Happy New Year’s Eve


It’s the day before a year that will be filled with lots of change. It’s the day before a year when one daughter who has been raised up in the way she should go will be leaving home to pursue God’s purpose, passion, and plan for her life. It’s the day before a year when another daughter will be heading off to college and getting to play collegiate soccer after graduating her senior year. It’s the day before a year when the house will only have one child left and our son will get the experience of being a teen and only child type of experience. So needless to say there will be a lot of changes in how our house is going to be and feel. God help us enjoy every day we have with our kids. God help us to focus on what is important to you as we prepare for and go through these changes throughout the year. God help us to live our lives in ways that will point our kids towards you and will bring you the praise, the honor, and the glory. Lord, help me I pray to Be The Dad you created me to be for Your purpose, Your plan, Your honor, and Your glory. Seasons are changing and we need to be ready. Seasons are changing and we need to get prepared. Seasons are changing as we move from a home of 5 to 4 and after a few months 3 and after a few years down to 2. Seasons change! So let’s enjoy the one we are in and prepare for the one that is coming so that we can make the most of it for the glory of God!


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 31ST


SPRINGTIME FOR THE SOUL


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land.’

Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Let’s look for additional context and details by expanding the verses and using the Amplified version:

‘“I am the rose [of the plain] of Sharon, The lily of the valleys [that grows in deep places].” “Like the lily among the thorns, So are you, my darling, among the maidens.” “Like an apple tree [rare and welcome] among the trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the young men! In his shade I took great delight and sat down, And his fruit was sweet and delicious to my palate. He has brought me to his banqueting place, And his banner over me is love [waving overhead to protect and comfort me]. Sustain me with raisin cakes, Refresh me with apples, Because I am sick with love. Let his left hand be under my head And his right hand embrace me.” “I command that you take an oath, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the does of the field [which run free], That you do not rouse nor awaken my love Until she pleases.” “Listen! My beloved! Behold, he comes, Climbing on the mountains, Leaping and running on the hills! My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he is standing behind our wall, He is looking through the windows, He is gazing through the lattice. “My beloved speaks and says to me, ‘Arise, my love, my fair one, And come away. For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth once again; The time for singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree has budded and ripens her figs, And the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, And come away [to climb the rocky steps of the hillside].’ ” “O my dove, [here] in the clefts in the rock, In the sheltered and secret place of the steep pathway, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.” “Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that spoil and ruin the vineyards [of love], While our vineyards are in blossom.” “My beloved is mine and I am his; He pastures his flock among the lilies. Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away, Return quickly, my beloved, and be like a gazelle Or a young stag on the mountains of Bether [which separate us].”’

Song of Solomon 2:1-17

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever noticed how our relationships go through seasons?
  • Ever noticed it in your romantic relationships?
  • Ever noticed it in your relationship with God?
  • When you think of seasons have you ever felt like your relationship is going through Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall?
  • When you went through the season of winter, did you make the conscious decision to press through and keep going even though it seemed like there was very little warmth?
  • Ever considered how the season of Winter when we compare what happens in nature to the plants speaks to the state of our hearts? A season of barrenness.
  • We need to not lose hope because seasons don’t last forever!
  • We need to hold onto the reality that when this cold season passes it will be heading into Spring.
  • Are you looking for signs of spring? Are you looking for the warmth to return? Are you ready for your heart to be filled with hope?
  • Ever watched mature marriages and compared them to a relationship with God?
  • Marriages start with the heat of passion and idealism of pure love.
  • Ever noticed how when the honeymoon ended how reality hit the husband and wife hard?
  • Ever witnessed the reassessment that needed to happen and go through?
  • Ever witnessed how they took on this necessary challenge?
  • Ever seen how they had to rebuild their relationship based on reality?
  • Ever seen how they built their relationship on realistic expectations and good communication?
  • Ever seen it not work out and the marriage turn into an empty shell?
  • In the midst of the winter season, opportunities to have richer conversations appear.
  • In the midst of the winter season, opportunities to have deeper affection appear.
  • In the midst of the winter season, opportunities to have a marriage that flourishes like never before.
  • So don’t lose hope! Lean in and work to make things better! Be on the lookout for signs of Spring and what needs to happen to be ready.
  • Ever had a similar experience when you started your relationship with God?
  • Did you start the relationship with great joy and high hopes?
  • Did you get incredible experiences with God that built up your faith?
  • Did you eventually get to the point of needing to grow in your faith and find yourself in the point of a change of experience facing trials, troubles, and more difficult situations?
  • We you able to grow and mature through these times like James 1:2-4 speaks of and be able to consider them pure joy?
    • ‘Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. ‘
      James 1:2-4
  • Did you find that the more challenging paths caused you to struggle?
  • Did you find that the more challenging paths caused you to find disappointments?
  • Did you find that the more challenging paths caused you to have misunderstandings?
  • Did it challenge your young faith but by pressing in and pressing on found you built a more mature and strengthen faith?
  • Did you find it helped you draw closer to God?
  • Did you find it helped you build a deeper relationship with God?
  • Are you facing a Winter season today? Don’t lose hope! Remember that Winter’s season of dormancy is required in preparation for Spring.
  • Be it in nature when we see Winter come before Spring.
  • Be it in romantic relationships when we see Winter come before Spring.
  • Be it in our walk with God when we see Winter come before Spring.
  • If we develop greater trust when it is cold and dark, we’ll get to experience more love in the warmth of Spring.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How have you observed seasons in relationships wtih people and God?
  • In both kinds of relationships, what are some things we can do in winter to prepare for spring?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

