“We get pulled out of our comfort zone to help shed our lukewarm nature, eventually trusting God in all of our circumstances”~Taryn Barnes
Illusion of Safety
Sometimes God allows the rug to be pulled from underneath us, putting us in situations beyond our control. The world likes to appeal to our ego, giving us the false sense of security by telling us we ultimately have control over our lives. If you’re not lukewarm, expect to be put to the test as God will refine us.
Press through the discomfort of being out of your comfort zone so that you can level up in your walk with God. When we are comfortable, we lack the conviction to grow, opting to continue in an unsuspecting lull. Fulfill the call that God has in your life by pushing past the deceitful trappings of this world. Remember that God’s treasures are infinitely better than that of this world.
Question of the day
Are you willing to push past your discomfort to grow in Christ?
Enjoy today’s reading
Numbers 14 NIV
The People Rebel
1That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” 5Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. 6Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” 10But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.” 13Moses said to the LORD, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. 14And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, LORD, are with these people and that you, LORD, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.15If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, 16‘The LORD was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’17“Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 18‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ 19In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.” 20The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, 22not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. 25Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea. ” 26The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: 27“How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites.28So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: 29In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.30Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.32But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. 33Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness. 34For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ 35I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.” 36So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— 37these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD.
Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.39When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. 40Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the LORD promised. Surely we have sinned!” 41But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the LORD’s command? This will not succeed! 42Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, 43for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.” 44Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD’s covenant moved from the camp. 45Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.
“Just when you think you’re out of gas, God will miraculously provide you with the resources you need to finish the job.” ~Taryn Barnes
There are times in life where we feel as though we are spiritually on empty, struggling to keep the faith in our walk with God. It is in moments like these, we find ourselves taking our eyes off of the prize, trying to make sense of our situations using our own personal human understanding.
When you’re spiritually on E, fuel up by studying the word of God. You’ll find that in the Bible the trials and tribulations we endure are nothing new under the sun. Seek peace and understanding by leaning on the Word to renew your spirit. Remember that through life’s challenges, we gain a deeper relationship with God, so don’t be dismayed should obstacles come your way.
Question of the day
In times of spiritual fatigue, how do you refuel?
Enjoy today’s reading
Numbers 13 NIV
1The LORD said to Moses, 2“Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” 3So at the LORD’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites. 4These are their names: from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zakkur; 5from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori; 6from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh; 7from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph; 8from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun; 9from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu; 10from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi; 11from the tribe of Manasseh (a tribe of Joseph), Gaddi son of Susi; 12from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli; 13from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael; 14from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi; 15from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Maki. 16These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. (Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.) 17When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.) 21So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath.22They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23When they reached the Valley of Eshkol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.
Report on the Exploration
26They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” 30Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”31But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
“In an effort to derail your walk with Christ, the devil will often try and throw a Hail mary as a last ditch effort. Don’t be deterred by the distraction as it is in fact an indication that you’re on the path of righteousness” ~Taryn Barnes
Don’t allow the evil one to intercept what God has planned for your life. In times of progress and breakthroughs, there will always be some form of opposition. Keep a watchful eye to see that you don’t get caught in the trap.
A good offense is a strong defense. Arm yourself with the Word, which will remind you that God is the ultimate quarterback who has already led us to victory. After a while, you’ll begin to identify the devil’s traps and snares and will laugh at how foolish his efforts truly are.
We don’t have to wonder if we’ll make it to the end zone. Jesus already ensured that we’d have the touchdown. Whether you get there on the 1st or 4th down, through Christ, we’ve already won the game.
Question of the day
Are you reading God’s winning playbook to block evil’s, Hail Mary?
Enjoy today’s reading
Numbers 12 NIV
Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses
1Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2“Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this. 3(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.) 4At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. 5Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, 6he said, “Listen to my words: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.7But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. 8With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” 9The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them. 10When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous —it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, 11and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 12Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.” 13So Moses cried out to the LORD, “Please, God, heal her!” 14The LORD replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” 15So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back. 16After that, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Desert of Paran.
