First Monday of 2022 – looks like it might be a day off…


Starting today with a spiritual emphasis is a great way to start the first Monday of 2022 with a week of prayer and fasting with the theme of REVIVE! After an incredible sermon yesterday starting a new series in the book of Exodus speaking to the topic of THRIVING in 2022. Many of us have been surviving through these pandemic years but the word yesterday was THRIVE! What comes to mind when you hear the word THRIVE? Looking at the definition and the synonyms we find: flourish, prosper, grow vigorously, develop well, burgeon, bloom, blossom, do well, advance, make strides, succeed, shoot up, boom, profit, expand, go well, grow rich, flourishing, prosperous, prospering, growing, developing, burgeoning, blooming, healthy, successful, advancing, progressing, luxuriant, lush, prolific, booming, profitable, expanding, and fast-growing. As we look at and into 2022 let’s take hold of this reality and spend time in God’s Word receiving God’s instruction from the book of Exodus. A few key takeaways from the sermon include:

  • When we forget the past or when the leaders forget what God has done they/we can find ourselves living out our lives based on fear rather than facts and faith.
    > Exodus 1:6-10
  • Heading into 2022 there are many who have forgotten or even not heard the reality of God and what He has done.
  • Let’s take hold of God and allow Him to work in and through us, bringing cleansing and empowerment.
    > Isaiah 1:18
  • Sometimes we have a mess on our hands because of decisions we have made and other times because of the situation we find ourselves in.
  • When people are driven by fear they try to control others and we see how the Egyptians tried to do this to the Hebrew people, even to the point of trying to kill all the son but the opposite happened as with the pressures being put on them the people started to comfort one another more and the people grew even more. Present time examples of COVID babies from when we were forced to stay home and isolate.
    > Exodus 1:15-21
  • God doesn’t just want us to survive but He desires for us to thrive! We see this in the response of the midwives who not only honored God by choosing to serve God over serving Pharoh’s commands but God honored them by given them families of their own.
    > Exodus 2:1-9
  • When we release something to God like Moses’ mom did, and like our family did yesterday as my daughter heads off to bootcamp, God protects like He did for Moses and He will do for my daughter too.
  • God knows what He wants and is able to get things into the right place at the right time for His purposes.
  • God will provide more than we can ask or even imagine if we give up control and give up to God!
    > Ephesians 3:20
  • So for us to thrive, we need to do something different than we have done before. We have to sow in order to reap. We need to give God something new to work with. As we sow He can help it grow.
  • We need to draw closer to God in order to be able to hear His voice and feel His prompting – if we want to experinece a greater impact.
  • So we need to set other things aside and posture our hearts towards God and seek Him and His will and His way.
    > Exodus 2:11-21
  • Are ready for God to do something new in you? Are you ready to turn back to and seek God?
  • If what you are wanting/needing isn’t with God then you have the wrong plans. Are you ready for Him to show up real in your life and THRIVE?

Are you ready to turn back to God?

Repentance? You might be wondering/asking what that means?

Repentance is reviewing one’s actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs, which is accompanied by commitment to and actual actions that show and prove a change for the better.

Repentance – Wikipedia

Said another way it is turning away from our wicked ways and turning back to God. With the commitment we see Jesus transforming our hearts and a new life being lived out! There are many bible verses on the subject as I shared links for above.

Are you ready to make a difference? Are you ready to be the difference? Are you ready to be the one God created and purposed for you to be? For me, that means digging deeper into Being the Dad that God created me to be and pursuing the cause of Be the Dads He has put into my heart.


Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 3 – Creating Daily 30-Second Devotions


So are you ready to turn back to God and invite Him into your life? Are you ready for God to make things new in order to help you thrive in this thing called life? Let’s not forget how God’s Word tells us how Jesus came that we can have life and life more abundantly (John 10:10), that’s right, He wants us to thrive! Let’s not be swayed from this truth by the devil who want to steal, kill, and destroy but instead let’s turn to God, turn from our own wicked ways, and invite Jesus into our hearts as our Lord and Savior! Let’s pray:

Two important keys – Repent and Forgive!