― William Jennings Bryan

So are you ready to live your life on purpose? Are you ready to live your life with purpose? Are you ready to live your life for a purpose? God created each of us on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose. So we need to choose to receive it and then start to live it in order to achieve it. Let’s invite God into our lives and ask Him to help lead and guide our thoughts, words, and actions so that we can live out our lives for His glory in Jesus’s name. 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?


As I was considering these a song came to mind and so sharing it here to close today’s post: https://youtu.be/QvHE65nImmM

When someone asks you what season this is, what do you say?


Do you think seasons of the year like winter, spring, summer, or fall? Do you think seasons like what holidays are taking place like Christmas, New Year, Valentines Day, Easter, Independence Day, National Holidays, etc.? Do you think of the season of giving? Do you think a season to sow? Do you think a season to reap? Do you think a season to live?

What context or what location or what person will cause you to give your answer? Does it matter who asks? Does it matter where they ask? Does it matter how they ask? Does it matter what the situation currently is when they ask?

Let’s consider the seasons that are spoken of in the Bible:

  • ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account. And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment—wickedness was there, in the place of justice—wickedness was there. I said to myself, “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.” I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath ; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” ‘
    Ecclesiastes 3:1-21
  • He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;
    Daniel 2:21
  • While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
    Genesis 8:22
  • And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
    Galatians 6:9
  • He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
    Acts 1:7
  • He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.
    Psalm 104:19
  • He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
    Psalm 1:3
  • And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,
    Genesis 1:14
  • “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
    Isaiah 55:10-11
  • Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.
    1 Thessalonians 5:1
  • “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near.
    Matthew 24:32
  • Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
    2 Timothy 4:2
  • For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
    Song of Solomon 2:11-13
  • Check out more scriptures about seasons here: https://www.openbible.info/topics/seasons

What season is it for you? Are you seeing the signs of the times? Are you living for the season you are currently in? Are you being generous in the midst of your season? Are you ready for the season? As we celebrate the first coming of Jesus with Christmas are you ready for His second coming?


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 17TH


Giving Is Living


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”’

Acts 20:35

Let’s look into the context of this and try to get some additional details through the Amplified version.