“Invest everything you are in God’s stock market as the ROI is everlasting” ~Taryn Barnes
The seeds we sow are like stocks in God’s stock market, going up and down in value as we navigate our personal daily choices. Those seeds are investments in our spiritual growth and development. Diversify your portfolio, and sow more good seeds than bad, as we all play the market in our own free will.
We reap what we sow for better or worse. As imperfect creatures our stock may become volatile, going up or plummeting, but rest assured if you put your heart and trust in Christ, God will always come through, exchanging your stocks with His, to see that your investment is actualized in heaven.
We play God’s stock market every day, giving us the opportunity to make better investments as we grow. Become a savvy investor by reading up on the good investment tips given to us by way of the Bible. The more you study, the better you become at investing, securing your retirement in heaven.
Question of the day
How is your biblical portfolio looking?
Enjoy today’s reading
Numbers 11 NIV
Fire From the LORD
1Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.
2When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the LORD and the fire died down.
3So that place was called Taberah, because fire from the LORD had burned among them.
Quail From the LORD
4The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat!
5We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.
6But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”
7The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin.
8The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil.
9When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.
10Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The LORD became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled.
11He asked the LORD, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?
12Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors?
13Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’
14I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.
15If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”
16The LORD said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you.
17I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.
18“Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it.
19You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days,
20but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?” ’ ”
21But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’
22Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?”
23The LORD answered Moses, “Is the LORD’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”
24So Moses went out and told the people what the LORD had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the tent.
25Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.
26However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp.
27A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”
28Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”
29But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!”
30Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.
31Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubits deep all around the camp, as far as a day’s walk in any direction.
32All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp.
33But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the LORD burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague.
34Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved other food.
35From Kibroth Hattaavah the people traveled to Hazeroth and stayed there.
“Life’s answers reveal themselves through honest and meaningful research within the original search engine; the Bible” ~ Taryn Barnes
We use modern techniques to find solutions on how we should live our lives. Where we eat, how we dress our homes or ourselves, who we choose to spend our time with, often is dictated by answers of this world. We fill ourselves up with false security Googling lifestyles that bring us comfort and ease, fattening ourselves like cattle prepped for slaughter. Instead of using the ultimate resource to verify that we’re living according to God’s doctrine. When faced with difficult situations that have difficult answers, we dismiss the truth, searching for a word Man has spoken to validate our disobedience. Friends, do not be led astray by the sweet nothings of this world.
Escape the modern trap by referring back to the original source of knowledge, the Bible. When searching for the truth, confirm it with biblical scripture to measure if what you’re living is God’s actual truth. It takes due diligence to ensure that we’re walking the right path, rather than adding our own addendums to assuage our own comfort of disobedience. See to it that the actions you seek to live out are in step with what has been written. Like a healthy, balanced diet, the Living Word takes discipline, continuity, and patience to digest. It’s not for the faint of heart but will provide you
Confirmation will shine in your life when you follow God’s word. It may not be glamorous or popular, but God’s warmth and peace overshadow the world’s temporal comforts. Our lives will either be confirmed or condemned when we meet our maker and what we do now, in this world matters. All imitations will be sussed out and dealt with accordingly. Seek confirmation from Him rather than your peers.
Question of the day
Are you using God’s search engine or an imitation?
Enjoy today’s reading
Numbers 10 NIV
The Silver Trumpets
1The LORD said to Moses: 2“Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out. 3When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 4If only one is sounded, the leaders—the heads of the clans of Israel—are to assemble before you. 5When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the east are to set out. 6At the sounding of a second blast, the camps on the south are to set out. The blast will be the signal for setting out. 7To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the signal for setting out. 8“The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come. 9When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies. 10Also at your times of rejoicing—your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts—you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the LORD your God.”
The Israelites Leave Sinai
11On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the covenant law.12Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran. 13They set out, this first time, at the LORD’s command through Moses. 14The divisions of the camp of Judah went first, under their standard. Nahshon son of Amminadab was in command. 15Nethanel son of Zuar was over the division of the tribe of Issachar, 16and Eliab son of Helon was over the division of the tribe of Zebulun.
