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: It’s a choice! It’s a decision! It’s a way of life!


As the series on Exodus taught us, to thrive requires taking a risk, to thrive requires getting out of the boat and allowing God to do new things in our lives, to thrive requires God to answer prayers, to thrive we need to stay near to God just as God stays near to His people. God wants to build up our faith and bring us through the Red Sea. God wants us to come together as the body of Christ! God wants us to have a relationship with Him (vertical) in order that we will be able to have relationships with others (horizontal). It’s important for us to be able to testify to what God and how God has worked in and through us. We need to hold onto the truth and lean in on the truth that nothing is impossible for God! Ever thought or been told that anybody can do what you do? Do you realize how important it is for you to be doing what you do for the glory of God? So let’s choose to get involved and thrive where God has put you to be! Let’s choose to do it for God’s honor and glory and praise! God hears and answers our prayers so let’s not stop being with Him!

As the series on Exodus taught us, God’s deepest work can come in our trials, troubles, and pains. Sometimes we are closer to a breakthrough going through this than when we think we are good going on our own. When there is a bruised ego, arrogance and bad things can come out. Things can be more difficult to the person who has to be the deliverer and go and do what God is telling them to do. When things have been so bad and so tough like the Israelites had it for 430 years in bondage, they learned their goto response to something going bad or not as expected was to go to despair. It can trigger a response where the people you are trying to help turn on you like what happened to Aaron and Moses when the people turned on them and said hurtful words like they hoped God would hunt them down and judge them. Moses’ response to challenges and struggles was to turn to God and say He picked the wrong guy, Moses doubted that he was the right guy. So to thrive we need to stop going back to our weaknesses when we are facing trials, troubles, and pain. To thrive we need to trust God even when we don’t understand it! To thrive we have to approach God and talk to Him in the right way! To thrive we have to be willing to allow God to lift us up when we are feeling down! He is our strength when we are weak! He is our voice when we can’t speak! He is our eyes when we can’t see! He sees the best in us! He lifts us up when we can’t reach! He builds our faith because He believes! God loves us! So let’s choose to fight through the pain, fear, and unbelief! Let’s not lose hope because everything seems to be going out of control and instead lean in on God because He’s got it all under control! Even when we don’t see it and we don’t feel it, His divine plan has things changing and shifting. Let’s choose to know God more! Let’s choose to know God greater! Let’s choose to know God’s presence! Let’s choose to find rest in God’s peace that surpasses all understanding because of His goodness! Jesus is our redeemer! The story isn’t finished but God is at work! Let’s choose to trust the process, the refining, the experience and lean in on God through it all! Let’s trust God and hold onto Him tightly when it is painful, isolated, alone, and feeling difficult! Let’s choose to lean in and trust God rather than cave in because things are difficult! Let’s choose to worship God! Let’s choose to spend time in God’s Word! Let’s choose to be filled with the Holy Spirit to receive wisdom and guidance! Let’s grab onto God’s truth that we are not defeated and we are not broken! Let’s stand firm, even though our back is against the wall because we know that through it all we can trust the heart of God!

Let’s not forget the miracles God has done in and through our lives! Let’s not allow things of this world to draw us away from God and from His plans and purposes! Let’s keep our focus on God and now allow things of this world to try and take His place! Let’s not get tricked or mislead into wondering who God is and why we should obey Him! Let’s grab a hold of the reasons why we should worship the Lord and obey Him! The Lord is the true God! The Lord is the Mighty Creator! The Lord is a just judge! The Lord is the Gracious Savior! Let’s put and keep Jesus in the center of our lives! Let’s receive salvation through Jesus because it’s not by works that we are saved but rather the gift of grace through faith! Let’s cling to Jesus so that we can thrive! Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts as our Lord and Savior so that we can thrive for the glory of God!

Let’s thrive because we are willing to do what God is asking and calling for us to do! Do you have a willing heart to do what God asks? Do you have a willing heart to do what God calls? A willing heart changes everything! A willing heart changes your destiny! A willing heart allows you to do your part for God! Thanks to Jesus, today we have the fulfillment of Jesus in our lives! Thanks to Jesus, today we have the power of the cross and the reality of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be with us as our comforter and our guide! Thanks to Jesus, we are able to put the puzzle pieces of our faith together and the power of God to have a living relationship with Him! Thanks to Jesus, we have the free gift of salvation that only God can give us! What plans has God revealed to you? God is detail-oriented and so will you be willing to dig in and capture the details He has for you? Thanks to Jesus, we don’t need a mediator to meet with God, as Jesus is our mediator! So let’s pray in the name of Jesus when we pray so that there is power in our prayers! God wants to meet with us! God moves in the gathering of His people of faith! Let’s choose to give willingly, not out of compulsion! Let’s choose to give out of gratitude and thankfulness to God! God wants to be at the center of our lives not out on the fringes! God knows us and cares about us!

In the study of Exodus, we learned how it is important to leave the things of the past where they belong, behind us, and move forward to the things God has for us! Let’s let go of the mistakes and the trials of the past! Let’s let go of the struggles and pain of the past! God desires for us to be a royal priesthood! Let’s lean our hearts into God and see God move! Let’s live our lives to leave a legacy for the generation to come where they will learn and know and see our faith in action for the glory of God! Let’s accept Jesus into our hearts as He takes us right here and right now, just as we are, and leads us into a new beginning! Let’s not allow the comfort of the feeling of failure to keep us from getting up and getting to where God wants us to go and to be! Another powerful note I have taken through the series on Exodus was this:

What does it take to say you need to wake up because this is happening? Will that make you take action? Are you ready to pray and call on God rather than absorbing or accepting failure around us?

They are delivered and having problem taking success and breakthrough when it is in front of them. They allow fear to become their master again.

Let God make the change. Grab that God is able to exceedingly, abundantly more than you can ask or imagine.

God wants to forgive you so much He came after you. He did all the work himself. Just needed to accept the gift. Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will saved.

God gave the cloud and the fire to comfort them. Don’t let your heart be troubled.

My Sermon Notes from 2/6/2022

God has a change and a new way for you. God will stand between you and the enemy! Today by faith in Christ you can be forgiven and start the journey with Him! Today He will be with you, never leaving nor forsaking you! He will lead you and guide you! He will come behind you to watch your back! So let’s choose to do what God is telling us to do! Let’s stop going backwards! Let’s stop surrendering when we are on the verge of a breakthrough! Let’s start moving towards what God is calling us to do! Let’s dare to sow, to pray, and to give our best! Let’s do the things we are already capable to do! Let’s keep our eyes on the Lord and keep moving towards what He is showing us and telling us!

Ever realized how back in the day of Pharoah when Moses was telling him to let God’s people go and he finally did that Pharoah woke up to a supply chain issue because all the workers were gone? Ever realized that when faced with such a challenge it can cause you to question why you ever let it happen? We all have a choice! God doesn’t send people to help, He opened the door to forgiveness and heave through Jesus, we get to choose the final destination! We get to choose our final destination where we will spend eternity! So will you choose to spend eternity with God in heaven or apart from God in hell? Will you choose to accept the forgiveness of God and live out the rest of your life with Him? Are you ready to thrive for the glory of God?

Let’s seek revival! Let’s be the people of God who humble ourselves and pray, seeking God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways! Let’s choose to do that and allow it to be the catalyst that will cause God to hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land! Let’s lean in on God and allow Him to take what was planned for evil by the devil and turn it around and use it for good! Let’s lean in on God and allow Him to bring good out of despair! Let’s remember how important life is, it is so important it’s worth giving our lives for it! Let’s stop chasing materialism! Let’s remember how there will be a time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken so that only what can’t be shaken will stand. Let’s choose to walk things out at God’s pace and not grow impatient! Let’s not try to skip ahead! Let’s choose to let God be our source of happiness rather than trying to make ourselves happy! God sees what is going on! God sees the sin that is taking place, it doesn’t surprise Him! We may not see it or even be aware of it, but God does! God is our defender because He is the defender of what is His! Our prayers make a difference! Our prayers matter to God! Our prayers can move the mountains! Let’s seek and focus on things that will draw our hearts closer to God! Let’s do it because our heart is moved and willing! Let’s choose to walk in life instead of death! Let’s choose to walk in confidence instead of despair! Let’s walk in God’s love!


Let’s remember what it means to thrive:

Definition of thrive
intransitive verb

1: to grow vigorously : FLOURISH
2: to gain in wealth or possessions : PROSPER
3: to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances —often used with on

Let’s remember why to thrive:

THRIVE - LIVING FOR THE GLORY OF GOD

Verse of the Day:

‘Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. ‘

Habakkuk 3:17-18

Today’s post from Be The Dads is My Father Can Be Your Father! – Day 2


Where are you today? Are you thriving? Are you wanting to thrive? Are you looking to thrive? Are you ready to thrive? Let’s invite Jesus into our very situation and allow Him to give us the wisdom and the discernment needed to thrive! Let’s invite Jesus into our very life and allow Him to help us thrive in our lives for the glory of God! Let’s make today count! Let’s make today be the new beginning we need to be able to thrive!

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.

Do you make time? Do you make space? Do you get your day started with God?


How do you get your day started? Do you have a schedule or routine? Does God make your priority list? Do you make time for Him in your morning schedule? Do you make or have a place where you go to spend that time with Him? Do you find it makes a difference to the rest of your day? Do you make some of that time away and with Him in His Word? Do you ever make time for you and God to be alone together? Do you ever get up earlier so you can have time alone with God?

I know for me it makes a huge difference to my day and on days when I don’t start that way it can be challenging as my attitude probably doesn’t get set right or enough to live out the rest of my day. I know for me ever since I started this many years ago, getting away from everything and spending time with God and in His Word allow me to listen and hear and take in God’s love and truth. It fills me up in preparation for my day. It fills me up with a good attitude in preparation for my day. It fills my heart so that the words that come from the overflow are much more aligned with God’s plans and purposes for the day. The specific reading each day changes. The specific routine for the year changes. The specific version or translation of the Bible changes. The plan for my reading changes. But the focus is continuous, to spend time in God’s Word and share what I received by posting to my blog. God called me to have a public blog back in 2005 and with the reading at the time being about the end times, it ended up with the name From 2005 to Eternity.

So are you ready to make time to spend with God? Are you ready to make space away from the hustle and bustle of life to be with God? Are you ready to listen to what God has to say in and through His Word? Could today be the start of a new practice for you closing out the year and heading into next year?


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 10TH


Solitude In The Morning


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”’

Mark 1:35-37

Let’s get some additional context by expanding the text and details by using the Amplified version.

‘And immediately they left the synagogue and went into the house of Simon [Peter] and Andrew, accompanied by James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they told Him about her. Jesus went to her, and taking her by the hand, raised her up; and the fever left her, and she began to serve them [as her guests]. Now when evening came, after the sun had set [and the Sabbath Day had ended, in a steady stream] they were bringing to Him all who were sick and those who were under the power of demons, until the whole city had gathered together at the door. And Jesus healed many who were suffering with various diseases; and He drove out many demons, but would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him [recognizing Him as the Son of God]. Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left [the house], and went out to a secluded place, and was praying there. Simon [Peter] and his companions searched [everywhere, looking anxiously] for Him, and they found Him and said, “Everybody is looking for You!” He replied, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so I may preach there also; that is why I came [from the Father].” So He went throughout Galilee, preaching [the gospel] in their synagogues and casting out demons. And a leper came to Him, begging Him and falling on his knees before Him, saying, “If You are willing, You are able to make me clean.” Moved with compassion [for his suffering], Jesus reached out with His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” The leprosy left him immediately and he was cleansed [completely healed and restored to health]. And Jesus [deeply moved] admonished him sternly and sent him away immediately, saying to him, “See that you tell no one anything [about this]; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your purification what Moses commanded, as proof to them [that you are really healed].” But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news [of his healing], to such an extent that Jesus could no longer openly enter a city [where He was known], but stayed out in the unpopulated places; yet people were still coming to Him from everywhere.’

Mark 1:29-45

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • WWJD – what would Jesus do?
  • Well, He got up early and went away from the crowds to spend time alone with the Father.
  • He went to commune with the Father before His day got started.
  • We need to not think of Jesus as out there somewhere or living a life very different from our own.
  • We need to think of Jesus as He lived His life on earth as a model, an example, a how-to guide for us to learn from.
  • Going through pressures in life? So did Jesus and getting away to spend time with the Father helped Him refuel and renew for the day.
  • Ever felt like everyone wants a piece of you? So did Jesus and getting away alone to spend time with the Father helped Him prepare for the day.
  • Ever felt like people keep looking to you for help, direction, or something else? So did Jesus as He walked from place to place with sick people or people who had sick people would come to Him for healing. As He walked from place to place He ran into people who were confused and needing wisdom. As He walked from place to place He ran into people who were lost and needed direction. As He walked from place to place He ran into religious leaders who were looking for an opportunity to kill Him.
  • Got it rough? Jesus knows what it is like to have it rough.
  • Ever had people find you when you made quiet time away from the crowd in a panic?
  • Ever had people running around in a panic because they couldn’t find you?
  • In today’s verse we see that is what happened to Jesus.
  • With all the demands of the day, if Jesus wasn’t present today’s verse tells us that everyone was in a panic and were looking for Him.
  • The people had high demands for Jesus. The disciples had high expectations for Jesus. The Father had even high goals for Jesus.
  • So with all the demands, expectations, and goals we need to make time, take time, and get away for some us time with God to get our day started.
  • Jesus found sanity in the midst of the chaos by getting away and spending time with the Father.
  • Are you wanting to get some sanity in the midst of the chaos? Make time away with God.
  • Are you wanting to get some sanity in the midst of the demands? Take time away with God.
  • Are you wanting to get some sanity in the midst of the expectations? Get away from it all and go to the Father alone to pray.
  • Are you wanting to get some sanity in the midst of the goals God has for you? Then spend time with Him to be able to fully grasp the goals and be able to live out your life in a way that can accomplish it.
  • Let’s get away so we can clear our heads, clear our minds, and connect with and be filled with God’s Spirit, God’s plans, God’s purposes, and God’s will.
  • Let’s make spending time with God a priority!
  • Let’s make taking time away from everyone and everything a priority so that we can have some quality and quantity time with God!
  • To stay on track with God’s plan for our lives, we need to be walking in relationship and reset our compass and direction each day to walk out what God has purposed and planned for us.
  • So let’s make time to pour out our hearts to God.
  • So let’s make time to gain perspective from God.
  • So let’s make time to get the game plan for the day from God.
  • Jesus needed it and so do we.
  • Let’s follow Jesus’s example!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • When you feel most stressed, do you pray more or pray less? Explain your answer.
  • How would finding solitude in the morning help you?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Prayer is the highest intelligence, the profoundest wisdom, the most vital, the most joyous, the most efficacious, the most powerful of all vocations.”

— Edward McKendree Bounds

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

So today we will read Luke 10:

‘Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them out ahead of Him, two by two, into every city and place where He was about to go. He was saying to them, “The harvest is abundant [for there are many who need to hear the good news about salvation], but the workers [those available to proclaim the message of salvation] are few. Therefore, [prayerfully] ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. Go your way; listen carefully: I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not carry a money belt, a provision bag, or [extra] sandals; and do not greet anyone along the way [who would delay you]. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘ Peace [that is, a blessing of well-being and prosperity, the favor of God] to this house.’ And if anyone of peace is there [someone who is sweet-spirited and hospitable], your [blessing of] peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a city and they welcome you, eat what is set before you; and heal those in it who are sick [authenticating your message], and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whatever city you enter and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you [breaking all ties]; yet understand this, that the kingdom of God has come near [and you rejected it].’ I tell you, it will be more bearable in that day [of judgment] for Sodom than for that city. “Woe (judgment is coming) to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented and changed their minds long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes [to show deep regret for sin]. However, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades (the realm of the dead). “The one who listens to you listens to Me; and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and the one who rejects Me rejects Him [My heavenly Father] who sent Me.”

The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like [a flash of] lightning. Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you. Nevertheless do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” In that very hour He was overjoyed and rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and He said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things [relating to salvation] from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to infants [the childlike and untaught]. Yes, Father, for this way was [Your gracious will and choice, and was] well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been transferred and turned over to Me by My Father and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him.” Then turning to His disciples, Jesus said privately, “Blessed [joyful, spiritually enlightened, and favored by God] are the eyes which see what you see, for I say to you that many prophets and kings longed to see what you see, and they did not see it; and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” And a certain lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law] stood up to test Him, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he replied, “Y ou shall love the L ord your G od with all your heart , and with all your soul , and with all your strength , and with all your mind ; and your neighbor as yourself .” Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this habitually and you will live.” But he, wishing to justify and vindicate himself, asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he encountered robbers, who stripped him of his clothes [and belongings], beat him, and went their way [unconcerned], leaving him half dead. Now by coincidence a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also came down to the place and saw him, and passed by on the other side [of the road]. But a Samaritan (foreigner), who was traveling, came upon him; and when he saw him, he was deeply moved with compassion [for him], and went to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them [to sooth and disinfect the injuries]; and he put him on his own pack-animal, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii (two days’ wages) and gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I return.’ Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbor to the man who encountered the robbers?” He answered, “The one who showed compassion and mercy to him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and constantly do the same.”

Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.” But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.”’

Luke 10:1-42

So where are you at today? Do you have a relationship with God? Do you want to start one? Are you ready to make some alone time to meet with Him? Are you ready to make some time to be able to talk to and listen to God? Could today be the start of something amazing? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Are you jealous? Is jealousy impacting your ability to live life to the full?


Ever realize the negative impact of wanting what others have? Ever wondered why God made such a big deal about it in the 10 Commandments when He went into great details about all the things you shouldn’t covet?

‘Then God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself any idol, or any likeness (form, manifestation) of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth [as an object to worship]. You shall not worship them nor serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous (impassioned) God [ demanding what is rightfully and uniquely mine], visiting (avenging) the iniquity (sin, guilt) of the fathers on the children [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers], to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing graciousness and steadfast lovingkindness to thousands [of generations] of those who love Me and keep My commandments. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, irreverently, in false affirmations or in ways that impugn the character of God]; for the Lord will not hold guiltless nor leave unpunished the one who takes His name in vain [disregarding its reverence and its power]. “Remember the Sabbath (seventh) day to keep it holy (set apart, dedicated to God). Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath [a day of rest dedicated] to the Lord your God; on that day you shall not do any work, you or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock or the temporary resident (foreigner) who stays within your [city] gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy [that is, set it apart for His purposes]. “Honor (respect, obey, care for) your father and your mother, so that your days may be prolonged in the land the Lord your God gives you. “You shall not commit murder (unjustified, deliberate homicide). “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal [secretly, openly, fraudulently, or through carelessness]. “You shall not testify falsely [that is, lie, withhold, or manipulate the truth] against your neighbor (any person). “You shall not covet [that is, selfishly desire and attempt to acquire] your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Exodus 20:1-17 (The Ten Commandments – Amplified version)

Ever taken a look at the definition of jealousy and what it has to say and discover how it is something to avoid? Let’s pull up the definition:

jealousy
[ˈjeləsē]
NOUN
jealousy (noun) · jealousies (plural noun)
the state or feeling of being jealous.
"a sharp pang of jealousy" · "resentments and jealousies festered"
synonyms:
envy · enviousness · covetousness · desire · resentment · resentfulness · bitterness · discontent · spite · grudge · suspicion · suspiciousness · distrust · mistrust · doubt · insecurity · anxiety · apprehension about rivals · possessiveness · overprotectiveness · protectiveness · defensiveness · vigilance · watchfulness · heedfulness · mindfulness · care · solicitousness · attentiveness
antonyms:
admiration · pride · trust · understanding · unconcern · carelessness
Definition of jealousy – Powered by Oxford Dictionaries · Bing Translator

Do you want to have to deal with resentment? Do you want to have to deal with bitterness? Do you want to have to deal with spite? Do you want to have to deal with grudges? Do you want to have to deal with discontent? Do you want to have to deal with suspiciousness? Do you want to have to deal with distrust? Do you want to have to deal with doubt? Do you want to have to deal with insecurity? Do you want to have to deal with apprehension? All because of jealousy?

