Happy New Year!


As this year comes to a start I am excited to set a focus for the year around being a dad. Last year God spoke to me and this year I am going to be putting more time into gathering and sharing data that will help me and everyone else understand the importance, the value, and the purpose of being a dad and the benefits as well as the detriments to others when we don’t pick up the mantel and be the dads God has created us to be.

Verse of the Day:

‘“Do not remember the former things, Or ponder the things of the past. Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. ‘

Isaiah 43:18-19

Are you ready for 2022 and how God is about to do something new? Are you ready for today and how God is about to do something new? Are you ready to be a part of something new?


Today’s Post from Be The Dads is: Day 1 – Am I Doing Enough as a Dad?

https://bethedads.com/2022/01/dad-tired-and-loving-it/


Are you ready for a new hope? Are you ready for a new heart? Are you ready for a new vision? Are you ready for new dreams? Are you ready to become a new creation?

Let’s pray:

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

And let’s take one more step and pray for God to help us through today:

THE LORD'S PRAYER

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

What does a background check get you? What else would they find if they searched your heart?


Ever had to get a background check? When you volunteer? When you want to join or become something? When you want to serve kids? When you want to serve teens? When you want to mentor? When you want a job? When you want to become a citizen?

Ever noticed the different levels of background checks? Ever noticed the different types of background checks? You give them information and then they go searching. You give them information and fingerprints and then they go searching. Imagine if someone was doing your background check and they used all of these types:

  • Criminal History Check
  • Prior Employment Verification
  • Education Verification
  • Reference Check
  • Drug Screening
  • Sexual Offender Registry Check
  • Credit Background Check
  • Social Media & Internet Check
  • Driving Record
  • Professional License & Certificate Confirmation
  • Social Security Number Trace

But would they be able to find out about what is going on in your heart and mind? If someone were to try and do a check of your heart and mind would any red flags come up that would need to get addressed or that would potentially disqualify you? In general people are searching for external evidence but God searches the heart.

  • ‘But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ‘
    1 Samuel 16:7
  • ‘For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” ‘
  • 2 Chronicles 16:9
  • ‘Take delight in the Lord , and he will give you the desires of your heart. ‘
    Psalms 37:4
  • ‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. ‘
    Psalms 51:10
  • ‘Test me, Lord , and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness. ‘
    Psalms 26:2-3
  • ‘You have searched me, Lord , and you know me. ‘
    Psalms 139:1
  • ‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. ‘
    Psalms 139:23
  • ‘See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’
    Psalms 139:24
  • ‘“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” ‘
    Jeremiah 17:10

So have you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Have you invited Him into your heart to help get things fixed up and cleaned up and then to help with the regular maintenance work? Do you realize that when God helps you to clean up your heart that it doesn’t leave a background or stains? Are you ready to allow God to create a new, clean heart in you? Are you ready to give your broken heart over to God so that He can put it back together and give you a new clean heart?


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 14TH


He Searches Hearts


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.’

Romans 8:27

Let’s dig in a bit to get the context of what is being said and then look for additional details through the Amplified version.

‘For I consider [from the standpoint of faith] that the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us! For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration and futility, not willingly [because of some intentional fault on its part], but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will also be freed from its bondage to decay [and gain entrance] into the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only this, but we too, who have the first fruits of the Spirit [a joyful indication of the blessings to come], even we groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for [the sign of] our adoption as sons—the redemption and transformation of our body [at the resurrection]. For in this hope we were saved [by faith]. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure.

In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will. And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers. And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified [declared free of the guilt of sin]; and those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity]. What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us? He who did not spare [even] 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 God’s elect (His chosen ones)? It is God who justifies us [declaring us blameless and putting us in a right relationship with Himself]. Who is the one who condemns us? Christ Jesus is the One who died [to pay our penalty], and more than that, who was raised [from the dead], and who is at the right hand of God interceding [with the Father] for us. Who shall ever separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? Just as it is written and forever remains written, “For Your sake we are put to death all day long; We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter .” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

Romans 8:18-39

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Remember how yesterday how the Holy Spirit can pray for us even when we don’t have the words to speak? Ever been at a loss for words?
  • As we looked into the expanded details of today’s verse we find that God has even more encouragement as it relates to our heart. The Holy Spirit is able to pray in alignment with God’s will with the complete and total knowledge of every detail of our lives, even the deepest and darkest parts of our heart.
  • God is omniscient and knows everything.
  • God knows us better than we know ourselves and has great plans for us so that we can have a hope and a future. Are you ready to receive and accept that?
  • The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit are one. So they are in constant and complete agreement.
  • So when the Holy Spirit prays it is in alignment to God’s perfect will and plan for us.
  • Do you understand God’s will for you life? Do you like to think you understand God’s will for the life of others too?
  • God’s spelled out many aspects of God’s divine direction in His Word.
  • Even so there are many times (probably even more than we’d like to admit) where our desires and God’s will may not be in alignment and could get in the way of God’s will for us to have life and life to the full or more abundantly.
  • So let’s not get trapped by the ways of the world and the desires of the world but instead look to God to help us live our lives to the full and in all the abundance He desires for us.
  • Sure we look to have fun, excitement, happiness, and wealth but would that be enough? Look around and see all the people who seem to have it all and yet don’t have God in their lives and end up getting into trouble or traps of the devil.
  • So instead of going after material things, let’s turn to God and pursue His perfect plan for our life.
  • Let’s lean and trust in Him rather than our own understanding!
  • Let’s lean on Him when things get tough so that we can take heart and even consider pure joy.
  • Let’s turn to God to get wisdom and discernment for our situation.
  • Let’s cry out to God to get wisdom and discernment for our situation.
  • Let’s be bold and courageous when we step out to do what God is calling us to do in faith and knowing we are walking under the protection of His wings.
  • Let’s not allow a difficult or confusing situation rob us!
  • Let’s decide to invite God into our situation to be able to give us wisdom and discernment in the midst of the difficulties and confusion.
  • Let’s receive that wisdom and discernment so that whether God takes us out of the situation, walks us through the situation, or takes us around the situation His perfect will be done.
  • Let’s receive that wisdom and discernment so that we come out the other side with a valuable lesson.
  • Let’s grab a hold of how when the Holy Spirit prays for us He is praying at this higher, deeper level so that we can have richer lessons in this life we live.
  • Let’s decide today to pray in alignment to the Holy Spirit and God’s will for our life.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some ways we might confuse our wants with God’s will?
  • Does it comfort you or disturb you that the Father searches your heart? Explain your answer.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“God always answers our prayers according to our good and His glory.”

