Peace in the midst of change…


2022 is still focused on THRIVE. In the midst of how 2022 is filling up with change, it requires finding a way to manage and navigate the stresses and strains that come with it. Be it something as simple as managing a new puppy. Be it something a challenging as sending your oldest daughter off to boot camp. Be it mentally preparing for your younger daughter to go off to college in the fall. Be it wrapping up the review process to close out 2021. Be it putting together a multitude of documentation to help communicate the roles and responsibilities for your team to a new management chain so that they can be informed and able to best decide what the organizational change that is required to happen to help the business thrive can be done in the most effective and efficient way. Be it prepping for another year of camps that will bless teenage foster kids. And in the midst of all of this, how do we make it so that we can find peace. In the midst of all of this, how do we make forward progress towards thriving rather than just being stuck and going nowhere like running on a treadmill? It comes down to who has the pen! We can’t give the pen over to fear, worry, and doubt! We need to give the pen to God with faith, hope, and love! We need to cling to God who is able to bring about peace in one of three ways: He causes a peace that surpasses any understanding within us (calm the storm in me), He can create peace by calming the storm outside of me, or He can provide peace by walking through the storm with us. The key is not trying to go it alone! We need to walk it out with Him! We need to be sensitive to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit so that we can be good stewards of our time and energy. So today, let’s choose to trust God with helping us write the story of our life and walk out this day in a way that will bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory! This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s not allow stress and worries to pile up on our shoulders but grab hold of God’s instruction to cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us! Let’s decide to hand the situation over to God because trying to worry or be anxious about it won’t help anything, it won’t make things better, and it won’t help us get through today. So today’s through prayer and supplication, let’s make our needs known to God! He cares for us!

Today’s verse of the Day comes to us from Amos 5:24 which says:

‘But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! ‘

Amos 5:24

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Finding Dad – Day1.


So where are you at today? As we hit the second hump day of the year, are you needing God to step in and help? Are you needing His peace that surpasses all understanding to come into your life? Are you needing His strength to help you make it through? Are you needing His wisdom and discernment to help you manage and navigate through? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life and into your situation rather than trying to go it alone? Let’s pray:

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

Peace


Sermon Notes from a sermon preached by Pastor Steve Jamison. You can watch and hear it on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/c24vkC7x2yk

‘In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. ‘

Luke 2:1-21

God did amazing things in the midst of Jesus coming.

  • Caesar Augustus decreed a census
  • God sent angels to announce the coming of Jesus to the angels in the hills of Bethlehem
  • Revelation – to lift the cover or the veil.
    • ‘“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” ‘
      Luke 2:14

3 Levels of Peace

  1. Peace with God
    • Isaiah – spoke of the coming of the Messiah
    • ‘Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord ’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’
      Isaiah 53:1-12
  2. Peace of God
    • A sense of wellbeing and wholeness
    • Surrounds you in the midst of the storms
    • He cares and is right with you
    • We may not know the next step or where we are going but we can have peace
    • We need to access, activate, and apply the peace of God
    • ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ‘
      Philippians 4:4-7
    • Not just hearing the truth but it is activating it.
  3. Peace with each other
    • it’s available but you have to act upon what you know is real and true
    • ‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ‘
      Colossians 3:12-17

The story of the birth of Jesus was recorded for us.

2019, 2020, 2021, … What comes to mind? Time of stress or stress-free?


What causes stress for you? Where do you turn to try and relieve stress? What do you do to try and relieve stress? How do you try and relieve stress? Who can you go to or turn to in order to try and relieve stress? When is it time to try and relieve stress?

Over the years I have seen much change. Over the years it seemed like some people thought it would be a change of jobs and hence we see the great resignation. Over the years it seemed like some people thought it would be isolating themselves. Over the years it seemed that some people have discovered keeping healthy boundaries in the midst of having to work from home raises concerns, issues, and stress. Over the years many have lost jobs because of mandates and regulations. Over the years many have lost jobs because the businesses have been forced to shut down. Over the years some have grabbed hold of government money and are now having to also deal with inflation and expectations of higher-paying jobs no matter the job. Companies struggle to find people. Companies struggle to retain people. Companies will need to determine how will they consider and address this going forward. With fewer people in the workforce or willing to work does it or will it trigger additional automation and a bigger shortage? Consider the Amazon stores where there aren’t people checking you out or welcoming you in and things just happen as you add/remove items from your cart and whatever is in the cart when you leave gets charged to you. What kind of jobs will require people to do them? What kinds of jobs will require people to go back to them? What kinds of jobs will be lost forever?

STRESS… Is it a verb or noun when you think about it?

Ever realized how much stress is in the world? Ever realized what stress is? Ever considered what the alternatives are? Do you realize that stress is hard for scientists to deal with because it tends to be subjective? Ever considered that different people measure stress differently and that if we can’t measure stress that it can also be hard to manage it? Do you realize that stress is caused by change? 2019, 2020, 2021, … have been filled to overflowing with changes globally.

Do you realize there is a tipping point for stress where it goes from healthy to unhealthy?

https://www.stress.org/what-is-stress#:~:text=stress%20can%20be,before%20you%20are.
Stress can be helpful and good when it motivates people to accomplish more.
 As illustrated to the left, increased stress results in increased productivity – up to a point, after which things go rapidly downhill. However, that point or peak differs for each of us, so you need to be sensitive to the early warning symptoms and signs that suggest a stress overload is starting to push you over the hump. Such signals also differ for each of us and can be so subtle that they are often ignored until it is too late. Not infrequently, others are aware that you may be headed for trouble before you are.

Stress can be caused by physical stimuli. Stress can be caused by emotional stimuli. Stress can cause ulcers. Stress can cause shrinkage of lymphoid tissue like lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils, adenoids, and other structures. Stress can cause enlargement of adrenals which then impact the body’s ability to keep a healthy metabolism. Persistent stress can cause heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. We can only take so much stress and strain. Stress can be measured by the wear and tear on the body. Before we jump to the definitions, let’s consider the differences between Stress and Strain:

Parameters of ComparisonStressStrain
DefinitionStress is a force and is defined as the repelling force to a unit area of the object or deforming and restoring force per unit area.The Strain is the variation in the shape of an object per the original shape or the deformation per unit area.
Unit of measurementStress has two main categories one is tensile, and another is compressive stress. The measuring unit of Stress is N/m2 (SI).There are two main types of Strain normal strain and shear strain. It has no unit of measurement.
DependenceStress does not depend on Strain as it can exist without Strain.Strain only happens when there is Stress, or it only happens when Stress is applied to an object.
TypesThe various sorts of Stress are tensile, compressive, and shear stress.Strain is categorized into tensile, compressive, shear, and volumetric strain.
Symbol and FormulaStress is designated by the Greek symbol sigma, and the formula for Stress is represented by Stress =force/ Cross-sectional area or σ= F/A.Strain is symbolized by ‘ε,’ that is epsilon, and the formula is given by: ε= dt/t.
https://askanydifference.com/difference-between-stress-and-strain/

We will start with what our human nature or definitions tell us before we turn to God and His Word to find a way to get stress relief.

Definition of Stress found in https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stress:

stress

noun

\ ˈstres  \

Essential Meaning of stress

  1. a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.
    — She uses meditation as a way of reducing/relieving stress.
    — Hormones are released into the body in response to emotional stress.
    — He needs help with stress management. [=ways to deal with stress]
  2. something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety
    — I’m sorry for being grumpy. I’ve been under (a lot of) stress at work lately.
    — She is dealing with the stresses of working full-time and going to school.
    — He talked about the stresses and strains of owning a business.
  3. physical force or pressure
    — Carrying a heavy backpack around all day puts a lot of stress on your shoulders and back.
    — To reduce the amount of stress on your back, bend your knees when you lift something heavy.
    See More Examples

Full Definition of stress  (Entry 1 of 2)

  1.  constraining force or influence: such as
    a: a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part especially: the intensity of this mutual force commonly expressed in pounds per square inch
    b: the deformation caused in a body by such a force
    c: a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation
    d: a state resulting from a stress especially: one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium job-related stress
    e: STRAINPRESSUREthe environment is under stress to the point of collapse— Joseph Shoben
  2.  EMPHASISWEIGHTlay stress on a point
  3. archaic intense effort or exertion
  4. intensity of utterance given to a speech sound, syllable, or word producing relative loudness
  5. a: relative force or prominence of sound in verse
    b: a syllable having relative force or prominence
  6. ACCENT sense 5a

stress

verb

stressedstressingstresses

Definition of stress (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

  1. to subject to physical or psychological stress
    stressing the equipment
    — this traffic is stressing me out
  2. to subject to phonetic stress ACCENT
  3. to lay stress on EMPHASIZE
    stressed the importance of teamwork

intransitive verbto feel stress stressing about the big exam—often used with out

Definition of Strain found in https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/strain:

strain

noun

\ ˈstrān  \

Definition of strain (Entry 1 of 3)

  1. a: LINEAGEANCESTRY
    b: a group of presumed common ancestry with clear-cut physiological but usually not morphological distinctions
    — a high-yielding strain of winter wheat
    broadlya specified infraspecific group (such as a stock, line, or ecotype)
    c: KINDSORT
    — discussions of a lofty strain
  2. a: inherited or inherent character, quality, or disposition
    — a strain of weakness in the family
    b: TRACESTREAK
    — a strain of fanaticism
  3. a: TUNEAIR
    b: a passage of verbal or musical expression
    c: a stream or outburst of forceful or impassioned speech
  4. a: the tenor, pervading note, burden, or tone of an utterance or of a course of action or conduct
    b: MOODTEMPER

strain

verb

strainedstrainingstrains

Definition of strain (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb
  1. a: to draw tight cause to fit firmly
    strain the bandage over the wound
    b: to stretch to maximum extension and tautness
    strain a canvas over a frame
  2. a: to exert (oneself, one’s senses, etc.) to the utmost
    b: to injure by overuse, misuse, or excessive pressure
    strained his back
    c: to cause a change of form or size in (a body) by application of external force
  3. to squeeze or clasp tightly: such as
    a: HUG
    b: to compress painfully CONSTRICT
  4. a: to cause to pass through a strainerFILTER
    b: to remove by straining
    strain lumps out of the gravy
  5. to stretch beyond a proper limit
    — that story strains my credulity
  6. obsolete to squeeze out EXTORT
intransitive verb
  1. a: to make violent efforts STRIVE has to strain to reach the high notes
    b: to pull against resistancea dog straining at its leashc: to contract the muscles forcefully in attempting to defecate —often used in the phrase strain at stool
  2. to pass through or as if through a strainerthe liquid strains readily
  3. to make great difficulty or resistance BALK strain a point: to go beyond a usual, accepted, or proper limit or rule

strain

noun (2)

Definition of strain (Entry 3 of 3)

  1. an act of straining or the condition of being strained: such as
    a: bodily injury from excessive tension, effort, or use
    — heart strain
    especiallyone resulting from a wrench or twist and involving undue stretching of muscles or ligaments
    — back strain
    b: excessive or difficult exertion or labor
    c: excessive physical or mental tensionalsoa force, influence, or factor causing such tension
    — a strain on the marriage
    d: deformation of a material body under the action of applied forces
  2. an unusual reach, degree, or intensity PITCH
  3. archaic a strained interpretation of something said or written

So with all this insight and perspective from the natural or human world, let’s take a moment to stop and turn to God, the author, creator, and perfector to see what He has to say:


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 12TH


God’s Formula For Stress Relief


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.’

Isaiah 26:3

Let’s look for more context and details around today’s verse by expanding the verse and using the Amplified version.

‘In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; He sets up salvation as walls and ramparts. Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, The one that remains faithful and trustworthy. You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]. Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner], For the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]. For He has thrown down the [arrogant] ones who dwell on high, the lofty and inaccessible city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He hurls it to the dust. The foot will trample it, Even the feet of the suffering, and the steps of the helpless.” The way of the righteous [those in right-standing with God—living in moral and spiritual integrity] is smooth and level; O Upright One, make a level path for the just and righteous. Indeed, in the path of Your judgments, O Lord, We have waited expectantly for You; Your name, even Your memory, is the desire and deep longing of our souls. In the night my soul longs for You [O Lord ], Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For [only] when Your judgments are experienced on the earth Will the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Though the wicked is shown compassion and favor, He does not learn righteousness; In the land of uprightness he deals unjustly, And refuses to see the majesty of the Lord. Though Your hand is lifted up [to strike], O Lord, the wicked do not see it. Let them see Your zeal for Your people and be put to shame; Indeed, let the fire reserved for Your enemies consume them. Lord, You will establish peace for us, Since You have also performed for us all that we have done. O Lord our God, other masters besides You have ruled over us; But through You alone we confess Your name. The [wicked] dead will not live [again], the spirits of the dead will not rise and return; Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, And You have wiped out every memory of them [every trace of them]. You have increased the nation, O Lord; You have increased the nation, You are glorified; You have extended all the borders of the land. O Lord, they sought You in distress; They managed only a prayerful whisper When Your discipline was upon them. As a woman with child approaches the time to give birth, She is in pain and struggles and cries out in her labor, So we were before You, O Lord. We have been with child, we have twisted and struggled in labor; We gave birth, as it seems, only to wind. We could not accomplish salvation for the earth, Nor were inhabitants of the world born. Your dead will live; Their dead bodies will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy! For your dew is a dew of [celestial] light [heavenly, supernatural], And the earth will give birth to the spirits of the dead. Come, my people, enter your chambers And shut your doors behind you; Hide for a little while Until the [Lord’s ] wrath is past. Listen carefully, the Lord is about to come out of His [heavenly] place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their wickedness [their sin, their injustice, their wrongdoing]; The earth will reveal the [innocent] blood shed upon her And will no longer cover her slain.’