Ever noticed the topic of jealousy in literature? Like when Shakespeare in Merchant of Venice and Othello? He uses the term term green eyed monster, probably due to the fact that green has the association of sickness or things that cause illness.

PORTIA, aside
How all the other passions fleet to air,
As doubtful thoughts and rash embraced despair,
And shudd’ring fear, and green-eyed jealousy!
O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstasy,
In measure rain thy joy, scant this excess!
I feel too much thy blessing. Make it less,
For fear I surfeit.

The Merchant of Venice Act 3, scene 2

Iago:
O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss,
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger:
But O, what damnèd minutes tells he o’er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!
Othello:
O misery!

OTHELLO ACT 3, SCENE 3, 165–171 (sourced The green-eyed monster)

So let’s decide not to allow jealousy to rob us today!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 25th


The Green-Eyed Monster


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul eyed David from that day forward.’

I Samuel 18:8-9

Let’s check to get a bit more context and insight from the verses around it as well as using the Amplified version:

‘When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bonded to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. Saul took David that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan stripped himself of the outer robe that he was wearing and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword, his bow, and his belt. So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he acted wisely and prospered; and Saul appointed him over the men of war. And it pleased all the people and also Saul’s servants. As they were coming [home], when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul with tambourines, [songs of] joy, and musical instruments. The women sang as they played and danced, saying, “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” Then Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed [only] thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” Saul looked at David with suspicion [and jealously] from that day forward. ‘

1 Samuel 18:1-9

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • When is enough, enough?
  • Saul had the stature, the looks, the throne and yet it wasn’t enough for him.
  • David was a shepherd boy and when they were looking to find the new king they took a look at all his brothers over him.
  • David was young and yet brave because of his trust in God!
  • David would protect his flock and attack bears and lions.
  • David would even go after Goliath with his sling and stones because of his trust in God and wanted to take a stand for God’s honor.
  • David took on the giant and the threat of the Philistines vanished.
  • Saul was grateful till the people started to praise David’s exploits.
  • The green-eyed monster rose up in Saul’s heart!
  • Ever noticed how jealousy warps the way you think?
  • Ever noticed how it changes the way you see things to the point where you start to imagine threats that may not even exist?
  • Saul took the people praising David as meaning that David wanted his throne. Real or not that is where jealousy brought him.
  • Are you mature enough to enjoy others being praised and getting credit for their good works?
  • Are you mature enough to celebrate with them because of their successes rather than fearing or becoming jealous?
  • If you are feeling insecure about it then you are probably starting to allow the green-eyed monster into the situation and becoming jealous!
  • If you are starting to imagine threats because of their success that don’t exist then you are probably starting to allow jealousy into the situation!
  • Ready to try and cure this sickness of jealousy?
  • Stop trying to control and condemn the other person!
  • Step back and acknowledge the root of your insecurities and deal with it!
  • Allow love, acceptance, and the grace of God to be your firm foundation on which to walk and live!
  • Remember we don’t need to be praised more than others!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are evidences of jealousy? How does it affect relationships?
  • What are some ways to address the root problem of insecurity?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“You will make a lousy anybody else, but you are the best you in existence. You are the only one who can use your ability. It is an awesome responsibility.”

— Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready to uproot the bitter roots and forgive? Are you ready to trust God and give up those insecurities? Are you ready to be content with what you have and what God has given you rather than coveting and becoming jealous of others? Let’s invite Jesus into the situation and pray:

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

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

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


Are you pleased? Are you a people pleaser? Is there someone else you aught to be pleasing?


Are you willing or glad to do it? Are you satisfied by it? Does it make you
happy
 · glad · delighted · gratified · grateful · thankful · content · contented · satisfied · well pleased · thrilled · elated · as pleased as Punch · overjoyed · cock-a-hoop · like a dog with two tails · like a child with a new toy · gruntled? Are you proud or self-satisfied by having done it?

Are you a people pleaser in an attempt to make or keep friends? Are you a people pleaser at the risk of your own well being? Are you a people pleaser at the risk of getting hurt or mistreated? Are you a people pleaser in an attempt to hide yourself from the people around you? Are you a people pleaser who hides, is dishonest, deceives, and even lies in order to please others? Are you a people pleaser who makes stuff up in an attempt to give others what you think they want or need? Are you a people pleaser who has a very low view of yourself? Are you saying yes to things you should be saying no to because you want to please others? Are you letting high expectations drive you to saying yes when you should say no in hopes of pleasing others? Are you letting resentment cause you to say yes about things that you should be saying no about because you are more focused on trying to please others?

Do you realize the difference? Do you realize where you are in the midst of it all? Wouldn’t you rather be trying to please someone who loves you and wants the best for you? Wouldn’t you rather be living truth and love in order to please someone who loves you? Imagine if all it takes to please God is faith! Imagine if that trust in God is enough to please Him!

I still remember when the aha moment took place and I realized that Christianity isn’t about routines and rituals but it s about having a real relationship with Jesus! It was a turning point that has changed my life ever since. It was a truth I kept trying to reflect on my life to see if or how or where I had missed this fact. It seems that the reality is that it wasn’t told or shared or explained. Are you living out rituals and routines in order to try and please God? Why not start an intimate relationship with Jesus today and see how it transforms your life and pleases God!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 17th


The Key To Pleasing God


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.’

Hebrews 11:6

God’s Word tells us that we need faith if we want to please God. We need to believe! We need to seek! We need to live by faith. Let’s look to get additional context for this statement with the Amplified version.

‘Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. For by this [kind of] faith the men of old gained [divine] approval. By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which it was testified of him that he was righteous (upright, in right standing with God), and God testified by accepting his gifts. And though he died, yet through [this act of] faith he still speaks. By faith [that pleased God] Enoch was caught up and taken to heaven so that he would not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found because God had taken him ; for even before he was taken [to heaven], he received the testimony [still on record] that he had walked with God and pleased Him. But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him. By faith [with confidence in God and His word] Noah, being warned by God about events not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his family. By this [act of obedience] he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness which comes by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called [by God], obeyed by going to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as a foreigner in the promised land, as in a strange land, living in tents [as nomads] with Isaac and Jacob, who were fellow heirs of the same promise. For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has foundations, [an eternal, heavenly city] whose architect and builder is God. By faith even Sarah herself received the ability to conceive [a child], even [when she was long] past the normal age for it, because she considered Him who had given her the promise to be reliable and true [to His word]. So from one man, though he was [physically] as good as dead, were born as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number , and innumerable as the sand on the seashore . All these died in faith [guided and sustained by it], without receiving the [tangible fulfillment of God’s] promises, only having seen (anticipated) them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. Now those who say such things make it clear that they are looking for a country of their own. And if they had been thinking of that country from which they departed [as their true home], they would have had [a continuing] opportunity to return. But the truth is that they were longing for a better country, that is, a heavenly one. For that reason God is not ashamed [of them or] to be called their God [even to be surnamed their God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob]; for He has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when he was tested [that is, as the testing of his faith was still in progress], offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises [of God] was ready to sacrifice his only son [of promise]; to whom it was said, “Through Isaac your descendants shall be called .” For he considered [it reasonable to believe] that God was able to raise Isaac even from among the dead. [Indeed, in the sense that he was prepared to sacrifice Isaac in obedience to God] Abraham did receive him back [from the dead] figuratively speaking. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau [believing what God revealed to him], even regarding things to come. By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and bowed in worship, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he was dying, referred to [the promise of God for] the exodus of the sons of Israel [from Egypt], and gave instructions concerning [the burial of] his bones [in the land of the promise]. By faith Moses, after his birth, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful and divinely favored child; and they were not afraid of the king’s (Pharaoh’s) decree. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, because he preferred to endure the hardship of the people of God rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of the Christ [that is, the rebuke he would suffer for his faithful obedience to God] to be greater wealth than all the treasures of Egypt; for he looked ahead to the reward [promised by God]. By faith he left Egypt, being unafraid of the wrath of the king; for he endured [steadfastly], as seeing Him who is unseen. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood [on the doorposts], so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch them (the firstborn of Israel). By faith the people [of Israel] crossed the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; but when the Egyptians attempted it they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days [by Joshua and the sons of Israel]. By faith Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed along with those who were disobedient, because she had welcomed the spies [sent by the sons of Israel] in peace. And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith [that is, with an enduring trust in God and His promises] subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouths of lions, extinguished the power of [raging] fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became mighty and unbeatable in battle, putting enemy forces to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured [to death], refusing to accept release [offered on the condition of denying their faith], so that they would be resurrected to a better life; and others experienced the trial of mocking and scourging [amid torture], and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned [to death], they were sawn in two, they were lured with tempting offers [to renounce their faith], they were put to death by the sword; they went about wrapped in the skins of sheep and goats, utterly destitute, oppressed, cruelly treated (people of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and [living in] caves and holes in the ground. And all of these, though they gained [divine] approval through their faith, did not receive [the fulfillment of] what was promised, because God had us in mind and had something better for us, so that they [these men and women of authentic faith] would not be made perfect [that is, completed in Him] apart from us.’

Hebrews 11:1-40

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever considered if everyone needs to die to get to heaven?
  • Ever considered that in both the old and the new testament we find evidence that the answer is no?
    • ‘So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And [in reverent fear and obedience] Enoch walked with God; and he was not [found among men], because God took him [away to be home with Him]. ‘
      Genesis 5:23-24
    • ‘For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel and with the [blast of the] trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain [on the earth] will simultaneously be caught up (raptured) together with them [the resurrected ones] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord! ‘
      1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
    • ‘Now I say this, believers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit nor be part of the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable (mortal) inherit the imperishable (immortal). Listen very carefully, I tell you a mystery [a secret truth decreed by God and previously hidden, but now revealed]; we will not all sleep [in death], but we will all be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed], in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at [the sound of] the last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [who believed in Christ] will be raised imperishable, and we will be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed]. For this perishable [part of us] must put on the imperishable [nature], and this mortal [part of us that is capable of dying] must put on immortality [which is freedom from death]. And when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says, “D eath is swallowed up in victory (vanquished forever). O death , where is your victory ? O death , where is your sting ?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin [by which it brings death] is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [as conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].’
      1 Corinthians 15:50-58
  • Are you living your life in faith so as to please God?
  • Ever considered the impact of faith on the lives of those in the Bible?
  • Ever considered how faith played a role in the life of Enoch?
    • ‘By faith [that pleased God] Enoch was caught up and taken to heaven so that he would not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found because God had taken him ; for even before he was taken [to heaven], he received the testimony [still on record] that he had walked with God and pleased Him. ‘
      Hebrews 11:5
  • So are you ready to please God and put a smile on His face?
  • Are you ready to put your faith in Him and trust God?
  • Are you ready to go beyond rules and routines and rituals and step up and step into relationship with God?
  • Are you ready to stop living your life based on principles, concepts, and laws and start living your life being led and directed through a relationship with God? Living out of love and trust in Him and for Him and through Him?
  • Are you ready to please God by having faith in Him? Trusting Him in all situations?
  • Are you ready to pursue God?
  • Are you ready to diligently seek Him?
  • Are you ready to ask, seek, and knock so that you will get answers, find, and have doors open for you?
  • Are you ready to live your life with God as a friend rather than some instrument or machine that will give you stuff based on what or how you ask or insert it?
  • God isn’t a vending machine or a slot machine!
  • God is more interested with our hearts and wants to have a relationship with us!
  • God wants to be our friend just like Abraham was a friend of God’s!
  • Remember God is Love! Remember God is light and there is no darkness in Him!
  • Remember God delights in giving good gifts! Remember every good and perfect gift comes from God!
  • So let’s have faith! Let’s appreciate what God is and has given us and has done for us!
  • So let’s not stop having faith that God exists!
  • Let’s decide to have a personal relationship with Him!
  • Let’s decide to get to know Him better by pursuing Him and learn more about His character by reading His Word!
  • Are you ready to live out your today in a way to put a smile on God’s face?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How differently do we respond when we believe God is personal instead of like a vending machine?
  • Is your faith making God smile? Why or why not? What can you do to strengthen your faith?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If we have Christ with us, we can do all things. Let us not be thinking how weak we are. Let us lift up our eyes to Him and think of Him as our Elder Brother who has all power given to Him in Heaven and on earth. He says, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.'”

~ D.L. Moody

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at? Through Job I learned to have hope. Through other life experiences I learned that I didn’t want to have to hear God’s big booming voice but would rather listen to the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit. Are you ready to live by faith today? Are you ready to decide to invite God into your very situation? Are you ready to start your relationship with Jesus? 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?


Ever found words that set you off or trigger a response in or from you?


As today began this question came to mind. It caused me to remember a friend coming to me to talk and get some wisdom and advice. I remember him says “you seem to be a religious person” to which I responded, “what do you mean religious?” As I have learned and been living in relationship with Jesus and heard about religious spirits and religious rituals and routines, when or if someone tries to label me as religious I tend to ask for clarification. Being called religious I discovered is a trigger word for me.

From the blessing of learning that it isn’t about rituals and routines but rather Christianity being about a true relationship with Jesus, anything outside of that raises a concern as I don’t to be mislabeled. From the blessing of getting to read God’s Word in various translations, orders, and studies, knowing what God says about religious spirits has helped create in me an awareness and a desire for others to no it goes beyond rules and regulations, it goes beyond rituals and routines, it goes to relationships and relationships built upon the foundation of love! Love for God first and then love for our neighbors too.

When I hear the question or comment about being religious part of the reason I respond or get triggered is that God’s Word speaks of religious spirits are more interested in judgment than forgiveness! They seem to be more interested in watching people pay or be punished for their mistakes or wrongdoing than getting to see those same people (we are supposed to be loving) turn back to God, repent, and receive the forgiveness and grace of God. For this reason if someone asked or describes me as religious I tend to have the hair on the back of my neck go up and become defensive or at least inquisitive about what they mean or are seeing, so that I can make sure that I am helping them realize it is about a relationship and also correct either the perception or the reality if there are times or places when a religious spirit does rear its head from me.

Religious spirits are demons or like demons! If you spot someone who has a religious spirit in them, you will probably spot someone who are judgmental, self-righteous, prideful, critics, legalistic, perfectionists, divisive, erroneous in their interpretation of the truth, filled with or respond with unbelief or disbelief, doubtful, confused and confusing, argumentative, more focused on works to achieve salvation than Jesus and serving or working for His glory, filled with or tries to cause feelings of guilt, condemns (even though we know that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus), fearful of losing salvation, sacred of God rather than being in awe of God (the fear of God is the beginning of understanding, that doesn’t mean we need to be unhealthily scared of God, but more in awe and reverence of God), and tend to be very intolerant.

So let’s not get stuck on or focused on useless religion or religious spirits! Let’s grab hold of the reality of God’s calling on our lives through Jesus Christ and look to control out actions and behaviors! Let’s work to control our words and be aware of and ask Jesus to help cleanse our hearts because outburst are like the lights on the dashboard, warning us about something going on in our hearts. For out of the heart the mouth speaks! Let’s not discredited or be discredited by how we respond or speak, but instead let’s choose to live out our today in a way that will glorify God in Jesus’s name. Let’s take hold of true religion and love God and love our neighbors, taking care of the orphans and widows, the outcast and unlovable, being people who look to make a difference in the lives of others for the glory of God rather than for selfish desires. Let’s walk out our today’s in relationship with Jesus! Let’s be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger! Let’s be quick to try and understand before responding or attacking or causing something that could be detrimental to the door to God being opened in someone else’s life.

Are you ready? Let’s let God in so that we can live out today in a way that will glorify Him! Let’s pray without ceasing, talking with Him throughout our days like a close friend! Let’s invite the Holy Spirit to help clean out our hearts so that what comes out of our mouths will be glorifying to God!


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


Useless Religion


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. ‘

James 1:26

This is an interesting piece of text, let’s expand a bit on this to make sure we get a better context:

‘Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.’

James 1:21-27

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever realized all the connections that take place in your body?
  • Remember as a kid singing the songs about the connected bones?
  • Ever considered on a more spiritual basis how the heart is connected to the mouth?
  • Ever considered how the mouth is like the lights on your dashboard to let you know how your heart is doing?
  • Do you realize that from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks?
  • Do you realize the power of the words that come out of your mouth to build up and to tear down?
  • Do you realize the power of the words that come out of your mouth to bless and to curse?
  • Do you realize the power of the words that come out of your mouth to heal and to destroy?
  • Do you realize the power of the tongue? Ever checked out the proverbs and other readings about both the power of the tongue as well as the importance of trying to control it?
  • So as you speak, what are the words you are using saying about the content of your heart?
  • So as you speak, what is the tone of your voice saying about the content of your heart?
  • Does it point to alignment with God because you are speaking with warmth, forgiveness, acceptance, and wisdom?
  • Does it point to a religious spirit as described earlier in this post?
  • Let’s not be deceiving ourselves as today’s verse warns us.
  • Let’s not be living our lives with a useless religion!
  • Let’s check our hearts!
  • Let’s check the condition of our heart!
  • Since religion is supposed to put us in contact with God, the last thing we want is to have a broken connection.
  • Remember those shows “you’re breaking up…static…static…” when they were trying to talk on the old cell phone in a low connectivity area? or the “can you hear me now?” commercials?
  • God’s desire is for us to be connected! God’s desire is for us to live in His presence! God’s desire is to help us transform our lives!
  • That transformation is visible when we are able to control our tongue!
  • That transformation is missing when our tongue goes off and starts shooting and hurting everywhere around us.
  • Have you received and accepted the truth of the promises of Jesus?
  • Have you received and accepted the reality of Jesus into your heart?
  • Are you living connected and in relationship with Jesus?
  • If not then could today be your day to get started?
  • Could today be your day to have this new beginning and connection with and through Jesus?
  • Are you ready to have your heart softened and healed by inviting Jesus into it?
  • Are you ready to have God work on your heart and help get it cleaned up and cleaned out?
  • He knows what you have been through and what you are going through. Are you ready to let Him in to help?
  • Are you ready to have your heart to mouth connection fixed up so that you don’t get to the end and find out that this “religion” you thought you were living turns out to be a “useless religion”?
  • The choice is yours! You get a free choice on how you will move forward! The decision is yours!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What does your speech in the past twenty-four hours indicate about the content of your heart?
  • What changes need to be made so that your religion isn’t useless?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

There is no blessing until we look deep down in our own soul and see our spiritual life as it is really is.”

Alan Redpath

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you aware of Jesus? Are you learning about Jesus? Are you connected to Jesus? Are you able to live your life without a religious spirit? Are you able to live your life in relationship with Jesus? Do you want to reconnect or get connected with God through Jesus? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Do you realize the importance of people and how you treat them?


Remember how Jesus summarized the law? How we are to first love God and second love people?

‘Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”’

Matthew 22:37-40

Do you realize that all quality ministry comes out of relationships? So if you want to be able to accomplish something then you need to be making time and taking time to start and build relationships. Not sure where to start? Look for a need and fill it! Not sure what to do or how to treat them? Let’s consider the golden rule from Jesus during His sermon on the mount:

‘Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.’

Matthew 7:12

Ever realized there were other verses in the Bible about the Golden Rule? Check these ones out:

  • And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. — Luke 6:31
  • For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” — Galatians 5:14
  • You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. — Leviticus 19:18
  • Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. — Proverbs 6:6
  • Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. — Ephesians 4:28-32
  • For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” — Romans 13:9
  • Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they have rejected the law of the Lord, and have not kept his statutes, but their lies have led them astray, those after which their fathers walked. — Amos 2:4
  • The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” — Mark 12:31
  • But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, — Matthew 5:44
  • If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. — James 2:8
  • Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. — Romans 13:8-10
  • Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. — Ephesians 4:32
  • Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. — Matthew 18:21-22

If you aren’t sure how to do it then why not consider the people you are hanging out with and make sure you are hanging out with wise people so that you can be wise. Ever heard birds of a feather flock together? Be careful who you are hanging out with because you may become like them–so choose the circle of influence around you wisely. So let’s take hold of today’s verse of the day in the Bible App that tells us:

‘He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.’