— Ike Reighard

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

So today we will read Luke 14:

‘It happened one Sabbath, when He went for a meal at the house of one of the ruling Pharisees, that they were watching Him closely and carefully [hoping to entrap Him]. And there in front of Him was a man who had dropsy (extreme swelling). And Jesus asked the lawyers and the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they kept silent. Then He took hold of the man and healed him, and sent him on his way. Then He said to them, “Which one of you, having a son or an ox that falls into a well, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” And they were unable to reply to this.

Now Jesus began telling a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been selecting the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down [to eat] at the place of honor, since a more distinguished person than you may have been invited by the host, and he who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your place,’ and then, in disgrace you proceed to take the last place. But when you are invited, go and sit down [to eat] at the last place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; and then you will be honored in the presence of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled [before others], and he who habitually humbles himself (keeps a realistic self-view) will be exalted.” Jesus also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or wealthy neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. But when you give a banquet or a reception, invite the poor, the disabled, the lame, and the blind, and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous (the just, the upright).” When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, “Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is he who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

But Jesus said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many guests; and at the dinner hour he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have purchased a piece of land and I have to go out and see it; please consider me excused.’ Another one said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have [recently] married a wife, and for that reason I am unable to come.’ So the servant came back and reported this to his master. Then [his master,] the head of the household, became angry [at the rejections of his invitation] and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and the lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and the disabled and the blind and the lame.’ And the servant [after returning] said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ Then the master told the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled [with guests]. For I tell you, not one of those who were invited [and declined] will taste my dinner.’ ”

Now large crowds were going along with Jesus; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God]— he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow after Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a watchtower [for his guards], does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to finish it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is unable to finish [the building], all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish!’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one who is coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else [if he feels he is not powerful enough], while the other [king] is still a far distance away, he sends an envoy and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not [carefully consider the cost and then for My sake] give up all his own possessions. “Therefore, salt is good; but if salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.”’

Luke 14:1-35

So where are you today? Are you in need of heart healing? Are you in need of a heart repair? Are you in need of a heart cleaning? Are you in need of a heart recreation? Are you in need of a heart resurrection? Are you in need of a heart transfer? Are you in need of a heart creation? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and your life to make it a reality? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


What’s the state of your heart today?


After yesterday, a day to focus on thankfulness, what is the state of your heart? After yesterday, a day to draw people together, what is the state of your heart? After yesterday, a day to give thanks to God, what is the state of your heart? What did you do yesterday? What are you thankful for? Who matters to you? Will you choose to give God the praise, the honor, and the glory because of your thankfulness?

Time together. Time with everyone home. Time to relax. We watched a movie together – God’s Not Dead – We The People. It is powerful when people from across the country can stand united. It is powerful when people can come together in unity of purpose. It is powerful when people can come together in unity to stand up for and practice love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law. The kids played Wii together. The family had an incredible dinner together, prepared by my incredible wife. I am so thankful for such an incredible woman in my life as my wife and the mother of our children. I thank God so much for the incredible wife He has provided me and the inheritance, the gift, the blessing to us both of our incredible kids. I am thankful to get extra time to think about this incredible blessing and thank God for it all.

As I turn from looking back to looking forward, I see Christmas ahead of us. As I think of the season, I reflect on that invitation that came in the mail to our house that brought us to our church home for the first time and how God met us there, saved us, and then put us on track for the plans and the purpose He had for our lives through what felt to be an accelerated program or as I like to call it my “jetpack journey” to get us back on track for where we should have been. As I look forward filled with the thankful heart, I am praying to many other lives will be touched and transformed with the reality of and a relationship with Jesus.

So… what about you? What is the state of your heart? Have you invited Jesus into it yet? Have you experienced the transformational power of starting such a relationship and journey? Might you be ready to start one today?


The One Year Daily Insights 
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 26th


Integrity


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds; From following the ewes that had young He brought him, To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.’

Psalms 78:70-72

Do you realize how much God loves us? Do you realize that He has been trying to pour out His love for so long and yet people have continued to rebel? Do you realize that He loves you so much that He sent Jesus to make a way when there didn’t seem to be away, to pay a price we could never have paid ourselves, and to offer it to us without a fee? Do you realize all we have to do is accept it, receive it, embrace it? We have free will and so we each get to choose. We have free will and so we each get to decide. Are you tired of looking for love in all the wrong places, of trying to fill that hole with so many things that don’t fit and never fill? Are you ready to receive the gift of love and grace that you have been seeking and searching for? Could today be your day? If we expand on today’s verse we can see God’s love and people’s rebellion. Let’s check it out and use the Amplified version to get as much context and details as we can.

‘Give ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord , And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments; And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God. The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, Turned back in the day of battle. They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law, And forgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them. Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap. In the daytime also He led them with the cloud, And all the night with a light of fire. He split the rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink in abundance like the depths. He also brought streams out of the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers. But they sinned even more against Him By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness. And they tested God in their heart By asking for the food of their fancy. Yes, they spoke against God: They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Behold, He struck the rock, So that the waters gushed out, And the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people?” Therefore the Lord heard this and was furious; So a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger also came up against Israel, Because they did not believe in God, And did not trust in His salvation. Yet He had commanded the clouds above, And opened the doors of heaven, Had rained down manna on them to eat, And given them of the bread of heaven. Men ate angels’ food; He sent them food to the full. He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens; And by His power He brought in the south wind. He also rained meat on them like the dust, Feathered fowl like the sand of the seas; And He let them fall in the midst of their camp, All around their dwellings. So they ate and were well filled, For He gave them their own desire. They were not deprived of their craving; But while their food was still in their mouths, The wrath of God came against them, And slew the stoutest of them, And struck down the choice men of Israel. In spite of this they still sinned, And did not believe in His wondrous works. Therefore their days He consumed in futility, And their years in fear. When He slew them, then they sought Him; And they returned and sought earnestly for God. Then they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer. Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth, And they lied to Him with their tongue; For their heart was not steadfast with Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, And did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, And did not stir up all His wrath; For He remembered that they were but flesh, A breath that passes away and does not come again. How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy, When He worked His signs in Egypt, And His wonders in the field of Zoan; Turned their rivers into blood, And their streams, that they could not drink. He sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them, And frogs, which destroyed them. He also gave their crops to the caterpillar, And their labor to the locust. He destroyed their vines with hail, And their sycamore trees with frost. He also gave up their cattle to the hail, And their flocks to fiery lightning. He cast on them the fierceness of His anger, Wrath, indignation, and trouble, By sending angels of destruction among them. He made a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, But gave their life over to the plague, And destroyed all the firstborn in Egypt, The first of their strength in the tents of Ham. But He made His own people go forth like sheep, And guided them in the wilderness like a flock; And He led them on safely, so that they did not fear; But the sea overwhelmed their enemies. And He brought them to His holy border, This mountain which His right hand had acquired. He also drove out the nations before them, Allotted them an inheritance by survey, And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents. Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God, And did not keep His testimonies, But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; They were turned aside like a deceitful bow. For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images. When God heard this, He was furious, And greatly abhorred Israel, So that He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, The tent He had placed among men, And delivered His strength into captivity, And His glory into the enemy’s hand. He also gave His people over to the sword, And was furious with His inheritance. The fire consumed their young men, And their maidens were not given in marriage. Their priests fell by the sword, And their widows made no lamentation. Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, Like a mighty man who shouts because of wine. And He beat back His enemies; He put them to a perpetual reproach. Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph, And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. And He built His sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has established forever. He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds; From following the ewes that had young He brought him, To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