Isaiah 26:1-21

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Perfect peace, is that what you want?
  • Perfect peace, is that what you are looking for?
  • Perfect peace, the one that goes beyond all understanding, is that the one?
  • Would you recognize it if you saw it?
  • Do you know what you are looking for?
  • If stress is an alarm clock, when it goes off do you keep hitting the snooze button? Or worse, do you just shut it off or unplug it?
  • Is the alarm that is going off busyness?
  • Is the alarm that is going off hurriedness?
  • Is the alarm that is going off overwhelmingness?
  • Are you looking for peace or a distraction?
  • Are you looking for peace or an escape?
  • So why not stop, turn back to God, and allow His peace into your life?
  • If Isaiah was able to offer such a peace to people who were dealing with a lot more than what we are or could be dealing with then why not us?
  • If Isaiah was able to offer such a peace to men and women who had been defeated in war and taken into slavery, how much do these words mean for you and me and our circumstances today?
  • Feeling like life is out of control? Turn to God and allow Him who promised to rescue you to do so.
  • Feeling like life is out of control? Turn to God and allow Him who promised to restore you to do so.
  • God’s promise wasn’t just physically! It was a promise spiritually and emotionally too!
  • Perfect peace doesn’t come from schedules or happenstance.
  • The key to perfect peace is focusing on God! His goodness! His strength! His kindness! His love! His purpose!
  • Let’s go beyond knowing and step into trusting these things are true of God!
  • Let’s go from head knowledge to heart trusting God!
  • Let’s go from knowing about God to having a relationship and getting to delight and experience His leading each day!
  • Let’s allow His peace be a benchmark for when the stresses of life come our way!
  • Let’s allow God to lead and guide us when those stresses come so that we can say yes or no in alignment with God’s purpose and plan!
  • Let’s focus on getting God’s good works that He has prepared in advance for us to accomplish to get done rather than chasing after possessions, positions, and pleasure!
  • Let’s decide today that we will pursue God’s perfect peace!
  • Are you missing out or lacking in comfort or peace?
  • Do you have peace and hope today?
  • God’s faithfulness isn’t based on us.
  • Peace and Reconciliation (The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 12])

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some things that rob you of God’s peace?
  • What are some ways you can fix your mind and heart on God’s character and His will for you?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Surely it makes sense that the Lord who knew how to create the world knows how to run it– including even your life.”

Zig Ziglar

As we move into December we have finished the readings of the Tanakh and I thank Sefaria for their resources in helping me to see the Old Testament in a new way and my friend Lionel for having shared this tool with me. As we kick off December the idea my wife brought up came to mind about going through the book of Luke (who was a doctor) which happens to have 24 chapters which 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 12:

‘In the meantime, after so many thousands of the people had gathered that they were stepping on one another, Jesus began speaking first of all to His disciples, “Be continually on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees [that is, their pervasive, corrupting influence and teaching], which is hypocrisy [producing self-righteousness]. But there is nothing [so carefully] concealed that it will not be revealed, nor so hidden that it will not be made known. For that reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will point out to you whom you should fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority and power to hurl [you] into hell; yes, I say to you, [stand in great awe of God and] fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? Yet not one of them has [ever] been forgotten in the presence of God. Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are far more valuable than many sparrows. “I say to you, whoever declares openly and confesses Me before men [speaking freely of Me as his Lord], the Son of Man also will declare openly and confess him [as one of His own] before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit [that is, whoever intentionally discredits the Holy Spirit by attributing the authenticating miracles done by Me to Satan], it will not be forgiven him [for him there is no forgiveness]. When they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be worried about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

Someone from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or an arbitrator over [the two of] you?” Then He said to them, “Watch out and guard yourselves against every form of greed; for not even when one has an overflowing abundance does his life consist of nor is it derived from his possessions.”

Then He told them a parable, saying, “There was a rich man whose land was very fertile and productive. And he began thinking to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place [large enough in which] to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my storehouses and build larger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods there. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many good things stored up, [enough] for many years; rest and relax, eat, drink and be merry (celebrate continually).” ’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own all the things you have prepared?’ So it is for the one who continues to store up and hoard possessions for himself, and is not rich [in his relationship] toward God.” Jesus said to His disciples, “For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; or about your body, as to what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the crop]; they have no storehouse or barn, and yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add one hour to his life’s span? So if you are not even able to do a very little thing [such as that], why are you worried about the rest? Consider the lilies and wildflowers, how they grow [in the open field]. They neither labor nor spin [wool to make clothing]; yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if this is how God clothes the grass which is in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You of little faith! So as for you, do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink; nor have an anxious and unsettled mind. For all the [pagan] nations of the world greedily seek these things; and your [heavenly] Father [already] knows that you need them. But [strive for and actively] seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. “Sell your possessions (show compassion) and give [donations] to the poor. Provide money belts for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing and inexhaustible treasure in the heavens, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“Be dressed and ready for active service, and keep your lamps continuously burning. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that when he comes and knocks they may immediately open the door for him. Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) are those servants whom the master finds awake and watching when he arrives. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he will prepare himself to serve, and will have them recline at the table, and will come and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch (before midnight), or even in the third (after midnight), and finds them so [prepared and ready], blessed are those servants. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time the thief was coming, he [would have been awake and alert, and] would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You too, be continually ready; because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.” Peter said, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us [disciples], or to everyone else as well?”

The Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward [of the estate], whom his master will put in charge over his household, to give his servants their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is that servant whom his master finds so doing when he arrives. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking his time in coming,’ and begins to beat the servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and yet did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will be beaten with many lashes [of the whip], but the one who did not know it and did things worthy of a beating, will receive only a few [lashes]. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

“I have come to cast fire (judgment) on the earth; and how I wish that it were already kindled! I have a baptism [of great suffering] with which to be baptized, and how [greatly] I am distressed until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division [between believers and unbelievers]; for from now on five in one household will be divided [over Me], three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain,’ and that is how it turns out. And when [you see that] a south wind is blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it happens. You hypocrites (play-actors, pretenders)! You know how to analyze and intelligently interpret the appearance of the earth and sky [to forecast the weather], but why do you not intelligently interpret this present time? “And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? For while you are going with your opponent [at law] to appear before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle, so that he does not drag you before the judge, and the judge does not [rule against you and] turn you over to the officer, and the officer does not throw you into prison. I say to you, you [absolutely] will not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent.”’

Luke 12:1-59

So where are you at today? Are you at a tipping point where you need to deal with or find a method so that you can get healthy again? Are you needing God’s wisdom and discernment to help you get your life back on track and His help in running it? Are you looking to find that peace that surpasses all understanding? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and your life? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Do you realize the boomerang effect exists? Some call it the principle of sowing and reaping…


Today is a new day and you get to choose how you will live it. You get to choose what you will sow into it. You will get to reap into the future for whatever you have sown. What will you choose to plant today? Will you choose to plant hope, love, trust, integrity, and faith into the lives of others? Will you choose to plant things that will build up others? It’s not rocket science, it’s agricultural. It’s not magic, it’s science. It’s not made up, it’s the truth. So what will you throw out today? If you know it is going to boomerang back at you would that change your decision? If you know it is going to produce a return that you will get to reap would that change your decision? If you knew that based on the amount you sow the return or amount you will reap will be in accordance, would that change your decision?

Let’s check out what the Bible has to say about sowing and reaping:

  • One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. — Galatians 6:6-10
  • Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” — Luke 6:38
  • The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. — 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
  • Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail. — Proverbs 22:8
  • Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. — Malachi 3:10
  • Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. — Psalm 126:5-6
  • For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; … — Ecclesiastes 3:1-9
  • For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. The standing grain has no heads; it shall yield no flour; if it were to yield, strangers would devour it. — Hosea 8:7
  • “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” — Luke 18:10-14
  • Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. — Hosea 10:12
  • As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.– Job 4:8
  • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16
  • Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. — Romans 13:7
  • ‘ “Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God. ‘ — Matthew 5:9

So what will return to you? What will you reap? Let’s decide to plant what is good, what is right, what is just, what comes from a heart of love in order that what we reap in return will align.


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


Rude Leads to Rude


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.’

Proverbs 15:18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever seen this in real life? In a meeting? In a store? In an intersection? In politics?
  • Ever noticed how the pace of life seems to have picked up which escalate things?
  • Ever noticed how the pressures of life have grown which have escalated things?
  • Do you realize how much has changed in the past couple generations?
  • Two generations ago most Americans lived on farms.
  • Imagine how life would have been different when the pace is based on the seasons of the year.
  • Imagine how life would have been different when it comes to expectations compared to where we are at today.
  • Do you realize how much has changed in one generation?
  • Imagine a place where most people walked to work.
  • Imagine a place where family life was more stable with nightly family dinners with minimal distractions.
  • So where are you at today? What are the stressors in your life? Is it caused by greater mobility? Is it caused by higher expectations? Is it caused by extra stress?
  • Have you noticed the impact of stressed people?
  • Have you noticed the lack of patience and the increase in tension because of stress?
  • Does it seem there are more hotheaded people who go off than there used to be?
  • Does it seem like patience is lower and more people seem to get provoked than before?
  • Does it seem like more people are saying things they wouldn’t have before?
  • Ever noticed how when one person blows up it can trigger a chain reaction?
  • Ever noticed or been the one who steps back and allows or causes things to cool down?
  • It may not be cold and many may stay at the simmering stage, on ready to go off again.
  • Ever noticed how many people have short fuses these days?
  • Are you ready to bring a cooler head to the situation?
  • Are you ready to be a peacemaker who will reduce the fire and tension?
  • Peacemaker doesn’t mean push over!
  • Peacemaker means being able to speak calmly and go after resolution rather than conflict.
  • Peacemaker means being able to speak calmly and go after resolution rather than escalating conflict.
  • Are you at peace or do you need God’s help to bring peace into you first?
  • You need to be filled with peace for peace to come out of you!
  • You need to release the stresses to God so that they don’t come out of you instead of peace!
  • So are you ready to get rid of or reduce the stressors in your life and give them up to God?
  • Let’s grab hold of God’s instruction in James 1 that says:
    • ‘Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us]. So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. For if anyone only listens to the word without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like. But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience]. ‘ James 1:19-25
  • Then we can be peacemakers into the lives of those around us and point them to God too to help them defuse and destress!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • When have you seen tension escalate between angry people?
  • Are you a peacemaker? If not, what can you do to reduce stress so you can have a cool head?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember the only taste of success some people get is taking a bite out of you.” 

— Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Where are you today? What are you sowing and reaping? Are you deciding to be a peacemaker? Are you ready to live out your today in a way that will make a difference? Are you ready to plant good into the lives of others today? Need some help? Why not invite God into your situation and allow Him to work in and through you? Let’s pray:

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

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

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

Needing some comfort today?


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

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

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


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


Bringing Comfort


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

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

II Corinthians 1:3-4

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

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

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

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

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

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

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

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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


Do you realize the importance of leaders? Do you realize the importance of praying for those in leadership positions?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Praying for Leaders


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

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

I Timothy 2:1-4

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

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

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

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

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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


Are you troubled? Are you struggling? Are you stressed?


What’s going on in your life today? Are you burning the candle at all four ends? That’s right, I said four. Do you realize how hard and bad things can get when you are burning the candle on both ends? Imagine if you lit the middle of it, now you have it burning on all four ends which means it is going to burn up even quicker. Is it causing you troubles? Is it causing you to struggle? Is it causing you to become stressed? Do you know what to do? Do you know what you can do? Do you know where to turn? Do you know how to get help?

There is a key to this problem. His name is Jesus! Just a few days back we had a post where the verse was about coming to Jesus all those who are weary. There was another recent post about casting our cares on Jesus because He cares for us! Jesus warns us and encourages us when it comes to being troubled and how we can take heart! So when you are feeling troubled, are you willing to take heart? When you are starting to struggle, are you willing to turn to Jesus? When you are starting to get stressed, are you willing to cast your cares on Jesus?