‘However, from Miletus he sent word to Ephesus and summoned the elders of the church [to meet him there]. And when they arrived he said to them: “ You know well how I [lived when I] was with you, from the first day that I set foot in Asia [until now], serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and trials which came on me because of the plots of the Jews [against me]; [you know] how I did not shrink back in fear from telling you anything that was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public meetings, and from house to house, solemnly [and wholeheartedly] testifying to both Jews and Greeks, urging them to turn in repentance to God and [to have] faith in our Lord Jesus Christ [for salvation]. And now, compelled by the Spirit and obligated by my convictions, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly [and emphatically] affirms to me in city after city that imprisonment and suffering await me. But I do not consider my life as something of value or dear to me, so that I may [with joy] finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify faithfully of the good news of God’s [precious, undeserved] grace [which makes us free of the guilt of sin and grants us eternal life]. “And now, listen carefully: I know that none of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will see me again. For that reason I testify to you on this [our parting] day that I am innocent of the blood of all people. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose and plan of God. Take care and be on guard for yourselves and for the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd (tend, feed, guide) the church of God which He bought with His own blood. I know that after I am gone, [false teachers like] ferocious wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; even from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse and distorted things, to draw away the disciples after themselves [as their followers]. Therefore be continually alert, remembering that for three years, night or day, I did not stop admonishing and advising each one [of you] with tears. And now I commend you to God [placing you in His protective, loving care] and [I commend you] to the word of His grace [the counsel and promises of His unmerited favor]. His grace is able to build you up and to give you the [rightful] inheritance among all those who are sanctified [that is, among those who are set apart for God’s purpose—all believers]. I had no desire for anyone’s silver or gold or [expensive] clothes. You know personally that these hands ministered to my own needs [working in manual labor] and to [those of] the people who were with me. In everything I showed you [by example] that by working hard in this way you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed [and brings greater joy] to give than to receive.’ ” When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And they began to weep openly and threw their arms around Paul’s neck, and repeatedly kissed him, grieving and distressed especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see him again. And they accompanied him to the ship.’

Acts 20:17-38

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever considered what living life in this season Jesus’s way would do to the world around you?
  • Ever considered how Jesus changed the world by the way He chose to live His life?
  • Ever considered how Jesus changed the world by the message He shared to the world around Him?
  • Our human nature seems to conflict with how Jesus calls us to live.
  • Want to be great? Then you need to serve others.
  • Want to raise to great heights? Then you need to be humble and live in humility.
  • Want to be first? Then you need to let others go ahead of you and be last.
  • Want to be significant in the kingdom of God? Then you need to become like children and live with the faith of a child.
  • Want to be filled up? Then you need to be giving and be generous.
  • So we need to stop being so focused on ourselves and be more focused on others.
  • Not to compare or contrast but to serve, the give, and to love.
  • Take a look around or maybe just in the mirror and check out how much selfishness is taking place in this world.
  • Selfishness isn’t for a specific type of person but unfornately selfishness transcends time, race, and societies.
  • Remember how we are to be good stewards?
  • Remember how to whom much is given much is required?
  • Instead of letting the ads tell us what we are missing or lacking, let’s be filled with joy related to all that we have!
  • As we consider going into Christmas, rather than consumerism let’s be focused on Jesus, the birth of a savior, the reality of what His coming brought to this world, and the incredible joy and peace we have by having a relationship with Him and knowing He is coming back.
  • Let’s decide to live out lives open handed so that God can use us as conduits for His resources to better love and serve others.
  • Let’s draw closer to Jesus for our contentment and fulfillment rather than believing the ads that this or that product or service will do the trick.
  • Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts since He fills the void forever and as He spoke we will thirst no more, whereas the temporary filling of the void with stuff fades away over time and eventually causes us to thirst again.
  • So today lets choose to really live by really giving into the lives of others!
  • Let’s give that we can find heartfelt fulfillment!
  • Let’s give that we can experience the greatest thrills of our lives!
  • Let’s give that we can pour into the lives of others who may never be able to repay us.
  • Let’s give not expecting anything in return!
  • Let’s give to the weak!
  • Let’s give to the poor!
  • Let’s give to the sick!
  • Let’s be selfless by not expecting anything in return!
  • Let’s be generous!
  • Let’s live out our lives like our Heavenly Father who has given to us, blessed us, and offers us so much more than this world could ever offer!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What act of giving or service has brought you the most joy?
  • In what way is it really “more blessed” to give than receive?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.

— Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson QuotesSamuel Johnson Biography

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

So today we will read Luke 17:

‘Jesus said to His disciples, “Stumbling blocks [temptations and traps set to lure one to sin] are sure to come, but woe (judgment is coming) to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea, than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble [in sin and lose faith]. Pay attention and always be on guard [looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him. Even if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him [that is, give up resentment and consider the offense recalled and annulled].” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith [our ability to confidently trust in God and in His power].” And the Lord said, “If you have [confident, abiding] faith in God [even as small] as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree [which has very strong roots], ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea’; and [if the request was in agreement with the will of God] it would have obeyed you. “Which of you who has a servant plowing or tending sheep will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat?’ Will he not instead say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and appropriately clothe yourself [for service] and serve me while I eat and drink; then afterward you may eat and drink?’ He does not thank the servant just because he did what he was ordered to do, does he? So you too, when you have done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants [undeserving of praise or a reward, for we have not gone beyond our obligation]; we have merely done what we ought to do.’ ”

While Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance; and they raised their voices and called out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were [miraculously] healed and made clean. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying and praising and honoring God with a loud voice; and he lay face downward at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him [over and over]. He was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten [of you] cleansed? Where are the [other] nine? Was there no one found to return and to give thanks and praise to God, except this foreigner?” Jesus said to him, “Get up and go [on your way]. Your faith [your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s power] has restored you to health.” Now having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed or with a visible display; nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among you [because of My presence].”

Then He said to the disciples, “The time will come when you will long to see [even] one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look [the Messiah is] there!’ or ‘Look [He is] here!’ Do not go away [to see Him], and do not run after them. For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, gives light to the other part of the sky, so [visible] will the Son of Man be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be repudiated and rejected and considered unfit [to be the Messiah] by this [unbelieving] generation. And just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the time of [the second coming of] the Son of Man: the people were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, [they were indifferent to God] until the day that Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as it was in the days of Lot. People were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building [carrying on business as usual, without regard for their sins]; but on the [very] day that Lot left Sodom it rained fire and brimstone (burning sulfur) from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, whoever is on the housetop, with his belongings in the house, must not come down [and go inside] to take them out; and likewise whoever is in the field must not turn back. Remember [what happened to] Lot’s wife [when she looked back]! Whoever seeks to save his life will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] will keep it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. I tell you, on that night [when Messiah comes again] there will be two [sleeping] in one bed; the one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. There will be two women grinding [at the mill] together; the one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. [Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.”] And they asked Him, “Where, Lord?” He answered, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will be gathered.”’

Luke 17:1-37

So where are you at today? What season of life are you living? What season of life are you ready for? What season of life are you seeing before you? What season of life is behind you? Are you living a season of giving? Are you living a season of forgiving? Are you living a season of thanksgiving? Are you looking for a way to be able to even consider any of these? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life to help you get through the season you are currently living in? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Do you see the signs of the times? Don’t miss your opportunity!


As I start this day and consider what day it is as well as some of the messages that I have heard through the books I have been reading today’s topic came to mind. Be it Death Row Chaplain by Rev. Earl Smith and the people on death row and knowing their end was near and getting the opportunity to decide where they will spend eternity set before them. The interesting thing in that book was the people who were the family of the victims of the crimes who similarly knowing the end was near and getting the opportunity to find closure through forgiveness since watching the death doesn’t bring closure and definitely doesn’t bring healing to the person or the family. So seeing the signs of the times how would you respond? Would you miss your opportunity?

As I was reading today and started to consider how I can use my time better, Tommy Barnett’s book The Power of a Half Hour: Take Back Your Life Thirty Minutes At A Time, I started considering the signs of the times and the things I need to change to be a better steward of my time. I started considering my calling and special talent(s) and vision and purpose from God and how if I don’t do that special thing then it won’t get done God’s way – as He had intended. So I need to take hold of the signs of the times! I need to take this opportunity to complete the good works God prepared in advance for me to accomplish!

And with yesterday having been Good Friday, the idea of Jesus on the cross between two criminals and similar to the people on death row, they both knew it was their end, they could see the signs of the times, and yet they had different responses towards Jesus. Let’s grab a snapshot of what took place:

‘Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’

Luke 23:39-43

‘With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.’

Mark 15:27-32

‘Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.’

Matthew 27:38-44

We see in Luke how the two criminals, robbers, thieves responded to Jesus. One joined in with the people in the crowd but the other realized the signs of the time and humbled himself to Jesus. Like the people on death row, these men had to make a decision of where they were going to end up when their execution was done.

We may not be sentenced to the death penalty but the reality is that we will all die one day. And on that day when our physical body dies, where will our spiritual being end up? We need to realize the signs of the times! We need to take the opportunity set before us to accept the grace of God through Jesus so that we can be forgiven and get to spend eternity with God rather than the alternative of spending eternity in Hell, apart from God! We each have to make that decision for ourselves, nobody else can make it for us! Being Easter weekend, can you think of a better time if you haven’t already made the decision to make the decision? Will you make your decision before it is too late and you find yourself at the Judgement Seat of God and get sent to spend eternity apart from Him?

