As we step into the first Thursday of 2022 are you ready to be restored?


Are you in desperate need of help? Are you ready for God to peel back and see or reveal the damage that is in place to see below the surface? When we feel the pain we may want a quick fix but it may require a deeper look and effort to be able to have the Holy Spirit’s deep work in our lives to be fully restored. If we want to live out our lives to the full rather than just settling for a quick fix? Are you ready to be vulnerable enough to invite God in and allow Him to do the deeper work of restoration in our lives rather than trying patching up or covering up those things? Let’s pause and invite God in and grab hold of God’s Word and God’s joy and God’s salvation through Jesus. Are you ready for a full restoration?

Today let’s grab hold of and pray God’s Word over and into our lives:

‘[Rather] is this not the fast which I choose, To undo the bonds of wickedness, To tear to pieces the ropes of the yoke, To let the oppressed go free And break apart every [enslaving] yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not to hide yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood? ‘

Isaiah 58:6-7

‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right and steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted and return to You. ‘

Psalms 51:10-13

‘The Lord will sustain and strengthen him on his sickbed; In his illness, You will restore him to health. ‘

Psalms 41:3

‘He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow]. ‘

Psalms 147:3

‘Brothers, if anyone is caught in any sin, you who are spiritual [that is, you who are responsive to the guidance of the Spirit] are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness [not with a sense of superiority or self-righteousness], keeping a watchful eye on yourself, so that you are not tempted as well. ‘

Galatians 6:1

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 1 – How has becoming a father changed your perspective on a Father’s love for his children?

Rad Dad! – Day 1


So where are you today? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart? Are you ready to ask Him to help with the deeper work rather than being a bunch of patch jobs? Are you ready to seek Him and ask Him in to give you eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart, mind, and will to be bold and courageous and do what is necessary to be restored? Could today be a breakthrough day? Could today be the day you move from just surviving into a place of thriving through Jesus? Let’s pray:

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

Feeling tired or burned out?


How are you managing your time? Ever heard of burning the candle at both ends and the detriment that has to your well-being? One thing I learned many years ago when my diabetes went out of whack because I was putting in my normal days work but because I was on the international team and we had a big project, I was working off hours too in order to stay in touch with the regional teams too. What did that mean? I would be up at 5am and go to be around 1am for about 3 months. If it hadn’t of been for my quarter check-in with my diabetic doctor I may have missed the wakeup call. I discovered that it was having an impact on my health in so many ways including my blood sugars and the doctor sent me for some re-education to help me better count carbs and stuff. This wakeup call made me realize that something was going to have to change and so I started praying and what came to my mind was my priorities. What did I say my priorities were? Was I living my life that way? I had a reminder of an audiobook I had listened to back in the day driving back and forth to work talking about putting First Things First. I remember posting over the years about First Things First. So as I thought about it I came up with a list:

  • God
  • My wife and marriage
  • My child and family

With that top 3 list I realized everything else needed to come after them. So I considered where I was spending my time and decided to step down from the board of the homeowners association I was leading. I considered what was causing me to work such crazy hours and micromanaging folks and turned it around with the realization that the company hires smart people and so I shouldn’t need to babysit them, delegate, trust, and verify with regular check-ins with an open door to being available to discuss if something came up in between. So my days went back to 10 hours instead of 20 hours, my wife and daughter got to see more of me and a better version of me. I was able to continue to serve at the church. And at my next appointment I got a much better report from my doctor.

So with this experience I realized I wasn’t only burning the candle of life at both ends but had started to burn it in the middle too and hence my new saying that it isn’t good to burn a candle on 4 ends. It not only breaks it into 2 smaller candles but also speeds up the burnout.

How about you? Are you feeling tired? Are you getting burned out? Are you ready to make a change before you need to get a wake up call? Are you ready to make an adjustment before your body fails you? Are you ready to reconsider your priorities and how you are living your life in order to get healthy and strong? Are you ready to reconsider your priorities and how you are living your life in order to ensure that your top priorities are getting the time and effort they need and deserve? Are you ready to start now?

Are you ready to find the rest you need to get it all done?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for August 5th


Real Rest


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. ‘

Exodus 20:8-10

God even gave us the example through creation. Let’s look at this a bit deeper expanding to include verse 11 and using the Amplified version.

