THRIVE: Happy Father’s Day!


As the day begins and I consider all that today means there are so many things. Today is commissioning day where the team and I will be prayed for in preparation for the camps this summer. Today is a Sunday and so I will get to hear the preaching of the Word of God. Today is Father’s Day and I am blessed to have a great dad who has been a great role model for me. I reflect back to the moment when I had the aha moment about having a relationship with my Heavenly Father. To thrive requires relationship building! Be it building relationships through reconciliation! Be it building relationships through forgiveness! Be it building relationships through spending time together! All successful ministries come through relationships!

So today, let’s thrive and make the most of our day, accomplishing the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish for our good and His glory!


Today’s verse of the day:

‘As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; ‘

Psalms 103:13

Are you needing compassion today? Are you needing to give it or receive it? Are you ready to accept it or offer it? Could today be the day to rekindle a relationship out of compassion? Could today be the day to strengthen or rebuild a relationship out of compassion? Could today be the day to start a relationship out of compassion?


Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 18


Are you needing compassion? Are you needing reconciliation? Are you needing forgiveness? Let’s get it started today by inviting Jesus into our hearts and our lives! Let’s get it started by allowing the Holy Spirit to clean out the negativity and gunk of the past so that we can receive and give compassion! Let’s get it started by allowing the Holy Spirit to clean out the negativity and gunk of the past so that we can receive and give reconciliation! Let’s get it started by allowing the Holy Spirit to clean out the negativity and gunk of the past so that we can receive and give forgiveness!

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

Let’s Pray!

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

THRIVE: Let’s build on what we’ve got!


What an incredible first week. Hit the ground running and got to learn and hear from the teams. What an incredible group of people who are passionate and care about delivering for our customers. What an incredible group of leaders with vision and purpose that will elevate and bring things to another level. There is still a lot to learn and a lot to do and so this week the plan is to build upon what we have and move forward in order to thrive for the glory of God!

Today we’ll take the lessons learned, the existing tools, and wisdom and discernment from God to press forward boldly and courageously to accomplish the purpose and plans of God in and through this day. Today we’ll take the solid foundation that is Jesus as the rock on which to build our lives and put on the full armor of God be ready to stand up for what is right and step into what God has purposed and planned! Today we’ll finish the good works that God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish so that when others see it they will glorify and worship our Father in heaven. Let’s choose to live out our today in a way that we can thrive for the glory of God!

Thrive!
Living for the glory of God!

Verse of the Day:

‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. ‘

Romans 3:23-24

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Kill the Noise – Day 6


Are you ready to build your life upon Jesus? Are you ready to receive Him as your Lord and Savior? Are you ready to be able to put the past where it belongs, behind you? Are you ready to press towards the goal that is before you so that you can live your life in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory? Are you ready to accomplish the good works God has prepared in advance for you today?

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

Let’s Pray!

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

Think before you speak! Words have power!


No matter what you are facing today, you can choose your words in a way that make a positive impact. No matter what comes your way, you can choose your words in a way that will make things better. No matter what gets said to you, you can choose to respond in a way that won’t drag you down and could turn things around.

Words have power! Will you choose words that will build up or tear down? Will you choose words so that they won’t corrupt you nor the situation but rather choose words that will build up and encourage? Will you choose words carefully so that when the day of judgment comes you won’t have a list of careless words you need to account for? Will you choose words that speak life rather than death? Will you choose words that will encourage one another and build one another up? Before you speak, will you allow the words to be run through the filter that is Jesus so that you will have the wisdom needed, you will receive the teaching and and direction you need, and so that you can be thankful at the end of it? Will you encourage one another because it is today? Will you pause before you speak and then make sure to be gracious and speak words seasoned with salt in order ensure you can answer each person as you should? Will you consider how to choose words that will stir up one another to love and do good works? Before you speak, check your heart and make sure it is in a good place for from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Is there anything in your heart that needs to be taken care of to prevent something negative, hurtful, or destructive from coming out of your mouth? Is there someone you need to forgive in order to uproot a root of bitterness? Is there someone you need to forgive in order to uproot a root of hatred? a root of anger? or others? Even with good intentions if we aren’t in the right frame of mind we might not be able to control our tongues and hence drive right off the road through our conversations.

So think before you speak! Make sure that you aren’t allowing emotions to derail the conversation. Make sure that you aren’t allowing hurts from the past to be put on people who don’t deserve them or that will make things worse for yourself. Let’s choose our words wisely! Let’s choose good words rather than corrupt ones! Let’s choose words that can teach, train, and enlighten! Let’s choose words that can give and demonstrate grace and mercy! Let’s choose words that will bring joy to God rather than hurt, wound, or cause pains!

