What are you in need of renewing?


First Tuesday of 2022, a year that has kicked off with a theme of THRIVE, a day that has kicked off with the theme of renewal, and the importance of planting lots of seeds and knowing that they are good seeds because whatever you sow you will also reap.

In the beginning, God wanted to make sure we understood the importance of seeds and so on the third day:

‘Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day. ‘

Genesis 1:11-13

God’s Word speaks to the impact of knowing what you are sowing and how it will make a difference:

‘Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken. ‘

Proverbs 22:8

‘Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors, the roar of battle will rise against your people, so that all your fortresses will be devastated— as Shalman devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle, when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children. ‘

Hosea 10:12-14

So let’s consider as we reach the 4th day of this new year what seeds we have, what seeds we sow, how we will sow, and what it will mean in terms of what we will reap.

‘ “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” ‘

Luke 6:37-38

‘ “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. ‘

Luke 6:43-45

‘Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. ‘

Galatians 6:7

‘Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.’

Psalms 126:5-6

God also demonstrated His love by sowing in order to bring salvation to this world, taking things into His own hands because He knew we were unable to take care of it on our own and so He sowed once it has caused an eternal harvest! So will you receive this seed and plant such faith into your life and the world around you?

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. ‘

John 3:16-18

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 4 – Putting Up the Bumpers


So are you ready for renewal? Are you ready to turn to God and ask Him to create a clean heart and renew a right spirit in you? Are you ready to do something different and not conform to the ways of this world but instead ask God to transform you by the renewing of your mind, the testing of your faith to build discernment of what is good, acceptable, and perfect? Are you ready to wait on the Lord in order to have your strength renewed so that you can walk out this life without fainting and run and not grow weary? So let’s receive Jesus and accept Him into our lives today, putting on our new self that is being renewed in the knowledge of God, our creator!

Let’s pray:

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

Now let’s renew ourselves by reading the Lord’s Prayer:

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us . And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

Do you realize the boomerang effect exists? Some call it the principle of sowing and reaping…


Today is a new day and you get to choose how you will live it. You get to choose what you will sow into it. You will get to reap into the future for whatever you have sown. What will you choose to plant today? Will you choose to plant hope, love, trust, integrity, and faith into the lives of others? Will you choose to plant things that will build up others? It’s not rocket science, it’s agricultural. It’s not magic, it’s science. It’s not made up, it’s the truth. So what will you throw out today? If you know it is going to boomerang back at you would that change your decision? If you know it is going to produce a return that you will get to reap would that change your decision? If you knew that based on the amount you sow the return or amount you will reap will be in accordance, would that change your decision?

Let’s check out what the Bible has to say about sowing and reaping:

  • One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. — Galatians 6:6-10
  • Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” — Luke 6:38
  • The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. — 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
  • Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail. — Proverbs 22:8
  • Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. — Malachi 3:10
  • Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. — Psalm 126:5-6
  • For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; … — Ecclesiastes 3:1-9
  • For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. The standing grain has no heads; it shall yield no flour; if it were to yield, strangers would devour it. — Hosea 8:7
  • “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” — Luke 18:10-14
  • Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. — Hosea 10:12
  • As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.– Job 4:8
  • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16
  • Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. — Romans 13:7
  • ‘ “Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God. ‘ — Matthew 5:9

So what will return to you? What will you reap? Let’s decide to plant what is good, what is right, what is just, what comes from a heart of love in order that what we reap in return will align.


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


Rude Leads to Rude


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.’