Psalms 78:1-72

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever heard of David and how great of a leader he was?
  • Ever heard about his bravery and how it inspired others?
  • Ever heard about his strategies for battle?
  • Ever heard about his healing of the two nations into one with diplomatic skills?
  • Ever heard about how these skills and talents being developed in his younger years as a shepherd boy?
  • Imagine being a shepherd boy, protecting the flock and wondering if you would ever amount to anything.
  • David kept his focus on his task at hand, leading the sheep to better pastures and fresh water.
  • David kept his focus on his task at hand, protecting the sheep by killing a lion and a bear that attacked them.
  • David spent his time thinking, praying, reflection, and developed literary skills as he wrote letters to God, that we get to experience through psalms.
  • It prepared David for the time when he had to rescue Israel from Goliath and the Philistines because his heart was strong and his hands were trained for battle.
  • He was ready!
  • No Quit! Don’t give up! Don’t give in!
  • Even if you felt like you are living in obscurity, don’t give up!
  • Even if you fell abandoned by friends, don’t give up!
  • No matter what, no quit!
  • Grab hold of David’s example of how to stay in the game!
  • Grab hold of David’s example of how to sharpen your skills!
  • Grab hold of David’s example of how to strenthen your heart!
  • Grab hold of David’s example of how to be ready when the time comes!
  • Let’s be ready!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Describe times in your life when you felt passed by. How did you respond?
  • What are some things you can do to sharpen your skills and strengthen your heart?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Integrity gives you real freedom because you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide.”

— Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What are you thankful for? Are you ready to invite God in so that you don’t have to go through life alone? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Are you still trying to fill that hole in your heart?


Have you tried to fill that need, that desire, that hole with things? Buying more and more in hopes of filling it up and not feeling an emptiness? Have you tried to fill that need, that desire, that hole with relationships? Doing or saying or testing or experimenting more and more in hopes of filling it up and not feeling an emptiness? Have you tried to fill that need, that desire, that hole with drugs or alcohol? Have you tried to dampen or wipe out that empty feeling by taking things that disrupt memories, emotions, pain, and ability to learn or discern or perceive? How are you being tempted to try and fill the hole or void? What temptations are coming your way to trick you into thinking they can fill that hole or void? Are you still looking for that missing piece? Do you realize you were built with a piece missing that can only be filled by having a relationship with God?

Might you consider taking hold of what John 10:10 says?

‘The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. ‘

John 10:10

Might you reflect or consider these verses from Romans 5?

‘Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all people [no one being able to stop it or escape its power], because they all sinned.

For just as through one man’s disobedience [his failure to hear, his carelessness] the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of the one Man the many will be made righteous and acceptable to God and brought into right standing with Him. ‘

Romans 5:12,19

Do you realize that there are experiences and events in your life that can cause holes? Do you realize what the right response or way to fill those holes are? As I was searching around, I found this interesting post that has a table that shows and points to both the hole, the lack, or the wound as well as the vitamin or response to deal with or take care of it. I will share the table but for more insights and details check out the article.

Lack or woundVitamin
Avoiding harmsWeakness, helplessnessStrength. efficacy
 Alarm, anxietySafety, security
 Resentment, angerCompassion for oneself and others
Approaching RewardsFrustration, disappointmentSatisfaction, fulfillment
 Sadness, discontentment, “blues”Gladness, gratitude
Attaching to “Us”Not seen, rejected, left outAttunement, inclusion
 Inadequacy, shameRecognition, acknowledgement
 Abandonment, feeling unlovedFriendship, love

So where are you at today? What hole are you trying to fill? Is it the God shaped hole that requires starting a relationship with God? Is it a hole caused by loss or injury? Are you ready and willing to invite God into your life to help you navigate it? Are you ready and willing to invite God into your life and allow Him to bring healing and restoration to your heart? Could today be your day?


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


Eternity In Their Hearts


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.’

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Let’s look for additional context from Solomon using the Amplified version and some verses from around it.

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

Ecclesiastes 3:9-22

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you have a sense that life is more than what you can see?
  • Do you have a feeling that there is more to life than this?
  • Do you have a sense that life is more than our senses of sight, taste, touch, sound, and smell?
  • Do you feel there is something more, something bigger than what we are able to perceive?
  • Do you ever try to label it?
  • Do you ever try to name it?
  • Do you realize the reality of God is more than you could ever imagine or think?
  • What are you sure of? Where is your certainty?
  • What aren’t you sure of? What do you find mystery in?
  • Ever considered the definition of faith?
    • ‘Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. ‘
      Hebrews 11:1
  • Do you ever find yourself in awe or surprised what God does, even though you know He can do it?
  • So you know He can and then when He does it amazes you. This is the two facts of life working together to help us continue to look at God’s goodness and greatness with a sense of awe and amazement. Certainty vs Mystery!
  • Take a look around as the seasons change and it screams to God’s existence!
  • Grab hold of the reality that history tells us that He became a man and died for our sins over 2000 years ago!
  • Let’s grab hold of these certainties!
  • Let’s stick close to God as we live out our lives as we have each been created on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose and as such we get to live out the mystery of life!
  • Let’s remember that His ways are not our ways but rather they are higher and better than our ways!
    • ‘“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord . ‘
      Isaiah 55:8
  • So let’s stand on the rock that is immovable that is Jesus Christ!
  • Let’s enjoy the journey of life with its mysteries!
  • Let’s live out our lives with intrigue!
  • Let’s realize the beauty of life through these mysteries and intrigue!
  • Let’s look for the beauty in its season!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you feel more comfortable with certainty or with mystery?
  • What are some reasons you need the other trait in your life and in your walk with God?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Live near to God, and all things will appear little to you in comparison with eternal realities.”