Proverbs 13:20

So are you ready? Are you ready to build relationships with others? Are you ready to treat people like they matter and are valuable? Are you ready to show them how important they are to both you and God?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 20th


Golden Rule


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.’

Matthew 7:12

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever considered or heard people from various religions speak of the golden rule?
  • Do you realize how foundational this principle is to the world?
  • Do you realize how foundational it is to life?
  • Are you ready to lead and treat others the way you want to be treated first?
  • Are you ready to treat others with love and respect before they treat you that way?
  • Are you ready to lead the way rather than just responding in kind to how others choose to treat you?
  • Do you find the concept of treating others the way you want to be treated challenging?
  • Do you struggle to treat others the way you would like them to treat you?
  • Are you ready to accept others even before they are ready to accept you?
  • Are you ready to choose words that will build up rather than tear down?
  • Are you ready to tame your tongue in order to prevent the negative and painful words from coming out?
  • Are you ready to clean out your heart for it is from the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks?
  • Will you choose to be someone who will build up instead of tear down?
  • Will you choose to be someone who will heal and repair instead of rip apart and crush?
  • Will you choose to be someone who will notice and acknowledge others instead of ignoring and ridiculing them?
  • Will you choose to be someone who steps up and stands up for others?
  • Will you be someone who lives with character rather than someone who abuses or subverts the golden rule by using gossip, sarcasm, and silence to bring pain and suffering into the lives of others?
  • The only way to live it is to choose to live it!
  • We have to decide on purpose that we will live by the Golden Rule!
  • We have to make the decision to treat people with kindness!
  • We have to make the decision to treat people with respect!
  • We have to make the decision to treat people with honor!
  • We have to make the decision to treat people with words of affirmation!
  • We have to make the decision to be people of love as it is defined in 1 Corinthians 13!
  • Are you ready to live your life in a way that even without words people realize that they are important to you and to God?
  • Are you ready to live your life in a way that even when you don’t speak people realize that they matter to you?
  • Will you choose today to live your life accepting others?
  • Are you ready to continue doing it even if it shocks people who have known you forever?
  • Are you ready to press in and double down on living a life that will glorify God in such a powerful way?
  • Are you ready to change your life in such an incredible way that it will trickle down and overflow into the lives of others and point them to God?
  • Are you ready and willing to live this life of acceptance even if it doesn’t come back to you immediately?
  • Are you ready and willing to persevere and press in and press on living a life that accepts others and loves them as God loves them?
  • Will you grab hold of and start to live your life in accordance to the Golden Rule today?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Who is the person you know who most lives by the Golden Rule?
  • What can you do today to take steps to implement it for yourself? Be specific.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals.”

Albert Schweitzer

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you pursuing God’s will, purpose, and cause for your life? Are you running away from it? Are you treating others as you want to be treated? Are you building relationships or tearing them down? Are you leading with love? Are you ready to turn to God and pursue what He has planned for you? Are you ready to turn to God and pursue what He created you to accomplish? 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?


Beware the company you keep!


It is interesting how checking out the data about the posts over the years, which articles seem to get the most traffic or attention. The one that seems to get the most is titled Ever heard birds of a feather flock together? Be careful who you are hanging out with because you may become like them–so choose the circle of influence around you wisely. It doesn’t get the most traffic every day but has seemed to be the most popular post in my WordPress blogging years. Some additionally highly visited posts include Be careful the company you keep! and Are you chasing after the wind while trying to find meaning in life? Security and self-worth are not found in these accomplishments, but in the love of God. It is interesting to me what posts seem to resonate with people and which don’t. It is interesting to me what days get higher traffic than others and which don’t. It is interesting to me how over the decades of posting my morning devotional time like God called me to back in 2005, the lives of other people have been touched, online and in my offline worlds. When people at work are amazed at how my posts relate to what is going on in the office and then become more amazed when I share that I didn’t pick the readings but rather just picked the plan and the plan picks the daily readings. God knows before it ever happens and He is willing to share the wisdom and instructions and directions through His Word when we are willing to make the time and take the time to hear it and process it and follow it. Which is interesting as some other high traffic posts include the topic of obedience like Partial obedience is disobedience!, Partial obedience is still disobedience. and It’s time to choose…partial obedience is disobedience! We are all faced with the need to make decisions. We are all faced with making choices. The reality is that some of them may seem minor but may have larger implications and impact. The reality is that some of them may seem small but over time they snowball into something much larger. Say something like your word, Will you stand by your word? Does your word mean something? Words have power to build up or tear down so choose what you say wisely. or even your integrity in cases like Are you punctual, responsible, honest, and hardworking? Do you understand and do what your employer needs from you to make their job easier?. What is drawing you to heard a message from God today? What is it that is keeping you from hearing a message from God today? Could it be the company you are keeping? Could it be the things you are chasing after? Could it be a matter of submission and obedience? Are you able to control yourself? Ever noticed how things link back to the past? Don’t lose hope because of your past or what is going on in your present! Take hold of God’s truth like God is able to bring good out of any bad situation. How will you bring glory to God during trials? and Nothing is too big for God!, Nothing is too big. Bring it to God and let Him show you the way!, God can turn that frown upside down. Nothing is too big for God., and Nothing is impossible with God!. So don’t be robbed by the lies and deception of the devil but rather, put your hope and trust in God! Invite God into your life! Invite Jesus into your heart! Allow the Holy Spirit to be your comforter and your guide! And be transformed today to live out the rest of your life, here on earth and into eternity with God! Turn back now. Don’t wait till you hit bottom to turn back. Start the upward spiral sooner rather than later. Have you drifted away? Turn back now, while you can, before it is too late. It’s a matter of the heart! Do you acknowledge what happened and will you turn back to God? Are you in it for now or for the long run? We all get to make our own decision! We all get to decide which of the final destinations we want to arrive at. Who will you decide to walk with? Realize that it matters! God’s timing is perfect! God’s Timing is perfect… God’s timing is perfect! Do you realize when the timing is right?

Could today be your day? Want to jump in and get started, even without the devotional content to follow? You can feel free to jump to the end and pray with me right now. You can then come back here and continue hearing what today’s devotional is all about. The choice is yours, you can continue reading here or you can jump around. Is today your day?


The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for June 13th


Walk with the wise


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.’

Proverbs 13:20

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever joined the wrong crowd in your younger or later years?
  • Ever discovered from the outcomes that they were the wrong crowd?
  • Ever made bad or dumb choices that you would never have made previously but because of the influence of others you made them?
  • When you made those decisions were they minor annoyances or did they cause major havoc?
  • When you made those decisions were they ever fatal choices? for you? for someone else?
  • How do you choose your friends?
  • Do you realize the impact those decisions and choices can have on your life?
  • Do you realize how important it is to make good choices in your friends and those you hang out with?
  • Are you attracted to a perception rather than a reality?
  • Are you attracted to excitement rather than truth?
  • Are you attracted to risks rather than rewards?
  • Are you attracted to laughter rather than life?
  • Are you attracted to loudness rather than peace and quiet?
  • Are you attracted to the perception of fun rather than the reality of pain, sorrow, and torment?
  • Are you attracted to a temporary fun rather than life that is full and will last?
  • Are you attracted to take too many risks or just calculated risks?
  • Are you attracted to the adrenaline rush?
  • Are you rejecting people because of bad reputations?
  • Are you rejecting wise people because they aren’t fun?
  • Are you rejecting wise people because you think they are too boring?
  • Are you rejecting wise people because you think they are too stiff?
  • Are you rejecting wise people because you think they are too religious?
  • Are you rejecting wise people because you think they are too self-righteous?
  • Do you realize what wisdom really is?
  • Wisdom is the ability to live life!
  • Wisdom is the ability to squeeze every drop of meaning out of life!
  • Wisdom is the ability to look to God to give us the greatest adventure life has to offer!
  • Doesn’t wisdom seem more attractive?
  • Don’t you want to be wise and hang out with people who are wise so that you can live life to the full?
  • Why not choose to live a wise life so that you can live a life that will be to the full as Jesus wants and will honor Christ?
  • Remember why Jesus came? So that we can have life and life more abundantly! (John 10:10)
  • Do you have any wise friends?
  • Can you find a wise friend or two?
  • Are you ready and willing to seek and find some wise friends?
  • Are you ready and willing to do the work to find them?
  • Are you ready and willing to be one?
  • Will you accept the challenge of both? That’s right, the challenge to be a wise friend and to find some wise friends.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Why do you think fools can be so attractive to so many people?
  • How would you describe a really wise person?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Your best friend is the one who brings out your highest and best, never your lowest and least.”

Ike Reighard

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So who are you choosing to walk out your life with? How are those choices impacting the rest of your life? Is today the day to choose to walk out life with Jesus? Is today the day to start walking with the wise? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Are you leading by example?


If someone were watching you, what would they see? If someone were learning from you, what would they discover? If someone were following you, where would they end up? Are you being a good role model? Are you setting a good example? What would others learn from observing you?

Are you teaching them how to serve? Are you teaching them how to love? Are you teaching them how to live? Are you teaching them how to lead? Are you giving them a good example of a servant leader? Are you teaching them how to follow Jesus? Are you teaching them how to trust Jesus? Are you teaching them how to hope with Jesus? Are you teaching them how to have a relationship with Jesus? Are you leading by example?


The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for June 6th


A Fate worse than death


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

““Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How are you living your life when it comes to those God brings across your past?
  • How are you living your life when it comes to the outcasts and the oppressed?
  • Are you overflowing in the love of God that is and has been poured into you?
  • Are you able to overflow in tenderness and kindness?
  • Are you able to stand up for those who can’t standup for themselves?
  • Are you able to stand up against those who are hurting or holding them back?
  • Are you able to take a stand against the proud in order to protect the powerless?
  • Are you able to stand firm in order to support the poor?
  • Are you more focused on receiving than giving?
  • Are you more focused on receiving Jesus’ promises than living a life that is aligned with His commandments and warnings?
  • Will you be someone who overflows the love, the abundant ness, the peace, and the joy of God into the lives of others?
  • Will you be someone who protects against those who mislead, wound, or take advantage of helpless people?
  • Will you be someone who protects the children in alignment with God’s righteousness and fierce justice instead of having to receive it and deal with it for having mislead, wounded, or taken advantage of the children?
  • Don’t be found to be an abuser who would be better off drowned in the ocean!
  • Turn to Jesus! Ask Him to help you to get into alignment with Him and to forgive and help you be born again!
  • Are you in a position of power? Then you need to heed Jesus’ warning!
  • When you encounter children, poor people, displaced people, employees who serve under you, and anyone else you have authority over, you need to handle it as a sacred trust from God!
  • Remember we report to God and He is the final judge!
  • We will have to give Him an answer for our attitudes!
  • We will have to give Him an answer for our behavior!
  • So don’t ignore them!
  • Don’t use them for selfish gain!
  • Don’t make jokes at their expense!
  • Don’t take them for granted!
  • Let’s listen and walk in obedience to God’s instruction!
  • Let’s decide and choose walk out our lives in relationship with Jesus!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Who are the people in your life who are “little ones”?
  • What are some specific things you need to change to value them more highly?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

”If Christ lives in us, controlling our personalities, we will leave glorious marks on the lives we touch. Not because of our lovely character, but because of His.”

— Eugenia Price

So are you ready to lead by example? Are you ready to leave a legacy? Are you ready to make a difference in the lives God brings your way? Are you ready to make a difference? Let’s pray:

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

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

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

How well do you know God?


Do you know Him or just about Him? Do you think He is only the god of somethings or the God of all things? Do you think He is only the god sometimes or the God of all times? Do you think He has power sometimes or He is powerful all the time? Do you read about Him or do you spend time and talk with Him? Do you believe in God or have you received God? Even the demons believe in God and tremble. Are you willing to make time and take time to meet with God in order to know Him better? Are you willing to be in a relationship that continues and gets deeper over time? Are you ready to receive Him into your heart?

Today might you seek God with all of your heart, your mind, and soul? We learn through God’s Word how we will find Him when we seek Him with all of our heart, mind, and soul! Will you choose to love God with all of your heart, all of your soul, and all of your mind? (Check out Matthew 22:37 and Deuteronomy 6:5)

It’s not about a transactional experience but rather a relationship! You can’t do enough things to make your way into heaven and spend eternity with God! To be saved and enter into God’s presence requires that we choose to receive the gift of grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ! We are saved by grace through faith, not by works so that nobody can boast! We don’t stop at meeting Jesus, that is just the beginning! We need to stay connected to Jesus just as the branches are connected to the vine! We need to stay connected so that Jesus can flow into our lives and we can produce good fruit! We need to stay connected to Jesus as the branches so that God the Father is able to prune us and help us to become more fruitful! (Check out the importance of this in John 15). Let’s stay connected so that we can know God more and more and better and better. When we stay connected then we produce the fruit of good works! Works don’t save us but works demonstrate our faith! Put another as we see in James 2 faith without works is dead! (Check out James 2:17 and James 2:26)

Do you talk to God when you wake up? Do you talk to God throughout your day? Do you talk to God before you go to sleep? Do you dream dreams or have visions? Do you know God or just about God? Are you aware of God? Are you familiar with God? Are you informed of God? Are you grounded in God? Are you conversant with God? Are you cognizant of God? are you in the know about God? Are you plugged into God? Are you a friend of God?

Do you want to be a friend of God like Abram?

And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.

James 2:23

Do you want to be a friend of Jesus like the disciples?

‘ No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do. I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him.]’

John 15:13-15

So will you live your life as a living sacrifice to God because you are His friend? Will you continually worship God to demonstrate that you are His friend? Will you make time, take time, and prioritize your time with God to demonstrate that you are His friend? Will you be a servant to God and to others like Jesus demonstrated through His life in order to demonstrate that you are His friend? Will you give yourself fully to the work of the Lord to demonstrate you are His friend? Will you give generously to demonstrate your are God’s friend? Will you inspire faith in others in order to demonstrate that you are His friend? Will be in a mode of continuous learning of God’s Word, God’s will, God’s plans and purposes in order to demonstrate you are His friend? Will you intercede for others as a way of showing that you are a friend of God?

Will you be loyal and dependable to God? Will you come into agreement with God in order to be a close friend and allow Him to be your close friend? Will you confide in God and allow Him to confide in you as His friend?

How much will you trust God? Are you willing to get acquainted fully to Him in order to be able to trust Him fully?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 2nd


Fully Acquainted


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘O Lord , You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.’

Psalms 139:1-3

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How do you feel when you realize that God sees and knows everything about you?
  • Helps me to think about my thoughts when being tempted and ask for wisdom and try to do life in a way that will glorify Him.
  • Helps me to turn back and ask for forgiveness quickly when I mess up.
  • I feel convicted when I miss the market which is much better than feeling condemned which is the lie the devil tries to peddle when I mess up.
How does a fresh grasp of His omniscience give you a new appreciate for His grace?
  • I am thankful that Jesus paid it all, once for all, His blood covers all my sins (even the ones I haven’t committed yet)
  • God is so good! I am so thankful for His love letter that is the Bible!

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“There is tremendous relief in knowing His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me , so that no discovery can disillusion him about me , in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.”

― J.I. PackerKnowing God

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So do you know God? Do you want to know God? Are you ready to start the journey of developing a real friendship with Him today?

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

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

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

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

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

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


Did you hear the news?


How often when someone comes up to you asking “did you hear the news?” do you think “what news?”? I know since COVID hit and being at home most of the time, I get less news information than ever. I don’t watch TV news in general because they never provide good news and in a lot of cases try to create fear in order to keep people glued to the TV. I used to get a lot of my news during my commute which with working from home is now non-existent. The only other news I used to get was from work and with working from home and fewer random encounters be it on the way to the kitchen, the restroom, or to lunch area, even this has somewhat dried up. The good news is that I have worked hard to retain my connections and relationships with people which has allowed me to stay in the know and get news that is relevant to family and friends. Be it personal news about family, health, travel, or job changes. Be it social news that is important to them. I tend to reach out when God puts someone on my heart to check in on them. I tend to ping them using one of the many tools available from social media like Facebook and LinkedIn or chat type tools like Slack and email. How often though does it end up that you missed it? Like you find out a coworker has left the company after they left meaning you didn’t get a chance to say goodbye and wish them the best? Like some new discovery or idea that made it across the broadcast networks? Good news or bad news, is there ever news that you missed and wish there had been a way for you to have known more quickly? I think it goes back to relationships! First a relationship with God so that the Holy Spirit can prompt you with His still quiet voice to reach out. Next a relationship with people so that they keep you in the know and you are able to use scheduled or random times to connect and keep in touch. Do you have and do you invest in your relationships in order to stay connected? Do you have and do you invest enough to be able to know which branches need to be cut off versus just pruned? Just like in a garden both are required, both can be painful, and both are produce more fruit!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for March 10th


In case you missed it


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 5:11-12

‘“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Will you choose to do what is right? No matter what?
  • What does it say about you and who you are?
  • What does it say about your motives and your character?
  • Will you do right even when you may or will get persecuted for it?
  • Will you do right like the disciples in Acts 5 who even after being thrown in jail for sharing Jesus at the temple they went back at daybreak after being released and told by an angel to?
    • ‘Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.” And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.’
      Acts 5:17-21
  • Will you do the right thing even if it means you will be reviled? Looking up what reviled means produced this list: criticize, censure, condemn, attack, inveigh against, rail against, lambaste, flay, savage, brand, stigmatize, denounce, blacken someone’s reputation, defame, smear, slander, libel, traduce, cast aspersions on, cast a slur on, malign, vilify, calumniate, besmirch, run down, abuse, knock, slam, pan, bash, take to pieces, take apart, crucify, hammer, lay into, slate, roast, skewer, bad-mouth, rubbish, slag off, monster, pummel, bag, vituperate against, or excoriate?
  • Will you do the right thing even if evil things may be said of you?
  • Will you do the right thing even if it means you may be falsely accused?
  • In this life we will have troubles, that’s right God doesn’t promise that it will be easy but He does promise that it will be worth it!
  • Will you do the right thing even if it threatens your life on earth?
  • The original disciples all died as martyrs.
  • Will you be light in a dark world, even when so many like or prefer the darkness as is shared in John 3?
    • ‘“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”’
      John 3:18-21
  • Will you keep the faith? Will you let your light shine? Even if it means people put on sunglasses because they don’t like the light or if it mean you may get ignored or attacked because of it?
  • It’s not a new New Testament thing. We saw Moses’ face light up after visiting with God and the response. We saw people mocking and hating Moses and other prophets for bringing God’s news or message to them.
  • Let’s take a stand and stand up for God! If we don’t stand for something we will fall for anything!
  • Let’s do the right thing and make the right decision(s) in order that we can receive the reward from God!
  • Let’s pray and stand for our brothers and sisters around the world for there are many who are being persecuted, attacked, and even killed for their faith in Jesus!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What does it mean to you that Jesus compared us to the Old Testament prophets?
  • It’s not a new occurrence for people to be attacked, persecuted, mocked, and even killed for standing up and delivering the message of God.
In this passage, Jesus promised great reward for our faith. What do you think He meant?
  • An eternal reward!
  • An eternity spent in heaven with God!
  • In Matthew 10 we read:
    • ‘“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.’ — Matthew 10:32-33

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So did you catch the news? Are you ready to take hold of the Good News of Jesus?

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?


It’s not about works!


