THRIVE: Let the excitement energize you!


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

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

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

THRIVE - LIVING FOR THE GLORY OF GOD

Today’s Verse of the Day:

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

2 Timothy 3:16-17

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


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

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

Let’s Pray!

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

How much do you care? Do you care enough to give?


Do you care enough to give anything or everything you have? Do you care enough that you will be extremely generous and helpful? Do you care enough that you are willing to sacrifice for others?

Do you care for everyone or are there only some people would you be willing to do this for? Does it have to be someone close? Does it have to be someone you have a close relationship with? What would be the criteria for you to care for someone? What would be the criteria fr you to care enough to give? What would be the criteria for you to care enough to be extremely generous and helpful? What would be the criteria for you to do something or give sacrificially?

How are those criteria related to who you are? How are those criteria related to who they are? Are you someone who is a giver? Are you someone who is a taker? Are you someone who is generous? Are you someone who is greedy? Are you someone who is ready and willing to sacrifice? Are you someone who will surrender or forego it?

As we start today, let’s ask God for wisdom and discernment for each situation that we face and to change our hearts and our minds so that we will live out our today in a way that will bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 27th


The Shirt Off Your Back


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.’

I Samuel 18:3-4

Let’s make sure to get the context for this verse by reviewing verses around them and the Amplified version.

‘When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bonded to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. Saul took David that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan stripped himself of the outer robe that he was wearing and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword, his bow, and his belt. So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he acted wisely and prospered; and Saul appointed him over the men of war. And it pleased all the people and also Saul’s servants. As they were coming [home], when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul with tambourines, [songs of] joy, and musical instruments. The women sang as they played and danced, saying, “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” Then Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed [only] thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” Saul looked at David with suspicion [and jealously] from that day forward. ‘

1 Samuel 18:1-9

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever had reasons to be wary of someone but still built a great relationship and friendship with them?
  • Ever had concerns for your position and looked for ways to keep it?
  • Ever realized that a relationship was more important that a position or title?
  • Would you be willing to give up the title, the power, the prestige, and the wealth for a friend?
  • Do you have a friend that you would be able to or be willing to do that for?
  • We see in our reading today that Jonathan was willing to give up the title, the power, the prestige, and the wealth for the sake of his friendship with David.
  • We see how Jonathan’s love and dedication to David surpassed his desires to inherity the throne from his father Saul.
  • We see in today’s verses how Jonathan’s commitment to his friendship with David motivated him to create a covenant with David.
  • To solidify his pledge to David, Jonathan gave David his royal robe.
  • Jonathan went above and beyond to show his commitment by also giving David his armor that included his sword, his bow, and his belt.
  • Have you a friend that you are so commited to that you would give them the shirt off of your back?
  • What would it take to be a friend like or to experience a frienship like that?
  • Jonathan was committed to David and to the reality that David would be the next king after Saul too.
  • What are your friendships based on? Mutual interest?
  • What are your friendships based on? Mutual respect?
  • What are your friendships based on? Mutual benefits?
  • Have you ever lost a friendship because it was going to be too costly to continue?
  • Have you ever given up on a friendship because it was going to cost you too much?
  • Have you ever had a friendship where it was none of the above but simply a friendship where you both were dedicated to the good of the other person?
  • We see that Jonathan and David had this type of a relationship and it didn’t matter the cost!
  • These types of relationships are rare and hard to find.
  • These types of relationships, if you can find one and make one, are life changing for both parties.
  • Do you realize how much this type of a relationship can make on your future?
  • Do you realize that a big reason for such a huge impact was the loyalty of that friend?
  • Do you have a friend who will be loyal and that you will be loyal to through thick and think, through highs and lows, and through the darkest of times?
  • Do you have a friendship based upon genuine love, genuine sacrifice, and genuine time?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Have you ever experienced a friendship like this? Explain your answer.
  • What would it look like if you were this kind of friend?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Whatever you are, it is your own friends who make your world.”

William James

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? What is your state of mind? What is your state of heart? How are you choosing to live your life? How have you decided to live out your today? What type of a friend will you be? Are you in need of help to be more generous and helpful? Are you looking for wisdom and guidance to help you be a better version of yourself? Are you ready to get started 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?


How do we stand on shifting sand?


Acts 24 – preached by Pastor Dan Metteer (catch the full service from Saturday

Or check out other messages in the series here: Eastridge Church

What would you say if you came up a list of items that we could agree upon in a time where there is so much division or divisive topics?

‘Five days later the high priest Ananias went down to Caesarea with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus, and they brought their charges against Paul before the governor. ‘ — Acts 24:1

Our purpose informs out motivation and our motivation forms our truth!

It isn’t about if we follow this but more about our purpose and motivation.

‘“We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect and even tried to desecrate the temple; so we seized him. By examining him yourself you will be able to learn the truth about all these charges we are bringing against him.” The other Jews joined in the accusation, asserting that these things were true. ‘ — Acts 24:5-9

Which wasn’t true

‘Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him. ‘ — Acts 24:24-26

Was hoping to get a bribe. What Paul spoke convicted Felix

In the midst of shifting sand and truths, Paul provides us 4 things

  1. Proclaim your purpose (v13-15) — what is your purpose?
    • ‘And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me. However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. ‘ Acts 24:13-15
    • Is it built on something solid and never changing?
    • Are you building it upon the rock of Jesus and putting them to practice?
    • We need to build our lives on something lasting!
    • Paul’s Mission statement Acts 20:24 – ‘However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. ‘
    • He is happy because He knows what His life is about and proclaims it!
    • Write it down so that you can share it and say how your life is about this.
    • We need to have the truth built on God’s Word
  2. Live a life that demonstrates that purpose.
    • ‘So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. ‘ — Acts 24:16
    • Paul never leaves the idea that he can behave in a way that isn’t pleasing to God.
    • We need to live a life that we don’t mind people seeing what we do.
    • We need to be people who demonstrate God’s grace.
    • We need don’t need to be perfect but we need to be forgiven
    • We aren’t expected to be perfect but we are to be expected to live under the blood of the lamb
  3. Don’t compromise over consequences
    • Paul nearly had his life taken he never consequences
    • ‘Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” ‘ Acts 25:10-11
    • As a Roman citizen, he appealed to go before Caesar
    • He wasn’t going to compromise
  4. Trusted that God is the greater force
    • Paul wrote in the book of romans – if God is for us who can be against us
    • ‘What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
      Romans 8:31-39
    • Even if things don’t work out the way I hoped they would
    • even if tomorrow looks different than I thought they would
    • Even if people treat me differently that I want them to

What is your purpose? Is it God honoring? Is it going to last? Is it temporary? Is it something that you read about this week? Is it solid or shifting sand?


What we feed ourselves will impact how we overflow.

We need to be in the Word more than media.

We need to be in prayer more than in arguments.

We need to be with the Holy Spirit in order to live out our purpose!

Do you realize you don’t need to go it alone?


Ever wished you didn’t have to go it alone? Ever considered what it would take to make sure you aren’t left alone? Ever thought about taking the step to never being alone?

Would you consider inviting Jesus into your heart? Would you consider asking Jesus to be your savior?

Imagine getting to live a life where you are never alone because “…the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Imagine getting to live a life where you are never alone because “…I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Imagine getting to live a life where you are never alone because the Holy Spirit “…dwells with you and will be in you.” So are you ready and willing to never be alone? Are you ready and willing to receive the Holy Spirit in you? Are you ready to become the temple of the Holy Spirit? Are you ready to never be alone?


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


A Very Big Question


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? ‘

I Corinthians 3:16

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • On a scale of zero (not at all) to ten (all day every day), how much are you aware of the Spirit’s presence in you?
  • Does the fact that He lives inside you motivate you? Explain your answer.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“It is gloriously exciting to know that we can stay connected to the source of all power and authority just by opening our hearts and our minds to Him.”

— Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So are you ready to stop trying to go it alone? Are you ready to start going through life with another? Are you ready to start living your life with power and authority in you? Are you ready to decide that today you will receive Jesus into your heart as 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?


Are you content or are you comparing?