ROBERT MURRAY M‘CHEYNE

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready for the next phase of your life like Job? Are you ready for a better second half? Are you ready to have that void, the hole filled permanently by God? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


A New Work Week Begins…


It’s an interesting day as my body got me up much earlier than I normally do. No specific thoughts that were causing worry or anxiety just a sense of let’s get going. So I prayed as I always do before getting out of bed for my wife, kids, family, and the day ahead and then rolled over and got out of bed. I had tried to go back to sleep but it just wasn’t going to happen.

So a new work week begins and so new thoughts are starting to bounce around in my head. Between yesterday’s devotional on All Things New captured in my post Sick and tired of being sick and tired? Ready for something news? What’s it going to take? and this morning’s devotional of Starting Over, it makes me wonder what God is planning and preparing as the year continues. I keep drawing closer. I keep praying. I keep asking. I keep seeking. And His Word continues to speak. I reflect on my mid year conversations and God’s Word continues to speak. I reflect on the larger purpose/plan with the theme around Be The Dads that God put in my head as I was praying and reading through the Matthew Barnett book The Cause within You: Finding the One Great Thing God Created You to Do in This World that I had picked up on one of his visits to our church. As I consider how my family has grown up with my oldest preparing to head out in January, my middle preparing to head out in August, and my youngest continuing his journey, where I am and what I do will need to adjust too as we get closer (my wife and I) to becoming empty nesters – still a few more years to go before that happens but it is on the radar now.

So I need to be moldable in God’s hands. I need to be ready for the good works He is preparing in advance for me to accomplish. I need to prepare spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally for what is yet to come. He’s not done with me yet. I know my final destination will be in eternity with Him and I want to finish the race on this side strong in hopes of hearing Him say the words “well done good and faithful servant”. And so today as I try to process the early morning wake up call and what this day and this week will contain, I turn to God and His Word to receive guidance, wisdom, and strength to make it a reality.


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


Starting Over


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.’

Jeremiah 18:3-4

Let’s pause and grasp the context of today’s verses by looking at more of the chapter in the Amplified version:

‘The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will make you hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and saw that he was working at the wheel. But the vessel that he was making from clay was spoiled by the potter’s hand; so he made it over, reworking it and making it into another pot that seemed good to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” says the Lord. “Look carefully, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I might [suddenly] speak concerning a nation or kingdom, that I will uproot and break down and destroy; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent and reverse My decision concerning the devastation that I intended to do. Or at another time I might [suddenly] speak about a nation or kingdom that I will build up or establish; and if they do evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will reverse My decision concerning the good with which I had promised to bless them. Now then, say to the men of Judah and to the citizens of Jerusalem, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am shaping a disaster and working out a plan against you. Turn back, each of you from his evil way; correct your habits and change your actions for the better.” ’ But they will say, ‘That is hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act in accordance with the stubbornness of his evil heart.’ “Therefore thus says the Lord, ‘Ask now among the nations, Who has heard of such things? The virgin Israel Has done a very vile and horrible thing. Will the snow of [Mount] Lebanon melt and vanish from its rocks [which tower above Israel]? Will the cold, rushing waters of foreign lands [that flow down from the distant land] be dried up? Yet My people have forgotten Me; They burn incense to worthless gods, They have stumbled from their ways From the ancient roads, To walk in pathways, Not on a highway, Making their land a desolation and a horror, A thing to be hissed at perpetually; Everyone who passes by will be astounded And shake his head [in scorn]. I will scatter them like an east wind Before the enemy; I will show them My back and not My face In the day of their disaster [says the Lord].’ ” Then [my enemies] said, “Come and let us work out schemes against Jeremiah. Surely the law is not going to be lost to the priest [as Jeremiah predicts], nor the counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come and let us strike him with our tongue [by making charges against him before the king], and let us ignore anything he says.” Pay attention to me, O Lord [and intercede]; Listen to what my adversaries are saying [and are plotting against me]— Should good be repaid with evil? Yet they have dug a pit for me. Remember [with compassion] that I stood before You To speak good on their behalf, To turn Your anger away from them. Therefore, give their children over to the famine; Give them over to the power of the sword. And let their wives become childless and widowed; Let their men meet death [by virulent disease], Their young men be struck down by the sword in battle. Let an outcry be heard from their houses When You suddenly bring [a troop of] raiders upon them, For they have dug a pit to capture me And have hidden snares for my feet. Yet You, O Lord, know All their deadly plotting against me; Do not forgive their wickedness Or blot out their sin from Your sight. But let them be overthrown before You; Deal with them in the time of Your anger.’

Jeremiah 18:1-23

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Even when broken beyond repair, we can be made new in the Potter’s hands.
  • God’s not ready to give up on us and so we shouldn’t be willing to give up on us either.
  • Let’s give what is broken or holding us back to God and allow Him to start over, make us new, transform us.
  • Let’s allow God to take our fears and replace them with faith like He did with Abraham.
  • Let’s allow God to take our lies and replace them with His truth like He did with Jacob.
  • Let’s allow God to take our denials and rejection and replace them with His forgiveness and purpose like He did with Peter.
  • Just like all the people God gave a do-over or who God allowed to start over, let’s not lose hope but instead take hold of the reality of who He is in order that we too can be healed, forgiven, restored, and be able to start a new as we begin our today.
  • Let’s choose to be smooth, workable, and sticky so that we can be molded by God.
  • Let’s allow God to take away the rough and hard edges.
  • Let’s allow God to continue to form us and mold us to be useful.
  • Let’s allow God to continue to form us and mold us to be beautiful.
  • Let’s allow God to work out imperfections or flaws so that we can become who He has created us to be.
  • Let’s live with the hope that God isn’t going to throw us away but rather His plan for us is good and comes with hope and a future!
  • Let’s be ok if He needs to start over with us because we know He is doing so out of love!
  • Let’s be ok if He needs to start over with us because we know that He will remove the flaws and imperfections.
  • Let’s rejoice in the reality of when He starts over as He removes the flaws and adds in elements necessary for us to be better like His Spirit, accountability friends, and the guidance of His Word!
  • Let’s not become impatient as it takes time!
  • Let’s remember we are being molded for His purpose and for a specific use!
  • Let’s allow Him to both mold us into the vessel He desires and then be ready when the time is right to be used for His purpose.
  • If we need to wait to become useful again, don’t lose hope or start to worry! God’s timing is perfect!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What kind of flaws can make us unusable to the Potter?
  • What’s your role and what’s God’s role in shaping you?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The God who made you can make you over.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you feeling broken or out of sorts and in the need to be renewed or remade? Are you feeling damaged or confused and in needs of repair or hope? Are you looking to find a way to make today count? 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?