Do you realize the importance of these two actions or activities? Do you realize the importance to both your spiritual and physical well being? Do you realize the impact of making these a part of the way you live your life? Do you realize the positive impact they both will have on your physical, emotional, and spiritual well being?

How do you respond when you have messed up? What if it impacts other people, does that change your response? What if it causes others to become emotional in their response to you? What if you don’t know you did something that impacted someone else but from their actions and words you get the inclination? Are you willing to put yourself out there in order to mend bridges?

How do you respond when someone else messes up? How do you respond when someone else hurts you? How do you respond when someone else impacts your life in a negative way? What if it hurts you emotionally? What if it hurts you psychologically? What if it hurts you physically? Are you willing to put yourself out there in order to avoid the downward spiral of bitterness and frustration?

God’s Word speaks to us about the importance of both repentance and forgiveness. Let’s reflect on a few before we consider some personal experiences…

God’s Word aka Scripture says:

  • ‘ For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.’
    Matthew 6:14
  • ‘ But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.’
    Matthew 6:15
  • ‘ And even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and turns to you seven times and says, I repent [I am sorry], you must forgive him (give up resentment and consider the offense as recalled and annulled).’
    Luke 17:4
  • ‘ Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released.’
    Luke 6:37
  • ‘ Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven! [Gen. 4:24.]’
    Matthew 18:22

As I reflect on this I remember that drive to the tax lady, I remember going into the office to ask someone from a long ways back to forgive me. I was sincere and humble as I repented for what I had done and they were gracious, not really remembering the incident and then saying that they forgave me so we could move forward. For my own good it was important to do that and because God had prompted me to do that too while at the same time teaching me the importance of forgiving others. I have shared this story over time be it when I shared how the song by Chris August 7×70 triggered the experience, be it sharing it as a testimony to my coworkers as a way for people to get to know each other, taking that video and sharing it on social media to my friends, family, and connections, be it the numerous times I have gotten to share it with people who are dealing with really tough situation that are frustrating them, causing them anger, and worst of all allowing a bitter root to grow.

Sharing here in case you want to pause and hear it… https://youtu.be/tOHCePoPlPo

The interesting thing is it isn’t a once in a lifetime thing but it becomes a lifetime process of both repenting for missing the mark be it with God or with others as well as forgiving others. It is quite amazing what you can learn through it and if you are humble enough, you may even find things that will help make you better and stronger. By forgiving you take back the power rather than allowing the other person to have power over you that causes and triggers pain, anger, and bitterness. By repenting you give control back to God and remove the opportunity and ability of the devil to try and cause you guilt and pain. We all have freewill and we all have the opportunity to decide how we will live and respond and act. I know the experience described in the video took place over a decade ago and yet I have needed to forgive regularly since them in other teams and experiences I have had to go through. Forgiveness becomes my first response to the action so that bitterness has no chance to take root in my life. I then turn to God to get wisdom and discernment to help me get through it. Even when no answer seems to be in sight and it seems to happen again and again and again. God told us in His Word how we are to keep forgiving, not seven times but seventy times seven times, just like in that song I heard on the radio, that day so long ago on the way to get my taxes done, and take it from me, it makes a difference! You don’t want to hope on the downward spiral for months, getting worse, feeling worse, and heading for rock bottom. It doesn’t matter if it is or was in the 1900s or the 2000s or beyond or before, it matters how we choose to respond! If we did something that needs for us to ask for forgiveness through repentance then we should do it. If we received something that requires for us to forgive and possibly multiple times then we should do it. Forgiveness isn’t about saying it is ok or that what they did is acceptable, it is taking back the control and choosing to live life God’s way with healthy boundaries and God’s protection and strength while allowing the Holy Spirit to give us the wisdom and discernment to know how to engage or disengage from the situation.

So how about you? Are you struggling because you need to repent for something? Are you struggling because you need to forgive for something? Are you riding the bitter train on the downward spiral to rock bottom? Are you allowing the bitter root to grow and get bigger and take up more space in your heart and mind? Are you ready to pull it up and pull it out in order to get off the bitter train express? Are you ready to forgive in order to find freedom? The choice is yours! Choose wisely before you have to hit rock bottom and the consequences of allowing bitterness and whatever happened to control you. How will you decide today?