17Then the tabernacle was taken down, and the Gershonites and Merarites, who carried it, set out. 18The divisions of the camp of Reuben went next, under their standard. Elizur son of Shedeur was in command. 19Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was over the division of the tribe of Simeon, 20and Eliasaph son of Deuel was over the division of the tribe of Gad. 21Then the Kohathites set out, carrying the holy things. The tabernacle was to be set up before they arrived.22The divisions of the camp of Ephraim went next, under their standard. Elishama son of Ammihud was in command. 23Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was over the division of the tribe of Manasseh, 24and Abidan son of Gideoni was over the division of the tribe of Benjamin. 25Finally, as the rear guard for all the units, the divisions of the camp of Dan set out under their standard. Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai was in command. 26Pagiel son of Okran was over the division of the tribe of Asher, 27and Ahira son of Enan was over the division of the tribe of Naphtali. 28This was the order of march for the Israelite divisions as they set out. 29Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place about which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the LORD has promised good things to Israel.” 30He answered, “No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people.” 31But Moses said, “Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. 32If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the LORD gives us.” 33So they set out from the mountain of the LORD and traveled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them during those three days to find them a place to rest. 34The cloud of the LORD was over them by day when they set out from the camp.35Whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Rise up, LORD! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you.” 36Whenever it came to rest, he said, “Return, LORD, to the countless thousands of Israel.”
“We live in a world where instant gratification can often provide us with temporary solutions, but God’s solutions are rarely instant, yet will sustain you for a lifetime.”
Be patient when problems require more complex formulas to the equations of your life as the right formula requires open ears to gain the knowledge. Patience is an art form which takes years to craft and hone– depending on your willingness to listen. Some learn fast and others, not so much, but in the end, it’s something we develop or endure. The choice is yours.
Be disciplined in your work as what knowledge you acquire throughout life will help you learn and apply the formulas to your personal equations. In math, we learn the functions and techniques successively, and life isn’t very different. So be disciplined in learning and retaining the smaller functions, which will later combine into more complex formulas, becoming the necessary solutions to life’s challenges.
Beware of the glamorous and attractive shortcuts the world provides as those solutions will provide temporary comfort, compounded with deeper problems down the road. Biblical solutions are plain and simple, yet require a great amount of patience and discipline to truly accomplish. There is more effort and sacrifice needed, but the reward, immeasurable
Question of the day
Are you seeking the world’s short-term fixes or God’s everlasting solutions?
Enjoy the today’s reading
Numbers 9 NIV
1The LORD spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month of the second year after they came out of Egypt. He said 2“Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time. 3Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations.” 4So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover, 5and they did so in the Desert of Sinai at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Israelites did everything just as the LORD commanded Moses. 6But some of them could not celebrate the Passover on that day because they were ceremonially unclean on account of a dead body. So they came to Moses and Aaron that same day 7and said to Moses, “We have become unclean because of a dead body, but why should we be kept from presenting the LORD’s offering with the other Israelites at the appointed time?” 8Moses answered them, “Wait until I find out what the LORD commands concerning you.” 9Then the LORD said to Moses, 10“Tell the Israelites: ‘When any of you or your descendants are unclean because of a dead body or are away on a journey, they are still to celebrate the LORD’s Passover,11but they are to do it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight. They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. When they celebrate the Passover, they must follow all the regulations. 13But if anyone who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, they must be cut off from their people for not presenting the LORD’s offering at the appointed time. They will bear the consequences of their sin. 14“ ‘A foreigner residing among you is also to celebrate the LORD’s Passover in accordance with its rules and regulations. You must have the same regulations for both the foreigner and the native-born.’ ”
The Cloud Above the Tabernacle
15On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. 16That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. 17Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. 18At the LORD’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD’s order and did not set out. 20Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the LORD’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. 21Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. 22Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. 23At the LORD’s command they encamped, and at the LORD’s command they set out. They obeyed the LORD’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.
“It’s easy to perform well when the conditions are in your favor, whereas trials can make the task extremely difficult to complete. Intense pressure turns coal into diamonds, in the same manner that suffering for Christ brings you closer to God.” ~Taryn Barnes
In the beginning, God gives us milk, gently showing us the way to become mature Christians as we begin our path to follow Christ. He gives us plain and clear direction, encouraging us in our walk. Be thankful for the times where life is plentiful and the walk with God shows you favor and abundance in life.