‘“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]. ‘

Exodus 20:8-11

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Did you realize a day of rest wasn’t to make us weird but to make us better?
  • Do you realize a day of rest wasn’t to make us weird but because God cares for us and knows we need a break?
  • Do you realize a day of rest wasn’t to make us weird but because God created us to need rest?
  • Do you realize the benefits of taking a day of rest on your mind and body?
  • Do you realize how taking a day off helps to recalibrate our priorities?
  • Do you realize how taking a day off helps to keep our focus on God?
  • Are you aware of your need for rest? Are you aware of the benefits of rest?
  • Do you make time to rest? Do you rest?
  • With all the stimulus available 24/7, are you able to turn it off?
  • Are you trying to get as much done as possible and in so doing burning yourself out between working all day everyday, playing all night and on weekends?
  • Do you feel like you are always in a hurry to get to the next thing?
  • Ever heard of “hurry sickness”?
  • It is when you are always rushing around causing us and others to become physically and emotionally sick. (kind of like what happened to me in my earlier story where my diabetes went out of whack)
  • Do you realize that we need rest to be able to handle and deal with stress rather than allow stress to be the driver?
  • Do you give your calendar over to God to make sure that your time is being used properly? (every morning I look at my calendar for the day and give it up to God saying to remove things that don’t need to be there and adding things that do)
  • Quote from today’s devotional that relates to a man’s revelation:
Check out the full post here.
  • So do you realize the impact you are having on others?
  • Do you realize the impact you are having on yourself?
  • Are you ready to make time to rest and decompress?
  • Are you ready to make the Sabbath a day of rest, of refreshing, of worshipping God, of investing in our family, of reading, of having fun, and of kicking off your shoes and relaxing?
  • Do allow the addiction to GO, GO, GO rob you of what God has planned and designed for you.
  • Are you ready to break the Go, Go, Go addiction cycle?
  • Are you ready to put the focused attention on it to break the addiction?
  • Are you ready to build up the discipline to break the addiction?
  • Are you ready to take courage in order to break the addiction?
  • Are you ready to surround yourself with others who can support and encourage your efforts to break the addiction?
  • Are you ready to join a small group of others who are struggling in order to help encourage and support one another?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you see any “hurry sickness” in your life?
  • What are some specific things you can do to make a Sabbath rest meaningful?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If a man cannot earn a living working six days a week, what would make him think he could make it if he works seven days a week?”

Truett Cathy

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at? Are you burning the candle on both ends? Have you tried to burn the candle on all four ends? Are you trying to make a living in six or seven days? Are you ready to find rest for your mind, body, and spirit? Are you willing to take your cares and case to God? God wants you to cast your cares on Him because He cares for you! Are you make to make a swap with God? Give up your burdens for His rest? Are you ready to make time to rest? Are you ready to make time to get filled out? Each morning I turn to God’s Word and a good devotional to help fill up my tank to start the day! Throughout COVID I started to exercise more too so that I could be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Throughout COVID I started to read while I would ride the stationary bike too with motivational, inspirational, and God inspired stories that helped fill my mind with great ideas and motivations to press in and press on. How about you? Are you ready to put God first in your life? Are you ready for a change for the better? 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?


Is the pressure or labor too much to bare?


If there was someone who could help you would you be willing to share it with them? If they would listen without turning away without contempt, mockery, scoffing, insult, disparagement, spite, sarcasm, ridicule, or put-downs, would it make you more willing to share the cares of your heart and the thoughts of your mind? Do you need someone who can stand by you? Do you need someone who can walk it out with you? Do you want someone who can support and encourage you both on the good and on the tough days? Do you want someone who can speak truth in love when you start to question what is going on? Do you need a way to find rest for your soul? Do you need to find rest for your mind? Do you need to find rest for your body?

Do you know where to go when the pressure starts to build up? Do you know where to turn when life feels overwhelming? Do you know what to do when you don’t know what to do? Turn to God! Cry out to Jesus! Be still and listen to the words of the Holy Spirit! Turn to God’s Word for wisdom and direction! When you don’t know what to do, you do what you know how to do. Ever considered in the midst of your trials and troubles, your burdens and your yoke, to give to others in need or to reach out to help others in need?

Is the pressure or labor too much to bare? Are you willing to do something about it? Will you let God in?