Do you think you are going to be ok because of all the good works you are doing? If you check your heart are you doing the good works out of the overflow of love from God out of your heart or are you doing it out of compulsion or obligation? Are you doing good works out of duty in order for people to think you are good? Are you doing good works out of responsibility so that people think you are the good one? When you look at others do you do it with judgment? Do you think because you are close enough to good that it is good enough? Do you think you can pay or pave your way to salvation by your works? Do you think you can pay or pave your way to heaven by your works? Do you realize that it isn’t by works or else you would be able to boast about how good you are and how justified you are to get into heaven? Do you realize it isn’t by proximity or even the knowledge? Do you realize what it really takes? Do you realize what it is you have to do? Are you doing good out of obligations or knowledge?

Let’s go back and consider what it takes to be saved.

For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;

— Ephesians 2:8 AMPC

It isn’t about our works but rather about our relationship. It isn’t about rituals nor routines but rather it is about our relationship with Jesus. We are saved by faith in Jesus! It is by grace, a gift freely offered by God that we get the freewill to choose to receive or not. Romans 3 speaks to it this way:

‘ But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets, Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives. [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, Whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment. It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time (in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of [our] pride and [our] boasting? It is excluded (banished, ruled out entirely). On what principle? [On the principle] of doing good deeds? No, but on the principle of faith. For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent of and distinctly apart from good deeds (works of the Law). [The observance of the Law has nothing to do with justification.] Or is God merely [the God] of Jews? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, Since it is one and the same God Who will justify the circumcised by faith [which germinated from Abraham] and the uncircumcised through their [newly acquired] faith. [For it is the same trusting faith in both cases, a firmly relying faith in Jesus Christ]. Do we then by [this] faith make the Law of no effect, overthrow it or make it a dead letter? Certainly not! On the contrary, we confirm and establish and uphold the Law.’

Romans 3:21-31

Jesus shows us that the 10 commandments can be fulfilled by following two simple instructions – Love God and Love People. Love is the key! God is Love! So will today be the day to turn back to God and accept His love? Do you realize how much God loves you? In John 3 it speaks to God’s love for us being so great when it says:

‘ In order that everyone who believes in Him [who cleaves to Him, trusts Him, and relies on Him] may not perish, but have eternal life and [actually] live forever! 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. 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. He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation–he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]’

John 3:15-18

So today if we consider the story of the Lost Son and reflect on the two sons, which one is more like you? Which ever one it is, are you ready, willing, and able to turn to the Father and start an intimate relationship with God? Be it because you have been humbled by your errors and suffering? Be it because of our self-righteous living and pride? Either way are you ready to start an intimate relationship with God through Jesus? Will you give up your good works in order to have a relationship instead? Will you give up your rule following to have intimacy with God instead? Will you give up your list following and checking the boxes for a real relationship of love with God through Jesus? It isn’t a problem to do good works for in James we see how faith without works is dead, but it is out of the overflow of the heart that the works are being done rather than to check all the boxes. Consider even the words that come out of your mouth since from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks! Consider how where your treasure is so your heart will be also. So today will you decide to follow Jesus? Will you decide to receive the free gift and be saved? We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus!

Let’s consider and reflect on the words of Paul in Philemon 1 which say:

‘ Therefore, though I have abundant boldness in Christ to charge you to do what is fitting and required and your duty to do, Yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you just for what I am–I, Paul, an ambassador [of Christ Jesus] and an old man and now a prisoner for His sake also–’

Philemon 1:8-9

So if you haven’t already accepted the invitation into God’s family, will you do it today? Why not jump down to the prayer section and pray with me before we proceed.


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘ O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker [in reverent praise and supplication].’

Psalm 95:6

Some say that hindsight is 2020. As we look back at 2020 and consider al the lessons learned and wisdom to capture, with only 1 month and 1 day left in the year, let’s not get stuck in the past but let’s look to the future with hope in faith thanks to Jesus! Let’s not let the challenges, the struggles, the problems, the fears to keep us from becoming and stepping into the future God has planned for us and called us into. Let’s allow our relationship with God to get stronger and deeper so that it is more intimate as we move forward today!

The 49 week challenge Day 334

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 334 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

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

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


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


Notes:

  • ‘After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: “ ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’ She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “ ‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup. Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.’ Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: “ ‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, you mighty city of Babylon! In one hour your doom has come!’ “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore— cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves. “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn and cry out: “ ‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’ “Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’ They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: “ ‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’ “Rejoice over her, you heavens! Rejoice, you people of God! Rejoice, apostles and prophets! For God has judged her with the judgment she imposed on you.”’
    — Revelation 18:1-20
  • ‘“Go down, sit in the dust, Virgin Daughter Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, queen city of the Babylonians. No more will you be called tender or delicate. Take millstones and grind flour; take off your veil. Lift up your skirts, bare your legs, and wade through the streams. Your nakedness will be exposed and your shame uncovered. I will take vengeance; I will spare no one.” Our Redeemer—the Lord Almighty is his name— is the Holy One of Israel. “Sit in silence, go into darkness, queen city of the Babylonians; no more will you be called queen of kingdoms. I was angry with my people and desecrated my inheritance; I gave them into your hand, and you showed them no mercy. Even on the aged you laid a very heavy yoke. You said, ‘I am forever— the eternal queen!’ But you did not consider these things or reflect on what might happen. “Now then, listen, you lover of pleasure, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.’ Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells. You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’ Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you. “Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror. All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. These are not coals for warmth; this is not a fire to sit by. That is all they are to you— these you have dealt with and labored with since childhood. All of them go on in their error; there is not one that can save you.’
    — Isaiah 47:1-15
  • ‘The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, take up a lament concerning Tyre. Say to Tyre, situated at the gateway to the sea, merchant of peoples on many coasts, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “ ‘You say, Tyre, “I am perfect in beauty.” Your domain was on the high seas; your builders brought your beauty to perfection. They made all your timbers of juniper from Senir ; they took a cedar from Lebanon to make a mast for you. Of oaks from Bashan they made your oars; of cypress wood from the coasts of Cyprus they made your deck, adorned with ivory. Fine embroidered linen from Egypt was your sail and served as your banner; your awnings were of blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah. Men of Sidon and Arvad were your oarsmen; your skilled men, Tyre, were aboard as your sailors. Veteran craftsmen of Byblos were on board as shipwrights to caulk your seams. All the ships of the sea and their sailors came alongside to trade for your wares. “ ‘Men of Persia, Lydia and Put served as soldiers in your army. They hung their shields and helmets on your walls, bringing you splendor. Men of Arvad and Helek guarded your walls on every side; men of Gammad were in your towers. They hung their shields around your walls; they brought your beauty to perfection. “ ‘Tarshish did business with you because of your great wealth of goods; they exchanged silver, iron, tin and lead for your merchandise. “ ‘Greece, Tubal and Meshek did business with you; they traded human beings and articles of bronze for your wares. “ ‘Men of Beth Togarmah exchanged chariot horses, cavalry horses and mules for your merchandise. “ ‘The men of Rhodes traded with you, and many coastlands were your customers; they paid you with ivory tusks and ebony. “ ‘Aram did business with you because of your many products; they exchanged turquoise, purple fabric, embroidered work, fine linen, coral and rubies for your merchandise. “ ‘Judah and Israel traded with you; they exchanged wheat from Minnith and confections, honey, olive oil and balm for your wares. “ ‘Damascus did business with you because of your many products and great wealth of goods. They offered wine from Helbon, wool from Zahar and casks of wine from Izal in exchange for your wares: wrought iron, cassia and calamus. “ ‘Dedan traded in saddle blankets with you. “ ‘Arabia and all the princes of Kedar were your customers; they did business with you in lambs, rams and goats. “ ‘The merchants of Sheba and Raamah traded with you; for your merchandise they exchanged the finest of all kinds of spices and precious stones, and gold. “ ‘Harran, Kanneh and Eden and merchants of Sheba, Ashur and Kilmad traded with you. In your marketplace they traded with you beautiful garments, blue fabric, embroidered work and multicolored rugs with cords twisted and tightly knotted. “ ‘The ships of Tarshish serve as carriers for your wares. You are filled with heavy cargo as you sail the sea. Your oarsmen take you out to the high seas. But the east wind will break you to pieces far out at sea. Your wealth, merchandise and wares, your mariners, sailors and shipwrights, your merchants and all your soldiers, and everyone else on board will sink into the heart of the sea on the day of your shipwreck. The shorelands will quake when your sailors cry out. All who handle the oars will abandon their ships; the mariners and all the sailors will stand on the shore. They will raise their voice and cry bitterly over you; they will sprinkle dust on their heads and roll in ashes. They will shave their heads because of you and will put on sackcloth. They will weep over you with anguish of soul and with bitter mourning. As they wail and mourn over you, they will take up a lament concerning you: “Who was ever silenced like Tyre, surrounded by the sea?” When your merchandise went out on the seas, you satisfied many nations; with your great wealth and your wares you enriched the kings of the earth. Now you are shattered by the sea in the depths of the waters; your wares and all your company have gone down with you. All who live in the coastlands are appalled at you; their kings shudder with horror and their faces are distorted with fear. The merchants among the nations scoff at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.’ ”’
    — Ezekiel 27:1-36
  • ‘Gather together, gather yourselves together, you shameful nation, before the decree takes effect and that day passes like windblown chaff, before the Lord ’s fierce anger comes upon you, before the day of the Lord ’s wrath comes upon you. Seek the Lord , all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord ’s anger. Gaza will be abandoned and Ashkelon left in ruins. At midday Ashdod will be emptied and Ekron uprooted. Woe to you who live by the sea, you Kerethite people; the word of the Lord is against you, Canaan, land of the Philistines. He says, “I will destroy you, and none will be left.” The land by the sea will become pastures having wells for shepherds and pens for flocks. That land will belong to the remnant of the people of Judah; there they will find pasture. In the evening they will lie down in the houses of Ashkelon. The Lord their God will care for them; he will restore their fortunes. “I have heard the insults of Moab and the taunts of the Ammonites, who insulted my people and made threats against their land. Therefore, as surely as I live,” declares the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, “surely Moab will become like Sodom, the Ammonites like Gomorrah— a place of weeds and salt pits, a wasteland forever. The remnant of my people will plunder them; the survivors of my nation will inherit their land.” This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. The Lord will be awesome to them when he destroys all the gods of the earth. Distant nations will bow down to him, all of them in their own lands. “You Cushites, too, will be slain by my sword.” He will stretch out his hand against the north and destroy Assyria, leaving Nineveh utterly desolate and dry as the desert. Flocks and herds will lie down there, creatures of every kind. The desert owl and the screech owl will roost on her columns. Their hooting will echo through the windows, rubble will fill the doorways, the beams of cedar will be exposed. This is the city of revelry that lived in safety. She said to herself, “I am the one! And there is none besides me.” What a ruin she has become, a lair for wild beasts! All who pass by her scoff and shake their fists.’
    — Zephaniah 2:1-15
  • ‘After these things had been done, the leaders came to me and said, “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.” When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice. Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God and prayed: “I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword and captivity, to pillage and humiliation at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today. “But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage. Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem. “But now, our God, what can we say after this? For we have forsaken the commands you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: ‘The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.’ “What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved and have given us a remnant like this. Shall we then break your commands again and intermarry with the peoples who commit such detestable practices? Would you not be angry enough with us to destroy us, leaving us no remnant or survivor? Lord , the God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence.”’
    — Ezra 9:1-15

As day 334 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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?

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


Which way will you choose to go?


Will you choose a way that will lead to joy? Will you choose a way that will lead to pleasure? Will you choose a way that will be alive and active? Will you choose a way that will cut to the chase, get rid of the false and fake? Will you choose a way that will bring clarity and vision? Will you choose a way that will build up your faith and trust in God? Will you choose a way that will lead and guide your every step? Will you choose a way that builds relationship with God through Jesus? Will you make the choice today that will direct your path forward? Will you turn back to God? Will you humble yourself and call out to Him? Will you be still and listen to what He has to say to you today? Will you allow Him to lead and guide you? Will you allow Him to comfort you and give you peace? Will you trust Him rather than trying to figure it all out in your own understanding? Will you choose a way that will transform you today and determine your destiny forever?


Today’s verse of the day comes to us from Psalms 16:11 which reads:

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. [Acts 2:25-28, 31.]

Psalms 16:11 AMPC

In this amplified version, we see scripture from the book of Acts and looking that up, we read:

‘ For David says in regard to Him, I saw the Lord constantly before me, for He is at my right hand that I may not be shaken or overthrown or cast down [from my secure and happy state]. Therefore my heart rejoiced and my tongue exulted exceedingly; moreover, my flesh also will dwell in hope [will encamp, pitch its tent, and dwell in hope in anticipation of the resurrection]. For You will not abandon my soul, leaving it helpless in Hades (the state of departed spirits), nor let Your Holy One know decay or see destruction [of the body after death]. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will enrapture me [diffusing my soul with joy] with and in Your presence. [Ps. 16:8-11.] He, foreseeing this, spoke [by foreknowledge] of the resurrection of the Christ (the Messiah) that He was not deserted [in death] and left in Hades (the state of departed spirits), nor did His body know decay or see destruction. [Ps. 16:10.]’

Acts 2:25-28,31 AMPC

Do you realize that the way we are going is our way of life? Are you living in God’s presence? Are you living in friendship and relationship with God? Let’s get into and stay in the presence of God so that we can have fullness of joy. The path we are to walk, the way we are to live, our way of life, needs to be in your presence. Help me today Lord to not try to go it alone, even though I know you are with me, never leaving and never abandoning me, and instead help me to walk out my today in relationship, in fellowship, in conversation with you through it all, making our relationship my way of life, so that in and through it all, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? Can you believe that 3/4 of the year is behind us now? Can you believe the lessons, the experiences, the highs, and the lows that have been able to take place? Will you take that and help it to change your path today? Will you that that and decide to live out today differently than you would have without those experiences? Will you choose to live out today trusting in God? Will you choose to live out today in a way to bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory?

The 49 week challenge
Day 276

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 276 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late.

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

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

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


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

My Notes:

  • Hebrews 4:12-16
    • ‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’
      Hebrews 4:12-16
  • Psalms 33
    • ‘Sing joyfully to the Lord , you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars ; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord ; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord , the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth— he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord ; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord , even as we put our hope in you.’
      Psalms 33:1-22
  • Proverbs 5
    • ‘My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it. Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you lose your honor to others and your dignity to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich the house of another. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors. And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of God’s people.” Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? For your ways are in full view of the Lord , and he examines all your paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.’
      Proverbs 5:1-23
  • Ecclesiastes 12
    • ‘Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”— before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets. Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Everything is meaningless!” Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true. The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.’
      Ecclesiastes 12:1-14

As day 276 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

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

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

My heart and my prayer for you is that you may be saved!


I have been blessed with an incredible life with views into eternity but missing the key till I was 30. I would go to church occasionally as a kid either with my parents or my grandmother. I felt pulled to go through the confirmation class while I was in university and so did and was confirmed Christmas eve day as I had to go back to school before I was able to participate with the others in the class. I even started to go to church while I was at university for a while. I even felt the need and desire to get married in the church going through the premarital classes too. But when I was 30 things changed, a huge event happened in my life that changed my world forever. It came in the mail and it was an invitation to a local church Christmas production. We had been in the community near that church and had been driving by it daily but had never gone in. We decided to go and check it out. That was the start of an amazing transformation. The reality that it was all about a relationship with Jesus became real and evident. The invitation of Jesus into my heart as my Lord and Savior took place. And then it felt like God put a jetpack on my back to get me caught up to where He desired for me to be. Being baptized. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Becoming members. Going through Cleansing Stream. Attending Wednesday night Bible studies in addition to our regular weekend services. Attending men’s retreats. Serving on the tech team. Serving in productions as an actor. Serving my community on the board of our homeowners association over 3 years as secretary, vice president, and president (the president role took some convincing from God but that is another story). Getting to meet incredible spiritual leaders. Getting to meet incredible singers and performers. Getting to meet people from around the world. It has been so incredible and it all goes back to catching and receiving the reality that I needed to start a relationship with Jesus. It wasn’t about rituals and routines. It wasn’t about trying to be good enough or do enough. It was about Jesus! Not Jesus plus something, just Jesus! Now from the overflow, from the fruits of this encounter, many incredible things have taken place. Not to make my way into heaven but because Jesus already paid it all. As it says in the Bible, faith without works is dead! My wife went through a similar transformation during this same time. My children have gotten to learn and see and experience and have their own relationships with Jesus too. God has revealed to me a promise of a son during a prayer asking if I would have all daughters or if I would have a son and that reading about Abraham’s promised son Isaac caused me to change the name I had selected if I were to ever have a son, which I do today. God revealed to me while I was reading the book Heaven is for Real that those 2 babies we lost before birth were up in heaven with Him and that the 4 daughters I had prayed to Him about when I had said I felt a connection to Philip the evangelist who had 4 daughters who were prophetess when I was asking if I would have 4 daughters or if I would get a son, I now realize I have both. God has blessed me with an incredible wife and three incredible children on this earth. God has blessed me with two who never had nor have to deal with the challenges of this earthy place. God has put kids on my heart from a very young age, not only to have many but also to help many. Be it before my encounter and being a big brother. Be it after when I have been able to be a counselor at a camp for foster kids (Royal Family) and it continues as director for a camp for foster teens (Teen Reach). Be it sponsoring kids around the world through various programs like Children International, Latin American Childcare, World Vision, and Watoto. God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than I could have ever asked or imagined. And the best is yet to come when I get to see Him in heaven and will get to meet my 2 daughters I haven’t yet met. Life isn’t easy – Jesus even tells us that in this world we will have troubles but He also tells us to take heart because He has overcome the world. Jesus also teaches us how that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because it builds and strengthens us, put another way we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that when we let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Knowing all this and the reality that back in 2005 when God changed my plan of using Windows Live Spaces (a blog system) to share pictures and information about my family with my extended family into a blog that continues to this day using WordPress sharing what He puts on my heart and how He is working in and through my life that started back in 2005 with my reading from the book of Revelation which triggered the naming of my blog From 2005 to Eternity. So as I prepare to jump into my reading for today, I go back to the title that I chose for today and pray that everyone God has brought into my life will get to see His light and His love in and through me pointing people to Jesus so that we will all be able to celebrate and spend eternity together in Heaven.


July is in the rearview mirror
They say Hindsight is 2020. As we are in 2020 and I look back at my 20 year journey in relationship with Jesus compared to the previous 30 knowing about Jesus, I realize the only way to have clarity of vision for the future is to have relationship with Jesus! Yes in this world it may look or even feel like a blur, but do you realize your purpose and your plan through God’s eyes? Are you able to still walk it out with hope because You know His plan for you is to give you a hope and a future? Will you choose today to invite Jesus in and solidify your destiny and eternity in Heaven with God rather than hell which is apart from God? We need to stop and think and consider and respond. We need to choose before it is too late and the choice of not choosing ends up deciding for us. (feel free to jump to the end and pray with me)

The 49 week challenge – Day 225

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 225 link to join me and sign up.