Need someone to talk to about it? Scroll to the end of this post as I have shared some contact information so that you can reach out to me if you would like. We can share life. We can pray together. We can invite Jesus into your very situation. We can put Jesus in the center and allow Him to help us through it. We had a post recently about getting connected with Jesus and walking out this life with Him! If you are willing, He is able! God is bigger than any troubles we will face! God is bigger than any struggle we can go through! God is bigger than anything that can cause us stress! We just need to choose to invite Him in! Are you willing? He’s able! Are you ready to trade your sorrows and your pain for the joy of the Lord? Are you willing to receive a peace that surpasses all understanding? Jesus is ready to make the trade! Are you willing to give it up?


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


Course Correction


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord ’s counsel—that will stand.’

Proverbs 19:21

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What is really important? What are you focusing on?
  • People are what is most important to God. People are the only things that will go into eternity and God desires that they will choose to spend eternity with Him.
  • Stuff will burn up and fade away.
  • Things won’t last the test of time.
  • Are you currently focusing on taking the world by storm? Is it for something important? Will it impact lives?
  • Are you currently focusing on trying to understand how you go to this point? Are you focusing on what is important? Will it impact lives?
  • Are you focusing on building a legacy? Is it a legacy that is based on what is important? Will it impact lives?
  • How do you know if it is important? How do you know if it is really important? Do you have a consultant or counselor who can let you know for sure?
  • Why not bring it to God so that the you can be focusing on what is important to God and receive the Lord’s counsel!
  • Are you struggling because you are dealing with the urgent without realizing if it is important?
  • Are you troubled because you are dealing with the fire drills of urgency rather than the things that are truly important?
  • Are you stressed because of all the things that are claiming to be urgent rather than being able to focus on doing what is important?
  • Remember how in our younger years how everything seemed so urgent?
  • Remember how that caused us to rush from place to place, event to event, activity to activity without being able to enjoy the journey between them?
  • Do you realize that we need a higher authority to help in deciding importance vs urgency? Do you realize it may mean we don’t have the answers? Do you realize that it may mean our friends don’t have all the answers?
  • Are you ready and willing to turn to God for answers? Are your ready and willing to turn to His Word for instruction and direction? Are you ready to measure these things we thought were so important up against what the Word of God has to say through scripture?
  • Are you ready to find out which things seemed important aren’t in God’s eyes?
  • Are you ready to find out which things seemed trivial are vital in God’s eyes?
  • Are you ready to start measuring using God’s measuring stick rather than what the culture is saying is important?
  • Are you ready to take hold of the difference between something that is central rather than the smaller things?
  • Over the years the topic of First Things First has come up many times in my life. From the audiobook on cassette playing in my car, to the book I picked up, to what God has spoken into and over my life since making the decision back in 2001 to receive and begin a relationship with Him. And the number of times I have included or written about it through this blog.
  • We need to discover God’s purposes
  • We need to pursue God’s purposes
  • We need to pursue God’s purposes with the passion of all of our hearts
  • We need to make our plans follow after God’s leading
  • We can then determine to live a life of plans according to His purposes that will produce good fruit and positive impact that will last and stand the test of time for the praise, the honor, and the glory of God in Jesus’ name.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

What are somethings most people think are really important today?
  • Money
  • Collectibles
  • Food
  • Clothe
  • Cars
  • Houses
  • Notoriety
  • Jobs and Titles
  • Power
  • Control
What does God say is really important? How do your pursuits match up with God’s purposes?
  • Purpose
  • Love
  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Producing Good Fruit
  • Filled with the Holy Spirit

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

Corrie ten Boom

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So do you know God? Will you trust God? Will you cast your cares on Him because He cares for you? Will you receive the gift of love and the gift of grace through Jesus today? What would it take for you to turn to God? What would it take for you to give it up to God? What would it need to be for you to stop running away from God and turn back to God? How crazy would things need to get? How crazy would things need to be? Is today your day? Do you want to turn back before you hit rock bottom? Do you want to turn back before things start twirling out of control? Why not stop and invite Jesus into your very situation today?

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ever been challenged by being comfortable?


Ever gotten too comfortable at something and found that you end up missing something? Ever gotten too comfortable with something and found that you didn’t notice something? Ever gotten too comfortable with something and found that you had wrong expectations? And then you get surprised!

Ever found that living at the edge can help you be more prepared? Ever found that being on guard you are ready for the unexpected? Ever found that being uncomfortable can have its benefits? Always on the lookout, on guard, and ready to think on your feet!

What comes to mind when you think of being comfortable? Relaxed and at ease? Cozy and warm? Pleasant and enjoyable? Safe and secure? Or is it more about the haves and have nots? Is it about having a large amount or enough of something and then you will be comfortable? Is it about having an abundance or profuse amount of something and then you will be comfortable? Is it about being able to be generous? When is comfortable a good thing rather than a bad thing? When is comfortable a safe place to be?

We aren’t supposed to be going around worrying but is comfortable the opposite of worry? God’s Word tells us to not worry about anything but through prayer and petition bring our needs and cares to God! God’s Word tells us to cast our cares upon God because He cares for us! God is more interested in our character than our comfort and so what does it take for us to have a good character? Do you realize that comfort and peace aren’t the same? Do you realize the benefits of giving your worries to God are? Do you realize the peace that will come from it?

Are you ready to be comforted when it counts?


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


Comfort when it counts


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 5:4

‘Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What causes you to grieve?
  • Does it require a severe loss?
  • Does it have to be the death of a loved on?
  • Could it be the loss of a dream?
  • Could it be the loss of a friendship or companionship?
  • Could it be the loss of something through betrayal?
  • Could it be a long term, persistent, or chronic health condition?
  • Do you realize the impact taking place spiritually during such times?
  • Do you grieve when you feel like your connection to God is strained or broken?
  • Do you grieve when you realize that you have missed the mark and have a need to turn back to God and ask for forgiveness?
  • How good are you at mourning?
  • How good are you at repenting?
  • Are you in an instant gratification type of style that world tries to push and sell?
  • Do you look for quick answers to your problems?
  • Do you look for speedy relief for your pains?
  • Do you realize the need and the importance of mourning?
  • Do you realize that mourning has a place and a purpose in our lives, even when it means unpleasantness?
  • You do realize that we live in a fallen world right?
  • You do realize that means we live with fallen people right?
  • You do realize that hurts happen right?
  • You do realize that hurting people hurt people right?
  • You do realize that you aren’t immune to hurt right?
  • Will you turn to God and be honest with Him about your spiritual state?
  • Will you give your cares to Him? Will you cast your cares on Him?
  • Will you repent and ask God for forgiveness?
  • Will you turn to Him and confess what is or has been going on and give it into His hands?
  • Have you gotten to the point where you are ready to receive God’s forgiveness?
  • Will you stop walking away from God and start taking the steps back to God?
  • Will you realize where you are at and be willing and able to turn back to your Heavenly Father?
  • Will you choose to pursue God’s purpose and plans for your life?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some events in which you need closure on a spiritual level?
  • Death – be it an older relative, a close relative, losing a baby, losing a child, losing a close friend, losing a spouse…
  • Realizing that I was resisting God’s prompting and instruction and direction (be it not forgiving, be it not stepping in, not stepping up, not answering God’s call).
What does it (or would it) mean for you to genuinely experience God’s forgiveness for your failures?

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“It’s not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Numbers 10
    • understand the meanings of the prompting
    • understand the response to make when you hear the prompting
  • Numbers 11
    • don’t complain
    • don’t covet
    • Will you be content and accept what God gives you?
    • Be careful what you ask for because you may just get it.
    • There is no limit to God’s power and so we need to trust Him and lean in on His plans and purposes.
    • Will you accept and receive God’s Spirit into your heart and life?
  • Numbers 12
    • Don’t allow jealousy to cause you to sin
    • Don’t become bitter but remain humble

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

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

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

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

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

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


Love moved First


As we head into Valentine’s day weekend the theme of love came to mind. All morning before I got before my computer the song by Casting Crowns kept playing in my head Love Moved First. As I was getting ready to head up to write the ideas around how much God loved us, even though we weren’t even alive yet, that He moved first and sent Jesus, He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but would have everlasting life. As I was getting ready the idea of how God is love and there is no darkness in Him came to mind. As I was getting ready the thought of God is Love and so that means that God is patient, is kind, He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud, He does not dishonor others, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs, God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.

So as we prepare for this day, will we move in love, will we act in love, will we speak in love, will we prepare in love, will we plan in love, will what comes out of us be from the overflow of love? Will we fill ourselves with love so that the overflow into the lives around us will be love? From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks!


Hope you have a GREAT day and a Happy Valentine’s Day weekend. Choose love! Remember, Love moved First! Let’s listen to the song before we continue…

Love Moved First by Casting Crowns

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


God’s Peace Plan


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 29:11

‘The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Peace, what do you think it is? How do you think you can get it?
  • Peace with God – do you have it?
  • Peace of God – do you have it?
  • Peace with others – do you have it?
  • The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • Peace with God comes through faith and brings justification!
  • Peace of God requires action and is impacted in how we live our lives. Imagine if we lived out our lives like Philippians 4:4-7 and how we would be filled with and so connected to God that we could feel that peace that surpasses all understanding.
    • ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ — Philippians 4:4-7
  • Peace isn’t the absent of war.
  • Peace isn’t the absent of hassles.
  • Peace is found in the wonder and awe of God.
  • God in the midst of storms can bring peace by calming the storm or by calming the storm in us, walking us through the external storms of life.
  • Through faith we can find strength and peace through God.
  • In the midst of the storms, the winds, and the waves, God is able to bring in us a peace that surpasses all understanding.
  • He will bring us peace in spite of the troubles, trials, and storms of life.
  • If we focus on God rather than the storm then His peace can comfort and strengthen us!
  • If we focus on how great our God is rather than how big our problems are then His peace can comfort and strengthen us!
  • God is love! Let’s never forget that God is love!
  • So are you facing troubles, trials, or storms of life? Are you focusing on how big they are more than how BIG your God is? Change your focus to be on God’s wonder and awe! When we focus on God, His peace can fill us! So let’s praise Him! Let’s worship Him! Let’s live out our today as living sacrifices in order to bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name!
  • Let’ take hold of God’s peace plan by staying in connection with Him and keeping our focus on Him and remembering He is bigger than any trouble, problem, or storm of life that can come our way!
  • Let’s allow our faith to grow by focusing on His greatness!
  • As we do, our peace will grow too!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What’s the connection between wonder and peace?
  • When we focus on God rather than our problems we can find peace!
  • When we remember the wonders and awe of God our problems pale in comparison and so His peace that surpasses all understand can guard our hearts and minds.
What are somethings you can do to increase your sense of wonder at God’s power?
  • Consider God’s creation!
  • Consider the beauty of the sky He created!
  • Consider the beauty of nature that He created!
  • Focus on how GREAT He is!

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“God takes life’s broken pieces and gives us unbroken peace.”

Wilbert Donald Gough

Found this incredible picture in my searches for links for today’s quote and so sharing it and a link to the source:

“Unbroken Peace” – Pinterest

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Exodus 30
  • Exodus 31
    • Do you realize the skills, gifts, talents God has given you?
    • Are you ready to use them for a purpose greater than yourself?

So are you ready for love? Are you ready for God’s peace? Are you ready to let God take life’s broken pieces and receive unbroken peace?

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

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

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

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

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

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


In the midst of what is going on, what are you feeling?


Where is that feeling coming from? Is it from God or is it from the devil? Is it producing peace or fear? Is it producing peace or anxiety? Is it based on love or doubt? Let’s consider these when we hear voices speaking or trying to speak into our lives so that we can respond accordingly. If it is God then it will be out of love. If it is God then it will be peaceful, with His peace that surpasses all understanding. If it is the devil who goes around trying to stir up fear and doubt, roaring like a lion, trying to find who he can devour. Let’s take hold of God’s Word and His promises, being anxious about nothing and instead lifting up our cares to Him, casting our cares and anxieties upon Him, because He cares for us. Let’s walk in faith in order to overcome fear. Let’s walk in the love of God that covers all wrongs. Let’s put on the full armor of God so that we are ready to stand our ground. Our battles aren’t against flesh and blood, but rather powers and principalities of this dark world. So let’s take hold of God’s gift of peace. Let’s take hold of God’s promises found in His Word. Let’s love out our today in a way to bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory, in Jesus’s name.


Today’s verse of the day comes to us from John 14 and says:

“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

‭‭John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

One translation finishes this verse with be courageous. Let’s allow God’s peace that surpasses all understanding to guide and guard our hearts. Let’s refuse the lies of the devil that is trying to stir up fear and intimidation. Let’s live out our lives courageously rather than being cowardly and unsettled. So let’s take hold of the peace that God gives in order to be able to stand in faith, being bold and courageous. Let’s take hold of the incredible gift or peace from God and put on the full armor of God so that we can be ready and stand firm. Rather than being swayed or tossed around by our situations or circumstances, let’s stand firm in our faith in God and His sovereignty, His control, and His Lordship. So wherever we are today, let ask God to help us to rest in His peace.