Are you able to find contentment no matter where you are in life? Are you able to be happy and satisfied with what you have no matter where you are in life? Are you able to be happy and satisfied with little and with much? Are you able to feel untroubled, at ease, and at peace no matter where you are in life? Are you able to be glad and grateful in your life no matter where you are in life?

Are you having problems in this area because you are comparing yourself to others? Are you being challenged in these areas because you are trying to keep up with Joneses? Are you too focused on comparing what you have to your neighbors? Are you too focused on comparing social classes with your neighbors? Are you too focused on comparing you material accumulations with your neighbors? Have you bought into the lies that if you don’t you are inferior to them?

What if you received the message that “you are too nice”? How would you respond? What does that mean to you? What does it mean to your work or relationships?

Are you able to be ok with what you have? Are you able to be ok with who you are? Are you able to receive it? Are you able to respond to it? Are you able to use it? What are your motives? What is it that is making you be this way? What’s in your heart?

Are you content or are you comparing?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for August 11th


I Want Yours!


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”’

Exodus 20:17

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • When it comes to life, are you more focused on behavior or motives?
  • When it comes to life what drives the way you behave?
  • When it comes to life what drives your motives?
  • Are you tempted or directed through advertising?
  • Ever heard of the condition defined by “a psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy young people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation.”? They call it affluenza.
  • Ever realized how much advertising you consume in a day?
  • Ever realized that all those devices that you use are helping get you the most appropriate ads?
  • Ever noticed how they are trying to sell you an ideal life?
  • Ever realized how many aspects of your life advertising has invaded? Shows, Games, TV, Radio, Internet
  • Ever realized how they try to make you think you can’t live without “that” product or service?
  • Ever realized how they try to rob you of contentment with where you are and what you have by trying to convince you that without “this” product or service you are missing out?
  • Ever noticed the personification that is given through ads with the pretty people, the happy people, all because they got “this” product or service?
  • Do you realize that the ads are just illusions?
  • Do you realize that the ads are trying to convince you that you can achieve the ideal life easily by simply buying their product or service?
  • Are you focused on getting more and as such start to compare what you have to what others have?
  • Are you buying into the illusion?
  • Have you gone from being content to feeling like you need and deserve more?
  • Has your heart been impact to the point of instead of just noticing what others have, you start to feel bitter or resentful because they have what you don’t?
  • Has it evolved to the point of you can’t appreciate them having it but now you are demanding you can have it too?
  • What’s most important to you? Is it the things of God or the things of man? Is it the things of God or material possessions?
  • How are you modeling this? How do you model this for your kids? How do you model this for your family? How do you model this for your friends? How do you model this for your neighbors? How do you model this for your coworkers?
  • Don’t reward whining!
  • Reject the ask if it is accompanied by whining!
  • Are you demonstrating thankfulness for what you have?
  • Are you demonstrating thankfulness for where you are?
  • Are you giving thanks to God?
  • Are you sharing the joy?
  • Are you being generous to others out of the overflow of joy?
  • The solution to coveting is thankfulness and generosity! Let’s demonstrate our thankfulness for all God has given to us. Let’s demonstrate our thankfulness for what we have by being generous and pouring into the lives of those around us that God leads and directs us to help and support!
  • Let’s be more focused on quality of life than standard of living!
  • Let’s not be fooled by or manipulated by “affluenza”!
  • It is interesting the response that comes when you happen to have an ad blocker installed.
  • Let’s look for ways to be content, thankful, and generous!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How would you describe the symptoms of “affluenza”?
  • What are some specific ways you can overcome the marketing promise of an ideal life?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

If standard of living is your major objective, quality of life almost never improves, but if quality of life is your number one objective, your standard of living almost always improves.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready to pursue God and a better quality of life? Are you chasing after the commercialized life you see on TV? Are you ready to have a higher quality of life rather than trying to achieve a higher standard of living? Are you looking for a life that is better? Are you ready to put your focus on God rather than things? Are you ready to put your trust in God rather than things? 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?


On a daily basis what is motivating you to keep going?


In this world we can face troubles and if we don’t have the right focus and motivation we can get stuck. In this world we can face resistance and opposition and if we don’t have the right purpose and direction we can get stuck. So how do you keep going? What is it that is your source that keeps you going? What is your motivation behind doing what you do and pressing forward to get it accomplished?

What is it that you are about? What is it that you are trying to accomplish? What is it that you are in the business of doing? How did you get there? What keeps you motivated on a daily basis to keep going? How do you know you are going the right way?

Is your motivation something big enough to keep you going when you face challenges? Is your motivation something big enough to keep you going when you face resistance? Is your motivation something that will sustain you to completion? Is it a calling? Is it a purpose? What is it?

What business are you about?


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


About His Business


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;’

Luke 4:18

To get the context more, let’s check out a bit of what came before and after this verse:

‘So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord .” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” ‘

Luke 4:16-21

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you have to see it to believe?
  • If you saw it would you have believed it?
  • When you are looking for something for so long, how will you respond when it shows up?
  • Today’s verse we see Jesus letting people know who He is but the response was mixed.
  • Some questioned who they thought he was.
  • Some were filled with wrath
  • Some rose up and threw Him out of the city
  • Some were even considering killing Him
  • What if you had known Jesus growing up, would that have changed anything when it comes to your response?
  • What if you grew up in the same hometown?
  • If you had heard Jesus declare that He was the Messiah, how would you have responded?
  • He came to give us life and yet the response had been to try and kill Him.
  • He came to heal us and yet the response was to try and hurt Him.
  • Will you choose today to believe or to doubt?
  • Will you choose today to believe or do you think that would take too much from you?
  • Just like Jesus who was about God’s business, if they believed or doubted didn’t change what He was about doing.
  • Jesus was about His Father’s Business!
  • Will you choose to believe today and be about God’s business in and through your life?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Why do you think the people were filled with wrath and wanted to kill Jesus?
  • How do you think you would have responded that day?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If God calls you to be a missionary, don’t stoop to be a king”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What are you facing? What are you pursuing? What are you in the business of? Could today be the day you pursue God’s calling on your life? 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?


Motivation & Motives… the why behind the what.


So you are doing something, do you know or understand your motivation and motives? Do you realize the why you are doing something? the why you want to do something? the why you hadn’t already been doing something?

So what is the reason? Did it require an incentive? Did it require a stimulus? Did it require getting inspired? Did it happen as an impulse? Did you have to get spurred or goaded into it? Did it require provocation? Did it need some rationale or to be rationalized? Did you get lured into it? Did you get persuaded into it? Did you need to get pressured into it?

So what is the drive? Was it out of ambition? Was it out of initiative? Was it out of determination? Was it out of your entrepreneurial spirit? Was it in hope of finding purpose?

Why do you do what you do? Remember how from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks? If you consider your heart to be a fountain inside of you then what is it being filled with to give you a why for doing something? Is your motivation positive or negative? Are your motives pure or impure? Are you doing it to serve humbly or to get proudful recognition? Is it out of love that you are doing something?

We might not be able to know about others but we can check with God to get our motives.

All the ways of a man are clean and innocent in his own eyes [and he may see nothing wrong with his actions], But the LORD weighs and examines the motives and intents [of the heart and knows the truth].

Proverbs 16:2 AMP

Ever reflected on what pure and genuine religion looks like?

Pure and unblemished religion [as it is expressed in outward acts] in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit and look after the fatherless and the widows in their distress, and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the [secular] world.

James 1:27 AMP

Why do you do what you do? Why do you respond the way you respond? Why do you go where you go? Why do you? Let’s look to do what we do out of love rather than hate! Let’s do what we do from an overflowing of love that is being poured into us from God! Let’s do what we do because Jesus gave us an example to follow and showed us how to be humble servant leaders! Let’s be so filled with love that there is no room for hate or anger or bitterness or unforgiveness! Feeling a void or that there is space that needs to be filled up to top up your love tank? Invite God in to fill you up to overflowing, don’t stop at topped up as that means as the day goes on it will use it up, instead ask Him to keep pouring into you so that you can pour into all those He brings into your today!

Motivation & Motives… do you understand your why behind your what.


The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 31st


Reaching out in Love


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.’

