out of the will of God but because you are in the will of God and the devil is coming after you and God wants to build up your faith, your strength, your perseverance and to showcase and highlight His work in and through your life)
  • Job 2 (We may not understand why we are facing the trials and troubles, the sorrows and pain
  • Job 3 (God is ok to talk it out and listen to you. God is with you in and through it all. God’s love is greater and stronger than even your closest friends)

So where are you at today? Are you being challenged by having to lead with love? Are you being challenged by having to love, invest, and support the children? Are you being challenged to love them? Are you being challenged with trials or troubles? What are you going to do about it? Where are you going to turn? Are you ready to turn to God and allow Him to work in and through you and the situations you are facing? 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 I get a witness?


Do you realize witnessing doesn’t mean you have to make an event out of it? Do you realize witnessing doesn’t mean you have to go somewhere special? Do you realize witnessing doesn’t mean you have to have a script? Do you realize witnessing doesn’t mean you have to schedule it? Do you realize that you are able to witness by living your life? People are watching you everyday and how you decide to live your life speaks louder than anything you could ever say – some may say that actions speak louder than words. With people watching you everyday, what are your words saying about what you believe and how is it witnessing to them? With people watching you everyday, what are your responses and actions saying about what you believe and how is it witnessing to them?

Are you ready to decide to live your life like Jesus in order to testify to the world about God? Are you ready to decide to live your life filled to overflowing with love in order to testify to the world about God? Are you ready to decide to live your life generously and with a giving heart in order to testify to the world about God? Are you ready to decide to live your life sacrificing your selfish desires in order to testify to the world about God?

How can you decide to live out your life so that it produces evidence of who Jesus is in your life? How can you choose to live out your life so that it produces evidence of Jesus working in and through you? How can you live out your life producing the fruit of the Spirit (love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) in order to have evidence of who Jesus is and how He worked in and through your life to transform you from who you were into who you are becoming? How can you live out your life that others may know that God loves them? How can you live out your life that others may know that Jesus saves all who come to Him in repentance of sin and live out their lives with faith in Him?

Let’s consider what the Bible says about witnessing:

‘But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.” ‘

Acts 1:8

‘The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God. And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory. ‘

Romans 8:16-17

‘Later, Jesus appeared to the eleven [disciples] themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He called them to account for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen [from death]. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed [in Me] and has been baptized will be saved [from the penalty of God’s wrath and judgment]; but he who has not believed will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.” ‘

Mark 16:14-18

‘Now who is there to hurt you if you become enthusiastic for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness [though it is not certain that you will], you are still blessed [happy, to be admired and favored by God]. D o not be afraid of their intimidating threats , nor be troubled or disturbed [by their opposition]. But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect. And see to it that your conscience is entirely clear, so that every time you are slandered or falsely accused, those who attack or disparage your good behavior in Christ will be shamed [by their own words]. For it is better that you suffer [unjustly] for doing what is right, if that should be God’s will, than [to suffer justly] for doing wrong. ‘

1 Peter 3:13-17

‘Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you]. ‘

Colossians 4:5-6

‘ “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on by people [when the walkways are wet and slippery]. “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven. ‘

Matthew 5:13-16

‘Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted [that it was really He]. Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”’

Matthew 28:16-20

Do you realize the responsibility that comes with being a witness?

‘“You shall not testify falsely [that is, lie, withhold, or manipulate the truth] against your neighbor (any person). ‘

Exodus 20:16

‘“You are My witnesses,” declares the L ord , “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. ‘

Isaiah 43:10

So are you ready to live out your today in a way that even if you never say something to someone they will receive the witness of who God is? Will you choose to live out your today in a way that your actions speak louder than words? Will you choose to live out your today in a way that your words will just amplify in a positive way the love of God? the grace of God? the power of God? Will you choose to live out your today in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name?


Let’s pause and consider this with a song…

Testify To Love | Avalon

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for September 19th


Give Yourself Away


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.’