In time, God weans us off of milk, giving us meat that will prove to be tougher to digest than the milk previously given. It is best to ingest slowly and carefully as these messages often always are not meant to be swallowed in one bite. Be thankful for the times of famine and confusion as this is a test of your ability to continue following Christ sight unseen.
As people who have made the conscious decision to take up the cross each and every day, we will experience seasons of feast and famine; encountering trials and tribulations that human understanding will never fully resolve. Don’t be afraid of trials and tribulations as they are an indication that you have chosen the narrow path that leads to everlasting life. Rejoice in all of these seasons as they bring us toward Christ, forming a closer bond to God than we could ever imagine.
Question of the day
In your times of trial, are you leaning on your understanding, or God’s?
Enjoy today’s reading
Numbers 8 NIV
Setting Up the Lamps
1The LORD said to Moses, 2“Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you set up the lamps, see that all seven light up the area in front of the lampstand.’ ” 3Aaron did so; he set up the lamps so that they faced forward on the lampstand, just as the LORD commanded Moses. 4This is how the lampstand was made: It was made of hammered gold—from its base to its blossoms. The lampstand was made exactly like the pattern the LORD had shown Moses.
The Setting Apart of the Levites
5The LORD said to Moses: 6“Take the Levites from among all the Israelites and make them ceremonially clean. 7To purify them, do this: Sprinkle the water of cleansing on them; then have them shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes. And so they will purify themselves. 8Have them take a young bull with its grain offering of the finest flour mixed with olive oil; then you are to take a second young bull for a sin offering. 9Bring the Levites to the front of the tent of meeting and assemble the whole Israelite community. 10You are to bring the Levites before the LORD, and the Israelites are to lay their hands on them. 11Aaron is to present the Levites before the LORD as a wave offering from the Israelites, so that they may be ready to do the work of the LORD.
12“Then the Levites are to lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, using one for a sin offering to the LORD and the other for a burnt offering, to make atonement for the Levites. 13Have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and then present them as a wave offering to the LORD. 14In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.15“After you have purified the Levites and presented them as a wave offering, they are to come to do their work at the tent of meeting. 16They are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to me. I have taken them as my own in place of the firstborn, the first male offspring from every Israelite woman.
17Every firstborn male in Israel, whether human or animal, is mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set them apart for myself. 18And I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons in Israel. 19From among all the Israelites, I have given the Levites as gifts to Aaron and his sons to do the work at the tent of meeting on behalf of the Israelites and to make atonement for them so that no plague will strike the Israelites when they go near the sanctuary.” 20Moses, Aaron and the whole Israelite community did with the Levites just as the LORD commanded Moses. 21The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes. Then Aaron presented them as a wave offering before the LORD and made atonement for them to purify them.
22After that, the Levites came to do their work at the tent of meeting under the supervision of Aaron and his sons. They did with the Levites just as the LORD commanded Moses. 23The LORD said to Moses,24“This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting,
25but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer.
26They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of meeting, but they themselves must not do the work. This, then, is how you are to assign the responsibilities of the Levites.”
“You do realize how wonderful it feels to see someone doing what they love, with passion, precision, and purpose, which means the eyes of God are upon you!” ~ Jon Barnes
Now that you have God’s attention, keep moving and following His steps in the direction you are supposed to go. There are many cool things you can do to keep God smiling at you, as you bless the people you love all around you. Your solutions become epic movements by sprinkling your love into every room you enter.
Naturally, your movements and thoughts flow like air because your workload is balanced, levitating right before your eyes. You do not fear your position in God because you are not lazy. Naturally move forward in Him.
I don’t know why I have been given a second chance. Bless God, I’ll take it. I am becoming less complicated in everything I do and the results of my love for God help me to work at my best level, sleep well, and breathe easily. Thank God.
Are you feeling good about your relationship with God?
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Further Instructions for the Guilt Offering
7 “These are the instructions for the guilt offering. It is most holy.2 The animal sacrificed as a guilt offering must be slaughtered at the place where the burnt offerings are slaughtered, and its blood must be splattered against all sides of the altar.3 The priest will then offer all its fat on the altar, including the fat of the broad tail, the fat around the internal organs,4 the two kidneys and the fat around them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver. These are to be removed with the kidneys,5 and the priests will burn them on the altar as a special gift presented to the Lord. This is the guilt offering.6 Any male from a priest’s family may eat the meat. It must be eaten in a sacred place, for it is most holy.
