Second Tuesday of 2022: How are things coming together to help you THRIVE?


Are you seeing the change? Are you grabbing hold of the change? Are you preparing for the change? Are you seeing your role and responsibility in the midst of the change?

Today’s verse of the day is an interesting one as I continue to focus on the need and direction to thrive in 2022. It comes to us from Matthew 23:11 which says:

‘The greatest among you will be your servant. ‘

Matthew 23:11

So are this change is coming, are you ready to thrive by serving through it all? Who will you serve? Who needs do you need to serve? Who is in need of your service? How will that impact their lives and their ability for them to also thrive in 2022?

Let’s grab a bit more context for this verse before we move forward.

‘Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. ‘

Matthew 23:1-12

Don’t walk around, strutting like a rooster in a hen house for we read how if you exalt yourself you will be humbled. God directs us to humble ourselves and allow Him to exalt us when the timing is right! If we take a look at James 4:10 in the Amplified version, we get:

‘Humble yourselves [with an attitude of repentance and insignificance] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up, He will give you purpose]. ‘

James 4:10

So today in our desire to thrive in 2022, let’s humble ourselves and pray! Let’s humble ourselves and serve! Let’s lean in on God for His wisdom and discernment! Let’s seek direction and instruction from the Holy Spirit throughout our days! Let’s allow Jesus to be seen in and through the way we choose to live our lives today! Let’s trust God enough that in the midst of all the changes, as we humbly serve, He will take care of the rest! Remember what it says in Matthew 6:25-34 about not worrying?

‘ “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’

Matthew 6:25-34

So let’s go beyond the surviving we did through 2020 and 2021 and step into thriving in 2022 by leaning in and leaning on God! Are you ready to thrive? Are you ready for the change? Let’s hold tight to God and cast our cares upon Him! Let’s trust God and lean not on our own understanding! Let’s acknowledge God so that He can make our path straight!


Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 6 – How has becoming a father changed your perspective on a Father’s love for his children?


So where are you at today? Are you ready to take hold of God’s plans and purposes for your life? Are you ready to be a servant leader? Are you ready to lead through change by serving others? Are you needing help? Are you needing an example? Then today invite Jesus into your life and to your very situation so that He can help transform you and empower you to be everything He created you to be. Let’s pray:

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

Are you a leader, a learner, or both?


Ever considered that if you are still alive then you still have something to learn? Ever considered the importance of being a continuous learner? Ever considered the importance of leaders not only being able but also being willing to learn? Nobody likes a know-it-all right? Or at least someone who is so proud and arogant to act like they know it all right? Leaders should be humble. Leaders should be servants. Leaders should be lifelong learners.

So what is the definition of a leader?

leader
[ˈlēdər]
NOUN
leader (noun) · leaders (plural noun) · Leader of the House (noun) · Leaders of the House (plural noun) · Leader of the House of Commons (noun) · Leaders of the House of Commons (plural noun) · Leader of the House of Lords (noun) · Leaders of the House of Lords (plural noun)
the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.
"the leader of a protest group"
synonyms:
chief · head · principal · boss · commander · captain · figurehead · controller · superior · kingpin · headman · mover and shaker · chairman · chairwoman · chairperson · chair · convener · moderator · director · managing director · MD · manager · superintendent · supervisor · overseer · administrator · employer · master · mistress · foreman · president · premier · governor · ruler · monarch · king · queen · sovereign · emperor · tsar · prince · princess · lord · lord and master · elder · patriarch · guru · mentor · authority
antonyms:
follower · supporter
(in the UK) a member of the government officially responsible for initiating business in the House of Commons or House of Lords.
an organization or company that is the most advanced or successful in a particular area.
"a leader in the use of video conferencing"
synonyms:
pioneer · front runner · innovator · trailblazer · pathfinder · groundbreaker · trendsetter · leading light · guiding light · torchbearer · flagbearer · pacemaker · originator · initiator · developer · discoverer · founder · architect · neoteric
the principal player in a music group.
BRITISH
the principal first violinist in an orchestra.
NORTH AMERICAN
a conductor of a band or small musical group.
BRITISH
a leading article or editorial in a newspaper.
a short strip of nonfunctioning material at each end of a reel of film or recording tape for connection to the spool.
a length of filament attached to the end of a fishing line to carry the hook or fly.
a shoot of a plant at the apex of a stem or main branch.
printing
(leaders)
a series of dots or dashes across the page to guide the eye, especially in tabulated material.
Bing definition of leader from Powered by Oxford Languages · Bing Translator

So what is the definition of a learner?

learner
[ˈlərnər]
NOUN
learner (noun) · learners (plural noun)
a person who is learning a subject or skill.
"a fast learner"
synonyms:
beginner · trainee · apprentice · pupil · student · mentee · novice · newcomer · starter · probationer · tyro · fledgling · fresher · freshman · freshwoman · neophyte · initiate · new recruit · raw recruit · new boy/girl · tenderfoot · novitiate
antonyms:
veteran · expert
Bing definition of leader Powered by Oxford Languages · Bing Translator

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 24th


Leaders Are Learners


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.’

Colossians 2:6-7

Let’s grab the context of this message to the Colossae church by expanding the text and using the Amplified version.

‘For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those [believers] at Laodicea, and for all who [like yourselves] have never seen me face to face. [For my hope is] that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in [unselfish] love, so that they may have all the riches that come from the full assurance of understanding [the joy of salvation], resulting in a true [and more intimate] knowledge of the mystery of God, that is, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge [regarding the word and purposes of God]. I say this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive [but thoroughly deceptive] arguments. For even though I am absent [from you] in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, delighted to see your good discipline [as you stand shoulder to shoulder and form a solid front] and to see the stability of your faith in Christ [your steadfast reliance on Him and your unwavering confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness].

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin], having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity (the Godhead) dwells in bodily form [completely expressing the divine essence of God]. And in Him you have been made complete [achieving spiritual stature through Christ], and He is the head over all rule and authority [of every angelic and earthly power]. In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but by the [spiritual] circumcision of Christ in the stripping off of the body of the flesh [the sinful carnal nature], having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God, [as displayed] when He raised Christ from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (worldliness, manner of life), God made you alive together with Christ, having [freely] forgiven us all our sins, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of legal demands [which were in force] against us and which were hostile to us. And this certificate He has set aside and completely removed by nailing it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through the cross.

Therefore let no one judge you in regard to food and drink or in regard to [the observance of] a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. Such things are only a shadow of what is to come and they have only symbolic value; but the substance [the reality of what is foreshadowed] belongs to Christ. Let no one defraud you of your prize [your freedom in Christ and your salvation] by insisting on mock humility and the worship of angels, going into detail about visions [he claims] he has seen [to justify his authority], puffed up [in conceit] by his unspiritual mind, and not holding fast to the head [of the body, Jesus Christ], from whom the entire body, supplied and knit together by its joints and ligaments, grows with the growth [that can come only] from God.

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were still living in the world, do you submit to rules and regulations, such as, “Do not handle [this], do not taste [that], do not [even] touch!”? (these things all perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men. These practices indeed have the appearance [that popularly passes as that] of wisdom in self-made religion and mock humility and severe treatment of the body (asceticism), but are of no value against sinful indulgence [because they do not honor God].’

Colossians 2:1-23

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What do you think is a great trait of a leader?
  • Ever been drawn to a powerful leader because of their excitement for learning a new skill or gaining new insights?
  • Ever felt repulsed or discouraged by a leader because they think they know-it-all and so no new ideas are welcomed?
  • Let’s choose to be leaders who build excitement and enthusiasm and creativity by being lifelong learners so that others want to connect, to meet, to create, and to build relationships.
  • Let’s choose to be leaders people want to connect with and follow because we are people who listen, learn, and get excited about it.
  • Let’s choose to learn in all areas of our lives.
  • Let’s make time to learn spiritually through God’s Word, Bible studies, devotionals, and the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit!
  • Let’s be ready and willing to learn to and grow!
  • Let’s keep learning so that we can keep moving forward, keeping that moment and energy for God and His Word.
  • Let’s decide to make time with God and His Word so that we don’t start to fade or atrophy in our spiritual lives!
  • Let’s grab hold of Paul’s analogies as to what we need to keep learning:
    • walking – walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin]
    • being rooted – having been deeply rooted [in Him]
    • being built up – being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.
  • Let’s remember this is a walk of faith!
  • A walk is slow and consistent.
  • A walk of faith needs to be in pursuit of God and His will.
  • A walk that characterizes our lives in relationship with God.
  • Roots from a plant that wants to survive run deep in order to have water, nutrients and strength.
  • So we need to allow our roots to run deep into God’s truth and grace to find our spiritual nutrition and our strength by having gone deep enough.
  • A sturdy building requires the right structure and design. Let’s choose to honor God buy building up our lives with Him at the center in order to have powerful spiritual experience through following Him, His will, His way with character so that in all that we think, say, and do we bring honor, glory, and praise to Him in Jesus’s name.
  • Do you think there is such thing as enough or do we need to keep going and never stop learning?
  • Do you think there is ever a time when we can coast or do we need to keep going and never stop learning?
  • Let’s learn from Paul’s example who pursued God’s will and purpose till the end.
  • Let’s learn from Paul’s example and never put our lives on cruise control but rather pursue God’s will in and through it all.
  • Let’s keep learning till the day we die.
  • Let’s reflect on God’s Word and how Paul, shortly before he was to be executed was requesting of Timothy that he bring him books to read.
    • ‘When you come bring the coat that I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments. ‘
      2 Timothy 4:13

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What happens to us when we stop learning?
  • What are you doing right now to keep walking, going deeper, and growing stronger?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Life is a classroom — only those who are willing to be lifelong learners will move to the head of the class.”

― Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What are you learning? What have you learned? Are you setting aside time to learn from God and His Word? Will you allow time for wisdom and discernment in the midst of your day? Will you allow the Holy Spirit who is our teacher in all things and reminds us of what Jesus has said lead and guide you today? Are you ready to start a relationship with Jesus? Are you ready to invite Him into your heart to help you navigate this thing called life so that you won’t ever have to go through anything alone again? 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 feel like somebody’s watching you?


Does knowing you are being watched make a difference to how you live your life? Would knowing that there is always somebody watching make a difference to how you live your life? How would realizing that there are people watching and looking up to you as an example or role model change how you choose to live your life? Would it matter who was watching you? Would it matter when they were watching you? Would it matter where they were watching you? Would it matter why they were watching you? Would it matter how they were watching you?

I remember a coworker who could be a bit abrupt, loud, and even curse in meetings. I remember how things changed on take your kid to work day. I remember the team jokingly asking if they could bring their kid to work every day. How about you? Even when you don’t think anyone is looking, if you knew they were would that change your behavior? Even when you didn’t know who was watching but you knew they were, would that change your behavior?

What would it take for you to choose / decide to live your life in a way that anyone watching would see you as a good example? How would it be different from how you live your life today? Are you ready to give it a try? Are you ready to live your life today as a good example to and for anyone and everyone who is watching? Do you realize that charisma isn’t enough but that you require character? Will you lead with character? As I considered this I found this interesting post: Character vs. Charisma in Leadership.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for September 30th


Lead By Example


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. ‘

I Timothy 4:12

Let’s take a broader look into the context of this message from Paul to Timothy. We need to remember how old or young we are, we are being watched and as such need to live our lives in a way that will provide a good example to those watching you.

‘But the [Holy] Spirit explicitly and unmistakably declares that in later times some will turn away from the faith, paying attention instead to deceitful and seductive spirits and doctrines of demons, [misled] by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared as with a branding iron [leaving them incapable of ethical functioning], who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from [certain kinds of] foods which God has created to be gratefully shared by those who believe and have [a clear] knowledge of the truth. For everything God has created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified [set apart, dedicated to God] by means of the word of God and prayer. If you point out these instructions to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished [through study] on the words of the faith and of the good [Christian] doctrine which you have closely followed. But have nothing to do with irreverent folklore and silly myths. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness [keeping yourself spiritually fit]. For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come. This is a faithful and trustworthy saying worthy of full acceptance and approval. It is for this that we labor and strive [often called to account], because we have fixed our [confident] hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe [in Him, recognize Him as the Son of God, and accept Him as Savior and Lord]. Keep commanding and teaching these things. Let no one look down on [you because of] your youth, but be an example and set a pattern for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in [moral] purity. Until I come, devote yourself to public reading [of Scripture], to preaching and to teaching [the sound doctrine of God’s word]. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, [that special endowment] which was intentionally bestowed on you [by the Holy Spirit] through prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands on you [at your ordination]. Practice and work hard on these things; be absorbed in them [completely occupied in your ministry], so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself [concentrate on your personal development] and to your teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.’

1 Timothy 4:1-16

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are your skills and talents?
  • Beyond what you are do, how do you do it?
  • Let’s be focused on our character more than our abilities!
  • Let’s allow God to check our character in order to help it be good!
  • Let’s go beyond just being good examples of the things we can do!
  • Let’s be good examples by the character of hearts and lives!
  • Let them learn the skills and talents but make sure to live a life that helps them also learn about how to treat others (re: your character).
  • Let them learn more than just a handy skill or talent, add to it how to treat your family, how to treat coworkers, how to respond to others, even those who can be annoying or in the midst of difficult situations.
  • Let’s allow our character be on display in how we not only speak to but talk about others too.
  • Let’s be more focused on the well-being of others than trying to climb the corporate ladder!
  • Let’s take time to care for those struggling, hurting rather than stepping over others to get up the ladder!
  • Let’s make time to look past petty offenses and work to be ambassadors of peace by leading the way to reconciliation!
    • ‘But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him], that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God]. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us; we [as Christ’s representatives] plead with you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. ‘ — 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
  • Let’s choose to do the right thing, even when others may all go and do something that is wrong. Don’t just go with the flow and ruin your character!
  • So today you will be faced with choices to make and decisions to make, we all have freewill to use with each of them, so let’s choose love over selfishness, faith over doubt, hope over complaining, purity over sinful passions!
  • Let’s stop and make sure we aren’t in auto-pilot, doing things out of habit that are actually bad for us and for those who are watching.
  • Let’s stop and make sure that the habits we respond with are good before we just do them!
  • Let’s stop and make sure that the attitudes are positive and the behaviors are good before we allow auto-pilot to kick in!
  • If we discover or when we discover a bad habit, let’s stop and break it by responding in a better way!
  • When we discover a bad habit, let’s stop, pray to God for wisdom, and then respond in a new way!
  • Let’s stop the bad habits and start new ones!
  • Let’s choose to be Jesus with skin on to the world around us!
  • Let’s choose to live out our today in a way that points people to Jesus!
  • Let’s choose to be Jesus’s examples to those around us so that He can touch all of the people He brings into our lives today!
  • Don’t miss such an exciting and empowering life being offered to you by God!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Who is the best “leader by example” you know? Describe that person’s impact on others.
  • What new choices do you need to make, and what new habits do you need to develop?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Charisma may place you at the front of the line. Only character will keep you there.”

— Ike Reighard

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Proverbs 16 (Entrust your life, direction, and thoughts to God)
  • Proverbs 17 (Look to live at peace, in peace, and with peace)
  • Proverbs 18 (Don’t go it alone! Don’t be selfish! Don’t cause derision nor contempt!)

So where are you at today? Are you leading by example? Are you looking for an example to follow? Why not allow WWJD – What Would Jesus Do – help you to live your life right? Why not invite Jesus into every situation in order to help you to live out your today in a way that will be a good example? Why not invite Jesus into your today to help you know what can stay and what needs to be put away? 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 leaders? Do you realize the importance of praying for those in leadership positions?


It is important to have good leaders because they guide others on their way. It is important to have good leaders because they will help mentor, be role models, motivate and support others, and help with communication. It is important to have good leaders because they help build a good environment which translates into success, morale, and connectivity/retention. It is important to have good leaders who are resilient, creative, humble, compassionate and visionary. It is important to have a good leader who can have a vision and communicate it. It is important to have a good leader who can inspire others. It is important to have a good leader who has a passion for the cause, the purpose, and the people. It is important to have a good leader who is able to inspire; who can motivate and rejuvenate people, build and maintain morale. It is important to have a good leader who is positive, in the midst of the highs and the lows. It is important to have a good leader who listens to people and is able to communicate well and clearly. Having a good leader is kind of like love. ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ‘ These are all great characteristics of a good leader!

So you get a picture of why a leader is important!

God is looking for leaders who will step up and stand firm on His purpose and calling for their lives. ‘“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. ‘ — Ezekiel 22:30

The consequences when that leader won’t show up and won’t follow God’s directions and prompting can be catastrophic. ‘So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord .”’ — Ezekiel 22:31

So let’s take hold of our role and the state of our heart and mind and how God’s Word directs us:

  • ‘ If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.’
    2 Chronicles 7:14
  • ‘ And seek (inquire for, require, and request) the peace and welfare of the city to which I have caused you to be carried away captive; and pray to the Lord for it, for in the welfare of [the city in which you live] you will have welfare.’
    Jeremiah 29:7
  • ‘ FIRST OF all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.’
    1 Timothy 2:1-2
  • ‘ Show respect for all men [treat them honorably]. Love the brotherhood (the Christian fraternity of which Christ is the Head). Reverence God. Honor the emperor.’
    1 Peter 2:17

And now that we are aligned with God and have set our hearts and mind on His plan, purpose, will, and wisdom, let’s grab hold of the importance of us praying for those in leadership!

  • ‘ He makes nations great, and He destroys them; He enlarges nations [and then straitens and shrinks them again], and leads them [away captive]. He takes away understanding from the leaders of the people of the land and of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no path. They grope in the dark without light, and He makes them to stagger and wander like a drunken man.’
    Job 12:23-25
  • ‘ Now therefore, O you kings, act wisely; be instructed and warned, O you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with reverent awe and worshipful fear; rejoice and be in high spirits with trembling [lest you displease Him].’
    Psalm 2:10-11
  • ‘ MY SON, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you, Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it]; Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures, Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient] God. [Prov. 1:7.] For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He hides away sound and godly Wisdom and stores it for the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him); He is a shield to those who walk uprightly and in integrity, That He may guard the paths of justice; yes, He preserves the way of His saints. [I Sam. 2:9; Ps. 66:8, 9.]’
    Proverbs 2:1-8
  • ‘ For skillful and godly Wisdom shall enter into your heart, and knowledge shall be pleasant to you. Discretion shall watch over you, understanding shall keep you,’
    Proverbs 2:10-11
  • ‘ Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.’
    Proverbs 11:14
  • ‘ THE KING’S heart is in the hand of the Lord, as are the watercourses; He turns it whichever way He wills.’
    Proverbs 21:1

So let’s not grow weary in doing good! Let’s not grow weary in praying for our leadership. Let’s even consider how we can join together and pray for those in authority. Ever seen or heard of the difference groups available to pray for those in leadership? Here is one example you can check out (https://www.presidentialprayerteam.org/) and that throughout the various leaders in my lifetime I have stayed subscribed to their emails because it is important to pray for those who are in leadership and authority over us! When I did a search for prayer groups for praying for leadership I was also able to find these references too:

So before reading this post did you already realize the importance of leadership? Before reading this post did you already realize the importance of praying for those in authority over you and those in leadership in general? Are you ready to get started or dig deeper now? Are you ready to pray for leaders before you walk into that meeting room? Are you ready to pray for leaders before you get to work? Are you ready to pray for leaders before you get to church? Are you ready to pray for leadership before you get out of bed in the morning? Are you ready to pray for leadership before you start your day? Will you choose to go beyond knowing to praying?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for September 12th


Praying for Leaders


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ‘

I Timothy 2:1-4

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you someone who complains about leadership or are you praying to God for them?
  • When it comes to the different leaders in your life does their specific focus area make a difference on your answer to the first question?
  • Do you complain about or pray for national politicians?
  • Do you complain about or pray for corporate managers?
  • Do you complain about or pray for bureaucrats at every level of government?
  • Do you complain about or pray for church leaders?
  • Are you praying for them because you know that good governance brings about peace and stability?
  • Are you praying for them because you know that with the peace and stability the gospel will be able to continue to spread?
  • Are you focusing your energy on things that matter or not?
  • Are you focusing your energy on bickering about politics, wars, bickering, and conflicts?
  • Are you focusing your energy on things that matter like sharing Christ and His Kingdom?
  • We may not agree with the politicians but we can decide to see things as they are with the kingship of Jesus where in that kingdom is grace and forgiveness!
  • Let’s make the choice to focus on God’s will and God’s way, they may not fully be seen yet but it is better this than focusing on the temporary and things that don’t and won’t last or matter.
  • As we learn from God’s Word, political power and any authority can be useful and helpful to the building of the kingdom of God if and when it comes along with providing peace and stability!
  • When we find we have peace and stability we are then able to focus on what matters most.
  • So today when your politicians come to mind, pray for them.
  • So today when your corporate leaders come to mind, pray for them.
  • So today when your church or religious leaders come to mind, pray for them.
  • When you pray for them, pray that under their leadership and authority there will be peace that will allow for you to focus on what really matters!
  • When you pray for them, pray that under their leadership and authority God’s Good News will be able to spread!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you usually think and talk about your political, corporate, and religious leaders?
  • Take some time now to pray for them and for the cause of Christ to spread.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

Today’s devotional had an author but in my desire to link to the quote and author I found many conflicting opinions on the origin and so no name is being given.

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you a leader or a follower? In reality we are all followers it is a matter of have we been given a position of leadership in some aspect of life. So are you praying for those in authority over you? Are you seeking wisdom on what to do and how to proceed? Are you needing direction and help? Are you needing hope and joy? 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?


Who will you serve today?


Do you see the needs around you? Do you see the impact you can make on their lives? Do you see what your role in filling the needs could be? Do you see what your purpose in meeting the needs can be? Who will you serve today?

Do you see the need of orphans? Do you see the need of widows? Do you see the need of the homeless? Do you see the need of kids? Do you see the need of youth? Do you see the need of women? Do you see the need of men? Do you see the need of the incarcerated? Do you see the need of the imprisoned? Do you see the need of your neighbors? Do you see the need of your community? Do you see the need of the schools? Do you see the need of the students? Do you see the need at work? Do you see the need at home? Do you see the need on your team? Do you see some other need? Who will you serve today?

Will you see a need and fill it? Will you see someone in need and serve them? Who will you serve today?


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


The Least of These


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’’

Matthew 25:40

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize how important this topic is?
  • Do you realize how much this matters to God?
  • Do you realize how much you having a soft heart for the things of God is?
  • Do you realize the impact of turning your back on God?
  • Consider the content of your heart?
  • It’s not what you look like on the outside but it matters more the character of your heart, your inside!
  • From the overflow of our heart, the mouth speaks and we act!
  • How is the content being shown through your loving actions?
  • How is it reflect or shown in how you treat “the least of these”?
  • Who are “the least of these” in your life?
  • How are you treating and serving them?
  • Do you avoid them or help them?
  • Do you move away from them or live with them?
  • Do you stop to check on them or speed up and try to get by or pass them?
  • Do you see the need and fill it?
  • Do you see the need and meet it?
  • Do you serve the needy?
  • Do you serve the dirty?
  • Do you serve the outcasts?
  • Do you serve the ones who can’t repay you or give you anything in return?
  • Do you feed the hungry?
  • Do you give drinks to the thirsty?
  • Do you invite strangers to your home?
  • Do you clothe those who need clothe?
  • Do you visit the sick and imprisoned?
  • How do you handle “the least of these”?
  • Who will you serve today?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Who are some needy people you see every day? Do you need to leave a cocoon of safety and peace to be with them?
  • What is one new habit you can develop to care for needy people?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Small things done with great love can change the world.”

— Mother Teresa

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So do you see a need to fill? Do you have a need to be filled? Could today be the day that your need could be filled by inviting Jesus into your heart and your life? 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?

What do you fill your tank with?


What is it that motivates you? What is it that keeps you on track? What is it that gives you direction? What is it that gives you the force to move forward or move on? What is it that is giving you momentum? What is it that keeps you aligned? What is it that keeps you focused? What is your source? What is it that keeps you loyal? What is it that keeps you going, no matter what?

Are you focused on God and His will and plans? Are you focused on the will of man and their selfish ambitions? Are you focused on God’s Word? Are you focused on the worlds instant gratification and greed? Are you focused on having your tank filled by God and then overflowing into the lives of others? Are you focused on getting as much as you can as quickly as you can? Are you more focused on the influx or the outflux in your life? Are you more interested in what you can get than what you can give?

Do you realize that what you allow into your heart makes a difference? Do you realize that how you fill up your life tank makes a difference? It can energize and motivate you or it can consume and corrode you. It is important in life to choose wisely! It is important in life to be blessed and be generous! It is more important in life to be a giver than a taker!

Do you realize how much God loves? God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but would have everlasting life! That’s right God loves so much that He is a giver! Do you realize that God loves so much that He even allows us to test Him with giving to see who can give more? Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you blessing without measure. That is right and God loves a hilarious giver, you may have heard cheerful but if you look into it deeper it is really that He loves a hilarious giver. So will you live to give or will you live to receive? Have you ever heard it is better to give than to receive? Did you realize that comes from the Bible? Check it out in Acts 20:35. So the cool part is that it isn’t a decision that will be forced on you but it is something you get to freely decide on your own. Will you choose to receive the gift of grace through Jesus or not? The choice is yours!


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


What’s in your box?


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 6:24
(You Cannot Serve God and Riches)

‘“No one 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.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What is your one thing?
  • If you were given the opportunity to have 1 thing but it can be anything, what would you choose?
  • There are so many things competing for your attention, what will you choose?
  • There are so many things competing for your affection, what will you choose?
  • There are so many things competing for your heart, so what will you choose to rule over or fill your heart?
  • What are they offering you to try and convince you to choose them?
  • What are they tempting you with to try and convince you to choose them?
  • What do they have to offer that might capture your attention, if only for a moment?
  • Are they offering you pleasure?
  • Are they offering you thrills?
  • Are they offering you status?
  • Are they offering you the ability to impress?
  • Are they offering you the opportunity to escape?
  • But is what they are offering you real? Is what they are offering you going to last?
  • Where are you hearing such offers?
  • Is it in the office? Is it on TV? Is it through advertising? Is it on the billboard on that drive? Is it through friends? …
  • Are they trying to fulfill a dream that you have?
  • But who will you trust? Who will you go to? Who will you listen to? Who has what you really need?
  • Are you buying what they are selling?
  • Will they convince you to accept their offer or temptation?
  • Remember, you only can choose one thing! Like today’s verse tells us!
    • ‘“No one 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.’ — Matthew 6:24
  • Consider these verses too…
    • Romans 6:16 – ‘ Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?’
    • 2 Peter 2:19 – ‘ They promise them liberty, when they themselves are the slaves of depravity and defilement–for by whatever anyone is made inferior or worse or is overcome, to that [person or thing] he is enslaved.’
  • In the busy things of life, in the noises that come along with it, will you stop and find a quiet place where you can listen for and hear that still quiet voice that will speak truth and life in love to you from the Holy Spirit?
  • Will you set time aside to turn to and listen to the one who will will speak the truth of who Jesus is and what God is offering you?
    • John 14:6 shares: ‘ Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.’
  • Will you choose God and accept His plan for you that gives you hope and a future?
  • Will you choose God and accept Jesus who came that you can have the adventure of v life and life more abundantly or to the full?
  • So what will you allow to fill your tank? your life? your box?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Identify some of the competing voices and their promises in your life.
  • TV – shows and ads
  • Radio – shows and ads
  • Internet – sites, stores, ads
  • Video games and ads
  • I have had to turn on ad blockers and even uninstall games because of the types of ads they play
  • I have had to turn to DVR shows so that I can skip ads or parts of shows
What have you had in your box in the past year or so? What are you putting in your box now?
  • God has been so critical to me over the past year to help me through some rough and tough times
  • He helped me keep from putting anger and frustration, bitterness and unforgiveness into my heart or allowing bitterness to take root

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Whatever you choose to serve becomes that which you worship.”  

IKE REIGHARD

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So what is it or who is it that you will serve? How will that impact your worship? How will that impact the rest of your life?

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?


Are you living life the way you should?


How do you know how to live your life? Was it by watching people? Was it by listening to people? Was it by choosing the things you liked and discarding the ones that you don’t? Is it clear or fuzzy? Is it definite or subjective? Is it consistent or is it unstable? Are there rules? Are there guidelines? Are there directions? Are there instructions? Is there a manual? Is there a model to follow? Is there a set of guidelines?

How do you know the way you should live your life? If you know the way you should live your life then are you living it? Is it working for you?

What if you had a role model and they were a powerful leader and they told you that you need to be humble to live the way you are supposed to? What if you had a role model and they told you that you need to serve others to live the way you are supposed to? What if your role model told you that you need to forgive to live the way you are supposed to? What if your role model told you that the key to living life the way you are supposed to is love? Will you love God and love people if that is what it takes to live life the way you should? What if you learned the real definition of love, that is unconditional love, and that you needed to live your life in accordance to that? Let’s take a look at a few verses and take hold of what love is:


‘Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

So what if all you needed to do was be like love? You need to live your life towards being able to taking the information above and changing the word love with your name? Would you be up for living your life the way you should? Would you be willing to live a life that isn’t lead or controlled by fear but instead choosing a life that is lead with power and of love and of a sound mind? Do you have something to turn to for instruction? Do you have someone to turn to for guidance? Do you have somewhere to go for support?

Are you living life the way you should?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 30th


Walking as Jesus walked


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: I John 2:6

‘He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you just talking the talk or are you also walking the walk?
  • Are you being authentic in every area of your life?
  • Are you being authentic in both your physical and spiritual lives?
  • Are you willing to live in obedience to God’s instruction and guidance?
  • Are you willing to live in loving God and loving others?
  • Are you ready to live your life in accordance to the Father’s will?
  • Are you ready to live your life in accordance to God’s calling on your life?
  • Are you ready to live your life in accordance to God’s purpose for your life?
  • Are you able to do what is right rather than what is popular?
  • Are you able to do what is good rather than what is popular?
  • Are you willing to come if God calls you?
  • Are you willing to go if God sends you?
  • Will you walk the narrow path and not be persuaded by the devil into temptations and falling away or walking away from God?
  • Will you walk in love?
  • Will you reach out to and help those others consider unlovable?
  • Will you reach out to and serve those others won’t help?
  • Will you love and serve those that people avoid or ignore?
  • Will you choose to lead with love to everybody God brings across your path?
  • Will you choose to focus on and do what God is calling you to do rather than your own selfish desires?
  • Will you choose to help those others won’t help?
  • Will you choose to care for people nobody else even notices?
  • Will you live out your today with the overflow of Jesus’ love flowing into the lives of the people around you?
  • Will you do your part?
  • Will you hear from God what your part is and do it?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What do you need to do to align your life more completely with God’s purpose for you?
  • Be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit to give me eyes to see and ears to hear those I am to love and serve.
  • Stick closer to God and reduce the noise so that the still quiet voice can lead and guide me throughout each and every day.
  • Be available to those in need
  • Be present for those in need
  • Serve others with the overflowing love of Jesus

Who are some people no one else notices who need your love?
  • Homeless
  • Jobless
  • Fatherless
  • Orphans
  • Widows
  • Street kids and people
  • People around the office
  • People who used to be around the office
  • People around the neighborhood
  • People walking the streets of town

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

What would Jesus do?”

Charles Sheldon

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So how will you choose to live your life? Will it be the way you should? Do you have an example to help you know how you should? Why not consider today’s quote to help you? WWJD – What Would Jesus Do?

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?


What type of learner are you?


Are you someone who learns by hearing or listening? Are you an aural or auditory learner? Do you respond well to lectures, speeches, talks, music? Do you focus on words that are spoken and look to find meaning from them and the patterns used? Do you enjoy group discussions? Do you prefer audiobooks, podcasts, radio programs to books, newspapers, and magazines?

Are you someone who learns by seeing or watching? Are you a visual or spatial learner? Do you respond well to pictures, patterns, graphs, and charts? Do you prefer watching the movie than reading the book? Do you do a lot of writing, doodling, or coloring when you are learning? Do you have a good memory for things you have seen? Are you someone who likes to visualize or make a visualization to help you understand what is being taught?

Are you someone who learns by instruction, written or spoken? Are you a verbal or linguistic learner? Do you learn new words easily? Do you speak multiple languages? Are you an avid reader and writer? Do you prefer word problems over solving mathematical equations? Do you have a good memory for quotes and proverbs? Are you good as summarizing or making something complex simple so that it can be easily understood?

Are you someone who is good with numbers? Are you a logical or mathematical learner? Do you like reason and logic to come with the information you are given? Do you like to analyze problems and solve for the best possible outcome? Do you like to come up with your own patterns and theories based on what you observe? Do you like to organize and classify? Do you like the technology or scientific space like physics, chemistry, math, and technology?

Are you someone who is learns by doing or using your body? Are you a physical or kinesthetic learner? Do you like to do hands on activities, build models, role play or game play to learn? Do you like to use your hands and touch things while you learn? Do you like to be in the field or location to get context and be able to get your hands on things? Do you like to role play and act out the situations? Do you enjoy sports?

Are you someone who learns from others? Are you a social or interpersonal learner? Do you like to hangout with people? Do you like to be part of study groups or collaborative activities? Do you prefer to work in a group and share your opinions and ideas? Are you expressive and good at understanding facial expressions and body language? Are you a good arbitrator and able to resolve issues?

Are you someone who prefers to learn alone? Are you a intrapersonal or solitary learner? Do you prefer to work alone? Do you like to be able to spend a lot of time alone studying? Are you self-motivated? Are you an independent? Do you like or prefer a quiet environment to work in? Are you self-aware? Do you journal, take notes, and capture your thoughts in order to improve?

Are you someone who learns best outdoors? Are you a naturalistic learner? Do you prefer learning as an experience? Do you like to be able to relate to things in nature? Do you like to go on field trips? Do you like to collect samples or material? Do you like to categorize and classify? Do you prefer subjects like biology, zoology, and botany? Do you like getting your hands dirty? Do you notice changes in your surroundings and environment?

What type of learner are you?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 23rd


An example to follow


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: John 13:13-15

‘You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you learn when you feel unsettled?
  • How do you respond when things get uncomfortable?
  • How do you react when things feel different?
  • How do you learn when there seems to be intense pressure?
  • Do it matter if the intensity if positive or negative?
  • What if you received a welcome so much bigger or greater than you had ever seen or experienced?
  • What if the week was filled with arguments?
  • What if the week was filled with miracles?
  • What if the week was filled with debates?
  • What if the week was filled with challenges?
  • What if the week was filled a mixture or combination of all of these?
  • How would you feel getting together as a group to have a meal together after such a week?
  • How would you respond after hearing that your leader was going to be arrested and killed?
  • How would you be not knowing the specific day or timing?
  • How would you respond if your leader decided it was time to serve you, to take the humble position of washing your feet?
  • Would you be surprised? Would you be amazed? Would you accept it? Would you resist it?
  • Imagine the humility and the purpose of such an act!
  • Imagine the lesson to be learned from such an act of servant leadership!
  • Would you accept the lesson? Would you pick up the example and follow after it?
  • No matter your title or your stature, are you ready to humble yourself and serve those who have been put into your care?
  • Will you receive the example and serve one another?
  • Who would have had to be the example for you to accept it and then live it?
  • Don’t think that you are too good to be able to serve others!
  • Don’t think that you are too powerful or too important to be able to serve others!
  • Will you both receive the forgiveness Jesus is offering as well as then give it to others?
  • Will you forgive them even if they abandon you?
  • Will you forgive them even if they set you up?
  • Will you forgive them even if they lied or deceived you?
  • Will you turn to Jesus to receive forgiveness?
  • Will you then return it and give it to others?
  • We are never too cool to serve others nor to forgive others!
  • We are never too good to serve others nor to forgive others!
  • We are never too sophisticated to serve others nor to forgive others!
  • We are never too something or too anything to serve others nor to forgive others!
  • God has brought people into and around us so that we can serve them!
  • God wants to lead by example! God wants us to be servant and serving leaders!
  • Have you been put into a position of authority? Then follow Jesus’ example and serve those under your authority!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How do you think the disciples felt that night when they watched Jesus wash their feet and heard His explanation?
  • Shock
  • Surprise
  • Resistant
  • Humbled
What are some ways you can serve people who report to you?
  • Listen to their needs in order to be able to know how to serve them
  • Do things to meet them in their needs
  • Forgive them
  • Offer service to them
  • Find a need and fill it

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL: I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know:

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know:

the only ones among you who will be really happy

are those who will have sought and found how to serve.

Albert Schweitzer

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So what type of a learner are you? Are you putting yourself in the right places in order to learn from good examples? Are you going places to find examples to follow?

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?


Leadership: Are you doing it for power or to serve? Do you want it for power or to serve?


It is an interesting question and depending on the person you ask you will get different answers. Some run for leadership positions out of pride with a desire for power. Some take on leadership positions out of humility with a desire to serve. Some find themselves in positions of leadership because of their servants hearts and humble living. How about you? Do you do what you do in order to serve others? Do you do what you do in order to gain power over others?

An interesting question or quote some may have heard that it is lonely at the top. If that is the case then have they climbed the mountain alone? If that is the case then were they just walking and not leading? As I was looking for the quote “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.”, I found this interesting article by John C. Maxwell titled “Are you really leading, or are you just taking a walk?

The ways of the world and the ways of God seem to run into conflicts because of these differing views. So are you leading with a vision of where you are going that will cause others to want to follow you? Are you leading with a vision to serve those who are following you or trying use your position to control them? Where is your heart at? What is your motivation? What is it that you really want? Have you been called to lead? If so then will you accept the calling and do it God’s way?


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


The Paradox of Leadership


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 20:26

‘Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Consider reading the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins
  • How do you hire a CEO?
    • Are you looking for someone who is a charismatic leader?
    • Are you looking for someone who is a genius who brings their helpers?
    • Are you looking for someone who is looking to be the center of attention?
    • Are you looking for someone who demands to be the center of attention?
    • Are you looking for someone who is looking to receive the praise?
    • Are you looking for someone who looks down at the other employees? Looks to them like helpers who deserve no recognition?
    • Are you looking for someone who is a humble visionary?
    • Are you looking for someone who can lead with passion?
    • Are you looking for someone who will share the recognition and the praise?
    • Are you looking for someone who will give credit to everyone and anyone?
  • Are they looking for someone from a world or a Jesus leadership strategy?
  • As you see in today’s verse of the day, Jesus’ leadership strategy goes against the natural and normal tendency of man and tells those who want to lead that they need to serve!
  • Jesus went beyond just telling them but rather He was a living example to those who were with Him. Remember how He took a towel and started going around the table to wash the feet of the people at the table?
  • Let’s read the full paragraph:
    • ‘And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”’
      — Matthew 20:24-28
  • If we want to lead then we need to be willing to serve and do the lowest of jobs in order to serve others. Jesus’ washing of the feet of the men at the table would have taken Jesus who was the top and had him doing the job of the lowest servant in a home.
  • So are you willing to serve your family in order to lead them well?
  • Are you willing to serve your employees in order to lead them well?
  • Will you take time to do the most humble tasks?
  • Will you make time to engage the people and care enough to ask about them and their families?
  • Will you make time to go out and be with the people where they are at and help rather than pile on?
  • Don’t be too busy to be able to serve and connect with people or you will find yourself going for a walk by yourself and when you get to the top you will find it quite lonely because you forgot to bring others with you.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What impact do “geniuses with a thousand helpers” have on those under them?
  • Feel undervalue
  • Feel disconnected
  • Feel temporary
What impact do “humble visionaries” have on people? What are two things you can do today to be a servant to those around you?
  • Feel connected
  • Feel valued
  • Will follow and all get to have the mountain top experiences together!
  • Reach out and connect with them – speaking the truth in love and chipping in to help them right where they are at.

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

No man has ever risen to the real stature of spiritual manhood until he has found that it is finer to serve somebody else than it is to serve himself.

Woodrow Wilson

“Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.”

Zig Ziglar

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?


Do you want to be a leader?


What do you think it takes to be a good leader? How do you think you need to live in order to be a good leader?

Are you above reproach? Are you faithful to your wife? Are you temperate? Are you self-controlled? Are you respectable? Are you hospitable? Are you able to teach? Are you a heavy drinker or violent? These both could disqualify you. Are you gentle? Are you peaceable? Are you free from the love of money? Are you able to manage your own home well? Are you able to keep you children under control and with respect? Are you doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord?

what kind of leader are you

Ever heard the quote “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.” by John Maxwell?

Do you realize that we need to be servant leaders following Jesus’ example?

Do you want to be a leader? Do you want to be a good leader? Do you have a vision and a mission that will help lead people in the right direction? Do you have a vision and a mission that people will want to follow?


August is in the rearview mirror
August is in the rearview mirror and clearly visible. Life goes so fast are you prepared for what is ahead? Do you have clarity of vision? Do you have clarity of purpose? Do you realize the lessons you have gone through in the past, they say hindsight is 2020 after all. Will you take those lessons and apply them as you go forward? Will you lead?

The 49 week challenge – Day 258

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 258 link to join me and sign up.

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:

‘Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.’
1 Timothy 3:1-16

‘I will give thanks to you, Lord , with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge. You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever. Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished. The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord , have never forsaken those who seek you. Sing the praises of the Lord , enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted. Lord , see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, that I may declare your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion, and there rejoice in your salvation. The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. The Lord is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God. But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. Arise, Lord , do not let mortals triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. Strike them with terror, Lord ; let the nations know they are only mortal.’
Psalms 9:1-20

‘The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.’
1 Timothy 4:1-16

‘A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all. The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. Humility is the fear of the Lord ; its wages are riches and honor and life. In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them. Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken. The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended. One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend. The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful. The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!” The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit; a man who is under the Lord ’s wrath falls into it. Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away. One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.
Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord , I teach you today, even you. Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge, teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth, so that you bring back truthful reports to those you serve?
Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life.
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.
Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors.
Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.’
Proverbs 22:1-29

‘Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah rested with his ancestors. Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother’s name was Jekoliah; she was from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord , just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the Lord , God gave him success. He went to war against the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod. He then rebuilt towns near Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines. God helped him against the Philistines and against the Arabs who lived in Gur Baal and against the Meunites. The Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful. Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate and at the angle of the wall, and he fortified them. He also built towers in the wilderness and dug many cisterns, because he had much livestock in the foothills and in the plain. He had people working his fields and vineyards in the hills and in the fertile lands, for he loved the soil. Uzziah had a well-trained army, ready to go out by divisions according to their numbers as mustered by Jeiel the secretary and Maaseiah the officer under the direction of Hananiah, one of the royal officials. The total number of family leaders over the fighting men was 2,600. Under their command was an army of 307,500 men trained for war, a powerful force to support the king against his enemies. Uzziah provided shields, spears, helmets, coats of armor, bows and slingstones for the entire army. In Jerusalem he made devices invented for use on the towers and on the corner defenses so that soldiers could shoot arrows and hurl large stones from the walls. His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. They confronted King Uzziah and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord . That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the Lord God.” Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord ’s temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the Lord had afflicted him. King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house —leprous, and banned from the temple of the Lord . Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land. The other events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. Uzziah rested with his ancestors and was buried near them in a cemetery that belonged to the kings, for people said, “He had leprosy.” And Jotham his son succeeded him as king.’
2 Chronicles 26:1-23


As day 258 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?


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 type of authority that is a blessing!


Ever realized that those who are in positions of leadership are supposed to serve? Ever realized that those who are in positions of authority are supposed to bless? Ever realized that those people are supposed to helping others to become who God created them to be?

Similarly we should honor and bless them as we learn in Romans when we read:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. –from Romans 13:1

Jesus is an incredible example of leadership where He walked with humility even though He had all authority! He didn’t come to the world to be served but to serve:

Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

–from Mark 10:43-45

So don’t lord the position you have over others. Don’t lord your title over others. Don’t lord your authority over others. Serve them! Talk with them! Speak to them! Allow God to open doors for you to be able to speak truth, hope, and life into their lives with love! Make it more than a positional thing. If they weren’t told would they know your position or title? What would they say about you after they have gotten to spend time with you? How would they describe what you said? Bring Jesus with you! Allow the Holy Spirit to lead your thoughts, words, and actions! Allow the power of God to work in and through you for the glory of God in the name of Jesus!

So how will that play out today? What will God be able to do to you when you submit it to Him and allow Him to work in and through your life? Will you invite Him in? Will you submit to His will for you today? Let’s see how He will work in and thru us when we give this day up into His hands!


Spiritual Authority — Day 62: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalm 29, Mark 11:27-33, Mark 12:1-12, Leviticus 9, Leviticus 10

1. The voice of authority … Psalm 29:1-11

A psalm of David.
1Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
3The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
4The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.
7The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning.
8The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

–from Psalm 29

It’s interesting that this reading includes the Desert of Kadesh. We had a sermon yesterday talking about the murmuring and the complaining that happened there as well as the naysayers who stopped the Jews from entering into the promised land and how 37 years later having only travel 40 miles with the previous generation having passed away except for Joshua and Caleb from the spies and Moses, they were back for a second time! If you were going to be one of the people in a group of 12 would you rather be Joshua, Caleb or one of the twelve that most people have forgotten? Would you be one who believe and trusts in God that He brings you to it, He will bring you through it? Would you be one who sees the opposition over the blessings? Would you be seeing the giant grapes, the land flowing with milk and honey? Would you be seeing the giants and the walls? Let’s keep the Desert of Kadesh be in the rearview mirror! Let’s choose to be Joshua or to be Caleb and trust in God no matter what we see! Let’s choose to trust God because we know like David said our God is bigger than anything we will face! Let’s walk in the trust and the hope and the authority of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the plans of God! Let’s allow our faith to propel us into all that God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish!

Today’s devotional shares the following from today’s reading

There is a huge spiritual hunger and need in our society. People are searching for spiritual knowledge and experience. This psalm points us towards ‘the voice of the Lord’ (v.3). David describes the awesome power, majesty and authority of God’s voice (vv.4–5a,7–9a).

Today, the supreme way we hear the voice of the Lord is through the words of the Bible. The word of God is authoritative, powerful and majestic: ‘We fall to our knees – we call out, “Glory!”’ (v.9, MSG). Being on our knees is an appropriate way to listen to the voice of the Lord. I love to start each day on my knees, reading the Bible, trying to hear God’s voice – asking, ‘Lord, what are you saying to me today?’

David starts by saying, ‘Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength’ (v.1). All authority, power and strength belong to God. However, he does not keep it all to himself. As you listen to his voice he shares with you his authority, power and strength. David ends with, ‘The Lord gives strength to his people’ and ‘blesses his people with peace’ (v.11).

These are two things that we desperately need as we face the battles of life (internal and external). We need God’s ‘strength’ and his ‘peace’.

–from Day 62: Bible In One Year 2017

2. God-given authority … Mark 11:27-12:12

27They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. 28“By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?” 29Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!” 31They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.) 33So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” –from Mark 11

1Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 2At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed. 6 “He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 “But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 “What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture: “ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 11 the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’ ?” 12Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.

–from Mark 12

Today’s devotional shares the following from today’s reading

Jesus spoke and acted with God-given authority. He listened to the voice of the Lord and spoke the very words of God. This is the key. If you want to speak with authority, spend time with God, listening to his voice.

It was perfectly obvious to everyone that Jesus had authority. The only question his opponents asked was where that authority came from (11:28). Jesus responded with a brilliant question about John the Baptist.

He asked them whether John’s authority was from God (‘heaven’) or of ‘human origin’ (v.30). They could not answer the question because they did not want to admit it came from God (as they had not believed him) (v.31). Nor did they want to say that it came from human origin because the people recognised that John was a true prophet (v.32).

I once heard a preacher, who believed that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit ended with the apostolic age, being asked the question, ‘Is the Pentecostal movement a move of God?’ It provoked a similar response to the one in today’s passage – he could not answer the question.

To say that ‘it came from God’ would mean recognising the outpouring of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit in our contemporary world. To deny that it came from God would be to deny the experience of over 600 million Christians around the world who have experienced God’s power through the Pentecostal movement.

Because Jesus’ interrogators refuse to answer his question about John the Baptist, Jesus refuses to answer their question about his authority. ‘Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things”’ (v.33b).

Jesus then tells a parable, which is intended to reveal the source of his authority. His opponents certainly recognise Jesus’ aim, for Mark tells us that they ‘looked for a way to arrest [Jesus] because they knew he had spoken the parable against them’ (12:12).

Jesus’ parable is about a man who ‘planted a vineyard… put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower’ (v.1). The parable is based on Isaiah 5:1–7 in which God is the owner and his people (particularly the leaders) are the vineyard. In Jesus’ parable, the servants who are sent and killed are God’s prophets, including John the Baptist. Jesus then introduces himself into his own parable: God ‘had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, “They will respect my son.”’ (Mark 12:6).

Jesus shows he has a unique authority because he is the unique Son of God. There is a very clear distinction made between the unique beloved son and heir and the different servants who are sent first. Yet, with amazing foresight, Jesus declares that he, the unique Son of God, will be killed (vv.7–8).

He then explains that the leadership of God’s people will be transferred to a new leadership (the early leaders of the church) with Jesus as their cornerstone: ‘The stone the builders rejected [that] has become the cornerstone’ (v.10; see also Psalm 118:22).

The unique Son of God has unique authority as the unique cornerstone of God’s people. Listen to him and you too will speak with the authority that derives from his authority.

–from Day 62: Bible In One Year 2017

3. The authority of Jesus … Leviticus 9:1-10:20

The Priests Begin Their Ministry

1On the eighth day Moses summoned Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. 2He said to Aaron, “Take a bull calf for your sin offering and a ram for your burnt offering, both without defect, and present them before the Lord. 3Then say to the Israelites: ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, a calf and a lamb—both a year old and without defect—for a burnt offering, 4and an ox and a ram for a fellowship offering to sacrifice before the Lord, together with a grain offering mixed with olive oil. For today the Lord will appear to you.’ ”
5They took the things Moses commanded to the front of the tent of meeting, and the entire assembly came near and stood before the Lord. 6Then Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded you to do, so that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.”
7Moses said to Aaron, “Come to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and the people; sacrifice the offering that is for the people and make atonement for them, as the Lord has commanded.”
8So Aaron came to the altar and slaughtered the calf as a sin offering for himself. 9His sons brought the blood to him, and he dipped his finger into the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; the rest of the blood he poured out at the base of the altar. 10On the altar he burned the fat, the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver from the sin offering, as the Lord commanded Moses; 11the flesh and the hide he burned up outside the camp.
12Then he slaughtered the burnt offering. His sons handed him the blood, and he splashed it against the sides of the altar. 13They handed him the burnt offering piece by piece, including the head, and he burned them on the altar. 14He washed the internal organs and the legs and burned them on top of the burnt offering on the altar.
15Aaron then brought the offering that was for the people. He took the goat for the people’s sin offering and slaughtered it and offered it for a sin offering as he did with the first one.
16He brought the burnt offering and offered it in the prescribed way. 17He also brought the grain offering, took a handful of it and burned it on the altar in addition to the morning’s burnt offering.
18He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he splashed it against the sides of the altar. 19But the fat portions of the ox and the ram—the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver— 20these they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. 21Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the Lord as a wave offering, as Moses commanded.
22Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down.
23Moses and Aaron then went into the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown. –from Leviticus 9

The Death of Nadab and Abihu

1Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. 2So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said:

“ ‘Among those who approach me
I will be proved holy;
in the sight of all the people
I will be honored.’ ”

Aaron remained silent.
4Moses summoned Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel, and said to them, “Come here; carry your cousins outside the camp, away from the front of the sanctuary.” 5So they came and carried them, still in their tunics, outside the camp, as Moses ordered.
6Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not let your hair become unkempt and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the Lord will be angry with the whole community. But your relatives, all the Israelites, may mourn for those the Lord has destroyed by fire. 7Do not leave the entrance to the tent of meeting or you will die, because the Lord’s anointing oil is on you.” So they did as Moses said.
8Then the Lord said to Aaron, 9“You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, 10so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, 11and so you can teach the Israelites all the decrees the Lord has given them through Moses.”
12Moses said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “Take the grain offering left over from the food offerings prepared without yeast and presented to the Lord and eat it beside the altar, for it is most holy. 13Eat it in the sanctuary area, because it is your share and your sons’ share of the food offerings presented to the Lord; for so I have been commanded. 14But you and your sons and your daughters may eat the breast that was waved and the thigh that was presented. Eat them in a ceremonially clean place; they have been given to you and your children as your share of the Israelites’ fellowship offerings. 15The thigh that was presented and the breast that was waved must be brought with the fat portions of the food offerings, to be waved before the Lord as a wave offering. This will be the perpetual share for you and your children, as the Lord has commanded.”
16When Moses inquired about the goat of the sin offering and found that it had been burned up, he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s remaining sons, and asked, 17“Why didn’t you eat the sin offering in the sanctuary area? It is most holy; it was given to you to take away the guilt of the community by making atonement for them before the Lord. 18Since its blood was not taken into the Holy Place, you should have eaten the goat in the sanctuary area, as I commanded.”
19Aaron replied to Moses, “Today they sacrificed their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord, but such things as this have happened to me. Would the Lord have been pleased if I had eaten the sin offering today?” 20When Moses heard this, he was satisfied. Leviticus 10

Be careful when you play with fire! Make sure you realize what you are doing and how you live out your life! God has a calling upon you! So stick close to God and allow Him to lead you and guide you all the days of your life! Thanks to Jesus we are able to come before God! Thanks to Jesus we are able to speak with God! Thanks to Jesus who took away the sin of the world! Let’s live out our lives pleasing and satisfying to God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Today’s devotional shares the following from today’s reading

It is an awesome thing to enter into the presence of God – ‘The Glory of God appeared to all the people. Fire blazed out from God… When all the people saw it happen they cheered loudly and then fell down, bowing in reverence’ (9:23–24, MSG).

The example of Nadab and Abihu (10:1–2) shows that access to God’s presence should never be taken for granted. In our day and age, people often want relationship with God but they want it on their own terms and in their own way. However, it is only because of Jesus that you can enter God’s presence with confidence and without fear of being consumed as Nadab and Abihu were.

Access to the presence of God was made possible, in the Old Testament, through the complex sacrificial system. The high priest had to offer sacrifices for himself and the people (9:7–8). Because the high priest was a human being and, like us, was weak and sinful, he had to go on offering sacrifices for his own sin as well as the sins of the people.

Jesus has a unique authority. He is the sinless high priest. As the writer of Hebrews puts it: ‘Such a high priest truly meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself’ (Hebrews 7:26–27).

As a result, through Jesus you have access to the holy presence of God: ‘Therefore, brother and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 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 and having our bodies washed with pure water’ (10:19–22).

You can come into the presence of God today and hear the voice of the Lord, receive his strength and peace, and speak with the authority that comes from having heard the voice of God.

–from Day 62: Bible In One Year 2017

Don’t be so proud and risk the fall!


You’ve probably heard that pride comes before the fall.

Pride comes before the fall

You might be that central hub or the connected, but you need to realize it’s by God’s grace! It’s not all about you! It’s about what God is able to do in and thru you. How can you and will you leverage your position to give God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name?

Turn back to God before it is too late! Give Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory! And be generous! Allow God’s inflowing into your life to overflow into the lives of the people around you so that you can make a difference for the glory of His kingdom!

It’s interesting to come to this type of a reading as the annual review process is kicking off! God’s timing is perfect! He is never late and rarely early – He is right on time! God is good all the time! All the time God is good!

Are you one in authority? Are you a manager? Are you someone in leadership? Are you someone who has influence?

Don’t allow your heart to think you are god! Don’t allow in your mind thoughts that you are a god!

Choose to be a humble servant! Choose to be a servant leader! Consider how you have and can serve those you have authority over! Consider how you have and can serve those you are managing! Consider how you have and can serve those who are following you! Rather than lording it over them, instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who leads like the one who serves.

Remember and realize that you don’t know everything! Remember that wisdom comes from God! Don’t waste or lose it by allowing your pride to trip you up! Let’s choose to lead with love! Let’s choose to lead with compassion! Let’s choose to be ambassadors of peace!

We need to remember that everything belongs to God! We need to be good stewards of it and provide a good return! What will you provide as a return? Will it be 1x because you hid it in the ground and didn’t grow or develop it? Will it be 2x because you took it and invested in it and developed it? Will it be 2x because you found more opportunities and were a good steward so that you will get to hear well done my good and faithful servant?

Let’s align to God’s will and live out our lives in alignment to His plans and purposes!

Be a good neighbor! Don’t be one who nobody wants to be around! Be one who loves! Be one who shares! Be one who cares! Love your neighbor as yourself!

Let’s choose to have Jesus as our Lord and Savior! Let’s invite Him into our hearts so that His ways will be written in our hearts and minds! Let’s be transformed! Let’s be adopted into the family of God! Let’s live and share the redemption of Jesus with the world around us that they too may come to know Him and invite Him into their lives! Let’s bring unity! Let’s not forget how thankful we are! Let’s praise God for it all!

Let’s read Ephesians together as we consider this together…

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To Godʼs holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of Godʼs grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are Godʼs possession—to the praise of his glory.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all Godʼs people, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

–Ephesians 1

So let’s produce a result that will glorify God today! Let’s share the love and grace of God with the world around us in faith which surpasses any fear from threats! Let’s live lives that give God all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! Let’s live to please God! Let’s live to share the truth, the hope, the love! Let’s build unity in the body of Christ! Let’s love the people God’s brought into our lives! Let’s encourage them! Let’s comfort them in the trials! Let’s urge them to live lives that will glorify God!

As we conclude, let’s read thru 1 Thessalonians 2 together…

Paulʼs Ministry in Thessalonica

1You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7Instead, we were like young children among you.
Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 9Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
13And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of Godʼs churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews 15who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone 16in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.

Paulʼs Longing to See the Thessalonians

17But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 18For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. 19For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 20Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

–1 Thessalonians 2

 

 

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 27, 28, Ephesians 1, 1 Thessalonians 2

Has it been a while?


Is it late? Is there a reason why? Is there a reason why we shouldn’t start now? Is there a reason why we wouldn’t invite others to be a part of it? Why not go back? Why not come back? Will you get ready? Will you be prepared? Will you not just be going thru the motions, but actually come prepared? Come ready for what is ahead? Come ready for what God can do in and thru this moment?

Today’s reading begins in 2 Chronicles with this example…

Hezekiah and all Israel Celebrate Pesach

1Hezekiah then sent word to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the House of Adonai at Jerusalem to keep the Passover for Adonai, the God of Israel. 2The king and his officials and the entire congregation in Jerusalem had decided to celebrate Passover in the second month. 3For they were not able to celebrate it at the regular time, since not enough kohanim had consecrated themselves, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem. 4The matter seemed right in the eyes of the king and of the entire community. 5So they decided to issue a decree and to proclaim it throughout all Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan, calling the people to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover for Adonai, the God of Israel. For it had not been celebrated as prescribed for a long time. 6At the king’s command, the couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his officials saying: “You men of Israel, turn back to Adonai, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and He will return to the remnant of you who escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7Do not be like your fathers and brothers who acted unfaithfully against Adonai, the God of their fathers, so that He made them a horror as you see. 8Do not stiffen your neck as your fathers did, but reconcile to Adonai, and come to His Temple, which He has consecrated forever, and worship Adonai your God that His burning anger may turn away from you. 9For if you return to Adonai, your brothers and children will receive compassion before their captors, and will return to this land. For Adonai your God is compassionate and merciful; He will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.” 10As the couriers traveled from town to town through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as Zebulun, they were scorned and mocked. 11Nevertheless some men from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the officials commanded by the word of Adonai. 13Now a very large assembly gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Matzot in the second month. 14They arose and removed the altars and all the incense altars that were in Jerusalem, and threw them into the Kidron Valley. 15Then they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The kohanim and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the House of Adonai. 16They stood at their post as prescribed in the Torah of Moses, the man of God. The kohanim sprinkled the blood that they received from the hand of the Levites. 17For there were many in the congregation that had not concecrated themselves, therefore the Levites were in charge of slaughtering the Passover lambs for everyone that was not ceremonially clean in order to concecrate them to Adonai. 18Although a great multitude of the people—many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun—had not purified themselves, they still ate the Passover lamb contrary to what is written. But Hezekiah prayed for them saying: “May Adonai who is good, atone for 19every one who prepares his heart to seek Adonai, the God of his fathers, even though he is not pure according to rules of the sanctuary.” 20Adonai heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21So the children of Israel who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Matzot for seven days with great gladness. The Levites and the kohanim were praising Adonai every day with loud instruments for Adonai. 22Then Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who demonstrated good understanding of the service of Adonai. For seven days they ate their assigned portions while sacrificing peace offerings and praising Adonai, the God of their fathers. 23Then the whole congregation decided to celebrate seven more days—so for another seven days they celebrated with gladness. 24Hezekiah king of Judah contributed 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep to the congregation, and the officials contributed 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep to the congregation, and great numbers of kohanim consecrated themselves. 25The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced with the kohanim and the Levites, and all who had assembled from Israel, both the strangers coming from the land of Israel and the residents of Judah. 26There was great joy in Jerusalem, for nothing like this had happened in Jerusalem since the time of Solomon son of David king of Israel. 27Then the Levitical kohanim arose and blessed the people, and Adonai heard their voice, for their prayer reached heaven, His holy dwelling place.

–from 2 Chronicles 30

Do you see what is wrong? Do you see what is going wrong? Do you see what’s in the way? Do you see what what needs to go? Do you see what needs to stay? Do you see what needs to get added back in? Do you know what your part is? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is to give? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is to get to be a part? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is be involved? Will you embrace the power of doing what is right, what is good, and what is true?

Restoring the Kohanim and Levites

1When all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the towns of Judah and smashed the pillars, smashed the Asherah poles and demolished the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, as well as throughout Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all Bnei-Yisrael returned to their towns, each to their own property. 2Then Hezekiah reestablished the divisions of the kohanim and the Levites together with their divisions, each of the kohanim and Levites according to his service: for burnt offerings, peace offerings, to minister, to praise, or to sing praises in the gates of the courts of Adonai. 3The king also contributed a portion of his own assets for the burnt offerings: the morning and the evening burnt offerings and the burnt offerings for Shabbatot, the New Moons and the moadim, as it is written in the Torah of Adonai. 4Moreover, he commanded the people, the residents of Jerusalem, to give the portion allotted to the kohanim and the Levites, so that they might devote themselves to the Torah of Adonai. 5As soon as the word spread, Bnei-Yisrael gave generously the firstfruits of their grain, wine, oil, honey and all the produce of the field, as well as tithe of all the abundance. 6The children of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah, also brought in the tithe of bulls and sheep, and the tithe of the sacred things consecrated to Adonai their God. They piled them in heaps. 7In the third month the heaps began to accumulate and finished in the seventh month. 8When Hezekiah and the officials came and saw the heaps, they blessed Adonai and His people Israel. 9Hezekiah asked the kohanim and the Levites about the heaps. 10Azariah the chief kohen from the house of Zadok, replied to him saying, “Ever since the gifts began to be brought into the House of Adonai, we have had enough to eat and more than enough, for Adonai has blessed His people with plenty left over.” 11Then Hezekiah ordered them to prepare storerooms in the House of Adonai, and they prepared them. 12They faithfully brought in the offerings and the tithes and the consecrated gifts. Conaniah the Levite was the leader in charge over them and Shimei his brother was next in rank. 13Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath and Benaiah were supervisors under Conaniah and Shimei his brother, by the appointment of Hezekiah the king and Azariah the leader in charge of the House of God. 14Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, keeper of the East Gate, was over the freewill offerings of God, distributing the offering of Adonai and the consecrated gifts. 15Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah and Shecaniah faithfully assisted him in the towns of the kohanim, making allocations to their brothers by divisions—to great and little alike, 16only considering genealogical records, to the males three years old and upward—to all who entered into the House of Adonai, to perform the daily duties according to their responsibilities and their divisions— 17to the kohanim who were genealogically registered by their ancestral houses, as well as to the Levites 20 years old and upward, according to their duties and their divisions. 18The genealogical registry included all their little ones, their wives and sons and daughters of the entire assembly. Thus in their faithfulness they consecrated themselves as holy. 19As for the sons of Aaron, the kohanim, who lived in the fields of the common lands of their towns—in every town—men were designated by name to distribute portions to all the males among the kohanim and to all who were genealogically registered among the Levites. 20Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah. He did what was good, right and true before Adonai his God. 21Every work he undertook in the service of the House of God and in the Torah and the mitzvot to seek his God, he did wholeheartedly and succeeded.

–from 2 Chronicles 31

Let’s live lives that glorify God! Let’s live lives that testify to who Jesus is! Let’s be outreaching, embracing, and discipling! Let’s love them as Jesus loves them! Let’s see them as Jesus sees them! Let’s help them as Jesus would desire for us to help them! Let’s stand in the gap! Let’s intercede for others! Let’s intercede for the believers who are being persecuted that God will lift them up and strengthen them and encourage them! Let’s intercede for the non believers that they will be touched and transformed and come the realization of Jesus!

The Son Glorifies the Father

1Yeshua spoke these things; then, lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so the Son may glorify You. 2Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, so may He give eternal life to all those You have given Him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, the One You sent. 4I glorified You on earth by finishing the work that You have given Me to do. 5Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world came to be.”

Yeshua Prays for His Disciples

6“I have made Your name known to the men of this world that You gave Me. They were Yours; You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You. 8The words, which You gave Me, I have given to them. They received them and truly understood that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9I ask on their behalf. Not on behalf of the world do I ask, but on behalf of those You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11I am no longer in the world; but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are. 12While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name that You have given Me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. 13“But now I am coming to You. I say these words while I am still in the world, so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14I have given them Your word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world. 15I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17“Make them holy in the truth. Your word is truth. 18Just as You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I make Myself holy, so that they also may be made holy in truth.”

Interceding for All Believers

20“I pray not on behalf of these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their message, 21that they all may be one. Just as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You, so also may they be one in Us, so the world may believe that You sent Me. 22The glory that You have given to Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one— 23I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them as You loved Me. 24“Father, I also want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory—the glory You gave Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25Righteous Father, the world did not know You, but I knew You; and these knew that You sent Me. 26I made your Name known to them, and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

–from John 17

Let’s not be working in and through things with power struggles! Let’s not be working in and thru things with an iron fist! Let’s be servant leaders! Let’s lead other by serving them! Let’s be pouring into their lives! Servant leadership is the only type that will make a real difference!

Servant Leadership Wins Over All

1Am I not free? Am I not an emissary? Have I not seen Yeshua our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2If to others I am not an emissary, at least I am to you—for you are the seal of my office of emissary in the Lord. 3My defense to those who examine me is this. 4Don’t we have the right to food and drink? 5Don’t we have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other emissaries and the Lord’s brothers and Kefa? 6Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to not work? 7What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink its milk? 8I don’t say these things merely as a man, do I? Doesn’t Torah also say these things? 9For it is written in the Torah of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is threshing.” Is it the oxen that concern God, 10or is He speaking entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because the one plowing ought to plow in hope and the one threshing in hope of a share in the crop. 11If we sowed spiritual things into you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12If others have a share in this claim over you, shouldn’t we even more? Nevertheless we did not use this right, but we put up with all things so that we cause no hindrance to the Good News of Messiah. 13Don’t you know that those who perform the holy services eat from the Temple, and those who wait on the altar receive a share at the altar? 14So also the Lord ordered those who proclaim the Good News to get their living from the Good News. 15But I have used none of these things, and I am not writing these things so it will happen this way in my case—for I would rather die than let anyone deprive me of my reason to boast. 16For if I proclaim the Good News, I have no reason to boast—for pressure is put on me and woe to me if I don’t proclaim the Good News! 17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have been entrusted with a commission. 18What then is my reward? That when I preach, I may present the Good News free of charge, not making use of my right in the Good News. 19For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win over more of them. 20To the Jewish people I identified as a Jew, so that I might win over the Jewish people. To those under Torah I became like one under Torah (though not myself being under Torah), so that I might win over those under Torah; 21to those outside Torah, like one outside Torah (though not being outside God’s Torah but in Messiah’s Torah), so that I might win over those outside Torah. 22To the weak I became weak, so that I might win over the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all means possible I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the Good News, so that I might be a fellow partaker of it. 24Don’t you know that in a stadium the runners all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win! 25Every competitor exercises self-control in all respects. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we do it to receive an imperishable one. 26So I run in this way—not aimlessly. So I box in this way—not beating the air. 27Rather, I punish my body and bring it into submission, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

–from 1 Corinthians 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you realize the impact one person who chooses to do right can have?


With all the crazy things going on around us, imagine a leader who would turn back to what is right. Imagine a leader who will align to the truth. Imagine a leader who will not only know what is right, but do it. Imagine a leader who undoes the wrongs and replaces them with right. Imagine a leader who turns back to God and walks in alignment to His will. Imagine a leader who clings unto God for all his direction and instruction. Imagine a leader who turns things around to the point where prosperity starts to show up.

What will it take for that to not be imaginary? What will that take to become a reality?

How long will it take before people turn back to God? How long will it take before people decide it’s time to change?

Who will take a stand? Who will turn to God? Who will ask Him into their heart and mind? Who will decide that enough is enough? Who will ask God for help and wisdom?

Where will it begin? Where will it start? Where will they come from?

When will it happen? When will it begin? When will the people say that enough is enough? When will people choose to follow after God’s way?

Do you realize the impact one person
who chooses to do right can have?


This morning’s reading begins in 2 Kings…

Righteous King Hezekiah

1Now it was in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel that Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2He was 25 years old when he became king and he reigned for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi daughter of Zechariah. 3He did what was right in Adonai’s eyes, according to all his ancestor David had done. 4He removed the high places, smashed the pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made—for up to those days Bnei-Yisrael were still burning incense to it—it was called Nehushtan . 5He trusted in Adonai, the God of Israel. Indeed, none of all the kings of Judah after him was like him—and none before him. 6For he clung to Adonai. He did not turn away from following Him, but kept His mitzvot, which Adonai had commanded Moses. 7So Adonai was with him. Wherever he went he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territories, from watchtower to fortified city. 9Now it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of King Elah of Israel, that King Shalmaneser of Assyria marched against Samaria and besieged it, 10and at the end of three years they captured it. So Samaria was captured in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of King Hoshea of Israel. 11The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and placed them in Halah and Habor on the Gozan River, and in the towns of the Medes. 12For they had not listened to the voice of Adonai their God, but transgressed His covenant—all that Moses the servant of Adonai had commanded—they neither listened nor did it.

Proud Sennacherib Challenges Hezekiah

13Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched against all the fortified towns of Judah and seized them. 14So King Hezekiah of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish saying, “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me, whatever you impose on me, I will bear.” So the king of Assyria imposed on King Hezekiah of Judah 300 talents of silver and 30 talents of gold. 15Then Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the House of Adonai as well as in the treasuries of the royal palace. 16At that time Hezekiah stripped off the gold from the doors of the Temple of Adonai and from the doorposts that King Hezekiah of Judah had overlaid, and gave them to the king of Assyria. 17Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris and the Rab-shakeh from Lachish with a great army to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. So they went up and arrived at Jerusalem. Now when they arrived, they stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway of the fuller’s field. 18When they had called to the king, Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the royal palace, Shebnah the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder, came out to them. 19So the Rab-shakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: ‘What is this confidence you’ve relied on? 20You say you have a plan and military force for the battle—they are only words of a lip. Who do you rely on now, so that you have rebelled against me? 21Behold, you rely on this splintered reed as a staff—Egypt! If a man leans on it, it will go into the palm of his hand and pierce it—thus Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. 22“But if you say to me: ‘We trust in Adonai our God’—is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has removed, and then said to Judah and Jerusalem: ‘You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem’? 23“So now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. I’ll give you 2,000 horses—if you could put riders of your own on them! 24So, how can you repulse a single lieutenant—the least of my master’s servants? Yes, you’re relying on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen. 25“Moreover, have I now come up against this land to destroy it without Adonai’s approval? Adonai said to me: ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’” 26Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Don’t speak to us in the language of the Jews when the people on the wall are listening.” 27But the Rab-shakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall—who will eat their own wastes and drink their own urine with you?” 28Then the Rab-shakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the language of the Jews and said: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29‘Thus says the king: Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand! 30Nor let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in Adonai by saying: “Adonai will surely deliver us—this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.””’ 31“Don’t listen to Hezekiah! For thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me and come out to me. Then everyone will eat from his own vine and fig tree, and everyone will drink water from his own cistern, 32until I come, and take you away to a land like your own land—a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive oil and honey, that you may live and not die.’ “So don’t listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying: ‘Adonai will deliver us.’ 33Have any of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their country out of my hand? So will Adonai deliver Jerusalem from my hand?” 36But the people were silent and did not answer him a word, for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 37Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rab-shakeh.

–from 2 Kings 18

Who will restore? How will they go about the restoration? What will they do? Where will they start? Why? When will it begin?

Hezekiah Restores the Temple

1Hezekiah became king when he was 25 years old, and he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2He did right in the eyes of Adonai, just as his father David had done. 3In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the House of Adonai and repaired them. 4He brought in the kohanim and the Levites and assembled them into the eastern square. 5Then he said to them: “Listen to me, Levites! Sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the House of Adonai, the God of your fathers, and remove the defilement out of the holy place. 6Our fathers acted unfaithfully and did evil in the sight of Adonai Eloheinu and have forsaken Him. They turned their faces away from Adonai’s dwelling place and turned their backs on Him. 7They also shut the doors of the porch and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or offering any burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel. 8Therefore, the wrath of Adonai was upon Judah and Jerusalem. He has made them an object of horror, dread and scorn, as you are seeing with your own eyes. 9Behold, for this our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons, daughters and wives are in captivity. 10“Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with Adonai, the God of Israel, so that His fierce anger may turn away from us. 11My sons, now do not be negligent, for Adonai has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and to be His ministers and to burn incense to Him.” 12Then these Levites arose: from the sons of Kohath, Mahath son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah; from the sons of Merari, Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel; from the sons of Gershon, Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah; 13from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; from the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14from the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and from the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15When they had gathered their brothers and sanctified themselves, they went in, as the king ordered according to the words of Adonai, to cleanse the House of Adonai. 16So the kohanim went into the inner part of the House of Adonai to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the House of Adonai every impure thing that they found in the temple of Adonai. Then the Levites received it and carried it out to Kidron Valley. 17They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they reached the porch of Adonai. For eight days they consecrated the House of Adonai and finished on the sixteenth day of the first month. 18Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have purified the entire House of Adonai—the altar of burnt offering with all its vessels, the table of the rows of bread with all the vessels. 19We have also prepared and concecrated all the articles that King Ahaz discarded in his unfaithfulness, while he was king. Behold, they are now before the altar of Adonai.” 20Then King Hezekiah arose early gathered the leaders of the city and went up to the House of Adonai. 21They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs and seven he-goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, the sanctuary and Judah, and he commanded the kohanim—the sons of Aaron—to offer them on the altar of Adonai. 22So they slaughtered the bulls and the kohanim took the blood and sprinkled it against the altar; next they slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood against the altar; then they slaughtered the lambs and sprinkled the blood against the altar. 23The he-goats for the sin offering were brought before the king and the congregation, and they laid their hands on them. 24The kohanim then slaughtered them and purified the altar with their blood to make atonement for all Israel, for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. 25He stationed the Levites in the House of Adonai with cymbals, harps and lyres, according to the command of David, of Gad the king’s seer and of Nathan the prophet. For the command was by the authority of Adonai through His prophets. 26So the Levites stood with David’s instruments and the kohanim with the trumpets. 27Then Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song of Adonai also began with the trumpets, together with the instruments of King David of Israel. 28The entire congregation prostrated themselves, while the singers sang and the trumpeters played. All this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29Now at the completion of the burnt offering, the king and all who were present with him knelt down and worshiped. 30Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to Adonai with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed down and worshiped. 31Then Hezekiah responded and said, “You have now consecrated yourselves to Adonai. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the House of Adonai.” The congregation brought in sacrifices and thankofferings, and all whose hearts were willing brought burnt offerings. 32The number of the burnt offerings that the congregation brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs—all of these as a burnt offering to Adonai. 33The animals consecrated as sacrifices were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34The kohanim, however, were too few to flay all the burnt offerings, so their kinsmen, the Levites, helped them until the work was completed, and until other kohanim had consecrated themselves. For the Levites had been more conscientious to consecrate themselves than the kohanim. 35There were also a great many burnt offerings, along with the fat of the peace offerings and the drink offering at every burnt offering. Thus the avodah of the House of Adonai was reestablished. 36Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because of what God had enabled the people to accomplish, because it happened so suddenly.

–from 2 Chronicles 29

Consider how Jesus came to free us! Consider how Jesus came to give us salvation! Consider how Jesus came to teach us so that we wouldn’t stumble! Consider how Jesus told us it wasn’t going to be easy, but that it would be worth it! Consider how if we all aligned to Jesus’ teaching how things would be different! Consider how if we followed Jesus’ teaching how things would be different! So why not start now and see the impact your choice can make on a generation? We each have a calling and a purpose! God created us on purpose with purpose for a purpose! So don’t give up! Give it up to God! Invite the Holy Spirit to walk with you and help you with every step of every day! Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your every word and action! Let’s grab hold of the truth, for the truth will set us free!

Let’s ask for what we have need us! Let’s walk out our lives with Jesus as our Lord and Savior! Let’s ask in the name of Jesus, the name above all names!

1“I have spoken these things to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. 2They will throw you out of the synagogues. Yes, an hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3They will do these things because they have never known the Father or Me. 4But I have spoken these things to you so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.”

The Ruach Reveals Truth

5“But now I am going to the One who sent Me, and not one of you is asking Me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6Because I have spoken these things to you, grief has filled your heart. 7But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away! For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8“When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12“I still have much more to tell you, but you cannot handle it just now. 13But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. 15Everything that the Father has is Mine. For this reason I said the Ruach will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.”

Death and Resurrection Foretold

16“A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me.” 17Then some of His disciples said to one another, “What does He mean by telling us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me’? And, ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18They kept on saying, “What’s this He’s saying, ‘A little while’? We don’t know what He’s talking about!” 19Yeshua knew that they wanted to question Him, so He said to them, “Are you asking each other about this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me’? 20Amen, amen I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will celebrate. You will be filled with sorrow, but your sorrow will turn to joy! 21“When a woman is in labor, she has pain because her hour has come. But when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, because of the joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22So also you have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you! 23“In that day, you will ask Me nothing. Amen, amen I tell you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 24Up to now, you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be full. 25“These things I have spoken to you in metaphors. An hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in metaphors, but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26In that day, you will ask in My name—and I’m not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from God. 28I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” 29His disciples say, “See, now You’re speaking plainly and not in metaphors. 30Now we know that You know everything and have no need to be asked anything. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” 31Yeshua answered them, “Do you now believe? 32Look, the hour is coming—indeed has come—when you will be scattered, each to his own, and you will abandon Me. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!”

–from John 16

What type of legislators are there?


I know there are some who go in with a servant leadership heart and desires to serve the people that elected them. I know there are some that seek God’s wisdom in every decision they need to make. I know there are some that God uses for big initiatives. I know there are some that have a good heart and allow God to use them for the greater good. They are supposed to be a blessing to us based on what it says in the bible.

I also know there are some who are unjust. I know there are some who put on a certain persona because they think it is more about them and less about their job to serve the people. I know there are some who believe they are above the laws and look to work their way around it. I know there are some who act whatever way will help them advance. There are some who are in it for the money and the power. There are some that have said they believe one thing but then later turn on something that is foundational for their own purposes.

So be aware of the character of the people who are there. Be aware and discerning about the people who are trying to get into positions of leadership. Pray for wisdom about their true intentions. As election season approaches we need to be even more discerning about the character of the people who are running for election. Party doesn’t necessarily speak to the reality of what they believe. Former politicians aren’t immune either and sometimes it isn’t until they are out of the government that we discover where they really stood.

Could you vote for someone who is a liar? Could you vote for someone who is a cheater? Could you vote for someone who is an abuser? Could you vote for someone who would sell out the country? state? province? county? city? Could you vote for someone who is disobeying the laws? How could you trust they would enforce them?

Just like with everything in life, we will be given choices and we have to choose. In some cases people consider there to be 3 choices – (1) Vote for person 1, (2) Vote for person 2, (3) Don’t vote. Do you realize that option (3) gives up your say in the process and that in many cases it means the person you wanted least could win? The process says one of them will win. So do you want to help choose or have to deal with the consequences?

Are you a legislator? What type are you? What is your character? How do you view the role? Is it a blessing where you get to serve people? Is it a power grab where you get to wave authority over people?

Beware the consequence you are setting up the country for…

Take heart that there is a group who are just and walking aligned with God!


Today’s reading begins on this topic in Isaiah 10…

Oy to Unjust Legislators

1Oy to those enacting unjust decrees and recording corrupt legislation, 2to deprive the helpless of justice and rob the rights of the poor of My people, so that widows may be their spoil and orphans their prey! 3What will you do in the day of visitation, when desolation comes from afar? To whom will you flee for help? Where will you leave your wealth? 4One can only crouch among the captives or collapse among the slain. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched.

Assyria, the Rod

5Oy to Assyria, the rod of My anger— the club in their hand is My indignation! 6I am sending it against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My fury I am commissioning it, to take spoil and plunder, to trample them down like mud in the streets. 7Yet that is not what Assyria intends, nor is that what he is thinking about. Rather his heart is to destroy, and to cut down nations—only a few! 8For he says: “Aren’t all my princes kings? 9Isn’t Calno like Carchemish? Isn’t Hamath like Arpad? Isn’t Samaria like Damascus? 10As my hand has reached the kingdoms of the idols—with more graven images than Jerusalem and Samaria— 11as I’ve done to Samaria and her idols, won’t I also do to Jerusalem and her idols?” 12Therefore it will come to pass, when Adonai finishes all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glorying of his haughty eyes.” 13For he said: “By the strength of my own hand I’ve done it, and my own wisdom, for I am shrewd! I abolished the borders of peoples, and plundered their treasures. As a mighty one I cast down inhabitants. 14My hand found the riches of the peoples as a nest—like gathering forsaken eggs, I have gathered the entire earth. Not a wing fluttered, not a beak opened or chirped!” 15Should the axe boast against the One who chops with it? Should the saw magnify itself against the One who wields it? It would be like a rod waving the One who lifts it, or like a staff hoisting up the One who is not wood! 16Therefore will the Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot, send leanness among his fat ones. Under its glory He will kindle a burning like a blazing fire. 17So the light of Israel will become a fire, and its Holy One a flame. He will burn and consume its thorns and briers in one day. 18Both the glory of his forest and his fruitful field, he will consume, both soul and body. It will be like a sick man wasting away. 19The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few, a child could record them.

A Remnant Will Return

20Yet it will come about in that day that the remnant of Israel— those of the house of Jacob who escaped— will never again depend on the one who struck them down, but will depend upon Adonai, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21A remnant will return, even the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. 22For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction has been decreed. Justice overflows. 23For a complete destruction, as decreed, will Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot make throughout the whole land. 24Therefore thus says Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot: “O My people dwelling in Zion, do not be afraid of Assyria, though he strike you with the war-club, and lift up his rod against you, as Egypt did. 25“For in a very little while My indignation against you will be spent, and My anger will turn to their destruction.” 26Adonai-Tzva’ot will stir up against him a scourge, as in the slaughter of Midian at the Rock of Oreb. As His staff was over the sea, so will He lift it up, as He did in Egypt. 27In that day his burden will be taken off your shoulders, and his yoke off your neck. Indeed, the yoke will be broken because of fatness.

Assyria Advancing

28He has come to Aiath, and passed through Migron. At Michmas he deposited his supplies. 29They have crossed over the pass. They have taken up lodging at Geba. Ramah is terrified; Gibeath-shaul has fled. 30Shriek your cry, daughter of Gallim! Listen, O Laish! O poor Anathoth! 31Madmenah has fled. The inhabitants of Gebim take cover. 32This very day he will halt at Nob. He shakes his fist at the mountain of the Daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 33Behold, the Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot will lop off the branches with terror! So the tall ones will be cut down and the lofty ones laid low. 34Yes, He will hack down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon with its majesty will fall.

–from Isaiah 10

We need to call on Jesus! We need to lean on Him! We need His wisdom! We need His truth!

Ask the Holy Spirit to be your counselor and your guide! Ask the Holy Spirit to direct your path! Lean not on your own understanding but allow God to straighten your path!

The Branch From David

1Then a shoot will come forth out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch will bear fruit out of His roots. 2The Ruach of Adonai will rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and insight, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Adonai. 3His delight will be in the fear of Adonai. He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor decide by what His ears hear. 4But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the poor of the land. He will strike the land with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. 5Also righteousness will be the belt around His loins, and faithfulness the belt around His waist.

Messianic Age of Shalom

6The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion and the yearling together, and a little child will lead them. 7The cow and the bear will graze, their young ones lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like an ox. 8A nursing child will play by a cobra’s hole, and a weaned child will put his hand into a viper’s den. 9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of Adonai, as the waters cover the sea.

Second Return from Diaspora

10It will also come about in that day that the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek for Him, and His resting place will be glorious. 11It will also come about in that day that my Lord will again redeem— a second time with His hand— the remnant of His people who remain from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12He will lift up a banner for the nations, and assemble the dispersed of Israel, and gather the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13Ephraim’s envy will end, those hostile to Judah will be cut off. Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, and Judah will not harass Ephraim. 14They will swoop down on the Philistine slope to the west. Together they will plunder the children of the east— laying their hand on Edom and Moab, the children of Ammon obeying them. 15Then Adonai will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea. He will wave His hand over the River with His scorching wind, and will strike it into seven streams, and let men walk over in sandals. 16So there will be a highway for the remnant of His people who remain, from Assyria, as there was for Israel in the day they came up out of the land of Egypt.

–from Isaiah 11

We don’t need to put our hope in government because they don’t have all the answers. We don’t need to put all our trust in government because they don’t have all the power. We don’t need to give them all the authority or power – we can delegate it for a period of time, but we then need to help them stay accountable!

God’s Word shows us the way! God’s people should be taking care of the people! Rather than delegating taxes to try to take care of everyone, imagine if everyone tithed and gave to their church the impact it would have on the local community. God’s instruction manual is available (the bible)! God’s roadmap is available (the bible)! God’s love letter is available (the bible)!

Wells of Salvation

1In that day you will say: “I will give You thanks, Adonai, for though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. 2Behold, God is my salvation! I will trust and will not be afraid. For the Lord Adonai is my strength and my song. He also has become my salvation.” 3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4In that day you will say: “Give thanks to Adonai. Proclaim His Name! Declare His works to the peoples, so they remember His exalted Name. 5Sing to Adonai, for He has done gloriously. Let this be known in all the earth. 6Cry out and shout, inhabitant of Zion! For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

–from Isaiah 12

Want the truth? Do you really want it and not just trying to trip up or trick someone? Turn to God! Ask Jesus to give you wisdom for your situation! Have you been born again? Have you joined God’s family (been adopted into it) by asking Jesus into your heart and asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Will you believe what God has to say? Will you believe what God’s Word speaks? Will you believe the words of Jesus? Even without seeing it, will you believe it?

Do you know why Jesus came?

A Pharisee Comes Seeking Truth

1Now there was a man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jewish people. 2He came to Yeshua at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You, a teacher, have come from God. For no one can perform these signs which You do unless God is with Him!” 3Yeshua answered him, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus said to Him. “He cannot enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” 5Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be surprised that I said to you, ‘You all must be born from above.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

The Father’s Love Revealed

9“How can these things happen?” Nicodemus said. 10Yeshua answered him, “You’re a teacher of Israel and you do not understand these things? 11Amen, amen I tell you, We speak about what We know and testify about what We have seen. Yet you all do not receive Our testimony! 12If you do not believe the earthly things I told you, how will you believe when I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has gone up into heaven except the One who came down from heaven—the Son of Man. 14Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life! 16“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. 18The one who believes in Him is not condemned; but whoever does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not put his trust in the name of the one and only Ben-Elohim. 19“Now this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world and men loved the darkness instead of the light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. 21But whoever practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be made known that his deeds have been accomplished in God.”

The Living Word, Source of Life

22Afterwards, Yeshua and His disciples came to the land of Judea. There He was staying with them and immersing. 23Now John also was immersing at Aenon near Salim, because much water was there and many were coming and being immersed; 24for John had not yet been thrown into prison. 25Now an argument came up between John’s disciples and a Judean concerning purification. 26They came to John and said, “Rabbi, the One who was with you beyond the Jordan, the One you testified about—look, He is immersing, and all are coming to Him!” 27John answered, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28You yourselves testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,’ but rather, ‘I am sent before Him.’ 29The one who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the best man rejoices when he stands and hears the bridegroom’s voice. So now my joy is complete! 30He must increase, while I must decrease.” 31The One who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth is of the earth, and of the earth he speaks. The One who comes from heaven is above all. 32And what He has seen and heard, He testifies to that; yet no one receives His testimony. 33Whoever receives His testimony has certified that God is true. 34The One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Ruach without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has given everything into His hand. 36He who trusts in the Son has eternal life. He who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

–from John 3

 

Public servants are to bless the people.


Have you ever read the plan for government in the Bible?

1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

–from Romans 13

Have you ever read that they are to be a blessing to the people?

1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Do you realize that sometimes the government that is needed to point us back to God may not be the one we want or choose? Do you realize the importance of turning to and walk with God? Let’s pray for a revival! Let’s pray that the people will turn back to God rather than keep trying to remove God from everything! When you remove God from everything, what do you expect will happen?


Let’s take a look into today’s reading for the day…

The Shunammite’s Land Restored

1Now Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life saying, “Arise and go with your household, and stay wherever you can stay, because Adonai has called for a famine—indeed it has already come—on the land for seven years.” 2So the woman arose and did according to the word of the man of God. She and her household went and stayed in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 3Now at the end of seven years the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, and she went to the king to appeal for her house and her farm. 4Now the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, “Please tell me,” he was saying, “all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5Then it came to pass, just as he was telling the king how he had revived someone who was dead, behold, there was the woman whose son he had revived, appealing to the king for her house and her farm. So Gehazi said, “My Lord the king, this is the woman and this is her son whom Elisha revived.” 6When the king asked the woman, she told him the story. So the king assigned to her a court official, saying, “Restore all that was hers, and all the revenue of the field since the day that she left the land until now.”

Elisha Weeps in Damascus

7Then Elisha went to Damascus. At the time King Ben-hadad of Aram was sick, and he was told, “The man of God has come all the way here.” 8So the king said to Hazael, “Take an offering in your hand and go meet the man of God, and inquire of Adonai by him saying: ‘Will I recover from this illness?’” 9So Hazael went to meet him and took an offering in his hand, of every good thing of Damascus—forty camel-loads—then came and stood before him and said, “Your son Ben-hadad king of Aram has sent me to you saying: ‘Will I recover from this illness?’” 10Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him: ‘You will surely recover.’ However, Adonai has also shown me that he will surely die.” 11Then he fixed his gaze steadily on him until he was ashamed, and then the man of God wept. 12When Hazael asked, “Why is my lord weeping?” he answered, “Because I know the evil that you will inflict on the men of Israel: their strongholds you will set on fire, their young men you will slay with the sword, their little ones you will dash into pieces, and their pregnant ones you will rip open.” 13Then Hazael said, “But what is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do anything of such magnitude?” Elisha answered, “Adonai has shown me that you will be king over Aram.” 14Then he departed from Elisha and went to his master, who asked him, “What did Elisha say to you?” He answered, “He told me that you would surely recover.” 15But the next day he took a thick cloth, soaked it in water and spread it on his face, so that he died. Then Hazael became king in his place.

Edom Revolts Against Jehoram

16Now in the fifth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel—Jehoshaphat had been king of Judah—Jehoram the son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah became king. 17He was 32 years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did—for Ahab’s daughter was his wife—and he did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes. 19Nevertheless, Adonai was not willing to destroy Judah, for the sake of David His servant, since He had promised to give him a lamp for his children all days. 20In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and set up their own king. 21Then Joram crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. It came about that he rose by night and struck the Edomites who had surrounded him and the chariot commanders, but his troops fled to their tents. 22So Edom kept rebelling from under the hand of Judah to this day. Then Libnah also revolted at the same time. 23Now the rest of the acts of Joram and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 24Then Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. Then his son Ahaziah became king in his place. 25In the twelfth year of Joram son of King Ahab of Israel, Ahaziah son of King Jehoram of Judah began to reign. 26Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, the daughter of King Omri of Israel. 27Now he walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, as the house of Ahab had done—for he was a son-in-law of the house of Ahab. 28He marched with Joram son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramot-gilead, but the Arameans wounded Joram. 29So King Joram returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. Ahaziah son of King Jehoram of Judah went down to see Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

–from 2 Kings 8

What type of a legacy do you want to leave? What type of person do you want to be remembered as? Do you want to be remembered? Do you want to leave a legacy that lasts? Will you build it upon the one foundation that will stand the test of time in God? Or will you try to go it alone and build it on the world’s shifting sands?

Jehoram Slays His Brothers

1Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. Jehoram his son became king in his place. 2His brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah—all these were the sons of King Jehoshaphat of Israel. 3Their father had given them great gifts of silver, gold and precious things, along with fortified cities in Judah, but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn. 4Now when Jehoram had risen over his father’s kingdom and made himself strong, he slew all his brothers with the sword, along with some of the officers of Israel. 5Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. 6He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did (for Ahab’s daughter was his wife), and he did evil in the eyes of Adonai. 7However, Adonai was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant He had made with David, and since He had spoken a word to give a lamp to him and his sons always. 8In his days Edom rebelled against Judah’s rule and set up a king over themselves. 9So Jehoram crossed over with his officers and all his chariots with him. He rose up by night and struck the Edomites who were surrounding him and the chariot commanders. 10Thus Edom has been in rebellion against Judah to this day. Then Libnah also revolted from under his hand at that time—because he had forsaken Adonai, the God of his fathers. 11Moreover, he built high places on the mountains of Judah and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot and led Judah astray.

Elijah’s Letter of Judgment

12A letter from Elijah the prophet came to him saying: “Thus says Adonai, the God of your father David: Since you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, leading Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into prostitution just as the house of Ahab committed prostitution and you have also slain your brothers—your own family, who were better than you— 14behold, Adonai is going to strike your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions with a monumental catastrophe. 15You yourself will be striken by multiple illnesses of your intestines, day after day, until your intestines drop out because of the illness.” 16Then Adonai stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabs that neighbored the Cushites. 17They rose up against Judah, invaded it and carried away all the possessions found in the royal palace, as well as his sons and his wives. No son was left to him except Jehoahaz, his youngest. 18After all this, Adonai smote his intestines with an incurable disease, 19and it continued day after day for two years, so that at the end his bowels fell out because of his sickness and he died in great agonies. His people made no fire in his honor like the fire of his fathers. 20He was 32 years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years and he passed away, to no one’s regret. He was buried in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

–from 2 Chronicles 21

God is faithful to His Word and His promises! He is love! He is truth! So you don’t have to worry about how His promises will play out, you have to live out your promises and your life to glorify Him! Let’s live as living sacrifices to God! Let’s make a difference even if it is only to that one! Let’s take hold of God’s love and live it out! Let’s allow Him to shine through us so that we can be light to this dark world! Let’s allow Him to spice us up so that we can be salt to this world!

Let Your Heart Take Courage

1Of David. Adonai is my light and my salvation: whom should I fear? Adonai is the stronghold of my life: whom should I dread? 2When evildoers approached me to devour my flesh —my adversaries and my foes— they stumbled and fell. 3Though an army camp besieges me, my heart will not fear. Though war breaks out against me, even then will I be confident. 4One thing have I asked of Adonai, that will I seek: to dwell in the House of Adonai all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of Adonai, and to meditate in His Temple. 5For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His sukkah, conceal me in the shelter of His tent, and set me high upon a rock. 6Then will my head be high above my enemies around me. In His Tabernacle I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy. I will sing, yes, sing praises to Adonai. 7Hear, Adonai, when I call with my voice, be gracious to me and answer me. 8To You my heart says: “Seek My face.” Your face, Adonai, I seek. 9Do not hide Your face from me. Do not turn Your servant away in anger. You have been my help. Do not abandon me or forsake me, O God my salvation. 10Though my father and my mother forsake me, Adonai will take me in. 11Teach me Your way, Adonai, and lead me on a level path— because of my enemies. 12Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes. For false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. 13Surely I trust that I will see the goodness of Adonai in the land of the living. 14Wait for Adonai. Be strong, let Your heart take courage, and wait for Adonai.

–from Psalms 27

Let’s not be swayed by others’ ways! Let’s not be pulled off course by lies and tricks! Let’s hold tight to Jesus and let’s walk out our lives so that on that day we can hear Him say “well done my good and faithful servant”. Let’s keep our eyes on Him! Let’s walk with Him and talk with Him every day! Let’s choose to let others see Jesus in and through us!

Judgment of Babylon

1After these things, I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his glory. 2He cried out with a mighty voice, saying: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a den for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit and for every unclean bird and for every unclean and detestable beast. 3For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the fury of her immorality. The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich off the power of her self-indulgence.” 4Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you participate in her sins and receive her plagues! 5For her sins have piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. 6Pay her back just as she has paid out, and give her back double for her deeds! In the cup she has mixed— mix a double dose for her! 7As she has exalted herself and indulged herself in luxury, so give her the same measure of torment and grief! For in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen— I am no widow; I shall never see grief.’ 8For this reason her plagues will arrive in a single day— death and grief and famine— and she shall be burned down with fire. For mighty is Adonai Elohim who judges her!” 9Then the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and indulged in luxury with her shall weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning— 10standing far off because of the terror of her torment, saying: “Alas, alas, O great city— O Babylon, the mighty city! For in a single hour your judgment has come!” 11And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, because no one buys their merchandise anymore— 12shipments of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all kinds of citron wood; all kinds of ivory products; all kinds of products made of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, oil, fine flour, and wheat; cattle, sheep, horses, and chariots; and slaves—that is, human souls. 14The fruit of your soul’s desire has gone from you, and all the expensive and beautiful things are lost to you —never again will people find them. 15The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, shall stand far off for fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16saying, “Alas, alas, O great city— clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! 17For in a single hour so much wealth has been ruined!” And every ship captain and passenger, sailors and all who make their living at sea, stood at a distance 18and were crying out, seeing the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’ 19And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, “Alas, alas, O great city— in her all who had ships at sea grew rich from her wealth! For in a single hour has she been ruined! 20Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you kedoshim, emissaries and prophets! For God has judged her condemnation of you!” 21Then a mighty angel picked up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying: “So shall Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, never to be found again! 22And the sound of harpists and musicians, flautists and trumpeters, shall never be heard in you again! And the craftsman of any craft shall never be found in you again! And the sound of a mill shall never be heard in you again! 23And the light of a lamp shall never shine in you again! And the voice of the bridegroom and bride shall never be heard in you again! For your businessmen were the tycoons of the world, for all the nations were deceived by your sorcery! 24And in her was found the blood of the prophets and kedoshim and all those slaughtered on the earth.”

–from The Revelation 18

Jesus gave His all! He gave up His life on the cross to be able to bridge the gap created by sin so that we can be reconciled back to God! It’s a gift from God so nobody can boast! It’s God’s love that made Him make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! He had to take care of it and make a way himself! So now we have to do our part and choose Him! Jesus conquered death! He rose from the grave! Opening up a way for us to be reconciled back to God! He is the way, the truth, and the life! He is the only way to the Father! So we need to receive this gift and follow after Him the rest of our lives! He is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me!

Have you chosen? You know the choice now. So make the choice before it is too late! Choose to be with Jesus for the rest of eternity! Don’t wait too long and miss out and be separated from God! Let’s choose wisely!

Women Visit the Garden Tomb

1Now on the first day of the week, at daybreak, the women came to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. 2They found the stone had been rolled away from the tomb; 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Yeshua. 4And while they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you search for the living among the dead? 6He is not here, but He is risen! Remember what He told you when He was still in the Galilee, 7saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be executed, and on the third day rise up.” 8And they were reminded of His words. 9And when they returned from the tomb, they told all these things to the eleven and to everyone else. 10Now it was Miriam from Magdala, Joanna, the Miriam of Jacob and others together with them who were telling these things to the emissaries. 11But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Leaning in, he sees only the linen cloths. And he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.

Eyes Open in Emmaus

13Now behold, two of them on that very day were traveling to a village named Emmaus, a distance of about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14They were speaking with one another about all the things that had been happening. 15While they were talking and discussing, Yeshua Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him. 17Then He said to them, “What are these things you are discussing with one another as you are walking along?” They stood still, looking gloomy. 18Then the one named Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?” 19Yeshua said to them, “What kind of things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Yeshua from Natzeret, who was a Prophet, powerful in deed and word before God and all the people— 20how the ruling kohanim and our leaders handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they executed Him. 21But we were hoping that He was the One about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22“But also some women among us amazed us. Early in the morning they were at the tomb. 23When they didn’t find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said He is alive! 24Some of those with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women said, but they did not see Him.” 25Yeshua said to them, “Oh foolish ones, so slow of heart to put your trust in all that the prophets spoke! 26Was it not necessary for Messiah to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them the things written about Himself in all the Scriptures. 28They approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther on. 29But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is already gone.” So He went in to stay with them. 30And it happened that when He was reclining at the table with them, He took the matzah , offered a bracha and, breaking it, gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from them.

Good News for the Disciples in Jerusalem

32They said to one another, “Didn’t our heart burn within us while He was speaking with us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and others with them gathered together, 34saying, “The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!” 35Then they began telling about the events on the road and how He became recognized by them in the breaking of the matzah . 36While they were speaking of these things, Yeshua Himself stood in the midst of them and said, “Shalom Aleichem!” 37But they were startled and terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost. 38Then He said to them, “Why are you so shaken? And why do doubts arise in your heart? 39Look at My hands and My feet—it is I Myself! Touch Me and see! For a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41But while they were still in disbelief due to joy and wonder, He said to them, “Do you have anything to eat here?” 42They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, 43and He took it and ate it in their presence. 44Then He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you—everything written concerning Me in the Torah of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. 45Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and He said to them, “So it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance for the removal of sins is to be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Yeshua Ascends into Heaven

50Then Yeshua led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51And while blessing them, He departed from them and was taken up into heaven. 52After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53And they were continually in the Temple, praising God.

–from Luke 24

 

 

 

 

Are you ready?


What if today is the day, are you ready? What if this is the hour, are you ready? What if this is the time, are you ready? Are you prepared for what is to come? Is there something you need to do to get ready? Is there something you need to do to get prepared? Have you started? What are you waiting for?

Do you want to be surprised? Do you want to miss out? Will you be prepared? Are you ready?

Are you focus on doing what you’ve been called to do? Are you more concerned about how others are being treated? Are you OK to do what you agreed to? Will you be OK with the deal you made?

Are you OK to be first? Are you OK to be last? Is it most important to just be in?

Don’t grumble! Be happy with what you have received!

Why not just be happy that everyone got in rather than who is first and who is last or who serves and who is served? We’ve been called to lead by serving! Want to be greatest then become the least and serve others! Will you have faith enough to believe? Will you have faith enough to obey? Will you have faith enough to be prepared?

Today’s reading comes from 1 Chronicles and Matthew…

1The sons of Levi: Gershom, Kohath and Merari.
2These are the names of the sons of Gershom: Libni and Shimei.
3The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel.
4The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their clans.
5Of Gershom: Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son,
6 Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son and Jeatherai his son.
7The sons of Kohath: Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son,
8Elkanah his son, and Ebiasaph his son, Assir his son,
9Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son and Shaul his son.
10The sons of Elkanah: Amasai and Ahimoth,
11his son Elkanah, Zophai his son, Nahath his son,
12 Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son.
13The sons of Samuel: his first-born Vashni, then Abiah.
14The sons of Merari: Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzzah his son,
15Shimea his son, Haggiah his son, Asaiah his son.
16Now these are the men David appointed to be in charge of the singing in the House of Adonai, after the Ark came to rest.
17They ministered with song in front of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting, until Solomon built the House of Adonai in Jerusalem. They carried out their avodah according to their regulations.
18These are the ones who took their station, with their sons. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman the singer, son of Joel, son of Samuel,
19son of Elkanah, son of Jeroham, son of Eliel, son of Toah,
20son of Zuph, son of Elkanah, son of Mahath, son of Amasai,
21son of Elkanah, son of Joel, son of Azariah, son of Zephaniah,
22son of Tahath, son of Assir, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah,
23son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, son of Israel.
24His kinsman Asaph stood on his right—Asaph son of Berechiah, son of Shimea,
25son of Michael, son of Baaseiah, son of Malchijah,
26son of Ethni, son of Zerah, son of Adaiah,
27son of Ethan, son of Zimmah, son of Shimei,
28son of Jahath, son of Gershom, son of Levi.
29On the left hand their kinsmen the sons of Merari: Ethan son of Kishi, son of Abdi, son of Malluch,
30son of Hashabiah, son of Amaziah, son of Hilkiah,
31son of Amzi, son of Bani, son of Shemer,
32son of Mahli, son of Mushi, son of Merari, son of Levi.
33Their fellow Levites were appointed for all the avodah of the tabernacle of the House of God.
34But Aaron and his sons were the ones presenting offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense, for all the service of the Holy of Holies and to make atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.
35Now these are the sons of Aaron: Eleazar his son, Phineas his son, Abishua his son,
36Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son,
37Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son,
38Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son.

Towns and Lands for Levites

39Now these are their dwelling places according to their encampments in their territories. To Aaron’s sons of the Kohathite families (for theirs was the first lot),
40to them they assigned Hebron in the land of Judah, and the open land around it;
41but the fields of the city and the villages, they gave to Caleb son of Jephunneh.
42To sons of Aaron they gave the cities of refuge: Hebron, also Libnah with its open land, Jattir, Eshtemoa with its open land,
43Hilen with its open land, Debir with its open land,
44Ashan with its open land, and Beth-shemesh with its open land.
45From the tribe of Benjamin: Geba with its open land, and Alemeth with its open land, and Anathoth with its open land. They had 13 cities in all among their families.
46To the rest of the sons of Kohath ten cities were assigned by lot from the family of the half-tribe of Manasseh.
47To the sons of Gershom, according to their families, 13 cities were assigned from the tribe of Issachar, from the tribe of Asher, from tribe of Naphtali and from the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.
48To the sons of Merari 12 cities were assigned by lot, according to their families, from the tribe of Reuben, from the tribe of Gad and from the tribe of Zebulun.
49So Bnei-Yisrael gave to the Levites the cities with their open land.
50They also assigned by lot from the tribe of the children of Judah, from the tribe of the children of Simeon, and from the tribe of the children of Benjamin, these cities that were mentioned by name.
51Some of the families of the sons of Kohath had cities of their territory from the tribe of Ephraim.
52They assigned to them as cities of refuge: Shechem in the hill-country of Ephraim with its open land, Gezer also with its open land,
53Jokmeam with its open land, Beth-horon with its open land
54Aijalon with its open land, and Gath-rimmon with its open land.
55Also from the half-tribe of Manasseh: Aner with its open land and Bileam with its open land, for the rest of the family of the sons of Kohath.
56To the sons of Gershom were assigned, from the family of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with its open land and Ashtaroth with its open land,
57and from the tribe of Issachar, Kedesh with its open land, Dobrath with its open land,
58Ramoth with its open land, and Anem with its open land,
59and from the tribe of Asher, Mashal with its open land, Abdon with its open land,
60Hukok with its open land, Rehob with its open land,
61and from the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with its open land, Hammon with its open land and Kiriathaim with its open land.
62To the rest—the sons of Merari—were assigned, from the tribe of Zebulun, Rimmono with its open land, Tabor with its open land,
63and beyond the Jordan at Jericho, on the east side of the Jordan, from the tribe of Reuben, Bezer in the wilderness with its open land, Jahaz with its open land,
64Kedemoth with its open land, and Mephaath with its open land
65and from the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with its open land, Mahanaim with its open land,
66Heshbon with its open land, and Jazer with its open land.

–from 1 Chronicles 6

God’s got a plan! Will you be ready to answer the call? Will you be ready to complete the work? Will you be ready to finish strong? Don’t lose hope and don’t give up!

Parable of the Day Laborers

1“For the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.
2Now when he had agreed with the workers for a denarius per day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing in the marketplace, idle.
4And to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’
5So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour and did the same.
6And about the eleventh hour, he went out and found others standing around. And he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle the whole day?’
7“‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him. “He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard, too.’
8“Now when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’
9And those who had come about the eleventh hour each received a denarius.
10And when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; yet they too received a denarius.
11“But when they received it, they began to grumble against the master of the house,
12saying, ‘These last guys did one hour, and you’ve made them equal to us, who bore the burden and scorching heat of the day!’
13“But answering, he said to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius?
14Take what is yours and go. But I want to give this last guy the same as you.
15Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’
16“So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Third Prediction: Death and Resurrection

17Now as Yeshua was going up to Jerusalem, He took the Twelve aside privately; and on the way he told them,
18“Look, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the ruling kohanim and Torah scholars. They will condemn Him to death
19and hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify. Yet on the third day, He will be raised up.”

Leading by Serving

20Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came with her sons to Yeshua, and she was kneeling down and asking something from Him.
21“What do you want?” He said to her. She said to Him, “Declare that these two sons of mine might sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your kingdom.”
22But Yeshua replied, “You don’t know what you’re asking! Are you able to drink the cup I am about to drink?” “We are able,” they say to Him.
23He said to them, “You shall indeed drink My cup. But to sit on My right and left, this isn’t Mine to grant. Rather, it’s for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”
24Now when the ten heard, they became indignant with the two brothers.
25But Yeshua called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones play the tyrant over them.
26It shall not be this way among you. But whoever wants to be great among you shall be your servant,
27and whoever wants to be first among you shall be your slave—
28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

What Do You Want Me to Do for You?

29Now as they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him.
30And here two blind men sitting by the roadside, when they heard that Yeshua was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Master, Ben-David!”
31The crowd warned them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Master, Ben-David!”
32Yeshua stopped and called out to them. “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said.
33They said to Him, “Master, let our eyes be opened!”
34Moved with compassion, Yeshua touched their eyes. Instantly they regained their sight and followed Him.

–from Matthew 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facing another tough time? Facing another challenge?


How will you respond?

Will you start to wine and complain? Will you grumble and look for someone to blame? Will you start to find reasons to do bad things? Will you riot? Will you become violent?

OR

Will you turn to God? Will you plead your case with Him? Will you ask Him for wisdom? Will you wait upon Him? Will you grab hold of His Word that says “In this world you will have troubles, but take heart because I have overcome the world“? Will you grab hold of His Truth that says “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, allow your faith to be strengthened building up your ability to endure, and allow your endurance to build up so that you will finish strong being complete, perfect, and lacking nothing“?

Will you remember what He has already done and look forward in anticipation of what He will do next? He produced miracles! He brought freedom! He provided food! How will you respond the next big thing shows up? Will you forget about the past or will grab hold of it and praise God for what He is about to do? Will you forget about the past and start to grumble again? How are you keeping track of and remembering what God has already done for you, in you, and through you?

How will respond?

Will you respond in love? Will you respond with frustration? Will you respond in anger? Will you respond with a gentle hand? Will you respond with a clenched fist? What will your reaction say? What will your body language say? What will your voice say? What will be see in your eyes? What will be the overflow of your heart?

So where are you at today? Are you being faced with another challenge? Are you facing some tough times? How will you respond? Are you ready for the consequences of your response? Choose wisely! Choose the right way! Don’t get tripped up because of you see or what others are saying! Go it God’s way!


Today’s reading starts with preparation and then into responses, let’s take a look…

Red Heifer and Cleansing Water

1Adonai spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, 2“This is the statute of the Torah which Adonai commanded saying: Speak to Bnei-Yisrael that they bring to you a flawless red heifer on which there is no blemish and on which has never been a yoke. 3Give her to Eleazar the kohen. He will take her outside the camp and slaughter her in his presence. 4Then Eleazar the kohen is to take some of the blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the Tent of Meeting. 5“While watching, he is to burn the heifer, her hide, flesh, blood and refuse. 6The kohen is to take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool, and cast them into the midst of the burning heifer. 7“Afterward, the kohen is to wash his clothes and bathe his flesh with the water, and afterward he may come back into the camp. Still the kohen will be unclean until evening. 8Also the one burning it is to wash his clothes and bathe his flesh with the water, and he will be unclean until evening. 9“A clean man is to gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a clean place outside the camp. They are to be for the community of Bnei-Yisrael to use as water of purification from sin. 10“The one who gathers the heifer’s ashes is also to wash his clothes as well as be unclean until evening. It will be a permanent statute for Bnei-Yisrael and for the outsider living among them. 11“Whoever touches any dead body will be unclean for seven days. 12He is to purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day. Then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third and seventh days, he will not be clean. 13Anyone touching the dead body of any man, who does not purify himself, defiles Adonai’s Tabernacle, and that person will be cut off from Israel. Because the cleansing water was not sprinkled on him, he is unclean and his uncleanness will remain on him. 14“This is the Torah for whenever a person dies in a tent. Anyone entering the tent or anyone inside the tent will be unclean seven days. 15Any open container not having a lid fastened on it will also be unclean. 16Anyone out in the open field who touches a dead body, whether killed by a sword or was killed by a natural cause, or touches a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. 17“For the unclean one, they are to take some of the ash of the burnt purification offering, and pour some fresh water into a jar. 18Then a clean person will take some hyssop, dip it into the water, and, sprinkle it on the tent, all of the furnishings, and the people who were there, as well as the one touching the bone, the one killed, the corpse or the grave. 19The clean person will sprinkle the unclean one on the third and seventh days. He is to purify himself on the seventh day, and on the seventh day he is to wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and at evening he will be clean. 20However, that man who is unclean but does not purify himself will be cut off from the community. He has defiled the Sanctuary of Adonai, since the cleansing water was not sprinkled on him. He is unclean. 21This will be a permanent ordinance for them. The one sprinkling the cleansing water is also to wash his clothes, and anyone touching the cleansing water will be unclean until evening. 22Anything touched by an unclean person becomes unclean, and anyone touching it will be unclean until evening.”

–from Numbers 19

Now when the challenge shows up how will the response look?

Water from the Rock

1In the first month, the entire community of Bnei-Yisrael arrived at the wilderness of Zin. The people stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. 2Now there was no water for the community, so they assembled against Moses and Aaron. 3The people quarreled with Moses saying, “If only we had died when our brothers died before Adonai! 4Now why have you brought the community of Adonai into this wilderness, for us and our livestock to die here? 5Why have you brought us from Egypt to bring us to this evil place—a place without grain, fig, grapevine or pomegranate—and there’s no water to drink!” 6So Moses and Aaron went from before the assembly to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of Adonai appeared to them. 7Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 8“Take the staff and gather the assembly, you and your brother Aaron. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will give out its water. You will bring out water from the rock, and you will give the community something to drink, along with their livestock.” 9So Moses took the staff from before the presence of Adonai, just as He had commanded him. 10Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly in front of the rock. He said, “Listen now, you rebels! Must we bring you water from this rock?” 11Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with the staff. Water gushed out and the community and its livestock drank. 12But Adonai said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in Me so as to esteem Me as holy in the eyes of Bnei-Yisrael, therefore you will not bring this assembly into the land that I have given to them.” 13These are the waters of Meribah where Bnei-Yisrael contended with Moses, and where Adonai showed Himself holy among them.

Edom Denies Passage

14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom. “Thus says your brother, Israel: ‘You know all the hardship that came on us. 15Our forefathers went down to Egypt, so we lived there for a very long time. The Egyptians mistreated us, and our fathers. 16But we cried out to Adonai, He heard our cry, sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt. See now, we are at Kadesh, a town on the frontier of your territory. 17Permit us to pass through your territory. We will not cross through any field or vineyard or drink water of any well. But we will travel on the king’s highway. We will not deviate to the right or left until we will have passed through your territory.’” 18But Edom said to him, “You may not pass through me—or I will march out against you with the sword.” 19Bnei-Yisrael then said to him, “We will travel on the main road, and if we or our livestock even drink any of your water, we will pay its price. It’s nothing, just to pass through on foot!” 20He answered, “You may not pass through!” Yet Edom came out to oppose them with a large and well-armed people. 21Since Edom refused to permit Israel to cross through her territory, Israel turned away from them.

Aaron Gathered To His People

22The entirety of the community of Bnei-Yisrael set out from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor. 23Now at Mount Hor, near the Edomite border, Adonai said to Moses and Aaron, 24“Aaron will be gathered to his people. He will not enter the land, which I have given to Bnei-Yisrael, because you rebelled against My command at the waters of Meribah. 25Take Aaron and his son Eleazar, and take them up Mount Hor. 26Remove Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar, and Aaron will be gathered up and will die there.” 27Moses did as Adonai commanded. They ascended Mount Hor before the eyes of the whole community. 28Moses removed Aaron’s garments and placed them on Eleazar his son. Aaron died there at the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar descended the mountain. 29When they saw that Aaron had died, the entire community mourned Aaron 30 days.

–from Numbers 20

Let’s remember what God has done! Let’s celebrate what God has done! Let us not forget how GREAT His LOVE is for us!

In Celebration of God’s Reign

1For the music director, a psalm for the sons of Korah. 2Clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of joy! 3For Adonai Elyon is awesome, a great King over all the earth. 4He subdues peoples under us, and nations under our feet. 5He chooses our inheritance for us, the glory of Jacob whom He loved. Selah 6God is gone up amidst shouting, Adonai amidst the sound of the shofar. 7Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 8For God is the King of all the earth. Sing praises with a skillful song. 9God reigns over the nations. God sits upon His holy throne. 10The princes of the peoples are gathered as a people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of earth belong to God— He is greatly exalted!

–from Psalms 47

So let’s serve others! Let’s not lead by creating fear, but by serving others! Let’s show them God by the way we serve them! Let’s allow our lives to be a testimony of how great our God is! Let’s allow our lives to be witnessing to everything God is doing in and through our lives! Let’s be servant leaders by following in Jesus’ footsteps! Let’s live in love! Let’s be an example to all those God brings into our path.

Servant Leadership Wins Over All

1Am I not free? Am I not an emissary? Have I not seen Yeshua our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2If to others I am not an emissary, at least I am to you—for you are the seal of my office of emissary in the Lord. 3My defense to those who examine me is this. 4Don’t we have the right to food and drink? 5Don’t we have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other emissaries and the Lord’s brothers and Kefa? 6Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to not work? 7What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink its milk? 8I don’t say these things merely as a man, do I? Doesn’t Torah also say these things? 9For it is written in the Torah of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is threshing.” Is it the oxen that concern God, 10or is He speaking entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because the one plowing ought to plow in hope and the one threshing in hope of a share in the crop. 11If we sowed spiritual things into you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12If others have a share in this claim over you, shouldn’t we even more? Nevertheless we did not use this right, but we put up with all things so that we cause no hindrance to the Good News of Messiah. 13Don’t you know that those who perform the holy services eat from the Temple, and those who wait on the altar receive a share at the altar? 14So also the Lord ordered those who proclaim the Good News to get their living from the Good News. 15But I have used none of these things, and I am not writing these things so it will happen this way in my case—for I would rather die than let anyone deprive me of my reason to boast. 16For if I proclaim the Good News, I have no reason to boast—for pressure is put on me and woe to me if I don’t proclaim the Good News!17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have been entrusted with a commission. 18What then is my reward? That when I preach, I may present the Good News free of charge, not making use of my right in the Good News. 19For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win over more of them. 20To the Jewish people I identified as a Jew, so that I might win over the Jewish people. To those under Torah I became like one under Torah (though not myself being under Torah), so that I might win over those under Torah; 21to those outside Torah, like one outside Torah (though not being outside God’s Torah but in Messiah’s Torah), so that I might win over those outside Torah. 22To the weak I became weak, so that I might win over the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all means possible I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the Good News, so that I might be a fellow partaker of it. 24Don’t you know that in a stadium the runners all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win! 25Every competitor exercises self-control in all respects. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we do it to receive an imperishable one. 26So I run in this way—not aimlessly. So I box in this way—not beating the air. 27Rather, I punish my body and bring it into submission, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

–from 1 Corinthians 9

So let’s till the soil to soften hearts! So let’s plan seeds to bring encouragement! So let’s water that they are filled! Then let’s give it up to God who will make it grow! Let’s be helping create and find good soil! Let’s help pull up the weeds! Let’s help protect the seeds from the lies and attacks like a spiritual scarecrow!

Storytelling Opens Hearts

1Again Yeshua began to teach by the sea. A large crowd gathered around Him, so He got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the crowd was by the sea on the land. 2He began teaching them many things by parables, and in His teaching, He said to them: 3“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to spread some seed. 4It happened that as he sowed, some fell beside the road; and the birds came and ate it up. 5“Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it didn’t have much soil. It sprang up immediately, because the soil wasn’t deep. 6But when the sun came up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7“Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8“And others fell into the good soil and were producing fruit, springing up and increasing. They yielded a crop, producing thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” 9And He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 10When Yeshua was alone, those around Him with the Twelve started asking Him about the parables. 11And He told them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God. But for those who are outside, everything is in parables, so that 12‘Seeing, they may see and not perceive, and hearing, they may hear and not understand, so they may not turn back and be forgiven.’” 13He said to them, “Don’t you grasp this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14The sower sows the word. 15These are the ones beside the road where the word is sown. Whenever they hear, satan comes quickly and takes away the word that has been sown in them. 16“These are the ones sown on rocky ground. When they hear the word, immediately they receive it with joy. 17And they have no root in themselves but last only a short while. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18“And others are the ones sown among the thorns. They have heard the word; 19but the worries of the world, the seduction of wealth, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20“And those are the ones sown on the good soil. They hear the word and accept it and produce fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

Reaping What You Sow

21He also was saying to them, “Is a lamp put under a basket or a bed? No, shouldn’t it be placed on a lampstand? 22For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, nor anything kept secret except that it would come to light. 23If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24Then He continued, “Pay attention to what you hear. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you; and more will be added to you. 25For whoever has, to him more will be given. And whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

What Is the Kingdom of God Like?

26And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like when a man spreads seed on the soil 27and falls asleep at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows. He himself doesn’t know how. 28Automatically, the earth brings forth a crop—first the blade, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ready, at once he sends in the sickle, for the harvest has come.” 30Yeshua also said, “How should we picture the kingdom of God? Or by what story shall we present it? 31It is like a mustard seed when it’s planted in the ground. Though the smallest of all seeds in the earth, yet when planted it grows up and becomes the largest of all the herbs. 32It puts forth big branches, so the birds of the air can nest in its shade.” 33With many such parables He used to tell them the word, as much as they were able to hear. 34But apart from a parable, He wasn’t speaking to them. Yet when they were alone, to His own disciples He would explain everything.

Power Over Nature

35Now on that same day in the evening, He says to them, “Let’s cross over to the other side.” 36After leaving the crowd, they take Him along in the boat, just as He was. And other boats were with Him. 37A great windstorm arises, and the waves were rushing into the boat. The boat was beginning to fill up. 38But Yeshua was in the back of the boat, sleeping on a pillow. They wake Him up and say to Him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are perishing?” 39So He woke up and rebuked the wind. And He said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and it became totally calm. 40And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Even now you have no faith?” 41They were struck with awe and said to one another, “Who is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

–from Mark 4

Standards – Higher calling…


As we start this Monday after Easter and consider all that was done for us and how the promises of God are true, let’s consider how we live! Do we have a standard we live up to? Do we rise up to the higher calling? Are we living lives that lift up others through servanthood? Do we model our lives after a good example? Do we do things that are good for us, good for others, and healthy? Is there anything that we could remove to help in this? Is there anything that we should remove to allow ourselves to live up to the higher calling on us? Is there anything getting in the way? Is there such thing as too much of a good thing? Are we setting our priorities right? Are we modeling what we say we believe?

Today’s reading comes from Leviticus 20-21 and John 13. Leviticus 20 speaks to the people and Leviticus 21 speaks to the priests. John 13 starts just before the Passover,  and from the last week about Passion, it is interesting how things can align. It speaks to the standards and higher calling of servant leadership and leaving a legacy of love! Many are called, but few are chosen. Let’s live our lives to the higher calling of Jesus so that others may know of Him by seeing our lives lived out before them. Will you be a servant leader?

Modeling Servanthood

1Now it was just before the feast of Passover. Yeshua knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them until the end. 2While the seder meal was happening, the devil had already put in the heart of Judah from Kriot that he should hand over Yeshua. 3Yeshua knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was returning to God. 4So He gets up from the meal and lays aside His outer garment; and taking a towel, He wrapped it around His waist. 5Then He pours water into a basin. He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel wrapped around Him. 6Then He comes to Simon Peter, who says to Him, “Master, are You going to wash my feet?” 7Yeshua responded, “You don’t know what I am doing now, but you will understand after these things.” 8Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Yeshua answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9Simon Peter said to Him, “Master, then not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” 10Yeshua said to him, “He who has bathed has no need to wash, except the feet; he is completely clean. And you all are clean, though not every one.” 11He knew who was betraying Him; for this reason, He said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12So after He had washed their feet and put His robe back on and reclined again, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? 13You call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master’—and rightly you say, for I am. 14So if I, your Master and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash each other’s feet. 15I have given you an example—you should do for each other what I have done for you. 16“Amen, amen I tell you, a servant isn’t greater than his master, and the one who is sent isn’t greater than the one who sent him. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them!”

Yeshua Reveals His Betrayer

18“I am not speaking to all of you—I know whom I have chosen. But so the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’ 19From now on I am telling you, before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I am. 20Amen, amen I tell you, he who receives the one I send, receives Me; and he who receives Me, receives the One who sent Me.” 21After He said these things, Yeshua was agitated in spirit and testified, “Amen, amen I tell you, one of you will betray Me!” 22The disciples began looking at each other, perplexed—who was He talking about? 23One of His disciples, whom Yeshua loved, was reclining at His side. 24Simon Peter nods to him and says, “Ask Him—who is He talking about?” 25Then he who leaned on Yeshua’s chest says to Him, “Master, who is it?” 26Yeshua answers, “It’s the one I will give this bit of matzah to, after I dip it.” After dipping the matzah , He takes it and gives it to Judah from Kriot, the son of Simon. 27And with that bit, satan entered into him. Then Yeshua tells him, “What you’re about to do, do quickly!” 28But no one reclining at the table knew why Yeshua said this to him. 29Since Judah had the moneybox, some thought Yeshua was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30So after Judah received the bit of matzah , he left immediately. Now it was night.

Leaving a Legacy of Love

31Then when Judah had gone out, Yeshua said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him! 32If God is glorified in Him, God will glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will search for Me; and just as I told the Judean leaders, so I say to you now, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so also you must love one another. 35By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” 36“Master, where are You going?” Simon Peter said to Him. Yeshua answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow Me later.” 37Peter said to Him, “Master, why can’t I follow You now? I’ll lay down my life for You!” 38Yeshua answers, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Amen, amen I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times!”
–from John 13
God’s timing is perfect!