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

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

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


My Notes:

  • Today’s reading gets us started in Romans 10:
    • ‘Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.” And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.” But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”’
      Romans 10:1-21
  • Today’s reading then continues into the Old Testament with related readings starting in Deuteronomy 30:
    • ‘When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’
      Deuteronomy 30:1-20
  • Today’s reading continues with Psalms 19:
    • ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord , my Rock and my Redeemer.’
      Psalms 19:1-14
  • Today’s reading concludes with Ezekiel 20:
    • ‘In the seventh year, in the fifth month on the tenth day, some of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord , and they sat down in front of me. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Have you come to inquire of me? As surely as I live, I will not let you inquire of me, declares the Sovereign Lord .’ “Will you judge them? Will you judge them, son of man? Then confront them with the detestable practices of their ancestors and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose Israel, I swore with uplifted hand to the descendants of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, “I am the Lord your God.” On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. And I said to them, “Each of you, get rid of the vile images you have set your eyes on, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” “ ‘But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me; they did not get rid of the vile images they had set their eyes on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in Egypt. But for the sake of my name, I brought them out of Egypt. I did it to keep my name from being profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they lived and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites. Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, by which the person who obeys them will live. Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy. “ ‘Yet the people of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not follow my decrees but rejected my laws—by which the person who obeys them will live—and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and destroy them in the wilderness. But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land I had given them—a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands— because they rejected my laws and did not follow my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths. For their hearts were devoted to their idols. Yet I looked on them with pity and did not destroy them or put an end to them in the wilderness. I said to their children in the wilderness, “Do not follow the statutes of your parents or keep their laws or defile yourselves with their idols. I am the Lord your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.” “ ‘But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws, of which I said, “The person who obeys them will live by them,” and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. But I withheld my hand, and for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the wilderness that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries, because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes lusted after their parents’ idols. So I gave them other statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live; I defiled them through their gifts—the sacrifice of every firstborn—that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the Lord .’ “Therefore, son of man, speak to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In this also your ancestors blasphemed me by being unfaithful to me: When I brought them into the land I had sworn to give them and they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices, made offerings that aroused my anger, presented their fragrant incense and poured out their drink offerings. Then I said to them: What is this high place you go to?’ ” (It is called Bamah to this day.) “Therefore say to the Israelites: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Will you defile yourselves the way your ancestors did and lust after their vile images? When you offer your gifts—the sacrifice of your children in the fire—you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, you Israelites? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord , I will not let you inquire of me. “ ‘You say, “We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone.” But what you have in mind will never happen. As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord , I will reign over you with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered—with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you. As I judged your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign Lord . I will take note of you as you pass under my rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord . “ ‘As for you, people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go and serve your idols, every one of you! But afterward you will surely listen to me and no longer profane my holy name with your gifts and idols. For on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord , there in the land all the people of Israel will serve me, and there I will accept them. There I will require your offerings and your choice gifts, along with all your holy sacrifices. I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will be proved holy through you in the sight of the nations. Then you will know that I am the Lord , when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your ancestors. There you will remember your conduct and all the actions by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evil you have done. You will know that I am the Lord , when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, you people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord .’ ” The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward the south; preach against the south and prophesy against the forest of the southland. Say to the southern forest: ‘Hear the word of the Lord . This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume all your trees, both green and dry. The blazing flame will not be quenched, and every face from south to north will be scorched by it. Everyone will see that I the Lord have kindled it; it will not be quenched.’ ” Then I said, “Sovereign Lord , they are saying of me, ‘Isn’t he just telling parables?’ ”’
      Ezekiel 20:1-49

As day 225 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

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

What are you living for?


What is the big picture reason? What is the purpose driven reason? What is the driving idea? What is the motivating factor? What is the goal? What is the end result? What are you living for?

Purpose and Impact

Do you know what you were created for? Do you know why you were created? Do you know what you are capable of? Do you know how far you could go?

God created you on purpose, with purpose, for a purpose! God desires to live out this life in relationship with you! God desires to walk through this life with you! He loves you and wants to walk out that love through having a relationship with you! Are you willing to have a relationship with Him? Are you willing to open the door and all Jesus into your heart? He will never leave you nor abandon you! God is love! And Love is…

68431-loveispatient

So will you receive the gift of love from God? Will you accept the gift of grace from God? Will you allow His mercies to be brand new each day? Will you allow Him to be your rock and your fortress? This is the day that the Lord has made, so will you rejoice and be glad in it!

Being a celebrity doesn’t mean you don’t feel lonely! Being famous doesn’t mean you don’t feel lonely! Being in a crowd doesn’t mean you won’t feel lonely! Ever been with a lot people and in the midst of that felt alone?

Don’t you want to have real love? Don’t you want to have a real relationship?

With a relationship with God you never have to be feeling unloved or alone ever again! With a relationship with God you will find meaning and purpose everyday!


A Loving, Ongoing Relationship — Day 61: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalm 28, Mark 11:1-25, Leviticus 7:11-38, Leviticus 8

Today’s devotional has an interesting way to get us thinking and starting before we jump into God’s Word:

How can you and I have a relationship with the Creator of the universe? How in practice can we begin to communicate with God? What is the basis of this relationship? –from Day 61: Bible In One Year 2017

1. Develop a pattern of prayer  … Psalm 28:1-9

1To you, Lord, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit.
2Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.
3Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts.
4Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve.
5Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again.
6Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
8The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
9Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Psalm 28

Spend time with God! Take time to read and even listen to His Word! The Bible.com or it’s app allow you to hear God’s Word read to you. You can read along or you can close your eyes and hear it spoken to or over you. Ask God to speak to you through His Word! Ask God even before you begin to prepare you for this day ahead to and speak wisdom into your life through His Word and even through devotionals. Praying is just speaking with God! Whether you speak quietly to Him in your mind or you speak it out loud, He can hear you! You can’t really have a relationship with someone who you aren’t communicating to right? So why not start speaking to God? It’s not like you need special words since God understands all languages! It’s not like there are special rules about how to pray, however, Jesus did give us hope and instruction on a way to pray with the Lord’s prayer(Matthew 6:9-13)! I have found it can be helpful in terms of a flow to give my cares and concerns and talk to God but there are other times where I just talk to Him like a friend sitting in the seat of my car as I drive down the road (usually without my lips moving).

Today’s devotional speaks to these verses as follows:

Prayer is a key way to develop a relationship with God by speaking with him. There is no set way to do this. There are hundreds of different prayers in the Bible. Sometimes, it is helpful to follow a pattern (such as the Lord’s Prayer). Another pattern that I have found helpful is using the mnemonic ‘ACTS’. These elements are often found in the prayers we see in Scripture.

The context of this psalm is fear – possibly the fear of premature death. David may be facing illness or deep despair. He fears that he might die in disgrace and go down ‘to the pit’ (v.1).

His prayer to God includes the following:

A: Lord I adore you

Praise be to the Lord’ (v.6a); even in the midst of a difficult situation, David chose to praise God. Whatever the circumstances, praise God for who he is and what he has done. We see another example of this in the New Testament passage as the people worship Jesus (Mark 11:9–10).

C: I confess

‘Hear my cry for mercy’ (Psalm 28:2a); ask God’s forgiveness for anything that you have done wrong. This is also a moment to forgive anyone you need to forgive. As Jesus says in todays’ New Testament passage, ‘When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins’ (Mark 11:25).

T: I will give you thanks

‘My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him’ (Psalm 28:7c). Thank God for health, family, friends and so on. The importance of thanksgiving can also be seen in the Old Testament reading for today (see Leviticus 7:12–15).

S: Hear my supplication

‘… as I call to you for help’ (Psalm 28:2a). Pray for yourself, for your friends and for others. Interestingly David says, ‘I lift up my hands’ (v.2b). This seems to be almost synonymous with prayer. Hands raised in worship is not a modern idea; it is actually one of the most ancient forms of prayer.

–from Day 61: Bible In One Year 2017

It’s important to believe! And when you struggle ask God like the boy’s father who said “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Believe in God! Believe that God hears your prayers! Believe that God will answer your prayers! Believe God’s plan is for good! Believe in Jesus!

1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ ” 4They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,“Hosanna!”“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 10“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 11Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. 12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. 15On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” 18The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. 19When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. 20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

–from Mark 11

Faith in God is powerful! Believing without doubt in your heart has incredible power! Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. In Hebrews 11, we find more details about faith…

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.

23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born,because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.

31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon,Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword;whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins,destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. –from Hebrews 11

and in today’s devotional, we learn…

The great emphasis of the New Testament is that we relate to God by faith. We cannot earn the right to a relationship with God; it is a gift to be received by faith. In this passage we see the importance that Jesus placed on faith. He said, ‘Have faith in God’ (v.22). He says that by faith you can move mountains if you do not doubt in your heart but instead believe (v.23).

Jesus’ relationship with God, particularly through prayer, lies at the heart of each of the incidents we read about today. As Jesus approaches Jerusalem the people worship him. They cry out ‘Hosanna’ (vv.9–10), which was originally both a cry of happiness and a cry for help, meaning ‘save, we pray’ or ‘save now’.

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus drives out the money-changers because of his passion for the purity of God’s house. He says, ‘Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?”’ (v.17).

The passage ends with Jesus teaching his disciples that lack of forgiveness can be a barrier to prayer and to your relationship with God. He says, ‘And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins’ (v.25).

Jesus says we are not to hold ‘anything against anyone’. There are no limits to forgiveness. Lack of forgiveness destroys relationships.

Forgiveness sometimes takes great courage but it restores relationships and brings great joy. It is said that, ‘The first to apologise is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.’

Intertwined in these events, Jesus demonstrates the power of prayer in the acted parable of the fig tree. From this he teaches his disciples about the importance of faith and fruit in our relationship with God.

The fig tree had leaves but no fruit. Jesus said to it: ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again’ (v.14). I love the way Joyce Meyer applies this parable: ‘If our lives revolve around the church but we have no fruit, we are not living our faith.’ We can read our Bibles, listen to Christian podcasts and go to prayer meetings, but ‘if we do not have time to help anyone else or even show kindness, we are like the fig tree with leaves but no fruit… if we have leaves, we need to also have fruit’.

Jesus uses hyperbole to explain that we must be absolutely confident in God’s readiness to respond to faith. In Rabbinic literature, ‘mountain’ is sometimes used figuratively to denote an obstacle. Jesus seems to be saying that God will come in response to faith to remove seemingly impossible obstacles. He says, ‘Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours’ (v.24).

–from Day 61: Bible In One Year 2017

3. Approach God through Jesus … Leviticus 7:11-8:36

11“ ‘These are the regulations for the fellowship offering anyone may present to the Lord: 12“ ‘If they offer it as an expression of thankfulness, then along with this thank offering they are to offer thick loaves made without yeast and with olive oil mixed in, thin loaves made without yeast and brushed with oil, and thick loaves of the finest flour well-kneaded and with oil mixed in. 13Along with their fellowship offering of thanksgiving they are to present an offering with thick loaves of bread made with yeast. 14They are to bring one of each kind as an offering, a contribution to the Lord; it belongs to the priest who splashes the blood of the fellowship offering against the altar. 15The meat of their fellowship offering of thanksgiving must be eaten on the day it is offered; they must leave none of it till morning. 16“ ‘If, however, their offering is the result of a vow or is a freewill offering, the sacrifice shall be eaten on the day they offer it, but anything left over may be eaten on the next day. 17Any meat of the sacrifice left over till the third day must be burned up. 18If any meat of the fellowship offering is eaten on the third day, the one who offered it will not be accepted. It will not be reckoned to their credit, for it has become impure; the person who eats any of it will be held responsible. 19“ ‘Meat that touches anything ceremonially unclean must not be eaten; it must be burned up. As for other meat, anyone ceremonially clean may eat it. 20But if anyone who is unclean eats any meat of the fellowship offering belonging to the Lord, they must be cut off from their people. 21Anyone who touches something unclean—whether human uncleanness or an unclean animal or any unclean creature that moves along the ground—and then eats any of the meat of the fellowship offering belonging to the Lord must be cut off from their people.’ ” 22The Lord said to Moses, 23“Say to the Israelites: ‘Do not eat any of the fat of cattle, sheep or goats. 24The fat of an animal found dead or torn by wild animals may be used for any other purpose, but you must not eat it. 25Anyone who eats the fat of an animal from which a food offering may be presented to the Lord must be cut off from their people. 26And wherever you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird or animal. 27Anyone who eats blood must be cut off from their people.’ ” 28The Lord said to Moses, 29“Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who brings a fellowship offering to the Lord is to bring part of it as their sacrifice to the Lord. 30With their own hands they are to present the food offering to the Lord; they are to bring the fat, together with the breast, and wave the breast before the Lord as a wave offering. 31The priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast belongs to Aaron and his sons. 32You are to give the right thigh of your fellowship offerings to the priest as a contribution. 33The son of Aaron who offers the blood and the fat of the fellowship offering shall have the right thigh as his share. 34From the fellowship offerings of the Israelites, I have taken the breast that is waved and the thigh that is presented and have given them to Aaron the priest and his sons as their perpetual share from the Israelites.’ ” 35This is the portion of the food offerings presented to the Lord that were allotted to Aaron and his sons on the day they were presented to serve the Lord as priests. 36On the day they were anointed, the Lord commanded that the Israelites give this to them as their perpetual share for the generations to come. 37These, then, are the regulations for the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the ordination offering and the fellowship offering, 38which the Lord gave Moses at Mount Sinai in the Desert of Sinai on the day he commanded the Israelites to bring their offerings to the Lord. –from Leviticus 7

The Ordination of Aaron and His Sons

1The Lord said to Moses, 2“Bring Aaron and his sons, their garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket containing bread made without yeast, 3and gather the entire assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting.” 4Moses did as the Lord commanded him, and the assembly gathered at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
5Moses said to the assembly, “This is what the Lord has commanded to be done.” 6Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water. 7He put the tunic on Aaron, tied the sash around him, clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him. He also fastened the ephod with a decorative waistband, which he tied around him. 8He placed the breastpiece on him and put the Urim and Thummim in the breastpiece. 9Then he placed the turban on Aaron’s head and set the gold plate, the sacred emblem, on the front of it, as the Lord commanded Moses.
10Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them. 11He sprinkled some of the oil on the altar seven times, anointing the altar and all its utensils and the basin with its stand, to consecrate them. 12He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him. 13Then he brought Aaron’s sons forward, put tunics on them, tied sashes around them and fastened caps on them, as the Lord commanded Moses.
14He then presented the bull for the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 15Moses slaughtered the bull and took some of the blood, and with his finger he put it on all the horns of the altar to purify the altar. He poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. So he consecrated it to make atonement for it. 16Moses also took all the fat around the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, and both kidneys and their fat, and burned it on the altar. 17But the bull with its hide and its flesh and its intestines he burned up outside the camp, as the Lord commanded Moses.
18He then presented the ram for the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 19Then Moses slaughtered the ram and splashed the blood against the sides of the altar. 20He cut the ram into pieces and burned the head, the pieces and the fat. 21He washed the internal organs and the legs with water and burned the whole ram on the altar. It was a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.
22He then presented the other ram, the ram for the ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 23Moses slaughtered the ram and took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 24Moses also brought Aaron’s sons forward and put some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears, on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. Then he splashed blood against the sides of the altar. 25After that, he took the fat, the fat tail, all the fat around the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, both kidneys and their fat and the right thigh. 26And from the basket of bread made without yeast, which was before the Lord, he took one thick loaf, one thick loaf with olive oil mixed in, and one thin loaf, and he put these on the fat portions and on the right thigh. 27He put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons, and they waved them before the Lord as a wave offering. 28Then Moses took them from their hands and burned them on the altar on top of the burnt offering as an ordination offering, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord. 29Moses also took the breast, which was his share of the ordination ram, and waved it before the Lord as a wave offering, as the Lord commanded Moses.
30Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood from the altar and sprinkled them on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. So he consecrated Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments.
31Moses then said to Aaron and his sons, “Cook the meat at the entrance to the tent of meeting and eat it there with the bread from the basket of ordination offerings, as I was commanded: ‘Aaron and his sons are to eat it.’ 32Then burn up the rest of the meat and the bread. 33Do not leave the entrance to the tent of meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed, for your ordination will last seven days. 34What has been done today was commanded by the Lord to make atonement for you. 35You must stay at the entrance to the tent of meeting day and night for seven days and do what the Lord requires, so you will not die; for that is what I have been commanded.”
36So Aaron and his sons did everything the Lord commanded through Moses.

–from Leviticus 8

In the days before Jesus we needed a priest to pray for us, to bring our concerns, to get answers. With Jesus, we now have direct access to God! Thru Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life we have the ability, the oppportunity, and the way to talk directly with God! He is sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding for you and for me. He is our great high priest!

and in today’s devotional, we learn…

The way to relate to God in the Old Testament was through the priesthood. Because of sin, human beings could not relate directly to God. They needed to go through a priest, and in particular they needed a high priest.

In this passage we see how Aaron was anointed for this task. Moses ‘poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him’ (8:12). Aaron was a forerunner of Jesus Christ. The word Christ means ‘the anointed one’. Aaron’s priesthood was fallible; he had to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as the people’s. Jesus is the great high priest. Through Jesus you can relate to God with confidence and have a direct relationship with him.

As the writer of Hebrews puts it, ‘Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need’ (Hebrews 4:14–16).

In fact, because of Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins, you are in an even better position than the Old Testament priests (compare Hebrews 10:22 with Leviticus 8:30). Through repentance and forgiveness your relationship with God is utterly transformed and you can come directly into God’s presence, just as the Old Testament priests did when they entered the Tent of Meeting. ‘Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience’ (Hebrews 10:22).

–from Day 61: Bible In One Year 2017

 

Ever considered how miracles make sense when you bring it into mathematical terms?


I remember when I first had this aha. I remember how my math background with relationship to dimensions seem to make it become clear to me how God could reach in and touch someone without anyone seeing it. I remember having conversations with people and watching their eyes gloss over till I brought it from beyond the 3rd dimension down to 2D/3D comparison. Since God is outside and far beyond 3D, if we extend the story I am about to tell you from a 2D/3D perspective it seems to add up how God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine.

Here is my analogy that I share. Imagine a creator in the 3D world (you or me) and a creation in a 2D world (characters we draw on a piece of paper). The person on the paper can only see in the paper, that is it’s 2D world. They can’t see up from the paper, only within the paper. Now if we happened to draw a hand wrong or a crooked arm or some other characteristic and the 2D person was concerned because their hand was weird or their head was too big or … then we could have the ability to come in from the top (which they can’t see) erase the issue and redraw it answering their prayer. They would as would their friends in the 2D world just experienced a miracle! Might they be afraid? Sure! How would you respond if your hand disappeared? Might they freak out when a new and improved one perfectly proportioned appears? Probably! Now what if that stick person believed there was a creator because he had seen grass appear, trees appear, the sun in the sky, clouds, and more. What if when they had a situation they asked the creator and they updated and changed the picture? What if they had a relationship where the stick person trusted the creator or artist? Imagine how that would be! Trust! Hope! Love! Friendship! Intimacy!

When we extrapolate this to us in 3D world and we know God is at least beyond 4D (which most of us call time, since God is outside of time) but how many dimensions is He beyond that, we will have to wait till we get to meet with Him before we will get a chance to ask and find that out! God is able and willing to answer our prayers! His ways are not our ways and as we learned the other day He knows what is best and so sometimes His answer is yes, sometimes it is no, and sometimes it is wait He has something better planned. So we need to trust Him! We need to build up our relationship with Him! God created us to be in an intimate relationship with Him! We weren’t created to be robots who just obey commands, we were created on purpose, for a purpose, with a purpose so that we could love God and be in a relationship with Him! So we need to go beyond the He is out there somewhere and start grasping He is Emmanuel, God with us! He is right here, right now and wants to be in relationship with us! So have you started your friendship with God? Have you asked Jesus into your heart? Have you decided to follow after Him? Has your journey with God begun as a friendship and relationship rather than a concept or as something out there somewhere? If not, why not start today? Why not ask Jesus into your heart and start the journey of LOVE with Him? If not now then when? If now here then where? If now you then who? If not by asking Him in then how? So the ball is in your court because you have the freewill to choose! What are you going to do with it?

Math and Science pointed me to how God exists. Math and Science revealed to me how it makes sense. Math and Science reveal the creator. Match and Science reveal His creation! The more we learn the more we see how it is possible! Unlike math proofs, it may not be easy to prove, but from my experiences and my relationship with God, I know He is for real and I know that Jesus took me from where I was to where I needed to be to truly start a friendship with Him! He took me from the excuses to a divine encounter! He took me from too busy to bother to being even busier and need Him too much to miss going and being filled by His Word and being surrounded by His people. Thank You Jesus for making a way when there didn’t seem to be a way. Thank You Jesus for divinely putting me somewhere that would allow me to hear from You! Thank You Jesus for saving me and my family! Thank You Jesus for bringing my family to the truth of who You are so young in their lives so that hopefully they won’t have to go thru all the challenges I did because they can learn from me rather than going through it all on their own. Lord, I thank you and praise You because I love You and You deserve it!