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


Rest for the Soul


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”’

Matthew 11:28-30

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What is burdening your life?
  • What are the pressures?
  • What are the stresses?
  • Do you realize that rest doesn’t mean to escape from all responsibilities?
  • Do you realize that you can find rest without having to escape from everything?
  • Do you realize that being passive or looking to escape may not be the real answer to your situation?
  • Do you realize from Jesus’ words above that He didn’t mean that passivity and escape aren’t what He has in mind?
  • Ever envisioned or tried to picture the word picture Jesus describes in Matthew 11?
  • Can you see the importance of being equally yoked?
  • Can you see the importance of being equally yoked to stability and level of effort?
  • Can you see the importance of being equally yoked from a mentoring and development perspective?
  • Can you see the importance of being equally yoked to learning cooperation and team work?
  • So are you willing to yoke up with Jesus?
  • Are you willing to learn from His lead?
  • Are you willing to develop from His teaching?
  • Are you willing to cooperate and team up with Him?
  • Are you willing to pull alongside Jesus to accomplish God’s plans, purposes, and will for your life?
  • Jesus won’t scold us when we don’t pull our weight or misstep in our walk beside Him, for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!
  • Just as today’s verses tell us, rather than scold us, Jesus will be humble and patient in reminding us that He is pulling most of the load.
  • So let’s trust Him in this and with this!
  • Let’s allow the Spirit to lead and guide our thoughts, our words, our steps, and our actions.
  • Let’s stop trying to pull everything on our own and instead pair up with Jesus!
  • Let’s stop trying to go it alone!
  • Let’s start pulling in alignment with Jesus!
  • Let’s walk with Him and learn to work in cooperation with Him!
  • Let’s allow this lesson to bring us peace, relief, rest, and thankfulness
  • Let’s lean on God’s strength rather than trying to go it in our own.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How are you doing in the yoke as you learn to pull with Jesus?
  • It gets easier as you get in step and alignment with Jesus
  • As you accept and adjust your steps to walk with Him,
What changes do you need to make? How will these affect your life?
  • Keep in step with Jesus, all the time
  • Understand when it is time to speed up or slow down
  • In so doing, there will be rest and peace and relief and so much more to be thankful for.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“I have a great need for Christ: I have a great Christ for my need.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Are you ready to stop trying to do it all in your own strength? Are you ready to stop trying to go it alone? Are you ready to share the load with someone who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than you could ever ask or imagine? Will today be your day?

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?


A time for restoration!


Take a look around at all that has been torn up, broken down, neglected, abolished and destroyed! You know what we need? We need a time to restore! Restore relationships! Restore community! Restore hope! Restore marriages! Restore families! Restore health! Restore behaviors that produce good! Restore values! Restore truth! Restore order! Restore the land! Restore equality! Restore justice! Restore righteousness! Restore peace! Restore security! Restore safety! Restore the knowledge of right and wrong! Restore discipline! Restore the fortunes to be able to remove the debt! Restore the cities! Restore the rejoicing! Restore the increase! Restore the joy! Restore the trust! Restore good and faithful leaders! Restore us so that we will be God’s people and He will be our God! Restore the love! Restore the kindness! Restore how people are valued by their character, the content of their character! Restore unity! Restore alignment to God’s ways! Restore the land! Restore the singing! Restore the direction and instruction! Restore the value and values! Restore the goodness and greatness! Restore the jobs so that people will be able to get back to working and producing! Restore justice so that the rule of law will be followed and applied equally! Restore hope that will last, hope that goes beyond one generation! Restore accountability for what we say and do! Restore the production of the fruit of the Spirit: Restore love! Restore joy! Restore peace! Restore forbearance! Restore patience! Restore kindness! Restore goodness! Restore faithfulness! Restore self-control!

Restore forgiveness! Restore truth! Restore hope! Restore justice! Restore The Way!

We need a revival! With people turning back to God and allowing Him to lead us and guide us in all of His ways! With people following after Jesus and making a difference by sharing the fruit of the Spirit! With people demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit. So let’s repent and turn back to God! Let’s allow the fruits of the Spiritlove, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to flow thru us and out of us! Let’s get a revival moving forward for the glory of God! Let’s revive this country and this world! Let’s restore this country and this world! Let’s allow the Word of God and the promises of God to be poured out over this world! 