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


A Cause Worth Dying For


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 35:27

‘Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What is your main focus? Finding and getting the things or doing the things that will bring the most pleasure?
  • What is your main focus? Finding and getting the latest thing that is supposed to make life easier?
  • What is your main focus? To find and get something that will last?
  • What purpose is your heart seeking or searching for?
  • What is that space you are trying to fill?
  • Do you realize it is a God shaped hole that need for you to invite God into it to be filled?
  • Are you aware of the greater purpose? That thing you are to do that is greater than yourself?
  • What energizes you? Is it political? Is it the planet? Is it helping the homeless? Is it to protect freedom?
  • Are the causes you are supporting or interested in causes that will last or are they temporary?
  • Are the causes you are supporting or interested in causes that help temporarily or for the long term?
  • Is what you are doing something that will last through eternity?
  • Are you sharing Jesus with people which will open the door for them to enter into eternity with God?
  • Are you focused on knowing Jesus and honoring Him in everything you do?
  • Are you working as unto the Lord?
  • Are you focused on building your relationship with God and allowing that relationship to overflow into the lives of all those He brings around you?
  • The cause we need to be most focused on is the cause of having a relationship with Jesus!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some causes your friends are excited about?
  • Political parties and elections
  • Save the planet
  • Volunteering for special causes
  • Making Jesus known
  • Proving they are right
If an objective observer looked at your life, what would he or she conclude that you are devoted to? Explain your answer.
  • God – My relationship with Jesus
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Children in need
  • Making Jesus known

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

Helen Keller

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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

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

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


How has the country been living?


Has it been living to higher standards or lowering them to the lowest common denominator? Has it been helping people up or holding them down? Has it been walking with integrity or has it turned its back and being corrupt? Has it been calling people to better ways or has it been trying to suppress them? Have words said one things and actions shown another? Are there people who seem to be thinking they are above the law? Are there people who seem to be thinking the law doesn’t apply to them? Is it a top down issue? Is it a systemic issue? Is it a legislative, judicial, and/or executive level issue?

Has it been walking away from it’s roots? Has it been trying to shake up a solid foundation? Has it been trying to pull its roots out from God? Has it been trying to do the opposite to His ways?

Have you noticed the impact? Have you noticed the implications? Have you noticed the pivot point we are at? There is a choice at hand and it will impact the country for generations to come! It goes beyond what will happen this year to decades and generations to come. What kind of country do you want to leave to the next generation? What kind of country do you want to grow old in? What kind of country do you want to experience? Consider the choices! Consider the implications! Consider the direction!

Consider God’s Word! Do you want this country to be aligned with God’s Word? Do you want this country to have to deal with the problems that come from being out from the cover and protection of the Lord? Consider the decisions that need to be made and which direction they will take us as a country!

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light! Jesus tells we will have troubles, but do we need to make decisions to expand or increase them? Jesus tells us we will have trials, but do we need to self-inflict them?

We all have a decision to make! Choose wisely! For the near term! For the longer term! For eternity! Choose Jesus and His way! We need to turn back to God! We need to humble ourselves! We need to ask for forgiveness! We need to forgive others! We need to turn from our wicked ways!


Today’s reading continues with the message from Jeremiah…

Unfaithful Israel

1The Lord says, “If a man divorces his wife, and she leaves him and becomes another man’s wife, he cannot take her back again. This would completely defile the land. But, Israel, you have had many lovers, and now you want to return to me! 2Look up at the hilltops. Is there any place where you have not acted like a prostitute? You waited for lovers along the roadside, as an Arab waits for victims in the desert. You have defiled the land with your prostitution. 3That is why the rains were held back, and the spring showers did not come. You even look like a prostitute; you have no shame.
4“And now you say to me, ‘You are my father, and you have loved me ever since I was a child. 5You won’t always be angry; you won’t be mad at me forever.’ Israel, that is what you said, but you did all the evil you could.”

