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: We need to … and we get to!


Are you ready to go from surviving to thriving? Are you willing to go from surviving to thriving? Are you able to go from surviving to thriving? If not now then when? If not here then where? If not you then who? Let’s get it started now! Let’s be the catalyst that we need to be so that we can thrive for the glory of God!

Are you ready to adjust your calendar so that you can be healthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually and grow vigorously? Are you ready to do what it takes to be healthy in order to be able to flourish? Are you ready to take a stand for what is good, what is right, and what is just so that you can take new ground regardless of your circumstances? Are you ready to lean in and trust God more than your own understanding? Are you ready to not give up and persevere through the struggles in order to make it to the breakthrough? Are you ready to choose unity at the speed of health? Are you ready to have a do-over if you messed up? Are you ready to reconcile and work towards forgiveness? Are you ready to be able to walk in the freedom Jesus paid for on Good Friday on the cross? Are you ready to come out the other side with the power and the promise of the resurrection? Let’s choose to be the difference! Let’s choose to make a difference! Let’s choose the be part of the solution rather than allowing ourselves to do nothing or worse be a part of the problem!

Let’s choose to thrive for the glory of God!


Verse of the Day:

‘We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. ‘

Isaiah 53:6

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Kill the Noise – Day 4


It’s Saturday after Good Friday, are you ready to receive and believe and live? It’s Saturday before Easter Sunday, are you ready to receive and believe and live? It’s today, thousands of years after Jesus paid the price to allow us the choice to be forgiven and reconciled to God, are you ready to receive and believe and live? We all have free will and we all get to make the choice for ourselves. We get to choose to live a life in a relationship with God or apart from God. We get to choose to live a life that will end with us getting to spend eternity with God or apart from God. Will you choose today to invite Jesus in so that you can be forgiven, reconciled, and start living a life in a relationship with Him for now and into eternity?

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."

THRIVE: Happy Good Friday!


Can you believe how fast this week has gone? Can you believe all the people you’ve met? Can you believe all the experiences you’ve had? Can you believe all the changes you’ve been hearing about? Can you believe the difference a week can make? Can you believe it’s Friday already? Can you believe it’s Good Friday? Can you believe we are heading into Easter weekend to celebrate God taking things into His own hands to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way? Can you believe how much God must love us and want a relationship with us to have given up His one and only Son as the ultimate sacrifice to make a way for us to be reconciled and forgiven? Can you believe how much God loves you and me that He realized we could never pay the price or make a way on our own and so He sent His one and only Son, not to condemn the world but that through Him we could find salvation? Let’s make today count! Let’s make today be Happy! Let’s make today be Good! Let’s have a great Friday on this Good Friday!!


Verse of the Day:

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ‘

John 3:16

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Kill the Noise – Day 3


Let’s remember how much God loves us! Let’s remember how much God has done for us! Let’s grab hold of the reality that no matter what happens, we can trust in God! So today let’s invite Jesus into our very situation and keep our hope and trust and focus on Him! Let’s invite Him into our hearts so that it can be filled to overflowing with love, hope, and faith that we will be able to pour out into the lives of those around us.

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!

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

THRIVE: How much change needs to happen for thriving to begin?


As my workday was coming to a close yesterday I got a message for a late meeting/call. It was to discuss that there would be more change. It wasn’t a surprise to me based on where things were at but it is still a change and a feeling of loss. One more layer is being peeled off. One more layer is being taken away. One more step towards the impact or the outcome of change. So what is or will be next?

Today’s verse of the day comes to us from 2 Corinthians 5:17 and says:

‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! ‘

2 Corinthians 5:17

It points to the importance of Jesus! It points to the importance of inviting Him into our hearts, our lives, and our every situation. It points beyond knowing Jesus or knowing about Jesus and moves to having a living relationship with Him. Its not about rituals and routines but rather about an intimate relationship with Jesus. When we start this relationship a transformation takes place. God creates a new heart in us. God creates a new mind in us. God creates a new us, a new creation where the old ways of thinking, seeing, acting, and being are gone and a new way o life has begun.

Are you living this new life yet? Do you have a relationship with Jesus yet? Are you looking for a change? Are you looking for a new way? Are you looking for a better way? Invite Jesus in today! 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.

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Finding Dad – Day3.