Proverbs 15:18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever seen this in real life? In a meeting? In a store? In an intersection? In politics?
  • Ever noticed how the pace of life seems to have picked up which escalate things?
  • Ever noticed how the pressures of life have grown which have escalated things?
  • Do you realize how much has changed in the past couple generations?
  • Two generations ago most Americans lived on farms.
  • Imagine how life would have been different when the pace is based on the seasons of the year.
  • Imagine how life would have been different when it comes to expectations compared to where we are at today.
  • Do you realize how much has changed in one generation?
  • Imagine a place where most people walked to work.
  • Imagine a place where family life was more stable with nightly family dinners with minimal distractions.
  • So where are you at today? What are the stressors in your life? Is it caused by greater mobility? Is it caused by higher expectations? Is it caused by extra stress?
  • Have you noticed the impact of stressed people?
  • Have you noticed the lack of patience and the increase in tension because of stress?
  • Does it seem there are more hotheaded people who go off than there used to be?
  • Does it seem like patience is lower and more people seem to get provoked than before?
  • Does it seem like more people are saying things they wouldn’t have before?
  • Ever noticed how when one person blows up it can trigger a chain reaction?
  • Ever noticed or been the one who steps back and allows or causes things to cool down?
  • It may not be cold and many may stay at the simmering stage, on ready to go off again.
  • Ever noticed how many people have short fuses these days?
  • Are you ready to bring a cooler head to the situation?
  • Are you ready to be a peacemaker who will reduce the fire and tension?
  • Peacemaker doesn’t mean push over!
  • Peacemaker means being able to speak calmly and go after resolution rather than conflict.
  • Peacemaker means being able to speak calmly and go after resolution rather than escalating conflict.
  • Are you at peace or do you need God’s help to bring peace into you first?
  • You need to be filled with peace for peace to come out of you!
  • You need to release the stresses to God so that they don’t come out of you instead of peace!
  • So are you ready to get rid of or reduce the stressors in your life and give them up to God?
  • Let’s grab hold of God’s instruction in James 1 that says:
    • ‘Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us]. So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. For if anyone only listens to the word without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like. But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience]. ‘ James 1:19-25
  • Then we can be peacemakers into the lives of those around us and point them to God too to help them defuse and destress!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • When have you seen tension escalate between angry people?
  • Are you a peacemaker? If not, what can you do to reduce stress so you can have a cool head?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember the only taste of success some people get is taking a bite out of you.” 

— Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Where are you today? What are you sowing and reaping? Are you deciding to be a peacemaker? Are you ready to live out your today in a way that will make a difference? Are you ready to plant good into the lives of others today? Need some help? Why not invite God into your situation and allow Him to work in and through you? 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?

Sowing and Reaping… What are you expecting as a harvest?


When you think of sowing and reaping what comes to your mind? Is it a farmer who has to plant his field in hopes that the weather will cooperate enough that he will get a harvest at the end of the season? Is it a principle that speaks to needing to plant in order to harvest? Is it a principle that speaks to if you don’t plant something how can you expect to get anything back in return? Is it a principle that if you plant good habits it will have a good return and if you plant bad habits you will get a bad return? Are you ready to plant in order to get a greater return? How are you sowing your talents? How are you sowing your behavior and attitude? How are you sowing your life? How will things go when you see Jesus face to face? (‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. ‘ II Corinthians 5:10)

As we consider these, let’s reflect on a few scriptures:

Let’s consider how we will use the talents we have been given:

‘“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’’

Matthew 25:14-30

Let’s consider what happens when we sow and the outcome:

‘On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”’

Matthew 13:1-9,18-23

Even in the Old Testament we get insights:

‘“They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no bud; It shall never produce meal. If it should produce, Aliens would swallow it up.’

Hosea 8:7

‘He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail.’

Proverbs 22:8

‘You have plowed wickedness; You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, Because you trusted in your own way, In the multitude of your mighty men.’

Hosea 10:13

So let’s consider how we are living and the impact of our decisions.

‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. ‘

Galatians 6:7

‘But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. ‘

II Corinthians 9:6

So how are you sowing as part of your life? What does it say or point to when it comes what you will get to reap from it? Will you consider adjusting your life’s direction and how you are sowing? Will you consider adjusting your life in order to make sure to sow in the right people and places? Will you consider adjusting your life in a way that you are being generous in order to make sure that there is a bountiful harvest? The decision is yours!


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


The Law of Reciprocity


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.’