Israel and Judah Must Repent

6 When Josiah was king, the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what Israel, that unfaithful woman, has done? She has turned away from me, and on every high hill and under every green tree she has acted like a prostitute. 7I thought that after she had done all this, she would surely return to me. But she did not return, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it all. 8Judah also saw that I divorced Israel and sent her away because she had turned from me and had become a prostitute. But Judah, Israel’s unfaithful sister, was not afraid. She too became a prostitute 9and was not at all ashamed. She defiled the land, and she committed adultery by worshiping stones and trees. 10And after all this, Judah, Israel’s unfaithful sister, only pretended to return to me; she was not sincere. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
11Then the Lord told me that, even though Israel had turned away from him, she had proved to be better than unfaithful Judah. 12He told me to go and say to Israel, “Unfaithful Israel, come back to me. I am merciful and will not be angry; I will not be angry with you forever. 13Only admit that you are guilty and that you have rebelled against the Lord, your God. Confess that under every green tree you have given your love to foreign gods and that you have not obeyed my commands. I, the Lord, have spoken.
14“Unfaithful people, come back; you belong to me. I will take one of you from each town and two from each clan, and I will bring you back to Mount Zion. 15I will give you rulers who obey me, and they will rule you with wisdom and understanding. 16Then when you have become numerous in that land, people will no longer talk about my Covenant Box. They will no longer think about it or remember it; they will not even need it, nor will they make another one. 17When that time comes, Jerusalem will be called ‘The Throne of the Lord,’ and all nations will gather there to worship me. They will no longer do what their stubborn and evil hearts tell them. 18Israel will join with Judah, and together they will come from exile in the country in the north and will return to the land that I gave your ancestors as a permanent possession.”

The Idolatry of God’s People

19The Lord says,
“Israel, I wanted to accept you as my child
and give you a delightful land,
the most beautiful land in all the world.
I wanted you to call me father
and never again turn away from me.
20But like an unfaithful wife,
you have not been faithful to me.
I, the Lord, have spoken.”
21A noise is heard on the hilltops:
it is the people of Israel crying and pleading
because they have lived sinful lives
and have forgotten the Lord their God.
22Return, all of you who have turned away from the Lord;
he will heal you and make you faithful.
You say, “Yes, we are coming to the Lord because he is our God. 23We were not helped at all by our pagan worship on the hilltops. Help for Israel comes only from the Lord our God. 24But the worship of Baal, the god of shame, has made us lose flocks and herds, sons and daughters—everything that our ancestors have worked for since ancient times. 25We should lie down in shame and let our disgrace cover us. We and our ancestors have always sinned against the Lord our God; we have never obeyed his commands.”

–from Jeremiah 3

Do you want the land to be healed? We need to change as a nation! We need to turn from our wicked ways! We need to humble ourselves and pray! Then God will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land!

So we need to turn back to God! We need to stop doing the things that go against God’s will! And we need to move back under the covering of God!

Do we want to rush to the end? For those who know and follow Jesus, we know where that will take us, but God’s will is that nobody would perish — that is why He sent Jesus! God’s will is that His Word would be known everywhere so that everyone gets the chance to make a choice! Are you helping or hindering that plan? that desire? that will?

Do you hear the hopelessness being spoken around you? Do you hear the joy being snuffed out? Do you hear the desires of people’s heart for hope? Do you hear the pain being felt?

A Call to Repentance

1The Lord says, “People of Israel, if you want to turn, then turn back to me. If you are faithful to me and remove the idols I hate, 2it will be right for you to swear by my name. Then all the nations will ask me to bless them, and they will praise me.”
3 The Lord says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, “Plow up your unplowed fields; do not plant your seeds among thorns. 4Keep your covenant with me, your Lord, and dedicate yourselves to me, you people of Judah and Jerusalem. If you don’t, my anger will burn like fire because of the evil things you have done. It will burn, and there will be no one to put it out.”