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? What can we learn from the past? They say hindsight is 2020, so let’s learn from the past three quarters of 2020 and apply the lessons learned towards finishing the year strong. Let’s be bold and courageous! Let’s allow the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guide and guard our hearts and minds.

The 49 week challenge – Day 280

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 280 link to join me and sign up.

With September in the rear view mirror along with most of September, let’s reflect on what we have learned in the past 6 days as we meditate on God’s Word this 7th day. Do you have any highlights or insights from what we have read in the past 6 days? What connections have you made or can you make in relations to our readings from God’s Word? Have you made time to speak with God through your reading time? Have you made time to speak with God as a part of your daily schedule? Are you prioritizing God enough that He gets prime time with you? Have you missed the mark this week and need to turn back to God and confess it and ask Him for forgiveness? Have you taken time to thank and praise Him for the forgiveness that has already been paid for through the blood of Jesus? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the other blessings in your life? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the answered prayers? Do you have any worries? Are you taking hold of His promise not to worry but to give it up into His hands? Let’s ask God for wisdom and guidance for this day! Let’s put our trust in Him!

In a time of change, will you share what God is doing and saying in and through your life with others?

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


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

‘ [Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it–a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil, [Lev. 16:2.] Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek. [Ps. 110:4.]’

Hebrews 6:19-20

My Notes:

Verse 19

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul,…. This world is as a sea; the church in it, and so every believer, is as a ship; the port that is bound unto is heaven; Christ is the pilot, and hope is the anchor: an anchor is cast on a bottom, out of sight; and when the ship is in a calm, or in danger of a rock, or near the shore; but is of no service without a cable: and when cast aright, keeps the ship steady: so hope is cast on Christ; whence he is often called hope itself, because he is the ground and foundation of it, and who is at present unseen to bodily eyes; and the anchor of hope without the cable of faith is of little service; but being cast aright on Christ, keeps the soul steady and immovable: in some things there is a difference between hope and an anchor; an anchor is not of so much use in tempests as in a calm, but hope is; the cable may be cut or broke, and so the anchor be useless, but so it cannot be with faith and hope; when the ship is at anchor, it does not move forward, but it is not so with the soul, when hope is in exercise; the anchor of hope is not cast on anything below, but above; and here it is called the anchor of the soul, to distinguish it from any other, and to show the peculiar benefit of it to the soul. Pythagoras makes use of the same metaphorF24;

“riches (he says) are a weak anchor, glory: is yet weaker; the body likewise; principalities, honours, all these are weak and without strength; what then are strong anchors? prudence, magnanimity, fortitude; these no tempest shakes.’

But these philosophical moral virtues are not to be compared with the Christian’s grace of hope, which is

both sure and steadfast; it is in itself a grace firm and stable; it is permanent and can never be lost: and it is still more sure and steadfast, by virtue of what it is fixed upon, the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ; and by the immutability, faithfulness, and power of God it is concerned with; and through the aboundings and discoveries of divine love, grace, and mercy; and from the instances of grace to the vilest of sinners:

and which entereth into that within the vail; the holy of holies, heaven itself; in allusion to the vail which divided between the holy and the holy of holies: the things within the vail, or in heaven, which hope entering into fixes upon, are the person of Christ, who is entered there, and appears in the presence of God for his people; his blood which he has carried along with him, and by which he is entered there; his justifying righteousness, by which the law is fulfilled, the two tables of stone in the ark of the testimony; the sweet incense of his mediation, which is continually offered up by him; the mercy seat, or throne of grace, on which Jehovah sits as the God of grace; and all the glories of heaven; all which hope is concerned with, and receives strength and rigour from: and their being within the vail, is expressive of their hiddenness and invisibility at present, and of their safety and security, as well as of their sacredness; and this shows a difference between the hope of believers and others, whose hope fixes upon things short of these; and likewise the great privilege of a believer, who being made a priest unto God, has liberty and boldness to enter into the holiest of all. The JewsF25 speak of a vail in the world to come, which some are worthy to enter into.

John Gill’s Exposition for Hebrews 6

Verse 20

Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus,…. Christ was a runner; he had a race to run, which lay in going about to heal diseases, in preaching the Gospel, in obeying the law, and in suffering death for his people; which race was run by him with great swiftness, strength, and courage, with patience, cheerfulness, and joy, and is now ended; as appears from the accomplishment of salvation, from his entrance into heaven, and session at the right hand of God; from the glorification of his human nature, and its everlasting freedom from the dominion of death: and this race is run out, as a “forerunner”; Christ is the most excellent runner; there is none like him; there is none that can come up to him; he has out ran and exceeded all others; he has performed in the best manner; he has run out his race first, and has entered into heaven first by his own blood; and he has cleared the way thither, and opened the gates of heaven for his people; and is a guide and pattern for them to follow: and he is the forerunner for them, as well as entered for them; for he was born, and he lived, and died for them, for their good and service; and he is entered into heaven for them, as man and Mediator, and as their high priest; where he represents their persons, appears and intercedes for them, takes care of their affairs, and presents their services; prepares mansions of glory for them, and takes possession of heaven in their name, and opens the way for them to follow him thither; all which gives great encouragement to hope to enter now, where Jesus is: who is

made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek; see Hebrews 5:6. This is repeated here, to lead on to what the apostle had to say concerning Melchizedek in the following chapter.

John Gill’s Exposition for Hebrews 6

As day 280 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

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


How much do you trust God? Do you trust Him enough to allow vengeance to be his rather than try to get revenge on your own? Do you trust Him enough to stay quiet and let Him handle it rather that saying things that could be hurtful or damaging to others in the long term? Do you trust Him enough to be still and wait upon Him, getting renewed through it all rather than using up all your energy on something you shouldn’t be waisting your energy on?

Will you allow God to fight your battle so that you can have peace and rest? Will take hold of an remember that the battle belongs to the Lord?

When you find yourself in the middle of the unknown and the threats of the enemy are coming upon you, where will you turn and who will you put your faith in? Don’t allow fear to rob you of the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. Instead overcome fear with faith and put all your hope and trust in God.

What if you are in a situation where you feel surrounded? What if you are in a situation where you look around and can’t find safety? Where will you turn? What will you do?

As Moses spoke to the Israelites and as God’s Word in Exodus 14:14 says to us today “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”. When we are walking out what God has directed us to do and someone or something comes and tries to stop or delay us, we need to be still and trust God. We can’t allow lies and deceptions to create fear or worry but instead we need to cast our worries and anxieties upon God and allow our faith to overcome our fears.

Do you know why you can be still? Do you know why you can take heart? You know why you can have hope in the midst of it all? Check out this verse from Exodus 14:17 (3 verses later) which says “I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen.” When we are going through difficulties and adversities those are opportunities where God can show up and reveal His power proving His power and His glory. He isn’t going to leave you and He isn’t going to forsake you so take hold of God’s Word and be still and let God fight for you.


August is in the rearview mirror
August is in the rearview mirror and they say that hindsight is 2020, so what can you learn from your experiences in August? How can that help you get clarity of vision for the day(s) ahead?

The 49 week challenge – Day 252

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 252 link to join me and sign up.

With August in the rear view mirror, let’s reflect on what we have learned in the past 6 days as we meditate on God’s Word this 7th day. Do you have any highlights or insights from what we have read in the past 6 days? What connections have you made or can you make in relations to our readings from God’s Word? Have you made time to speak with God through your reading time? Have you made time to speak with God as a part of your daily schedule? Are you prioritizing God enough that He gets prime time with you? Have you missed the mark this week and need to turn back to God and confess it and ask Him for forgiveness? Have you taken time to thank and praise Him for the forgiveness that has already been paid for through the blood of Jesus? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the other blessings in your life? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the answered prayers? Do you have any worries? Are you taking hold of His promise not to worry but to give it up into His hands? Let’s ask God for wisdom and guidance for this day! Let’s put our trust in Him!

In a time of change, will you share what God is doing and saying in and through your life with others?

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


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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

— Ephesians 1:3

My Notes:

  • We find the following commentary on this verse from John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible:
  • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,…. God, the first person in the Trinity, is the God of Christ, as Christ is man and Mediator; he chose and appointed him to be the Mediator, and made a covenant with him as such; he formed and prepared an human nature for him, and anointed it with the Holy Ghost above measure, and supported it under all his trials and sufferings, and at last glorified it: and Christ, as man, prayed to him as his God, believed, hoped, and trusted in him as such, and loved him as in such a relation to him, and cheerfully obeyed his commands. And the same is the Father of Christ, as Christ is God; as such he is the Son of God; not by creation, as angels and Adam, nor by adoption, as saints, but by natural generation; he being the only begotten of the Father, his own proper Son, of the same nature and perfections with him, and equal to him. Now to “bless” God is neither to invoke nor confer a blessing on him; for there is none greater than he to be called upon; nor does he need anything, nor can he receive anything from his creature; but it is either to congratulate his greatness and goodness, to ascribe blessing, glory, and honour to him, or to give thanks unto him, both for temporal and spiritual mercies. And the reasons why he is blessed, or praised by the saints as the God and Father of Christ, are; because these are his New Testament titles, under which he is more clearly made known, and in which he delights; and because he is their God and Father in Christ; nor can they come to him in any other way, but through him; and because it is through him that all their blessings come to them, and therefore all their praises must go this way, as follows:”
  • who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: God is the author and giver of all blessings; and he blesses his people with them, as he is the God and Father of Christ, and as he is their covenant God and Father in Christ; and he only can bless; if he blesses not, none can; and if he blesses, they are blessed indeed: the “us” that are blessed, are such who deserve, according to the tenor of the law, to be cursed; and are not all men, but some distinct from others; and who are before described as saints, and faithful in Christ Jesus; and include both Jews and Gentiles, who belong to the election of grace. And the blessings such are blessed with are spiritual, so called to distinguish them from temporal blessings. The Jews have the like distinction of טובות זמניות, “temporal blessings”, and טובות רוחניות, “spiritual blessings”F4; which latter are solid, substantial, and lasting blessings; and which concern the good of the soul or spirit of man; and are agreeable to, and desired by a spiritual man; and are applied by the Holy Spirit of God; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, “with every blessing of the Holy Spirit”: and which are very comprehensive, and take in all the fulness of grace in Christ; all the blessings and sure mercies of the everlasting covenant; all things pertaining to life and godliness, such as justification, peace, pardon, adoption, sanctification, and eternal life: and with these the saints are blessed “in heavenly” places; God that blesses them is in heaven, and so is Christ, in whom they are blessed; and the completion of their blessedness will be in heaven, where their hope is laid up, and their inheritance is reserved: and this phrase may denote the safety of them, being out of the reach of any enemy, sin, Satan, or the world, to deprive them of them, as well as the nature of them; for it may be read, “in heavenly things”, and so distinguishes these blessings from such as are of an earthly kind; and points at the original of them, being such as descend from above, come down from heaven; and also the tendency of them, which is to heaven; and being what give a right unto, and a meetness for the kingdom of heaven: and these they are blessed with “in Christ”; as he is their head and representative, and as they are members in him, and partakers of him; through whom, and for whose sake, they are conveyed unto them, and who himself is the sum and substance of them. Agreeably to this way of speaking, the Targumist, Jonathan ben Uzziel, on Numbers 6:27 paraphrases the last clause thus, “I will bless them”, במימרי, “in my word”. The date of these blessings, “hath blessed us”, may respect either first conversion, when the discovery and application of the blessings of grace are made to God’s people; or the making of the covenant with Christ, their head, to whom all grace was then given, and to them in him, and their election was in Christ, as follows.”

As day 252 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment
so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?
Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog,
why not email or text me instead?

Peace be with you…


Are you at peace? Do you have peace? Peace with others? Peace with God? Peace of God?

If you don’t then do you want to?

“And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

Why not invite Jesus into your heart and life? It begins with a relationship with Him. Through Him we receive forgiveness of sin. Through Him we receive salvation and peace with God. Allowing Jesus in allows the Holy Spirit who will prove you with God’s peace. With God’s peace we can find peace in the midst of our situation and allow us to forgive others and start to build peace with others through God’s wisdom and strength.

Will today be the start of you journey with Jesus? I know it has transformed my life, my mind, and my heart. So what God has given me I offer to you, the gift of grace through Jesus Christ our Lord.
‭‭


With all the darkness, the evil, and the anxiety that is going on in this world, wouldn’t you rather trade it in for the peace of God that goes beyond what we can even understand in order that our hearts and our minds will be guarded and protected through Jesus?