Don’t miss your opportunity!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for April 3rd


Today in Paradise


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Luke 23:43

‘And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Three people put on crosses – 2 thieves and Jesus
  • One joined in with all the screaming at Jesus and said ‘Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”’ — Luke 23:39
  • One must have heard and knew about Jesus because he gave a different response: ‘But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” ‘ — Luke 23:40-41
  • The second one must have known about and believed in Jesus because he added to his comment to his partner in crime when he turned to Jesus: ‘Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”’ — Luke 23:42
  • Remember how Jesus was abandoned when things were going down?
  • Remember how people denied knowing Jesus when things were going down?
  • Remember how Jesus was betrayed when things were going down?
  • Now imagine a criminal sentenced to crucifixion turning to Jesus and how that made Jesus feel.
  • Now consider how Jesus responded to him: ‘And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’ — Luke 23:43
  • Imagine the peace, the joy, the hope that would have come over that criminal from hearing Jesus’ promise.
  • Imagine the transformation of heart and mind between before meeting Jesus and after meeting Jesus. Imagine the testimony this man would give to people about how his life was transformed by Jesus.
  • Don’t let your past define you, what matters is your identity in Christ and your eternal destination in heaven with God.
  • Are you ready for such a change today?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How does the promise of paradise affect your perspective about death?
  • It is not only a sign of what is to come for those who believe and receive Jesus but a promise of how eternity with God will be.
  • Paradise, looking up the definition and synonyms brings up some very interesting things – all positive and most pointing to God.
  • Will you accept the gift of grace from God that is Jesus?
  • Will you share how God transformed your life through Jesus by telling people your testimony of life before and after your encounter with Jesus?
How does it shape your view of life today?
  • It is important to make the right decision here today rather than run the risk of missing out on paradise when it is time for us to die in our physical bodies and move into our spiritual bodies for eternity.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The ultimate victory is eternity with Jesus Christ.”

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?


How large of a sign would it take to get your attention?


Would a meteor shower do the trick? What about an alignment in the sky to create a Christmas star? What if you could have the sky light up and show you both of them? What if there was a lunar eclipse? What if there was a solar eclipse? What if there were both within a month? What if the sky then went dark like the end of a movie? What if it were something everyone could see? What if it were something everyone could see at the exact same time? Would it have to happen during the day time or night time? Would timing be a factor in getting your attention through a sign? How big would it have to be? Would it need to take over every media station to get your attention? Would it require some type of an alarm to go off to get your attention? How large of a sign would it take to get your attention?

What if it was on a day when A Comet, A Meteor Shower And A Total Eclipse Of The Sun?

What would be your response to seeing the sun became black like sackcloth of goat hair, and the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth and the sky receded like a scroll being rolled up? Would that be enough to get your attention?


When Jesus first came as a baby, it was a significant enough sign that wise men travelled from far off to come and find him. When Jesus first came as a baby, it was significant enough that the shepherds were not only informed by angels but also went to find him. Are you ready for when Jesus comes back?


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘ She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God].’

Matthew 1:21

Do you realize why you need Jesus? Do you realize what you need to be saved from? Do you realize how you have missed the mark and how Jesus can restore and reconcile you back? Do you realize the plan God has for you? Are you willing to give up your selfish desires in order to pursue His plan and purpose for your life in order to achieve and arrive at the true end and scope of life? Do you want to spend eternity with God or apart from God? Do you want to spend eternity where there is no more sorrow and no more pain or would you rather spend eternity where there will be gnashing of teeth?

Jesus came with the gift of love. Jesus came with the gift of grace. It is up to us if we will choose to accept it and receive it for ourselves.


✨MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU✨

The Weary World Rejoices: A 2020 Advent Devotional

The Advent season typically brings joy and Christmas carols, but maybe this year has been hard for you. In this 5-day plan, you’ll discover how those present at the nativity scene responded to God in the midst of their circumstances, and how their stories can give you hope.