I John 4:19-21

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are there people who annoy you?
  • Are there people who interrupt you when you are trying to focus?
  • Are there people who ignore you when you need help?
  • Are there people who try to give you their unrequested opinions or advice?
  • How do you respond? Do you just try to tolerate them?
  • God wants us to be loving people, not just tolerating!
  • God’s standard for relationships is based on the foundation of love and is a high standard!
  • Remember how the law can be summarized with love? Love God and Love people!
  • To love people requires that we are filled with God’s love in order to overflow into people!
  • It takes effort and isn’t something we can do in our own strength!
  • God’s love is unconditional!
  • God has given us an example through Jesus of what that is and looks like!
  • We can love because God loved us first!
  • God loved us when we were unlovable!
  • God loves us so much that He sent Jesus, His one and only Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish.
  • God loved first!
  • God is love! Love moved first!
  • God moved first!
  • God shows us grace!
  • God shows us forgiveness!
  • God shows us affection!
  • Are you ready to turn to your loving Father God? Abba Father?
  • Will you demonstrate God’s love by overflowing that love into the world around you?
  • If we have problems loving people we probably need to be working on our relationship with God to make sure we are connected and being filled with His love!
  • For us to love others, to reach out in love, requires that we have been touched and filled up by God with His love!
  • So let’s pursue what is best for others from the overflow of God’s love in our lives!
  • Let’s be present when we are with others, fully listening, actively listening, so they realize we do love them!
  • Let’s be giving and generous when we are with others, so they know that we care for them!
  • Let’s spend time with God so that He can fill us to overflowing in order that we can pour into the lives of all those God brings into our lives.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Who are the people and what are the situations when the best you can do is to tolerate them?
  • How can you experience God’s love more deeply? What difference will it make?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“I am doing ‘better than good’ because I love the unlovable and give hope tot the helpless, friendship to the friendless, and encouragement to the discouraged.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Isaiah 61(sefaria.org)
    1. The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me; He has sent me as a herald of joy to the humble, To bind up the wounded of heart, To proclaim release to the captives, Liberation to the imprisoned;
    2. To proclaim a year of the LORD’s favor And a day of vindication by our God; To comfort all who mourn—
    3. To provide for the mourners in Zion— To give them a turban instead of ashes, The festive ointment instead of mourning, A garment of splendor instead of a drooping spirit. They shall be called terebinths of victory, Planted by the LORD for His glory.
    4. And they shall build the ancient ruins, Raise up the desolations of old, And renew the ruined cities, The desolations of many ages.
    5. Strangers shall stand and pasture your flocks, Aliens shall be your plowmen and vine-trimmers;
    6. While you shall be called “Priests of the LORD,” And termed “Servants of our God.” You shall enjoy the wealth of nations And revel in their riches.
    7. Because your shame was double— Men cried, “Disgrace is their portion”— Assuredly, They shall have a double share in their land, Joy shall be theirs for all time.
    8. For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery with a burnt offering. I will pay them their wages faithfully, And make a covenant with them for all time.
    9. Their offspring shall be known among the nations, Their descendants in the midst of the peoples. All who see them shall recognize That they are a stock the LORD has blessed.
    10. I greatly rejoice in the LORD, My whole being exults in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of triumph, Wrapped me in a robe of victory, Like a bridegroom adorned with a turban, Like a bride bedecked with her finery.
    11. For as the earth brings forth her growth And a garden makes the seed shoot up, So the Lord GOD will make Victory and renown shoot up In the presence of all the nations.
  • Isaiah 62(sefaria.org)
  • Isaiah 63(sefaria.org)

So where is your heart at today? Is it in need of filling? Is it in need of a cleanup? Is it filled to overflowing? Is it filled to overflowing with love? Where are you at today? Are you ready to check your motives and motivations? Are you ready to understand the why behind the what? Will you choose to lead with love?

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

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

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

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

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


So why are you doing it? What are your motives?


Do you remember what it was that got you started? What the motivation was for stepping up or stepping into it? Why do you care about kids? Why do you care about abused, abandoned, and neglected kids? Why do you care to go to camp? Why do you care to run camps? What is your motivation behind it? Has it changed over the years? Don’t fool yourself! Check your heart!

Do you remember what it was that got you interested in being a manager? Do you remember the resistance when you first got called to step into that leadership position as president of the homeowners association? Do you remember what God taught you through the experience of how God doesn’t call the qualified but rather qualifies the called? So what is your motivation for stepping up or stepping into it? Was it to serve others and teach others to serve? Was it for a title and position? Was it to expand your impact through others who also wanted to serve? Was it to raise up the next generation? What is your motivation behind it? Has it changed over the years? Don’t fool yourself! Check your heart!

Do you remember what it was that got you interested in being a husband and a father? Do you remember the desire to find a wife that you would be able to spend the rest of your life with? Do you remember the desire to have a family and raise your kids? Do you remember the encounter with God that transformed your destiny and that of your kids? Do you remember how that transformation changed your motives and the way you raise your kids and bless your marriage? What is your motivation? Has it changed over the years? Don’t fool yourself! Check your heart!

Are you involved or are you committed? Are you interested or are you called? Are you qualified or being qualified? Don’t try to go it alone! Invite God in and be committed to answer His call and become qualified!


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


Don’t Fool Yourself


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.’

Galatians 6:2-5

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How can you make a difference today
  • Do you remember the motivation that got you started?
  • Do you still have the same motives or have you gotten lost or off track?
  • Is it more of a serving or a power thing to be leading or controlling people?
  • Are you finding yourself being sucked into the need for power or the feeling of being indispensable?
  • Do you think you are the only one who can do it or who can do it as well?
  • Are you being sucked into the belief or idea that what would they do without you?
  • Don’t be fooled or fool yourself as we are warned along with the Galatian church.
  • To be good leaders we need humility!
  • To be good helpers we need humility!
  • We need to be humble servants!
  • Don’t allow power to get/go to your head?
  • Stop being focused on what abilities and positions have!
  • Get focused on what God has created you to be and do!
  • Get focused on what God is calling you and has gifted you to do!
  • Let’s be focused on our work and our heart!
  • Jesus is our measuring stick and who we want to compare ourselves to and become more and more like
  • Jesus emptied Himself of the power of God in order to humbly serve the world!
    • ‘but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. ‘ — Philippians 2:7
  • Let’s be more focused on the spiritual than the natural!
  • Instead of focusing on the natural tendency to compare ourselves to others, let’s be focused on Jesus so that we don’t get robbed or misdirected into feelings of insecurity or pride instead of humility and trust in God!
  • We will need to give an account for our lives and so we need to be more focused on God than playing the comparison or blame games.
  • God isn’t going to be interested in how much power and influence we built up but rather will be interested in if we did all we could do to help, to serve, and to give!
  • God is going to want us to take responsibility for our choices and to have lived our lives in fulfillment of the law of Christ by bearing one another’s burdens!
  • So let’s be looking for ways to help, to serve, and to give rather than being focused on having power and control for our own sake!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What roles do you have that can foster comparison with others?
  • Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Camp Director
  • Media operator
  • Husband
  • Dad
  • Brother
  • Son
What would it look like to humbly “fulfill the law of Christ” in each of these roles?
  • make time daily to turn back to God
  • make time daily to invite God into each situation
  • make time to talk with God about the “Why?” do I have these roles
  • make time to talk with God about the purposes and plans

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Success is not measured by what you do compared to what others do, it is measured by what you do with the ability God gave you.”

~Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So what is your motivation? What is your measure? What is your purpose? What are your abilities?

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

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

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

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

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

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


What makes you do it?


If someone asked you “why do you do it?” or “why did you do it?” or “what makes you keep doing it?”, how would you answer? Is there a motive behind why you do what you do? Is there a purpose behind why you do what you do? Is there a plan behind why you do what you do?

Was it something in the past? Was it someone from the past? Was it through some inspiration? Was it triggered by some event?

Ever heard people say “the devil made me do it”? Ever heard people say “it’s because I love…”? Ever heard people say “it is because of an encounter with Jesus”? Ever heard people say “it is something on my heart”? Ever heard people say “it is because I like to serve”?

