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.

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?

We each have baggage we carry around with us.


What are you carrying with you today? Does it cause triggers in your life based on past experiences? Are you carrying too much? Have you been able to learn from the painful experiences and move on or are you carrying them around and weighing yourself down and holding yourself back? Do you realize that carrying around too much baggage can negatively impact the life you are trying to live? Do you realize that when you start carrying around too much old stuff around you limit the amount of new things you are able to pick up? Are you ready to get rid of any of it?

Do you realize that baggage like physical abuse can cause you to physically avoid others, become too affectionate, become too demanding, and even cause poor self-esteem?

Do you realize that baggage like neglect can cause tiredness, global delays, begging and stealing, hording, and poor hygiene?

Do you realize that baggage like sexual abuse can cause you to have baby like behaviors, have poor relationships, unwillingness to participate in activities, over cautious, reluctance to shower or change clothes, act more sexually, bed wetting, and even nightmares?

Do you realize that baggage like emotional abuse can cause self-destructive behavior, stunted emotional growth, disorganized behaviors, compulsive behaviors, over anxious, tantrums, relational issues like difficulties making friends, and fear of failure?

Have you had any of them? Have you avoided dealing with them? Are you walking around carrying too much baggage because you haven’t wanted to or haven’t decided to resolve or attack the issue or problem or experience? Are you allowing your baggage to rule your life?

Could today be the day you decide to make a positive change in and for your life? Are you ready to take back control and not let the past hold you back or define you? Are you ready to start fresh, leave the past where it belongs behind you, carry the lessons you learned without all the baggage, and move forward into a new day? Would you be willing to let go of that baggage and leave it behind? Would you be willing to let the past pains and experiences go so that you won’t let them define you anymore?

Could today be the day you decide to make a positive change in and for your life? Are you ready to stop being stuck emotionally distancing yourself from others? Are you ready to stop being stuck with commitment issues? Are you ready to stop being stuck because of avoidance or being preoccupied? Are you ready to stop being stuck because of fear; fear of being alone, fear of getting hurt, fear of depending on someone else, fear of abandonment, or even fear of being undervalued? Are you ready to stop being stuck paranoid of what everyone is going to think about or do to you? Are you ready to stop being stuck projecting your thoughts and experiences on to other people? Are you ready to let it go before it anchors you down?

Let’s make the decision to let go and move forward so that we don’t end up impacting our families. Let’s make the decision to let go and move forward so that we don’t end up living our lives in fear. Let’s make the decision to let go and move forward so that we don’t end up living our lives in guilt. Let’s make the decision to let go and move forward so that we don’t end up living our lives in regret. Let’s make the decision to let go and move forward so that we don’t end up living our lives in anger. Let’s make the decision to let go and move forward so that we don’t end up living our lives in negativity.

So what baggage are you carrying around today? How much baggage are you carrying around today? What impact is that baggage having on you? How are you packaging it? Are you able to sort it out? Are you putting in more? Are you taking some out? Have you found ways to get around with it?


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


Excess Baggage


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’

Hebrews 12:1-2

Let’s take a different look at this using the Amplified translation:

‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work]. Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. ‘