7 “The same instructions apply to both the guilt offering and the sin offering. Both belong to the priest who uses them to purify someone, making that person right with the Lord.[a]8 In the case of the burnt offering, the priest may keep the hide of the sacrificed animal.9 Any grain offering that has been baked in an oven, prepared in a pan, or cooked on a griddle belongs to the priest who presents it.10 All other grain offerings, whether made of dry flour or flour moistened with olive oil, are to be shared equally among all the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
Further Instructions for the Peace Offering
11 “These are the instructions regarding the different kinds of peace offerings that may be presented to the Lord.12 If you present your peace offering as an expression of thanksgiving, the usual animal sacrifice must be accompanied by various kinds of bread made without yeast—thin cakes mixed with olive oil, wafers spread with oil, and cakes made of choice flour mixed with olive oil.13 This peace offering of thanksgiving must also be accompanied by loaves of bread made with yeast.14 One of each kind of bread must be presented as a gift to the Lord. It will then belong to the priest who splatters the blood of the peace offering against the altar.15 The meat of the peace offering of thanksgiving must be eaten on the same day it is offered. None of it may be saved for the next morning.
16 “If you bring an offering to fulfill a vow or as a voluntary offering, the meat must be eaten on the same day the sacrifice is offered, but whatever is left over may be eaten on the second day.17 Any meat left over until the third day must be completely burned up.18 If any of the meat from the peace offering is eaten on the third day, the person who presented it will not be accepted by the Lord. You will receive no credit for offering it. By then the meat will be contaminated; if you eat it, you will be punished for your sin.
19 “Meat that touches anything ceremonially unclean may not be eaten; it must be completely burned up. The rest of the meat may be eaten, but only by people who are ceremonially clean.20 If you are ceremonially unclean and you eat meat from a peace offering that was presented to the Lord, you will be cut off from the community.21 If you touch anything that is unclean (whether it is human defilement or an unclean animal or any other unclean, detestable thing) and then eat meat from a peace offering presented to the Lord, you will be cut off from the community.”
The Forbidden Blood and Fat
22 Then the Lord said to Moses,23 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. You must never eat fat, whether from cattle, sheep, or goats.24 The fat of an animal found dead or torn to pieces by wild animals must never be eaten, though it may be used for any other purpose.25 Anyone who eats fat from an animal presented as a special gift to the Lord will be cut off from the community.26 No matter where you live, you must never consume the blood of any bird or animal.27 Anyone who consumes blood will be cut off from the community.”
A Portion for the Priests
28 Then the Lord said to Moses,29 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you present a peace offering to the Lord, bring part of it as a gift to the Lord.30 Present it to the Lord with your own hands as a special gift to the Lord. Bring the fat of the animal, together with the breast, and lift up the breast as a special offering to the Lord.31 Then the priest will burn the fat on the altar, but the breast will belong to Aaron and his descendants.32 Give the right thigh of your peace offering to the priest as a gift.33 The right thigh must always be given to the priest who offers the blood and the fat of the peace offering.34 For I have reserved the breast of the special offering and the right thigh of the sacred offering for the priests. It is the permanent right of Aaron and his descendants to share in the peace offerings brought by the people of Israel.35 This is their rightful share. The special gifts presented to the Lord have been reserved for Aaron and his descendants from the time they were set apart to serve the Lord as priests.36 On the day they were anointed, the Lord commanded the Israelites to give these portions to the priests as their permanent share from generation to generation.”
37 These are the instructions for the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering, as well as the ordination offering and the peace offering.38 The Lord gave these instructions to Moses on Mount Sinai when he commanded the Israelites to present their offerings to the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai.
“Say you will do the many good things that God has put into your heart, program them into your mind and make these important goals happen with your hands.” ~ Jon Barnes
I hear people talk about things and copy bad information that they hear on TV, News, or from other people. When we don’t hear the standard practiced procedures from the good sources and people we love in our lives, we choose not to hear about the good things God wants us to do. Instead, we hear what we want to hear, which are the fake stories that are full of lies, deception, and confusion.