Wouldn’t it be great that if and when things happen we can be people with a clear and focused mind because the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guards our hearts and minds while everyone else is panicking or anxious? Even if it doesn’t make natural sense to everyone else but thanks to Jesus, living in and through us, by faith we are able to face the challenge head on. We can be like Benaiah who faced the lion and rather than panic or flee, he roared back and chased the lion. All of this is possible. We can find peace in the midst of the trials because our trust and hope is in Jesus and the eternity with God in heaven. We can find peace in the midst of troubles because we can take heart knowing that Jesus has already overcome the world. We can have peace in the midst of the storms because we know that God will either protect us in he storm or get us through the storm for the glory of His kingdom. To those who don’t know Jesus it probably looks crazy.

What is it you are facing today? Will your first response be to invite Jesus into it? Will you ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance? Will you do what He tells you so that out of this very situation and this very moment Our Heavenly Father will receive the praise, the glory, and the honor in Jesus’s name? No matter what it is, make your first response be to turn to God and then allow His peace that surpasses all understanding to guard your heart and mind.

With this peace you receive become a peacemaker! For as much as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone! Let’s be ambassadors of peace!


August is in the rearview mirror
August is in the rearview mirror and they say that hindsight is 2020. So what have you learned so far from 2020? For some this is a long weekend and it means an extra day to consider and reflect, relax and refresh, energize and motivate and for other to take the lessons learned and put them into action. How will you take the lessons in order to help provide a clearer path forward? Will you pursue vision or dreams? Will you seek God’s direction and instruction? Will you set a plan in motion and then allow God to direct your steps?

The 49 week challenge – Day 249

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 249 link to join me and sign up.

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

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

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


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

My Notes:

  • God has a plan for you and it is for good and not for evil, it is to give you a hope and a future. Will go along with it?
  • Will you receive the gift of grace and receive it in faith in and through Jesus?
  • Will you allow love to be the source, the fuel for everything that you will and can do?
  • ‘I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.’ Ephesians 3:16-21
  • Will you ask God for wisdom in the midst of your needs?
  • Will you ask God for wisdom in the midst of your trials?
  • Will you ask God for wisdom in the midst of your troubles?
  • Will you ask God for wisdom in response to God’s offer to give to you?
  • Will you ask God for wisdom in order to be able to live your life to the fullness of God’s blessings?
  • Will you ask God for wisdom so that you can walk out your life in alignment and accordance to God’s Word, God’s will, and God’s plan?
  • Let’s praise God!
  • ‘Praise the Lord , my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord , my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord ’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord , you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord , all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord , all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord , my soul.’ Psalms 103:1-22
  • What will you do with what God shows you?
  • What will you do with what the Spirit reveals to you?
  • How will you take the wisdom from God and respond to it?
  • Will you be someone who speaks truth and life into the world around you?
  • Will you speak it so that others too may find the peace that surpasses all understand and so that they too will be saved?

As day 249 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment
so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?
Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog,
why not email or text me instead?

Do you have peace and hope today?


If you don’t what is preventing you from having peace and hope today? If you don’t what is causing you or robbing you of being able to have peace and hope today? Can you put your finger on it? Can you identify it? Can you do something about it?

What type of peace are you finding that you are missing? Is it peace with God? Is it peace within yourself or some may say the peace of God? Is it peace with others? Do you realize the difference and what it takes? The peace with God is a gift that comes from receiving Jesus. Peace of God or peace within yourself is a fruit produced through that relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Peace with others requires work.

So do you have peace with God? We learn about this peace and how it is a gift in a the book of Romans where we read:

  • Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, — Romans 5:1
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 6:23

We learn how this peace is something we receive at the moment we accept Jesus into our heart and are saved. Some may call this spiritual peace.

So do you have peace of God, so peace within yourself? We learn about this peace and how it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in the book of Galatians where we read:

  • 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. — Galatians 5:22-23

We see how it takes time to produce fruit and how these fruits make us more like Jesus and help us to have peace within. It begins through receiving the peace of God which then plants the seeds within us to be able to develop the peace of God no matter what is going on in the outside world. Some may call this emotional peace.

So you have peace with others? Are you working at it to be a peacemaker? Are you working to allow the righteousness of God to work in and through you to achieve peace with others? We read about this type of peace in the Old and New Testaments:

  • The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. — Isaiah 32:17
  • If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. — Romans 12:18
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.– Matthew 5:9

So let us be peacemakers! Let’s do our best to live at peace with everyone rather than trying to stir up the pot. Some may call this relational peace.

So the key all goes back to having peace with God and then everything else can build up and out of that!


July is in the rearview mirror
With hindsight being 2020 and with the past being clear in the rearview mirror. What is it we can learn so as to bring clarity for what is yet to come? We need to moving towards God and with God! We may even need to slow down and listen to God’s Word and what is prompting us to do. We need to be patient. We need to do more listening than speaking as we have 2 ears and 1 mouth and so should be listening twice as much as we speak. Let’s take hold of what is said in James 1:19 that says “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,“.

The 49 week challenge – Day 218

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 218 link to join me and sign up.

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

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

Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:


My Notes:

  • Today’s reading gets us started speaking on hope and peace in Romans 5:
    • ‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ — Romans 5:1-21
  • Today’s reading then brings us related messages first in Nahum 2:
    • ‘An attacker advances against you, Nineveh. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength! The Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines. The shields of the soldiers are red; the warriors are clad in scarlet. The metal on the chariots flashes on the day they are made ready; the spears of juniper are brandished. The chariots storm through the streets, rushing back and forth through the squares. They look like flaming torches; they dart about like lightning. Nineveh summons her picked troops, yet they stumble on their way. They dash to the city wall; the protective shield is put in place. The river gates are thrown open and the palace collapses. It is decreed that Nineveh be exiled and carried away. Her female slaves moan like doves and beat on their breasts. Nineveh is like a pool whose water is draining away. “Stop! Stop!” they cry, but no one turns back. Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold! The supply is endless, the wealth from all its treasures! She is pillaged, plundered, stripped! Hearts melt, knees give way, bodies tremble, every face grows pale. Where now is the lions’ den, the place where they fed their young, where the lion and lioness went, and the cubs, with nothing to fear? The lion killed enough for his cubs and strangled the prey for his mate, filling his lairs with the kill and his dens with the prey. “I am against you,” declares the Lord Almighty. “I will burn up your chariots in smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions. I will leave you no prey on the earth. The voices of your messengers will no longer be heard.”’ — Nahum 2:1-13
  • Today’s reading then continues with 2 Samuel 14:
    • ‘Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart longed for Absalom. So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and had a wise woman brought from there. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don’t use any cosmetic lotions. Act like a woman who has spent many days grieving for the dead. Then go to the king and speak these words to him.” And Joab put the words in her mouth. When the woman from Tekoa went to the king, she fell with her face to the ground to pay him honor, and she said, “Help me, Your Majesty!” The king asked her, “What is troubling you?” She said, “I am a widow; my husband is dead. I your servant had two sons. They got into a fight with each other in the field, and no one was there to separate them. One struck the other and killed him. Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant; they say, ‘Hand over the one who struck his brother down, so that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed; then we will get rid of the heir as well.’ They would put out the only burning coal I have left, leaving my husband neither name nor descendant on the face of the earth.” The king said to the woman, “Go home, and I will issue an order in your behalf.” But the woman from Tekoa said to him, “Let my lord the king pardon me and my family, and let the king and his throne be without guilt.” The king replied, “If anyone says anything to you, bring them to me, and they will not bother you again.” She said, “Then let the king invoke the Lord his God to prevent the avenger of blood from adding to the destruction, so that my son will not be destroyed.” “As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “not one hair of your son’s head will fall to the ground.” Then the woman said, “Let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.” “Speak,” he replied. The woman said, “Why then have you devised a thing like this against the people of God? When the king says this, does he not convict himself, for the king has not brought back his banished son? Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him. “And now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. Your servant thought, ‘I will speak to the king; perhaps he will grant his servant’s request. Perhaps the king will agree to deliver his servant from the hand of the man who is trying to cut off both me and my son from God’s inheritance.’ “And now your servant says, ‘May the word of my lord the king secure my inheritance, for my lord the king is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil. May the Lord your God be with you.’ ” Then the king said to the woman, “Don’t keep from me the answer to what I am going to ask you.” “Let my lord the king speak,” the woman said. The king asked, “Isn’t the hand of Joab with you in all this?” The woman answered, “As surely as you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything my lord the king says. Yes, it was your servant Joab who instructed me to do this and who put all these words into the mouth of your servant. Your servant Joab did this to change the present situation. My lord has wisdom like that of an angel of God—he knows everything that happens in the land.” The king said to Joab, “Very well, I will do it. Go, bring back the young man Absalom.” Joab fell with his face to the ground to pay him honor, and he blessed the king. Joab said, “Today your servant knows that he has found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, because the king has granted his servant’s request.” Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. But the king said, “He must go to his own house; he must not see my face.” So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the face of the king. In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him. Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard. Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she became a beautiful woman. Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king’s face. Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab refused to come to him. So he sent a second time, but he refused to come. Then he said to his servants, “Look, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. Then Joab did go to Absalom’s house, and he said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?” Absalom said to Joab, “Look, I sent word to you and said, ‘Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there!” ’ Now then, I want to see the king’s face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death.” So Joab went to the king and told him this. Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom.’ — 2 Samuel 14:1-33
  • Today’s reading then closes with 2 Samuel 18:
    • ‘David mustered the men who were with him and appointed over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. David sent out his troops, a third under the command of Joab, a third under Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king told the troops, “I myself will surely march out with you.” But the men said, “You must not go out; if we are forced to flee, they won’t care about us. Even if half of us die, they won’t care; but you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better now for you to give us support from the city.” The king answered, “I will do whatever seems best to you.” So the king stood beside the gate while all his men marched out in units of hundreds and of thousands. The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.” And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders. David’s army marched out of the city to fight Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. There Israel’s troops were routed by David’s men, and the casualties that day were great—twenty thousand men. The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword. Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going. When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree.” Joab said to the man who had told him this, “What! You saw him? Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels of silver and a warrior’s belt.” But the man replied, “Even if a thousand shekels were weighed out into my hands, I would not lay a hand on the king’s son. In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for my sake. ’ And if I had put my life in jeopardy —and nothing is hidden from the king—you would have kept your distance from me.” Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this for you.” So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. And ten of Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him. Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped pursuing Israel, for Joab halted them. They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes. During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King’s Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, “I have no son to carry on the memory of my name.” He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day. Now Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, “Let me run and take the news to the king that the Lord has vindicated him by delivering him from the hand of his enemies.” “You are not the one to take the news today,” Joab told him. “You may take the news another time, but you must not do so today, because the king’s son is dead.” Then Joab said to a Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed down before Joab and ran off. Ahimaaz son of Zadok again said to Joab, “Come what may, please let me run behind the Cushite.” But Joab replied, “My son, why do you want to go? You don’t have any news that will bring you a reward.” He said, “Come what may, I want to run.” So Joab said, “Run!” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and outran the Cushite. While David was sitting between the inner and outer gates, the watchman went up to the roof of the gateway by the wall. As he looked out, he saw a man running alone. The watchman called out to the king and reported it. The king said, “If he is alone, he must have good news.” And the runner came closer and closer. Then the watchman saw another runner, and he called down to the gatekeeper, “Look, another man running alone!” The king said, “He must be bringing good news, too.” The watchman said, “It seems to me that the first one runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok.” “He’s a good man,” the king said. “He comes with good news.” Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, “All is well!” He bowed down before the king with his face to the ground and said, “Praise be to the Lord your God! He has delivered up those who lifted their hands against my lord the king.” The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” Ahimaaz answered, “I saw great confusion just as Joab was about to send the king’s servant and me, your servant, but I don’t know what it was.” The king said, “Stand aside and wait here.” So he stepped aside and stood there. Then the Cushite arrived and said, “My lord the king, hear the good news! The Lord has vindicated you today by delivering you from the hand of all who rose up against you.” The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.” The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”’ — 2 Samuel 18:1-33

As day 218 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Are you missing out or lacking in comfort or peace?


There is a lot going on these days. There are a lot of changes that are and have taken place. In the midst of a global pandemic, are you able to find comfort? In the midst of protests and violence, are you able to find peace? God’s desire is that we wouldn’t be anxious or worried about anything but rather through prayer and petition make our needs and asks known to Him. When Jesus was leaving the earth in His physical body, He said that His Father would be sending the Holy Spirit who would be our comforter and our guide. We learn in God’s Word that when we lean on God and put all of our trust in Him that He gives us a peace that surpasses all understanding. Have you waited on God? Have you waited until you received the Holy Spirit like the disciples did in the upper room when Jesus commanded them to go back to Jerusalem and wait until the Holy Spirit came upon them? The promise of the Holy Spirit also promises that He will give power to go out and share the good news of Jesus with the world around us.