Ephesians 5:1-2

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Every day we give ourselves away to the world around us!
  • What are you giving away? What smell are you giving away?
  • Is it the sweet-smelling aroma that we read about in today’s verse?
  • Paul sets the standard very high!
  • Are you ready to give yourself in the same way Jesus gave Himself to you and me?
  • Are you ready to give yourself away with kindness?
  • Are you ready to give yourself away with boldness?
  • Are you ready to give yourself away with amazing love?
  • Are you ready to give yourself away with great risks?
  • Are you ready to give yourself away even if it means you could be misunderstood?
  • Are you ready to give yourself away even if it means you might get rejected?
  • By giving yourself away with kindness, boldness, and amazing love, consider the sweet-smelling aroma that will produce for and to others.
  • By giving yourself away with kindness, boldness, and amazing love, consider how much the room would get filled with an amazing fragrance.
  • By giving yourself away with kindness, boldness, and amazing love, consider the how it will draw others towards you and towards God.
  • By giving yourself away with kindness, boldness, and amazing love, consider the impact you can have on and in the lives of others in pointing them towards eternity with God.
  • Are you ready to imitate God in order to make this a reality?
  • Are you ready to imitate living life like Jesus did in order to make a difference in the lives of all those God brings across your path?
  • Are you ready to live your life by overflowing the incredible love of God into the people God brings into your life today and every day?
  • Are you ready to live that transformed life you have through Jesus’s love before the world He has placed you on and in?
  • Are you filled up enough by spending time and allowing Jesus to fill up your love tank to be able to overflow and not run out of love when you have to engage and encounter others?
  • Take some time to get filled up before you go out so that you can allow the fountain of love that never runs dry to be pouring into you so that you can overflow into the lives of the people around you today.
Fountain that is pouring and overflowing
Fountain that is pouring and overflowing

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What, do you think, do you smell like to others?
  • What do you need to do to fill your tank with God’s love for you?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The secret to a life of fulfillment is learning to give yourself away.”

— Jean Hendricks

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? How are you going to live out your today? How are you going to testify to this world around you? What will they take away from having seen you? What will they take away from having been with you? What will they take away from having heard you? Are you filled up enough to be giving off a sweet smelling aroma? Are you filled up enough to be overflowing with love? Do you need your own encounter in order to get filled up? 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?


We are called to BE A WITNESS! It is who we are not an event or moment! It is living your life where it is the witness of what God has done in and through your life thanks to Jesus!

Is the good life something done to you or something you do for others?


If you think of someone living the good life is it someone who has received or someone who is giving? When you think of someone living the good life is it someone who is doing something great for others or who is sitting back with all the luxuries of this world? What makes someone’s life a good life? Is it the amount they are able to collect, enjoy, and status? Is it the amount that is being poured out into others, the community, and those in need?

Ever taken a look to see what is out there on “the good life”? Doing a search it was interesting to see and read from sources like Forbes which provides The Ten Golden Rules on Living the Good Life, Planet of Success which provides What Is the Good Life?, and Psychology Today which provides What Is the Good Life? Happiness is a process. It is interesting to see what the world thinks of when it comes to the good life. It is interesting to see what things align with the Bible and what things differ. It is interesting to see how even those in the world speak as though they are not of the world based on how they are defining the good life.

How about you? How do you define the good life? Have you decided to live the good life? Are you living the good life? What would it take for you to live the good life? Why not get started today? Let’s live The Good Life!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for September 16th


The Good Life


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. ‘

James 3:13

Do you realize the context of this? Let’s see if we can expand upon it through God’s Word and using the Amplified translation:

Who is there among you who is wise and intelligent? Then let him by his noble living show forth his [good] works with the [unobtrusive] humility [which is the proper attribute] of true wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth. This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal). For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity). And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God’s will in thought and deed) is [the fruit of the seed] sown in peace by those who work for and make peace [in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbedness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].’