Proverbs 11:25

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize that sowing and reaping are predictable?
  • Do you realize that the laws of nature are predictable?
  • Do you realize that the law of reciprocity is predictable throughout your life?
  • Ever noticed or recognized how you get back what you give out?
  • What type of a giver are you?
  • Ever read the book of Proverbs to catch the examples of the law of reciprocity in action?
  • If you give anger then you can expect an angry reply.
  • If you give kindness then you can expect a kind reply.
  • If you are a good steward of your resources then we find a good return on our investments.
  • Do you realize the benefits of generosity?
  • Do you realize how it is better to give than receive and yet by giving you receive?
  • Today’s verse gives us two ways to look at the same principle from Solomon:
    • Let’s guard against selfishness!
    • Let’s take hold of how the generous will be made rich. If we can be a conduit for God then He will continue to push things through us.
    • Let’s be generous in our hearts! Let’s be caring people! Let’s be looking to find eternity with God for ourselves as well as others!
    • Let’s love as God loves!
    • Will you allow God to pour into your life so that you can pour out into the lives of others?
    • Will you be so filled with thankfulness that you give it away?
    • We need to be giving out of a willing heart rather than compulsion.
    • We need to be giving out of the overflow of our heart not because we are looking for nor expecting a return!
    • Let’s be giving and generous in order to make a difference.
    • By only focusing on the giving we don’t get stuck wondering when the return will come or why it is taking so long!
    • By only focusing on doing what God has asked of us we won’t get upset in times of blessings and times of adversity.
    • The law of reciprocity has the purpose of blessing us by changing the way we think and what we have in our hearts!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Why is it important for our hearts to be right when we give generously?
  • How is the law of reciprocity working out for you? Any changes needed?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”

― Henry David Thoreau

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What does sowing and reaping look like to you? What does generosity look like to you? What does giving look like to you? How are you choosing to use your talents and gifts? How are you choosing to use your resources? Make sure to remember to sow the seeds and to eat the bread that God gives you. Are you ready to decide? Are you ready to choose? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


What are you sowing? You realize the fruit is based on the seed, right?


Ever heard the saying you “you reap what you sow”? Your actions dictate the consequences. If someone reaps what they sow, they suffer or benefit as a result of their own actions. So how will you choose to live your life? What are you sowing? What are you planting in your life and the life of those you come in contact with? What are your intentions and motives that will take root from that seed? What fruit will get produced from the seeds that you are planting? Will the seeds you plant cause you to suffer or to benefit? What seeds are you allowing to take root in your heart and mind? When it starts to grow and produce fruit, will it be to your benefit or detriment? Will the fruit be something that you will be able to share and bless others with? Let’s consider what the Bible has to say on this subject, in the Amplified translation it says:

‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap. ‘

Galatians 6:7

So if we need to sow in order to reap, be it good or bad, we need to consider today as we step into this day both what we will sow and how we will sow. Will we sow good or evil? Will we sow love or hate? Will we sow hope or discouragement? Will we sow joy or sadness? Will we sow truth or lies? What will you decide to sow today, knowing that whatever you sow, this and this along is what you will reap?

The choice is yours! The decision is yours! It’s freewill and so you get to choose and you now know that whatever you choose will determine what you will get out of it! It can be good or bad, depends on what you plant!


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


From the Root to the Fruit


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;’

Proverbs 3:9

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you handle what you have? Are you being a good steward?
  • How do you or why do you acquire things? Don’t allow it to be out of greed!
  • Let’s remember the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it and so everything is His and we are to just be good stewards of what He gives us for the time we have.
  • Let’s remember that we are just borrowing it from God while we are here on earth.
  • Let’s be thankful for all that God has given us!
  • Let’s be take care of what we have been given by God!
  • Let’s be generous or as God’s Word puts it “hilarious givers” for His glory with what He has given us!
  • Let’s be giving from our firstfruits to God! Not the leftovers or the damaged but the best of the firstfruits!
  • Let’s give first to God from our increase, from our firstfruits before looking at how to spend it on ourselves.
  • Let’s overflow the love of God from our hearts!
  • Let’s overflow the love of God from our handiwork!
  • Let’s use what He has given us to honor and please God!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
As you think about your desires for things and your use of them, what brings a smile to God’s face, and what makes Him frown?
What is one thing you can do today to honor God with your possessions?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Plant a kernel of wheat and you reap a pint, plant a pint, and you reap a bushel. Always the law works to give you back more than you give.

Anthony Norvell

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Isaiah 43 (sefaria.org)
    • But now thus said the LORD— Who created you, O Jacob, Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I will redeem you; I have singled you out by name, You are Mine.
    • When you pass through water, I will be with you; Through streams, They shall not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire, You shall not be scorched; Through flame, It shall not burn you.
    • For I the LORD am your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
  • Isaiah 44 (sefaria.org)
  • Isaiah 45 (sefaria.org)

Ever checked out Acts 10 and learned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the gentiles or non-Jews? Ever checked out Acts 2 and learned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the Jews in the upper room? Are you ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit and receive power from God? Have you already received Jesus into your heart as Your Lord and Savior?

