The Playground

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“There are many ways to play on the playground, but one rule still applies; You must play with God’s Rules and commandments.” ~ Jon Barnes

Flexibility

God’s rules of love are laced with commandments, grace, mercy, kindness, meekness, long-suffering, humility, goodness, patience, and the likes so that a wide variety of good things can occur by faith. However, this is not a legalistic loop hole for foolishness and disobedience.  Respectfully, God’s Plans will happen whether you like it or not and we all must remain flexible to allow God to Move and Work in and through us. Become flexible enough to get out of your own way so that others may grow and play on the playground too.

Selfishness

Don’t hog up the swing set on the playground.  Have fun, but get out of the way so that other children can play and learn from God too. You can still swing again, but this time, be kind and push, while someone else takes a turn. Sharing is the work of your faith in your daily walk with The Lord.  Don’t gossip to hurt others, but share God’s stories of Love in your life about yourself.  Talking about yourself and how God moves in your life is called ministering. However, you have nothing to share when your power is used to shut the playground down. Don’t become a bully.

Filibuster

The act of shutting down the government or God’s playground is very similar because evil people don’t want to work, pay, help, compromise, or operate in honesty or integrity. Evil thinkers will do what they want to get their way and push their agendas onto the next person. Furthermore, their agenda will flow in the opposite direction of God’s plan. Jesus will use the waisted energy of the foolish to push all the good people on the playground into working smarter and harder for the Kingdom.  This is why the good and the evil will grow together and God will separate them during the great judgment. 
Today’s Question
Which group do you belong to on the playground, based on your relationship with God?
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 12 

The Northern Tribes Revolt

12 Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had gathered to make him king.When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of this, he returned from Egypt,[a] for he had fled to Egypt to escape from King Solomon. The leaders of Israel summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel went to speak with Rehoboam. “Your father was a hard master,” they said. “Lighten the harsh labor demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us. Then we will be your loyal subjects.”
Rehoboam replied, “Give me three days to think this over. Then come back for my answer.” So the people went away.
Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. “What is your advice?” he asked. “How should I answer these people?”
The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”
But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers.“What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?”
10 The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11 Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!’”
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to hear Rehoboam’s decision, just as the king had ordered. 13 But Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors 14 and followed the counsel of his younger advisers. He told the people, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”
15 So the king paid no attention to the people. This turn of events was the will of the Lord, for it fulfilled the Lord’s message to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh.
16 When all Israel realized that the king had refused to listen to them, they responded,
“Down with the dynasty of David!
    We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Back to your homes, O Israel!
    Look out for your own house, O David!”
So the people of Israel returned home. 17 But Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.
18 King Rehoboam sent Adoniram,[b] who was in charge of forced labor, to restore order, but the people of Israel stoned him to death. When this news reached King Rehoboam, he quickly jumped into his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. 19 And to this day the northern tribes of Israel have refused to be ruled by a descendant of David.
20 When the people of Israel learned of Jeroboam’s return from Egypt, they called an assembly and made him king over all Israel. So only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the family of David.

Shemaiah’s Prophecy

21 When Rehoboam arrived at Jerusalem, he mobilized the men of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—180,000 select troops—to fight against the men of Israel and to restore the kingdom to himself.
22 But God said to Shemaiah, the man of God, 23 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the people of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not fight against your relatives, the Israelites. Go back home, for what has happened is my doing!’” So they obeyed the message of the Lord and went home, as the Lord had commanded.

Jeroboam Makes Gold Calves

25 Jeroboam then built up the city of Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and it became his capital. Later he went and built up the town of Peniel.[c]
26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “Unless I am careful, the kingdom will return to the dynasty of David. 27 When these people go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the Temple of the Lord, they will again give their allegiance to King Rehoboam of Judah. They will kill me and make him their king instead.”
28 So on the advice of his counselors, the king made two gold calves. He said to the people,[d] “It is too much trouble for you to worship in Jerusalem. Look, Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of Egypt!”
29 He placed these calf idols in Bethel and in Dan—at either end of his kingdom.30 But this became a great sin, for the people worshiped the idols, traveling as far north as Dan to worship the one there.
31 Jeroboam also erected buildings at the pagan shrines and ordained priests from the common people—those who were not from the priestly tribe of Levi. 32 And Jeroboam instituted a religious festival in Bethel, held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month,[e] in imitation of the annual Festival of Shelters in Judah. There at Bethel he himself offered sacrifices to the calves he had made, and he appointed priests for the pagan shrines he had made. 33 So on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a day that he himself had designated, Jeroboam offered sacrifices on the altar at Bethel. He instituted a religious festival for Israel, and he went up to the altar to burn incense.
Love,
Jonathan

The Box

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Many times I am locked up in my own box and ways of thinking, which prevents God or anyone else from communicating to me because I think that my way is right!” ~ Jon Barnes

Pride

God has answers to your problems, but we tend to draw a line in the sand for no one to cross because of traditions, procedures, systems, habits, and lifestyle do not match up with God’s Ways and Lifestyle.  I have become so set in my own ways of doing things that, it takes a miracle from God to get me to see another point of view. Fortunately, I am learning to listen and willing to change.