So we made it to the first Wednesday of 2022. Some call it hump day – let’s consider it the day we decided to forgive and reconcile!


Is there a bump in your road today? Is today a hump day for you? What is causing it to have a bump? What is making it a hump day? And no it has nothing to do with camels. This week has been very interesting as we start it with a theme of REVIVE and the year with a theme of THRIVE. This week has also been interesting during this week of prayer and fasting that we started with repentance and our need to turn back to God, we then moved to renewal which we need each day, and today we step up and step into the topic of reconciliation.

Do you realize that it is God’s heart to reconcile relationships? Do you realize that the number one enemy or deterrent to relationships is sin? Sin brings distance and destruction to relationships that were meant to be close and life-giving. We find it in God’s Word where we read in 2 Corinthians 5:19 and so we can pray as it says in the Amplified version tells us:

‘But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him], that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God]. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us; we [as Christ’s representatives] plead with you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. ‘

2 Corinthians 5:18-20

The only way we can be reconciled to God is through the forgiveness of our sins and the peace that comes from Jesus. Forgiveness opens the door to reconciliation. I remember a time when I resisted forgiving some people who had wronged me and it put me into a downward spiral of bitterness, anger, frustration, and more. It took nearly hitting rock bottom before I was ready to turn back and forgive them. I remember the song 7×70 coming on the radio and God starting the process in me. He started with having me forgive others like Jesus taught in Matthew 5:23-24 where it says:

‘So if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and while there you remember that your brother has something [such as a grievance or legitimate complaint] against you, leave your offering there at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come and present your offering. ‘

Matthew 5:23-24

As I was finishing this then God’s Word came to me again that “as I forgive others God will forgive me” and so looking at Mark 11:25, we read:

‘Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [drop the issue, let it go], so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions and wrongdoings [against Him and others]. ‘

Mark 11:25

It was incredible the feeling that happened after asking God to forgive me as He had been speaking to me since the beginning that I needed to forgive them. Each time I had excuses why I shouldn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t. During my commute, each song that played spoke to me to forgive them. It took a lot of energy to resist it and not do it. I learned how not forgiving them was like taking poison and expecting them to die, it doesn’t work. So the key is first to forgive them as it is the cure to your heart and mind pains and brings a peace that surpasses all understanding. I remember that moment where I had forgiven others and asked God to forgive me and the weight that was lifted from my shoulders.

Let’s grab onto a few additional scriptures from Romans as we step into prayer:

‘For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more certain, having been reconciled, that we will be saved [from the consequences of sin] by His life [that is, we will be saved because Christ lives today]. Not only that, but we also rejoice in God [rejoicing in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received and enjoy our reconciliation [with God]. ‘

Romans 5:10-11

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

Romans 12:18

The interesting thing is it always depends on us. We have the choice, the free will to decide how we will respond to what is being said and done to us. We can’t control what others may say or do but we can control how we respond to them.

So today as we step into prayer time, let’s grab hold of these areas:

  • Ask God to show you any areas in your relationship with Him that need to be forgiven and reconciled.
  • Ask God to give you the courage and strength to forgive those who have hurt you and to show you what steps you need to take to facilitate reconciliation.
  • Pray for peace, unity and reconciliation in your family, our church and in the larger Body of Christ.

So where are you at today? What is the bump on your road? Is it hump day and does it need to be? Might today be the day you take the step to be reconciled to others and reconciled to God? Might today be the day that you forgive all those you have been bitter towards and angry with? Might today be the day you step up and step into the most incredible relationship possible with Jesus? Let’s pray:

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

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 5 – Pointing Your Family to the Real Hero

As one year is closing and a new one is around the corner, the key will be love.


2020 has been a challenging year that has included not only isolation but also a roller coaster of events creating division. It requires us to take a moment and see our part, our role, and our responsibility in bringing hope and healing and reconciliation to this world. We need to overcome hate with love. We need to overcome fear with faith. We need to overcome worry with hope. To do this will require that we take hold of the golden rule: love your neighbor as yourself.

“So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.”

‭— Matthew‬ ‭7:12‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

“And as you would like and desire that men would do to you, do exactly so to them.”