What do you have to say today? Do you remember what the Bible says about speaking today? Check this out:

But continually encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “Today” [and there is an opportunity], so that none of you will be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [its cleverness, delusive glamour, and sophistication].

Hebrews 3:13 AMP

Let’s do everything in our power to make today a Happy Today!

The Bible gives us one more tip as much as it depends on us that says:

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Romans 12:18

So, just in case you didn’t know it, it is TODAY!

In case you didn’t know it, what you say and how you respond DEPENDS ON YOU!

So let’s make today great! Let’s choose our words wisely! Let’s make a difference to each life we come in contact with today, to each person God brings along our path, so that in and through it all God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name!


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


Words You Can Build On


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. ‘

Ephesians 4:29-30

Let’s expand on this a bit to ensure we capture the full context and capture the Amplified translation too.

‘ Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another. [Zech. 8:16.] When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]. Let the thief steal no more, but rather let him be industrious, making an honest living with his own hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need. Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin). Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind). And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.’

Ephesians 4:25-32

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Words have power!
  • Words have power to heal and to destroy!
  • Words have power to build up and to tear down!
  • Corrupt words have the power of a sledge hammer to crush people! Words of condemnation! Name calling!
  • Gossiping words have the power to destroy and corrode! Ruins relationships! Ruins confidence!
  • We learn through Paul’s words how we need to cut out these harmful, hurtful, destructive words from our vocabulary and behavior!
  • We learn through Paul’s words how we need to replace these negative words with words that will build up, heal, and be helpful!
  • We can’t control what others do or say but we can control ourselves and our responses!
  • Let’s choose today to raise the bar on how we speak to meet God’s bar!
  • Let’s choose today to up level our conversations so that when we speak we are speaking out of love and holiness for each person!
  • Let’s choose to up level our words to speak affirmation to others based on the good we find in them!
  • Let’s choose to up level our words to speak celebrate others for their successes!
  • Let’s choose to up level our words so that when we face people who have hurt us that we choose our words in order to bring reconciliation and restoration rather than destruction and condemnation!
  • Let’s make sure our motives are pure!
  • Let’s check our hearts and ask God to search it and cleanse it so that when we speak there won’t be any of that old bad stuff coming out of our mouth because of what is left behind in our hearts.
  • Let’s choose to speak in a way that has impact for the good!
  • Let’s choose our words so that they both impact our relationship with others as well as our relationship with God!
  • Let’s check our words with the Holy Spirit before we allow them out of our mouth and discover we ended up grieving the Holy Spirit.
  • Let’s choose words that will make God smile today!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What negative, harmful language do you need to stop using?
  • Think of three or four common conversations in which you often use crushing or corrosive language, and plan positive statements for each one.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

If it is painful for you to criticize your friends, you are safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that’s the time to hold your tongue.

Alice Duer Miller

“When you exercise your freedom to express yourself at the lowest level, you ultimately condemn yourself to live at that level.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at? Are you able to control your words? Are you able to speak truth in love? Are you able to speak life and encouragement? Do you need help in this area? Do you need to check your heart and look to bring health and healing there? Could today be turning point? Could day be your day? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Does your reputation need a rebrand?


When you think about your reputation what comes to mind? What do people believe about you? What do people think about you? What habits do they believe you have? What characteristics do they believe you have? Does it line up with who you want to be? Does it align with who God wants you to be? Does it align with who God says you are? Do you need your reputation to be rebranded? refreshed? renewed? refined?

Who does God say you are?

‘ For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.’ — John 3:16

you are loved!

‘ SEE WHAT [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.’ — 1 John 3:1

you are His!

‘ The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.’ — Zephaniah 3:17

you are worthy!

‘ For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.’ — Jeremiah 29:11

you are purposed!

‘ In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor,’ — Ephesians 1:7

you are redeemed!

So will you decide to live up to your calling? Will you decide to live up to your purpose? Will you decide to live up to your worth? Will you decide to live up to being a child of God? Will you decide to live like you are redeemed? The decision is yours? Are you being a reflection of Jesus to the world around you? Are you being Jesus with skin on to the people God brings across your path? Are you being His hands, His feet, His arms? Or do you need a reset so that you can rebrand and refine your reputation?


today’s devotional…


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


Refining your Reputation


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, And a man is valued by what others say of him.’