Let’s put up guideposts to help people find their way! Let’s provide road signs to point them in the right direction! Help them to find the road they should take! Give them eyes to see and ears to hear so that they will stop wandering! Let’s greet others with words like: The Lord bless you, you prosperous city, you sacred mountain. Let’s come together and live together again in unity! Let’s come together and live together again in alignment to God’s Word and God’s will! Let’s be accountable for the way we live! Not how our parents lived or how our kids live, but be accountable for the way we live! Let’s allow God’s Word to be in our minds and guide and direct our steps! Let’s allow God’s Word to be etched into our hearts so that we know the difference between right and wrong and live it out! 

Let’s choose to live life above average! The law is set to be average, but Jesus calls us to be above average! If we just live at the status quo, then the average will keep going down! If we choose to live lives above average, then we will keep raising the average and help restore this land! Be it the law of the land or God’s law from the 10 commandments, we need to step up and stand up for what is right! We need to raie the average so that people can live out each day in confidence and trusting in God! Today’s reading in Romans speaks to us of being freed from sin and bound to Jesus!

On the mound, Jesus teach us the way! His Way! Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it!

The Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Murder

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Adultery

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Divorce

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is Godʼs throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Eye for Eye

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

–from Matthew 5


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 3031, Romans 7

Your past doesn’t have to define your future!


What you’ve gone through, what you’ve experience, how you were treated, who you were, where you’ve been – those are behind you. Yes they shaped you, but they don’t have to define you and your future! Those things people have said about you aren’t what you have to be or become! We all get to choose! We all have choice! The main reason is God’s plans for us is good! God is good and God is love! So we have to choose who we will be be. If we were good or thought we were and then had an encounter with Jesus that transformed us just like Paul. If we weren’t so good and got into trouble and then had an encounter with Jesus that transformed us. Where are you at right now? How will you choose to finish this race called life? Will you choose good? Will you choose faith? Will you choose obedience? Will you choose to finish strong? Your past doesn’t have to define your future!

Today’s reading gets us started in the book of Judges…

Jephthah’s Valor and Vow

1Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, but he was son of a prostitute, while Gilead was Jephthah’s father. 2But Gilead’s wife bore him sons, and when the wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You won’t inherit in our father’s house, for you are a son of another woman.” 3Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Some worthless fellows joined with Jephthah and went out with him. 4Now it came about after a while that the children of Ammon fought with Israel. 5When the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah from the land of Tob. 6They said to Jephthah, “Come and be our chief, so we may fight the children of Ammon.” 7Jephthah then said to the elders of Gilead, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me out of my father’s house? So why are you coming to me now that you’re in trouble?” 8“Here is why we’re now turning to you,” the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah. “Come with us, fight the children of Ammon, and then you will become head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” 9So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you take me back home to fight the children of Ammon, and Adonai gives them over to me, I should become your head!” 10The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “Let Adonai be witness between us if we don’t do as you say.” 11Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them, after Jephthah repeated all his terms before Adonai at Mizpah. 12Then Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the children of Ammon saying, “What have you to do with me, that you have come to me to make war on my land?” 13The king of the children of Ammon answered the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel took away my land, when they came up from Egypt, from the Arnon to the Jabbok as far as the Jordan. Now therefore, return them peaceably.” 14But Jephthah sent messengers again to the king of the children of Ammon, 15and said to him, “Thus says Jephthah, ‘Israel did not take away the land of Moab or the land of the children of Ammon. 16For upon departing from Egypt, Israel traveled through the wilderness to the Sea of Reeds and came to Kadesh, 17then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom saying, “Please, let me pass through your land,” but the king of Edom would not consent. Similarly he sent word to the king of Moab, but he would not consent. So Israel, after staying at Kadesh, 18traveled through the wilderness, around the land of Edom and the land of Moab, came to the east side of the land of Moab and they camped on the other side of the Arnon. But they did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab. 19Then Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, “Please, let us pass through your land to my place.” 20But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory. So Sihon gathered all his troops, camped in Jahaz and fought against Israel. 21But Adonai God of Israel gave Sihon and all his troops into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them. So Israel took possession of all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 22Thus they possessed all the territory of the Amorites, from the Arnon as far as the Jabbok, and from the wilderness as far as the Jordan. 23So now Adonai God of Israel dispossessed the Amorites from before His people Israel. So should you possess their land? 24Don’t you possess what Chemosh your god gives you to possess? Likewise, whatever Adonai our God has dispossessed from before us, this we will possess. 25Besides, are you any better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them? 26While Israel was living in Heshbon and its villages, in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities on both sides of the Arnon for 300 years, why didn’t you try to recover them all that time? 27So I myself have not transgressed against you, yet you are doing me harm by waging war against me. May Adonai, the Judge, judge today between Bnei-Yisrael and the children of Ammon.’” 28However, the king of the children of Ammon paid no attention to the words of Jephthah that he sent him. 29Then the Ruach Adonai came upon Jephthah, so he marched through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he crossed over to the children of Ammon. 30Then Jephthah vowed a vow to Adonai and said, “If You will indeed give the children of Ammon into my hand, 31then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return safely from the children of Ammon, it will be Adonai’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.” 32So Jephthah crossed over to the children of Ammon to fight against them, and Adonai gave them into his hand. 33So he utterly defeated them from Aroer until you come to Minnith—20 towns—and as far as Abel-cheramim. So the children of Ammon were subdued before Bnei-Yisrael. 34Now when Jephthah arrived at his home in Mizpah, behold, his daughter was coming out to meet him with tambourines and with dances. Now she was his only child. Besides her he had no son or daughter. 35Upon seeing her, he tore his clothes and said, “Alas, my daughter! You made me bow down in grief—you’ve made me miserable! For I have opened my mouth to Adonai, and I cannot take it back.” 36“My father, you have opened your mouth to Adonai,” she said to him. “Do to me what proceeded from your mouth—since Adonai brought vengeance on your enemies, the children of Ammon.” 37She said further to her father, “Let this thing be done for me. Let me be alone two months, so that I may go on the mountains and mourn my virginity, I and my companions.” 38“Go!” he said. So he sent her away for two months. So she left, she and her companions, and mourned on the mountains because of her virginity. 39Then at the end of two months she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow he had made—so she was never intimate with a man. So it became a custom in Israel, 40that the daughters of Israel would go annually to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