‭‭— Luke‬ ‭6:31‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

All of God’s laws can be summarized in a two part love statement, love God and love people! Imagine reconciliation to close 2020 and how things would be different in 2021. So let’s go thru 2020 and see who we can forgive and reconcile with. Next let’s go thru 2020 and see who we need forgiveness from. Then let’s make our faith active and bridge those gaps, tearing up the bitterness and bitter roots that have tormented us this year. Let’s practice our faith. Let’s speak our faith. Let’s choose to live out our lives like we have nothing to lose. Let’s position ourselves so that is able to move in and through our lives. Let’s put our hearts, minds, and attitudes in the right posture to ensure God receives the praise, the honor, and the glory He so deserves. Let’s speak the truth in love so that others have a chance to encounter God and position themselves I the right place and posture to end 2020 and begin 2021. God has put us in such a place as this for such a time as this. If we don’t do our part and lose our position then God will find others to step up and step in to fill the gap. Don’t worry about tomorrow but instead make the most of today so that God’s will is done and His kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven. Let’s be catalysts of love and transformation and reconciliation for the world around us. It starts with us. It starts with us loving with Jesus’s love so that the world can have an encounter with Jesus and have their lives transformed for eternity. So what is it that God would have you do today?


Today’s Verse of the Day:

“Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.”

‭— 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

God is love and so in the love definition we find in 1 Corinthians 13 we can replace love with God and see God’s character. Now imagine if we decided to work at living love how it would impact us and the world around us.

We see from the definition how God isn’t slow when it comes to His timing but rather He endures long and is patient. His desire is that nobody would perish but would receive Jesus and be saved.

“For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.”

John‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

So as we work to be ambassadors of peace, bridging the gap of reconciliation with love, let’s shine our lights like cities on a hill that nobody can miss. Let’s be salt that helps bring healing and purification to the situation, bringing the right amount of spice into the situation.

Let’s decide to finish 2020 strong in order that 2021 will start out on the right footing. There is enough of God’s love for everyone so let’s be patient and kind, let’s not boast or be comparing ourself to others and become envious or boastful, let’s walk out our today in humility, loving others as ourselves!


Where are you at today? Are you feeling weary? Are you looking for support and encouragement? Are you ready to set a foundation of love? Are you ready for forgiveness and reconciliation? Are you wanting to get your journey with God started? 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?


Deception and Danger – what will you do about it?


Ever setup good boundaries? Ever setup good rules? Ever setup good environments?

Ever had someone violate them? Ever had someone break them? Ever wondered what you could have done differently?

How did you respond? How did you react? What did you do about it?

How did you feel? Anger? Frustration? Regret?

Seek God! Set standards! Be aware and not deceived at what is going on!