When you consider motivators people have, they tend to get bucketed into groups like money and rewards, desire to be the best, helping others, power and fame, recognition, and passion.

So how about you? What do you do? How do you do it? When do you do it? What makes you do it?


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


Christ in you


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Galatians 2:20

‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • It’s not about a self-help program
  • It’s not a workout routine to help us get results
  • It’s a process from the inside out when we invite Jesus into our hearts.
  • When we invite Jesus into our hearts we are saved
  • When we live our lives with Jesus in our lives we live out the process of sanctification.
  • As we live with Christ in us, we need to allow Him to increase and us to decrease as we become more and more like Jesus.
  • Let’s take hold of the new perspective of life and death that Jesus provides us
  • Let’s put our old ways to death, nailing the sins to the cross
  • Let’s allow Jesus to transform us and our hearts day by day
  • We need to make a decision, choose every time a moment of choice appears that we can choose life or death and choose Christ over our own selfish desires.
  • Don’t lose hope or give up because you miss the mark, just reset and get back on track asking God to forgive you and start moving forward from where you are now
  • Let’s allow God’s character to fill us up with love, humility, and hope.
  • Let’s remember the promise and the power of the resurrection.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Describe what it means for Christ to live in you.

  • We invite Jesus into our hearts, and we start to live our lives putting God’s will first and leaning on the Holy Spirit to help lead and guide us and to resist the temptations of the devil in order to live lives that will be pleasing and glorifying to God.

What’s your responsibility for change, and what’s Christ’s responsibility to change you?

  • We need to realize when and take responsibility when selfish motives and actions come up and nail them to the cross, considering them dead – the old is gone and the new has come
  • Let’s replace those selfish thing with God honoring thoughts and behaviors
  • We need to pick life over death
  • We need to pick eternity with God rather than eternity apart from God.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

People who are crucified with Christ have three distinct marks:
1. they are facing only one direction,
2. they can never turn back, and
3. they no longer have plans of their own.

Aiden Wilson Tozer

When your number one goal in life is to die to yourself and put God first, you can rest assured you have a goal that will last a lifetime.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So what is going to be your motivator?

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

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

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

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

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

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


Are you motivated or apathetic?


Are you motivated? What was the trigger that got your attention? What was the cause that woke you up? What was the issue that captured your thoughts? What was the problem that made you have to do something?

Did you say no? Are you stuck in a place of apathy? Or maybe it is more of uninspired? Or is it that you have become disinterested? Or could it be that you have just become indifferent?

What would it take to you to become motivated? Would it have to be good or would it have to be bad? Would it have to be huge or could it be small? Would it have to be personal or could it be global? Would economic hardship be enough? Would sickness or illness be enough? Would natural disasters be enough? Would something bigger than what anyone could respond to be enough?

I know I have heard of cases where people have prayed show them heaven or show them hell, which ever one will get them to decide. Would a view of heaven get you motivated to live a life in the present? Would a view of hell get you motivated? Would it take the extreme opposing options be enough?

So today, if you are motivated is it sustainable and will it get you where you need to be? God tells us how He would rather people be hot or cold than lukewarm. What might happen today that will motivate you for today and for the future? Are you ready? Will you become an overcomer? Get unstuck and get motivated? Will today be your day to decide?

As I was looking to find an image for today’s post and did a web search the following was the first answer/response to my query:

As nouns the difference between motivation and apathy is that motivation is willingness of action especially in behavior while apathy is complete lack of emotion or motivation about a person, activity, or object; depression; lack of interest or enthusiasm; disinterest.

Response to search motivated vs apathetic

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


The Promise to an Overcomer


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Revelation 3:21

‘To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Reflect on Jesus’ observation of the 7 churches (Revelation 2 and 3)
    • Consider their hearts
    • Consider their behaviors
    • Consider their needs
    • Consider their successes
    • Consider their struggles
    • Consider their motivations
    • Consider their apathy
      • ‘ And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the trusty and faithful and true Witness, the Origin and Beginning and Author of God’s creation: [Isa. 55:4; Prov. 8:22.] I know your [record of] works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth! For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. [Hos. 12:8.] Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be [truly] wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes, that you may see. Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude]. [Prov. 3:12.] Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me. He who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant him to sit beside Me on My throne, as I Myself overcame (was victorious) and sat down beside My Father on His throne. He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the [Holy] Spirit says to the assemblies (churches).’ —Revelation 3:14-22
    • Consider their temperature – Hot, Cold, Lukewarm
  • Out of your abundance are you missing the fact that you need God?
  • Do you have so much that you think you don’t need what God has to offer?
  • Don’t you realize that the wealth is a gift from God and that you should be a steward, a good steward of the gifts?
  • Don’t you realize the good that you could be doing with that wealth beyond spending it on yourself?
  • Isn’t the state of your heart more important than the appearance you are making?
  • Isn’t the final destination of the life you are living more important than a temporary high or buzz on this side of things?
  • If you compare what you have financially and compare it to what you have in heart currency where do you find yourself?
  • Are you living for self or are you living as a conduit for God with the wealth you have been given?
  • Check out v17 and you will see how Jesus challenged the people of Laodicea in relations to their heart currency or wealth and that they had sold out for the material world and because of that they had left their hearts in a state of:
    • ‘ For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. [Hos. 12:8.]’ — Revelation 3:17
  • So what it takes is to turn to Jesus and change the direction of your life.
  • Let’s use the setbacks to have comebacks! Let’s use difficulties to become overcomers!
  • Let’s trust God to overcome our problems in our lives!
    • No matter if the problem is poverty, addiction, illness, accidents, or disaster
    • No matter if the problem is “the burden of wealth with lack of insight about where the wealth came from and how to use it.”

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
In what ways can wealth be a serious obstacle to following Christ?
What do repentance and overcome look like for a rich person?
  • The realization that every good and perfect gift comes from God!
  • The realization that the money is God’s and we are just His stewards and conduits to bless others!
  • The realization that the money is for a purpose greater than ourselves
  • Repentance is turning back to God with these realization in order to overcome the selfishness and selfish desires in order to use what God has given us for His plans and His purposes, across the street and around the world!

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Believe in yourself our strength grows out of our weakness”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So are you motivated? Do you want to get motivated through external forces? Could you find a way to become motivated? Would it take extremes like a vision of heaven or a vision of hell? Would it take an experience to so incredible for you to become motivated? If you aren’t motivated then could today be your day?

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

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

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

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

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

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


Motives vs. Purpose


Where are you going? Why? Is there some motivation or motives that are pushing you to go there? Is there a purpose or calling that is drawing you to get there? Is your motivation to get bigger or stronger or more powerful? Is your purpose to be able to better serve and represent? Is your motivation for you to get more or self focused? Is your purpose to be able to finish strong in order to be able to come before God humbly and hear one day “well done“? Is your focus on things of this world? Is your focus on the things of God? Are you willing to take the long way in order to get there without compromise or taking short cuts? Are you focused on the destination more than the process? Are you focused more on what you can get than what you can give? Are you focused more on you than others? How will you choose to live out your today as we prepare for what is yet to come? Will you allow it to be incentivized? Will you allow it to be a desired result?