Are you missing something? Are you missing out? Are you lacking in peace? Are you lacking God’s comfort? Maybe today is the day to turn back to God and run into His arms like the lost son did allowing Him to comfort you and fill you with His peace that surpasses all understanding.

Don’t allow the news to freak you out. Don’t allow the situations at home, at work, in the community, in the world freak you out. If something starts to bother you, turn to God and invite Him into that situation. If something starts to try and rob your peace, your joy, you hope, your love, your comfort or anything else (like the devil tries to do with his negative intentions to rob, kill, and destroy through his lying ways) turn to God, cry out to Him for help, invite Him into the situation because He always provides a way out from any temptations the devil would try to ensnare or trap you with. Fear not, just believe! Faith is the antidote for fear! Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! Lean not on your own understanding, lean on God, in all your ways acknowledge God, trusting Him and He will make your path straight! Allow Jesus’s peace which surpasses all understanding to help bring spiritual peace, emotional peace, and relational peace into your heart and mind and life.


June is in the rearview mirror.
Hindsight is 2020! Don't go rushing into the blur, turn to God and finish the race strong with clarity of vision!
Hindsight is 2020! Don’t go rushing into the blur, turn to God and finish the race strong with clarity of vision!

The 49 week challenge – Day 197

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 197 link to join me and sign up.

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

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

Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:


My Notes:

  • Receive grace and peace from God and Jesus
  • Receive the comfort in all our troubles so that we can share comfort with others
  • Allow comfort to produce in you patient endurance of the same sufferings
  • Don’t put your reliance in self but instead set your reliance in God!
  • Put your hope in God who will protect and sustain you
  • Depend on God’s grace over worldly wisdom
  • In Jesus it is always yes, the promises of God are yes in Him.
  • Walk under the ownership of God and filled with the Holy Spirit
  • Stand firm by your faith
  • Don’t do evil in the eyes of the Lord and be turned over to your wicked ways and suffer the consequences
  • Will you trust in God enough that you will only go if He will go with you?
  • Will you go in order that God will get the praise, the honor, and the glory?
  • Is it more important that God and His people receive the credit over you?
  • Trust God!
  • Don’t try to go it or control it in your own strength, power, and wisdom, instead ask God for wisdom and then go it His way!
  • Put your trust in God over man
  • God is looking to strengthen the hearts of people whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
  • Who will you trust more? God or man? When you are in a situation why not turn to God rather than putting all your trust and hope in man?
  • Who will you be? Will you be one who is marked as God’s people?
  • Will you be part of the people who will spend eternity with God?
  • Will you be part of the people who will spend eternity apart from God?

As day 197 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Do you think you can live in peace with everyone?


What if gave you the directions hat you need to do everything that you can to live in and at peace with everyone? What if you have been transformed hey an encounter with Jesus and thanks to Jesus you have been set apart for greater things? And as a part of the selection and position you are now being called to live in and at peace with everyone. Do you think you can live in and at peace with everyone? What do you think it would take? What do you think could be barriers? We are to be more than overcomes brought Jesus who gives us strength, so don’t allow challenges or difficulties to keep you from accomplishing God’s purpose and God’s will in and for and thru your life. So let’s live out and demonstrate how we have been transformed from the inside out so that God will receive the praise and the honor and the glory in Jesus’s name.

Maybe the key will be to take hold of the one thing that will last and is the most important… LOVE.


Hindsight is 2020 … clarity of vision for the future. Might it need to slow down so that it isn’t a blur?

The 49 week challenge – Day 191

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 191 link to join me and sign up.


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

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

Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:


My Notes:

  • Will you be able to allow love to help you speak properly?
  • Will you allow love to overflow to the point of being generous?
  • Will you allow love to overflow to the point of being able to speak the truth in love to others in order to help build up and instruct and correct?
  • Do you see things like in a mirror?
  • Imagine a day when you can see things clearly as face to face.
  • Love will last
  • Faith will last
  • Hope will last
  • Love is the greatest
  • Lead with love as it will endure and is the greatest
  • Don’t worry about tomorrow but help make today be great
  • Receive Jesus so as to spend eternity with God
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength.
  • Remember our redeemer lives
  • We will see God with our own eyes compared to being able to see what He has done thru the rear view mirror.

As day 191 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

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

Beyond the storm, beyond the darkness…


Fear not, just believe! Call on God and He will answer! Allow Him to bring peace in the midst of the storms of life – whether He is calming your heart or calming the storm around you! Allow His light to shine in the darkness that through His light the darkness will flee! Resist the devil and he will flee! Allow the peace of God that goes beyond all understanding to guard your heart and guide your life!

Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! No matter what happens, put your trust in God!

We know that in this world we will have troubles and we know that we can have hope because Jesus has overcome the world! We know that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance and that when perseverance has completed its work in us we can be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Will we face struggles? Yes! Inward struggles and outward struggles! The key through them all is that we have Jesus with us and our trust and faith in Him will and can get us through it all! Don’t try to do it alone! Don’t try to do it all in your own strength! Remember God isn’t out there somewhere, He is Emmanuel – God with us! So call on Him in your day of trouble and He will rescue you and you will give Him praise!

Is it easy? No. But in our weakness, God’s strength is revealed! On our own we might not be strong enough, but with God all things are possible! Walking out life with Jesus we have the benefit that in the midst of it all His peace that surpasses all understanding will get us through it all! Allow that peace to cover you! Allow that trust to encourage you! Allow His presence to comfort you! He didn’t send us the Holy Spirit for nothing, He did call him the comforter remember! Don’t worry for worry changes nothing! Instead, pray and bring your request before God!

Today’s message from the daily devotional closes with the following reminder:

‘Perfect peace’ (Isaiah 26:3) makes me think of a beautiful, calm summer’s day, sitting by a deserted lake with not a care in the world and no temptations, no problems and no difficulties to cope with. ‘Perfect peace’ in such circumstances would not be at all surprising or extraordinary. Yet as we read the Bible, it is clear that this promise of ‘perfect peace’ is not dependent on circumstances. God’s peace comes to you even in the dark places – in the midst of your most difficult struggles and challenges.

–from Day 253: Bible In One Year 2017


Peace in the Dark Places

Day 253: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Temptation … Psalm 106:32-39
  2. Trials … 2 Corinthians 11:16-33
  3. Trust … Isaiah 24:1-26:21

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

 

 

 

Are you feeling like dry bones? Will you allow God to speak them back into life?


Has some part of your life died? Has some part of your life fallen apart? Has some part of your life needed new breath? Has some part of your life needed help to be born again?

Are you needing help? Are you feeling cut off? Will you invite the Spirit of the Lord into your heart? Will you invite the Spirit into your life and come back to life?  Will you invite Jesus into your life and be born again? Will you choose to be God’s people and for Him to be your God? Will you follow His laws and keep His decrees?

Will you seek peace? Peace doesn’t mean we will have it easy! Peace doesn’t mean a stress free life! Peace doesn’t mean a trouble free life! Peace doesn’t mean a trial free life!

Do you want peace? Do you know where to start to find and receive peace? Start first with finding peace with God! Jesus came to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! Thru Jesus you are able to find spiritual peace…peace with God! Ask God to open your eyes! (Ephesians 1:18-19) Come to Him in humility! Humility is the pathway to peace! (James 4:6) Ask God and expect Him to answer you! (Matt 11:28-29) Connect with Jesus and let Him lighten the load!  So let’s get things off on the right foot and find peace with God! (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

Next is to find peace with yourself! To find emotional peace! Jesus is the answer here too. Do not be in denial that is blinding you from the truth! Jesus has the peace you need! Receive the peace of God so that you will be at peace! (Colossians 3:15)

Next is to find peace with others! To find relationship peace with the people around you and in your life! Set God as the focal point! If you both are heading towards God then you will keep getting closer together! Be it with family! Be it with spouse! Be it with friends! God wants us to find peace with one another! (Ephesians 2: 13-14) (Galatians 3:28) We need to stop blaming others for our problems and ask God to open our eyes and help us out! Let’s step up and step in with humility! Let’s connect with Jesus and allow Him to lighten the load!

peace-of-god-thru-jesus

The battle belongs to the Lord and victory is His! There is no one who can beat Him! We know Jesus came to provide a way to salvation! Jesus is coming back and there will be a battle (Armageddon) where the final battle will be won by Jesus! So let’s stand firm and put our hope and trust in God! Let’s not just sit back and allow evil to find victory before that time! Let’s stand up and look to stop them! Let’s pick God’s side!

There is testimonies and stories, songs and praise about all that God has done! It’s not by our strength but by the strength of God that provided and created victories for His people! Put our trust not in manmade things but fully in God! Let’s stay humble in our lives to God! Let’s not become too proud and risk the folly and fall created thru pride! We need to align and walk with God! Don’t forget God! Don’t walk away! Don’t lose focus! Don’t break away from what God has planned and purposed for you! Let’s live that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory because of God’s great love!

So in closing, let’s consider what God’s Word from 1 Timothy has to say…

1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
6If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wivesʼ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
11Command and teach these things. 12Donʼt let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
15Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

–1 Timothy 4

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 37, 38, Psalm 44, 1 Timothy 4

Will you share the reflection…


As God in whom there is no darkness shines on you, will you reflect it into the lives of those around you who are walking through this dark world?

As God who is love shines on you, will you reflect into the lives of those around you who are walking in worry, fear, despair, and lack of hope?

As God who grants us peace and hope and joy shines on you, will you share it those God brings into your life so that it will have a multiplying effect and impact more people with the grace and mercy of God?

Will you share the reflection of God with those around you?

Today’s reading begins with David’s last words…God spoke to David in his youth and all the way till the end of his days and David shared it and was a man after God’s own heart…Will you share God with others?

1Now these are the last words of David, the utterance of David son of Jesse, the utterance of the man raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob and the sweet singer of Israel: 2“The Ruach Adonai has spoken through me and His word is on my tongue. 3The God of Israel has said, the Rock of Israel has spoken to me, ‘He who rules over men righteously, he who rules in the fear of God— 4he is like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a cloudless morning of glistening as grass springs from the earth.’ 5Is it not true that my house is with God? For He made an everlasting covenant with me, ordered and secured in all things. Will He not make all my salvation and every desire come to fruition? 6But the worthless, all of them will be thrust aside like thorns, for they cannot be picked up by hand. 7But the man who touches them must be armed with iron and the shaft of a spear. They must be completely burned up with fire on the spot.”

David’s Mighty Men

8These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains—he wielded his spear against 800 and slew them in one encounter. 9Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodo son of an Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there to battle. The men of Israel retreated, 10but he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines until his hand became weary and stuck to the sword. So Adonai brought about a great victory that day, and the people returned after him only to strip the slain. 11Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. Now the Philistines were assembled in formation where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines. 12But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it, and struck down the Philistines—so Adonai brought about a great victory. 13Once the three of the thirty chiefs went down and came to David at the cave of Adullam during the harvest, while a troop of Philistines was camping in the Valley of Rephaim. 14David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was in Bethlehem. 15David said longingly, ‘“Who would get me water to drink from the well which is by the gate in Bethlehem?’” 16So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem by the gate, took it and brought it to David. However, he would not drink it but poured it out to Adonai 17and he said, “‘Far be it from me, Adonai, that I should do this—the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?’” So he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did. 18Now Abishai, the brother of Joab, son of Zeruiah, was chief of the Thirty. Once he wielded his spear against 300 and killed them—he had a reputation among the Three. 19He was the most honored of the Thirty, so he was made their commander; however, he did not become one of the Three. 20Then there was Benaiah son of Jehoiada, son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds. He killed the two from Ariel of Moab. Once, on a snowy day, he went down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit. 21He also killed an Egyptian—an impressive man—the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff, snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. 22These sort of things Benaiah son of Jehoiada did, so that he had a name as famous as that of the Three mighty men. 23He was most honorable among the Thirty, but he attained not to the first Three. So David set him over his guard. 24Asahel brother of Joab was one of the Thirty, also Elhanan son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27Aviezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29Heleb son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai son of Ribai of Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, 30Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai from the wadis of Gaash, 31Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmavet the Barhumite, 32Eliahba the Shaalbonite of the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Ararite, 34Eliphelet son of Ahasbai son of the Maacathite, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36Igal son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, armor-bearer to Joab son of Zeruiah, 38Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39and Uriah the Hittite—37 in all.

–from 2 Samuel 23

Do you realize the core team God has given you? Just as David has his mighty men, God has surrounded you with people who can help. We were never meant to go it or do it alone! He gave us one another! Do they know how important they are to you? Do you let them know how much they mean and how much you appreciate them? Have you ever told them? Is today your day?