Today’s reading kicks off on such a subject, let’s check out David’s family…

Amnon Attacks Tamar and Absalom’s Wrath

1It came to pass after this that Absalom son of David had a beautiful sister named Tamar, so Amnon, son of David, fell in love with her. 2But Amnon was so frustrated that he fell sick because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin and it seemed impossible in Amnon to do anything to her. 3However, Amnon had a friend named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother, and Jonadab was a very shrewd man. 4So he said to him, “Why are you, the king’s son, so miserable morning after morning? Won’t you tell me?” Amnon told him, “I’m in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” 5So Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend you are sick. When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me some bread to eat. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I may see it and eat from her hand.’” 6So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick, and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of cakes in front of me so I may eat from her hand.” 7Then David sent someone to the house for Tamar saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house and prepare bread for him.” 8So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house while he was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in front of him and baked the cakes. 9Then she took the pan and poured them out in front of him but he refused to eat. Then Amnon said, “Everyone, leave me!” So everyone left him. 10Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the bread into the bedroom that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them into the bedroom to her brother Amnon. 11But when she brought them close to him to eat, he grabbed her and said to her, “Come lie with me, my sister.” 12“No!” she said to him. “Don’t, my brother! Don’t rape me, for such a thing should never be done in Israel. Don’t do this disgraceful deed! 13I—where could I go with my shame? You—you will be as one of the disgraceful fools in Israel. Now, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14But he was unwilling to listen to her voice, so he overpowered her, forced her and lay with her. 15Then Amnon loathed her with very intense revulsion—indeed, the hatred that he hated her with was greater than the love in which he had loved her. So Amnon said to her, “Get up, get out!” 16But she said to him, “No! Sending me away is even a greater evil than the one you have already done to me!” But again he would not listen to her. 17Then he called his servant that attended him and said, “Get this woman away from me now and bolt the door after her.” 18Now she had on her a long-sleeved garment for with such robes the king’s virgin daughters used to be dressed. When his attendant took her outside and bolted the door after her, 19Tamar put ashes on her head and rent her long-sleeved garment that was on her. She laid her hand on her head and was crying aloud as she went away. 20Then her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? So now, my sister, keep quiet. He is your brother—don’t take this thing to heart.” But Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. 21When King David heard about all these things, he was very angry. 22Absalom did not say a word to Amnon, either good or bad, for Absalom hated Amnon because he had raped his sister Tamar. 23It came about, after two full years, that Absalom’s sheepshearers were at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24Then Absalom came to the king and said, “See now, your servant has sheepshearers. Please let the king and his servants come with your servant.” 25But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son. Let’s not all go—we don’t want to be burdensome to you.” Though he urged him, he would not go, though he blessed him. 26Then Absalom said, “If not, then please let my brother Amnon go with us.” “Why should he go with you?” the king said to him. 27But when Absalom pressed him, he let Amnon go with him, along with all the king’s sons. 28Then Absalom commanded his young men saying, “Now watch Amnon until his heart is merry with wine. When I tell you, ‘Strike Amnon!’ then put him to death! Have no fear! Isn’t it I who commanded you? Be strong! Be sons of valor!” 29So Absalom’s young men did to Amnon as Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, each mounted his mule and fled. 30While they were on the way, a report came to David saying, “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons and not one of them is left!” 31Then the king stood up, rent his clothes and lay on the ground, and all his courtiers were standing by with their clothes rent. 32But Jonadab son of David’s brother Shimeah said in response, “My lord must not think that they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons! For only Amnon has died. For from Absalom’s mouth this has been determined since the day he raped his sister Tamar. 33Now therefore, my lord the king must not take the report to his heart thinking that all the king’s sons are dead—for only Amnon is dead.” 34Meanwhile Absalom had fled. When the young watchman lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, there were many people coming down the road behind him on the hillside. 35Then Jonadab said to the king, “The king’s sons have just arrived! It’s just as your servant has said.” 36As soon as he finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons arrived. They lifted up their voices and wept, and also the king and all his courtiers wept very bitterly. 37But Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son every day. 38So Absalom fled, went to Geshur and remained there three years. 39Then King David’s soul longed to go out to Absalom; for he was comforted about Amnon, since he was dead.

–from 2 Samuel 13

God’s plan is one of forgiveness and reconciliation! He is wanting us to turn back to Him! He is wanting us to be restored! He proved this ultimately by sending Jesus who not only spoke life and the truth of God’s kingdom, but also gave His life as the ultimate sacrifice in order to bridge the great divide created when sin entered into the world! God made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! God is calling you today, will you answer the call? Will you start, fuel, and build up your relationship with God? Is today your day to start? Is today another day of you walking with Him? Let’s live out grace, mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation!