Sick and tired of being sick and tired? Ready for something news? What’s it going to take?


What are you going through today? Are you on a treadmill of experiences? Are you feeling like you are on a hamster wheel? Are you trying to find a way out or a way off? Are you ready for something new? Are you ready for a change? Are you wondering which way to turn? Are you wondering what it would take? Could today be your day for things to become new? Could today be your day to get off the treadmill of life? Could today be your day to stop going round and round in the hamster wheel? What is it going to take for you to get sick and tired of being sick and tired and grab a hold of something new? Would it take an act of God? Would it take a vision of heaven? Would it take a dream of the next step? Would it take a God given purpose that would make a difference? What’s it going to take? Would it require that everything change?

Person running on a hamster wheel

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
― Henry Ford

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


All Things New


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”’

Revelation 21:4-5

Let’s take a moment and gather a bit more context from the chapter using the Amplified version:

‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (vanished), and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, arrayed like a bride adorned for her husband; and then I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “See! The tabernacle of God is among men, and He will live among them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them [ as their God, ] and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true [they are accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy].” And He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I will give [water] from the fountain of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes [the world by adhering faithfully to Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior] will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But as for the cowards and unbelieving and abominable [who are devoid of character and personal integrity and practice or tolerate immorality], and murderers, and sorcerers [with intoxicating drugs], and idolaters and occultists [who practice and teach false religions], and all the liars [who knowingly deceive and twist truth], their part will be in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” ‘

Revelation 21:1-8

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are your views on eternity?
  • Do you wonder what life after death is like?
  • Do you have a desire, interest, curiosity about about the afterlife?
  • Do you realize that God put a desire in our hearts for eternity?
    • ‘He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end. ‘
      Ecclesiastes 3:11
  • Do you feel like there is life after death?
  • Do you feel like there is more than just what we experience in our lives?
  • Do you realize you aren’t alone in that feeling because people from every culture and in every age have tried to identify what it might be like?
  • Have you ever read the book of Revelation in order to learn about what heaven is like?
  • Have you ever read the book of Revelation and felt like the return of Jesus is getting closer?
  • I know when I started my reading of God’s Word in conjunction with this blog that is how I felt and also how come this blog has the name it does. I started in 2005 and the book of Revelation is how I got the “to eternity” part, hence From 2005 to Eternity!
  • Are you ready for the day when all wrongs will be made right?
  • Are you looking forward to the day when all wrongs will be made right?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when every pain will be comforted?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when every tear will be dried?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when all of the confusion, doubt, and heartache will pass away?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when bitterness, resentment, and strains of every kind and in every relationship will vanish?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when all things will be made new?
  • From God’s Word what do you think are some assumptions we can make about heaven?
  • Things that bring us joy will be amplified?
  • Love, affirmation, understanding, and encouragement will thrill us because they won’t be tainted by selfishness?
  • Laughter will be more heartily than ever before?
  • We will worship God more effectively and wholeheartedly?
  • All the things that cause pain, suffering, anxiety will vanish in the light of God’s love!
  • Are you looking forward to getting spend eternity with God?
  • Are you looking forward to being in heaven with God?
  • Are you looking forward as those who had been oppressed in the past?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were slaves had done in history?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were poor and desolate had done in history?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were sick and disabled had done in history?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were prisoners had done in history?
  • Or is life ok, going well for you and you are still looking forward to spending eternity with God in heaven knowing that it will even be better?
  • Not sure? Why not take some time today to consider and meditate on it?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you think heaven will be different from your life now?
  • What do you look forward to most?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“When the darkness of dismay comes, endure until it is over, because out of it will come that following of Jesus which is an unspeakable joy.”

—  OSWALD CHAMBERS

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Proverbs 25 (God knows! even those things that incapable of being fully explored or understood)
  • Proverbs 26 (Understand the season, the reason, the purpose)
  • Proverbs 27 (Don’t brad! Don’t fill yourself up! Don’t be prideful! Instead be wise)

So where are you at today? Are you at a crossroad on which you need to make a decision? Are you at a turning point where you need to decide to move forward to turnaround? Are you ready to step off the wheel and start pursuing your God given purpose? 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?


It’s a matter of the heart!


When you consider the words that come out of your mouth, they are a reflection or overflowing of what is going on in your heart. When God points to the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation it is to make sure that bitterness and anger don’t take root and impact your heart. When we consider the impact or the issues that happen in life, we need to get to the heart of the matter to discover the motives and the emotions that are causing it.

Remember what it says in Luke 6:45?

‘A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.’

Luke 6:45

Remember what it says in Matthew 5:23-24?

‘Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. ‘

Matthew 5:23-24

Remember what it says in Proverbs 4:23?

‘Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.’

Proverbs 4:23

It all comes to the heart! The ten commandments weren’t to keep us from living an incredible life but rather to help our hearts be in the right place to be able to avoid the snares and issues of life! The top 2 list from Jesus that satisfy the ten commandments are a matter of the heart and how we are to love God who will fill us with love so that we can love others and pour out and into their lives in ways to glorify God! There are so many things we can learn from God about how important it is to invite Jesus into our hearts to help clean it up and keep it cleaned up through the Holy Spirit in order that we won’t allow things like anger, frustration, bitterness, and hate to take root in our hearts and stain or taint our hearts and as overflow harm and hold back the fullness of life that God has planned and desires! We know that Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but rather that we can be saved! Jesus came that we can have life to the full as we read in John 10:10 where it says:

‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.’

John 10:10

So let us not get tripped up by the lies of the devil and find condemnation and pain. Let’s receive Jesus for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus as it tells us in Romans 8:1 where it says:

‘There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. ‘

Romans 8:1

So let’s check our hearts as we start today and see if we need to forgive, love, or clean up or uproot what is there in order for the overflow of our hearts today to be love!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 14th


The Issues of Life


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.’