–from Judges 11

Be careful what you say! Be careful what you promise! Make sure you are good to your word! Don’t lie! Don’t make promises you can’t keep! Don’t make promises you won’t keep! Consider your words carefully before you say them for you need to consider what could and would be rather than just jumping into it and getting put into a situation or position you may regret. We all get to choose if we will be faithful or not! We all get to choose if we will be obedient or not! So let’s choose life and life to the full! Let’s choose integrity and honesty! Let’s choose faith and obedience!

1Then the men of Ephraim were summoned and crossed over to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the children of Ammon without calling us to go with you? We will burn your house over you with fire.” 2So Jephthah responded to them, “I and my people were in a bitter conflict with the children of Ammon, yet when I called you, you didn’t deliver me from their hand. 3So when I saw that you weren’t going to deliver, I put my life in my hand and crossed over against the children of Ammon, and Adonai gave them into my hand. So why have you come up to me today, to fight me?” 4Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought Ephraim. The men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they said, “You Gileadites are just fugitives of Ephraim in the midst of Ephraim and in the midst of Manasseh.” 5The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan opposite Ephraim. So when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead would ask him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” 6then they would say to him, “Say now, ‘Shibboleth,’” and he said “Sibboleth” since he could not pronounce it right, then they would seize him and slay him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time 42,000 of Ephraim fell. 7Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in one of the towns of Gilead. 8After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 9Now he had 30 sons, and 30 daughters—he sent them outside and brought in 30 girls from outside for his sons. He judged Israel seven years, 10then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem. 11Then after him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel. He judged Israel ten years, 12then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun. 13After him Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. 14He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons who rode on 70 donkeys, and he judged Israel eight years. 15Then Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite died and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

–from Judges 12

Take a look at the world around you. Consider the roller coaster of life. The ups! The Downs! The twists! The turns! The loops! The good! The bad! The pattern seems to be turning to God and turning away from God! Where are you at? Have you chosen to follow God? Have you had a divine appointment that has changed your life and started your relationship Jesus? Take a look around you. Do you see where the people around you are heading? Your neighbors? Your town or city? Your state or province? Your country? What are the politicians doing? What the people doing? What are the judges doing? What are the leaders doing? Do we need a revival? Is your place in a revival? Are you desiring a revival where you are at? Will you be called to a higher standard? Will you live to that calling? Will you be obedient to the point of setting in a motion a legacy?