Judah Is Threatened with Invasion

5Blow the trumpet throughout the land!
Shout loud and clear!
Tell the people of Judah and Jerusalem
to run to the fortified cities.
6Point the way to Zion!
Run for safety! Don’t delay!
The Lord is bringing disaster
and great destruction from the north.
7Like a lion coming from its hiding place,
a destroyer of nations has set out.
He is coming to destroy Judah.
The cities of Judah will be left in ruins,
and no one will live in them.
8So put on sackcloth, and weep and wail
because the fierce anger of the Lord
has not turned away from Judah.
9The Lord said, “On that day kings and officials will lose their courage; priests will be shocked and prophets will be astonished.”
10Then I said, “Sovereign Lord, you have completely deceived the people of Jerusalem! You have said there would be peace, but a sword is at their throats.”
11The time is coming when the people of Jerusalem will be told that a scorching wind is blowing in from the desert toward them. It will not be a gentle wind that only blows away the chaff— 12the wind that comes at the Lord’s command will be much stronger than that! It is the Lord himself who is pronouncing judgment on his people.

Judah Is Surrounded by Enemies

13Look, the enemy is coming like clouds. Their war chariots are like a whirlwind, and their horses are faster than eagles. We are lost! We are doomed!
14Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart, so that you may be saved. How long will you go on thinking sinful thoughts?
15Messengers from the city of Dan and from the hills of Ephraim announce the bad news. 16They have come to warn the nations and to tell Jerusalem that enemies are coming from a country far away. These enemies will shout against the cities of Judah 17and will surround Jerusalem like men guarding a field, because her people have rebelled against the Lord. The Lord has spoken.
18Judah, you have brought this on yourself by the way you have lived and by the things you have done. Your sin has caused this suffering; it has stabbed you through the heart.

Jeremiah’s Sorrow for His People

19The pain! I can’t bear the pain!
My heart! My heart is beating wildly!
I can’t keep quiet;
I hear the trumpets
and the shouts of battle.
20One disaster follows another;
the whole country is left in ruins.
Suddenly our tents are destroyed;
their curtains are torn to pieces.
21How long must I see the battle raging
and hear the blasts of trumpets?
22The Lord says, “My people are stupid;
they don’t know me.
They are like foolish children;
they have no understanding.
They are experts at doing what is evil,
but failures at doing what is good.”
Jeremiah’s Vision of the Coming Destruction
23I looked at the earth—it was a barren waste;
at the sky—there was no light.
24I looked at the mountains—they were shaking,
and the hills were rocking back and forth.
25I saw that there were no people;
even the birds had flown away.
26The fertile land had become a desert;
its cities were in ruins
because of the Lord’s fierce anger.
( 27The Lord has said that the whole earth will become a wasteland, but that he will not completely destroy it.)
28The earth will mourn;
the sky will grow dark.
The Lord has spoken
and will not change his mind.
He has made his decision
and will not turn back.
29At the noise of the cavalry and archers
everyone will run away.
Some will run to the forest;
others will climb up among the rocks.
Every town will be left empty,
and no one will live in them again.
30Jerusalem, you are doomed!
Why do you dress in scarlet?
Why do you put on jewelry and paint your eyes?
You are making yourself beautiful for nothing!
Your lovers have rejected you
and want to kill you.
31I heard a cry, like a woman in labor,
a scream like a woman bearing her first child.
It was the cry of Jerusalem gasping for breath,
stretching out her hand and saying,
“I am doomed!
They are coming to kill me!”

–from Jeremiah 4

Are you living to the highest calling? Are you living with everything available to you? Are you living with the power promised? Are you ready for what is yet to come? Will you be obedient to the prompting of the Spirit? Will you allow Him to guide your steps and your words and your direction and your decisions?

Paul in Ephesus

1While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the province and arrived in Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”
“We have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” they answered.
3“Well, then, what kind of baptism did you receive?” Paul asked.
“The baptism of John,” they answered.
4 Paul said, “The baptism of John was for those who turned from their sins; and he told the people of Israel to believe in the one who was coming after him—that is, in Jesus.”
5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6Paul placed his hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them; they spoke in strange tongues and also proclaimed God’s message. 7They were about twelve men in all.
8Paul went into the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly with the people, holding discussions with them and trying to convince them about the Kingdom of God. 9But some of them were stubborn and would not believe, and before the whole group they said evil things about the Way of the Lord. So Paul left them and took the believers with him, and every day he held discussions in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10This went on for two years, so that all the people who lived in the province of Asia, both Jews and Gentiles, heard the word of the Lord.