Proverbs 27:21

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Has your reputation ever been unfairly tarnished?
  • Was it caused by gossip or manipulation?
  • When you consider what the majority of the people think though, what does your reputation look like?
  • When you contemplate the reality of your reputation is it a good thing or a bad thing?
  • What is the general opinion about you point to?
  • Is it going to take some heat and refining to get you to the next level?
  • Is it going to take some removal of some pieces like the dross and sludge that is removed as part of the precious metal refining process?
  • Let’s allow other people’s opinion of us be the fire that will help the impurities float to the top so that they can be skimmed off gradually!
  • Let’s allow the noble things to stay and the selfish things to be removed!
  • Let’s allow the good things to stay and the bad things to be removed!
  • Let’s be wise to evaluate the feedback, the reports, the messages about us by accepting them and implementing a change process to get better! (ex. Be more assertive)
  • Let’s allow the fire to complete the purification process rather than trying to be removed from the fire by using excuses or the blame game and miss out on the lessons we can learn and benefits from the criticism.
  • A good reputation takes time to earn!
  • Let’s pay attention to other’s opinion of us!
  • Let’s make sure to way everyone’s opinion though and not get tripped up by bad intentions or motives!
  • Look for wise people to give you feedback!
  • Consider discounting the value (don’t take at full value) the feedback of gossips, angry, bitter or even those who are trying to use flattery to manipulate you.
  • Stay in the heat! Learn the lessons! Let God us the fire to purify your heart!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How do you respond to criticism?
  • Depends…
  • sometime try to come up with justification or excuses
  • sometimes try to explain or reject
  • when it is from someone I trust, I take it to heart for real consideration
Who are the people you trust to tell you the truth?
  • Wife
  • Friend
  • Many of my managers

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“To disregard what the world thinks of us is not only arrogant but utterly shameless.”

Marcus T. Cicero (c. 106-43BC)

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So who can you trust to get a real evaluation? Who can you ask for real feedback? How will you choose to respond? How will you be transformed? How will you be refined? How will you be renewed? How will you be rebranded? Might it take some humility and grace? Might it take some apologies and forgiveness? Might it take deciding and taking a stand?

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?


How will you start the rebuilding?


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Tongue

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

The Wisdom from Above

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

–James 3

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

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

God’s Call and Choice

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

Eyewitnesses of Christ’s Glory

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

–2 Peter 1

 


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

It’s time to return! It’s time to rebuild!


Have you been seeing what is taking place? Have you been seeing the conflicts? Have you been seeing the wondering? Have you been seeing the division? Have you been seeing the attacks? Have you been seeing the pull? Have you been seeing the instigators?

Are you going away? Are you going to return? Are you going to help unify? Are you going to help restore? Are you going to help rebuild?

Today’s reading made me ponder where we are as a people around the world. Today’s reading made me ponder where we are as a people as a country. And it makes me pray that we will find a way to come together and unify with God! It makes me pray that we will stick with God and not be lured away from the truth and the reality and stand with God! Let’s be prepared! Let’s get prepared! Let’s not be surprised but rather let’s be prepared! Jesus has provided us with direction! Jesus has provided us with instruction! Jesus has provided us a way!

Today’s reading begins with Ezra 3…

Rebuilding the Altar

1When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, the people assembled together as one in Jerusalem. 2Then Joshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. 3Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices. 4Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Festival of Tabernacles with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day. 5After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings, the New Moon sacrifices and the sacrifices for all the appointed sacred festivals of the Lord, as well as those brought as freewill offerings to the Lord. 6On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, though the foundation of the Lordʼs temple had not yet been laid.

Rebuilding the Temple

7Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters, and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs by sea from Lebanon to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia.
8In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak and the rest of the people (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work. They appointed Levites twenty years old and older to supervise the building of the house of the Lord. 9Joshua and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviah) and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers—all Levites—joined together in supervising those working on the house of God.
10When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David king of Israel. 11With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:

“He is good;
his love toward Israel endures forever.”

And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.

–Ezra 3

It won’t be easy and there will be opposition! There will always be naysayers! There will always be those who try to cause division! There will always be those who don’t want to see God’s will accomplished! But will you stand up! Will you stand for something rather than falling for anything? This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s not be distracted but rather let’s accomplish the will of God and complete the good work that He has prepared in advance for us to do!

Do not be discouraged! Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Yes there will be many who will try to discourage you! Yes there will be many who will try to stop you! Yes there will be many who will try to keep you from completing the work God has given you to do! Do not be deceived!