James 3:13-18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What characteristics come to mind when you think of people seem to have figured out the secret of this life?
  • Is it that they are grounded? Are you standing on the solid rock today so you can be grounded too? The solid rock that is Jesus?
  • Is it that they are unflappable? Are you able to stand firm and not be tossed by the wind or the waves? Do you have firm footing and focus on Jesus?
  • Is it their patience and how in the moment they can remain calm? Are you holding on tight to true love, unconditional love, the kind of love that starts with patience?
  • Is it their clarity of mind and how they can process listen to understand, speak to inform, and then make good decisions? Are you taking every thought captive?
  • Do you realize that it is probably because they have figured out how to tap into God’s wisdom? They aren’t superpowers for one or some but rather it is something that is available for all those who choose to turn to God and receive it because He gives it out without finding fault.
  • Will you turn to God’s Word, the Bible, to seek for wisdom?
  • Will you turn to Proverbs and learn about wise living?
  • Will you decide to put God first? Remember how we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous and that He will take care of the rest?
  • Have you had an encounter with God and come to the reality and realization of how awesome He is, how loving He is, and how much He can be trusted?
  • Once you do, your response in situations will change.
  • Once you do, your response will be filtered through Him.
  • Once you do, your response to situations will change.
  • Once you do, your response to interactions will change.
  • Once you do, your response to decisions will change.
  • Once you do, your heart will be different and the overflow of your heart that causes your mouth to speak will also be different.
  • Once you do, your purpose in life changes.
  • Once you do, God’s purpose comes into focus and leads your direction.
  • Once you do, pursuing God’s purpose and plan for your life with an open mind and a heart filled to overflowing with His love causes you to be living the most incredible life possible.
  • So are you ready to live life with integrity?
  • So are you ready to live life in a way that will make others successful?
  • So are you ready to live a life in a way that makes your spouse and kids know how much they are loved?
  • So are you ready to live a life with stewardship of all God gives to you?
  • So are you ready to live a life that is filled with thankfulness?
  • So are you ready to live a life where you don’t have anything to prove and as such you don’t need to brag or defend yourself?
  • So are you ready to live a life of reconciliation with others so that everyone comes out of the situation healthy and with respect and their reputation in tact?
  • So where are you at today?
  • Are you ready to live this kind of a life?
  • Do you know where you are at today?
  • That is a great place to start and to invite Jesus into the process with you.
  • Draw near to God and He will draw near to you!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Give yourself an honest assessment of your life at this point.
  • In what areas do you need to grow in God’s wisdom?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.”

― William WordsworthLyrical Ballads

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What is on your mind? What acts of kindness and of love will you do? What good conduct will you perform thanks to God’s wisdom? Do you know God? Are you living out your life in relationship with God? Would you like to invite Him into your life today so that you can live out the rest of your life with Him? Would you like to invite Him into your life today so that you can live out all of eternity with Him? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Ever consider the importance of love? Ever considered the longevity of love?


Do you realize how important love is? Do you realize that “the greatest single cause of poor self image is the absence of unconditional love“? Do you realize how much love gives? God loves us so much that He gave Jesus so that we can be reconciled back to Him! Do you realize how much comes from true love? Consider this: ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.(1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Ever considered how isolated and alone you feel when love is missing? Ever considered how easily knocked off course you can get when love is missing? With perception being a reality, we need to make sure that we don’t lose hold of the reality of love, God’s love for us, and how we are love love one another! Even though God loves us and others love us, there may be times where our perception doesn’t match the reality of the situation and as such we all need to be purposeful and intentional so that everyone can know they are loved!

Do you realize what is going to last forever? Do you realize what that means about how and where we invest our time, money, and efforts? Do you realize the importance of having a purpose that will invest in the right things, storing up our treasures in heaven, so that everything we have lived for or worked for won’t just be burned up like hay and stubble in the end. ‘By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. ‘ (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). So let’s be investing in things that matter, like loving people to God! Let’s take hold the things that will last: ‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.‘ (1 Corinthians 13:13). Let’s grab hold and live out our faith so that the world can see it and be directed to Jesus! Let’s live out and share the hope that is within us so that people will see it and be directed to Jesus! Let’s choose to love, love is the greatest of all the things that will remain so let’s get in some practice while we are on this side of eternity so that others may receive this love, true love, unconditional love and be directed to Jesus and have their lives transformed for all of eternity too!

So do you realize how much you are forgiven so that your love is also abundant?

‘Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”’ — Luke 7:47


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


Love Is All That Lasts In Heaven


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.’