Hebrews 12:1-3

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What type of gear do you have that will help you today?
  • Is your luggage packed with things that will help you get ahead or hold you back?
  • Is it enough to get you through the day?
  • Is it too much and it will hold you back today?
  • Is it the right stuff to help you make it step by step through the day?
  • Consider your inventory and consider if you have the best, the right, the optimum gear for your day.
  • Life is like a long distance run! It’s not a sprint!
  • Just like Olympic marathon runners, we need to take the race seriously and plan accordingly.
  • Just like Olympic marathon runners, we need to reduce the amount of baggage we will carry with us in order to win the race.
  • Just like Olympic marathon runners, we need to even consider the smaller things as well as the most critical items and how to optimize them for the journey.
  • In this life is your baggage something that you have been neglecting? finances? health? family?
  • Is your life being weighed down by the sinful nature causing disobedience that weighs us down with guilt and keeps us from the vision God’s purposed for our lives?
  • Do you realize what is holding you back?
  • Do you realize what is weighing you down?
  • Can you identify it so that you can then work on fixing or addressing them?
  • Imagine if we disconnected from the anchors holding us back. Imagine if we disconnected from the baggage weighing us down. Imagine how much further we could go and how much faster we could go.
  • Let’s set our eyes on Jesus!
  • Let’s decide to give it over to Him!
  • Let’s exchange our sorrows and our pains for the joy of the Lord!
  • Let’s exchange our sins for His righteousness!
  • Let’s decide to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior in order that we can exchange the yoke we are carrying for the yoke He offers us!
    • ‘ “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.”’
      Matthew 11:28-30
  • Let’s decide that we will go it with God!
  • Let’s decide that we will go it for God!
  • Let’s decide that we will go after His plans and His purposes for our lives!
  • Let’s decide to be able to run faster after His purpose and plans for our lives!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some things that are slowing you down in your race of faith?
  • What are you going to do today about those things?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“It is cynicism and fear that freezes life; it is faith that thaws it out, releases it, and sets it free.”

Harry Emerson Fosdick

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Psalms 130 (Call out to God in your times of need)
  • Psalms 131 (Are you content?)
  • Psalms 132 (Are you ready to find a place for God in your heart and your life?)

So where are you at today? Are you ready to offload some of your baggage? Are you ready to start being able to walk upright? Are you ready to start being able to live your life released from the past and free to move forward? Are you ready for a peace that surpasses all understanding? 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 difference between Detainment and Incarceration? True Freedom!


This morning as I was riding my stationary bike, reading Rev. Earl Smith‘s Death Row Chaplain book the comparison of these two words came up in the chapter titled Project IMPACT. It gave me one of those aha moments when you realize that there are so many people living life incarcerated because of the pain, the suffering, the abuse, the rage, the addiction, and rejecting God. There are people all around us today who are living a life incarcerated because they are imprisoned in their mind and spirit. The aha moment that you don’t have to be in trouble, in prison, in detention at school, in solitary confinement, locked up to be incarcerated.

Let’s consider the definition of the two words and discover the commonalities and the differences.

Detainment:

noun form of detain
detain
[dəˈtān]
VERB
keep (someone) from proceeding; hold back.
"she made to open the door, but he detained her"
synonyms:
delay · hold up · make late · retard · keep (back) · slow up · slow down · set back · get bogged down · hinder · hamper · impede · obstruct
keep (someone) in official custody, typically for questioning about a crime or in politically sensitive situations.
"she was detained without trial for two years"
synonyms:
imprison · jail · incarcerate · send to prison · put behind bars · put under lock and key · put in chains · put/throw into irons · clap in irons · hold captive · remand · intern · impound · immure · shut up · shut in · confine · cage · pen · coop up · fence in · pen in · wall in · mew (up) · send down · put away · put inside
Screenshot of the definition of detainment from an online search

Incarceration:

NOUN
the state of being confined in prison; imprisonment.
"the public would not be served by her incarceration"
synonyms:
imprisonment · internment · confinement · detention · custody · captivity · restraint · penal servitude · hard labor · time · porridge · chokey · durance · duress
Screenshot of the definition of incarceration from an online search

It is interesting to see how the dictionary definition defines the words above.

Now let’s reflect on the synonyms for incarceration and how they can apply to people who aren’t locked up physically but are being limited in what and how they are able to live their lives. We can be imprisoned without being in prison. We can be interned without being in prison. We can confine ourselves without being in prison. We can be restrained without being in prison. We can be put into servitude without being in prison. We can be under duress without being in prison.

As I read Rev. Earl Smith’s book this morning and the reality of physical vs emotional and spiritual state was quite powerful. The emotional and spiritual pieces that cause us to be incarcerated without being in prison require an encounter with God to be set free. The emotional and spiritual pieces that cause us to be incarcerated without being in prison require for us to become accountable to ourselves and to God, to forgive ourselves and be forgiven by God, and then to start living our lives on purpose, with purpose, to fulfill God’s will for our lives! In so doing, our spirit and mind are free, no matter what our physical situation may be. He share in the book that their are people who get out of prison and yet are still incarcerated and there are others who are in prison but have been set free and although they are being detained by human standards, they have been set free and are no longer incarcerated thanks to their decision to become accountable, to forgive and be forgiven, and to pursue a life in accordance to God’s will for them.