Proverbs 4:23

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Consider the heart as a place that reflects or projects what is going on inside of you
  • Consider how the heart is a place that analyzes motives
  • Consider how the heart is a place that analyzes relationships
  • Consider how the heart is a place that analyzes every action in our lives
  • So is your heart healthy enough to that you can see clearly or is your view distorted?
  • The heart is like a lens that is so important that Solomon in today’s proverb encourages us to protect it.
  • He is wanting us to realize that it is so important because it will affect every aspect of our lives positively or negatively depending on its state.
  • What’s in your heart?
  • Are you carrying around anything that needs to be removed or derooted?
  • If you consider your heart as the house of the Holy Spirit, does it need a spring cleaning?
  • When you consider your motives, what is it telling you about the status of your heart?
  • Are you seeing anything selfish that needs to be removed?
  • Are you seeing anything that is keeping you from living a life of integrity?
  • Are you seeing anything that is causing you to exaggerate the truth?
  • Honestly, what are you seeing or finding when you inventory your heart?
  • Are you willing to stop putting off taking care of your heart and to start focusing on God’s truth?
  • Are you willing to stop putting off taking care of your heart and to start focusing on God’s purposes?
  • Are you willing to stop putting off taking care of your heart and to start focusing on God’s ways?
  • Are you ready to take what Solomon says seriously and protect your heart by honoring God in all you do?
  • Are you ready to take what Solomon says seriously and protect your heart by honoring God by treasuring love and integrity?
  • Are you ready to fill your heart with God’s things or will you choose to fill it with other things that will leave you feeling empty or that you are missing something or worse if you allow bitterness in.
  • We all have freewill and we all get to make our own decision!
  • We have to make our decision daily and through each moment of the day!
  • We need to choose to let God keep filling us as we pour out or leak through our days!
  • Our decision will make a difference to the life we get to live!
  • Our decision will make a difference in our sense of joy, peace, direction, strength, and fullfilment!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Take a snapshot. What’s the condition of your heart right now?
  • What are some ways you can fill your heart with faith, hope, and love, and then protect it?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Are you ready to get some help with filling your heart with good things? Are you ready to get some help with pulling out bitter roots in order to be able to find freedom through forgiveness? Are you needing a video testimony on the subject (check out on YouTube “Story Slam Forgiveness GoDaddy” or visit https://youtu.be/tOHCePoPlPo)? Are you ready to have a heart check-up 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?


Louder doesn’t mean it’s right. Louder doesn’t mean better.


Ever been in a meeting where people start to raise their voice or even yell in order to make their idea or perspective seem better or right? Ever been in a meeting where it even escalated to the point where people start swearing or cursing? Ever seen those people in the room who are keeping quiet and how the meeting is missing out on their viewpoint and perspective? Ever seen those meetings where the meeting either escalates or gets called because of the behavior? Ever felt like walking out of one of those rooms?

The verse of the day from the Bible App today has an interesting perspective about when we speak:

‘If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:1

It is about our hearts! There are so many things that aren’t about the physical actions but rather about the content of our heart. If we aren’t speaking out of love then we are missing the point. If we aren’t overflowing from our hearts in love then bad things happen. Remember how it is from the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks? If we haven’t filled up our hearts with love then the anger and frustration, the bitterness and resentment, the hate and other ugly things are what come out. So we need to ask God to help us clean house and to fill our hearts with love!

So where are you at today? What is the content of your heart? What are your motives and intentions? Consider them today before you start or get into that conversation and look to speak what you have to say in and out of love!


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


Old and New


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.’

Ephesians 4:20-24

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever caught yourself battling the ways of the world vs the ways of God?
  • Ever struggled with choosing between the sinful way and God’s way?
  • Ever been challenged with the selfish choice vs the selfless choice?
  • Ever noticed how this challenge can be more evident when you become a Christian?
  • God forgives us for all our sins, we become a child of God, and we have our names written in the book of life that will allow us to spend eternity with God.
  • Ever noticed the challenge of this newness when the old sinful nature hasn’t fully gone away?
  • Ever noticed how it challenges us with lies that God doesn’t care?
  • Ever noticed how it challenges us with lies that we are foolish to be following God?
  • Ever noticed how it challenges us with lies that it is ok to be selfish?
  • Today’s reading points out how the old selfish nature as a self-preservation actually gets worse.
  • Paul as he speaks thru today’s verses uses the metaphor of getting dressed to help us grasp how to deal with the old (selfish) and new (selfless) ways to live.
  • Are you going to put on clean clothes today or are you going to go thru the laundry hamper to pick what to wear?
  • Can you tell the difference? Do you even realize that you are doing it? Do you put all your clothes and so it is harder to detect or distinguish?
  • What happens when you notice that you are wearing something with a stain or an odor? Do you change into something clean?
  • It is similar to how when we notice we are acting in the old way, the stains or odors of pride, arrogance, indifference, and other things need to be taken off and replaced with something new and clean.
  • So when we notice it, let’s give it up to God and ask for forgiveness and then put it down and pick up the new and clean behavior instead.
  • Let’s decide to be putting on clean clothe and habits that will honor God and bless people!
  • Let’s decide to let God’s Word to sink into our hearts and our lives so that walk refreshed and renewed (like clean clothe that just came out of the dryer)
  • Let’s take hold of God’s truth so that we don’t get stuck wandering around wondering what the stink is until others point it out that it is us. That loudness! That rudeness! Let’s make sure we are speaking from a heart filled with love and a mind filled with the Word of God!
  • Let’s be aware so that when we notice the bad behavior, we can stop ourselves and like dirty clothes, we can change our attitude!
  • Let’s not ignore it but instead let’s do something about it!
  • Let’s put on our clean clothes!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some dirty clothes you’ve worn lately? When did you realize they were dirty?
  • What are some clean clothes you need to put on today?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”

Bob Pierce

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready for the old to be made new? Are you ready to start living a new? Are you ready to be a new creation where the old is gone and the new has come? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


What’s in your heart? It’s a fountain of its content and what comes out of it is what it is filled with.


So what are you allowing into your heart? Is it love or hate? Is it forgiveness or bitterness? Is it joy or anger? Are you allowing it to take root? Are you allowing it to grow? Are you allowing it to bloom and flooring? What will pour out of it when life gets tough?

“To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.”

Proverbs‬ ‭16:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.”

Matthew‬ ‭15:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So, what’s in our heart? Are you ready to replace the hate with love? Are you ready to replace the bitterness with forgiveness? Are you ready to replace the anger with joy? Will you invite Jesus into your heart so that you He can help you clean things up?