I Corinthians 13:13

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • When you make it to heaven do you think love will be greatest because you won’t need faith and hope anymore because you made it?
  • Have you made the decision yet to ensure your final destination will be heaven?
  • Are you ready to spend eternity in the presence of God realizing the hope and faith you have lived with on earth?
  • Are you ready to spend eternity somewhere that is so full of love that you can’t miss it?
  • Did you realize this world doesn’t need tough love but needs love that is tough? Love is tough and that is why and how it will last and why it is the greatest!
  • When you think of love what comes to mind?
  • When you think of love do you think of something romantic?
  • Are you ready for a love that is idealistic?
  • Are you ready for a love that is right here, right now and not out there somewhere?
  • Are you ready for a love that brings about the best in people?
  • Are you ready for a love that shows such incredible motives in all that someone does?
  • Are you ready for a love that acts nobly with the right intentions and motivations?
  • Are you ready for a love that acts from the depth of one’s heart?
  • Are you ready for a love that is or can require sacrifice?
  • Are you ready to love the unlovable?
  • Are you ready to love the your enemies?
  • Are you ready to love so that others will know God is real?
  • Are you ready to love because you are different and transformed?
  • Are you ready to love God’s way?
    • ‘ But I say to you who are listening now to Me: [in order to heed, make it a practice to] love your enemies, treat well (do good to, act nobly toward) those who detest you and pursue you with hatred, Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you].’
      Luke 6:27-28
  • So let’s live our lives loving so much that we are actively pursuing the best for others!
  • Let’s love so much that it includes all of our emotions, will, and energy!
  • Let’s love so much that we are on the look out for needs to meet!
  • Let’s love so much that we are on the look out for needs to fill!
  • Let’s love so much that we are on the look out for needs and won’t just walk away!
  • Let’s choose to love with authentic love as we read in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
  • Let’s choose to love this authentic love with our spouse, our kids, our teens, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, and everyone one we meet today!
  • Let’s choose to love with authentic love even when it hurts!
  • Let’s be so filled up with God’s love that when we are hurt, we pour out love!
  • Let’s be so filled up with God’s love that our first response isn’t selfish but is an overflowing of love!
  • Let’s trust God to transform us!
  • Let’s ask God for wisdom and discernment on how best to love in every situation!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Whom do you know who exemplifies genuine love?
  • What is one thing you can do today to follow that person’s example?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“One reason I love the Lord so much is explained in Luke 7:47: ‘To whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.‘ In my case, much was forgiving, so I love much.”

— Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are looking for love in all the wrong places? Are you looking for love in too many faces? Are you looking for the wrong kind of love? Are you looking for the worlds temporary love? Are you ready to receive God’s love that will last? Are you ready to receive God’s love that brings forgiveness with it? Let’s make today be the first day of the rest of your eternity. Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Do you realize how much?


Do you realize how much God cares? Do you realize how deeply God cares? Do you realize the depth of God’s love for you? Do you realize how detailed God’s love is for you? Do you care?

Let’s start with the reality that He loves you so much that He sent Jesus!

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16-17

Let’s start that God didn’t wait for us to take the first step, He did!

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

God loves us so much that He wants us to be more than conquerors!

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

God’s love for us is everlasting!

The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

Jeremiah 31:3

God loves us so much that He created us on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose so that we can live with hope!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

God loves us so much that He cares about the details!

‘Are not two little sparrows sold for a copper coin? And yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered [for the Father is sovereign and has complete knowledge]. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. ‘

Matthew 10:29-31

So now do you have a better grasp of how much God loves you? Are you ready to receive it? Are you ready to live in it? Are you ready to live for it? Let’s take hold of it even before we get out of bed in the morning, or take that first step, or say that first word, … let’s start our days receiving the gift of God’s love and grace so that we can be filled up and ready to overflow into all the people He brings across our paths.


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


Some More Than Others


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. ‘

Matthew 10:30

In NKJV we see the larger context for this statement here:

‘“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.’

Matthew 10:27-31

So let’s trust God! Let’s lean on God! Let’s receive His love and grace!