The Sons of Sceva

11God was performing unusual miracles through Paul. 12Even handkerchiefs and aprons he had used were taken to the sick, and their diseases were driven away, and the evil spirits would go out of them. 13Some Jews who traveled around and drove out evil spirits also tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to do this. They said to the evil spirits, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches.” 14Seven brothers, who were the sons of a Jewish High Priest named Sceva, were doing this.
15But the evil spirit said to them, “I know Jesus, and I know about Paul; but you—who are you?”
16The man who had the evil spirit in him attacked them with such violence that he overpowered them all. They ran away from his house, wounded and with their clothes torn off. 17All the Jews and Gentiles who lived in Ephesus heard about this; they were all filled with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was given greater honor. 18Many of the believers came, publicly admitting and revealing what they had done. 19Many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in public. They added up the price of the books, and the total came to fifty thousand silver coins. 20In this powerful way the word of the Lord kept spreading and growing stronger.

The Riot in Ephesus

21After these things had happened, Paul made up his mind to travel through Macedonia and Achaia and go on to Jerusalem. “After I go there,” he said, “I must also see Rome.” 22So he sent Timothy and Erastus, two of his helpers, to Macedonia, while he spent more time in the province of Asia.
23It was at this time that there was serious trouble in Ephesus because of the Way of the Lord. 24A certain silversmith named Demetrius made silver models of the temple of the goddess Artemis, and his business brought a great deal of profit to the workers. 25So he called them all together with others whose work was like theirs and said to them, “Men, you know that our prosperity comes from this work. 26Now, you can see and hear for yourselves what this fellow Paul is doing. He says that hand-made gods are not gods at all, and he has succeeded in convincing many people, both here in Ephesus and in nearly the whole province of Asia. 27There is the danger, then, that this business of ours will get a bad name. Not only that, but there is also the danger that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will come to mean nothing and that her greatness will be destroyed—the goddess worshiped by everyone in Asia and in all the world!”
28As the crowd heard these words, they became furious and started shouting, “Great is Artemis of Ephesus!” 29The uproar spread throughout the whole city. The mob grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus, two Macedonians who were traveling with Paul, and rushed with them to the theater. 30Paul himself wanted to go before the crowd, but the believers would not let him. 31Some of the provincial authorities, who were his friends, also sent him a message begging him not to show himself in the theater. 32Meanwhile the whole meeting was in an uproar: some people were shouting one thing, others were shouting something else, because most of them did not even know why they had come together. 33Some of the people concluded that Alexander was responsible, since the Jews made him go up to the front. Then Alexander motioned with his hand for the people to be silent, and he tried to make a speech of defense. 34But when they recognized that he was a Jew, they all shouted together the same thing for two hours: “Great is Artemis of Ephesus!”
35At last the city clerk was able to calm the crowd. “Fellow Ephesians!” he said. “Everyone knows that the city of Ephesus is the keeper of the temple of the great Artemis and of the sacred stone that fell down from heaven. 36Nobody can deny these things. So then, you must calm down and not do anything reckless. 37You have brought these men here even though they have not robbed temples or said evil things about our goddess. 38If Demetrius and his workers have an accusation against anyone, we have the authorities and the regular days for court; charges can be made there. 39But if there is something more that you want, it will have to be settled in a legal meeting of citizens. 40For after what has happened today, there is the danger that we will be accused of a riot. There is no excuse for all this uproar, and we would not be able to give a good reason for it.” 41After saying this, he dismissed the meeting.

–from Acts 19

Beware of the tendency to blame others because it can keep you from feeling the need to repent.


Hosea 4:4

4 Yet let no man strive, neither let any man reprove [another–do not waste your time in mutual recriminations], for with you is My contention, O priest.

We often blame others if we fear punishment for wrongdoing. Hosea warned the priests not to blame anyone else; the nation’s sins were largely their fault. Israel’s priests pointed out the people’s sins, but God would not allow them to overlook their own irresponsible actions. Instead of instructing the nation in religion and morality, they had led the way toward idolatry and immorality. Their failure to lead the people in God’s ways placed most of the blame for Israel’s destruction on them. Knowing that God will not allow us to blame others for our sinfulness should cause us to admit our own sins. We are responsible for our own sinful actions. Beware of the tendency to blame others because it can keep you from feeling the need to repent.