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


The Well of the Heart


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

Matthew‬ ‭15:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you more focused on the outside than the inside?
  • Are you more focused on appearance than reality?
  • Are you more focused on what you are allowing into your heart than what is coming out?
  • Are you more focused on rules, regulations, and routines than on having a real relationship with others and with God?
  • Ready to turn things around and take hold of what Jesus has to say and offer?
  • Ready to turn things around and start or improve your relationship with Jesus?
  • Let’s be more focused on what comes out of our mouthed than what we put into them!
  • Let’s be more focused on the content of our heart and how the words we choose to use can create rather than destroy and heal rather than hurt!
  • How do you communicate with others?
  • You do you communicate with those you love?
  • How are you with the words you speak? Is it intentional or habitual?
  • Are you more interested in being smart or snarky or sarcastic or loving?
  • Let’s purpose to speaking more lovingly in order to bring healing!
  • Let’s tell people how much we love them!
  • Let’s tell people how proud we are of them!
  • Let’s tell people when we see and recognize things hey are really good at!
  • Don’t cut people by using critical words!
  • Don’t hurt people by using sarcasm!
  • Don’t allow silence to cause others to feel self-doubt or emptiness!
  • Be observant of the words that comes out of your mouth as a barometer of what is going on in your heart and look to adjust accordingly!
  • If you are finding that what is pouring out of you is negative, biting, caustic, or sarcastic then turn to God and ask Him to help fill you with faith, hope, and love to overflowing so that what comes out of you aligns with Him more!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Think of the conversation you’ve had in the past day. How would you describe the content of your words?
  • What changes do you need to make in your communication, especially with those you love?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“What comes out of your mouth is determined by what goes into your mind.”

— Zig Ziegler

So ready to get your heart right? Ready to get some help? 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 will you start the rebuilding?


Will there be a time of separation? Will there be a time of realignment? Will there be a time of justice? Will there be a time of confession? Will there be a time of mercy? Will there be a time of humility? Will there be a time of cleansing? Will there be a time of decision? Will there be a time of seeking? Will there be a time of asking? Will there be a time of knocking? Will there be a time of forgiveness? Will there be a time of freedom?

What does rebuilding look like to you? Do you have a firm foundation to build upon? Do you have a cornerstone to align to? Do you have the right material to be able to start building up? Do you have the right wisdom and perspective to start? Do you have the perseverance to complete the work? Do you have the boldness to withstand the attacks? Do you have the courage to resist the enemy? Are you ready to make a difference?

How can we reset to get rid of the bad, the wrong, the mistakes? How will we realign with God’s Word and do what He asks of us? How will we be transformed by receiving Jesus into our hearts? How will we changed by building up our relationship with God? How will our faith be built up? How will we confess our sins and give them up to God in humility? Let’s humble ourselves and pray! Let’s ask for forgiveness! Let’s forgive those who have sinned against us! Let’s praise God! Let’s align and bring forth heaven on earth to the world around us! Let’s ask and trust in God to be our provider! Let’s walk with God and not go from the way!

Need help getting started? Need help coming up with a plan? Need help executing the plan? Need help? Turn to God and ask Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine!

We need to fill our hearts to overflowing with love! We need to remove any hatred by overflowing this love into the lives of the people God brings around us! He is our salvation! Yes, it is true that not everyone will be willing to hear and receive the Good News, but we can still share it! Yes, it is true that there is such thing as good and evil and as such some will not be interested in hearing the good news, but we can till the soil of hard hearts, we can plant seeds of hope and water it with grace, and maybe our work will not return void and many lives will be saved and transformed thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

So let’s consider this as we complete today’s reading with the chapters from the New Testament…

The Tongue

1My friends, not many of you should become teachers. As you know, we teachers will be judged with greater strictness than others. 2 All of us often make mistakes. But if a person never makes a mistake in what he says, he is perfect and is also able to control his whole being. 3We put a bit into the mouth of a horse to make it obey us, and we are able to make it go where we want. 4Or think of a ship: big as it is and driven by such strong winds, it can be steered by a very small rudder, and it goes wherever the pilot wants it to go. 5So it is with the tongue: small as it is, it can boast about great things.
Just think how large a forest can be set on fire by a tiny flame! 6 And the tongue is like a fire. It is a world of wrong, occupying its place in our bodies and spreading evil through our whole being. It sets on fire the entire course of our existence with the fire that comes to it from hell itself. 7We humans are able to tame and have tamed all other creatures—wild animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 8But no one has ever been able to tame the tongue. It is evil and uncontrollable, full of deadly poison. 9 We use it to give thanks to our Lord and Father and also to curse other people, who are created in the likeness of God. 10Words of thanksgiving and cursing pour out from the same mouth. My friends, this should not happen! 11No spring of water pours out sweet water and bitter water from the same opening. 12A fig tree, my friends, cannot bear olives; a grapevine cannot bear figs, nor can a salty spring produce sweet water.

The Wisdom from Above

13 Are there any of you who are wise and understanding? You are to prove it by your good life, by your good deeds performed with humility and wisdom. 14But if in your heart you are jealous, bitter, and selfish, don’t sin against the truth by boasting of your wisdom. 15Such wisdom does not come down from heaven; it belongs to the world, it is unspiritual and demonic. 16Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil. 17But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy. 18And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace.

–James 3

We need to use our words to praise God! We need to be giving thanksgiving and sharing the good news! We need to bear good fruit! We need to produce good fruit through wisdom from God! Keep allowing Jesus to clean out and fill your heart with love, for from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks! Look for ways to be filled up daily with God’s love and God’s Word so that no matter the trials or the troubles or the sorrows, we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Let’s be filled with the love and the hope of the Lord so that when we face trials of many kinds, we can consider it pure joy and allow faith and perseverance to work in and through us so that in the end we will be complete and lacking nothing! Let’s allow God’s grace to have it’s way in us and share them with others! Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings! Let’s do our best to add goodness to our faith; to our goodness add knowledge; to our knowledge add self-control; to our self-control add endurance; to our endurance add godliness; to our godliness add Christian affection; and to our Christian affection add love. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak in you and thru you so that you will be encouraged and so that those God has brought into your life can similarly be encouraged and directed into His presence!

1From Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ—
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have been given a faith as precious as ours:
2May grace and peace be yours in full measure through your knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

God’s Call and Choice

3God’s divine power has given us everything we need to live a truly religious life through our knowledge of the one who called us to share in his own glory and goodness. 4In this way he has given us the very great and precious gifts he promised, so that by means of these gifts you may escape from the destructive lust that is in the world, and may come to share the divine nature. 5For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; 6to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness; 7to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love. 8These are the qualities you need, and if you have them in abundance, they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if you do not have them, you are so shortsighted that you cannot see and have forgotten that you have been purified from your past sins.
10So then, my friends, try even harder to make God’s call and his choice of you a permanent experience; if you do so, you will never abandon your faith. 11In this way you will be given the full right to enter the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12And so I will always remind you of these matters, even though you already know them and are firmly grounded in the truth you have received. 13I think it only right for me to stir up your memory of these matters as long as I am still alive. 14I know that I shall soon put off this mortal body, as our Lord Jesus Christ plainly told me. 15I will do my best, then, to provide a way for you to remember these matters at all times after my death.