Who do you trust? See how the world around us is trying to push God out of it? Do you realize the impact of trying to walk outside of the covering and the protection of God? Do you really want to walk out from under that protective umbrella and then find yourself getting pelted with everything that is being thrown at you? Do you really want to try and take God out of everything and then actually find hope in something else? Be it fiery darts! Be it fiery words! Be it fiery emotions! Be it attacks! Be it violence! What is it going to take for everyone to turn back to God? How bad does it have to get before you turn back to God! How far away from Him do you have to get before you turnaround and run back into His loving arms? Will you invite Him back into your life? Will you invite Him back into your family? Will you invite Him back into your community? Will you invite Him back into your country? … Before it is too late…? How will you choose? What will it take? If you are reading this then it isn’t too late yet…What will it cost? How much are you willing to pay? Will you make a difference? Will you help point others to the power and the love of God through Jesus?

David’s Unauthorized Census

1Now the anger of Adonai again flared up against Israel, so He incited David against them saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 2The king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Go about now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, so that I may know the sum of the people.” 3But Joab said to the king, “May Adonai your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king looks on! But why does my lord the king desire such a thing?” 4Nevertheless, the king’s command to Joab and the army generals remained firm. So Joab and the army generals went out from the king’s presence to number the people of Israel. 5They crossed over the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the right side of the town that is in the middle of the valley of Gad, and toward Jazer. 6Then they went to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi. Then they came to Dan-jaan and round about to Sidon, 7and came to the stronghold of Tyre, to all the cities of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. 8So when they had gone throughout all the land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and 20 days. 9Joab reported the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: there were in Israel 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword and the men of Judah were 500,000 men. 10But David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David prayed to Adonai, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done! But now, Adonai, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” 11When David rose up in the morning, the word of Adonai came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying: 12“Go and speak to David, thus says Adonai: ‘Three things I am proposing to you—choose one of them and I will bring it upon you.’” 13So Gad came to David and told him, saying to him, “Shall seven years of famine come on you in your land? Or will you flee from your adversary for three months while he is pursuing you? Or shall there be three days of pestilence in your land? Now consider and see what answer I should return to Him who sent me.” 14Then David said to Gad, “I am in a great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of Adonai, for His mercies are great, and let me not fall into the hand of man.” 15So Adonai sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, so that 70,000 men of the people died from Dan to Beersheba. 16When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, Adonai relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Now withdraw your hand.” The angel of Adonai was then by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17When David saw the angel that was striking down the people, he spoke to Adonai saying, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong! But these sheep, what have they done? Please, let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.” 18On that day Gad came to David and said to him, “Go up, set up an altar to Adonai on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19So David went up according to the word of Gad, as Adonai had commanded. 20Now when Araunah looked down and saw the king and his courtiers crossing over toward him, Araunah went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. 21Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you in order to build an altar to Adonai, so that the plague may be held back from the people.” 22Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good in his eyes. Look here, the oxen for the burnt offering, as well as the threshing sledges and the ox yokes for the wood. 23All this Araunah gives to the king.” Araunah said further to the king, “May Adonai your God accept you.” 24But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you at a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to Adonai my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for 50 shekels of silver. 25Then David built there an altar to Adonai, and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. So Adonai was moved by prayer of entreaty for the land, and restrained the plague from Israel.

–from 2 Samuel 24

Will peer pressure make you do something you shouldn’t? Will you take responsibility to turn things around? Will you do something about it? Will you turn and help others turn from their wicked ways, humble yourself and help them to be able to humble themselves, pray and seek God’s face so that He will hear from heaven and heal our land? The devil will tempt you and each of us but we need to resist the devil and he will flee. Where are you at today? What is God asking you to do? What is God’s calling you to do? Will you answer? Will you obey? How will you respond? Who will you trust? Who will you trust more? Who will you trust most?

Census and Plague

1Then satan stood up against Israel and incited David to count Israel. 2So David told Joab and the leaders of the people, “Go, count Israel from Beersheba to Dan. Then bring me a report so I may know their number.” 3But Joab said, “May Adonai multiply His people 100 times over! But my master the king, are they not all my master’s servants? Why does my master require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?” 4Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and finally came back to Jerusalem. 5Joab gave the number of the census of the people to David: in all Israel there were 1,100,000 sword-wielding men; Judah had 470,000 sword-wielding men. 6But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, for the king’s word was detestable to Joab. 7But God was displeased with this thing and He struck Israel. 8Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this. But now, I entreat you, take away the guilt of Your servant for I have behaved very foolishly.” 9Then Adonai spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying: 10“Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says Adonai, “I offer you three things; choose one of them and I will bring it upon you.”’” 11So Gad went to David and said to him, “Thus says Adonai: ‘Select for yourself 12either three years of famine, or three months being swept away from before your adversaries and the sword of your enemies overtaking you or three days of the sword of Adonai, pestilence in the land and the angel of Adonai ravaging throughout all the territories of Israel. Now, consider what I should reply to the one who sent me.’” 13David said to Gad, “I am in a great anguish! Let me fall into the hand of Adonai for His compassion is very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.” 14So Adonai sent a plague upon Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell. 15And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but while he was doing so, Adonai saw and was grieved over the calamity. He said to the destroying angel, “Enough! Now withdraw your hand!” The angel of Adonai was then standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of Adonai standing between the earth and the heaven with a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17David said to God, “Was it not I who commanded to count the people? I alone am the one who sinned and behaved wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand, Adonai my God, be against me and against my father’s house, but do not let the plague be on Your people.” 18So the angel of Adonai told Gad to instruct David that David should go up and build an altar to Adonai on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19So David went up by the word of Gad, which he spoke in the Name of Adonai. 20While Ornan was threshing wheat, he turned and saw the angel. His four sons who were with him hid themselves. 21When David came to Ornan, Ornan looked up and saw David. He went out from the threshing floor and bowed to David with his face to the ground. 22Then David said to Ornan: “Give me the site of this threshing floor that I may build an altar to Adonai. Sell it to me for full price, so the plague on the people may be stopped.” 23Then Ornan said to David, “Take it! Let my lord the king do whatever seems good in his eyes. Look, I will give the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give all this.” 24King David said to Ornan, “No, I insist on buying it for the full price. For I will not take for Adonai what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that cost me nothing.” 25So David gave Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the place. 26David built there an altar to Adonai and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. He called on Adonai and He answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. 27Then Adonai commanded the angel, and he put his sword back in its sheath. 28At that time, when David saw that Adonai had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29For the Tabernacle of Adonai, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time in the high place at Gibeon. 30But David could not go before it to seek God for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of Adonai.

–1 Chronicles 21

Jesus paid it all! No discounts! No reductions! It cost Him everything! He has provided a way to bridge the gap! He paid once for all! It wasn’t a weekly, monthly, annually, or daily payment, He paid once for all of eternity! David was a man after God’s own heart, he knew that to make an offering he had to pay full price.

Jesus paid that we could be reconciled back to God! We need to be instruments of forgiveness! We need to be God’s ambassadors of forgiveness! Not only receiving but also giving it! The world needs this message of hope! The world needs this message of love! So let’s reflect God into the world around us!

Greetings to a House Group

1Paul, a prisoner of Messiah Yeshua, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved and fellow worker. 2To Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the community that meets in your house: 3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Messiah Yeshua!

Thanks for Love and Comfort

4I thank my God always when mentioning you in my prayers, 5hearing of your love and the trust you have toward the Lord Yeshua and all the kedoshim. 6May the fellowship of your faith become effective, with the recognition of all the good that is ours in Messiah. 7For I’ve received much joy and comfort in your love, brother, because the hearts of the kedoshim have been refreshed through you.

Request for Philemon’s Runaway

8Therefore, though I have plenty of boldness in Messiah to order you to do what’s right, 9yet for love’s sake I appeal to you instead. I, Paul, am an old man and now also a prisoner belonging to Messiah Yeshua. 10I beg you for my child Onesimus—for whom I became a spiritual father while in chains. 11He once was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and me. 12I sent him back to you—he is my very heart. 13I really wanted to keep him with me, so that on your behalf he might serve me while I am in chains for the Good News. 14But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent, so that your goodness wouldn’t be by force but by free will. 15For perhaps he was separated from you for a while in order that you might have him back forever, 16no longer as a slave but more than a slave—as a beloved brother, especially to me but even more so to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. 17So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18But if he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand: I will repay. (Not to mention that you owe me your very self.) 20Yes, brother, let me have some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Messiah.

Added Request and Farewell

21Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than what I say. 22At the same time also, prepare a guest room for me—for I hope that through your prayers I will be given back to you. 23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Messiah Yeshua, greets you. 24So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25May the grace of our Lord Messiah Yeshua be with your spirit. Amen.

–from Philemon 1

 

 

Ever been in a tough spot? Ever been surrounded by great people?


Ever been in a situation where you knew you couldn’t do it all on your own? Ever been in a situation where you didn’t know how you would be able to do it or where the support would come from? Ever been in a situation where people just started showing up? Ever been in a situation where you being surrounded by incredible people who wanted to help? Ever seen a miracle where the right people for the right roles and responsibilities just showed up?

Ever prayed and God gave you wisdom and direction and the desires of your heart?

Trust in God! He will provide! Let’s check out how it played out for David…

All Israel Rallies to David

1Now these are the men who came to David at Ziklag when he was banished from the presence of Saul son of Kish. They were among the warriors who assisted him in battle. 2They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left to sling stones and shoot arrows from the bow. They were Saul’s kinsmen from Benjamin. 3Their chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite, Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth, and Beracah, Jehu the Anathothite, 4 Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the 30 and leading the 30, 5Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad the Gederathite, 6Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Hariphite, 7Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer and Jashobeam, the Korahites, 8Joelah and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham from Gedor. 9Some of the Gadites there withdrew to follow David to the stronghold in the wilderness. They were valiant men trained for battle, armed with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions and were as swift as the gazelles on the mountains. 10Ezer the chief, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third, 11Mishmanna h the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth, 12Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh, 13Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth, 14Jeremiah the tenth, Machbannai the eleventh. 15These were the Gadites, leaders of the army. The least was equal to 100 and the greatest to 1,000. 16These were the ones who crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it was overflowing its banks, routing all those in the valleys to the east and to the west. 17Some of the children of Benjamin and also from Judah came to David at the stronghold. 18David went out to meet them and answered them saying, “If you come to me in peace to support me, then my heart will be united with you. But if it is to betray me to my adversaries, when my hands have done no wrong, then may the God of our fathers take notice and judge.” 19Then a spirit came upon Amasai, leader of the 30, “We are yours, David, on your side, son of Jesse. Shalom, shalom to you, and shalom to him who helps you, for your God supports you!” So David welcomed them and made them leaders of the troops. 20Some from Manasseh went over to David when he went with the Philistines to battle against Saul. But they did not help them because the Philistine rulers after consultation sent him away, saying: “It would cost us our heads if he defected to his master Saul.” 21When he went to Ziklag, these from Manasseh joined him—Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, Zillethai, the leaders of thousands that were from Manasseh. 22They helped David against the raiding bands, for all of them were valiant warriors and they were officers in the army. 23Day by day men came to David to help him until there was a great army like the army of God. 24These are the numbers of the heads of those armed for war who came to David in Hebron to transfer Saul’s kingdom to him, according to the word of Adonai: 25The sons of Judah that bore shield and spear were 6,800, armed for war; 26from the sons of Simeon, 7,100 brave warriors ready for war; 27from the sons of Levi 4,600; 28Jehoiada the leader of the Aaronides and with him 3,700; 29Zadok, a young mighty man of valor, with 22 commanders from his clan; 30from the sons of Benjamin, Saul’s kinsmen, 3,000 for up to that time the majority of them had kept their allegiance to Saul’s house; 31from the sons of Ephraim 20,800 valliant warriors, famous men in their clan; 32from the half-tribe of Manasseh 18,000 who were designated by name to come and make David king; 33from the sons of Issachar—men who know how to interpret the signs of the times to determine what Israel should do—200 chiefs with all their kinsmen under their command; 34from Zebulun 50,000 warriors prepared for battle, arrayed with all types of weapons of war and ready to give their undivided loyalty; 35from Naphtali 1,000 officers, along with 37,000 with shield and spear; 36from the Danites, 28,600 equipped for battle; 37from Asher 40,000 experienced warriors arrayed for battle; 38and from beyond the Jordan, from the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh 120,000 armed with every type of weapons of war. 39All these fighting men, prepared for the battle line, came to Hebron with a whole heart to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of Israel were also of one heart to make David king. 40So they were there with David three days, eating and drinking, for their kinsmen had given them provision. 41Moreover those who were near to them, from as far as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali, brought food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. There was flour, pressed figs, raisins, wine, oil, cattle, and sheep in abundance—for indeed, there was joy in Israel.

–from 1 Chronicles 12

Did you put your hope and trust in God? Did you praise Him? Did you list Him up? When we pursue after the things God puts into our hearts, He gives us the desire of our heart! Don’t worry about something – give it up to God! Ever worried for days and then when time came it was taken care of and you had worried for nothing?