— The Weary World Rejoices: A 2020 Advent Devotional

So today’s focus as we read from God’s Word are (Day 4):

My Notes:

  • ‘ Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, 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 2:13-14
  • Ever considered or reflected on the reality of angels? I know I have, ever since that first Easter play when I got to be the angel at the tomb. I receive the revelation of how frightening the angels would and could be to someone. I also looked at various angelic encounters in the Bible and how many of them started with “don’t be afraid” right before the person screamed. There are angelic visitations in both the old and new testaments. There are angelic visitations like the one where they were recognizable to Lot and Abraham encountered. There are angelic visitations in dreams like Joseph’s encounter and revelation of Jesus as well as when he was to escape to Egypt. There are angelic visitations in visions like we see with Ezekiel and and John. There were the encounters where Balaam’s donkey could see the angel but he couldn’t till the third time. There are the angelic visitations like the ones the shepherds had when they learned about the birth of Jesus.
  • Angels can be frightening and we read in God’s Word how they tell the people to not be afraid:
    • Daniel 10:8-1912 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
    • Genesis 21:1-2111 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring[b] will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”
    • Luke 2:1-12And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
    • Matthew 28:1-10The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
    • Acts 27:1-2621 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”

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?


A sign. Don’t give up! Understand what you are waiting and looking for!


Eleven and a half months, a rollercoaster of emotions and challenges, a lot of drops and a lot of twists and turns, but when would it end and what would be the outcome. Would it take the right person? Who would that person be? Would it take the right role? What role would that be? Would demonstrate value? What value could it bring? Would it provide enough encouragement to not grow weary while you are doing good works? Ever considered that doing good can make you weary? Ever considered that loving people can make you weary? Ever considered that being isolated from others and not being able to have those interactions can cause you to grow weary? But we don’t have to go it alone or do it alone! We have been given the choice and the opportunity to walk it all out with God. Not some god out there somewhere but God, Immanuel, God with us. Jesus can help us find peace! Jesus can help us find peace with God! Jesus can help us find peace of God! Jesus can help us find peace with others! Let’s take hold of what we can learn and receive and accept through the troubles because we know that we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Let’s take hold of what we can learn and receive and accept through the trials because we know that it will build our faith and so we can consider it pure joy and that as we persevere and we allow perseverance to finish its work we will be complete and lacking nothing! So how will we know when it is time? A sign! But will we recognize the sign? When will we know that it is time and not a temptation or distraction? We need to bring it to God and His Word. How will we know if it is for real? We need to make a plan and then lean into God to direct our path.

Let’s take a moment and reflect on today’s Verse of the Day:

Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]. [Isa. 9:6; Jer. 31:22; Mic. 5:3-5; Matt. 1:22, 23.]

— Isaiah 7:14 AMPC

Imagine wandering for thousands of years with the promise of a savior, the promise of an intimate and personal relationship with God. Imagine the day when it happened and how it would make you feel. Imagine thousands of years later getting to hear all about it, the old stories before the time and the new stories after the time. Imagine the day when you get to decide if you will receive the gift or reject it. Imagine the day when you get to decide to believe and be transformed, forgiven, and saved. Imagine getting to be a part of a season when the world reflects on the story of the birth of Jesus. Imagine the significance of the birth of Jesus and the story’s implications: the revelation of the coming of God, the divine appointment and where he would be born and how he would be born, and it might take discomfort to move you into position for what God has planned. We get the choice to serve a God with purpose and plans, who understands what He wants to see happen, He is a God who is patient, He has a design, and He won’t be rattled by other circumstances.

Where are you at today?


✨MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU✨

The Weary World Rejoices: A 2020 Advent Devotional

The Advent season typically brings joy and Christmas carols, but maybe this year has been hard for you. In this 5-day plan, you’ll discover how those present at the nativity scene responded to God in the midst of their circumstances, and how their stories can give you hope.

— The Weary World Rejoices: A 2020 Advent Devotional

So today’s focus as we read from God’s Word are (Day 4):