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Did today’s verse and title of the devotional put a smile on your face?
  • If you are like me where the task of counting the hair on my head may be getting easier for God between the fact that some is gone and also that it is now straight rather than curly.
  • Do you realize that God is aware of not only our physical but also emotional and spiritual changes taking place in our lives?
  • Do you realize that God is aware of that reorg?
  • Do you realize that God is aware of those job changes?
  • Do you realize that God is aware of those classes and teachers?
  • Do you realize that God is aware of all the changes we experience?
  • Do you realize that God not only is aware of the changes but also the impact they have or will have or have had on our lives?
  • Do you realize that it goes beyond the fact that He knows but also that He cares and that He is present in and through them all?
  • So with these realizations, let’s take hold of and lean in on God!
  • Let’s lean in and hold onto His support and His guidance every step of the way!
  • Do you realize the impact and challenge change has and puts on you?
  • Do you realize that change is difficult?
  • How does change impact you?
  • Does it create or trigger fear?
  • Does it create or trigger anxiety?
  • Does it create or trigger worry?
  • Do you realize that studies show how people fear change almost as much as public speaking?
  • Do you realize how much you have to deal with change?
  • Do you realize how frequently you have to deal with change?
  • Do you realize what you can do about it?
  • Do you realize the impact change puts on you?
  • Ever noticed that you lose direction or your sense of direction?
  • Ever noticed that you feel like your footing or the foundation has been shaken from right under you?
  • Ever noticed the impact it has on your sense of security?
  • Where do you go? What do you do? Where do you turn? How do you find something sure and certain that you can take hold of?
  • Why not turn to God who isn’t surprised by change?
  • Why not grab hold of God who is never shaken or threatened by change?
  • Why not cling to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever?
  • Why not follow after Him since He knows the future clearly!
  • He can see what we can’t! He can see clearly when we are feeling like the view is foggy or misty or even a downpour!
  • Ok, so change shows up, will you try to think about it and figure it out on your own and cause yourself to worry?
  • Ok, so change shows up, will you worry or let that worry grow?
  • Ok, so change shows up, will you allow it to cause worry, confusion, or if you get stuck even start to feel despair?
  • Instead, let’s turn to God!
  • Instead, let’s grab hold of God’s love for us!
  • Instead, let’s grab hold of how God’s love is so great that He has a plan for us that should give us hope and a future!
  • Instead, let’s take hold of God’s promises, God’s Word, and pray, talk to God, and be ready to listen.
  • Let’s cast our cares on God because He cares for us!
  • Let’s grab hold of God’s compassion for us!
  • Let’s grab hold of God’s infinite wisdom and knowledge in order to overcome our fear with faith!
  • Let’s grab hold of God’s infinite wisdom and knowledge in order to overcome our worries with confidence!
  • No matter how many hairs we have lost, God knows!
  • No matter how many hairs we have lost, God is with us!
  • No matter how many hairs we lose, we won’t lose God and His love for us!
  • Put your hope in Him!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you normally respond to change?
  • When we experience change, how is it helpful to remember that God is omniscient?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The Lord who has everything we need also knows our needs before we even think about them. And He is anxious to give them to us who are His.”

— Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you in need? Are you questioning? Are you seeking? Are you hoping? Are you facing or dealing with change? Are you trying to understand how to respond, react, or live through the change? Let’s turn to God and invite Him into our lives and into this situation so that we know we aren’t going it alone! 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?


Is there anything?


As I begin today and this question came to mind I also noticed in the notification bell for WordPress that I registered this site 11 years ago today. I started my blogging on MSN/Windows Live Spaces back in 2005 but eventually Microsoft decided to get out of that area and gave us a way to continue blogging with WordPress.

Is there anything that can stop you? Is there anything that can keep you from achieving? Is there anything that can prevent you from attaining? Is there anything that can separate you?

The WHAT of each of these questions may impact the answer. The WHAT of each of these questions may make it easier or harder to answer the question. But no matter the WHAT the key is the WHO and the HOW. If we are discussing pursuing God’s will then WHO is God and HOW is God’s way. If we are discussing God’s calling on our lives then the WHO is God and the HOW is with God’s help. If we are discussing a God given cause then the WHO is God and the How is with God’s wisdom, discernment, direction, and power.

May it get difficult? Yes. May it get challenging? Yes. May it get feel impossible? Yes. But we need to not lose hope because nothing is impossible with God. We need to not lose hope because we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We need not lose hope because when we are pursuing God’s purposes, nothing is impossible. So let’s trust God! Trust His will! Trust His way! Grab hold of His purpose for our life. Grab hold of His cause for our life. Answer His calling upon our lives!

So are you ready to see the impossible happen? Are you ready to experience miracles? Are you ready to make “im” disappear so that you are left with “possible”? Have you ever heard the lyrics from Kutless that nothing is impossible it is just an excuse not to try? Ever heard the words that says impossible isn’t a fact, it’s an opinion?

If impossible is nothing then does that mean nothing is impossible?