Day 33: Bible In One Year 2017
Psalm 18:7-15, Matthew 21:33-46, Matthew 22:1-14, Job 25, Job 26, Job 27, Job 28, Job 29

Today’s devotional has two words we need to probably get out there and defined before we just jump in: Transcendence and Immanence.

Transcendence:

transcendence-of-god

Immanence:

immanence-of-god


Worship the transcendent God and love his awesome presence … Psalm 18:7-15

7The earth trembled and quaked,and the foundations of the mountains shook;they trembled because he was angry. 8Smoke rose from his nostrils;consuming fire came from his mouth,burning coals blazed out of it. 9He parted the heavens and came down;dark clouds were under his feet. 10He mounted the cherubim and flew;he soared on the wings of the wind. 11He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—the dark rain clouds of the sky. 12Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,with hailstones and bolts of lightning. 13The Lord thundered from heaven;the voice of the Most High resounded. 14He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,with great bolts of lightning he routed them. 15The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord,at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

–from Psalm 18

Do you hate evil? Do you get angry when you see evil taking place? Do you see the evil taking place in this world? Are you doing anything? Not maliciously but rather out of the love for people? When I think of what is taking place in this world and what impact I can make, I consider the world of foster kids and what I might be able to do for them. Do you realize the number of them who get drawn in or pulled into the world of human trafficking? Do you realize the number of them who have been abused or neglected as children? Do you realize the number of them who have been tortured? So we need to step up and step in to help them realize they are valued and they are loved! We need to keep them from people who will manipulate them and torture them. We need to provide ways for them to know they are important to God and important to us! We need to provide opportunities be it through after school programs or mentoring programs or camps to share the love of God with them! We can make a difference! Do you realize there is a crisis where the number of place open to foster care kids is shrinking while at the same time the need is growing? We need to choose to do something! We need to choose to be Jesus’ hands healing and arms embracing! We need to choose to step out of our comfort zone and into God’s mission field! A few days at camp makes a difference! It provides hope! Can you go? Can you send others? Can you support? Can you pray? How will you be a part today?

Today’s devotional speaks to today’s reading like this:

David speaks of the awesome presence of God: ‘The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook… Out of the brightness of his presence… The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded’ (vv.7,12–13).

In this psalm we see both the power and the anger of the transcendent God: ‘They trembled because he was angry’ (v.7). God’s anger (though never malicious) is his personal reaction against sin.

If we look at human trafficking, the abuse of children, institutional torture or some other terrible injustice without feeling any anger, we are failing to love. Indignation against evil is an essential element of goodness. In this psalm we see that God’s anger is the reverse side of his love.

Yet, this is a psalm in which David expresses his intimate friendship with God. It begins, ‘I love you, O Lord, my strength’ (v.1). David did not take it for granted. He understood the immense privilege of having an intimate friendship with the transcendent God.

–from Day 33: Bible In One Year 2017


Accept God’s invitation and enjoy his intimate friendship … Matthew 21:33-22:14

Do you realize how great and generous God is? Do you realize how great His love is for you? Do you realize the generosity He desires to share with you? Love is more than just an emotion! Love is a way of life! Do you remember what 1 Corinthians 13 said about love? Do you remember that God is love?

33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. 35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. 38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41“He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” 42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’ ? 43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

–from Matthew 21

1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. 4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ 5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

–from Matthew 22

Do you realize the reverse of God’s love and mercy is judgment? Do you realize that when people reject God’s love and do evil they are setting themselves up for God’s judgment? Do you realize the invitation God has put out there to be able to have an intimate friendship with Him? Will you receive it like someone who is invited to a banquet or will you reject it? What if He keeps the open invitation out there? What if He keeps asking? Will you miss out on the future He has available for you by rejecting or coming up with excuses why you can’t or you shouldn’t? God and His ways aren’t somber, dull or boring! We just read how it was described as a party! Having a relationship with God and getting to be a friend and a part of His family is bright and cheerful! It’s interesting and clever! It’s exciting, eventful, interesting, lively, new, and fascinating! So let’s party with God! Let’s celebrate what He has already done, is doing, and will do in and through our lives! Let’s come together and be the body of Christ in this world!

Today’s devotional concludes with:

God’s invitation is not something you should take lightly or flippantly. It is an amazing and wonderful invitation. It is a huge privilege that a transcendent God invites you to have an intimate friendship with him. However, it is not enough simply to go along. You need the right wedding clothes (vv.11–13). You cannot enter the kingdom of heaven on your own terms – only on Jesus’ terms. Thankfully, through his death and resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus has provided the clothes you need.

–from Day 33: Bible In One Year 2017


Understand the transcendence of God and know his immanence … Job 25:1-29:25

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the troubles or trials that come your way and start questioning life or God? Let’s not forget the promises of God and let’s grab hold of the things we can learn through our reading in Job!

Jesus told us that “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We are also told that we are to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! That’s “because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

We see how Job understood the transcendence of God! He knows God’s power! And that God is powerful enough to help us! God is powerful enough to help you and loves you enough to do so! Job shares this in revealing how he know God’s immanence!

Let’s respect and love God! Let’s live our lives in a way that shows Him the love and respect He deserves!

Today’s devotional summarizes today’s reading from Job the following way:

Job understood the transcendence of God. He says, ‘I will teach you about the power of God’ (27:11a). He points out that everything we see of God’s power in the natural world around is only ‘the outer fringe of his works’ (v.12).

God is powerful enough to help you.

God is not only powerful enough to help you; he also loves you enough to do so. Job knew all about the immanence of God. He had experienced ‘God’s intimate friendship’ (29:4) where true wisdom is to be found.

‘Fear-of-the-Lord – that’s Wisdom, and Insight means shunning evil’ (v.28, MSG). The ‘fear-of-the-Lord’ means respect for God. It is in this respectful relationship with God that we find wisdom. Now we know that Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God. It is in an intimate friendship with him that you find true wisdom.

Job describes the immense value of this wisdom: ‘Where can wisdom be found?… It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed in silver… God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells… “The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding”’ (28:12,15–28).

What kind of life does this lead to? It will lead to shunning evil (v.28) and serving the poor (29:12). Job describes a truly righteous life as helping ‘the poor… the fatherless… [the] dying… the widow… the blind… the lame… the needy… the stranger’ (vv.12–16). Job was concerned not only with poverty but also with justice: ‘I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban… I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth’ (vv.14,17).

As you draw close to God in intimate friendship, his concerns become your concerns. Like Job, you will desire to help the poor, the fatherless, the homeless and the widows. You want to rescue victims of injustice. You will seek to look after the blind, the lame, the needy and the refugees in your land.

Job had not actually lost his intimate friendship with God. But, at the point that he was writing, he had lost any tangible feeling of it. He was going through the most appalling suffering. It seemed to him that God was miles away. You may be experiencing something like this at the moment. If you are, be encouraged by the story of Job.

When we come to the end of the book of Job, we understand that God had never left him. God was going to bless him more than he could ever ask or even imagine. God would restore to him the sense of his intimate friendship.

Now, through Jesus, all of us can experience an intimate friendship with the transcendent God and know his ultimate blessing on our lives.

–from Day 33: Bible In One Year 2017

So let’s read over today’s reading from Job and consider how we can build up our relationship with Jesus and glorify God!

Bildad

1Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2“Dominion and awe belong to God;
he establishes order in the heights of heaven.
3Can his forces be numbered?
On whom does his light not rise?
4How then can a mortal be righteous before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?
5If even the moon is not bright
and the stars are not pure in his eyes,
6how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot—
a human being, who is only a worm!”
–from Job 25

Job

1Then Job replied:
2“How you have helped the powerless!
How you have saved the arm that is feeble!
3What advice you have offered to one without wisdom!
And what great insight you have displayed!
4Who has helped you utter these words?
And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?
5“The dead are in deep anguish,
those beneath the waters and all that live in them.
6The realm of the dead is naked before God;
Destruction lies uncovered.
7He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
he suspends the earth over nothing.
8He wraps up the waters in his clouds,
yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.
9He covers the face of the full moon,
spreading his clouds over it.
10He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters
for a boundary between light and darkness.
11The pillars of the heavens quake,
aghast at his rebuke.
12By his power he churned up the sea;
by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces.
13By his breath the skies became fair;
his hand pierced the gliding serpent.
14And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
how faint the whisper we hear of him!
Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”

Job’s Final Word to His Friends

1And Job continued his discourse:
2“As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice,
the Almighty, who has made my life bitter,
3as long as I have life within me,
the breath of God in my nostrils,
4my lips will not say anything wicked,
and my tongue will not utter lies.
5I will never admit you are in the right;
till I die, I will not deny my integrity.
6I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it;
my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.
7“May my enemy be like the wicked,
my adversary like the unjust!
8For what hope have the godless when they are cut off,
when God takes away their life?
9Does God listen to their cry
when distress comes upon them?
10Will they find delight in the Almighty?
Will they call on God at all times?
11“I will teach you about the power of God;
the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal.
12You have all seen this yourselves.
Why then this meaningless talk?
13“Here is the fate God allots to the wicked,
the heritage a ruthless man receives from the Almighty:
14However many his children, their fate is the sword;
his offspring will never have enough to eat.
15The plague will bury those who survive him,
and their widows will not weep for them.
16Though he heaps up silver like dust
and clothes like piles of clay,
17what he lays up the righteous will wear,
and the innocent will divide his silver.
18The house he builds is like a moth’s cocoon,
like a hut made by a watchman.
19He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more;
when he opens his eyes, all is gone.
20Terrors overtake him like a flood;
a tempest snatches him away in the night.
21The east wind carries him off, and he is gone;
it sweeps him out of his place.
22It hurls itself against him without mercy
as he flees headlong from its power.
23It claps its hands in derision
and hisses him out of his place.”

Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found

1There is a mine for silver
and a place where gold is refined.
2Iron is taken from the earth,
and copper is smelted from ore.
3Mortals put an end to the darkness;
they search out the farthest recesses
for ore in the blackest darkness.
4Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft,
in places untouched by human feet;
far from other people they dangle and sway.
5The earth, from which food comes,
is transformed below as by fire;
6lapis lazuli comes from its rocks,
and its dust contains nuggets of gold.
7No bird of prey knows that hidden path,
no falcon’s eye has seen it.
8Proud beasts do not set foot on it,
and no lion prowls there.
9People assault the flinty rock with their hands
and lay bare the roots of the mountains.
10They tunnel through the rock;
their eyes see all its treasures.
11They search the sources of the rivers
and bring hidden things to light.
12But where can wisdom be found?
Where does understanding dwell?
13No mortal comprehends its worth;
it cannot be found in the land of the living.
14The deep says, “It is not in me”;
the sea says, “It is not with me.”
15It cannot be bought with the finest gold,
nor can its price be weighed out in silver.
16It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,
with precious onyx or lapis lazuli.
17Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it,
nor can it be had for jewels of gold.
18Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention;
the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.
19The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it;
it cannot be bought with pure gold.
20Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?
21It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
concealed even from the birds in the sky.
22Destruction and Death say,
“Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
23God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells,
24for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,
26when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,
27then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.
28And he said to the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.”

Job’s Final Defense

1Job continued his discourse:
2“How I long for the months gone by,
for the days when God watched over me,
3when his lamp shone on my head
and by his light I walked through darkness!
4Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,
when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,
5when the Almighty was still with me
and my children were around me,
6when my path was drenched with cream
and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.
7“When I went to the gate of the city
and took my seat in the public square,
8the young men saw me and stepped aside
and the old men rose to their feet;
9the chief men refrained from speaking
and covered their mouths with their hands;
10the voices of the nobles were hushed,
and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
11Whoever heard me spoke well of me,
and those who saw me commended me,
12because I rescued the poor who cried for help,
and the fatherless who had none to assist them.
13The one who was dying blessed me;
I made the widow’s heart sing.
14I put on righteousness as my clothing;
justice was my robe and my turban.
15I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
16I was a father to the needy;
I took up the case of the stranger.
17I broke the fangs of the wicked
and snatched the victims from their teeth.
18“I thought, ‘I will die in my own house,
my days as numerous as the grains of sand.
19My roots will reach to the water,
and the dew will lie all night on my branches.
20My glory will not fade;
the bow will be ever new in my hand.’
21“People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.

 

It’s time to return to your first love!


God’s love is so great that He created each of us for relationship with Him. God’s love is so great that He sent His one and only Son to give it all in order to be able to bridge the gap and provide a way to be reconciled back to Him. God’s love is so great that He provides us with a love letter from Him through the Bible. Now what will we do with all of this? How will we respond? When will we all see that the empty spot in our hearts and our lives is because we haven’t invited Jesus into our hearts to fill it in and to allow Him to start cleaning up our lives from the inside out?

It’s time to return to your first love!


Where do you turn for wisdom? How do you respond to that wisdom? What outcome are you expecting? Don’t be swayed by the ways of the world, turn to God and His love!

Rehoboam’s Foolishness

1Then Rehoboam went to Shechem for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2Now when Jeroboam son of Nebat heard about it, he was still in Egypt where he had fled from the face of King Solomon and settled in Egypt. 3They summoned him, so Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam saying: 4“Your father made our yoke burdensome. Now therefore lighten the harsh labor of your father and his heavy yoke which he laid on us and we will serve you.” 5He said to them: “Go away for three more days and then come back to me.” So the people departed. 6Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you advise me to respond to these people?” 7They spoke to him, saying: “If you will be a servant to this people today, serving them, granting them their petition, and speaking favorably to them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8But he rejected the counsel the elders had given him, instead consulting with the young men who grew up with him and stood before him. 9So he asked them, “How do you advise me to respond to these people who have spoken to me saying: ‘Lighten the yoke that your father laid on us?’” 10The young men who had grown up with him spoke to him saying: “Thus you should say to these people who spoke to you saying ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you, make it lighter on us!’ thus you should say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! 11So now, my father laid on you a heavy yoke, and as for me, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but as for me, I will chastise you with scorpions.’” 12Then Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king told them, saying, “Come back to me on the third day.” 13The king answered the people harshly. He rejected the counsel the elders had given him, 14and spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.”

Ten Tribes Revolt

15So the king did not listen to the people. For it was a turn of events from Adonai fulfilling His word, which Adonai spoke by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat. 16But when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king saying: “What share have we in David? No inheritance in Jesse’s son! To your tents, O Israel! Now look at your own house, David!” So the Israelites departed to their tents. 17But as for the children of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram who was over the forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. Then King Rehoboam hurried to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19Israel has rebelled against the house of David to this day. 20Now when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they summoned him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David. 21When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah as well as the tribe of Benjamin—180,000 select soldiers, to fight against the house of Israel in order to restore the kingship back to Rehoboam son of Solomon. 22But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying: 23“Speak to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin and to the rest of the people saying, 24Thus says Adonai: you are not to go up or fight against your brothers, the children of Israel. Turn back every man to his own house, for this matter is from Me.” So they heeded the word of Adonai. They turned and went back, according to the word of Adonai. 25Then Jeroboam rebuilt Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and resided there. From there he went out and built Penuel.

Jeroboam Resorts to Idolatry

26But Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom may return to the house of David. 27If this people keep going up to offer sacrifices in the House of Adonai at Jerusalem, then the heart of these people will turn back to their lord—to King Rehoboam of Judah. Then they will kill me and return to King Rehoboam of Judah.” 28So the king sought counsel and made two golden calves. He said to them, “You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough! Here are your gods O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” 29Then he set up one in Bethel and the other he put in Dan. 30Now this thing became a sin for the people went to worship before the one even up in Dan. 31He also made shrines on the high places and appointed priests from among the people, who were not sons of Levi. 32Then Jeroboam instituted a festival in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, imitating the Festival that is in Judah. He went up to the altar that he built in Bethel, to sacrifice to the calves that he had made. He installed in Bethel the priests of the high places that he made. 33Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month—in the month that he had made up from his own heart—and made up a festival for the children of Israel, and went up to the altar to burn incense.

–from 1 Kings 12

Do you realize the wisdom of God when you hear it? Do you rebel against such wisdom? Will you discern what is right? Will you respond accordingly? Or will you rebel against God, your first love? Do you realize the generational impact it will trigger?

The Revolt Against Rehoboam at Shechem

1Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2Now it came to pass that when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard this—for he was in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon—Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3So they sent and summoned him; and Jeroboam and all Israel came to Rehoboam and spoke to Rehoboam saying, 4“Your father made our yoke grievous but now lighten the harsh labor of your father and his heavy yoke that he put on us—then we will serve you.” 5He answered them, “Come back to me in three days.” So the people departed. 6Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” 7They answered him saying, “If you will be kind to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8But he disregarded the counsel that the elders had given him and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him. 9He said to them, “How do you advise me to answer this people who have spoken to me saying, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us?’” 10The young men that grew up with him answered him saying: “Speak thus to the people who spoke to you saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us’. Thus shall you say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins. 11Now, whereas my father laid a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will do so with scorpions.’” 12Then Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had said to them saying, “Come back to me on the third day.” 13The king answered them harshly. King Rehoboam ignored the counsel of the elders 14and spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men saying, “I will make your yoke heavy—I will make it even heavier. My father punished you with whips, but I will punish you with scorpions.” 15So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from God so that Adonai might establish His word that He had spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 16When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king saying, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse! To your tents, O Israel! Now look after your own house, David!” So all Israel departed to their tents. 17But Rehoboam continued to reign over Bnei-Yisrael who lived in the cities of Judah. 18Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the forced labor, but men of Israel pelted him to death with stones. King Rehoboam, however, managed to mount his chariot and to flee to Jerusalem. 19So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

–from 2 Chronicles 10

Will you turn to God? Will you trust in God? Will you allow this land to have good leaders or bad leaders? Will you stand up for what is right or fall for anything that comes your way? Will you return to your first love? Will you allow God back in?

Like the Mountains Around Jerusalem

1A Song of Ascents. Those who trust in Adonai are like Mount Zion— it cannot be moved, but endures forever. 2As the mountains are around Jerusalem, so Adonai is all around His people, both now and forever. 3For a scepter of wickedness will not rest over the land of the righteous— lest the righteous set their hands to evil. 4Do good, Adonai, to the good, and to those upright in their hearts. 5But as for those who turn aside to their crooked ways, Adonai will lead them away with evildoers. Shalom be upon Israel.

–from Psalms 125

Will you seek the truth? Will you seek what is right? Will you seek what is just? Will you stand up and do something about it? Will you cry out for the truth? Will you cry out for justice? Will you cry out in love? Will you cry out to your first love? Use your testing to produce a testimony! Use your life as a living sacrifice of who God is and the power and promises He has given us! Let’s live out our faith! Let’s not deny it nor reject it, but let’s live it out so that others will see it and glorify our Father in heaven! Let’s live to higher standards and call this generation around us to step up with us! Let’s not be drawn down into allowing what is wrong to be right! Let’s not be swayed to say what is wrong is right! Let’s stand firm! Let’s stand true! Let’s reject the lies! Let’s deny the falsehoods! Let’s call out to Jesus to help us to love the world as He has loved us that they may also know Him and turn back to Him, their first love! Do you hear it? Do you hear His voice? How will you respond?

Ephesus: Return to Your First Love

1To the angel of Messiah’s community in Ephesus write: “Thus says the One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks in the midst of the seven golden menorot: 2I know all about your deeds and your toil and your patient endurance, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. You have tested those who call themselves emissaries and are not, and have found them to be liars. 3You have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4“But this I have against you, that you have forsaken your first love. 5Remember then from where you have fallen. Repent and do the deeds you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your menorah from its place—unless you repent. 6“Yet you have this going for you, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities. To the one who overcomes, I will grant the right to eat from the Tree of Life, which is in the Paradise of God.”