Joab Brings Absalom to Jerusalem

1Now Joab son of Zeruiah perceived that the king’s heart was on Absalom. 2So Joab sent word to Tekoa and brought a wise woman from there. He said to her, “Please pretend to be a mourner and put on mourning clothes. Do not anoint yourself with oil but be like a woman who has been mourning many days for the dead. 3Then go to the king and speak to him these words.” Then Joab put the words in her mouth. 4When the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, bowed down and said, “Help, O king!” 5“What’s the matter with you?” the king said to her. “Truly, I am a widow, my husband is dead,” she said. 6“Your handmaid had two sons, but the two of them fought with each other in the field, where there was no one to separate them. So one struck the other and killed him. 7Now behold, the whole clan has risen against your handmaid and said, ‘Hand over the one who struck down his brother so we may put him to death, for the life of his brother whom he slew.’ So they will also destroy the heir and extinguish my one remaining ember, leaving to my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth!” 8Then the king said to the woman, “Go to your home. I will issue an order concerning you.” 9The woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My lord the king, let the iniquity be on me and on my father’s house but may the king and his throne be innocent.” 10“Whoever speaks to you,” the king said, “bring him to me and he shall not touch you anymore.” 11“Please, let the king remember Adonai your God,” she said, “so that the avenger of blood does not destroy any more, so they won’t destroy my son.” “As Adonai lives,” he said, “not one hair of your son will fall to the ground.” 12Then the woman said, “Please, let your handmaid speak a word to my lord the king.” “Say on,” he said. 13The woman said, “Why have you devised a situation just like this against God’s people? For by speaking this word, the king is like the guilty one—by not bringing back the one he banished. 14For we will all surely die and be like water spilt on the ground that cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life but rather, He devises plans so that a banished person may not remain an outcast from Him. 15Now the reason I came to speak this word to my lord the king is because the people have made me afraid. So your handmaid thought, ‘I must speak to the king—perhaps the king will fulfill the request of his maidservant. 16Surely the king will hear, to deliver his maidservant from the hand of the one who would eliminate both me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.’ 17Then your handmaid also thought, ‘Please let the word of my lord the king bring relief. For like an angel of God so is my lord the king to discern good and evil.’ So may Adonai your God be with you.” 18Then the king answered and said to the woman, “Please do not hide anything from me concerning what I am about to ask you.” “Please let my lord the king speak,” the woman said. 19Then the king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” “As your soul lives, my lord the king,” the woman answered, “no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. Yes, your servant Joab was the one who commanded me and put all these words in the mouth of your handmaid. 20Your servant Joab did this thing in order to bring about a change in the situation. But my lord is wise—like the wisdom of an angel of God—to know all that goes on in the land.” 21Then the king said to Joab, “Behold now, I will do this thing. So go, bring the young man Absalom back.” 22Joab fell on his face to the ground, prostrated himself and blessed the king. Then Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, since the king has done the word of your servant.” 23So Joab got up, went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24However, the king said, “He may go directly to his own house, but he may not see my face.” So Absalom went directly to his own house and did not see the king’s face. 25Now in all Israel there was none as handsome as Absalom—so highly praised. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. 26When he cut the hair of his head—at the end of every year he would cut it because the hair got so heavy on him that he had to cut it. The weight of the hair from his head was 200 shekels by the royal weight. 27To Absalom were born three sons and one daughter, whose name was Tamar—she was a beautiful woman. 28Now Absalom had lived two full years in Jerusalem but he never saw the king’s face. 29Then Absalom sent for Joab, in order to send him to the king, but he was unwilling to come to him. So he sent word again a second time, but he still would not come. 30So he said to his servants, “See, Joab’s field is next to mine and he has barley there—go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. 31Then Joab arose, came to Absalom at his house, and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?” 32“Look, I sent word to you,” Absalom said to Joab, “saying, ‘Come here, that I may send you to the king to say, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there.’” So now, let me see the king’s face and if there is iniquity in me, let him put me to death.” 33So Joab went to the king and told him. When he summoned Absalom, he came to the king and bowed down on his face to the ground before the king, and then, the king kissed Absalom.

–from 2 Samuel 14

Life isn’t easy! Take a look around and see how the world is treating people! Things have been throw up in the air and flipped around! But when we walk out our faith in Jesus we know that in the end we will receive the prize and win the race because God’s Word is true and He is faithful and just!

As we consider today’s reading and the description that it gives, doesn’t it seem like we are getting closer to the end days? None of know the day or the hour of Jesus’ return, but we do know that He will return and that God’s Word speaks instruction, wisdom, direction as to what we are to do and how we are to live, so let’s not grow weary in doing what is good, but rather let’s finish the race strong, winning the prize of having Jesus say “well done my good and faithful servant”. Study God’s word so that you can be equipped for what is happening and what is going to happen!

Opposition in the Last Days

1But understand this, that in the last days hard times will come— 2for people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3hardhearted, unforgiving, backbiting, without self-control, brutal, hating what is good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to an outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people! 6For among these are those who slip into households and deceive weak women weighed down with sins, led away by various desires, 7always learning yet never able to come to the knowledge of truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so do these people oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and worthless concerning the faith. 9But these people will not make any more progress—for their folly, like that of Jannes and Jambres, will be obvious to everyone. 10You, however, closely followed my teaching, manner of life, purpose, faithfulness, patience, love, perseverance— 11as well as persecutions and sufferings that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! And the Lord rescued me from them all! 12Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted. 13But evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

All Scripture Equips God’s People

14You, however, continue in what you have learned and what you have become convinced of. For you know from whom you have learned, 15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to make you wise, leading to salvation through trusting in Messiah Yeshua. 16All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness, 17so that the person belonging to God may be capable, fully equipped for every good deed.