Let’s take a moment to pause and listen to a song before we jump into today’s devotional…


This morning as I was looking for today’s devotional I realized the pages had stuck together and I missed the 1st and 2nd and jumped to the third and so I am going back to catch up on these 2 and we will be back on track on the 4th.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for September 1st


Neither Death Nor Life


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

Romans 8:38-39

Let’s take a moment and back up a verse to get a bit more context that aligns with today’s topic and theme. I will even used the Amplified for this deeper dive where we read:

‘Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

Romans 8:37-39

Will it be easy? Not really. Will it be worth it? Definitely! Let’s not give up in our own strength but instead let’s be “More Than…” through Christ who loves us.


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you have any doubts that are robbing you of your peace?
  • Do you have any doubts that are robbing you of your sanity?
  • What is the cause or trigger for you that makes doubt show up?
  • What takes that little ember of doubt and causes it to flare up into an inferno of doubt?
  • Is it questioning yourself? Questioning if you did the right thing or did enough?
  • Is it questioning the character of God? Questioning if what you are going through is because God is angry with you or turned His back on you?
  • Is it questioning God’s goodness? Questioning if you will ever feel confident again?
  • Never forget God’s character that never changes!

Did a search and found this comparison between who the Bible says God is versus what culture is saying:

The Bible says:
- Heavenly Father, Almighty God, Fair, Loving, Just, Forgiving, Close By, Omnipotent

Pop Culture says: Santa Claus, Big Brother, Judgmental, Wrathful, Punitive, Unforgiving, Distant, Powerless
The Character of God: Bible vs Pop Culture
  • In that same search, I found these articles about God’s character and attributes:
  • If you are in a place of doubt today, consider pausing and going to Romans 8 and reading the full chapter in order to receive the encouragement from Paul. (feel free to change the translation in order to better understand and grasp the fullness)
  • Take a hold of what it says like:
    • there is no condemnation as the chapter begins
      • ‘Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior]. ‘ — Romans 8:1
    • there is no separation as the chapter closes (today’s verses)
  • Will you give God your heart? Will you choose Him? Will you receive the gift of grace, love, forgiveness, and eternity through Jesus?
  • Have you ever reflected on today’s verses that call out the physical, spiritual, and temporal boundaries that God’s love will go for you?
    • It feels like we should read this again:
      • ‘For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
        Romans 8:38-39
  • No matter what you face, it can’t separate you from the unlimited love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
  • No matter where you go, it can’t separate you from the unlimited love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
  • No matter what powers are lined up against you, it can’t separate you from the unlimited love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
  • No matter what created things come or try to come between us, it can’t separate you from the unlimited love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
  • God’s love is never ending!
  • God is LOVE!
  • 1 Corinthians 13 gives us all the characteristics of LOVE which means it is also giving us the characteristics of God too.
  • So rather than allowing this world with all of its fear tactics and worry tactics to cause doubt and try to rob us of our peace, today, let’s lean in and lean on God so that our confidence in His greatness and grace can cause any doubts or fear to just “poof” evaporate away!
  • Are you doubting today? Do you need some of this relief? Are you needing a lifeline of hope?
  • Take hold of the unshakable, indestructible, love of God that never fails!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • When were you (or are you) tempted to doubt God’s love for you?
  • What does this promise mean to you?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“As far as I can see, that covers it all, and if we are not separated from the love of Jesus Christ, then He who has the power to save us not only will save us, but will keep us forever secure.”

Zig Ziglar

“I have come upon the happy discovery that this life hid with Christ in God is a continuous unfolding.”

Eugenia Price

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Where are you heading? What truth are you holding onto? Are you ready to trade in the impossible for the possible? Are you ready to trade in your sickness and pains for the joy of the Lord? Are you ready to trade in your sorrows and shame and lay them down for the joy of the Lord? Is today your day to lean in on God? Is today your day to invite Jesus into your heart? Is today your day of new beginnings? 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?


You realize it isn’t all about stuff, right?


Ever noticed how there are many in this world who think that the goal is to see who gets the most? Ever noticed how there are many in this world that are focused on consuming and receiving stuff? Ever noticed how there are many in this world who because they compare themselves to others keep trying to acquire more?