Inheritance of the Kedoshim

1Of David. Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of them who do wrong. 2For like the grass they soon wither and fade like a green herb. 3Trust in Adonai and do good. Dwell in the land, feed on faithfulness. 4Delight yourself in Adonai, and He will give you the requests of your heart. 5Commit your way to Adonai. Trust in Him, and He will do it. 6He will bring out your vindication as light, and your cause will shine as noonday. 7Be still before Adonai and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret over one prospering in his way, over one carrying out wicked schemes. 8Put away anger and turn from wrath. Do not fret—it only leads to doing evil. 9For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for Adonai— they will inherit the land. 10Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more. Yes, you will look at his place, but he will not be there. 11But the meek will inherit the land, and delight in abundant shalom. 12The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes at him with his teeth. 13The Lord laughs at him— for He sees his day is coming. 14The wicked have unsheathed their sword and have bent their bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose conduct is upright. 15Their sword will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken. 16Better a little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked. 17For the arms of the wicked will be broken, while Adonai upholds the righteous. 18Adonai knows the days of the blameless— their inheritance endures forever. 19They will not be ashamed in an evil time and in days of famine they will be satisfied. 20For the wicked will perish, and the enemies of Adonai will be like the beauty of the fields— they will vanish—vanish like smoke. 21The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous is a gracious giver. 22For His blessed ones inherit the land. But those He curses will be cut off. 23From Adonai a man’s steps are made firm, when He delights in his way. 24Though he stumble, he will not fall headlong, for Adonai is holding his hand. 25I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous one forsaken, nor his children begging for bread. 26All day long he is gracious and lends. So his offspring will be a blessing. 27Turn from evil and do good, so you may live forever. 28For Adonai loves justice and does not abandon His godly ones. They will be preserved forever, but the seed of the wicked will be cut off. 29The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever. 30The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom and his tongue speaks justice. 31The Torah of his God is in his heart. His steps do not slip. 32The wicked lies in wait for the righteous, seeking to slay him. 33But Adonai will not leave him in his hand, or let him be condemned when judged. 34Wait for Adonai and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. 35I have seen a wicked, ruthless man flourishing like a leafy tree in native soil. 36But once he passed by, he was no more. Though I looked for him, he could not be found. 37Notice the man of integrity and watch the upright— for the man of shalom has a future. 38But transgressors will be destroyed altogether. The future of the wicked will be cut off. 39Yet the salvation of the righteous is from Adonai. He is their stronghold in time of trouble. 40Adonai helps them and delivers them. He rescues them from the wicked and saves them— because they take refuge in Him.

–from Psalms 37

Do you see what is going on around you? Do you wonder what is going on? Have you turned to God and asked? Have you asked Him to give you wisdom? Have you allowed His peace that goes beyond understanding to cover you? Have you obeyed His instructions? Do you realize it’s not over till He says it is over? Will you go and spread the good news? Will you share the hope that is within you?

The Son Is Risen!

1Now after Shabbat, as it began to dawn on the first day of the week, Miriam of Magdala and the other Miriam came to look at the tomb.
2And suddenly there was a great earthquake, for an angel of Adonai descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.
3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
4And those keeping watch were shaken for fear of him and became like dead men.
5But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know you are looking for Yeshua who was crucified.
6He is not here; for He is risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.
7Go quickly now and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead. And behold, He’s going before you to the Galilee. There you will see Him. See, I have told you!”
8They quickly left the tomb, with fear yet with great joy, and ran to bring news to His disciples.

The Good News Cannot Be Hidden

9And behold, Yeshua met them. “Shalom!” He said. They drew near, grasped his feet, and worshiped Him.
10“Don’t be afraid,” Yeshua said to them. “Go tell My brothers to head for the Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
11Now while they were going, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the ruling kohanim all that had happened.
12And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of silver to the soldiers,
13saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we were sleeping.’
14And if this is heard by the governor, we’ll appease him and keep you out of trouble.”
15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story was spread among the Judeans to this day.

Authority to Make Disciples Everywhere

16Now the eleven disciples went to the Galilee, to the mountain Yeshua had designated.
17When they saw Him, they worshiped; but some wavered.
18And Yeshua came up to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.
19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh,
20teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

–from Matthew 28

 

 

 

 

 

Enough of the grumbling! Will you trust Him? Will you remember all He has done for you?


Are you grumbling because you aren’t getting your way? It’s not happening the way you want? It’s not happening the way you expect? It’s not happening in the time you desired?

Do you trust God? Do you believe His plans are good? Do you remember how His timing is perfect? Are you grumbling rather than seeking God’s wisdom? Why?

Do you really want to be walking away from God rather than towards Him? Do you really want to be trying to go it alone rather than go it His way? How far off track do you really want to go? What kind of trouble do you want to get yourself into? Stop being self-centered and selfish and look to God for answers and wisdom and direction! Work on your relationship with Him! Develop your relationship with Him! And see how it will take you through the valley and to the mountain tops! When we go it or do it God’s way – there is victory!

If we will go it His way, His peace that goes beyond guard our hearts and mind! If we will go it His way out of obedience and trust, His grace will be enough! So let’s seek Him first and let Him take care of the rest!


Today’s reading starts with people grumbling because it’s not happening the way they expected or wanted…

Nuhushtan: Snake on a Pole

1When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked Israel and captured some of them. 2Then Israel vowed to Adonai and stated, “If you deliver this people into our hand, we will put their cities under the ban of destruction!” 3Adonai listened to Israel’s plea and delivered up the Canaanites. They put them and their cities under the ban of destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah. 4They travelled from Mount Hor along the route to the Sea of Reeds in order to go around the land of Edom. The spirit of the people became impatient along the way. 5The people spoke against God and Moses: “Why have you brought us from Egypt to die in the wilderness, because there is no bread, no water, and our very spirits detest the despicable food? 6So Adonai sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people and many of the people of Israel died. 7The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against Adonai and you! Pray to Adonai for us, that He may take away the snakes!” So Moses prayed for the people. 8Adonai said to Moses, “Make yourself a fiery snake and put it on a pole. Whenever anyone who has been bitten will look at it, he will live.” 9So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole, and it happened that whenever a snake bit anyone and he looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

Journey to Moab

10Bnei-Yisrael moved on and encamped at Oboth. 11Then they set out from Oboth and camped in Ije-abarim, in the wilderness facing Moab toward the sunrise. 12From there they set out and camped in the Wadi Zered. 13They set out from there and camped along the Arnon, which is in the wilderness extending into Amorite territory. The Arnon is also the border between Moab and the Amorites. 14Therefore, it is said in the Book of the Wars of Adonai, “…Vaheb in Suphah and the wadis of the Arnon, 15and the slope of the wadis that leads to the site of Ar and lie along the border of Moab—” 16And from there—on to Beer. This is the well where Adonai said to Moses, “Gather the people and I will give them water.” 17Then Israel sang this song, “Spring up, O well! Sing about it!” 18The well the princes dug, that the nobles of the people sank with their scepter and their staffs.” From the wilderness they went on to Mattanah. 19From Mattanah they went on to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20and from Bamoth to the valley in the field of Moab where the peak of Pisgah overlooks the wasteland.

Defeat of Sihon and Og

21Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites saying, 22“Permit us to pass through your land. We will not turn aside into field or vineyard nor drink water from the wells. We will travel on the king’s highway until we will have passed through your territory.” 23But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory. Instead, Sihon called out his entire army and marched out into the desert to oppose Israel. When he came to Jahaz, he fought against Israel. 24But Israel struck him by the sword’s edge and conquered his land from Arnon to Jabbok as far as the Ammonites, because the border of the sons of Ammon was fortified. 25Israel conquered all these cities and occupied all the Amorite cities, Heshbon and all its towns. 26Heshbon was the city of King Sihon of the Amorites, who had fought with the former king of Moab and had taken from his control all the land as far as the Arnon. 27Therefore the poets say, “Come to Heshbon! Let her be rebuilt! Let the city of Sihon be restored! 28For fire went out from Heshbon, a blaze from the city of Sihon! It consumed Ar of Moab, the masters of Arnon’s heights! 29Woe to you, O Moab! You have been destroyed, people of Chemosh! He has given up his sons as refugees and his daughters as captives to Sihon, king of the Amorites. 30But we overthrew them! Heshbon as far as Dibon is destroyed! We have demolished them as far as Nophah up to Medeba.” 31So Israel was living in the land of the Amorites. 32After Moses sent spies to Jazer, they captured her towns and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33Then they turned and went up the road to the Bashan. Og, king of the Bashan, went out to confront them, he and all his people, in battle at Edrei. 34Adonai said to Moses, “Do not fear him. I have given him with all his people and his land into your hand. You are to do to him just as you did to Sihon, the Amorite king who was living in Heshbon.” 35So they struck him and his sons and his entire army until no survivor was left to him, and they possessed his land.

-from Numbers 21

So let’s put our hope and trust in Jesus! Let’s allow Him to be our Lord and our Savior! Let’s allow His sacrifice to pay the ransom of our soul and then live in alignment and in relationship with Him for the rest of our lives! Let’s live to glorify God! Let’s live to testify to His great love for us! Let’s allow our lives to be living sacrifices that testify of His greatness!

Rich and Poor Alike

1For the music director: a psalm of the sons of Korah. 2Hear this, all you peoples. Give ear, all you inhabitants of the world, 3both low and high, rich and poor together. 4My mouth speaks wisdom, My heart’s meditation is understanding. 5I will turn my ear to a proverb. I will utter my riddle on the harp: 6Why should I fear in evil days? when the iniquity of my deceivers surrounds me? 7Or those trusting in their wealth, boasting about their great riches? 8No man can redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him. 9For the redemption of a soul is costly— so, one should stop trying forever. 10Will he live forever— and never see the Pit? 11Surely he must see, even wise men die. The fool and the brutish will alike perish, leaving their wealth to others. 12Their inward thought is: Their houses are eternal, their dwellings for generation after generation. They name their lands after themselves. 13But the pompous man will not endure— he is like the beasts that perish. 14Such is the way of the self-confident, and their followers who approve their sayings. Selah 15Like sheep they are destined for Sheol. Death will be their shepherd and the upright will rule over them in the morning. Their image will decay in Sheol— far from its lofty place. 16But God redeems my soul from the power of Sheol— for He receives me. Selah 17Do not be afraid when a man gets rich, when his house’s splendor increases. 18For when he dies he takes nothing away. His splendor will not follow him down. 19Though during his life he congratulates himself, and men praise you when you do well for yourself— 20He will still join his fathers’ company, who will never see the light. 21A pompous man, without understanding— he is like the beasts that perish.

–from Psalms 49

Don’t forget the past! Don’t repeat the past! Don’t be one who forgets the past and is doomed to repeat it! Learn from the past! Learn through the experience of others! Don’t feel like you have to figure it all out on your own! Do you really want to go through all the pain if someone else has already done it and can share their experiences with you? If you have gone through stuff, be willing to share it and prevent others from having to go through the pains you did. Do you think it is a good idea to test God? There is only 1 time/1 place in the Bible where God says to test Him and it is in the area of giving!

Warnings from History

1For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea. 2They all were immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3And all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink—for they were drinking from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the Rock was Messiah. 5Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert. 6Now these things happened as examples for us, so we wouldn’t crave evil things, just as they did. 7Do not be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8And let’s not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day 23,000 fell. 9And let’s not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were destroyed by serpents. 10And let’s not grumble, as some of them did—and were destroyed by the destroying angel. 11Now these things happened to them as an example, and it was written down as a warning to us—on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12Therefore let the one who thinks that he stands watch out that he doesn’t fall. 13No temptation has taken hold of you except what is common to mankind. But God is faithful—He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can handle. But with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so you will be able to endure it.

Feast with the Lord—Not with Idols

14Therefore, my dearly loved ones, flee from idolatry. 15I speak as to sensible people—judge for yourselves what I say. 16The cup of blessing that we bless—isn’t it a sharing of Messiah’s blood? The bread which we break—isn’t it a sharing of Messiah’s body? 17Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body—for we all partake of the one bread. 18Consider physical Israel. Those who eat the sacrifices—aren’t they partners in the altar? 19What am I saying then—that an idol sacrifice is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20No, I’m saying that what the pagans sacrifice is to demons and not to God, and I don’t want you to become partners with demons. 21You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we? 23“Everything is permitted”—but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permitted”—but not everything builds up. 24Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, without raising questions of conscience. 26For “the earth is the Lord’s, and its fullness.” 27If an unbeliever invites you over and you want to go, eat whatever is set before you, without raising questions of conscience. 28But if anyone says to you, “This is from an idol sacrifice,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29not your own conscience, I mean, but the other person’s. For why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I give thanks for? 31Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give no offense either to Jewish or Greek people or to God’s community—33just as I also try to please everyone in everything, not seeking my own benefit but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved.

–from 1 Corinthians 10