I see people watch things and copy bad information that they see on TV, News, or from other people. When we don’t see the standard practiced procedures from the good sources and people we love in our lives, we don’t see the good things that God would like for us to copy and improve upon. Instead, we see what we want and listen to the fake information that clouds our judgment.
I hear and see few people doing the listening, reading, praying, and the amount of work that is required in making good choices from the many options God gives us. Many fall prey to the evil that they hear and see, which is a negative influence that makes them do wicked things, doing the opposite of what God Commands. You will do as you say, see, hear, and think with God.
Are you living for Christ or are you saying something else?
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Sins Requiring a Guilt Offering
6 [a]Then the Lord said to Moses,2 “Suppose one of you sins against your associate and is unfaithful to the Lord. Suppose you cheat in a deal involving a security deposit, or you steal or commit fraud,3 or you find lost property and lie about it, or you lie while swearing to tell the truth, or you commit any other such sin.4 If you have sinned in any of these ways, you are guilty. You must give back whatever you stole, or the money you took by extortion, or the security deposit, or the lost property you found,5 or anything obtained by swearing falsely. You must make restitution by paying the full price plus an additional 20 percent to the person you have harmed. On the same day you must present a guilt offering.6 As a guilt offering to the Lord, you must bring to the priest your own ram with no defects, or you may buy one of equal value.7 Through this process, the priest will purify you before the Lord, making you right with him,[b] and you will be forgiven for any of these sins you have committed.”
Further Instructions for the Burnt Offering
8 [c]Then the Lord said to Moses,9 “Give Aaron and his sons the following instructions regarding the burnt offering. The burnt offering must be left on top of the altar until the next morning, and the fire on the altar must be kept burning all night.10 In the morning, after the priest on duty has put on his official linen clothing and linen undergarments, he must clean out the ashes of the burnt offering and put them beside the altar.11 Then he must take off these garments, change back into his regular clothes, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean.12 Meanwhile, the fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must never go out. Each morning the priest will add fresh wood to the fire and arrange the burnt offering on it. He will then burn the fat of the peace offerings on it.13 Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out.
Further Instructions for the Grain Offering
14 “These are the instructions regarding the grain offering. Aaron’s sons must present this offering to the Lord in front of the altar.15 The priest on duty will take from the grain offering a handful of the choice flour moistened with olive oil, together with all the frankincense. He will burn this representative portion on the altar as a pleasing aroma to the Lord.16 Aaron and his sons may eat the rest of the flour, but it must be baked without yeast and eaten in a sacred place within the courtyard of the Tabernacle.[d]17 Remember, it must never be prepared with yeast. I have given it to the priests as their share of the special gifts presented to me. Like the sin offering and the guilt offering, it is most holy.18 Any of Aaron’s male descendants may eat from the special gifts presented to the Lord. This is their permanent right from generation to generation. Anyone or anything that touches these offerings will become holy.”
Procedures for the Ordination Offering
19 Then the Lord said to Moses,20 “On the day Aaron and his sons are anointed, they must present to the Lord the standard grain offering of two quarts[e] of choice flour, half to be offered in the morning and half to be offered in the evening.21 It must be carefully mixed with olive oil and cooked on a griddle. Then slice[f] this grain offering and present it as a pleasing aroma to the Lord.22 In each generation, the high priest[g] who succeeds Aaron must prepare this same offering. It belongs to the Lord and must be burned up completely. This is a permanent law.23 All such grain offerings of a priest must be burned up entirely. None of it may be eaten.”
Further Instructions for the Sin Offering
24 Then the Lord said to Moses,25 “Give Aaron and his sons the following instructions regarding the sin offering. The animal given as an offering for sin is a most holy offering, and it must be slaughtered in the Lord’s presence at the place where the burnt offerings are slaughtered.26 The priest who offers the sacrifice as a sin offering must eat his portion in a sacred place within the courtyard of the Tabernacle.27 Anyone or anything that touches the sacrificial meat will become holy. If any of the sacrificial blood spatters on a person’s clothing, the soiled garment must be washed in a sacred place.28 If a clay pot is used to boil the sacrificial meat, it must then be broken. If a bronze pot is used, it must be scoured and thoroughly rinsed with water.29 Any male from a priest’s family may eat from this offering; it is most holy.30 But the offering for sin may not be eaten if its blood was brought into the Tabernacle as an offering for purification[h] in the Holy Place. It must be completely burned with fire.