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


King of the Mountain


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 24:3-4

‘Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord ? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you climbing to get to the top?
  • Are you working hard to make it there?
  • Are you climbing over others to get there?
  • Are you making a pathway others can follow or making a pathway over others?
  • Are you pursuing God’s calling on your life like David did and willing to walk it out?
  • Are you pursuing your own gain and as such not going to let anyone get in your way?
  • Are you trying to make it so you stand in power in front of stakeholders?
  • Are you trying to make it so that you can stand humbly with inner strength before God?
  • Are you trying to make it so that you can stand humbly before God with clean hands and a pure heart?
  • David had many opportunities to take shortcuts between when Samuel anointed him and when he was coronated as king.
  • David had many opportunities to compromise his integrity between when Samuel anointed him and when he was coronated as king.
  • Are you willing to receive what God is giving you or are you so motivated by it that you are willing to take it at all costs and in your own power and timing?
  • Are you willing to wait upon the Lord and step into your calling in His timing?
  • Are you going to listen to the advice of man and risk the consequences of disobedience to God?
  • Are you willing to work through the process rather than to rush over it?
  • If God calls you to it, will you trust Him through the process?
  • If God calls you to it, will you trust Him enough to accomplish it?
  • Will you go it God’s way so that when the time is right and the door opens that you will be ready and standing there with “hands and a pure heart“?
  • Will you trust God on the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and speak and live the truth?
  • Do you trust God enough to be able to be trustworthy to others?
  • Do you trust God enough to be able to speak the truth in love?
  • Do you trust God enough to be able to live out your life following God with all of your heart?
  • Will you trust God enough to live a life that will cause others to look to God and to trust you?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some temptations to take shortcuts to gain promotions at work?
  • When things feel uncomfortable
  • When things feel out of control
  • When you are starting to lose trust or belief in someone
  • When you think you know best
  • When you start to compare yourself with others
What does it take for someone to act like David did and keep “clean hands and a pure heart”?
  • Trust that if God calls you to it that He will get you through it
  • Trust that if God calls you to it that He will make it happen in His perfect timing

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.

William James

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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

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

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


Motivation, Reason, Purpose, Calling, …


What is it that makes you do what you do? What is it that causes you to act that way? What is it that causes you to talk that way? What is it that causes you to respond that way? What is it that causes you to work that way? What is it that causes you to give that way? What is it that causes you to love that way? What is your motivation? What is your reason? What is your purpose? What is your calling?

Is it an event? Is it an encounter? Is it a relationship? Is it a moment in time? Is it a book? Is it schooling? Is it the way you were raised? Is it the way you were trained? Is it the way you were positioned? Is it something you were given? Is it something you chose? What is your motivation? What is your reason? What is your purpose? What is your calling?


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


When Life Doesn’t Seem Fair


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 5:45

‘that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Is your challenge today that you are using the wrong measuring stick?
  • Is your challenge today that you are trying to compare yourself to others?
  • Is your challenge today based on comparing or coveting rather than being thankful and appreciating?
  • Is your challenge today that you are being a watcher or spectator rather than an active participant?
  • Is your challenge today that you are focusing on what you think you deserve more than what you could be thankful for already having?
  • Instead of comparing what God gave them versus you, why not focus on all God has done for you and why He does what He does for everyone!
  • God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life!
  • God grace is enough! Grace is given by God to people! Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God! Jesus taught about this a lot!
  • What if we measured by grace rather than standards, rewards, and punishment?
  • God’s hope is that nobody would perish but rather that all would come to repentance!
  • If we take a step back in order to get the full context of today’s memory verse and check out the context around it we find this comes from the following scripture:
    • ‘“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 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, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.’ Matthew 5:43-48
    • God’s goodness reaches out to everybody!
    • God loves everyone and doesn’t want anyone to perish!
    • So let’s decide when we see God’s grace in action in someone else’s life to be thankful that God so such goodness is the One we love and serve!
    • Let’s decide not to allow comparison to come into the game and kill the joy and leaves us wanting more!
    • Let’s decide not to allow comparison to come into the game but rather bring in thankfulness for all that God is, has, and will do in order to live a life to the full!
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
In your opinion, who are some people who are getting more than they deserve?
  • We need to stop the comparison game
  • We need to stop the keeping up with the Jones’ type of mentality
  • We need to stop measuring what they got against what we go
  • We need to be thankful for what we have and what we get
  • We need to be thankful that God is love and loves so much that He loves everyone
  • Let’s be God’s ambassadors!
  • Let’s be Jesus with skin on to the world around us!
  • Let’s be the church to those would never step into the building!
How does comparison kill, and how does thankfulness give life?
  • It takes the focus off what God has done and robs us of that joy!
  • It takes the focus off how good God is and robs us of that joy!
  • It takes the focus off why God isn’t slow as some define it but rather has a timing and a way that gives people the opportunity to repent and be saved and the joy that comes when someone accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
  • Thankfulness looks to all God has done and pumps it up with joy!
  • Thankfulness looks to how good God is and pumps it up with joy, and hope!
  • Thankfulness give us the ability to take hold of even the troubles and trials of life to live them to the full in order that God can work in and through us to help us become complete and lacking nothing!

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Exodus 9
    • It takes different motivation, reason, purpose, calling for some people to accept and be obedient to God.
    • There can be a reason and purpose behind why some have hard hearts and God can work in and through it for His glory!
    • Some people require many examples or opportunities before they will accept God’s calling or ask.
    • Ever wondered what it would take for someone who rejects or denies God to have a change of heart and mind?
  • Exodus 10
    • How personal does it have to become for God to get your attention?
    • How real does it have to get before you will choose to receive and accept God?
    • It’s not about rituals and routines, it is about a relationship with God! A personal, intimate relationship with God!
    • God is the God of second chances, third chances, … how many chances will it take before you decide to accept Him and invite Him into your heart and life?
    • Is there one more thing that could make the difference and change things around?

So will you be thankful and win rather than compare yourself to others and lose? Remember how we aren’t to covet, it is designed to help us appreciate what we have? Don’t get drawn into the “it’s not fair” game which requires you to compare yourself with others!

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

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

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

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

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

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


Whose plan are you following? What methodology are you practicing?


Consider the plan you have to follow. Do you have 1 plan or multiple plans? Do you have 1 plan or multiple options to choose from? What is the implication of following the plan? What is the purpose of the plans creator? Is it a good plan? Is it a plan that is sturdy? strict? predictable? reliable? realistic? goals driven? specific? timely? actionable? risky? Whose plan are you following?

How did this plan come to be? Was there a methodology that was followed? Was there a firm foundation for it to be based on? Is it measurable? Is it repeatable? Is it predictable? Is it a methodology that has worked in the past? Is it a methodology that is new and revolutionary? Is it a methodology that will help you succeed? Is it a methodology that will help you achieve? Is it a methodology that will ensure progress? Is it a methodology that will help not just you but others? Is it a methodology with a lot of risk? Is it a methodology with a bunch of dependencies? What methodology are you practicing?

Does you plan and your methodology work irrespective of time? Does it take into consider the timeline? Does it take into consideration the time or times we are living in? Does it take into consideration how much or how little time is available to do it? What if your methodology would require too much time? What if your plan requires more time than you have available? What impact to time and timing have on which plan and which methodology you select? What if you learned there will be no delay? Will what you are planning and doing be or become bitter sweet? Do you understand or realize the long term impact of such a plan or such a methodology? Will it taste sweet to start but then become bitter over time? Consider your ways! Consider your plans! Consider your methodologies! Consider where you hope and help come from!

What will you do with the message of God for you today? Will you receive it? Will you hear it? Will you do something about it? Will you obey it? Will you accomplish His plan? Will you follow His methodology?

Will you speak the words that God gives you to speak? Will you speak words of encouragement to help people have the return to God? Will you take the warnings God provides you and turn back to Him? Will you be obedient or a rebellious person?


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘ Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] [Josh. 1:5.]’

Hebrews 13:5

They say hindsight is 2020 but that is because you’ve been there and done that by the time you get there. As we draw to the end of November and closer to Thanksgiving season and Christmas season, how will you take the lessons learned to ensure that your plan for finishing the year strong and starting the new year on the right foot is in place and right? Where will you turn to in order to get the right plan? Who will you turn to in order to ensure the right way is being followed? Let’s put God’s Word at the top of the list and lean in on Him who will never leave us and never forsake us in order to walk out today and every day we are blessed to receive as a gift or some say the present to and for the glory of God.

The 49 week challenge Day 325

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 325 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

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

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


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

My Notes:

  • ‘Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.” Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay! But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’ ” I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”’
    Revelation 10:1-11
  • ‘He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.’
    Ezekiel 2:1-10
  • ‘And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.” And he said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. Go now to your people in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’ whether they listen or fail to listen.” Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound as the glory of the Lord rose from the place where it was standing. It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound. The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord on me. I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Aviv near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days—deeply distressed. At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.” The hand of the Lord was on me there, and he said to me, “Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.” So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown. Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: “Go, shut yourself inside your house. And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people. I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious people. But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious people.’
    Ezekiel 3:1-27

As day 325 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


What is motivating you today? Is it love? Is it purpose? Is it everlasting? WHY? What is your WHY?