Today’s reading continues with Ezra 4…

Opposition to the Rebuilding

1When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, 2they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.”
3But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.”
4Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. 5They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Later Opposition Under Xerxes and Artaxerxes

6At the beginning of the reign of Xerxes, they lodged an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
7And in the days of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his associates wrote a letter to Artaxerxes. The letter was written in Aramaic script and in the Aramaic language.
8Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows:
9Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary, together with the rest of their associates—the judges, officials and administrators over the people from Persia, Uruk and Babylon, the Elamites of Susa, 10and the other people whom the great and honorable Ashurbanipal deported and settled in the city of Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates.
11(This is a copy of the letter they sent him.)
To King Artaxerxes,
From your servants in Trans-Euphrates:
12The king should know that the people who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem and are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are restoring the walls and repairing the foundations.
13Furthermore, the king should know that if this city is built and its walls are restored, no more taxes, tribute or duty will be paid, and eventually the royal revenues will suffer. 14Now since we are under obligation to the palace and it is not proper for us to see the king dishonored, we are sending this message to inform the king, 15so that a search may be made in the archives of your predecessors. In these records you will find that this city is a rebellious city, troublesome to kings and provinces, a place with a long history of sedition. That is why this city was destroyed. 16We inform the king that if this city is built and its walls are restored, you will be left with nothing in Trans-Euphrates.
17The king sent this reply:
To Rehum the commanding officer, Shimshai the secretary and the rest of their associates living in Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates:
Greetings.
18The letter you sent us has been read and translated in my presence. 19I issued an order and a search was made, and it was found that this city has a long history of revolt against kings and has been a place of rebellion and sedition. 20Jerusalem has had powerful kings ruling over the whole of Trans-Euphrates, and taxes, tribute and duty were paid to them. 21Now issue an order to these men to stop work, so that this city will not be rebuilt until I so order. 22Be careful not to neglect this matter. Why let this threat grow, to the detriment of the royal interests?
23As soon as the copy of the letter of King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum and Shimshai the secretary and their associates, they went immediately to the Jews in Jerusalem and compelled them by force to stop.
24Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

–Ezra 4

It isn’t going to be easy! We will need to be patient! We are to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! As we were taught, 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Don’t lose hope! Don’t worry! In this world we will have troubles! We have been told what is to come! We have also been given hope before Jesus has already won! “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

So let’s walk in love! Let’s remember what love is!

68431-loveispatient

Let’s remember that God is Love! And how God desires for His love to be shone thru us to the world around us! Let’s live that we could replace the word love above with our names so that in and thru our lives Jesus will be glorified and people’s lives will be transformed!

Today’s reading again cries out to rebuild! Why not put God first! Why not pursue His purposes and His ways! Why not live lives worthy of God! Why not glorify God! Why don’t you return to God! Return to God and pursue His ways! Don’t you want His presence to be with you and the nation?

A Call to Build the House of the Lord

1In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest:
2This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lordʼs house.’ ”
3Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
5Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
7This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
12Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.
13Then Haggai, the Lordʼs messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. 14So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.

The Promised Glory of the New House

In the second year of King Darius,

–Haggai 1

and continues…shall we not live under His blessings…shall we not return to Him and His ways!

1on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 2“Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, 3‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? 4But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 5‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’
6“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. 8‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 9‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

Blessings for a Defiled People

10On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Haggai: 11“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Ask the priests what the law says: 12If someone carries consecrated meat in the fold of their garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, olive oil or other food, does it become consecrated?’ ”
The priests answered, “No.”
13Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?”
“Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled.”
14Then Haggai said, “ ‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares the Lord. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.
15“ ‘Now give careful thought to this from this day on—consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the Lordʼs temple. 16When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty. 17I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not return to me,’ declares the Lord. 18‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the Lordʼs temple was laid. Give careful thought: 19Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.
“ ‘From this day on I will bless you.’ ”

Zerubbabel the Lordʼs Signet Ring

20The word of the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: 21“Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother.
23“ ‘On that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

–Haggai 2

Have you talked with God? Have you discussed your purpose? Have you discussed His plans? Are you aligning to them? Are you receptive to them? What would it take for you to receive it? What would you take to be obedient to it? Will you prepare in advance? Will you not wander to and fro not sure of what is next?

Let’s close with today’s reading from the New Testament and focus our thoughts on God’s Word and how we can make a difference today…Will you receive Jesus today?

1Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.”
6And he says in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
7During the days of Jesusʼ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Warning Against Falling Away

11We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of Godʼs word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

–Hebrews 5