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?


Ever had the conversation about the WHAT, the WHY, and the HOW?


When I say the WHAT, I mean the action or activity. When I say the WHY, I mean the reason and the purpose. When I say the HOW it is the method and the process.

Let’s see if we can take hold of these as we read through today’s devotional. WHAT is it that we are supposed to do? WHY are we supposed to do it? HOW are we supposed to do it?


Before we jump into today’s reading let’s take a quick look at today’s verse of the day from Psalms:

‘ They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing.’

— Psalm 126:5

Example:

WHAT: Sow

WHY: You must sow in order to reap

HOW: Sow in tears and reap in joy and singing


November is in the rearview mirror.
Has 2020 been a tough year for you? Have there been many tears shed through it? Have you been able to look beyond each of those incidents and look towards the promises of the future God promises you? Some say that hindsight is 2020. It might be if we have taken the time to reflect on it, learn from it, and then look ahead to the future and don’t get stuck focusing on the rearview mirror. Are you looking forward towards the days when you will reap in joy and singing? Is the view blurry because of the tears? Are you still in the middle of sowing? Don’t lose hope, don’t give up! Put your hope and trust in God so that after you have finished sowing in tears, you will be able to reap in joy and singing!

With only 2 more days remaining in the reading plan The 49-week Challenge, where today and tomorrow will get us caught up with the last 2 readings from while I was away on a family retreat over the summer, I consider what it means for Friday and what will I be lead to read and focus on as this plan comes to an end and we head into Christmas and New Years in the midst of a time when the government is locking down more because of COVID and the implications to so many people’s lives over the holidays comes to mind. Are we ready? Are we prepared? Are we aware of what is yet to come? I think the first thing I am going to look at will be the word ADVENT and the compound words that use ADVENT. So let’s jump into today’s reading, remembering how we started today and considering the WHAT, the WHY, and the HOW elements from today’s reading.


The 49 week challenge Day 233 of 341

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 233 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

How interested are you in what will happen today? How interested are you in what will be required of you today? How interested are you in what decisions you will need to make today? How interested are you in hearing from God today? How interested are you in accomplishing what God is calling you to do today? What if it were life and death decision? What if it were everlasting life and everlasting death decision? What if the decision that you make today will determine how you will spend the rest of eternity? Would it make a difference?

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

Today’s reading from GOD’S WORD–THE BIBLE:


My Notes:

  • ‘We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing the praises of your name.” Again, it says, “Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.” And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; let all the peoples extol him.” And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
    I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. Rather, as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.” This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.
    But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this contribution, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ. I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all. Amen.’
    — Romans 15:1-33
  • ‘David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me. “I called to the Lord , who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies. The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. “In my distress I called to the Lord ; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence bolts of lightning blazed forth. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of the Lord , at the blast of breath from his nostrils. “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. “The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord ; I am not guilty of turning from my God. All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight. “To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low. You, Lord , are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop ; with my God I can scale a wall. “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord ’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord ? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. “I pursued my enemies and crushed them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. I crushed them completely, and they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes. They cried for help, but there was no one to save them— to the Lord , but he did not answer. I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth; I pounded and trampled them like mud in the streets. “You have delivered me from the attacks of the peoples; you have preserved me as the head of nations. People I did not know now serve me, foreigners cower before me; as soon as they hear of me, they obey me. They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds. “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior! He is the God who avenges me, who puts the nations under me, who sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. Therefore I will praise you, Lord , among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name. “He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.”’
    — 2 Samuel 22:1-51
  • ‘I love you, Lord , my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord , who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies. The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord ; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord , at the blast of breath from your nostrils. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord ; I am not guilty of turning from my God. All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. You, Lord , keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop ; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord ’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord ? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes. They cried for help, but there was no one to save them— to the Lord , but he did not answer. I beat them as fine as windblown dust; I trampled them like mud in the streets. You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; you have made me the head of nations. People I did not know now serve me, foreigners cower before me; as soon as they hear of me, they obey me. They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds. The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior! He is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me, who saves me from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. Therefore I will praise you, Lord , among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name. He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing love to his anointed, to David and to his descendants forever.’
    — Psalms 18:1-50
  • ‘Praise the Lord , all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord .’
    — Psalms 117:1-2
  • ‘A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord — and he will delight in the fear of the Lord . He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish, and Judah’s enemies will be destroyed; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim. They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west; together they will plunder the people to the east. They will subdue Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be subject to them. The Lord will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams so that anyone can cross over in sandals. There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.’
    — Isaiah 11:1-16

As day 233 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?