Birth of Samson

1Bnei-Yisrael again did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, and Adonai gave them into the hand of the Philistines for 40 years. 2Now there was a certain man from Zorah, from a Danite clan, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and bore no children. 3Then the angel of Adonai appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have not borne children, but you will conceive and bear a son. 4Now therefore be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. 5For behold, you will conceive and bear a son. Let no razor come upon his head, for the boy will be a Nazirite to God from the womb. He will begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” 6Then the woman came and told her husband saying, “A man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome! But I did not ask him where he was from, nor did he tell me his name. 7He said to me, ‘Behold, you will conceive and bear a son. So, drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child will be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.” 8Then Manoah entreated Adonai and said, “My Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again and teach us what we will do for the boy to be born.” 9God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field, but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, and said to him, “Look, the man that came to me the other day has appeared to me!” 11So Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he asked him, “Are you the one who spoke to the woman?” “I am,” he said. 12Then Manoah said, “Now may your words come about! What will be the child’s rule and his mission?” 13The angel of Adonai said to Manoah, “Let the woman abstain from all that I mentioned to her. 14She should not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, or drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. She must observe all that I commanded her.” 15Then Manoah said to the angel of Adonai, “Please, let us detain you so that we may prepare a young goat for you.” 16But the angel of Adonai said to Manoah, “If you could detain me, I would not eat your food. But if you present a burnt offering, then offer it to Adonai.” For Manoah did not realize that he was the angel of Adonai. 17Then Manoah asked the angel of Adonai, “What is your name, so that when your words come to pass we may honor you?” 18But the angel of Adonai said to him, “Why do you ask for my name? It is wonderful.” 19Manoah took the young goat with the meal offering and offered them on the rock to Adonai, and He did something wonderful as Manoah and his wife were watching. 20For it came about when the flame went up from off the altar toward heaven that the angel of Adonai ascended in the flame of the altar. Manoah and his wife were looking on, then they fell on their faces to the ground. 21But the angel of Adonai appeared no more to Manoah or to his wife. Then Manoah realized that he was the angel of Adonai. 22Manoah said to his wife, “We will surely die, because we have seen God.” 23But his wife said to him, “If Adonai had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a meal offering from our hand, nor would He have shown us all these things or let us hear such things as these at this time.” 24Then the woman bore a son, and called his name Samson. So the boy grew up and Adonai blessed him. 25The Ruach Adonai began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

–from Judges 13

Oh how will you make a difference. What will it take for you to listen and obey? Is today your day? As we move forward today, let’s walk trusting in God! As we move forward today, let’s walk in obedience to God’s calling! As we move forward today, let’s use our words wisely! As we move forward today, let’s be encouragers! As we move forward today, let’s correct those who need discipline! As we move forward today, let’s comfort the fainthearted! As we move forward today, let’s help the weak! As we move forward today, let’s be patient with everyone! As we move forward today, let’s pursue what is good for one another and for all! Rejoice always, pray constantly, in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus! Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophetic messages, but test all things, hold fast to what is good, keep away from every kind of evil.

Keep Watch for the Day of the Lord

1Now concerning the times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. 2For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. 3When they are saying, “Shalom and safety,” sudden destruction comes upon them like a woman having birth pains in the womb—there is no way they will escape. 4But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, so that the Day might overtake you like a thief. 5For you all are sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night or of darkness— 6so then, let us not sleep as the others do, but let us remain on the alert and sober-minded. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night; and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we are of the day, let us be sober-minded—putting on the breastplate of faithfulness and love, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9For God did not destine us for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 10He died for us so that, whether we may be awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up—just as you in fact are doing.

Instructions for Community Life

12Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to recognize those who work hard among you and are over you in the Lord and correct you, 13and to esteem them beyond all measure in love because of their work. Keep shalom among yourselves. 14We urge you, brothers and sisters, correct the unruly, comfort the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15See that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. 16Rejoice always, 17pray constantly, 18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Messiah Yeshua. 19Do not quench the Spirit, 20do not despise prophetic messages, 21but test all things, hold fast to what is good, 22keep away from every kind of evil. 23Now may the God of shalom Himself make you completely holy; and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept complete, blameless at the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 24Faithful is the One who calls you—and He will make it happen!

Closing Greetings

25Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 27I charge you under oath, by the Lord, that this letter be read to all the brothers and sisters. 28The grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you.

–from 1 Thessalonians 5