There are so many people I have heard over the years where they take something that is temporary and make statements that would have longer impact. There are so many people I have heard make the comments and even though the catalyst for their statement happens they don’t follow through on their threats or promises. So were they overreacting? We they just being dramatic? Where they just trying to draw people to their side?

For those who are in the USA or are watching the election taking place in the USA, do you remember who is in control? Do you remember who is important? Do you remember what lasts? Do you live and prioritize things in that way?

Let’s remember irrespective of our vote how important our neighbors are. Let’s remember irrespective of our vote that it is about we the people. Let’s remember where our hope and trust comes from, just like it says on the money “In God We Trust”.

Don’t let pride cause you to get tripped up or stumble, because pride comes before the fall. Don’t allow bitterness to take root in your heart and rob you of joy and all God has planned for you, forgive instead. Let’s be focused on what is eternal rather than what will pass away. Let’s focus on doing things that will reinforce love and truth and hope. Let’s not forget that our foundation that is Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, so we can put our hope and trust in Him!


Today’s verse of the day comes to us from Hebrews 13:18: ‘Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages).‘ — Hebrews 13:8 AMPC and in the NIV translation it comes to us in the form ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. ‘ — Hebrews 13:8 NIV

Isn’t it great to know that He never changes? Isn’t it great to know that you don’t have to worry that He might change his mind tomorrow? His character is the same! His love is the same! His purpose is the same! His plan is the same! Yesterday! Today! Forever!


Let’s leave the past where it belongs, behind us! Let’s learn from those lessons since we know and can see them since hindsight is 2020. Let’s focus on the future through God’s eyes – with hope and trust and love! Let’s focus on our eternal destiny and which final destination we will choose. We need to make our own decision and we will then have to live with that decision. Turn back to God! Put your hope and trust in Him! Look to spend eternity with God rather than apart from God!

The 49 week challenge
Day 309

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 309 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

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

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


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

My Notes:

  • ‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.’ — 1 John 3:1-24
  • ‘Hear me, Lord , my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer— it does not rise from deceitful lips. Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right. Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed. Though people tried to bribe me, I have kept myself from the ways of the violent through what your lips have commanded. My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled. I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a fierce lion crouching in cover. Rise up, Lord , confront them, bring them down; with your sword rescue me from the wicked. By your hand save me from such people, Lord , from those of this world whose reward is in this life. May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies; may their children gorge themselves on it, and may there be leftovers for their little ones. As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.’ — Psalms 17:1-15
  • ‘Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord . And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord , “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” But the Lord said to him, “Not so ; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the Lord ’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech. Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah. Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.” Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord .’ — Genesis 4:1-26
  • ‘Abimelek son of Jerub-Baal went to his mother’s brothers in Shechem and said to them and to all his mother’s clan, “Ask all the citizens of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you: to have all seventy of Jerub-Baal’s sons rule over you, or just one man?’ Remember, I am your flesh and blood.” When the brothers repeated all this to the citizens of Shechem, they were inclined to follow Abimelek, for they said, “He is related to us.” They gave him seventy shekels of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith, and Abimelek used it to hire reckless scoundrels, who became his followers. He went to his father’s home in Ophrah and on one stone murdered his seventy brothers, the sons of Jerub-Baal. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerub-Baal, escaped by hiding. Then all the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo gathered beside the great tree at the pillar in Shechem to crown Abimelek king. When Jotham was told about this, he climbed up on the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted to them, “Listen to me, citizens of Shechem, so that God may listen to you. One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king.’ “But the olive tree answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and humans are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’ “Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’ “But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’ “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’ “But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and humans, to hold sway over the trees?’ “Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘Come and be our king.’ “The thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’ “Have you acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelek king? Have you been fair to Jerub-Baal and his family? Have you treated him as he deserves? Remember that my father fought for you and risked his life to rescue you from the hand of Midian. But today you have revolted against my father’s family. You have murdered his seventy sons on a single stone and have made Abimelek, the son of his female slave, king over the citizens of Shechem because he is related to you. So have you acted honorably and in good faith toward Jerub-Baal and his family today? If you have, may Abimelek be your joy, and may you be his, too! But if you have not, let fire come out from Abimelek and consume you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and let fire come out from you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and consume Abimelek!” Then Jotham fled, escaping to Beer, and he lived there because he was afraid of his brother Abimelek. After Abimelek had governed Israel three years, God stirred up animosity between Abimelek and the citizens of Shechem so that they acted treacherously against Abimelek. God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal’s seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelek and on the citizens of Shechem, who had helped him murder his brothers. In opposition to him these citizens of Shechem set men on the hilltops to ambush and rob everyone who passed by, and this was reported to Abimelek. Now Gaal son of Ebed moved with his clan into Shechem, and its citizens put their confidence in him. After they had gone out into the fields and gathered the grapes and trodden them, they held a festival in the temple of their god. While they were eating and drinking, they cursed Abimelek. Then Gaal son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelek, and why should we Shechemites be subject to him? Isn’t he Jerub-Baal’s son, and isn’t Zebul his deputy? Serve the family of Hamor, Shechem’s father! Why should we serve Abimelek? If only this people were under my command! Then I would get rid of him. I would say to Abimelek, ‘Call out your whole army!’ ” When Zebul the governor of the city heard what Gaal son of Ebed said, he was very angry. Under cover he sent messengers to Abimelek, saying, “Gaal son of Ebed and his clan have come to Shechem and are stirring up the city against you. Now then, during the night you and your men should come and lie in wait in the fields. In the morning at sunrise, advance against the city. When Gaal and his men come out against you, seize the opportunity to attack them.” So Abimelek and all his troops set out by night and took up concealed positions near Shechem in four companies. Now Gaal son of Ebed had gone out and was standing at the entrance of the city gate just as Abimelek and his troops came out from their hiding place. When Gaal saw them, he said to Zebul, “Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains!” Zebul replied, “You mistake the shadows of the mountains for men.” But Gaal spoke up again: “Look, people are coming down from the central hill, and a company is coming from the direction of the diviners’ tree.” Then Zebul said to him, “Where is your big talk now, you who said, ‘Who is Abimelek that we should be subject to him?’ Aren’t these the men you ridiculed? Go out and fight them!” So Gaal led out the citizens of Shechem and fought Abimelek. Abimelek chased him all the way to the entrance of the gate, and many were killed as they fled. Then Abimelek stayed in Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his clan out of Shechem. The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields, and this was reported to Abimelek. So he took his men, divided them into three companies and set an ambush in the fields. When he saw the people coming out of the city, he rose to attack them. Abimelek and the companies with him rushed forward to a position at the entrance of the city gate. Then two companies attacked those in the fields and struck them down. All that day Abimelek pressed his attack against the city until he had captured it and killed its people. Then he destroyed the city and scattered salt over it. On hearing this, the citizens in the tower of Shechem went into the stronghold of the temple of El-Berith. When Abimelek heard that they had assembled there, he and all his men went up Mount Zalmon. He took an ax and cut off some branches, which he lifted to his shoulders. He ordered the men with him, “Quick! Do what you have seen me do!” So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelek. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire with the people still inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died. Next Abimelek went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it. Inside the city, however, was a strong tower, to which all the men and women—all the people of the city—had fled. They had locked themselves in and climbed up on the tower roof. Abimelek went to the tower and attacked it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull. Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can’t say, ‘A woman killed him.’ ” So his servant ran him through, and he died. When the Israelites saw that Abimelek was dead, they went home. Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelek had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. God also made the people of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.’ — Judges 9:1-57
  • ‘The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’ “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved. “Son of man, say to the Israelites, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?” ’ Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord , I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’ “Therefore, son of man, say to your people, ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’ If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done. And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right— if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die. None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live. “Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But it is their way that is not just. If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, they will die for it. And if a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so. Yet you Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to your own ways.” In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month on the fifth day, a man who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has fallen!” Now the evening before the man arrived, the hand of the Lord was on me, and he opened my mouth before the man came to me in the morning. So my mouth was opened and I was no longer silent. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, the people living in those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land. But we are many; surely the land has been given to us as our possession.’ Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Since you eat meat with the blood still in it and look to your idols and shed blood, should you then possess the land? You rely on your sword, you do detestable things, and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Should you then possess the land?’ “Say this to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those who are left in the ruins will fall by the sword, those out in the country I will give to the wild animals to be devoured, and those in strongholds and caves will die of a plague. I will make the land a desolate waste, and her proud strength will come to an end, and the mountains of Israel will become desolate so that no one will cross them. Then they will know that I am the Lord , when I have made the land a desolate waste because of all the detestable things they have done.’ “As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord .’ My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. “When all this comes true—and it surely will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”’ — Ezekiel 33:1-33

As day 309 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you doing it right? Are you acting out of obedience?