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?

Today’s devotional that I am following is The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com


How bad do you want this to get?


Do you see what is taking place around you? Do you realize the impact it is having on the world around you? Will you just allow it to continue or will you speak up or do something about it? Do you realize there are consequences? Do you realize there are results to the choices we make? Sometimes people get what they are asking for to their own demise because they wouldn’t listen to what God has to say. Sometimes people walk away from God’s ways and then have to deal with the fact that they are no longer under the covering and protection of God. Will you do something and stick close to God? Will you try to go it your own way and then have to deal with the results and consequences?

How bad do you want this to get?


Let’s take a look into today’s reading from Amos…

The Lion Roars at the Nations

1The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds from Tekoa. He perceived these words concerning Israel during the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. 2He said: Adonai roars from Zion, From Jerusalem He gives His voice. The shepherds’ pastures mourn, and the top of Mount Carmel withers. 3Thus says Adonai: For three crimes of Damascus, even for four, I will not relent. For they threshed Gilead with iron threshing sledges, 4I will send fire into Hazael’s palace. It will devour Ben-hadad’s citadels. 5I will break the Damascus gate-bar and cut off the inhabitant from the Valley of Aven, wielding Beth-eden’s scepter. So the people of Aram will go into exile to Kir. Adonai has said it. 6Thus says Adonai: “For three crimes of Gaza, even for four, I will not relent. For they exiled an entire population, giving them over to Edom. 7So I will send fire on the wall of Gaza —it will devour its citadels. 8I will cut off Ashdod’s inhabitant, wielding Ashkelon’s scepter. I will turn My hand against Ekron and the rest of the Philistines will perish. My Lord Adonai has said it. 9Thus says Adonai: For three crimes of Tyre, even for four, I will not relent. For they gave an entire population over to Edom, and did not remember the covenant of brothers. 10I will send fire on the wall of Tyre— it will devour its citadels. 11Thus says Adonai: For three crimes of Edom even for four, I will not relent. For he pursued his brother with a sword and stifled his compassion. For his anger tore continually, and he kept his wrath forever. 12So I will send fire in Teman— it will devour Bozrah’s citadels. 13Thus says Adonai: For three crimes of the sons of Ammon even for four, I will not relent. For they ripped open pregnant women of Gilead to expand their territory, 14I will kindle fire on Rabbah’s wall and it will devour its citadels, amid shouting on a day of battle, with storm on a day of whirlwind. 15Their king will go into exile, he and his princes together. Thus Adonai has said.

–from Amos 1

Everyone, even God’s chosen people if or when they choose to go against His will will have to be accountable for their decisions and actions…

1Thus says Adonai: For three crimes of Moab even for four, I will not relent. For he burned the bones of Edom’s king to lime, 2So I will send fire upon Moab— it will devour Kerioth’s citadels. Moab will die in an uproar, with a shout of alarm and the sound of the shofar. 3I will cut off the ruler from her midst, and slay all her princes with him. Thus Adonai has said. As for Judah and Israel 4Thus says Adonai: “For three crimes of Judah even for four, I will not relent. For they despise Adonai’s Torah and have not kept His statutes. Their lies have misled them— those their fathers walked after. 5So I will send fire upon Judah— it will devour Jerusalem’s citadels.” 6Thus says Adonai: “For three crimes of Israel even for four, I will not relent. For they sell the righteous for silver and the needy for a pair of shoes. 7They trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth and thwart the way of the humble. A man and his father go to the same girl, to profane My holy Name. 8Upon garments taken in pledge they stretch out beside every altar, and drink wine confiscated as fines in the house of their gods. 9“I destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like cedars and as strong as oaks— yes, I destroyed his fruit from above and his roots from beneath. 10 It was I also who brought you up from the land of Egypt and led you forty years in the wilderness to possess the Amorite’s land. 11I raised up prophets from your sons and Nazirites from your young men. Is this not so, Bnei Yisrael?” declares Adonai. 12“But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink, and you commanded the prophets saying, ‘Do not prophesy.’ 13Behold! I will cause a tottering beneath you as a cart totters when full of sheaves. 14Then flight will fail for the swift. The mighty will not strengthen his power, The warrior will not save his life. 15The archer will not stand, the fleet-footed will not escape, the horseman will not save himself. 16The valiant among the warriors will flee naked in that day.” declares Adonai.