So how about you? Where are you reading or listening to this post from? Is it from a place of detention or freedom? Is it from a place of incarceration or true freedom? For who the Lord sets free is free indeed! It was such a powerful message and such a powerful truth! It spoke to moments that mattered for so many of those people in San Quentin – the ones who eventually got out after paying their time as well as those who were set free spiritually but ended their time on earth in prison.

Are you dealing with accountability issues? Are you dealing with forgiveness issues? Are you living according to God’s will for your life? What would it take for you make such a decision and break free from being incarcerated? The decision or choice is yours to make! Nobody except you can decide to take the steps to become free! Do you want to be truly free? Would you be willing to receive the gift of grace that is Jesus in order to get it? Do you realize that it just takes your decision to call on Jesus? Are you ready to call on the name of the Lord and be saved? Could today be your day?


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


Paybacks


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 31:23

‘Oh, love the Lord , all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you want good news or bad news?
  • What if the news was the same and based on your choice or decision, it could end up being good or bad?
  • The News: “God gives people what they deserve.”
  • Paul teaches the Corinthian church:
    • ‘Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.’ — I Corinthians 3:12-15
  • John shares the vision from Revelation:
    • ‘Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.’ — Revelation 20:11-15
  • We learn from these two examples:
    • Through Paul, we learn how we will be rewarded for all of eternity for the things we did to honor god and that everything we did for selfish desires will get burned up and turn to ashes. Going thru the fire, the good will last and the bad will get burn up, like in a smelting process through the furnace.
    • Through John, we learn how at the judgment seat believers will be rewarded for eternity but unbelievers will be punished for eternity.
  • The choices we make today will make a difference in eternity.
  • The choices we make today will be graded on what type of a steward we have been with our lives.
  • How will you use your talents?
    • ‘“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’’ — Matthew 25:14-30
  • When you get called to the judgment seat, which side will you be separated into?
    • ‘“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”’ — Matthew 25:31-46
  • Will you make wise or foolish decisions?
    • ‘“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘ No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.’ — Matthew 25:1-13
  • Will you make the decision before it is too late? We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow!
  • So if you were to receive your report card of life today, how would it impact your eternity?
  • In this life, God rewards our faithfulness.
  • Remember why Jesus came the first time? He is coming back for a different purpose but let’s take hold of the reason He came the first time!
    • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.‘ — John 3:16-17
    • ‘Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”’ — John 10:7-18
  • Today’s devotional speaks to the how our choices in this life will cause us to receive what we deserve when it says:
  • We even see in Jesus’ words how even giving a cup of water in His name will have a reward:
    • ‘“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”’ — Matthew 10:40-42
  • So let’s make our choices wisely because we will receive from God what we deserve.
  • Will you make the choice to spend eterntiy with God or the choice to spend eternity apart from God?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How does God’s grace fit into the teaching about God paying people back?
  • God’s grace is enough. He is the God of the second chance.
  • Will we choose to receive the gift of grace through Jesus Christ in order to get to spend eternity with God.
  • We each get to choose to receive Jesus or not and based on that it will impact our eternal destination.
  • Where do you want to get as your final destination?
What choices do you need to make so that you’ll get a good report card on that day when you stand before Christ?
  • Invite Jesus into our hearts and allow Him to be our Lord and Savior.
  • Take accountability for what we have done, choose to forgive ourselves and receive God’s forgiveness and then live out our lives in alignment to God’s will.
  • Be a good steward with the gifts and talents God has given you – invest in them and multiply them and use them for the glory of God!
  • We need to forgive others as God has forgiven us.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

If you are sincere, praise is effective. If you are insincere, it is manipulative.

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Are you ready to be free? Are you living free? Are you wanting to be free? Will you choose to and decide to do what is necessary to be set free?

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?