  • Read Luke 2:15-20
  • Ever considered how dark it needs to be or get before you can see the light?
  • Ever considered how dark it needed to get for you to be able to see clearly?
  • Imagine being one of the shepherds out in their fields at night, on guard and ready, able to watch for dangers and predators for their flocks at night, and then the angel appeared…
  • How do you respond or would you respond to shock, awe, amazement? Would it cause fear or worry?
  • Do you realize how important you are to God? You are so important that He came out of heaven in order to have a relationship with you. He loves you so much that Jesus not only came to the earth as a child but He also went to the cross in order to pay the ultimate price in order to provide a way to be reconciled back onto God!
    • Consider how much God loves you based on His Word in 1 John 4 which says:
      • ‘ In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.’ — 1 John 4:9-10
    • Consider how much God loves you based on His Word in Ephesians 2 which says:
      • ‘ Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind. But God–so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One). He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus. For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.] For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].’ — Ephesians 2:3-10
  • God can use us all for His purpose! We can be used to share the Good News of Jesus so that people are able to rejoice going into the Christmas season.
  • Will you allow God to use you to declare the Savior this Christmas season?
  • Wil you allow God to use you to bring light into a dark world this season?
  • Will you allow God to use you to help the weary world to rejoice?
  • Will you go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere, that Jesus Christ is born?
  • Today’s devotional gives us 3 questions to reflect on: (feel free to read the scripture below and come back to reflect on these questions)

My Notes:

‘ When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing (saying) that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. So they went with haste and [by searching] found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known what had been told them concerning this Child, And all who heard it were astounded and marveled at what the shepherds told them. But Mary was keeping within herself all these things (sayings), weighing and pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them.’ — Luke 2:15-20


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?



Do you see what is going on? Can you see the writing on the wall?


Are you seeing the signs of the times? Are you putting the wrong things first? Are you worshipping someone or something other than God? Do you realize the uncertain times? Are you watching governments and countries starting to quarrel or fall? The writing will be on the wall when we see the signs of the times…

4And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows.

–from Matthew 24

In Daniel’s time when the king was becoming too proud to the point of bringing out the special items from the temple and allowing the people at his party to use them, this is when the writing on the wall appeared to the King and require he call for Daniel to help interpret for him.

25“This is the inscription that was written:
mene, mene, tekel, parsin
26“Here is what these words mean:
Mene : God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
27 Tekel : You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28 Peres : Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

–from Daniel 5

We need to walk with humility! We need to keep our focus on the real purpose! We need to be worshipping and glorifying God in all we say and do! Don’t set yourself up for troubles by allowing pride to trip you up! Don’t be an adversary to God! Be an ambassador for Him!

Stand up for what is right! Stand up for what is just! Do what is good and what is just! Stand up for what you believe in! Consider Daniel who first got thrown into the fiery furnace with his friends and then as we read in today’s reading from Daniel 6, gets thrown into the den of lions because of people trying to manipulate the situation and the king. Be careful of people who try to sweeten you up in order to manipulate you into doing something that will have grave consequences! Put and keep your trust in God no matter what happens! Put your hope and trust in God even when the world seems to be coming against Him! God’s got a plan and a purpose and we know that in the end, victory and justice belong to the Lord! Even when man can’t rescue you, God can! So let’s live in alignment to God’s will and purpose! Let’s not be swayed but rather let’s live in a way to glorify Him and also be found right in His eyes. Others may look for ways to convict you and some may even try to setup rules that would try to trip you up, but God knows and can hear your calls and cries. God is our salvation! God is with us! There is but one God! His love endures forever! Let us not forget! Let’s share so that others will remember!

Let’s not be proud or haughty! Be at peace and be calm and quieted so that you can be content! Put your trust in God!

Let’s praise the Lord! Let us all praise Him! Let’s praise Him for He is good! Let’s praise the God because He is great! Let’s praise God all the earth! Let’s praise the God for He is good His love endures forever! Let’s trust in God and praise Him!

Let’s be prepared! Let’s hold tight to the truth rather than what others try to find and hear!

So let’s read together the last 2 parts of our reading from the New Testament…

1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Personal Remarks

9Do your best to come to me quickly, 10for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.
14Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
16At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lionʼs mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

19Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.
22The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.

–2 Timothy 4

The writing’s on the wall! Don’t you see how people turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths! There are so many who don’t want to hear or believe in the truth! So don’t give up! Keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. Finish the race! Press on to the end! Trusting in God thru it all in Jesus name I pray!

1Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— 2also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:
3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

4I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lordʼs people.

Paulʼs Plea for Onesimus

8Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— 10that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. 11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
12I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 14But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. 15Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
17So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
22And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.
25The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

–Philemon 1

Let’s serve the people God has brought into our lives so that we can point them back to Jesus and be restored!


Today’s Reading: Daniel 5, Daniel 6, Psalm 131, Psalm 135, 2 Timothy 4. Philemon 1