Smyrna: Do Not Fear Satan’s Testing

8To the angel of Messiah’s community in Smyrna write: “Thus says the First and Last, who was dead and came to life. 9I know your tribulation and your poverty (yet you are rich), as well as the slander of those who say they are Jewish and are not, but are a synagogue of satan. 10Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, so that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities. The one who overcomes shall never be harmed by the second death.”

Pergamum: Beware the Trap of Balaam

12To the angel of Messiah’s community in Pergamum write: “Thus says the One who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13I know where you live—where satan’s throne is. Yet you continue to hold firm to My name, and you did not deny your faith in Me even in the days of Antipas, My faithful witness, who was killed among you, where satan resides. 14“But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who was teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before Bnei-Yisrael, to eat food sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. 15Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16Repent then! If not, I will come to you soon and make war against them with the sword of My mouth. 17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities. To the one who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna , and I will give him a white stone—and written on the stone a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.”

Thyatira: Do Not Tolerate Jezebel

18To the angel of Messiah’s community in Thyatira write: “Thus says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire and feet like polished bronze: 19I know your deeds and your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your last deeds are greater than the first. 20“But this I have against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess—yet she is teaching and deceiving My servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her immorality. 22Behold, I will throw her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation—unless they repent of her doings. 23I will also strike her children with a deadly disease. Then all of Messiah’s communities will know that I am the One who searches minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you according to your deeds. 24“But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold to this teaching and have not learned the so-called ‘deep things’ of satan—I place on you no other burden. 25Only hold firm to what you have until I come. 26To the one who overcomes and guards My deeds until the end, ‘I will give him authority over the nations 27and he shall rule them with an iron rod, as when clay pots are broken into pieces.’ 28Even as I have received from My Father, so I will give him the morning star. 29He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities.”

–from The Revelation 2

Do you realize that Jesus is looking for a way to connect with you? Do you realize how much He cares for you? Do you realize how much He loves you? It’s not about forcing you to choose Him, it’s about providing you opportunities to receive Him and invite Him into your heart and your life! Even in the midst of one of the biggest moments of His life, Jesus went out and found Zacchaeus up in a tree in order to get to spend some time with him. Jesus is right there with you just waiting for you to decide. Zacchaeus was looking for a way to see Jesus and Jesus didn’t miss him and He won’t miss you either! Are you searching? Are you seeking? God’s Word tells us that we will find Him when we search with all of our hearts, all of our minds, all of your soul, and all of our strength! So don’t give up! Call out to Jesus today and get your relationship with Him started!

Visiting Zacchaeus in Jericho

1Now Yeshua entered Jericho and was passing through. 2And here was a man by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3Zacchaeus was trying to see who Yeshua was, but he couldn’t because of the crowd, for he was short in height. 4So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Yeshua, for He was about to pass through that way. 5When Yeshua came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6Zacchaeus hurried and came down and welcomed Him joyfully. 7But when everyone saw it, they began to grumble, saying, “Yeshua has gone to be the guest of a sinner!” 8But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord. “Look, Master, half of my possessions I give to the poor, and if I have somehow cheated anyone, I repay four times as much!” 9Then Yeshua said to him, “Today salvation has come to this home, because he also is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” 11As they were listening to this, Yeshua went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem and they supposed that the kingdom of God was about to appear at once. 12Therefore He said, “A certain nobleman went to a faraway land to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13And calling ten of his own slaves, he gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business until I come back.’ 14But his citizens detested him and they sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this fellow to reign over us!’ 15When he returned after receiving the kingdom, he called for those slaves to whom he had given the money. He wanted to know how much business they had done. 16Now the first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your one mina has made ten.’ 17The master said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you were faithful with so little, take charge over ten cities.’ 18Also, the second slave came, saying, ‘Your mina, Master, made five.’ 19Then he also said to this one, ‘You are likewise over five cities.’ 20But another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina. I was keeping it safe in a handkerchief, 21for I was afraid of you because you are a strict man. You take what you did not make and reap what you did not sow.’ 22He said to him, ‘By the words of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked slave! You knew that I am strict, taking what I did not make and reaping what I did not sow? 23Then why didn’t you put my money in the bank, so that when I came back I could have collected it with interest?’ 24Then to the bystanders he said, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ 25But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten minas!’ 26‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more shall be given. But from the one who doesn’t have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 27But those hostile to me, who didn’t want me to reign over them, bring them here and execute them before me.’”

Riding into Jerusalem

28After saying these things, Yeshua was going on ahead, up to Jerusalem. 29When He got near Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of the disciples, 30saying, “Go into the village ahead. As you enter, you will find a colt tied up, that no one has ever sat upon. Untie it and bring it. 31And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say, ‘The Master needs it.’” 32Those who were headed out found things just as He told them. 33Then as they were untying the colt, his owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34They said, “The Master needs it.” 35Then they brought it to Yeshua, threw their cloaks on the colt, and set Yeshua on it. 36And as He went along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road. 37When Yeshua came near the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began to rejoice. They praised God with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen, 38saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of Adonai! Shalom in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39Some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples!” 40But answering, Yeshua said, “I tell you that if these keep silent, the stones will shout out!” 41As He drew near and saw Jerusalem, He wept over her, 42saying, “If only you had recognized this day the things that lead to shalom! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43For the days will come upon you when your enemies will surround you with barricades and hem you in on all sides. 44And they will smash you to the ground—you and your children within you. And they won’t leave within you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Confrontation at the Temple

45Then Yeshua entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants, 46saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” 47And He was teaching every day in the Temple. The ruling kohanim and the Torah scholars, even the leaders of the people, were trying to destroy Him; 48but they could not find any way to do it, because all the people were hanging on His words.

–from Luke 19

 

How much do you love? How much do you care?


What is your motivation? What is your purpose? What is your reason? Are you doing it out of love? Are you doing it in love? How much do you love? How much do you care?

You are where you are for a reason! You are where you are for a purpose! So what are you going to do about it? What is going to be your motivation to get it done and done right? So what are you going to use as your driving factor? What will help keep you on track? How much will you love? How far will it take you? What difference will it make? What difference will you make?

Do you realize the benefit of relationships? Relationship with God? Relationship with your spouse? Relationship with your friend? Relationship with your neighbor? Relationship with your co-workers? Relationship with your church? Relationship with your pastor? Do you realize the benefits?

There are three types of love: EROS – Romantic Love (ex. Michal’s love), PHILEO – Brotherly Love (ex. Jonathan’s love), and AGAPE – Unconditional Love (ex. God’s love)

Today’s reading starts with Jonathan and his love for David…

Jonathan’s Covenant Love for David

1Now it came to pass, when David had finished speaking to Saul, Jonathan’s soul was knit to David’s soul, and Jonathan loved him as himself. 2Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. 3Then Jonathan cut a covenant with David, because he loved him as himself. 4Jonathan stripped off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, along with his armor: his sword, bow and belt.

Saul’s Jealousy

5So David went out wherever Saul sent him and had success, so Saul set him over the men of war. It was pleasing in the eyes of all the people as well as in the eyes of Saul’s courtiers. 6Upon their coming back, upon David’s return from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing in circles to greet King Saul, with timbrels, with joy and with three-stringed instruments. 7So the women sang one to another, as they were dancing saying, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” 8Then Saul became very angry—this saying was evil in his eyes—and he commented, “They’ve ascribed to David ten thousands and to me they’ve ascribed thousands. Now what more does he lack but the kingdom?” 9So Saul eyed David from that day on. 10It came about the next day that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, so that he was raving within the palace. While David was playing music with his hand, as he did day by day, Saul had his spear in his hand, 11and Saul hurled the spear, thinking, “I’ll pin David to the wall!” But David eluded him—twice. 12Now Saul became afraid of David, because Adonai was with him but had departed from Saul. 13Therefore Saul removed him from his entourage by appointing him as a captain of a thousand. So David went out and came in before the troops. 14David had success in all his undertakings, since Adonai was with him. 15When Saul saw that he had great success, he dreaded him. 16But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them. 17Then Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab—I give her to you as a wife. Only continue to be my son of valor and fight Adonai’s battles.” For Saul thought, “My hand needn’t be against him—let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18But David replied to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” 19But when it was time to give Saul’s daughter Merab to David in marriage, she was given as wife to Adriel the Meholathite instead.

Michal’s Love for David

20Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. When they told Saul, the matter pleased him. 21Saul thought, “I will give her to him, so that she may become a snare to him—and the hand of the Philistines will be against him.” So Saul said to David, “You can still become my son-in-law, even today, with the second one.” 22Then Saul commanded his courtiers, “Speak with David privately and say, ‘Behold, the king delights in you and all his courtiers love you. So now, become the king’s son-in-law!’” 23So Saul’s courtiers whispered these words in David’s ears. But David said, “Is it a light thing to you becoming the king’s son-in-law, considering that I am a poor man and of little account?” 24Saul’s courtiers reported back to him what David had said. 25Then Saul said, “Thus you will say to David, ‘The king desires no bridal dowry except 100 foreskins of the Philistines—to take vengeance on the king’s enemies.’” So Saul schemed to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26When his courtiers told David these words, the word seemed right in David’s eyes to become the king’s son-in-law. Before the days were fulfilled, 27 David had risen, gone with his men and killed 200 Philistine men. Then David brought their foreskins and gave them in full number to the king—to become the king’s son-in-law. So Saul gave him Michal his daughter as a wife. 28When Saul saw and realized that Adonai was with David and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, 29Saul grew even more afraid of David. Thus Saul became David’s enemy for all days. 30When the chiefs of the Philistines marched out, as often as they came out, David proved more successful than all of Saul’s officers. So his name became highly esteemed.

–from 1 Samuel 18

Don’t be afraid! Walk in trust of God! Even when you are feeling attacked or chased, put your trust in God! He knows what He is doing!

Saul Tries to Kill David

1Now Saul told his son Jonathan and all his courtiers to kill David. But Saul’s son Jonathan delighted much in David. 2So Jonathan informed David saying, “My father Saul is seeking to kill you. So now, please be on guard in the morning, and stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you will be, and I will speak with my father about you. If I notice anything, I will tell you.” 4So Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul and said to him, “May the king not sin against his servant David, since he has not sinned against you, and since his deeds have been very beneficial for you; 5For he put his life in his hand and killed the Philistine, and Adonai won a great victory for all Israel—you saw it and rejoiced. So why would you sin against innocent blood by killing David without a cause?” 6Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swore, “As Adonai lives, he will not be put to death.” 7So Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these things. Jonathan brought David to Saul and in his presence as before. 8Once again war broke out, and David marched out and fought the Philistines, and inflicted a great slaughter on them and they fled before him. 9Yet once again an evil spirit from Adonai came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, as David was playing music with his hand. 10Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he slipped away from Saul’s face, so that he drove the spear into the wall. That night David fled and got away. 11Then Saul sent agents to David’s house to watch him, in order to kill him in the morning. But David’s wife Michal warned him saying, “If you don’t escape for your life tonight, tomorrow you will be dead!” 12So Michal lowered David down through the window, and thus he went, fled and escaped. 13Then Michal took a household idol, laid it in the bed, put a quilt of goats’ hair at the head and covered it with a cloth. 14When Saul sent messengers to arrest David, she said, “He’s sick.” 15So Saul sent the agents back to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed so I may put him to death.” 16When the messengers came in, behold, the household idol was in the bed with the quilt of goats’ hair at its head. 17Saul then said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this and let my enemy get away, so that he escaped?” Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go or I’ll kill you!’” 18So David fled and escaped, went to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went and stayed at Naioth. 19Saul was told, “Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20So Saul sent agents to seize David, but they saw a band of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing and presiding over them. Then the Ruach of God came upon Saul’s agents and they too prophesied. 21When Saul was told, he sent other agents and they too prophesied. Then Saul sent a third group of messengers, and they too prophesied. 22Then he himself went to Ramah, and when he arrived at the great cistern in Secu, he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” Someone answered, “Look, they are at Naioth at Ramah.” 23So he proceeded there, to Naioth at Ramah, and the Ruach of God came upon him as well, and he prophesied as he kept walking until he arrived to Naioth at Ramah. 24Then he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. That is why people were saying, “Is Saul too among the prophets?”

–from 1 Samuel 19

When the enemy tries to frighten you – turn to God! When the enemy tries to threaten you – turn to God! When the enemy tries to attack you – turn to God! TRUST HIM in every situation!

God Is My Strong Tower

1For the music director: “Do Not Destroy,” a Michtam of David, when Saul sent men to watch the house to kill him. 2Deliver me from my enemies, my God! Set me on high, away from those who rise up against me. 3Deliver me from workers of iniquity. Rescue me from bloodthirsty men. 4For behold, they lie in wait for me. Defiant men stir up strife against me— not for my transgression or sin, Adonai. 5For no guilt of mine, they run and set things up. Awake! Help me! Look! 6For You are Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot, the God of Israel! Rouse Yourself to punish all the nations. Show no mercy to any iniquitous traitors. Selah 7They return at evening, snarling like a dog, prowling about the city. 8See, they are spewing with their mouth —swords in their lips— “After all, who is listening?” 9But You, Adonai, are laughing at them. You scoff at all the nations. 10O my strength, I watch for You— for God is my strong tower. 11My God in His lovingkindness will go before me. God will let me look down on my foes. 12Do not slay them, lest my people forget. With Your power shake them and bring them down, O Lord our shield. 13The sin of their mouth is the words of their lips. So let them be caught in their pride, and for uttering a curse and a lie. 14Consume them in wrath, consume them till they are no more. Let them know that God rules over Jacob to the ends of the earth. Selah 15They return at evening, snarling like a dog, prowling about the city. 16They wander around for food. If they are not full, they stay up all night. 17But I—I sing of Your strength! Yes, in the morning I sing aloud of Your lovingkindness. For You have been my fortress, a refuge in the day of my trouble. 18O my strength, to You I sing praises. For God is my strong tower— my God of lovingkindness.

–from Psalms 59

Will you answer the call? Will you step out in faith? Will do what you have been called to do? Will you do it all in love? Will you do it all in obedience to God?

Instructions to the Twelve

1Yeshua summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, so they could drive them out and heal every kind of disease and sickness. 2Now these are the names of the twelve emissaries: first, Simon, called Peter, and his brother Andrew; Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; Jacob, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot, and Judah the man from Kriot, the one who also betrayed Him. 5Yeshua sent out these twelve and ordered them, “Do not go to the Gentiles, and do not enter into any Samaritan town. 6But go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near!’ 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with tza’arat, drive out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9Do not get gold or silver or copper for your money belts, 10or a bag for the journey, or two shirts, or sandals, or a walking stick; for the worker is entitled to his food. 11“Whatever town or village you shall enter, find out who in it is worthy and stay there until you leave. 12As you come into the house, greet it. 13If the household is worthy, let your shalom come upon it. But if it’s not worthy, let your shalom return to you. 14And whoever will not receive you or listen to your words, as you leave that house or that town, shake the dust off your feet. 15Amen, I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the Day of Judgment than for that town. 16“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and flog you in their synagogues. 18You will be brought before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you should say, for it shall be given to you in that hour what you should say. 20For it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against their parents and have them put to death. 22And you will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end shall be saved. 23Whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next. Amen, I tell you, you will never finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25It is enough for the disciple to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house beelzebul, how much more the members of his household! 26“So do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed and nothing hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear in your ear, proclaim from the housetops! 28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. 29“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them shall fall to the ground apart from your Father’s consent. 30But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So do not fear; you are worth more than many sparrows. 32“Therefore whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father who is in heaven. 33But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. 34“Do not think that I came to bring shalom on the earth; I did not come to bring shalom, but a sword. 35For I have come to set ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.’ 37“He who loves father or mother more than Me isn’t worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me isn’t worthy of Me. 38And whoever does not take up his cross and follow after Me isn’t worthy of Me. 39He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. 40“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives the One who sent Me. 41He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a tzaddik in the name of a tzaddik shall receive a tzaddik’s reward. 42And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, amen I tell you, he shall never lose his reward.”

–from Matthew 10

We don’t have to be afraid for the Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us, protect us and encourage us, be our comforter and our guide! We are out in a world where we are like sheep amongst wolves.But we have God on our side! So let’s walk with God and allow Him to lead us, guide us, protect us, encourage us, comfort us and grant us wisdom for each and every situation we face. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! Jesus is the only way to the Father! So let’s invite Him into our hearts and allow Him to help us get our lives cleaned up from the inside out!

 

 

 

How much do you trust God?


How large is your faith? How big of a challenge could you stand up to trusting in God? How far could you go if you were just running on faith? How much could you accomplish if you were just acting in faith? Don’t be worried or bothered in picking up other people’s stuff, but rather use what God has given you! If God called you to something how far would you go to accomplish it? Don’t stop when you are on the doorstep of breakthru! Many do and miss out on the blessing! So have faith in God and ask Him to give you the wisdom, the strength, the courage, the boldness to complete the work He has given you to do! Fear Not, Just Believe! Have the faith to trust God and see beyond the moment! He has been speaking to you, so go after what He is speaking to you! As He told Joshua, “Be bold and courageous!” As Jesus told so many “Fear Not, Just Believe!” If not you, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where? There is nobody big or greater than God! Allow those moments where God has shown up to be in your memories so that when the next thing shows up you are filled up with faith, believing in order that you may complete the work God is calling you to complete! Remember our battle isn’t against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities of this dark world! Remember the battle belongs to the Lord! Be the incentive, the motivation, the encouragement others need to step up and step out to do their part in God’s plans and purposes!