Why are you doing what you are doing? What is the reason or motivation for trying to do it that way? Have you checked with God to get wisdom on or into what is going on? Have you checked with God to get wisdom on or into how you should respond? Are you assuming based on what God’s done that you should be able to get it work this way or that way? Are you using the created rather than seeking the creator for direction into what you need or should do? We need more than a symbol of God being with us, we need God to be with us! We need to turn back to Him and walk with Him through each day and every situation! No assumptions, just listening and acting in obedience. Are you doing it right? Are you acting out of obedience?

This morning’s reading starts off with an interesting view of a situation and we see how they act and respond…

Defeat and Loss of the Ark

1So it was that the word of Samuel went forth to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines in battle. They camped at Eben-ezer while the Philistines camped in Aphek. 2The Philistines drew up in battle array to meet Israel, and when the battle was fought, Israel was defeated before the Philistines, who killed 4,000 men on the battlefield. 3When the people came back to the camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did Adonai bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let’s fetch the ark of the covenant of Adonai from Shiloh that He may come among us and deliver us from the hand of our enemies.” 4So the people sent to Shiloh, and from there they carried the ark of the covenant of Adonai-Tzva’ot who sits above the cheruvim. Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. 5Now when the ark of the covenant of Adonai entered the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the ground resounded. 6When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they wondered, “What’s this noise of a great shout in the camp of the Hebrews?” When they realized that the ark of Adonai had come into the camp, 7the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp.” So they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has ever happened before. 8Woe to us! Who will deliver us from the hand of this mighty God? This is the God that struck down the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. 9Be strong, and conduct yourselves like men, O Philistines, or else you will become enslaved to the Hebrews as they have been to you. Be like men and fight!” 10So the Philistines did fight and Israel was defeated—they fled every man to his tent. The slaughter was very great, as 30,000 of Israel’s foot soldiers fell. 11Moreover, the ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons Hophni and Phinehas died. 12Now that same day a man of Benjamin ran from the battlefield and came to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head. 13When he arrived, behold, Eli was sitting on his seat by the wayside watching, for his heart was trembling for the ark of God. When the man arrived to announce it in the town, the entire town cried out. 14And when Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he asked, “What’s this noisy commotion?” So the man rushed and came and told Eli. 15Now Eli was 98 years old, and his eyes were fixed in a blind stare. 16Then the man said to Eli, “I am one coming from the battlefield—I escaped from the battlefield today.” “What is happening, my son?” he asked. 17And the messenger answered and said, “Israel fled before the Philistines and there has also been a great slaughter among the people. Also your two sons died—Hophni and Phinehas—and the ark of God was captured.” 18As soon as he mentioned of the ark of God, Eli fell backward from his seat beside the town gate. His neck broke and he died, for he was old and heavy. He had judged Israel 40 years. 19Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child and about to deliver. When she heard the report that the ark of God was captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she crouched down and gave birth because she was seized with her labor pains. 20As she was dying, the women attending her said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for you have brought forth a son!” But she did not respond or take it to heart. 21Then she named the child Ichabod saying, “The glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22So she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been taken!”

–from 1 Samuel 4

How long will you try to doing it your own way? How long before you take God seriously? What will it take for you to do what God has called you to do? Will you return and finish strong? We need to take the things of God and the ways of God seriously! We need to align to and align with God’s will and God’s way! There is no other god but our God! In the end every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! So let’s not pretend, let’s take a hold of the truth and step forward and step out believing and living what God has created to be and do!

The Ark Afflicts the Philistines

1Now the Philistines had taken the ark of God and they brought it from Eben-ezer to Ashdod. 2The Philistines took the ark of God and brought it to the temple of Dagon, and placed it beside Dagon. 3But when the Ashdodites arose early next morning, to everyone’s surprise, Dagon had fallen to his face on the ground before the ark of Adonai. So they took Dagon up and put him back in his place. 4But when they arose early the following morning, surprisingly, Dagon had fallen to his face on the ground before the ark of Adonai, and the head of Dagon and both palms of his hands were cut off on the threshold; only Dagon’s trunk was left on him. 5That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any who enter Dagon’s house will tread on Dagon’s threshold in Ashdod. 6Then the hand of Adonai was heavy upon the Ashdodites, ravaging them and afflicting Ashdod and its vicinity with tumors. 7When the men of Ashdod saw what was happening they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not stay with us, for His hand has dealt harshly against us as well as against our god Dagon.” 8So they sent word and gathered all the lords of the Philistines to them and asked, “What will we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” They replied, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried over to Gath.” So they carried the ark of the God of Israel over. 9But it came about, that after they had carried it around, that the hand of Adonai was against the city causing very great panic, as He struck the people of the city, from the youngest to the oldest, so that tumors broke out on them. 10So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. But it came about as the ark of God came to Ekron that the Ekronites cried out saying, “They’ve brought around the ark of the God of Israel to us to kill us and our people!” 11So they sent word and gathered all the lords of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the God of Israel away—let it go back to its own place, so it won’t kill us and our people!” For a panic of death was throughout the entire city, as God’s hand was very heavy there. 12The people who did not die were afflicted with tumors, so that the outcry of the city went up to heaven.

–from 1 Samuel 5

Do you have something that doesn’t belong to you? What would it take for you to return it to the rightful owner? If you find it and then find out who owns it do you return it immediately? If you find it and then find out who owns it do you try to get to enjoy it for a bit before returning it? You don’t the difference between right and wrong! You know what you should do! What would or will or is keeping you from doing what is right?

Philistines Send the Ark Back

1After the ark of Adonai had been in the country of the Philistines seven months, 2the Philistines summoned the priests and the diviners saying, “What should we do with the ark of Adonai? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.” 3So they said, “If you are going to send the ark of the God of Israel back, do not send it empty. For you must surely return it with a guilt offering. Then you will be healed and it will be revealed to you why His hand has not been removed from you.” 4“What guilt offering should we return to Him?” they asked. So they said, “Five golden tumors and five golden mice—according to the number of the lords of the Philistines, for one plague was on each of you and on your lords. 5So you will make images of your tumors and images of your mice that mar the land, and you must give glory to the God of Israel. Perhaps He will lighten His hand off of you, your gods and your land. 6Why harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He afflicted them, didn’t they send them away so they left? 7Now therefore get a new cart ready, two milk cows on which there has never been a yoke, hitch the cows to the cart, and return their calves home, away from them. 8Then take the ark of Adonai and place it on the cart; also put the golden objects that you return to Him as a guilt offering in a box by its side. Then send it off so it may go. 9Then watch—if it goes up by the way of its own territory to Beth-shemesh, then it was He who inflicted on us this great harm. But if not, then we will know that it was not His hand that struck us; it just happened to us by chance.” 10So the people did so—they took two milk cows and hitched them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. 11Then they placed the ark of Adonai on the cart together with the box, the golden mice, and the models of their tumors. 12So the cows took the way straight toward Beth-shemesh—they kept along the same highway, lowing as they went, and turned aside neither to the right nor to the left. The lords of the Philistines followed them to the border of Beth-shemesh. 13Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. When they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, they rejoiced to see it. 14The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh and stopped there, where there was a large stone. Then they chopped the wood of the cart and offered up the cows as a burnt ­offering to Adonai. 15The Levites took down the ark of Adonai and the box that was with it that contained the gold objects, and placed them on the large stone. Then the people of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrifices to Adonai that day. 16Now when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron that same day. 17So these are the golden tumors that the Philistines returned as a guilt offering to Adonai: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron. 18The golden mice also corresponded to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords—both the fortified cities and their country villages—as far as the large stone on which they had set down the ark of Adonai. It remains to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh. 19Then He struck down some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had gazed into the ark of Adonai. He struck down the people—70 out of 50,000 men—the people mourned because Adonai had struck the people a great slaughter. 20So the men of Beth-shemesh asked, “Who is able to stand before Adonai—this holy God? To whom should it go up from us?” 21So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the ark of Adonai. Come down—bring it up to you.”