Eyewitnesses of Christ’s Glory

16We have not depended on made-up stories in making known to you the mighty coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. With our own eyes we saw his greatness. 17 We were there when he was given honor and glory by God the Father, when the voice came to him from the Supreme Glory, saying, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased!” 18We ourselves heard this voice coming from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mountain.
19So we are even more confident of the message proclaimed by the prophets. You will do well to pay attention to it, because it is like a lamp shining in a dark place until the Day dawns and the light of the morning star shines in your hearts. 20Above all else, however, remember that none of us can explain by ourselves a prophecy in the Scriptures. 21For no prophetic message ever came just from the human will, but people were under the control of the Holy Spirit as they spoke the message that came from God.

–2 Peter 1

 


Today's Reading: Ezra 9, Ezra 10, Psalm 28, James 3, 2 Peter 1

It’s a matter of the heart!


Where are you at today? What is the state of your heart? What has been allowed in? What’s stuck in there? What needs to be cleaned out? What are your options? Have you asked Jesus in to help create a new heart in you?

Is your heart hardened? Is your heart softened? Is your heart damaged? Is your heart healed?

What heritage do you want to have? What legacy do you want to leave? Will you stand up for something? Will you fall for anything? Will you keep going it your own way? Will you turn around and seek God’s face, God’s will, God’s desire, God’s plan for your life?

Where does your trust come from? Are you trusting in man? Are you trusting in self? Are you trusting in God? Do you realizes the pros and cons of each of these?

Are you able to tell the difference between good and evil? Are you able to tell the difference between right and wrong? Is your heart so hard that you can’t? Why not give your heart up to God and allow Him to create a new heart in you? Why not focus on renewing your mind?

Want to be blessed? Put your trust in God! Put your confidence in God! Then there will be no need to fear because you know God and your trust and confidence are in Him, no matter what comes your way! When fear or anxiety tries to show itself, you can give it up to God!

Don’t be fooled by emotions! Don’t allow things to mess with your heart that don’t belong! God will search your heart to know the basis of your life! God will try your mind to understand where you are rooted! So what would you expect the outcome to be based on your ways and the fruits of your works? Will you do things legally? Will you do things properly? Will you live justly? Will you live righteously? Let’s put our hope and trust in God! Let’s build upon the solid foundation provided by Jesus! Let’s keep things straight by lining up to Jesus as our cornerstone!

God never ran away, so if you are feeling far from God you need to turnaround and turnback to Him!

God will never leave you nor abandon you! Will you leave and abandon Him? Have you left and abandoned Him? Will you turn back to Him as the lost son did and be received?

Are you willing to receive correction? Are you willing to listen and receive and accept correction? Are you too stiff necked?

Will you be moldable in God’s hand? Will you allow God to recreate you? Will you ask Jesus into your heart and become a new creation? God has incredible plans for you! God’s plans are good! Will you turn back to Him and align with those plans? Will you allow Him to transform you from the inside out? We are but clay in God’s hands! If a nation is heading away, He is able to uproot, to pull down, and to destroy it! If a nation will turn from its wicked ways, God can relent from destroying it, or even rebuild it or plant it!

So if we consider where we are at today as a nation…how will the nation respond to a message like this…

“I am about to bring calamity against you, and devise disaster against you. Turn back now—everyone from his evil way—and amend your ways and your doings.

–from Jeremiah 18

Would you respond like this…

‘It’s hopeless! So we will walk after our own plans, and each of us will act in the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

–from Jeremiah 18

Do you realize the setup that is making? Do you realize the consequence of such a move? God gave you an option! You have freewill to choose! And you are deciding to walk away and deal with the consequences of your decision! Do you know what happened or what was said back in Jeremiah’s time? Do you realize the pendulum of history? people going towards God and away from God? Well consider this warning as a warning for us, right here and right now facing this dilemma…

13Therefore thus says Adonai: “Ask now among the nations, whoever has heard such things? The virgin of Israel has done a most terrible thing.
14Does the snow of Lebanon abandon the rock of the field? Or is the cold water flowing from afar pulled back?
15Yet My people have forgotten Me. They burn incense to a delusion and stumble in their ways— off the ancient paths— to walk on side-tracks, rather than a built-up highway.
16Their land will become a horror, a perpetual hissing— every one passing by will be stunned and shake his head.
17Like an east wind, I will scatter them before the enemy. I will see their back, not their face, in the day of their calamity.”
–from Jeremiah 18

Don’t shoot the messenger or you will just stop getting messages! Knowing the message gives you the opportunity to respond! Do what it says! Do the opposite of what it says! Do nothing! How will you respond? Will you be part of the remnant who will call on God and trust in God and follow after Him? Will you be rebellious and do the opposite of what He said? Will you sit on the fence and do nothing? The result will be based on your obedience or disobedience! Partial obedience is still disobedience! Will you choose to do what God is asking and telling you to do?

Put your hope and your trust in God!

There is an answer to it all and His name is Jesus! He was the answer to all God’s promises and all the prophecy of the Bible! In His life and death, He fulfilled 353 prophecies. Paul who was originally against Jesus and The Way had a revelation on the road to Damascus where He had a divine encounter with Jesus and it transformed the rest of his life and provides us with a large portion of the Bible. He declared it before king Agrippa! He is letting those in authority know! As God gives him favor and brings him before kings, Paul testifies of Jesus and life transformed! Paul is able to share the good news no matter his circumstances! At home, on the road, in prison, before the authorities…As we share, as we testify what Jesus is doing and has done in and through our lives, people may not be ready to receive it right away, but it is planting the seed and in some cases watering a seed that others have planted and then it is in God’s plan to make it grow!

So let’s not be about tearing down people, let’s be about tearing down strongholds that are holding them back! Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood, but rather against powers and principalities of this dark world! Our weapons are no man made, but through God they are spiritually powerful in order to tear down strongholds! They allow us to tear down false arguments! They allow us to tear down things that are trying to exalt themselves above God and against the knowledge of God! We need to take every thought captive in obedience to Jesus! We need to be able to do what is right in obedience to God! Will your words speak truth? Will your presence speak in action? Let’s be humble servants as we lead! Let’s be bold in proclaiming the truths of God! It’s not about pumping ourselves up but giving it all over to God!


Today’s reading is from: Jeremiah 1718, Acts 26, and 2 Corinthians 10.