Today’s reading starts out with the story of David and Goliath…

David Slays Goliath with Sling and Stone

1Now the Philistines assembled their armies to battle. They were gathered at Socoh of Judah, and camped in Ephes-dammim, between Socoh and Azekah. 2Saul and the men of Israel gathered and camped in the valley of Elah, then lined up in battle array against the Philistines. 3The Philistines were standing on the mountain on one side, and Israel was standing on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them. 4Then a champion stepped out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5He had a bronze helmet on his head and a breastplate of scale armor; the weight of the bronze breastplate was 5,000 shekels. 6He also had bronze shin-guards on his legs and a bronze javelin slung between his shoulders. 7The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the head of his spear weighed 600 shekels of iron; and his shield-bearer was marching ahead of him. 8Then he stood and shouted out to the ranks of Israel saying to them, “Why come out to line up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and aren’t you Saul’s servants? Choose for yourselves a man and let him come down to me. 9If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then will we become your slaves; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then will you become our slaves and serve us.” 10The Philistine added, “Today I defy the ranks of Israel—give me a man, so we may fight together!” 11But when Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and very terrified. 12Now David was son of a certain Ephrathite man of Beth-lehem of Judah, whose name was Jesse. He had eight sons and during the days of Saul the man was old, advanced in years among men. 13Now the three oldest sons of Jesse had already left and gone after Saul to the battle; the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and second to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14David was the youngest. So the three oldest followed Saul. 15Now David would go back and forth from Saul to tending his father’s sheep by Beth-lehem. 16For forty days that Philistine would come out every morning and evening to present himself. 17Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now, for your brothers, an ephah of this roasted grain and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers. 18Also take these ten slices of cheese to the captain of their thousand—and check out the welfare of your brothers and bring back some token from them. 19They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.” 20So David rose up early in the morning, left the flock with a keeper, took the provisions and went as Jesse had commanded him. When he reached the camp, the army was going out to the battle line shouting the war cry. 21Israel and the Philistines drew up their battle lines, army against army. 22Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line and entered to check out his brothers’ welfare. 23But as he was talking with them, behold the champion, the Philistine from Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the ranks of the Philistines, and he spoke these same words; and David heard them. 24Upon seeing him, all the men of Israel fled from him in great fear. 25All the men of Israel were saying, “Have you seen this man who keeps coming up? Surely he is coming up to defy Israel! The man who kills him, the king will enrich him with great riches, give him his daughter in marriage and make his father’s house tax-free in Israel!” 26Then David asked the men who were standing by him saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the ranks of the living God?” 27The people answered him with the same speech saying, “Thus it will be done for the man who strikes him down.” 28Now when Eliab his oldest brother heard him speaking to the men, Eliab’s anger was kindled against David. “Why have you come down here?” he asked. “So with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart! For you’ve come down here to watch the battle.” 29“What have I done now?” David said. “It was only a question!” 30Then he turned away from him toward someone else and asked the same question. So the people gave him the same answer as before. 31The words that David said were overheard and reported before Saul. So he was taken to him. 32David said to Saul, “Let no one’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33Then Saul said to David, “You can’t go fight this Philistine—for you’re just a youth, and he’s been a warrior since his youth.” 34But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb out of the flock, 35I went out after it, struck it down, and rescued the lamb out of its mouth. If it rose up against me, I grabbed him by its fur, struck it and killed it. 36Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear, so this uncircumcised Philistine will become like one of them—since he has defied the ranks of the living God.” 37Then David said, “Adonai, who has delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” “Go!” said Saul to David, “and may Adonai be with you.” 38Then Saul clothed David with his own garb, put a bronze helmet on his head, and clothed him in armor. 39David strapped his sword on his garment and tried to walk, but he was not used to it. So David said to Saul, “I cannot walk in these, for I am not used to them.” So David took them off. 40Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the valley, put them in the pocket of the shepherd’s bag that he had, and with his sling in his hand, he approached the Philistine. 41Meanwhile, the Philistine drew nearer and approached David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42Now when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was just a ruddy boy with a handsome appearance. 43Then the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, so I may give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” 45Then David said to the Philistine, “You are coming to me with a sword, a spear and a javelin, but I am coming to you in the Name of Adonai-Tzva’ot, God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46This very day Adonai will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and take your head off you, and I will give the carcasses of the Philistines’ camp today to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth. Then all the earth will know that there is a God in Israel, 47and so all this assembly will know that Adonai delivers not with sword and spear—for the battle belongs to Adonai—and He will give you into our hands.” 48Then when the Philistine rose and began to advance, drawing near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49David put his hand in his bag, took from it a stone and slung it, striking the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. 50So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, struck the Philistine down and killed him. Since there was no sword in David’s hand, 51David ran, stood over the Philistine, picked up his sword, drew it from its sheath, slew him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52Then the men of Israel and Judah rose up, shouted and pursued the Philistines all the way to the valley up to the gates of Ekron. The slain Philistines fell down along the way to Shaaraim, even up to Gath and Ekron. 53When Bnei-Yisrael returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp. 54David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his own tent. 55Now when Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he asked Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this boy?” Abner said, “As your soul lives, your majesty, I don’t know.” 56So the king said, “Then, find out whose son this young man is.” 57So when David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58“Whose son are you, young man?” Saul said to him. David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Beth-lehemite.”

–1 Samuel 17

Don’t lose hope…call on God! Don’t fear…trust in God! Don’t give up…believe in God!

God knows you! God cares for you! God loves you! Will you walk to Him? Will you walk with Him? Will you build up that relationship and trust with Him?

He is our deliverer! He is our redeemer! He is our God!

Rescue from Battle

1Of David. Blessed be Adonai my Rock— who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. 2He is my lovingkindness, my fortress, my strong tower, and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me. 3Adonai, what is man, that You take note of him? Or the son of man, that You consider him? 4Man is like a breath— his days are like a passing shadow. 5Adonai, part Your heavens and come down. Touch the mountains, so they smoke. 6Flash forth lightning and scatter them. Send out Your arrows and confuse them. 7Stretch forth Your hands from on high. Snatch me, deliver me out of deep waters, out of the hand of foreigners, 8whose mouth speaks falsehood, whose right hand is a right hand of deceit. 9God, I sing a new song to You, on a ten-string harp I sing praises to You— 10who gives salvation to kings, who rescues Your servant David from the evil sword. 11Snatch me, deliver me out of the hand of foreigners, whose mouth speaks falsehood, whose right hand is a right hand of deceit. 12Then our sons will be like plants nurtured in their youth, our daughters like corner pillars carved for the construction of a palace. 13Our storehouses are full, supplying every kind of produce. Our flocks increase by thousands and ten thousands in our fields. 14Our oxen bear a heavy load. There is no breach, no going into captivity, no outcry in our streets. 15Happy are such a people! Blessed are the people whose God is Adonai!

–from Psalms 144

Jesus has been given all authority! Jesus is the name above all names! Every knee will bow! Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! So let’s walk with Him! Let’s ask Him into our hearts! Then let’s live our lives in relationship with Him for the rest of our lives! Jesus isn’t just for me, He has come that all may be saved! We just have to choose Him! We all have free will and God has never wanted us to be robots, but rather that we would choose Him, pursue Him, love Him, and walk in relationship with Him! God’s timing is perfect, don’t allow a delay or a worry a message or a word of doubt keep you from losing hope and faith in Jesus! Keep your trust in Him! Fear Not, Just Believe! Nothing is too big for our God! Nothing is impossible with God! So when we are walking with Him, nothing is impossible! All things are possible with God!

Authority to Pardon Sins

1After getting into a boat, Yeshua crossed over and came to His own town. 2Just then, some people brought to Him a paralyzed man lying on a cot. And seeing their faith, Yeshua said to the paralyzed man, “Take courage, son! Your sins are forgiven.” 3Then some of the Torah scholars said among themselves, “This fellow blasphemes!” 4And knowing their thoughts, Yeshua said, “Why are you entertaining evil in your hearts? 5For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to pardon sins…” Then He tells the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your cot and go home.” 7And he got up and went home. 8When the crowd saw it, they were afraid and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

A Physician for Sinners

9As Yeshua was passing by from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he got up and followed Him. 10Now it happened that when Yeshua was reclining at the table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Yeshua and His disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why does this Teacher of yours eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12But when He heard this, Yeshua said, “Those who are healthy have no need for a doctor, but those who are sick do. 13Now go and learn what this means: ‘Mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.’ For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but the sinful.”

Teaching New Ways

14Then John’s disciples came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” 15And Yeshua said to them, “The guests of the bridegroom cannot mourn while the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16“And no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch pulls away from the garment and a worse tear happens. 17Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, and the wine spills out and the skins are ruined. But they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Compassion in the Shepherd’s Touch

18Just as He was saying these things to them, a synagogue leader came and began to bow before Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come lay Your hand on her and she will live.” 19And Yeshua got up and began to follow him, with His disciples. 20Just then a woman, losing blood for twelve years, came from behind and touched the tzitzit of His garment. 21For she kept saying to herself, “If only I touch His garment, I will be healed.” 22But then Yeshua turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” He said, “your faith has made you well.” That very hour the woman was healed. 23When Yeshua came into the synagogue leader’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, 24He said, “Go away, for the girl isn’t dead, but sleeping.” And they began jeering at Him. 25But when the crowd had been cleared out, He went in and took her hand, and the girl got up. 26And news of this spread all around that region. 27As Yeshua went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Ben-David, have mercy on us!” 28When He went into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Yeshua said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Master,” they said to Him. 29Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith, let it be done for you.” 30And their eyes were opened. And Yeshua warned them sternly, “See that no one knows.” 31But they went out and spread the news about Him all around that region. 32As they were going out, a mute man plagued by a demon was brought to Him. 33After the demon was driven out, the mute man started speaking. The crowds were astounded, saying, “Never has anything like this been seen in Israel!” 34But the Pharisees were saying, “By the prince of demons He drives out demons.” 35Now Yeshua was going around all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness. 36When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest that He may send out workers into His harvest field.”

–from Matthew 9

 

Have a need? Know anyone who can meet them all?


Where are you at today? What are you going through? Where are you headed? What are you going to need to make it through? Do you remember trials of the past? Do you remember what needs were met? Do you remember needs of the past? Do you remember how they were met? Do you have a need today? Where will you turn for help? Who can you trust? Who will you trust? Will you lift up to anyone? Will you give it to someone?


Today’s reading starts on a similar subject…

1Moses called to all Israel and said to them, “You have seen all that Adonai did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land— 2the great trials that your eyes saw, those great signs and wonders. 3But to this day Adonai has not given you a heart to know, or eyes to see, or ears to hear. 4I led you 40 years in the wilderness—your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet. 5Bread you have not eaten and wine and strong drink you have not drunk—in order that you may know that I am Adonai your God. 6“When you came to this place, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of the Bashan came out against us to battle, but we struck them down. 7We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh. 8So keep the words of this covenant and do them, so that you may prosper in all that you do.

You Are Standing Before the Lord

9“You are standing today, all of you, before Adonai your God—the heads of your tribes, your elders, your officials, all the men of Israel, 10your children, your wives, and the outsider within your camp (from your woodchopper to your water carrier). 11Each of you is to cross over into the covenant of Adonai your God that He is cutting with you today, and into His oath. 12“This is in order to confirm you today as His people. So He will be your God, just as He promised you and just as He swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. 13Not with you alone am I cutting this covenant and this oath, 14but with whomever is standing here with us today before Adonai our God and with whomever is not here with us today. 15“Indeed you know how we dwelt in the land of Egypt and how we crossed through the nations that we passed through. 16You saw their detestable things and their idols —wood and stone, silver and gold—that were with them. 17Beware in case there is among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from Adonai our God to go serve the gods of those nations. Beware in case there is among you a root producing poison and bitter fruit. 18“Now when someone hears the words of this oath and in his heart considers himself blessed, thinking, ‘Shalom will be mine, even though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart’—thus sweeping away the moist with the dry— 19Adonai will be unwilling to forgive him. For then the anger of Adonai and His jealousy will smoke against that person. So all the oath that is written in this scroll will settle on him, and Adonai will blot out his name from under the heavens. 20Adonai will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for ­calamity, according to all the oaths of the covenant written in this scroll of the Torah. 21“The following generation, your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a distant land will say, when they see the plagues of that land and the sicknesses Adonai afflicted on it: 22‘Sulfur and salt, the whole land burnt! It cannot be planted, it cannot sprout, no grass can grow up on it—like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which Adonai overturned in His anger and in His wrath!’ 23“All the nations will say, ‘Why has Adonai done this to this land? Why this great burning anger?’ 24“Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the covenant of Adonai, the God of their fathers, which He cut with them when He brought them out from the land of Egypt. 25They went and served other gods and bowed down to them—gods they never knew, that He had not allotted to them. 26So Adonai’s anger burned against that land, bringing on it every curse written in this scroll. 27Adonai has uprooted them from their soil, in anger and wrath and great fury, and hurled them into another land, as is the case this day.’ 28“The secret things belong to Adonai our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever—in order to do all the words of this Torah.

–from Deuteronomy 29

Don’t be double-minded. Don’t walk in confusion. Don’t walk in rebellion. Don’t walk in stubbornness. Let’s walk with God each and every step, trusting fully in Him! God’s plan is for good and His desire is that we will complete the work He has for us to do.

Don’t lose hope because you got out of alignment, turn back to God! Give it all up to Him! Ask for forgiveness and give Him all your heart, mind, and soul!

1“Now when all these things come upon you—the blessing and the curse that I have set before you—and you take them to heart in all the nations where Adonai your God has banished you, 2and you return to Adonai your God and listen to His voice according to all that I am commanding you today—you and your children—with all your heart and with all your soul, 3then Adonai your God will bring you back from captivity and have compassion on you, and He will return and gather you from all the peoples where Adonai your God has scattered you. 4Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the heavens, from there Adonai your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. 5Adonai your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, and you will possess it; and He will do you good and multiply you more than your fathers. 6Also Adonai your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants—to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live. 7“Adonai your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. 8Then you—you will return and listen to the voice of Adonai and do all His mitzvot that I am commanding you today. 9Adonai your God will make you prosper in all the work of your hand—in the fruit of your womb, and the offspring of your livestock, and the produce of your soil—for good. For Adonai will again rejoice over you for good, as He rejoiced over your fathers— 10when you listen to the voice of Adonai your God, to keep His mitzvot and His statutes that are written in this scroll of the Torah, when you turn to Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 11“For this mitzvah that I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it far off. 12It is not in the heavens, that you should say, ‘Who will go up for us to the heavens and get it for us, and have us hear it so we may do it?’ 13Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross over for us to the other side of the sea and get it for us, and have us hear it so we may do it?’ 14No, the word is very near to you—in your mouth and in your heart, to do it. 15“See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil. 16What I am commanding you today is to love Adonai your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His mitzvot, statutes and ordinances. Then you will live and multiply, and Adonai your God will bless you in the land you are going in to possess. 17But if your heart turns away and you do not listen, but are drawn away and bow down to other gods and worship them, 18I tell you today that you will certainly perish! You will not prolong your days on the land, where you are about to cross over the Jordan to go in to possess. 19“I call the heavens and the earth to witness about you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20by loving Adonai your God, listening to His voice, and clinging to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell on the land that Adonai swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob—to give them.

–from Deuteronomy 30

God’s grace is enough! God’s love is enough! Receive your second chance and press on with God! Walk with integrity! Walk with boldness and courage! Walk with God!

Walking with Integrity

1A psalm of David. Adonai, who may dwell in Your tent? Who may live on Your holy mountain? 2The one who walks with integrity, who does what is right, and speaks truth in his heart, 3who does not slander with his tongue, does not wrong his neighbor, and does not disgrace his friend, 4who despises a vile person in his eyes, but honors those who fear Adonai, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, and does not change, 5who lends his money without usury, and takes no bribe against the innocent. One who does these things will never be shaken.

–from Psalms 15

Ask Jesus into your life! Walk every step of every day with Him! Grab hold of the legacy left for you! Grab hold of the truth of who you are through Jesus! Let’s live now as heirs! We don’t have to wait till we leave this earth and are in heaven to live all out with and for and through God! Why not you! Why not now! Let’s start today! Don’t get shutdown or shutout from being everything God desires you to be! Don’t allow fear or frustration, doubt or trials to keep you from becoming everything God has planed and desires for you to be! Don’t try to do it all in your own strength but rather allow the supernatural power of God to work His promises out in and through your life! Let’s live out our lives as the promises of God provide and direct us!

Living as Heirs

1Now I am saying, so long as the heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, even though he is the owner of everything. 2Instead, he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. 3So also, when we were underage, we were subservient to the basic principles of the world. 4But when the fullness of time came, God sent out His Son, born of a woman and born under law— 5to free those under law, so we might receive adoption as sons. 6Now because you are sons, God sent the Ruach of His Son into our hearts, who cries out, “Abba! Father!” 7So you are no longer a slave but a son—and if a son, also an heir through God. 8But at that time, when you did not know God, you served those who by nature are not gods at all. 9But now you have come to know God—or rather you have come to be known by God. So how can you turn back again to those weak and worthless principles? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 10You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain! 12I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong— 13you know it was because of a physical ailment that I proclaimed the Good News to you the first time; 14and though my physical condition was a trial to you, you did not hate or reject me. No, you welcomed me as a messenger of God—or even as Messiah Yeshua. 15So where is your sense of joy? For I testify that you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me, if possible. 16So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?! 17Others zealously court you—not in a good way, but they wish to shut you out so that you will court them. 18To be courted is good, but let it always be in a good way—and not just when I am there with you. 19My dear children! Again I suffer labor pains until Messiah is formed in you. 20I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, for I don’t know what to make of you.

Midrash on Abraham’s Two Sons

21Tell me, you who want to be under Torah, don’t you understand the Torah? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and one by the free woman. 23But one—the son by the slave woman—was born naturally; while the other—the son by the free woman—was through the promise. 24Now these things are being treated allegorically, for these are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, giving birth to slavery—this is Hagar. 25But this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery along with her children. 26But the Jerusalem above is free—she is our mother. 27For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren woman who bears no children. Break forth and shout, you who suffer no labor pains. For more are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband.” 28Now you, brothers and sisters—like Isaac, you are children of promise. 29But just as at that time the one born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Ruach, so it is now. 30But what does the Scripture say? “Drive out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son” of the free woman. 31So then, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman.

–from Galatians 4

Do you realize what Jesus went through for us? So that we could be reconciled to God? He paid it all! He laid it all on the line so that we would have a way back and a way to God! So will you choose to receive the gift of eternal life? We all have freewill and we all need to make a choice! We are supposed to be robots but rather God wants relationships with us, so let’s choose today to start that relationship with Him! Let’s choose to continue and renew our relationships with Him! Let’s glorify Him in and through it all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Handed Over to the Romans

1Right at daybreak, the ruling kohanim held a meeting to consult with the elders and Torah scholars and the whole Sanhedrin. They tied up Yeshua, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate. 2Pilate interrogated Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Yeshua answers him, “As you say.” 3The ruling kohanim began to accuse Him of many things. 4Again, Pilate asked Him, “Aren’t you going to answer? Look how many charges they’re bringing against You!” 5But Yeshua did not answer, so Pilate was amazed. 6Now during the feast, he used to release to them one prisoner, anyone they were asking for. 7Now a man named Bar-Abba had been in jail with the rebels who had committed murder during the rebellion. 8The crowd came up and began to request what he was accustomed to do for them. 9But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10For he knew that out of envy the ruling kohanim had handed Him over. 11But the ruling kohanim stirred up the crowd, so he would release Bar-Abba to them instead. 12Then answering again, Pilate said to them, “So what do you want me to do with the One you call the King of the Jews?” 13They shouted back, “Execute Him!” 14Pilate responded, “Why? What evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Execute Him!” 15Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Bar-Abba for them. And after he had Yeshua scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified. 16The soldiers took Him away, into the palace, the governor’s mansion called the Praetorium. And they call together the cohort of soldiers. 17They dress Him up in purple. After braiding a crown of thorns, they put it on Him. 18And they began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19Over and over, they kept hitting Him on the head with a staff and spitting on Him; and kneeling down, they worshiped Him. 20When they finished mocking Him, they stripped the purple off Him and put His own clothes back on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.

Crucified as King of the Jews

21Now Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was coming in from the countryside. The soldiers force this passerby to carry Yeshua’s cross-beam. 22They bring Yeshua to the place called Golgotha (which is translated, Place of a Skull). 23They were offering Him wine mixed with myrrh, but He didn’t take it. 24Then they crucify Him and divide up His clothing among themselves, casting lots for them to see who should take what. 25Now it was the third hour when they nailed Him on the stake. 26And the inscription of the charge against Him was written above: “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 27And with Him they execute two outlaws, one on His right and one on His left. 28[footnote: Later mss. add: So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘He was counted with the sinners.’ See Isa. 53:12.] 29Those passing by were jeering at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days, 30save Yourself by coming down from the stake!” 31Likewise the ruling kohanim, along with the Torah scholars, were also mocking Him among themselves. “He saved others,” they were saying, “but He can’t save Himself? 32Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the stake, so we may see and believe!” Even those executed with Him were ridiculing Him.

Death and Burial

33When the sixth hour had come, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34At the ninth hour Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” 35When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, “Look, He’s calling for Elijah.” 36Then someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine. He put it on a stick and was offering it to Yeshua to drink, saying, “Wait, let’s see if Elijah comes to take Him down.” 37But letting out a loud cry, Yeshua breathed His last. 38Then the curtain of the Temple was split in two, from top to bottom. 39When the centurion, who was standing in front of Him, saw the way Yeshua breathed His last, he said, “This Man really was the Son of God!” 40There were also women watching from a distance. Among them were Miriam from Magdala, Miriam the mother of Jacob the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41They would follow Him and serve Him when He was in the Galilee. Many other women who had gone up together with Him to Jerusalem were there also. 42Now evening had already come. Since it was the Day of Preparation, that is, the day before Shabbat, 43Joseph of Arimathea, a respected council member who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body. 44Pilate was surprised that He was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him whether Yeshua had been dead for long. 45When Pilate learned this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen, and laid Him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47Miriam from Magdala and Miriam the mother of Joses were watching where Yeshua’s body was placed.

–from Mark 15