–from 2 Timothy 3

All scripture is God breathedLet’s take hold of this truth! Let’s take hold of God’s Word so that we can learn from it’s teaching, we can be corrected by it’s reproof, we can be restored and foster restoration, we can live life like it is supposed to be in righteousness! Let’s equip ourselves through the Word of God!

Let’s live in humility! Let’s be servants that others may come to realize how much we love and care for them! When we lead, let’s lead as servant leaders leading not by command or authority, but by loving and serving and caring for others!

Yeshua’s Birth in Bethlehem

1Now it happened in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the world’s inhabitants. 2This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3Everyone was traveling to be registered in his own city. 4Now Joseph also went up from the Galilee, out of the town of Natzeret to Judah, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and family of David. 5He went to register with Miriam, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. 6But while they were there, the time came for her to give birth— 7and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped Him in strips of cloth and set Him down in a manger, since there was no room for them in the inn.

Shepherds Witness Angelic Praises

8Now there were shepherds in the same region, living out in the fields and guarding their flock at night. 9Suddenly an angel of Adonai stood before them, and the glory of Adonai shone all around them; and they were absolutely terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! For behold, I proclaim Good News to you, which will be great joy to all the people. 11A Savior is born to you today in the city of David, who is Messiah the Lord. 12And the sign to you is this: You will find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly a multitude of heavenly armies appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth shalom to men of good will.” 15And when the angels departed from them into the heavens, the shepherds were saying to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which Adonai has made known to us!” 16So they hurried off and found Miriam and Joseph, and the Baby lying in the manger. 17When they had seen this, they made known the word that had been spoken to them concerning this Child. 18And all those who heard were amazed at the things the shepherds told them. 19But Miriam treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as they had been told.

Temple Prophets Rejoice

21When eight days had passed for His brit-milah, He was named Yeshua, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. 22And when the days of their purification were fulfilled, according to the Torah of Moses, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present to Adonai. 23As it is written in the Torah of Adonai, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to Adonai.” 24So they offered a sacrifice according to what was said in the Torah of Adonai: “a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons.” 25Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and pious, waiting for the consolation of Israel. The Ruach ha-Kodesh was on him. 26And it had been revealed to him by the Ruach ha-Kodesh that he would not die before he had seen the Anointed One of Adonai. 27So in the Ruach, Simeon came into the Temple; and when the parents brought the Child Yeshua to do for Him according to the custom of the Torah, 28Simeon received Him into his arms and offered a bracha to God, saying, 29“Now may You let Your servant go in peace, O Sovereign Master, according to Your word. 30For my eyes have seen Your salvation, 31which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples: 32‘A light for revelation to the nations’ and the glory of Your people Israel.” 33And His father and mother were marveling at the things that were said about Him. 34And Simeon offered a bracha over them and said to Miriam His mother, “Behold, this One is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that is opposed, 35so the thoughts of many hearts may be uncovered. (And even for you, a sword will pierce through your soul.)” 36Now Anna, a daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher, was a prophetess. She was well advanced in age, having lived with a husband only seven years 37and then as a widow until age eighty-four. She never left the Temple, serving night and day with fasting and prayers. 38And coming up at that very instant, she began praising God and speaking about the Child to all those waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. 39When Joseph and Miriam had completed everything according to the Torah of Adonai, they returned to the Galilee, to their own city of Natzeret. 40The Child kept growing and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.

The Boy Astonishes Jerusalem Scholars

41Now His parents were going every year to Jerusalem for the Passover feast. 42When He became twelve years old, they were going up according to festival custom. 43As they headed home after completing the days, the boy Yeshua remained in Jerusalem, but His parents didn’t know. 44Supposing He was in the caravan, they went a day’s journey, then began looking for Him among relatives and friends. 45When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for Him. 46After three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the center of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all those hearing Him were astonished at His understanding and His answers. 48When His parents saw Yeshua, they were overwhelmed. And His mother said to Him, “Child, why did you do this to us? Look! Your father and I were searching for You frantically!” 49He said to them, “Why were you searching for Me? Didn’t you know that I must be about the things of My Father?” 50But they did not grasp the message He was telling them. 51Then He went down with them to Natzeret and was obedient to them. But His mother treasured all these words in her heart. 52And Yeshua kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

–from Luke 2