–from 1 Samuel 6

Will you give God the praise, the honor, and the glory He deserves? Will you share with people the goodness and the love of God? Will you get rid of the distractions? Will you get rid of the fakes? Will you get rid of the things? Will you get rid of the stuff? So that you have a single focus? Will you turn back to God with all of your heart, all of your mind, all of your strength, and all of your soul? Will you give up the lies and the deception? Will you follow fully after Him and His Word and His ways? It’s not our battle, the battle belongs to the Lord! So whose side will you join and be on? Choose wisely! I read the end of the book and God wins! And based on your choice, you get to determine your final destiny!

Samuel’s Victory at Mizpah

1Then the men of Kiriath-jearim came and fetched up the ark of Adonai, brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of Adonai. 2From the day the ark rested in Kiriath-jearim it was a long time, 20 years, and the whole house of Israel yearned after Adonai. 3Then Samuel spoke to the whole house of Israel saying, “If you are returning to Adonai with all your heart, then remove the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you, direct your hearts to Adonai and serve Him only. Then He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 4So Bnei-Yisrael removed the Baalim and the Ashtaroth, and served Adonai alone. 5Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to Adonai for you.” 6So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water and poured it out before Adonai. They fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against Adonai.” Then Samuel was judging Bnei-Yisrael at Mizpah. 7Now when the Philistines heard that Bnei-Yisrael had assembled at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines marched against Israel. When Bnei-Yisrael heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8So Bnei-Yisrael said to Samuel, “Don’t stop crying out to Adonai our God for us, so He may save us from the hand of the Philistines!” 9Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to Adonai. Then Samuel cried out to Adonai for Israel and Adonai answered him. 10As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But Adonai thundered with loud thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them so that they were defeated before Israel. 11Then the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them down all the way to below Beth-car. 12Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named Eben-ezer saying, “Thus far Adonai has helped us.” 13So the Philistines were subdued and they did not invade the border of Israel anymore. The hand of Adonai was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14The towns that the Philistines had taken from Israel, from Ekron to Gath, were restored to Israel, and Israel recovered its territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was also peace between Israel and the Amorites. 15Now Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16He used to go annually on a circuit to Beth-el and Gilgal and Mizpah, and would judge over Israel in all those places. 17Then his return was to Ramah, because his home was there, and from there he would judge Israel. So he built an altar to Adonai there.

–from 1 Samuel 7

The devil wants to trip you up! The devil wants to draw you away! The devil wants to tempt you! The devil wants you to question God! The devil wants you to think you don’t need God! The devil wants you to be more focused on yourself than on God! The devil is looking for ways to trick you and get you not only off course but also off balance! He will twist God’s Word to try and get you off track! Remember God’s Word so that you can respond and stand firm! Every day put on the full armor of God and stand strong and stand firm and after you have done so, keep standing strong and firm! The devil even tried to twist God’s Word and tempt Jesus, let’s see how that went and prepare ourselves so that we don’t fall into the snares of the devil! He goes around roaring like a lion trying to scare us so that he can get us off guard and to be afraid! But God’s Word tells us to “Fear Not, Just Believe!”

God’s Word is the way to anchor yourself and ground yourself so that you won’t be swayed or distracted or tempted! And let’s help point people to Him! Let’s help people start their own journey and relationship with Jesus! Let’s help them learn how to fish so that they too can become fishers of men.

Overcoming Temptation with God’s Word

1Then Yeshua was led by the Ruach into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2After He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. 3And when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are Ben-Elohim, tell these stones to become bread.” 4But He replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on the highest point of the Temple. 6“If You are Ben-Elohim,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written, ‘He shall command His angels concerning you,’ and ‘upon their hands they shall lift you up, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7Yeshua said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put Adonai your God to the test.’” 8Again, the devil takes Him to a very high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10Then Yeshua says to him, “Go away, satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship Adonai your God, and Him only shall you serve.’” 11Then the devil leaves Him. And behold, angels came and began to take care of Him.

Yeshua Withdraws to Seek God

12Now when Yeshua heard that John had been handed over, He withdrew to the Galilee. 13Leaving Natzeret, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, 15“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations— 16the people sitting in darkness have seen a great light, and those sitting in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” 17From then on, Yeshua began to proclaim, “Turn away from your sins, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Raising Up Fishers of Men

18Now as Yeshua was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter and Andrew his brother. They were casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 21Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother. They were in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them. 22Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him. 23Yeshua was going throughout all the Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness among the people. 24News about Him spread throughout all Syria. And they brought to Him all the sick—those tormented by various diseases and afflictions, those plagued by demons, the epileptics, the paralyzed—and He healed them. 25And large crowds followed Him from the Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.

–from Matthew 4

 

Who or what is your god? Who or what will control you? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.


Joshua 24:15

15  And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

It’s a choice, a free will choice what is going to lead you, what is going to drive and motivate you, what you will server or who you will serve. So who or what is your God? Is it money? Is it attention? Is it possessions? Is it vanity? Is it lies? What do you serve? Who do you serve? Or will you serve the Lord, the one true God. Who or what will control you? Will it be God, your own limited personality, or another imperfect substitute? Once you have chosen to be controlled by God’s Spirit, reaffirm your choice every day


Psalm 4

1  ANSWER ME when I call, O God of my righteousness (uprightness, justice, and right standing with You)! You have freed me when I was hemmed in and enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me and hear my prayer.2  O you sons of men, how long will you turn my honor and glory into shame? How long will you love vanity and futility and seek after lies? Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!3  But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself [and given distinction to] him who is godly [the man of loving-kindness]. The Lord listens and heeds when I call to Him.4  Be angry [or stand in awe] and sin not; commune with your own hearts upon your beds and be silent (sorry for the things you say in your hearts). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! 5  Offer just and right sacrifices; trust (lean on and be confident) in the Lord.6  Many say, Oh, that we might see some good! Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord.7  You have put more joy and rejoicing in my heart than [they know] when their wheat and new wine have yielded abundantly.8  In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.


Proverbs 4

1  HEAR, MY sons, the instruction of a father, and pay attention in order to gain and to know intelligent discernment, comprehension, and interpretation [of spiritual matters].2  For I give you good doctrine [what is to be received]; do not forsake my teaching.3  When I [Solomon] was a son with my father [David], tender and the only son in the sight of my mother [Bathsheba],4  He taught me and said to me, Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments and live. 5  Get skillful and godly Wisdom, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation); do not forget and do not turn back from the words of my mouth.6  Forsake not [Wisdom], and she will keep, defend, and protect you; love her, and she will guard you.7  The beginning of Wisdom is: get Wisdom (skillful and godly Wisdom)! [For skillful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing.] And with all you have gotten, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation). 8  Prize Wisdom highly and exalt her, and she will exalt and promote you; she will bring you to honor when you embrace her.9  She shall give to your head a wreath of gracefulness; a crown of beauty and glory will she deliver to you.10  Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life shall be many.11  I have taught you in the way of skillful and godly Wisdom [which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God]; I have led you in paths of uprightness.12  When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered [your path will be clear and open]; and when you run, you shall not stumble.13  Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.14  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.15  Avoid it, do not go on it; turn from it and pass on.16  For they cannot sleep unless they have caused trouble or vexation; their sleep is taken away unless they have caused someone to fall.17  For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.18  But the path of the [uncompromisingly] just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more (brighter and clearer) until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day [to be prepared]. 19  The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. 20  My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings.21  Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart.22  For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.23  Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.24  Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and willful and contrary talk put far from you.25  Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you.26  Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright.27  Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil.