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.

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?


United – One in Heart and Mission


Preaching by Pastor Dan Metteer

God uses all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

‘Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.’

Acts 6:8-15

Accused Stephen of something that sounded true but wasn’t. So they had to manipulate the situation to get Stephen to stop talking about Jesus.

When questioned about these accusations, Stephen preaches one of the longest sermons captured in the Bible.

‘Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?” To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’ “So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child. God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’ Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs. “Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace. “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money. “As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’ He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die. “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family. When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’ “But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons. “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look. “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’ “This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness. “This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’ He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living words to pass on to us. “But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’ That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made. But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: “ ‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel? You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile’ beyond Babylon. “Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David, who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for him. “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: “ ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’ “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” ‘

Acts 7:1-53

One Central Theme – God was leading His people but it hadn’t nothing to do with person or time.

God was with them. The temple was a temporary place – the real inhabitation came in the person of Jesus Christ. Not to tear it down but to fulfill the resident within Him.

Can’t say you love God’s temple but don’t love God’s son.

He was sharing truth.

They were concerned with their own tradition than with God.

We are all susceptible with getting fixating on the wrong thing.

Focusing on something rather than God’s plans and purpose.

For some it is work, but is your job the point of the story? No

For some it is politics, but is politics the point fo the story? No

Not family either! It is Jesus Christ!

The first Christian martyr.

Not much we know about Stephen but here are 4 things we know

  1. He lived with integrity!
    1. When we live a life of integrity we are living a life God can use it!
  2. He was willing to serve!
    1. He served the widows. He served food! He was equipped to preach and serve.
    2. This is something God can use when we say Yes to when God calls.
    3. It is easier to steer a car that is moving, so we have to get moving and allow God to direct our path.
  3. He knew the scripture and he was full of faith in the Holy Spirit.
    1. quoted from 5 books of the Bible
    2. all from his knowledge and understood
    3. we need to study our Bible.
    4. we need to be ready for the day when we are called to use it
    5. we need to be led by the Holy Spirit too
    6. we need to walk in humility and submission to Him
    7. lay down our pride and preconceived notions
    8. we come and worship Jesus, submitting ourselves to them with a humble life
    9. John 16 says: ‘But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. ‘ — John 16:13
  4. Walk in love!
    1. he preached from the heart, a heart and spirit of love
    2. the devil tries to get people to speak truth but with a heart of hatred rather than love, we need God’s love in our hearts so we can do it with the right motive, filled with the Spirit

We don’t have to complete the story, we just have to be obedient

From his death, it caused

‘And Saul approved of their killing him. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. ‘

Acts 8:1-3
  • The church was scattered – and with them went the message
  • Paul was there and it had an impact on him.
    • even when things seem to be going the wrong way, he can change a catastrophe into a miracle
    • don’t panic because of what is happening in schools, government, the world,
    • lay down anxieties and plans and give them to God
    • he can do it in you and your family

Stephen’s Reward:

  • ‘But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘ — Acts 7:55
  • His name meaning is “garland, crown” – what would be given to the winner of the olympics
  • The crown of righteousness

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?


Favor or Favour – however you spell it, it means a lot.


FAVOR or FAVOUR: The word has the following definition

The reason for that comes from a conversation I had fairly recently with someone when we were sharing how crazy 2020 has been and I opened up to share how I had felt like I was walking on egg shells because of everything that took place. To receive a response that said they wished they had someone who had their back like I did, I was surprised, shocked, and curious about the statement. My first thought that came to mind was thank you God for your favor on me and over my life. In the midst of the trials and the troubles God was with me and beyond my knowledge He was working on my behalf, interceding with me beyond what is due or usual. I later had a follow up conversation with someone else and their response was that it could have been worse. Wow, that was a surprise and caused me to ponder even more. I thank God that the heart of the kind is in His hands. I thank God that He has opened doors that have allowed me to go before very senior leaders over the years and blessed me with the opportunity to talk with them, some to greater depth than others and yet at least to get to meet and talk to them. As I look back and consider my time at Microsoft and that I got to meet Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Satya Nadella, it was God’s hand at work. As I look back and consider my time at GoDaddy and that I got to meet Bob Parsons, Blake Irving, Scott Wagner, and Aman Bhutani. The situations and the circumstances varied. The depth of connection varied. Some were more in passing while others I was able to build relationships with. In each case though God had given me favor. An example was before a Christmas party telling my wife how I had never met Bob and she logically commented on how short a period I had been at the company and to my surprise God heard the desire of my heart and while I was speaking with my friend Mike who walks up to talk with Mike but Bob and I got to meet him. God’s so incredible! We have not because we ask not or we ask with the wrong heart. So we need to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then He will give us the desires of our hearts. It is important to be walking with God so that You can be walking knowing that He has your back! You will know that He will never leave you and never abandon you. You will know that He will take what the enemy means for evil and turn it around and use it for good. You will be able to trust Him in the good and the bad times rather than trying to lean on your own understanding so that You can acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight!

Twenty years ago this Christmas season we received an invitation in the mail to attend a Christmas production at a local church. We were still relatively new to the area and so we decide to go. It was the beginning of our journey of faith, our beginning of the reality of having a living relationship with God, our beginning of our journey of Jesus being our Lord and Savior, our beginning of our journey into all that God had prepared in advance for us and has since called us to be and do. It was the beginning and God had a plan to accelerate things with our late start with activities with things like that first Christmas, spiritual emphasis week, prayer and fasting week, men’s and women’s retreats, Easter and Christmas productions, Cleansing Stream, Wednesday night Bible studies and so much more. It was the beginning of an incredible relationship with our Heavenly Father. It was the beginning of an intimate relationship with Jesus. It was the beginning of our ability to be lead and guided, to find comfort and peace in the midst of the storms thanks to the comforter, the Holy Spirit.

God had a plan that was so much bigger than anything we could have asked or imagined. God saw how we honored our parents in even making the big decision to pick up and move far away after having given both sets the options of leaving Microsoft or leaving the country. God had a plan that required putting us in a place where the excuse of “we’re too busy” would be thrown out the window. We didn’t know anybody. We didn’t have much to do yet. We had no excuses 20 years ago when we made the big move. As I reflect on the decision to ask the two sets of parents, I remember the morning when God revealed to me how that was a step and a key to moving forward as it aligns to His will where we read Ephesians 6 where it says:

‘ Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother–this is the first commandment with a promise–[Exod. 20:12.] That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.’

Ephesians 6:2-3

‘ Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you.’

— Exodus 20:12

Does that mean you won’t have trials? Nope. Does that mean you won’t have troubles? Nope. Does it mean you will have God with you in and through each of those storms of life? Yes!

‘ Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.’

— James 1:2-4

‘ I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]’

— John 16:33

So are you needing someone to have your back? Why not turn to God and invite Jesus into your heart? God will go before you, preparing in advance the good works He has for you to accomplish and making a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way. God will have your back, never leaving you nor abandoning you. If it interests you, feel free to jump to the prayer at the end of the post and pray it with me. If not yet, hope you will continue reading today’s message of hope and love.


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘ Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor].’

— Luke 2:14

✨MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU✨

The Weary World Rejoices: Bearing Witness To The Truth Of Christ In A Pluralistic, Globalized World

Truth, even the mere notion thereof, is constantly under attack in today’s world. Yet Christ claims to be ‘the truth , the way, and the life’, an exclusive statement that asserts that Christ alone is the way for humanity to be reconciled to God. As Christ’s disciples, we are called to be people of truth—both in word and deed—bearing witness to our glorious Saviour. 

— Bearing Witness To The Truth Of Christ In A Pluralistic, Globalized World

So today’s focus as we read from God’s Word (Day 2):

  • Read:
  • Truth and the Workplace
  • Our work is significant and belongs under the Lordship of Christ
  • Reject the idea of a secular divide and instead let’s allow our work to be our ministry, our ministry field, where we are the missionaries sent into the workplace to make God known
  • Don’t downplay but instead accept and affirm your ministry in the workplace as God’s calling on your life
  • Work with your pastors and churches to help equip the saints for works of service in every part of our lives

My Notes:

  • ‘ Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,’ — Colossians 3:23
  • ‘ So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Col. 3:9, 10; James 3:8, 9.] And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.’ — Genesis 1:27-28
  • Work is a part of God’s purpose and is evident in creation
  • Our work is within the sphere of ministry as we serve others
  • Do fall for the lies and deception that there is a divide
  • We are do live out our lives as living sacrifices – and work as unto the Lord!
  • We are to work with all of our hearts in whatever we do as unto the Lord for it is our worship to Him!
  • So be equipped, get equipped, develop yourself so that as you go out into the world that You can be salt and light and be Jesus with skin on to the world around you, sharking hope, light, and love with everyone.
  • Let’s be outreaching, embracing, and discipling
  • Paul ministered in the workplace as a tentmaker and so can we.

Where are you at today? Are you feeling weary? Are you looking for support and encouragement? Are you wanting to get your journey with God started? Let’s pray together.

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

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

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

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

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


How can you be and stay relevant when your role changes?


How will you make a difference in the lives of others? Will the change help you find new ways to make a difference and stay connected with others? Will you find better and more efficient ways to be a connector, an encourager, a helper, a friend, a leader, a mentor, …

So you lost your team but how will you keep the friends and relationships? So you changed your job, your roles and responsibilities but how will you be prepared to be adding value and making a difference to the world around you? So you are working from home through the change but how will you reach out and define new role while at the same time become relevant and create a new normal that matters and will make a difference?

Will you be a servant leader and give to others, pour into their lives to help them become a success and overcome any challenges caused by the change? Will you be a steward of all that you have done and accomplished so that the return can be used to renew and rekindle and restart the next leg of the journey? Will you share the pains and the troubles with others in order to prevent them from having to figure it out on their own? Will you explain the joys you received in those trials and how it was like a refining experience to help you know and understand what is most important? Will you share your story in order for others to be able to learn and grow without having to personally go thru it? Will you face the giants like David did with all your hope and faith in God? Will you take on the challenge like Benaiah did when he faced and chased the lion? With so much trust and hope in God David as a boy defeated Goliath and eventually became king. With so much trust and hope in God Benaiah chawed and killed the lion and eventually became the head of Solomon’s army.

So what about you? How are you going to face your today?


Do you know what true wisdom looks like? Do you know how to recognize Godly wisdom? Do you know how to practice godly wisdom? Faith without works is dead we learn in James 2. God is going before us, preparing the good works He has for us to accomplish, will you be ready, prepared, and observant enough to see it and then walk it out for the glory of His kingdom? Will you choose to walk it out in humility giving God the glory and not robbing yourself by being prideful? Can you rethink what true wisdom is by reflecting on the words of James which say:

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”

James‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Not by human definitions but rather God’s definition. It isn’t about ourselves being the all knowing and all seeing but rather it is about love a life that is seeking the good of others. We need to realize who we are first without Jesus, flawed, with lots of cracks in my character and failures which produces a life lived in humility. It helps me realize how much I need God love and help and grace. It makes it so that I will live in humility because of this need rather than pride that I am all that in my own strength and power. I need God to transform me thru Jesus and the working of the Spirit in and through my life. We need to live our lives unselfishly putting others before myself. Looking to serve others and honor others by the way I choose to live my life. We need to realize that other people are just as important and valuable to God and so I need to live my life so as to treat them that way. You aren’t pretending or putting on an act but rather you are treating others with the love and honor and respect they deserve. Imagine a world where everyone is living with this wisdom, elevating each other and how incredible he world would be and how high and lifted up God could be because of that. Imagine how everyone would feel and act with such an environment of love, hope, truth, and respect. Who are the people that you can treat with humility as more important than yourself? How will you choose to put that out there and lift them up and empower them? Let’s be prepared to do the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish. Let’s love our neighbors like our selves. Let’s be Jesus with skin on the world around us. Let’s live out our Happy Today because the joy of the Lord is our strength. Let’s live as humble servants so that God can be glorified and lifted up in Jesus’s name.


Let’s not be fooled or tempted by the lies of the world but rather live according God’s will, way, and plan. Let’s not get tripped up by allowing the devil’s lies that my life is about me and that my happiness matters most. Let’s not be tricked that there aren’t any absolute truths or objective standards that we should be living by. Let’s instead choose to live out our lives in accordance to God’s inspired Word found in the Bible. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the words of James and decide to walk out today in true wisdom that will glorify God and point people to Him by the way we choose to out our today.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

— James 1:22

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

— James 2:14-26

They say hindsight is 2020 but what have you learned from the past 8 months? Are there new ways? Are there new responsibilities? Are there new roles? Are there new asks? Are there new tasks? For 2020 to make a difference, we need to make sure to take time to reflect on it. Day by day, week by week, month by month.

The 49 week challenge – Day 245

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 245 link to join me and sign up.

With August in the rear view mirror, let’s reflect on what we have learned in the past 6 days as we meditate on God’s Word this 7th day. Do you have any highlights or insights from what we have read in the past 6 days? What connections have you made or can you make in relations to our readings from God’s Word? Have you made time to speak with God through your reading time? Have you made time to speak with God as a part of your daily schedule? Are you prioritizing God enough that He gets prime time with you? Have you missed the mark this week and need to turn back to God and confess it and ask Him for forgiveness? Have you taken time to thank and praise Him for the forgiveness that has already been paid for through the blood of Jesus? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the other blessings in your life? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the answered prayers? Do you have any worries? Are you taking hold of His promise not to worry but to give it up into His hands? Let’s ask God for wisdom and guidance for this day! Let’s put our trust in Him!

In a time of change, will you share what God is doing and saying in and through your life with others?

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.

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:

‘For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. ‘

Colossians 1:13-14

My Notes:


As day 245 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

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

How do apply what you’ve been taught and what you have learned?


So what you learned? Did you learn it through life experiences or through the experiences or examples of others? Are you willing to learn through the experience of others or do you need to learn it by going through it yourself? Can you learn from others successes or do you need to make your own experiences? Can you learn from others failures or do you need to go through the pain and suffering yourself?

Do you have a mentor you can talk to and learn from? Do you have friends or colleagues you can talk to and learn from? Do you have a desire to do so? Do you have someone in your life who can be your role model? Where do you turn when your hit a wall or get stuck in something?

Don’t go it alone! We were never meant to go through life alone! God created one another so that we wouldn’t have to go it alone! God isn’t out the somewhere, He is Emmanuel, God with us! So we are never alone. The choice we have is if we will try to go it alone or be willing to ask God or one another when we face challenges in our lives.

Consider these words from Philippians 4:9 which say “Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.

There are benefits to hearing from others. There are benefit to learning from others. Jesus has give us an example of how we are to live. He is our role model to help raise the bar. Let’s not try to go it alone but instead walk out our today with God. So let’s take what we have learned from Jesus. Let’s take what we have received from Jesus. Let’s take what we have heard from Jesus. Let’s take what we have seen in Jesus. Let’s model our way of living on that, so that we can live in relationship with Jesus all the days of our lives.

Let’s be doers of the Word. Let’s not get stuck with good thoughts or good plans or good intentions but rather let’s be living our lives to produce good fruit and to multiply what God has given us as good stewards so that on that day when we see God face to face we can hear Him say “well done my good and faithful servant”.

Ever considered what “done” means? It is the past tense of DO. So let’s be doing. Let’s be performing the things God has given us to do. Let’s be achieving and completing the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish. Let’s act and behave in a way that reveals Jesus to the world around us and points them back to God. Let’s live our lives in an acceptable and suitable way to bring God the praise, the honor and the glory as living sacrifices to Him.

Consider how wisdom is proved right by her children which means you have to walk the walk and practice what you preach. Ever heard people talk about there being ceilings to what you can do or achieve or accomplish? Do you realize that the only ceiling on your relationship and intimacy with God and the impact you can make on the world is your daily spiritual disciplines? So we all have a choice to make and doing nothing is a choice. We can choose to do something or not do something. We can choose to decide or be indecisive. We can choose to act or remain inactive. We can choose to wait or delay being obedient but that is still disobedience.The choice is yours. So will you choose to continue to grow and learn and develop? Or will you choose to repeat what you know year after year after year? So are you ready to start doing more with what you know rather than trying to know more?

What lesson is God trying to teach you? What character is God trying to cultivate and develop in you? A challenging experience may not need to be change but may be an instrument to teach and build and develop us. So let’s grab hold of James 1 where it teaches us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds. Let’s grab hold of how Jesus tells us to take heart because in the world we will have troubles because He has already overcome the world.


They say hindsight is 2020. So will we put what we know into practice or will life be like a merry-go-round, making what is before us look so blurry and causing us to get dizzy and confused when we get to the end of the day? Let us be doers and get the good works that God has prepared for us to accomplish done. Let’s live our lives producing good fruit and multiplying what God has poured into our lives so that we can hear “well done good and faithful servant.”

The 49 week challenge – Day 228

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 228 link to join me and sign up.

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

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

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


My Notes:

  • Today’s reading gets us started with Romans 12:1-16:
    • ‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. ‘
      Romans 12:1-16
  • As we look into God’s Word today’s reading connects the new with the old starting with 2 Samuel 17:
    • ‘Ahithophel said to Absalom, “I would choose twelve thousand men and set out tonight in pursuit of David. I would attack him while he is weary and weak. I would strike him with terror, and then all the people with him will flee. I would strike down only the king and bring all the people back to you. The death of the man you seek will mean the return of all; all the people will be unharmed.” This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel. But Absalom said, “Summon also Hushai the Arkite, so we can hear what he has to say as well.” When Hushai came to him, Absalom said, “Ahithophel has given this advice. Should we do what he says? If not, give us your opinion.” Hushai replied to Absalom, “The advice Ahithophel has given is not good this time. You know your father and his men; they are fighters, and as fierce as a wild bear robbed of her cubs. Besides, your father is an experienced fighter; he will not spend the night with the troops. Even now, he is hidden in a cave or some other place. If he should attack your troops first, whoever hears about it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the troops who follow Absalom.’ Then even the bravest soldier, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a fighter and that those with him are brave. “So I advise you: Let all Israel, from Dan to Beersheba—as numerous as the sand on the seashore—be gathered to you, with you yourself leading them into battle. Then we will attack him wherever he may be found, and we will fall on him as dew settles on the ground. Neither he nor any of his men will be left alive. If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it down to the valley until not so much as a pebble is left.” Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom. Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, “Ahithophel has advised Absalom and the elders of Israel to do such and such, but I have advised them to do so and so. Now send a message at once and tell David, ‘Do not spend the night at the fords in the wilderness; cross over without fail, or the king and all the people with him will be swallowed up.’ ” Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En Rogel. A female servant was to go and inform them, and they were to go and tell King David, for they could not risk being seen entering the city. But a young man saw them and told Absalom. So the two of them left at once and went to the house of a man in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard, and they climbed down into it. His wife took a covering and spread it out over the opening of the well and scattered grain over it. No one knew anything about it. When Absalom’s men came to the woman at the house, they asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman answered them, “They crossed over the brook.” The men searched but found no one, so they returned to Jerusalem. After they had gone, the two climbed out of the well and went to inform King David. They said to him, “Set out and cross the river at once; Ahithophel has advised such and such against you.” So David and all the people with him set out and crossed the Jordan. By daybreak, no one was left who had not crossed the Jordan. When Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He put his house in order and then hanged himself. So he died and was buried in his father’s tomb. David went to Mahanaim, and Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel. Absalom had appointed Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Amasa was the son of Jether, an Ishmaelite who had married Abigail, the daughter of Nahash and sister of Zeruiah the mother of Joab. The Israelites and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead. When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Makir son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim brought bedding and bowls and articles of pottery. They also brought wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans and lentils, honey and curds, sheep, and cheese from cows’ milk for David and his people to eat. For they said, “The people have become exhausted and hungry and thirsty in the wilderness.”’
      2 Samuel 17:1-29
  • Today’s reading continues with Job 30:
    • ‘“But now they mock me, men younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs. Of what use was the strength of their hands to me, since their vigor had gone from them? Haggard from want and hunger, they roamed the parched land in desolate wastelands at night. In the brush they gathered salt herbs, and their food was the root of the broom bush. They were banished from human society, shouted at as if they were thieves. They were forced to live in the dry stream beds, among the rocks and in holes in the ground. They brayed among the bushes and huddled in the undergrowth. A base and nameless brood, they were driven out of the land. “And now those young men mock me in song; I have become a byword among them. They detest me and keep their distance; they do not hesitate to spit in my face. Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me, they throw off restraint in my presence. On my right the tribe attacks; they lay snares for my feet, they build their siege ramps against me. They break up my road; they succeed in destroying me. ‘No one can help him,’ they say. They advance as through a gaping breach; amid the ruins they come rolling in. Terrors overwhelm me; my dignity is driven away as by the wind, my safety vanishes like a cloud. “And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me. Night pierces my bones; my gnawing pains never rest. In his great power God becomes like clothing to me ; he binds me like the neck of my garment. He throws me into the mud, and I am reduced to dust and ashes. “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me. You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me. You snatch me up and drive me before the wind; you toss me about in the storm. I know you will bring me down to death, to the place appointed for all the living. “Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man when he cries for help in his distress. Have I not wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor? Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness. The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me. I go about blackened, but not by the sun; I stand up in the assembly and cry for help. I have become a brother of jackals, a companion of owls. My skin grows black and peels; my body burns with fever. My lyre is tuned to mourning, and my pipe to the sound of wailing.’
      Job 30:1-31
  • Today’s reading then concludes with Psalms 131:
    • ‘My heart is not proud, Lord , my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.’
      Psalms 131:1-3

As day 228 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

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

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

What’s it going to take to make things great again?


Will you return to God? Will you be faithful to God? Will you turn back to God? Will you come back into God’s presence like the lost son? God is great! God is faithful to His covenant! Do you love God? Do you faithfully keep His Word? Will you confess your sins? Will you confess the sins of the nation? Will you confess the sins of the people? Will you confess the sins of previous generations that have cause so many to walk away? Because of the sins the people have been scattered rather than coming together in unity. Will you choose today to humble yourself before God? Will you choose to honor God today? Will you give your life into God’s hands and ask for favor and completing the work He has given you to do?

Will you ask? Will you tell what God has put onto your heart? Will you go and do what God has instructed you to complete? Will you go and complete the work that God has given you? Will you inspect the situation? Will you survey the situation of things as they are today? Will you rally the troops? Will you put your hope and trust in God and not be deceived? Will you put your hope and your trust in God and not be deterred? Will you be a doer of the Word rather than just a hearer? Don’t be overwhelmed by the size or scope, but divide the work and allow the people assigned to do their part of the work. Stage by stage allow the work to be completed!

Don’t lose hope if or when people resist doing their part. Someone will step up to complete that work. Trust it all to God!

Are you ready to make it great again? Are you ready to be an instrument of God into the world around you? Are you ready to receive God’s vision and wisdom? How will you respond? Fear Not, just believe! If God calls you to it, He will bring you thru it!

Don’t lose hope … ask God for help! Don’t worry … ask God for help! Fear Not … ask God for help! Worry changes nothing … prayer changes everything!

So let’s meditate on God’s Word as this reading series draws to an end. With just over a week left before a new series, a new journey will begin, let’s reflect together on today’s reading from the New Testament and hear what God has to say to us.

Friendship with the World

1Where do all the fights and quarrels among you come from? They come from your desires for pleasure, which are constantly fighting within you. 2You want things, but you cannot have them, so you are ready to kill; you strongly desire things, but you cannot get them, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have what you want because you do not ask God for it. 3And when you ask, you do not receive it, because your motives are bad; you ask for things to use for your own pleasures. 4Unfaithful people! Don’t you know that to be the world’s friend means to be God’s enemy? If you want to be the world’s friend, you make yourself God’s enemy. 5Don’t think that there is no truth in the scripture that says, “The spirit that God placed in us is filled with fierce desires.” 6 But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
7So then, submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you. 8Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners! Purify your hearts, you hypocrites! 9Be sorrowful, cry, and weep; change your laughter into crying, your joy into gloom! 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Warning against Judging One Another

11Do not criticize one another, my friends. If you criticize or judge another Christian, you criticize and judge the Law. If you judge the Law, then you are no longer one who obeys the Law, but one who judges it. 12God is the only lawgiver and judge. He alone can save and destroy. Who do you think you are, to judge someone else?

Warning against Boasting

13 Now listen to me, you that say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to a certain city, where we will stay a year and go into business and make a lot of money.” 14You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears. 15What you should say is this: “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.” 16But now you are proud, and you boast; all such boasting is wrong.
17So then, if we do not do the good we know we should do, we are guilty of sin.

–James 4

We need to walk in humility! We need to resist the devil! We need put our hope and trust in God! So how will you walk out today? Don’t boast! Trust in God! Let’s complete the good work God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish! Let’s seek the truth! Let’s not be tricked or deceived! Let’s walk in love! Let’s live out love! Let’s allow God’s hand to complete the work it has begun in us so that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! Let’s not grow weary in doing good!

False Teachers

1False prophets appeared in the past among the people, and in the same way false teachers will appear among you. They will bring in destructive, untrue doctrines, and will deny the Master who redeemed them, and so they will bring upon themselves sudden destruction. 2Even so, many will follow their immoral ways; and because of what they do, others will speak evil of the Way of truth. 3In their greed these false teachers will make a profit out of telling you made-up stories. For a long time now their Judge has been ready, and their Destroyer has been wide awake!
4God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell, where they are kept chained in darkness, waiting for the Day of Judgment. 5 God did not spare the ancient world, but brought the flood on the world of godless people; the only ones he saved were Noah, who preached righteousness, and seven other people. 6 God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying them with fire, and made them an example of what will happen to the godless. 7 He rescued Lot, a good man, who was distressed by the immoral conduct of lawless people. 8That good man lived among them, and day after day he suffered agony as he saw and heard their evil actions. 9And so the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials and how to keep the wicked under punishment for the Day of Judgment, 10especially those who follow their filthy bodily lusts and despise God’s authority.
These false teachers are bold and arrogant, and show no respect for the glorious beings above; instead, they insult them. 11Even the angels, who are so much stronger and mightier than these false teachers, do not accuse them with insults in the presence of the Lord. 12But these people act by instinct, like wild animals born to be captured and killed; they attack with insults anything they do not understand. They will be destroyed like wild animals, 13and they will be paid with suffering for the suffering they have caused. Pleasure for them is to do anything in broad daylight that will satisfy their bodily appetites; they are a shame and a disgrace as they join you in your meals, all the while enjoying their deceitful ways! 14They want to look for nothing but the chance to commit adultery; their appetite for sin is never satisfied. They lead weak people into a trap. Their hearts are trained to be greedy. They are under God’s curse! 15 They have left the straight path and have lost their way; they have followed the path taken by Balaam son of Beor, who loved the money he would get for doing wrong 16and was rebuked for his sin. His donkey spoke with a human voice and stopped the prophet’s insane action.
17These people are like dried-up springs, like clouds blown along by a storm; God has reserved a place for them in the deepest darkness. 18They make proud and stupid statements, and use immoral bodily lusts to trap those who are just beginning to escape from among people who live in error. 19They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of destructive habits—for we are slaves of anything that has conquered us. 20If people have escaped from the corrupting forces of the world through their knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are again caught and conquered by them, such people are in worse condition at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been much better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than to know it and then turn away from the sacred command that was given them. 22 What happened to them shows that the proverbs are true: “A dog goes back to what it has vomited” and “A pig that has been washed goes back to roll in the mud.”

–2 Peter 2

 


Today's Reading: Nehemiah 1, Nehemiah 2, Nehemiah 3, Psalm 120, James 4, 2 Peter 2

It’s time to decide…


Which way will you go? Who will you follow? How will you live? What will that look like? Where will that take you? When will you choose? When will you decide?

It’s time to decide!


If the people before you were heading the wrong way, will you follow? If the people before were heading the wrong way, will you turn around and head in the right direction? It’s now in your hands so choose wisely!

1Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah. 2He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 3He walked in all the sins of his father which he had done before him; and his heart was not wholly devoted to Adonai his God, like the heart of his father David. 4Nevertheless, for David’s sake, Adonai his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, raising up his son after him and establishing Jerusalem. 5For David did what was right in Adonai’s eyes and did not turn aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 6As there had been war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life, 7so there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. The rest of the deeds of Abijam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 8Then Abijam slept with his fathers so they buried him in the city of David, and his son Asa became king in his place.

Asa Starts Out Right

9In the twentieth year of King Jeroboam of Israel, Asa began to reign over Judah. 10He reigned 41 years in Jerusalem; his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 11Now Asa did what was right in Adonai’s eyes, like his father David. 12He also expelled the male prostitutes from the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 13Also he deposed his mother Maacah from being queen mother, because she had made an abominable image as an Asherah pole. So Asa cut down her image and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14But they did not take away the high places. Nevertheless Asa’s heart was wholly devoted to Adonai all his days. 15He brought into the House of Adonai the consecrated things of his father as well as his own consecrated things of silver, gold, and utensils. 16Now there was war between Asa and King Baasa of Israel all their days. 17King Baasa of Israel marched against Judah, and he built up Ramah to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to King Asa of Judah. 18Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasuries of Adonai’s House and the treasuries of the royal palace, and delivered them into the hand of his officials. King Asa sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, son of Hezion, king of Aram, who resided in Damascus, saying: 19“Let there be a treaty between me and you, as it was between my father and your father. I have just sent you a present of silver and gold; go, break your treaty with King Baasa of Israel, so that he may withdraw from me.” 20So Ben-Hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, conquering Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah and all Chinneroth, as well as all the land of Naphtali. 21When Baasa heard it, he stopped fortifying Ramah and remained in Tirzah. 22Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah—none was exempted—and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber which Baasa had built. Then King Asa built Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah with them. 23Now the rest of all the deeds of Asa, all his might, all he did and the cities that he built—are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? But in his old age he was diseased in his feet. 24And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of his father David, and his son Jehoshaphat became king his place.

End of Jeroboam’s Line

25Nadab son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of King Asa of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26He also did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, walking in the way of his father and in his sins that he caused Israel to commit. 27Then Baasa son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar conspired against him, and Baasa struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging Gibbethon. 28So Baasa slew him, in the third year of King Asa of Judah, and became king in his place. 29As soon as he became king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not spare Jeroboam anything with breath until he had destroyed him, just as was the word of Adonai that He spoke by the hand of His servant Ahijah the Shilonite, 30because of the sins Jeroboam had committed and caused Israel to commit, by which he utterly provoked Adonai, God of Israel. 31Now the rest of the deeds of Nadab and all he did—are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 32So there was war between Asa and King Baasa of Israel all their days. 33In the third year of King Asa of Judah, Baasa son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, reigning 24 years. 34He did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, and followed the way of Jeroboam and the sin that he had made Israel commit.

–from 1 Kings 15

Will you start strong? Will continue strong? Will you finish strong? Trust God in and through it all!

Asa’s Reforms Bring Adonai’s Rest

1Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of Adonai his God. 2He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. 3He commanded Judah to seek Adonai, the God of their fathers, and to obey the Torah and the mitzvah. 4He also removed the high places and the incense stands out of all the cities of Judah. So the kingdom remained untroubled under him. 5He built up fortified cities in Judah, for the land was untroubled and he was not engaged in warfare during those years because Adonai had given him rest. 6Then he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars, while the land is still ours because we have sought Adonai Eloheinu. We sought Him and He has given us rest all around.” So they built and were successful.

Appeal to Defeat the Cushites

7Now Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah who bore shields and spears and 280,000 from Benjamin who bore shields and drew bows. All of these were valiant warriors. 8Then Zerah the Cushite marched against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots. When he arrived at Mareshah, 9Asa went out to meet him and they arrayed for battle in the valley of Zephath at Mareshah. 10Then Asa cried to Adonai his God and said, “Adonai, there is no one like You to help in battle between the mighty and the powerless. Help us, Adonai Eloheinu, for we rely on You and in Your Name we have come against this multitude. You are Adonai Eloheinu! Let no man prevail against You.” 11So Adonai struck down the Cushites before Asa and before Judah. The Cushites fled 12and Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar. So many of the Cushites fell that they could not recover because they were shattered before Adonai and before His army. They carried away very much spoil. 13They destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the terror from Adonai came on them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much spoil in them. 14They also attacked the tents of herdsmen and carried off many sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

–from 2 Chronicles 14

Stick with God! Don’t stray from Him! Build up your relationship and trust in Him! Don’t turn away from Him! Walk through life with Him! Be patient! Be obedient! Be true! Finish strong and receive the reward!

Prophets Encourage Further Reforms

1The Ruach Elohim came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2He went out to meet Asa, and said to him, “Listen to me Asa, all Judah and Benjamin. Adonai is with you as long as you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will spurn you. 3For many days Israel was without the true God, without a teaching kohen and without Torah. 4But in their distress they turned to Adonai, the God of Israel, and sought Him, and He was found by them. 5In those times there was no shalom for anyone coming or going, for there were many conflicts among all the inhabitants of the lands. 6Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. 7But you, chazak! Do not let your hands be slack for there is reward for your labor.” 8When Asa heard these words as well as the prophecy of the prophet Oded, he took courage and removed the abominations from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns that he had seized in the hill country of Ephraim. He also repaired Adonai’s altar that was in front of Adonai’s entryway. 9He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, as well as those dwelling with them from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon—for many had defected to him from Israel when they saw that Adonai his God was with him. 10So they assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11On that day they sacrificed to Adonai 700 bulls and 7,000 sheep from the spoil that they had brought. 12They entered into a covenant to seek Adonai, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul. 13Whoever would not seek Adonai, God of Israel, would be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 14They also made an oath to Adonai with a loud voice, with shouting, with trumpets and with shofarot. 15All Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their will and He was found by them. Then Adonai gave them rest all around. 16He also deposed Maacah, the mother of King Asa, from being queen because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. Asa cut down her abominable image, crushed it and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17Though the high places were not removed from Israel, still Asa’s heart was completely committed to Adonai all his days. 18He brought into the House of God his father’s consecrated articles, as well as his consecrated articles of silver and gold, and utensils.

–from 2 Chronicles 15

Keep your eyes on God! Remember His faithfulness! Turn to God first for answers, as you did when you first believed! Don’t allow fear to be the motivation or driver! Fear Not, Just Believe! Don’t be fooled! Don’t be tricked! Don’t allow pride to get in the way of all God had planned! Stand firm! Put on the full armor of God! Finish strong!

Asa Backslides

1In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, King Baasa of Israel marched against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from leaving or coming to King Asa of Judah. 2In response, Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the House of Adonai and from the royal palace, and sent them to King Ben-hadad of Aram who lived in Damascus saying, 3“Let there be a covenant between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. Look, I have sent you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with King Baasha of Israel so that he may withdraw from me.” 4So Ben-hadad consented to King Asa’s request and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel. They ravaged Ijon, Dan, Abelmaim and all the storage cities of Naphtali. 5When Baasa heard, he stopped building Ramah and stopped his work. 6Then King Asa took up all of Judah to carry away the stones of Ramah and the timber with which Baasa had been building—with them he fortified Geba and Mizpah. 7At that time the seer Hanani came to King Asa of Judah and said to him: “Because you have depended on the king of Aram, and not depended on Adonai your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. 8Were not the Cushites and the Libyans a mighty army with many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on Adonai, He delivered them into your hand. 9For the eyes of Adonai range throughtout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are wholly His. You have acted foolishly in this matter. Indeed, from now on you will have wars.” 10Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the prison for he was enraged at him for this. Also Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time. 11Behold, the acts of Asa, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12Now in the thirty-nineth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet. His illness was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek Adonai but physicians. 13Finally Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. 14He was buried in his own tomb, which he had hewn out for himself in the city of David. They laid him in his resting place, which was filled with sweet spices and various blended perfumes and they made a very large fire for him.

–from 2 Chronicles 16

It’s time to choose before it is too late! It’s time to ask Jesus into your heart and to start that relationship with Him! It’s time to be filled up and encouraged by Him and begin the journey as the new you, as the new creation with the old gone and the new, born again! It’s time to choose to be different! It’s time to choose to make a difference! It’s time to live out a life of faith that will bring God all the praise, the honor, and the glory! It’s time to choose life! It’s time to choose now in order to get to experience the greater things of God!

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

1Then I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2I looked, and behold, there was a white horse. The one riding on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him. He went out as a conqueror so he might conquer. 3When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come!” 4Then another horse came out, fiery red. The one riding on it was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. He was given a great sword. 5When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come!” And behold, I saw a black horse. The one riding on it held a balance scale in his hand. 6Then I heard something like a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius—but do no harm to the oil and wine!” 7When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living creature saying, “Come!” 8Behold, I saw a horse, pale greenish gray. The name of the one riding on it was Death, and Sheol was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill by sword and by famine and by plague and by the wild beasts of the earth. 9When the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those slaughtered for the sake of the word of God and for the witness they had. 10And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “O Sovereign Master, holy and true, how long before You judge those who dwell on the earth and avenge our blood?” 11Then a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants was complete—their brothers and sisters who were to be killed as they had been. 12I saw when the Lamb opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as black as sackcloth made of goat’s hair, and the full moon became like blood. 13The stars of heaven fell to the earth like a fig tree drops unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14The heaven ripped apart like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from their places. 15Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the military commanders and the rich and the mighty and everyone—slave and free—hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16And they tell the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

–from The Revelation 6

How much pain do you want to suffer? How much pain do you want to endure?

It’s time to choose! It’s time to decide!

 

 

 

How important is your brand?


Do you realize how important your name is? Do you realize how important your character is? Do you realize how important having a good name = good reputation + good character?

When people see you what is their first response or reaction? Is it positive or negative? Is it to run to or run away from you? Is it to smile or to frown? Do they give you a warm welcome?

Are you a peacemaker? Are you an encourager? Are you a blessing? Are you sharing hope and love? Are you helper? Are you someone who steps up? Are you someone who helps get it done?

Today’s reading continues in Proverbs on this very topic…

1A good name is to be chosen rather than great wealth, and grace rather than silver or gold. 2Rich and poor have this in common— Adonai is the Maker of them all. 3A crafty person sees danger and hides, but the naïve keep going and suffer for it. 4The reward of humility and fear of Adonai is riches, honor and life. 5Thorns and snares are in the path of the perverse, but one who guards his soul stays far from them. 6Train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not turn from it. 7The rich rule over the poor, the borrower is a slave to the lender. 8One who sows injustice will reap trouble, and the rod of his fury will perish. 9One with a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. 10Throw out a scoffer and strife will go out, quarreling and disgrace will cease. 11One who loves purity of heart and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend. 12The eyes of Adonai guard knowledge, but He undermines the words of the faithless. 13The slacker says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the streets.” 14The mouth of a seducing woman is a deep pit—into it will fall one with whom Adonai is angry. 15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but a rod of discipline will drive it far from him. 16The one who oppresses the poor to increase his own gain, and the one who gives to the rich— both end in poverty. 17Incline your ear and listen to the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge. 18For it is delightful if you keep them within you, ready on your lips. 19So that your trust may be in Adonai, I made them known to you this day, even you. 20Have I not written to you thirty sayings of admonition and knowledge, 21to show you true and reliable words, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you? 22Do not rob a poor person because he is poor, nor crush the needy at the gate, 23for Adonai will plead their case, and rob life from those who plunder them. 24Do not be friends with one given to anger or associate with a hot-tempered person, 25lest you learn his ways, and entangle your soul in a snare. 26Do not be one who shakes hands or puts up security for debts. 27If you do not have enough to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you? 28Do not move an ancient boundary stone which your fathers set up. 29Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings. He will not stand before obscure people.

–from Proverbs 22

What do you hunger for? How much is that driving your actions and your decisions? How is that impacting your way of living? How is that impacting your brand image? How is it impacting your life? How is it impacting your family and friends? How is it impacting your workplace and neighborhood and community?

Don’t be greedy! Don’t be selfish! Don’t live in a way that isolates yourself and pushes others away! Share the love of God with the world around you! Consider the benefits of what you are doing or considering doing and what good it will cause or create!

Advice About Appetites

1When you sit down to dine with a ruler, consider carefully what is set before you, 2and put a knife to your throat if you possess a large appetite. 3Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive. 4Do not wear yourself out to get rich. Be wise enough to restrain yourself. 5When you cast your eyes 0n riches, it is gone; for it surely sprouts wings and flies off into the sky like an eagle. 6Do not eat the food of a stingy person, or desire his delicacies. 7For as he thinks within himself, so is he. “Eat and drink”, he says to you, but his heart is not with you. 8You will vomit up the morsel you ate, and will waste your pleasant words. 9Do not speak in the ears of a fool, for he will disdain the wisdom of your words. 10Do not move an ancient boundary stone, or encroach on fields of the fatherless, 11for their redeemer is strong. He will plead their case against you. 12Apply your heart to discipline and your ears to words of knowledge. 13Do not withhold correction from a child. If you strike him with a rod, he will not die. 14Punish him with a rod, and deliver his soul from Sheol.

Wisdom’s Path to the Future

15My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart also will be glad. 16Yes, my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. 17Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be in the fear of Adonai. 18For surely there is a future, and your hope will never be cut off. 19Listen, my son, and be wise, and guide your heart in the right way. 20Do not join those drinking too much wine or gorging on meat, 21for both drunkards and gluttons will be impoverished— grogginess will clothe them with rags. 22Listen to your father who begot you and do not despise your mother when she is old. 23Acquire truth and do not sell it, acquire wisdom, instruction and understanding. 24The father of a righteous one rejoices greatly. Whoever fathers a wise child delights in him. 25Let your father and your mother be glad, let she who bore you rejoice! 26My son, give your heart to me, and let your eyes observe my ways. 27For a prostitute is a deep pit, an adulterous woman is a narrow pit. 28Indeed, she lies in wait like a robber, and increases the unfaithful among men.

Lingering Long Over Wine

29Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has fights? Who has complaining? Who has bruises for no reason? Who has red eyes? 30Those who linger long over wine, who go looking for mixed wine. 31Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it glides down smoothly. 32In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper. 33Your eyes will see strange things. Your heart will utter perverse things. 34Then you will be like one lying down in the heart of the sea, or sprawled on the top of a mast. 35“They hit me! But I was not hurt. They beat me up! But I did not feel it. When will I wake up? I will look for another drink.”

–from Proverbs 23

Those with integrity walk safely! Where is integrity in your life? What are you doing to make sure that you have integrity? How are you living so that your brand and character are good?

Pledge of Integrity

1A psalm of David. I will sing of lovingkindness and justice. To You, Adonai, I will sing praises. 2I will behave wisely in the way of integrity —when will You come to me? I walk in my house with integrity in my heart. 3No base thing will I set before my eyes. Twisted behavior I hate— it will not cling to me. 4A perverse heart will depart from me. I will know nothing evil. 5Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret —him I will silence. Who has haughty eyes and a proud heart —him I will not tolerate. 6My eyes are on the trustworthy of the land, to be in my company. One walking in a blameless way will serve me. 7No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house. No one who utters lies will endure before my eyes. 8Each morning I silence all the land’s wicked ones— to cut off from Adonai’s city every evildoer.

–from Psalms 101

So will you lead by example? Will you lead with an attitude of humility? Will be a servant leader? Will you lead and look out for the wellbeing of those who are following? Will others see Jesus when they watch and follow after you? Will you make a difference to the world around by setting an example? How will your brand make an impact, make a difference, make a change to the world around you?

Shepherds Lead by Example

1Therefore I appeal to the elders among you—as a fellow elder and witness of Messiah’s sufferings, and a partaker also of the glory about to be revealed— 2shepherd God’s flock among you. Watch over it not under compulsion but willingly before God, not for dishonest gain but eagerly. 3Don’t lord it over those apportioned to you, but become examples to the flock. 4When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5Likewise, you younger ones, submit yourselves to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may lift you up at the appropriate time. 7Cast all your worries on Him, for He cares for you. 8Stay alert! Watch out! Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, searching for someone to devour. 9Stand up against him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being laid upon your brothers and sisters throughout the world. 10After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace—who has called you into His eternal glory in Messiah—will Himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11All power to Him forever! Amen.

Final Greetings

12Through Silvanus, whom I consider our faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! 13Messiah’s community in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings. So does my son Mark. 14Greet one another with a kiss of love. Shalom to you all who are in Messiah. Amen.

–from 1 Peter 5

You have been put in such a place at such a time for a purpose and on purpose! Don’t let fear keep you from doing what is good, what is right, what is just! Let’s live as God is calling us to live! Let’s live as God created and made us to live in order to bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory! Let’s allow our brand to glorify Him in heaven!

A Dinner Conversation on Shabbat

1Now when Yeshua went into the home of one of the leaders of the Pharisees to eat a meal on Shabbat, they were watching Him closely. 2And there before Him was a man swollen with fluid. 3So Yeshua said to the Torah lawyers and the Pharisees, “Is it permitted to heal on Shabbat, or not?” 4But they kept silent. So Yeshua took hold of him and healed him, and He sent him away. 5Then He said to them, “Which of you, with a son or an ox falling into a well on Yom Shabbat, will not immediately pull him out?” 6And they could not reply to these things. 7Yeshua began telling a parable to those who had been invited, when He noticed how they were choosing the seats of honor. He said to them, 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding, don’t take the seat of honor, for someone more highly esteemed than you may have been invited by him. 9Then the one who invited both of you will come to you and say, ‘Give up this seat.’ And with shame, you would proceed to take the lowest seat. 10But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest seat so that when the one who invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you shall be honored in the presence of all those who are dining with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” 12Then Yeshua was also saying to the one who invited Him, “When you host a luncheon or dinner, don’t invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors. Otherwise they might invite you in return as your payback. 13But when you host a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind; 14and you will be blessed, since they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” 15Now hearing this, one of those dining with Yeshua said to Him, “Blessed is he who eats bread in the kingdom of God.” 16But Yeshua said to him, “A certain man was hosting a large banquet, and he invited many. 17At the time for the banquet, he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, everything is already prepared.’ 18“But every one of them began to beg off. The first said to him, ‘I bought a farm, and I’m obligated to go out to see it. I’m asking you to have me excused.’ 19Then another one said, ‘I’ve purchased five teams of oxen, and I’m going to check them out. I’m asking you to have me excused.’ 20Still another said, ‘I’ve married a wife, so I cannot come.’ 21“The slave came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house got angry and said to his slave, ‘Quickly go out into the squares and alleys of the city and bring here the poor, the maimed, the blind, and the lame.’ 22“And the slave said, ‘Master, I have done as you instructed, and still there is room.’ 23“So the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the thoroughfares and fenced areas, and press them to come in so my home may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my banquet.’”

Telling Parables Along the Road

25Now great crowds were traveling with Yeshua; and He turned and said to them, 26“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters—and yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. 27Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple. 28“For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and figure out the cost, to see if he has enough to finish it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and isn’t able to finish everything, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and wasn’t able to finish!’ 31“Or what king, going to make war against another king, won’t first sit down to consider whether he is able with ten thousand to confront the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If not, while the other is still far away, he sends an ambassador and asks for peace. 33So in the same way, whoever does not renounce all that he has, cannot be My disciple. 34“Therefore, salt is good; but if the salt should lose its flavor, how shall it be made salty again? 35It is not suitable for the soil or for a manure heap—it is thrown out. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

–from Luke 14

 

Will you trust Him? Will you press on to glorify Him?


Do you realize how far you have come? Do you realize how much more you could accomplish? Don’t grow weary in doing good! Greater things are yet to come! So trust God! Build up your relationship with Him! Allow Him to work in and through your life in ways only He can in order that in and through it, you will be able to testify and glorify Him!

Where are you at today? What would God have you do? Will you press forward to get it done? Will you trust Him? Like we said yesterday, we may be the setup person which means you may need to accomplish a lot for God in order that the person or people you are helping set up and get into position will have what they need to make it happen. Give it all up to God! Allow it to be an offering to God! Allow your life to be a living sacrifice to God!

Today’s reading begins with David…

David’s Kingdom Expands

1Now afterward David attacked the Philistines and subdued them, and took Metheg-ammah from the hand of the Philistines. 2He also defeated Moab. He made them lie down on the ground and measured them with a cord. Every two measures of them were put to death, and the third measure was kept alive. So the Moabites became vassals to David, bringing tribute. 3David also defeated King Hadadezer son of Rehob of Zobah, as he went to restore his dominion along the River. 4David captured from him 1700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers, and David hamstrung all the chariot horses, while reserving 100 of them for chariots. 5When the Arameans of Damascus came to the aid of King Hadadezer of Zobah, David struck down 22,000 Aramean men. 6Then David stationed garrisons in Aram of Damascus, and the Arameans became vassals to David, bringing tribute. So Adonai gave victory to David wherever he went 7David also took the golden shields of Hadadezer’s officers and brought them to Jerusalem. 8From Betah and Berothai, towns of Hadadezer, King David took a vast amount of bronze. 9Now when King Toi of Hamath heard that David had defeated the entire army of Hadadezer, 10Toi sent his son Joram to King David to greet him and congratulate him on his victory in battle over Hadadezer—for Hadadezer had been at war with Toi. Joram brought with him articles of silver, gold and bronze. 11These too King David consecrated to Adonai, along with the silver and gold that he had consecrated from all the nations that he had subdued: 12from Aram, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah. 13Then David made a name for himself when he returned from striking 18,000 down from Edom in the Valley of Salt. 14Then he stationed garrisons in Edom. Throughout all Edom he stationed garrisons, so that all the Edomites became vassals to David. So Adonai gave victory to David wherever he went. 15David reigned over all Israel, and David executed justice and righteousness for all his people. 16Joab son of Zeruiah was commander over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 17Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were kohanim; Seraiah was scribe; 18Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and David’s sons were chief ministers.

–from 2 Samuel 8

Will you remember your promises? Will you be a blessing for others? Will you help take care of them? Will you make a difference to the world around you? Will you be selfless?

Covenant Loyalty to Mephibosheth

1Then David inquired, “Is there anyone still left from the house of Saul, so that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2Now there was a servant from Saul’s house whose name was Ziba, so they summoned him to David. The king asked him, “Are you Ziba?” “Your servant,” he said. 3The king asked him, “Is there still anyone from the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?” “There is still a son of Jonathan,” Ziba said to the king, “with crippled legs.” 4“Where is he?” the king said to him. Ziba said to the king, “He’s there, in the house of Machir son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar.” 5So King David sent word and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. 6Then Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan son of Saul, came to David, fell on his face and prostrated himself. “Mephibosheth!” David said. “Behold your servant!” he answered. “Don’t be afraid,” 7David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat bread at my table.” 8Then he bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should turn to look at such a dead dog like me?” 9Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his household I have given to your master’s son. 10So you, you and your sons and your servants will till the land for him, and you will bring in the yield so that your master’s son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s son will always eat bread at my table.” Now Ziba had 15 sons and 20 servants. 11Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do.” Thus Mephibosheth used to eat at the table just like one of the king’s sons. 12Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. All the members of Ziba’s household were servants to Mephibosheth. 13But Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly, though he was crippled in both his legs.

–from 2 Samuel 9

So let’s consider what we have received and how God would choose for us to use it! How can we be a blessing?

King David’s Rule Expands

1In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them. He took Gath and its villages from the hand of the Philistines. 2He also defeated Moab, and the Moabites became vassals to David and brought tribute. 3Moreover, David defeated King Hadadezer of Zobah at Hamath, when he went to establish his dominion to the Euphrates River. 4David captured from him 1,000 chariots, 7,000 horsemen and 20,000 infantrymen. David hamstrung all the chariot horses but reserved 100 of them for chariots. 5When the Arameans of Damascus came to help King Hadadezer of Zobah, David struck down 22,000 of the Arameans. 6David put garrisons in Aram of Damascus and the Arameans became subject to David and brought tribute. Adonai gave David victory wherever he went. 7David took the gold shields that were on Hadadezer’s servants and brought them to Jerusalem. 8From Tibhath and from Kun, Hadadezer’s cities, David took a very large quantity of bronze, which Solomon used to make the bronze sea, pillars and bronze vessels. 9When King Tou of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of King Hadadezer of Zobah, 10he sent his son Hadoram to King David to greet and bless him because he fought against Hadarezer and defeated him—for Hadadezer had many wars with Tou. He also sent all kinds of articles of gold, silver and bronze. 11King David dedicated these articles to Adonai, along with the silver and gold that he had taken from all the nations: from Edom and Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines and Amalek. 12Abishai son of Zeruiah struck down 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 13Then he put garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became vassals to David. So Adonai gave David victory wherever he went. 14David reigned over all Israel and he administered justice and righteousness to all his people. 15Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army, and Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was secretary. 16Zadok son of Ahitub and Abimelech son of Abiathar were kohanim, and Shavsha was scribe. 17Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and Pelethites, and David’s sons were chief officials in the service of the king.

–from 1 Chronicles 18

Let’s give God the praise! Let’s give God the glory! Let’s tell of His great love for us! It may not be easy, but it will be worth it when we do what He is calling us to do! Let’s not grow weary in doing go!

Song of Victory Over Edom

1For the music director, on the “Lily of the Covenant,” a Michtam of David, for teaching, 2when he fought with Aram-Naharaim and with Aram-Zobah, and Joab returned and struck down twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 3O God, You have spurned us. You have broken out against us. You have been angry. Turn back to us! 4You made earth shake; You split it open. Heal its fractures—for it shudders. 5You made Your people see hardship. You made us drink wine of staggering. 6To those who fear You, You gave a banner, to be unfurled before the archers. Selah 7Save with Your right hand and answer us, so that Your beloved may be delivered. 8God has spoken in His holiness: “I will exult! I will parcel out Shechem and measure off the valley of Succoth. 9Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine, Ephraim is a helmet for my head, Judah is my scepter. 10Moab is my washbasin, On Edom I toss my sandal, Philistia, cry aloud because of me!” 11Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? 12Should it not be You, O God— who spurned us and no longer goes out with our armies? 13Give us aid against the adversary, for the help of man is worthless. 14With God we will do mighty things, and He will trample our foes.

–from Psalms 60

Let’s respect those God has put in authority over us! Let’s honor them! God has put them there on purpose for a purpose! Yes, it may not be easy, but let’s not grow weary in doing what is good and what is right! Don’t allow pride to come into the picture and trip you up! Be a humble servant in the place you are at. Help us Lord to live lives that will glorify You!

1Let all who are under the yoke as slaves consider their own masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2And let those who have believing masters not disrespect them because they are brothers, but serve them even more, since those who share in the benefit are believers and loved. Teach and encourage these things.

Finding True Riches

3If anyone passes on a different teaching and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, and with the instruction in keeping with godliness, 4he is prideful, understanding nothing. Instead he is obsessed with arguments and disputes about words—out of which come envy, strife, slander, evil suspicions, 5and constant friction between people corrupted in mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 6Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into this world, So we cannot take anything out of it. 8But having food and clothing, with these things we shall be content. 9But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and a trap and many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil—some, longing for it, have gone astray from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of faith! Take hold of the eternal life—you were called to it, and you made the good confession for it in the presence of many witnesses. 13I charge you before God who gives life to all things and Messiah Yeshua who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 15This He will reveal in His own time—the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, 16who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or is able to see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. 17Direct those who are rich in this present age not to be proud or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God—who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18Direct them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous, sharing, 19storing up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so they might take hold of the true life. 20O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, turning away from pointless chatter and the contradictions of so-called knowledge— 21by professing it, some have missed the mark concerning the faith. Grace be with you.

–from 1 Timothy 6

 

 

 

Need wisdom? Need direction? Need instruction?


Where do you turn when you have a need? Where can go you and trust what you hear? Where can you go and not have to worry about what you are giving up or going to lose?

Don’t go to fortune tellers. Don’t go to mediums. Don’t turn to spiritists. Turn to God! Seek Him and you will find Him when you seek Him with all of your heart, mind, and soul! Turn to God when you need wisdom! Turn to God when you need direction! Turn to God when you need instruction! And then listen and obey what the Holy Spirit says to you! Listen and obey to the still quiet voice of God! Don’t miss out because you didn’t want to listen to the still quiet voice of God! Don’t wait to hear the big booming voice, trust me!

So let’s check out how things are continuing with David and Saul as we start today’s reading…

David Settles in Ziklag

1Then David said in his heart, “One day I’ll be swept away by the hand of Saul. There’s nothing better for me than to escape immediately to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me in all the territories of Israel, so I’ll escape from his hand.” 2So David rose and crossed over, he and the 600 men that were with him, to Achish son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3David stayed with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, and David with his two wives—Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal’s widow. 4So when Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him. 5Then David said to Achish, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, let me be given a place in one of the country towns, so I may live there. Why should your servant stay in the royal city with you?” 6So Achish granted him Ziklag that day. Thus Ziklag came to belong to the kings of Judah to this day. 7The number of days that David stayed in the country of the Philistines was a year and four months. 8Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Gizrites and the Amalekites, for those were inhabitants of the region from ancient times, as you go all the way from Shur and as far as the land of Egypt. 9David attacked the region and was leaving not a man or woman alive, and took away sheep, oxen, donkeys, camels and clothing. When he returned and came to Achish, 10Achish would ask, “Where have you raided today?” So David would reply, “Against the Negev of Judah, against the Negev of the Jerahmeelite and against the Negev of the Kenites.” 11David left no man or woman alive to bring to Gath, thinking, “Unless they should tell about us, saying: ‘So did David.’” So was his practice all the time he stayed in the country of the Philistines. 12Then Achish trusted David, saying, “He has certainly made himself abhorrent to his people Israel; therefore, he will be my vassal forever.”

–from 1 Samuel 27

and with Saul…

Saul Consults a Medium

1At that time, the Philistines gathered their armed forces to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You surely know that you and your men must march out with me in the army.” 2David said to Achish, “Well then, you know what your servant will do.” “Well then, I appoint you my bodyguard for life,” Achish said to David. 3Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had lamented him and buried him in Ramah, his hometown. Saul had removed from the land those who were mediums and spiritists. 4So the Philistines mustered and came and camped in Shunem; and Saul gathered all Israel together and they camped at Gilboa. 5Now when Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly. 6When Saul inquired of Adonai, Adonai did not answer, neither by dreams nor by Urim or prophets. 7Then Saul said to his courtiers, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go to her and inquire through her.” So his courtiers said to him, “Behold, there is a woman that is a medium at En-dor.” 8So Saul disguised himself, put on other clothes, and went with two other men, and they reached the woman by night. Then he said, “Please conjure up for me a ghost—bring up for me the one I will name to you.” 9“Look, you know what Saul has done,” she said, “how he has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. So why then are you setting a trap for my life to get me killed?” 10Saul vowed to her by Adonai saying, “As Adonai lives, no punishment will come on you for this thing.” 11“Whom will I bring up for you?” the woman asked. “Bring me up Samuel,” he said. 12But when the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud shriek. Then the woman spoke to Saul saying, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!” 13“Don’t be afraid!” the king said to her. “What do you see?” The woman said to Saul, “I see a godlike being coming up from the earth.” 14“What does he look like?” he asked her. “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped with a robe,” she said. Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, so he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. 15Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” “I’m in great distress,” Saul answered. “The Philistines are waging war against me, and God has turned away from me—He doesn’t answer me anymore, whether by prophets or by dreams. So I called you up to tell me what I should do.” 16Samuel said, “So why ask me, since Adonai has turned away from you and become your adversary? 17Now Adonai has done for Himself just as He foretold through me—Adonai has torn the kingship out of your hand and has given it to another fellow, to David. 18Since you did not obey the voice of Adonai and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so Adonai has done this to you today. 19Moreover, Adonai will also give the Israelites who are with you into the hand of the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me! Yes, Adonai will give the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.” 20Then Saul immediately fell full length upon the ground, and became so terrified because of the words of Samuel that there was absolutely no strength in him, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night. 21Then the woman came to Saul and saw that he was so agitated, so she told him, “Behold, your maidservant obeyed you; I put my life in my hand by listening to your words, which you spoke to me. 22Please you too listen to the voice of your maidservant, and let me set a morsel of bread before you, so you can eat and have strength to go on your way.” 23But he refused and said, “I won’t eat.” But when his courtiers and the woman urged him, he listened to them. So he got up from the ground and sat on the bed. 24The woman had a fatted calf in the house, so she hurried and butchered it, and took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread from it. 25She brought it before Saul and his courtiers, and they ate. Then they arose and went away that night.

–from 1 Samuel 28

Hear what God is telling you! Listen to what He has to say! Be obedient to His Word, His command, and His instruction! You don’t want to lose what was rightfully yours! You don’t want to miss out on all that God had planned for you and your life! So wait upon the Lord and renew your strength! Ask Him and He will answer! Seek Him and you will find Him! Knock and it will be opened to you or for you!

Descendants of Reuben

1The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel—he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel—so he is not reckoned as the firstborn in the genealogical record. 2Though Judah was the strongest among his brothers, and a ruler came from him, the birthright belonged to Joseph. 3The sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Enoch, Pallu, Hezron and Carmi. 4The descendants of Joel: his son Shemaiah, his son Gog, his son Shimei, 5his son Micah, his son Reaiah, his son Baal 6and his son Beerah whom Tillegath-pilneser king of Assyria carried into exile. He was the leader of the Reubenites. 7His kinsmen by their families, as listed in their genealogical records: the leader Jeiel, Zechariah, 8and Bela son of Azaz, son of Shema, son of Joel. They settled in Aroer as far as Nebo and Baal-meon, 9while in the east they settled as far as the entrance of the wilderness from this side of the river Euphrates, because their cattle had multiplied in the land of Gilead. 10Now in the days of Saul they had made war with the Hagrites, who fell by their hand. So they lived in their encampments in the entire eastern area of Gilead. 11Now the sons of Gad lived opposite them in the land of Bashan as far as Salcah: 12Joel the leader, Shapham second, then Janai and Shaphat in Bashan. 13Their kinsmen according to their ancestral families: Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jacan, Zia and Eber—seven in all. 14These were the sons of Abihail son of Huri, son of Jaroah, son of Gilead, son of Michael, son of Jehishai, son of Jahdo, son of Buz. 15Ahi son of Abdiel, son of Guni was leader of their ancestral families. 16They lived in Gilead, in Bashan and its surrounding villages, and in all the pasturelands of Sharon, up to their borders. 17All these were recorded by genealogies in the days of Jotham king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel. 18The sons of Reuben and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh had 44,760 warriors ready for war—men who carried shield and sword and drew the bow, and were skilled in battle. 19So they made war with the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodab. 20They received help against them, so that the Hagrites and all who were with them were delivered into their hand, for they cried out to God during the battle. He answered their supplications, because they put their trust in Him. 21They took away their livestock: 50,000 of their camels, 250,000 sheep, and 2,000 donkeys, as well as 100,000 people. 22For many fell slain, because the war was of God. So they dwelt in their place until the exile.

Manesseh East of Jordan

23Now the children of the half-tribe of Manasseh settled in the land from Bashan to Baal-hermon, Senir and Mount Hermon. They were numerous. 24These were the heads of their clans: Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, Jahdiel. They were mighty men of valor, famous men, heads of their clans. 25But they were unfaithful to the God of their fathers, and prostituted themselves to the gods of the peoples of the land whom God had destroyed before them. 26So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of King Pul of Assyria—the spirit of Tillegath-pilneser king of Assyria—and he carried away the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara and to the river of Gozan, to this day.

Descendants of Levi

27The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. 28The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. 29The children of Amram: Aaron, Moses and Miriam. The sons of Aaron: Nadav and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 30Eleazar fathered Phinehas and Phinehas fathered Abishua. 31Abishua fathered Bukki, and Bukki fathered Uzzi. 32Uzzi fathered Zerahiah and Zerahiah fathered Meraioth. 33Meraioth fathered Amariah and Amariah fathered Ahitub. 34Ahitub fathered Zadok and Zadok fathered Ahimaaz. 35Ahimaaz fathered Azariah and Azariah fathered Johanan. 36Johanan fathered Azariah, who served as kohen in the House that Solomon built in Jerusalem. 37Azariah fathered Amariah, and Amariah fathered Ahitub. 38Ahitub fathered Zadok, and Zadok fathered Shallum. 39Shallum fathered Hilkiah, and Hilkiah fathered Azariah, 40and Azariah fathered Seraiah, and Seraiah fathered Jehozadak. 41Jehozadak went into captivity when Adonai exiled Judah and Jerusalem by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.

–from 1 Chronicles 5

So let’s live faithful lives to God! God is always faithful to His Word! So we can always put our hope and our trust in Him! Let’s live our lives in alignment to God! Let’s live our lives in a way that will give Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory! Let’s live our lives building our character to become more and more like God so that He will be glorified! Let’s keep our eyes on the prize of getting to spend eternity with God! Let’s live with that goal in mind! Let’s live servant lives! Let’s lead by serving others! Let’s live that others may see us and glorify our Father in Heaven! Let’s live that others will be first! Show them they are important to you and important to God!

Marriage and Covenant Faithfulness

1Now when Yeshua had finished these words, He moved on from the Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2Large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. 3Pharisees came up to Yeshua, testing Him and saying, “Is it permitted for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4“Haven’t you read?” He answered. “He who created them from the beginning ‘made them male and female’ 5and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ 6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.” 7They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to ‘give her a certificate of divorce and put her away?’” 8Yeshua said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9Now I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” 10The disciples said to Him, “If that’s the case for a man and his wife, it’s better not to marry!” 11But He said to them, “Not everyone can accept this saying—only those to whom it has been given. 12For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made that way by men; and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who can accept this, let him accept it.”

Receiving the Kingdom of Heaven

13Then little children were brought to Yeshua so that He might lay hands upon them and pray. Then the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14But Yeshua said, “Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15After laying His hands upon them, He went on from there. 16Now behold, one came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good shall I do to have eternal life?” 17“Why do you ask Me about what is good?” Yeshua said to him. “There is only One who is good; but if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18“Which ones?” he said. Yeshua said, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” 20“All these I’ve kept,” the young man said to Him. “What do I still lack?” 21Yeshua said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you own, and give to the poor; and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” 22But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving, for he had much property. 23Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “Amen, I tell you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25When the disciples heard this, they were utterly astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26And looking, Yeshua said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27Then Peter said to Him, “Look, we’ve left everything to follow You! So what will we have?” 28And Yeshua said to them, “Amen, I tell you, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne in the new world, you who have followed Me shall also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for My name’s sake, will receive a hundred times as much, and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

–from Matthew 19

 

 

 

 

 

Are you caring about the welfare of others?


Consider what you are going through right now. Consider the challenges and the struggles. Consider the attacks and the threats. Consider the hope and the joy. Consider what is going on around you. Are you seeing what others are dealing with in the midst of it all? Are you pouring yourself out to help them? Are you turning your focus from being self-centered to being outward focused? Are you more interested in helping others than worrying about yourself? Are you more interested in helping your family and friends than worrying about the threats, the challenges, the struggles, and the attacks that are aimed at you? Are you going out of your way to make sure they are ok? Are you going out of your way to help them be healthy and safe? Are you going out of your way to be a light that points others to the hope that is within you thanks to God?

Today’s reading begins with David and we see him go out of his way to help his family and his friends, those who are in distress, anyone in debt, and anyone embittered. Let’s see how he handles it and then consider and meditate on how we might be able to live in order to make a difference in the lives around even in the midst of threats or attacks that we don’t really deserve.

Flight to a Cave and to Moab

1So David walked from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and all his father’s house heard about it, they went down there to him. 2Anyone who was in distress, anyone in debt, and anyone embittered rallied around him, and he became their leader. There were about 400 men with him. 3Then David left from there to Mizpah of Moab, and he said to the king of Moab, “Please, let my father and my mother come and stay with you until I know what God will do for me.” 4Then he brought them to the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. 5But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; depart, and go to the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth. 6Then Saul heard that David and the men with him were located. Saul was in Gibeah, sitting under the tamarisk tree on the height, spear in his hand, and all his courtiers were attending him. 7Saul said to his courtiers standing about him, “Listen now, Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you captains of thousands and captains of hundreds? 8Yet all of you have conspired against me, and there was nobody disclosing to me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse! None of you is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me to lie in ambush—as is the case today?” 9Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing among Saul’s courtiers, answered and said, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob—to Ahimelech son of Ahitub— 10and he inquired of Adonai for him, gave him provisions and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.” 11Then the king sent word to summon the kohen Ahimelech son of Ahitub and all the kohanim of his father’s house who were in Nob. So they all came to the king. 12“Listen now, son of Ahitub,” Saul said. “Here I am, my lord,” he said. 13Then Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me—you and the son of Jesse—by giving him bread and a sword, and by inquiring of God for him, that he should rise against me by lying in ambush, as is the case today?” 14Then Ahimelech answered the king saying, “Who among all your servants is as trusted as David, the king’s son-in-law, a captain of the royal guard, and honored in your house? 15Just today I began to inquire of God for him? Far be it from the king to accuse his servant or to anyone of my father’s house. For your servant knows nothing of all this, whether little or much.” 16But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house.” 17Then the king ordered the guards attending him, “Turn around and kill the kohanim of Adonai, for they are in cahoots with David, for they knew that he was running away but did not inform me.” But the servants of the king were not willing to raise their hand to assault the kohanim of Adonai. 18So the king said to Doeg, “You, turn around and kill the kohanim!” So Doeg the Edomite turned and fell upon the kohanim and on that day killed 85 men who wore the linen ephod. 19Nob, the town of the kohanim, he struck with the edge of the sword: men and women, children and infants, oxen, asses, and sheep with the edge of the sword. 20Yet one of the sons of Ahimelech son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to David. 21Abiathar told David that Saul had slain Adonai’s kohanim. 22Then David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have brought about the death of all the people of your father’s house. 23Stay with me, and fear not; for the one who is seeking my life is seeking your life too—but with me you will be safe.”

–from 1 Samuel 22

Do you love good? Do brag about good? Do you make plans for good? Do you speak life? Do you make God your center? your platform? your foundation? your focus?

Treacherous Tongue!

1For the music director: a contemplative song of David, 2when Doeg the Edomite came and reported to Saul telling him, “David went to Ahimelech’s house.” 3Why do you brag about evil, mighty man? God’s lovingkindness is every day. 4Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, working deceit. 5You love evil instead of good, lying rather than speaking right. Selah 6You love only devouring words— treacherous tongue! 7God will pull you down forever, and snatch you, rip you out of your tent, and uproot you from the land of the living. Selah 8Then the righteous will see and fear, and laugh at him: 9“Here is the man who did not make God his stronghold. Instead he trusted in his great riches— and was strong in his evil desire.” 10But I—I am like an olive tree flourishing in the House of God. I trust in God’s loving kindness forever and ever. 11I will praise You forever for what You have done. I will hope in Your Name, for it is good, in the presence of Your kedoshim.

–from Psalms 52

In the battle will you turn to God? Will your hope and your focus be on Him? Will you allow God to be the hope that is within you? How will you live to get him exalted?

Be Exalted Over All the Earth

1For the music director, “Do Not Destroy,” a Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave. 2Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for in You my soul takes refuge. In the shadow of Your wings I take refuge, until destruction passes by. 3I will cry out to El Elyon, to God who accomplishes it for me. 4He will send from heaven and save me. He rebukes the one trampling on me. Selah God is sending His mercy and His truth. 5My soul is in the midst of lions. I lie among those breathing fire— sons of men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongue is a sharp sword. 6Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let Your glory be over all the earth! 7They spread a net for my steps, my soul is bowed down. They have dug a pit before me— they fell into it themselves. Selah 8My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing, yes, I will make music. 9Awake, my glory! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. 10I will praise You, my Lord, among the peoples. I will sing praises to You among the nations. 11For Your lovingkindness is great up to the heavens, and Your truth to the skies. 12Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let Your glory be over all the earth!

–from Psalms 57

Will you seek God in it? Will you seek God through it? Will you seek God for it?

You Are My God

1A psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. 2O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You. My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You in a dry and weary land, where there is no water. 3So, I looked for You in the Sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. 4Since Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. 5So I will bless You as long as I live. In Your name I lift up my hands. 6My soul is satisfied as with fat and oil, so my mouth praises You with joyful lips. 7When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You through the night watches. 8For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. 9My soul clings to You— Your right hand upholds me. 10But those who seek my soul to destroy it will go down to the depths of the earth. 11They will be gutted by the sword, and become a prey for jackals. 12But the king will rejoice in God. All who swear by Him will boast, when the mouth speaking lies is shut.

–from Psalms 63

So don’t worry! Worry changes nothing, prayer changes everything! Put your hope and your trust in God so that He will get all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Let’s build up our relationship with Him! Let’s lift Him up and trust in Him every step of every day, every breath of every moment, let’s put our hopes in Him!

A Refuge from Trouble

1A contemplative poem of David, when he was in the cave, a prayer. 2I cry aloud with my voice to Adonai. With my voice I seek favor from Adonai. 3I pour out my complaint before Him, before Him I tell my trouble. 4When my spirit grows faint within me, You know my path. In the way where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. 5Look at my right hand and see, for no one cares about me. I have no refuge— no one cares for my soul. 6I have cried out to You, Adonai. I said: “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” 7Listen to my cry, for I am brought very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me. 8Bring my soul out of prison, so I may praise Your Name. The righteous will triumph through me, for You will reward me.

–from Psalms 142

In the midst of it all, let’s allow our focus to be on God! In the midst of it all, rather than making it all about us, let’s consider how God would have us live and express our hope and love for Him to the world around us! Are we servant leaders? Are we outward focused? Are we people whose lives lift Him up? Are we believing in Him? Are we trusting in Him? Are we allowing our lives to point others to the love God has and fills us up with? What will we plant into the lives of those God has brought into our lives? Will we be encouragers? Will we be peacemakers? Will we be love, hope, joy, peace, wisdom so that they can know of God’s great love, hope, joy, peace, and wisdom they can access?

Let’s consider how Jesus lived! Let’s reflect on the truth He revealed! Let’s consider what today’s reading from Matthew shares with us…Let’s live! Let’s last! Let’s love! Let’s produce!

Simple Stories, Profound Truths

1On that day after Yeshua left the house, He was sitting by the sea. 2And large crowds gathered around Him; so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood on the shore. 3And He told them many things in parables, saying, “Behold, a sower went out to spread some seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some seeds fell by the road; and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they didn’t have much soil. They sprang up immediately, because the soil wasn’t deep. 6But when the sun came up, they were scorched; and because they had no roots, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew and choked them out. 8But others fell on good soil and were producing fruit. They yielded a crop—some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9He who has ears, let him hear.” 10Then the disciples came to Him and said, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11And He replied to them, “To you has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12For whoever has, to him more will be given and he will have plenty. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear nor do they understand. 14”And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘You will keep on hearing but will never understand; you will keep looking, but will never see. 15For the heart of this people has become dull, their ears can barely hear, and they have shut their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts. Then they would turn back, and I would heal them.’ 16“But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17Amen, I tell you, many a prophet and tzaddik longed to see what you are seeing and did not see, and to hear what you are hearing and did not hear.”

Parable of the Sower Explained

18“You then, hear the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one having been sown along the road. 20“The one sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. 21Yet he has no root himself but lasts only a short while; and when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he falls away. 22“But the one sown among the thorns, this is the one who hears the word; and the worries of the world and the seduction of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23“Now the one sown on the good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands. He indeed bears fruit, yielding a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty times what was sown.”

Yeshua Tells More Parables

24He presented to them another parable, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while the men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26Now when the stalk sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared. 27So the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Master, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’ 28But he replied, ‘An enemy did this.’ Now the slaves say to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go out and gather them up?’ 29But he says, ‘No, for while you are gathering up the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time, I will tell the reapers, “First, gather up the weeds and tie them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.’” 31He presented to them another parable, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32It’s the smallest of all seeds; yet when it’s full grown, it’s greater than the other herbs. It becomes like a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” 33He told them another parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like hametz, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.” 34All these things Yeshua spoke to the crowds in parables. And apart from a parable, He wasn’t speaking to them, 35in order to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet, saying, “I will open My mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.” 36Then He sent the crowds away and went into the house. His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37He answered, “The one sowing the good seed is the Son of Man, 38and the field is the world. And the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the weeds are the sons of the evil one. 39The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Therefore just as the weeds are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks and those who practice lawlessness. 42They will throw them into the fiery furnace; in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear! 44“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid. And because of his joy, he goes out and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. 46Upon finding a pearl of great value, he went out and sold all that he had and bought it. 47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea, gathering things of every kind. 48When it was filled, they pulled it ashore; and they sat down and gathered up the good into containers, but threw the bad away. 49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth and separate the wicked from among the righteous 50and throw them into the fiery furnace; in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51“Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes.” 52Then He said to them, “Therefore every Torah scholar discipled for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure both new things and old.”

Unbelief in the Hometown Synagogue

53Now when Yeshua had finished these parables, He left that place. 54Coming into His hometown, He began to teach them in their synagogue so that they were amazed. “Where did this fellow get this wisdom and these mighty works?” they said. 55“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother called Miriam, and His brothers Jacob and Joseph and Simon and Judah? 56And His sisters, aren’t they all with us? So where does He get all these things?” 57And they took offense at Him. But Yeshua said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own house.” 58And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

–from Matthew 13

Passion (Day#3)


Ever heard someone say to do what I say, not what I do? Ever heard someone say to lead by example? Ever seen people say one thing and then do another? Don’t try to overburden others with rules or experiences or processes you can’t follow yourself! Why? Why do you act the way you do? Is it impress others? Is it to exalt God? What is the reason for the misalignment? What will it take to get alignment between what you say and what you do? Will you lead by example? Will you be a servant leader? Will you be helpful? Will you be useful? Don’t put extra burdens on people’s shoulders since they already have a lot to handle and deal with.

Be a servant leader - matthew-23-11

To be great, you need to become least! To be a good leader, you need to serve! Walk in humility or you will be humbled!

Humble yourself so that someone else will not have to - matthew23-121

Don’t be the blind leading the blind, but rather give it up to God! We need to work on the inside! We need to ask Jesus to move into our heart and start the process of cleaning us up! For from the overflow of our hearts our mouth speaks! We need to be more than just a pretty face! We need to be more than just a good looking specimen on the outside! We need to be good on the inside too!

Lead in love! Lead with love! Serve out of love!

Today’s reading comes from Matthew 23 (day 3 of the passion week)…

Seven Woes

1Then Yeshua spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2saying, “The Torah scholars and Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses. 3So whatever they tell you, do and observe. But don’t do what they do; for what they say, they do not do. 4They tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. 5All their works they do to be noticed by men. They make their tefillin wide and their tzitziyot long. 6They love the place of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called rabbi by men. 8“But you are not to be called rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And call no man on earth your father; for One is your Father, who is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah. 11But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
13“But woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not enter yourselves, nor do you let those enter who are trying to go in.
15“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel over land and sea to make one convert. And when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of Gehenna as yourself.
16“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘Whoever swears by the Temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the Temple, he is obligated.’ 17O fools and blind ones! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that made the gold holy? 18And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ 19O blind ones! Which is greater, the offering or the altar that makes the offering holy? 20Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and everything on it. 21And whoever swears by the Temple, swears both by the Temple and by Him who dwells in it. 22And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.
23“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You tithe mint and dill and cumin, yet you have neglected the weightier matters of Torah—justice and mercy and faithfulness. It is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others. 24O blind guides, straining out a gnat while swallowing a camel!
25“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. 26O blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside may become clean as well.
27“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, you appear righteous to men on the outside, but are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the tzaddikim. 30And you say, ‘If we’d been alive in the days of our forefathers, we wouldn’t have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers! 33O snakes, you brood of vipers! How will you escape the condemnation of Gehenna? 34“Because of this, behold, I’m sending you prophets and wise men and Torah scholars. Some of them you will kill and execute at the stake, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city. 35And so, upon you shall come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar. 36Amen, I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.”

Holy Temple to Be Destroyed

37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38Look, your house is left to you desolate! 39For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, ‘ Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
–from Matthew 23

 

How will you live?


Do you understand the purpose and intention? What is the law about? How will you live? What will be your foundation? What will be your north star to living? Why were they created if they isn’t a benefit? Who was the source of the law? Was it someone with a hidden agenda and so it needs to be removed or repealed? What it something for the greater good? What was it based on? Was it based on Biblical standards? Was it based on warm fuzzy feelings? What drives the decisions? Are some people doing things so they feel better but in the long run it won’t help those it’s supposed to and will hurt others? There are processes in place when things need to be changed and updated. There are ways to get them changed! Some rules are created to make the government money and don’t really help the people. Some rules are created to help the people and don’t really help the people. Some need to be reworked. Some need to be removed. The rest need to be obeyed! They also need to be enforced! Do you realize what state your corner of the world is in? Do you believe the news or the PR or do you know what the stats and the reality is? Check the facts! Check the truth! The Truth will set you free!

So let’s take a look at today’s reading…

Ordinances for the Covenant

1“Now these are the ordinances which you will set before them. 2“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve for six years, and in the seventh he is to go free, without payment. 3If he comes in by himself, he is to go out by himself. If he was married, then his wife will go out with him. 4If his master gave him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children will be her master’s, and he will go free by himself. 5“But if the servant plainly states, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children, and I will not go out free,’ 6then his master is to bring him to God, then take him to a door or to a doorpost. His master is to pierce his ear through with an awl, and he will serve him forever. 7“If a man sells his daughter to be a maidservant, she is not to go free as the male servants do. 8If she does not please her master who has selected her for himself, then he is to allow her to be redeemed. He will have no power to sell her to a foreign people, seeing as he has dealt deceitfully toward her. 9If he betroths her to his son, he must give her the rights of a daughter. 10If he takes another wife, he is not to diminish her food, her clothing, or her marriage rights. 11If he does not provide these three to her, then she is to go free without payment. 12“Whoever strikes a man so that he dies must surely be put to death. 13But if he did not hunt him down, yet God caused it to happen, then I will appoint for you a place where he may run. 14If a man presumes to kill his neighbor with craftiness, you are to take him from My altar and put him to death. 15“Anyone who strikes his father or his mother must surely be put to death. 16“Anyone who steals a person and sells him, or is found with him under his hand, must surely be put to death. 17“Whoever curses his father or his mother must surely be put to death. 18“If people quarrel, and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and the other does not die but lies in bed, 19if he rises again and walks around on his staff, then the one that struck him he will be cleared. But he must pay for the loss of his time and help him to be thoroughly healed. 20“If a man strikes his male or female servant with a staff, who dies by his hand, he must surely be punished. 21Notwithstanding, if the servant gets up in a day or two he will not be punished, for he is his property. 22“If men fight, and hit a pregnant woman so that her child is born early, yet no harm follows, the one who hit her is to be strictly fined, according to what the woman’s husband demands of him. He must pay as the judges determine. 23But if any harm follows, then you are to penalize life for life, 24eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25burn for burn, wound for wound, blow for blow. 26“If a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave and destroys it, he must let him go free for the sake of his eyesight. 27If he strikes out his slave’s tooth, he must let him go free for the sake of his tooth. 28“If an ox gores a man or a woman so that they die, the ox must surely be stoned, and its meat is not to be eaten, but the owner of the ox will be cleared. 29If the ox was given to goring in times past, and a warning has been given to its owner, yet he has not kept it pent up, and it has killed a man or a woman, then the ox must be stoned and its owner must also be put to death. 30If instead a ransom is placed on him, then he is to pay for the redemption of his life whatever is demanded. 31Whether it has gored a son or daughter, this rule is to be applied to him. 32If the ox gores a male or female slave, he is to pay 30 shekels of silver to their master, and the ox is to be stoned. 33“If one uncovers a pit or digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls in, 34the owner of the pit must pay compensation. He is to give money to the owner, and the dead animal will be his. 35“If one man’s ox hurts another’s ox so that it dies, they are to sell the live ox and divide the price. They are also to divide the dead one. 36Or if it becomes known that the ox was given to violence in times past, and its owner has not kept it pent up, he must surely pay ox for ox, and the dead animal will be his own. 37 If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he is to pay five oxen for one ox or four sheep for one sheep.
–from Exodus 21
So let’s draw closer to God! Let’s measure things against His standards! Let’s compare what we are being told against God’s Word! Let’s consider where we are how to move closer to God and accomplish His ministry of GRACE and FORGIVENESS! Let’s take a hold of what Jesus has provided us in calling us to a higher level! Let’s press forward trying to be servant leaders! Let’s press forward trying to help people in need, holding people accountable who need it, holding people to the higher standards so that we can raise the average and help the world become a better place to live!
49Remember the word to Your servant, on which You have made me hope. 50My comfort in my affliction is this: Your word has kept me alive. 51The arrogant have viciously ridiculed me, yet I did not turn away from Your Torah. 52I remember Your judgments from of old, Adonai, and comfort myself. 53Burning indignation grips me, because of the wicked who forsake Your Torah. 54Your decrees have become my songs in the house where I dwell. 55In the night I remember Your Name, Adonai, and keep watching over Your Torah. 56This is my own: that I keep Your precepts.
57Adonai is my portion. I promised to guard Your words. 58I have entreated Your favor with all my heart. Be gracious to me according to Your word. 59I have considered my ways and turned my feet back to Your testimonies. 60I hasten and do not delay to obey Your mitzvot. 61The ropes of the wicked are coiled around me, but I did not forget Your Torah. 62At midnight I rise to praise You, because of Your righteous rulings. 63I am a companion of all who fear You, of those who observe Your precepts. 64The earth is full of Your loving kindness. Adonai—teach me Your decrees.
65You do good to Your servant, Adonai, according to Your word. 66Teach me good sense and knowledge, for I trusted in Your mitzvot. 67Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word.68You are good and keep doing good— teach me Your decrees. 69Though the proud smeared a lie on me, with all my heart I keep Your precepts.70Their minds are insensible, but Your Torah is my delight. 71It is good for me that I was afflicted, so that I may learn Your decrees. 72The Torah from Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
73Your hands have made me and formed me. Give me understanding that I may learn Your mitzvot. 74Those in awe of You see me and rejoice, because I put my hope in Your word. 75I know, Adonai, Your judgments are just. In faithfulness You have afflicted me. 76May Your loving kindness comfort me, according to Your promise to Your servant. 77Let Your tender mercies reach me, Let me live, for Your Torah is my delight. 78May the proud be put to shame for wronging me with a lie, but I will meditate on Your precepts. 79Let those in awe of You return to me— those who know Your testimonies. 80My heart will have integrity in following Your decrees, so that I would not be ashamed.
81My soul faints with longing for Your salvation, but I still hope in Your word. 82My eyes are worn out longing for Your promise, saying, “When will You comfort me?” 83Though I became like a wineskin dried in smoke, I do not forget Your decrees. 84How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment on my persecutors? 85The proud have dug pits for me— that is not in accord with Your Torah! 86All Your mitzvot are faithful. They persecute me with a lie—help me! 87They almost finished me off on earth. But I—I will not forsake Your precepts. 88Revive me with Your loving kindness, so I may keep Your mouth’s testimony.
89Forever, Adonai, Your word stands firm in the heavens. 90Your faithfulness endures from generation to generation. You established the earth, and it stands. 91Your judgments stand today, for all things are Your servants. 92If Your Torah had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. 93I will never forget Your precepts. For with them You have kept me alive. 94I am Yours, save me! For I have sought out Your precepts. 95The wicked wait for me to destroy me. But I will study Your testimonies. 96I have seen a limit to all perfection, yet Your commandment is boundless.
–from Psalms 119
We need to in the Word! We need to know it so we won’t be fooled! We need to be seeking God for wisdom to know what are of men and what is of God! We need to be realizing the benefits of His ways! His ways are higher than our ways! His ways are better than our ways!
His ways are for our benefits! His ways are to protect us! His ways are to guide us! So let’s try it His way!
Let’s consider this through today’s reading and God’s Word!

Two Laws at War

1Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I speak to those who know law), that the law is master over a person as long as he lives? 2For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives; but if the husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is living, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law—so she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man. 4Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also were made dead to the Torah through the body of Messiah, so that you might be joined to another—the One who was raised from the dead—in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions that came through the Torah were working in our body parts to bear fruit for death. 6But now we have been released from the law, having died to what confined us, so that we serve in the new way of the Ruach and not in the old way of the letter. 7What shall we say then? Is the Torah sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the Torah. For I would not have known about coveting if the Torah had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8But sin, taking an opportunity, worked in me through the commandment all kinds of coveting. For apart from the Torah, sin is dead. 9Once I was alive apart from the Torah; but when the commandment came, sin came to life 10and I died. The commandment meant for life was found to cause death. 11Sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12So then, the Torah is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 13Therefore did that which is good become death to me? May it never be! Rather it was sin working death in me—through that which is good—so that sin might be shown to be sin, and that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. 14For we know that the Torah is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold to sin. 15For I do not understand what I am doing—for what I do not want, this I practice; but what I hate, this I do. 16But if I do what I do not want to do, then I agree with the Torah—that it is good. 17So now it is no longer I doing it, but sin dwelling in me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me—that is, in my flesh. For to will is present in me, but to do the good is not. 19For the good that I want, I do not do; but the evil that I do not want, this I practice. 20But if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I doing it, but sin that dwells in me. 21So I find the principle—that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22For I delight in the Torah of God with respect to the inner man, 23but I see a different law in my body parts, battling against the law of my mind and bringing me into bondage under the law of sin which is in my body parts. 24Miserable man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—it is through Messiah Yeshua our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself serve the Torah of God; but with my flesh, I serve the law of sin.
–from Romans 7
So let’s walk out today in alignment to the call God has put on our lives! Let’s grab a hold of that truth! And let’s live lives that will glorify Him in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen!

Just because someone says “No” doesn’t mean you should give up!


Does their “no” mean “no” or does it mean “not yet” or does it mean “not that way”? Don’t give up! Press onward! We know that sometimes when we ask God He says “no” and other times he says “not yet” and other times “not that way”. He knows the best way for us and wants the best for us. Consider the parable of the man who gets company and starts knocking on his neighbor’s door to help with supplies…

5Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. 9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for  a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

–from Luke 11

Are you facing a challenge and people pushing back? What will you do? What does God want you to do? What is God telling you to do about it? Let’s take a look at Moses and how God speaks to him to keep going and not give up! He gives Moses the words to speak! Spend time with God so that you know what He wants you to do and to say.

How Will Pharaoh Listen?

1Adonai said to Moses, “Now you will see what I am going to do to Pharaoh. By way of a strong hand he will let them go, and drive them out of his land.” 2God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am Adonai. 3I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, as El Shaddai. Yet by My Name, Adonai, I made Myself known to them. 4I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage where they journeyed. 5Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of Bnei-Yisrael, whom the Egyptians are keeping in bondage. So I have remembered My covenant. 6Therefore say to Bnei-Yisrael: I am Adonai, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7I will take you to Myself as a people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am Adonai your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8So I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, and give it to you as an inheritance. I am Adonai.” 9Moses spoke this way to Bnei-Yisrael, but they did not listen to him because of their broken spirit and cruel bondage. 10So Adonai told Moses, 11“Go, speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that will he let Bnei-Yisrael go out of his land.” 12But Moses said to Adonai, “Bnei-Yisrael have not listened to me. So how would Pharaoh listen to me—I, who have uncircumcised lips?” 13Then Adonai spoke to Moses and to Aaron and gave to them a charge forBnei-Yisrael and Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring Bnei-Yisrael out of the land of Egypt. 14These are the heads of their father’s houses. The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron and Carmi. These are the families of Reuben. 15The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. These are the families of Simeon. 16These are the names of the sons of Levi ­according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi lived 137 years. 17The sons of Gershon were Libni and Shimei, according to their families. 18The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years. 19The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their generations. 20Amram married Jochebed, his father’s sister, and she bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years. 21The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg and Zichri. 22The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan and Sithri. 23Aaron married Elisheba daughter of Amminadav, sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 24The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah and Abiasaph. These are the families of the Korahites. 25Eleazar, Aaron’s son, married one of the daughters of Putiel and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the ancestral houses of the Levites according to their families. 26These are the same Aaron and Moses to whom Adonai said, “Bring Bnei-Yisrael out from the land of Egypt according to their divisions.” 27These are the ones that spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring Bnei-Yisrael out from Egypt. These are that same Moses and Aaron. 28So it happened on the day when Adonai spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29that Adonai said to Moses, “I am Adonai. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything that I tell to you.” 30But Moses said to Adonai, “I am of uncircumcised lips, so how would Pharaoh listen to me?”

 
–from Exodus 6

God knows them better than they know themselves. He knows if they are sensitive to the prompting of the spirit or if they are hard hearted. He knows how much effort or force it will take when He sends you in there and you keep hearing “no”. Don’t give up! Press on towards the calling God has placed on you!

Today’s reading continues working on Pharaoh’s hard heart…

1So Adonai said to Moses, “See, I have set you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother will be your prophet. 2You are to speak all that I command you and Aaron your brother is to speak to Pharaoh, so that he will let Bnei-Yisrael go out of his land. 3Yet I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. 4But Pharaoh will not listen to you, so I will lay My hand upon Egypt, and bring forth My armies, My people Bnei-Yisrael, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. 5The Egyptians will know that I am Adonai, when I stretch out My hand against Egypt, and bring out Bnei-Yisrael from among them.” 6So Moses and Aaron did as Adonai commanded them. 7Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh. 8Adonai told Moses and Aaron, 9“When Pharaoh speaks to you saying, ‘Prove yourselves with a miracle,’ then you are to say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, so that it may become a serpent.’” 10So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and did as Adonai had commanded. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 11Then Pharaoh called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they too, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. 12For each man threw down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. So he did not listen to them— just as Adonai had said.

Ten Plagues Begin: Blood

14Then Adonai said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn; he refuses to let the people go. 15Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he is coming out to the water, and stand ready to meet him by the bank of the Nile. Take the staff that was transformed into a serpent in your hand. 16You are to say to him: Adonai, God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you, saying, ‘Let My people go, so they may serve Me in the wilderness,’ and behold, you have not listened. 17This is what Adonai says: ‘By this you will know that I am Adonai. Behold, I will strike the waters that are in the river with the staff that is in my hand, and they will be turned to blood. 18The fish that are in the river will die, the river will become foul, and the Egyptians will hate to drink water from the Nile.”’ 19Adonai said to Moses, “Say to Aaron: Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, over their pools and over all their ponds, so that they become blood. There will be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in wooden and stone containers.” 20So Moses and Aaron did as Adonai commanded. He lifted up the staff and struck the waters that were in the river in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and all the waters of the Nile turned to blood. 21When the fish that were in the river died, the river became so foul that the Egyptians could not drink water from the river. The blood was throughout all the land of Egypt. 22But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts. So Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them—just as Adonai had said. 23Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and did not even take it to heart. 24So all the Egyptians dug around the river for water to drink, because they could not drink of the water from the Nile. 25Seven days were fulfilled after Adonai had struck the Nile. 26 Then Adonai said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him: This is what Adonai says: ‘Let My people go, so they may serve Me. 27If you refuse to let them go, see, I will strike all your territory with frogs. 28The river will swarm with frogs. They will go up and enter your house, into your bedroom, upon your bed, into the houses of your servants, upon your people, into your ovens, and in your kneading bowls. 29The frogs will climb up on you, your people and all your servants.’”
–from Exodus 7

Each time Pharaoh went back on his word was tough. Each time they had to go back in was tough. Each response from Pharaoh towards the Jewish people was hard. But God encouraged and told Moses to press on! So sync with God and allow Him to guide your steps, your words, your thoughts, and your actions!

Throughout the storms, God will protect you! Through the storms He will help you to accomplish His mission in and through your life! He is interested in the lives of those around you too! Let’s consider what Paul had to go through …

Sailing for Rome

1When it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they handed Paul and some other prisoners over to a centurion named Julius, of the Augustan Cohort. 2So we boarded a ship from Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, and we set out to sea—accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. 3The next day we set down at Sidon. Julius, treating Paul kindly, let him go to his friends to receive care. 4Setting out to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. 5When we had sailed across the open sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came down to Myra in Lysia. 6There the centurion found a ship from Alexandria sailing for Italy and put us on board. 7Sailing slowly for a number of days, with difficulty we made it to Cnidus. As the wind did not allow us to go further, we sailed under the shelter of Crete, off Salmone. 8Coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea. 9Since considerable time had passed and the voyage was already dangerous because the Fast had already gone by, Paul kept warning them, 10telling them, “Men, I can see that the voyage is about to end in disaster and great loss—not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives!” 11But the centurion was persuaded more by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was said by Paul. 12And because the harbor was unsuitable for wintering, the majority reached a decision to set out to sea from there—if somehow they might reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete facing northeast and southeast, and spend the winter there.

Storm and Shipwreck

13When the south wind blew gently, supposing they had obtained their purpose, they raised the anchor and started coasting along the shore by Crete. 14But before long, a hurricane-force wind called “the Northeaster” swept down from the island. 15When the ship was caught and could not face into the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. 16As we ran under the shelter of a small island called Cauda, we were barely able to get control of the dinghy. 17When the crew had hoisted it up, they made use of ropes to undergird the ship. Then fearing they might run aground on the Syrtis, they let down the anchor and so were driven along. 18But as we were violently battered by the storm, the next day they began throwing cargo overboard. 19On the third day, they threw out the ship’s gear with their own hands. 20With neither sun nor stars appearing for many days, and no small storm pressing on us, all hope of our survival was vanishing. 21As they had long been without food, Paul stood up in their midst and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not sailed from Crete, to avoid this disaster and loss. 22Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you—but only of the ship. 23For this very night, there came to me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve. 24He said, ‘Do not fear, Paul. You must stand before Caesar; and indeed, God has granted you all who are sailing with you.’ 25So take heart, men, for I trust God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26But we must run aground on some island.” 27Now when the fourteenth night had come, as we were drifting across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors began to sense that they were nearing some land. 28So they took soundings and found the water was twenty fathoms deep. A bit farther along, they took another sounding and found it was fifteen fathoms deep. 29Fearing that we might run aground on the rocks, they threw out four anchors from the stern. They were longing for day to come. 30Now the sailors were trying to escape from the ship and had lowered the dinghy into the sea, pretending they were going to put out anchors from the bow. 31Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men remain on the ship, you cannot be saved!” 32Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the dinghy and let it drift away. 33As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have kept waiting and going without food, having taken nothing. 34Therefore, I urge you to take some food—for this is for your survival, since not one of you will lose a hair from his head.” 35And when he had said these things, he took bread, gave thanks to God before them all, broke it, and began to eat. 36Then all were encouraged and took some food themselves. 37(In all we were 276 persons on the ship.) 38When they had eaten enough, they began to lighten the ship, throwing the wheat into the sea. 39Then when daylight came, they did not recognize the land; but they noticed a bay with a beach, where they planned to run the ship aground if they could. 40So they cut off the anchors and left them in the sea, while loosening the ropes of the rudders at the same time. Then, hoisting the forward sail to the wind, they made for the beach. 41But they struck a sandbar between the seas and ran the ship aground. The bow stuck fast and remained immovable, and the stern began to break up by the pounding of the waves. 42The plan of the soldiers was to kill the prisoners, so that none of them would escape by swimming away. 43But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those able to swim to throw themselves overboard first and get to land— 44and the rest to get there on boards and pieces of the ship. And in this way all were brought safely to land.
–from Acts 27

Don’t lose hope! Put your trust completely in God! Allow His way to be your way! Allow His plan to be your plan! His instructions to be your directions! Follow after Him for the glory of His Kingdom!

Don’t think you are being gypped because someone else doing what you do is making more! Don’t think you aren’t being treated fairly because of the inequality! Remember the deal you made and be happy with it! Complete the work for the pay you negotiated! Let’s consider how this plays out from today’s reading…

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

We are to be servant leaders! Jesus taught us in His life how we aren’t to be the dictators, we are to be the servant leaders He demonstrated! He didn’t come to be served, but to serve! So let’s start this day looking for ways to serve others!