Ever considered why in marketing people are call consumers? Example being the Consumers Report. Do you realize that the origin of when people started getting called consumers was labeled to people who squandered or wasted things? That’s right it wasn’t a good thing. Somehow over time (~300 years) the meaning got diluted to mean people who use goods and services. Even when the meaning was diluted the reality is that money and materialism that fuel consumerism can’t buy you happiness. This has been a problem since near the beginning which is why in God’s Commandments we are told not to covet. So we should not covet or “desire (someone or something) obsessively, wrongfully, and/or without due regard for the rights/feelings of others.” So we should not covet for it will waste our lives fruitlessly obsessing over objects of our desire. To covet is more than a feeling, it becomes an attempt to attain something from their neighbor (remember neighbor in Jesus’s message – think of your neighbor as everyone you come in contact with) – and so covet is taking action too. Coveting leads to planning, scheming, and then acting. So let’s not be so materialistic that we try to keep up with the Jones’s.

Let’s be more focused on being so rich in love that we can love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Let’s be more focused on being so rich in love that we don’t run out there but are able to overflow into the lives of those around us as we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Let’s be focused on being rich in LOVE! As we learn and read about what will last in 1 Corinthians 13, we find that everything else will pass away except faith, hope, and love!

So let’s not be wasting our time and energy on things that won’t glorify God! Let’s be using our time and energy to bring God praise, honor, and glory! Let’s be using our resources to bless God and God’s purpose in our lives! Let’s be using our resources to accomplish the cause God has put inside each of us! We are the body and just like the human body we each have a purpose and a responsibility in order to keep the body healthy and strong! We each have a purpose God created us to accomplish! Interestingly enough the body analogy comes in the earlier chapter of 1 Corinthians 12 where it reads:

‘For just as the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ. For by one [Holy] Spirit we were all baptized into one body, [spiritually transformed—united together] whether Jews or Greeks (Gentiles), slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit [since the same Holy Spirit fills each life]. For the [human] body does not consist of one part, but of many [limbs and organs]. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” is it not on the contrary still a part of the body? If the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” is it not on the contrary still a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole [body] were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But now [as things really are], God has placed and arranged the parts in the body, each one of them, just as He willed and saw fit [with the best balance of function]. If they all were a single organ, where would [the rest of] the body be? But now [as things really are] there are many parts [different limbs and organs], but a single body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” But quite the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are [absolutely] necessary; and as for those parts of the body which we consider less honorable, these we treat with greater honor; and our less presentable parts are treated with greater modesty, while our more presentable parts do not require it. But God has combined the [whole] body, giving greater honor to that part which lacks it, so that there would be no division or discord in the body [that is, lack of adaptation of the parts to each other], but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. And if one member suffers, all the parts share the suffering; if one member is honored, all rejoice with it. Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body, and individually [you are] members of it [each with his own special purpose and function]. So God has appointed and placed in the church [for His own use]: first apostles [chosen by Christ], second prophets [those who foretell the future, those who speak a new message from God to the people], third teachers, then those who work miracles, then those with the gifts of healings, the helpers, the administrators, and speakers in various kinds of [unknown] tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire and strive for the greater gifts [if acquiring them is going to be your goal]. A nd yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one of the choicest graces and the highest of them all: unselfish love].’

1 Corinthians 12:12-31

So today let’s focus on how we can love better, love more, and even love the unlovable as a way of worshipping God. God so loved us that He sent Jesus! We know what love is because God first loved us!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for August 29th


Prosperity Theology — Really!


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. ‘

III John 1:2

The Amplified gives us a bit more context around this statement when it says:

‘Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]. ‘

3 John 1:2

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever noticed how much stuff there is?
  • Ever noticed how much people try to get more stuff?
  • Ever noticed how some people can never get enough stuff?
  • Ever noticed the wealth that exists?
  • Ever noticed the what about me, I don’t want to be left out, … attitudes?
  • What is your focus? Is it more stuff? (possessions) Is it doing more things? (pleasures)
  • Are you leading that way and causing others to fall into that same trap or pit?
  • What does it mean to you when the Bible speaks to God wanting us to prosper?
  • Let’s consider Luke 12 and what it has to say:
    • ‘Then He told them a parable, saying, “There was a rich man whose land was very fertile and productive. And he began thinking to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place [large enough in which] to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my storehouses and build larger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods there. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many good things stored up, [enough] for many years; rest and relax, eat, drink and be merry (celebrate continually).” ’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own all the things you have prepared?’ So it is for the one who continues to store up and hoard possessions for himself, and is not rich [in his relationship] toward God.” Jesus said to His disciples, “For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; or about your body, as to what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the crop]; they have no storehouse or barn, and yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add one hour to his life’s span? So if you are not even able to do a very little thing [such as that], why are you worried about the rest? Consider the lilies and wildflowers, how they grow [in the open field]. They neither labor nor spin [wool to make clothing]; yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if this is how God clothes the grass which is in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You of little faith! So as for you, do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink; nor have an anxious and unsettled mind. For all the [pagan] nations of the world greedily seek these things; and your [heavenly] Father [already] knows that you need them. But [strive for and actively] seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. “Sell your possessions (show compassion) and give [donations] to the poor. Provide money belts for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing and inexhaustible treasure in the heavens, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ‘
      Luke 12:16-34
  • Are you ready to love God so much that everything else doesn’t measure up or even compare to it?
  • Are you ready to give up or consecrate or crucify yourself for the glory of God? Remember how we are to crucify ourselves daily? Remember how we are to pick up our cross daily? Remember how when the Israelites were about to cross over to the promised land that they had to prepare themselves and consecrate themselves?
  • So are you ready to live your life out of an abundance of love for God so that you can live a life that demonstrates your affection and obedience to God?
  • Let’s not be focused on selfish desires.
  • Let’s focus on God’s promises! God’s promises are true!
  • Ever heard you can’t out give God? It’s true! But what you receive back in return is different than more stuff, it is true blessings!
  • Ever tested God in your ability to give? It is the one thing we learn and read in Malachi where God says “test in me”. Could you imagine being accused by God of robbing Him?
    • ‘“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings [you have withheld]. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, this whole nation! Bring all the tithes (the tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you [so great] a blessing until there is no more room to receive it. Then I will rebuke the devourer (insects, plague) for your sake and he will not destroy the fruits of the ground, nor will your vine in the field drop its grapes [before harvest],” says the Lord of hosts. “All nations shall call you happy and blessed, for you shall be a land of delight,” says the Lord of hosts. “Your words have been harsh against Me,” says the Lord . “But you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God. What profit is it if we keep His ordinances, and walk around like mourners before the Lord of hosts? So now we call the arrogant happy and blessed. Evildoers are exalted and prosper; and when they test God, they escape [unpunished].’ ” ‘
      Malachi 3:8-15
  • Let’s not lose hope in wanting the best for ourselves and our families, but let’s make sure to check our hearts and minds to understand the intentions and reasons.
  • Let’s pray to stay healthy in order to be able to worship, serve, and praise God!
  • Let’s pray to be prosperous in order to be able to worship, serve, and praise God!
  • Let’s make sure that we are praying God’s will and God’s desire!
  • Remember how it says in Psalm 37 that God will give you the desires of your heart? Do you remember the if part of that if/then statement? Let’s make sure to take hold of that when we pray and why we are praying it.
    • ‘Delight yourself in the Lord , And He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart. ‘
      Psalms 37:4
  • Are you praying for health and prosperity in order to delight yourself in the Lord? Are you praying for your hope in the Lord? Are you seeking God’s will and purpose in order that He will bless you in it?
  • It may not always be the easy road but following Jesus is the road to eternity in heaven.
  • Let’s hold tightly to the promises of God as he uses every circumstance that is in and comes into our lives will help build up our love, our lives, and our soul.
  • Let’s hold loosely to the material things in our lives that one day won’t last so that we can press in and press forward for the glory of God!
  • Let’s live a life grateful to God!
  • Let’s live a life that fulfills God’s plans and purposes for our lives!
  • Let’s thank God as He fulfills His plans and purposes in our lives! Every step of the way! With every victory! With every challenge!
  • Let’s accept His generosity!
  • Let’s focus on what is important to God!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What happens in our hearts when we demand worldly prosperity?
  • What are some adjustments you need to make to refocus your heart on true prosperity?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“As your positive confessions come forth, you will discover that the more blessings you thank God for, the more blessings you will have to thank God for.”

Zig Ziglar (Confessions of a Happy Christian)

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you wanting and needing to have your heart filled up and cleaned up? Could today be your day to invite Jesus in to provide you with a fountain that never runs dry of love that will fill your heart to overflowing? Are you ready to make that choice, that decision, that move? 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?