–from Amos 2

What is your viewpoint? What is your perspective? Do you have a biblical worldview? Do you have a man centric worldview? What motivates you? What directs your steps? How will you determine to live? What will be your motivation? Choose wisely!

The Prophet Reveals Destruction

1Hear this word that Adonai has spoken against you, Bnei Yisrael, against the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying: 2“Only you have I known from among all the families of the earth. Therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities. 3Can two walk together unless they meet by appointment? 4Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey? Does a young lion growl from his den unless he has taken prey? 5Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground if it has no bait? Will a snare spring up from the ground without taking anything? 6If a shofar alarm sounds in a city, will people not tremble? If there is calamity in a city, has not Adonai caused it? 7For the Lord Adonai, will do nothing, unless He has revealed His counsel to His servants the prophets. 8A lion has roared, who will not fear? My Lord Adonai has spoken, who shall not prophesy? 9Proclaim on the citadels in Ashdod and the citadels in the land of Egypt: “Assemble on Samaria’s mountains: Behold the great tumult within it, even the oppression within it.” 10They do not know how to be honest, —declares Adonai— those who are saving up violence and destruction in their citadels. 11Therefore thus says my Lord Adonai: “An adversary will surround the land! He will bring down your strength. Your citadels will be plundered 12Thus says Adonai: “Just as the shepherd snatches out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so will Bnei-Yisrael dwelling in Samaria escape with the corner of a bed or a head of a couch. 13Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob.” It is the declaration of my Lord Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot. 14“For in a day I shall punish Israel for the transgressions of Israel, and attend to the altars of Bethel— the horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. 15I will also strike the winter house together with the summer house. The houses of ivory will perish, and great houses will be demolished.” It is the declaration of Adonai.

–from Amos 3

So what you sow you will reap! So how will you sow? What will you sow? Where will you sow? Will you take the word of God and sow it into the lives of the people around you?

Storytelling Opens Hearts

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

Reaping What You Sow

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

What Is the Kingdom of God Like?

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

Power Over Nature

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

–from Mark 4

Are you a giver? What principles guide you in this?


Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:10-15; 9:6-11:4,12-15;
Psalm 120:5-7; Proverbs 22:29


You weren’t just call to do it, but to complete it. You were ready to want it, so now press on complete the work that God has called you to do.

And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

Are you in a time of abundance? Are you in a time of lack?

For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack-that there may be equality. As it is written, "He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack."

How are you sowing? Where is your heart as you sow? Be cheerful.

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:

"He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever."
Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

We are not in a battle against flesh, but against powers against principalities, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Let’s be ready and stand firm. We don’t fight with the same weapons, but with spiritual armor – Helmet of Salvation – to protect our mind, the Breastplate of Righteousness – to protect our heart, the Shield of Faith – to protect us from the fiery darts that get shot at us every day, the Belt of Truth, that holds it all together, put on your feet the Shoes of Readiness having been prepared in the Gospel of Peace that we will be able to move forward and stand firm on the Rock of Jesus and a single spiritual weapon – the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

Helmet of Salvation Shield of Faith Belt of Truth Shoes of Readiness
Sword of the Spirit

Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ-who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s. For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed-lest I seem to terrify you by letters. "For his letters," they say, "are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible." Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us-a sphere which especially includes you. For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment.

But "he who glories, let him glory in the LORD." For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

There are many that will try to twist or take away the truth. There are many who will try to lead you astray. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Lean not on your own understanding, but put your trust in God. And as my three year old likes to remind me, “Do not be afraid, God is with you – Joshua 1:9”. From the mouth of babes.

Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly-and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted-you may well put up with it!

But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.


WORSHIP

Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech,
That I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
My soul has dwelt too long
With one who hates peace.
I am for peace;
But when I speak, they are for war.
Psalm 120:5-7

WISDOM

Do you see a man who excels in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before unknown men.
Proverbs 22:29