Verse of the Day

23 Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.

John 14:23


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and all that will be in it. I lift up my health to You as I had a sore throat over the weekend and it appears to have moved to the next step in getting sick. Give me strength and health I pray that I will have a quick recovery and get back to good health. Remove this from me, for Your Word tells us that by the striped of Jesus we are healed. I hold onto that and ask Lord for Your touch upon my body. I praise You for my family and friends Lord who have spoken truth and life into my life. I thank You for the encouragement and courage to step out in faith and walk out Your plan for my life. As I look for today I pray for Your will to be done and that You would help me to walk in obedience to Your plan for me. And in all this Lord, I give You the praise, the honor, and the glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

As I speak with my son and hear his voice, I pray now Lord for Your healing touch upon his body too as it appears he may have had this earlier. Touch and heal his little body I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen,.


Psalm 128

1 BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, to be envied) is everyone who fears, reveres, and worships the Lord, who walks in His ways and lives according to His commandments. 2 For you shall eat [the fruit] of the labor of your hands; happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) shall you be, and it shall be well with you.3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the innermost parts of your house; your children shall be like olive plants round about your table.4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord.5 May the Lord bless you out of Zion [His sanctuary], and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life;6 Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!

Proverbs 4

1 HEAR, MY sons, the instruction of a father, and pay attention in order to gain and to know intelligent discernment, comprehension, and interpretation [of spiritual matters].2 For I give you good doctrine [what is to be received]; do not forsake my teaching.3 When I [Solomon] was a son with my father [David], tender and the only son in the sight of my mother [Bathsheba],4 He taught me and said to me, Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments and live. 5 Get skillful and godly Wisdom, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation); do not forget and do not turn back from the words of my mouth.6 Forsake not [Wisdom], and she will keep, defend, and protect you; love her, and she will guard you.7 The beginning of Wisdom is: get Wisdom (skillful and godly Wisdom)! [For skillful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing.] And with all you have gotten, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation). 8 Prize Wisdom highly and exalt her, and she will exalt and promote you; she will bring you to honor when you embrace her.9 She shall give to your head a wreath of gracefulness; a crown of beauty and glory will she deliver to you.10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life shall be many.11 I have taught you in the way of skillful and godly Wisdom [which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God]; I have led you in paths of uprightness.12 When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered [your path will be clear and open]; and when you run, you shall not stumble.13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.15 Avoid it, do not go on it; turn from it and pass on.16 For they cannot sleep unless they have caused trouble or vexation; their sleep is taken away unless they have caused someone to fall.17 For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.18 But the path of the [uncompromisingly] just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more (brighter and clearer) until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day [to be prepared]. 19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. 20 My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings.21 Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart.22 For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.23 Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.24 Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and willful and contrary talk put far from you.25 Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you.26 Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright.27 Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil.

Living for now? Living forever? Living in fear? Living in faith, knowing God is sovereign and working for the greater good?


Can you be trusted with a little? If not, how could you be trusted with even larger things? Do you trust God with the little things? Do you also trust Him for the big things?

“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

What is you priority? Is it God? Is it stuff? Who is your God? If you are mostly focused on something, on acquiring more stuff, on material possessions, it might be that money or stuff is your God.

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

“The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.

Everyone in Hell is a believer? They weren’t when they got there, but circumstances have changed their minds. I pray that you will believe sooner rather than later in Jesus, that you may live and have an abundant life as Jesus so desires for you – He came that we may have life and life to the full.

“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

“Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

“Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'”

Speak out and correct someone if they hurt you. If they repent then forgive them. And there should be no limit to your forgiveness.

Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

Increase our Faith. Do you have faith? Even just a little?

And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'”

 


Today’s Reading:

Luke 16:117:10; Psalm 107:6-9; Proverbs 19:14


Call out to God in your times of trouble. Praise Him.

Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He delivered them out of their distresses.
And He led them forth by the right way,
That they might go to a city for a dwelling place.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Psalm 107:6-9

WISDOM

Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD. (Proverbs 19:14 )