“Count the many times you have allowed the anger of other people shut you down and stopped you from doing all the good you are supposed to do, because you absorbed the anger into your spirit.” ~ Jon Barnes
Block out evil with your smile and kind words and works of faith, justice, responsibility, and love, by staying focused, counting your blessings, and thanking God. You are not blocked, the devil is blocked and hell bound, in The Name of Jesus. Now, Count the many times you will be a blessing by doing God’s will and not your own.
Count the many times you have been distracted, lazy, not available to perform the good things with your name on it. Who is stopping you? Yourself! Get out of your own way, stay the course and walk with God in your path. Stay on the post in your duty with the Army of God. Organize and schedule your daily attacks on evil, using God’s offensive and defensive maneuvers.
Each step you take moves you into the right direction by faith, because you honestly love God and your motives and movements are useful and pure. Mistakes are blessings in the hands of God because they are used to teach you the valuable lessons to share with others, as you overcome your self-righteousness. Exercise skill and care when communicating with God and people you love.
Are you counting the many victories in God because of your obedience or are you failing your tests time and time again?
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Sins Requiring a Sin Offering
5 “If you are called to testify about something you have seen or that you know about, it is sinful to refuse to testify, and you will be punished for your sin.
2 “Or suppose you unknowingly touch something that is ceremonially unclean, such as the carcass of an unclean animal. When you realize what you have done, you must admit your defilement and your guilt. This is true whether it is a wild animal, a domestic animal, or an animal that scurries along the ground.
3 “Or suppose you unknowingly touch something that makes a person unclean. When you realize what you have done, you must admit your guilt.
4 “Or suppose you make a foolish vow of any kind, whether its purpose is for good or for bad. When you realize its foolishness, you must admit your guilt.
5 “When you become aware of your guilt in any of these ways, you must confess your sin.6 Then you must bring to the Lord as the penalty for your sin a female from the flock, either a sheep or a goat. This is a sin offering with which the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord.[a]
7 “But if you cannot afford to bring a sheep, you may bring to the Lord two turtledoves or two young pigeons as the penalty for your sin. One of the birds will be for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.8 You must bring them to the priest, who will present the first bird as the sin offering. He will wring its neck but without severing its head from the body.9 Then he will sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering against the sides of the altar, and the rest of the blood will be drained out at the base of the altar. This is an offering for sin.10 The priest will then prepare the second bird as a burnt offering, following all the procedures that have been prescribed. Through this process the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven.
11 “If you cannot afford to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, you may bring two quarts[b] of choice flour for your sin offering. Since it is an offering for sin, you must not moisten it with olive oil or put any frankincense on it.12 Take the flour to the priest, who will scoop out a handful as a representative portion. He will burn it on the altar on top of the special gifts presented to the Lord. It is an offering for sin.13 Through this process, the priest will purify those who are guilty of any of these sins, making them right with the Lord, and they will be forgiven. The rest of the flour will belong to the priest, just as with the grain offering.”
Procedures for the Guilt Offering
14 Then the Lord said to Moses,15 “If one of you commits a sin by unintentionally defiling the Lord’s sacred property, you must bring a guilt offering to the Lord. The offering must be your own ram with no defects, or you may buy one of equal value with silver, as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel.[c]16 You must make restitution for the sacred property you have harmed by paying for the loss, plus an additional 20 percent. When you give the payment to the priest, he will purify you with the ram sacrificed as a guilt offering, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven.
17 “Suppose you sin by violating one of the Lord’s commands. Even if you are unaware of what you have done, you are guilty and will be punished for your sin.18 For a guilt offering, you must bring to the priest your own ram with no defects, or you may buy one of equal value. Through this process the priest will purify you from your unintentional sin, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven.19 This is a guilt offering, for you have been guilty of an offense against the Lord.”