Arrogance

Being locked up in your own thoughts and mind prevents God from teaching us anything new from the Bible, since we think we know it all, after reading the bible once. The old songs and hymns lose their true meaning because our hearts become cold and good thoughts cannot penetrate our Box of Arrogance and Pride. Learning something new, fresh, and honest requires a childlike Spirit from God to keep opening the Box of Love. Try to refill it up with the Holy Spirit of Love, so that it overflows with common sense to give, take, compromise, and share with others.

Falling

When you understand that you are not always right, you stop fighting everyone around you with the power from your throne you have built within your position of authority. The love of money and power can change a person. It has happened to me before. So you must discern what to do, say, and believe in all situations with instant pray to God on the spot. Then, your playground becomes everyone’s playground because God is the Proctor on call 24/7 to pick you up when you fall along with your family, friends, and enemies. Miracles and favor will flow into your life and all around you because of your obedience.
Today’s Question
Did you hand over the controls to your personal X-Box to God or are you still lying on the ground from your fall on the playground of life?
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 11 

Solomon’s Many Wives

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.
In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father, David, had been.Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech,[a] the detestable god of the Ammonites. In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely, as his father, David, had done.
On the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem,[b] he even built a pagan shrine for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and another for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites. Solomon built such shrines for all his foreign wives to use for burning incense and sacrificing to their gods.
The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command. 11 So now the Lord said to him, “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants. 12 But for the sake of your father, David, I will not do this while you are still alive. I will take the kingdom away from your son. 13 And even so, I will not take away the entire kingdom; I will let him be king of one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, my chosen city.”

Solomon’s Adversaries

14 Then the Lord raised up Hadad the Edomite, a member of Edom’s royal family, to be Solomon’s adversary. 15 Years before, David had defeated Edom. Joab, his army commander, had stayed to bury some of the Israelite soldiers who had died in battle. While there, they killed every male in Edom. 16 Joab and the army of Israel had stayed there for six months, killing them.
17 But Hadad and a few of his father’s royal officials escaped and headed for Egypt. (Hadad was just a boy at the time.) 18 They set out from Midian and went to Paran, where others joined them. Then they traveled to Egypt and went to Pharaoh, who gave them a home, food, and some land. 19 Pharaoh grew very fond of Hadad, and he gave him his wife’s sister in marriage—the sister of Queen Tahpenes. 20 She bore him a son named Genubath. Tahpenes raised him[c] in Pharaoh’s palace among Pharaoh’s own sons.
21 When the news reached Hadad in Egypt that David and his commander Joab were both dead, he said to Pharaoh, “Let me return to my own country.”
22 “Why?” Pharaoh asked him. “What do you lack here that makes you want to go home?”
“Nothing,” he replied. “But even so, please let me return home.”
23 God also raised up Rezon son of Eliada as Solomon’s adversary. Rezon had fled from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah, 24 and had become the leader of a gang of rebels. After David conquered Hadadezer, Rezon and his men fled to Damascus, where he became king. 25 Rezon was Israel’s bitter adversary for the rest of Solomon’s reign, and he made trouble, just as Hadad did. Rezon hated Israel intensely and continued to reign in Aram.

Jeroboam Rebels against Solomon

26 Another rebel leader was Jeroboam son of Nebat, one of Solomon’s own officials. He came from the town of Zeredah in Ephraim, and his mother was Zeruah, a widow.
27 This is the story behind his rebellion. Solomon was rebuilding the supporting terraces[d] and repairing the walls of the city of his father, David. 28 Jeroboam was a very capable young man, and when Solomon saw how industrious he was, he put him in charge of the labor force from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the descendants of Joseph.
29 One day as Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh met him along the way. Ahijah was wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone in a field, 30 and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten of these pieces, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon, and I will give ten of the tribes to you! 32 But I will leave him one tribe for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 33 For Solomon has[e] abandoned me and worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians; Chemosh, the god of Moab; and Molech, the god of the Ammonites. He has not followed my ways and done what is pleasing in my sight. He has not obeyed my decrees and regulations as David his father did.
34 “‘But I will not take the entire kingdom from Solomon at this time. For the sake of my servant David, the one whom I chose and who obeyed my commands and decrees, I will keep Solomon as leader for the rest of his life. 35 But I will take the kingdom away from his son and give ten of the tribes to you. 36 His son will have one tribe so that the descendants of David my servant will continue to reign, shining like a lamp in Jerusalem, the city I have chosen to be the place for my name. 37 And I will place you on the throne of Israel, and you will rule over all that your heart desires. 38 If you listen to what I tell you and follow my ways and do whatever I consider to be right, and if you obey my decrees and commands, as my servant David did, then I will always be with you. I will establish an enduring dynasty for you as I did for David, and I will give Israel to you. 39 Because of Solomon’s sin I will punish the descendants of David—though not forever.’”
40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but he fled to King Shishak of Egypt and stayed there until Solomon died.

Summary of Solomon’s Reign

41 The rest of the events in Solomon’s reign, including all his deeds and his wisdom, are recorded in The Book of the Acts of Solomon. 42 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 43 When he died, he was buried in the City of David, named for his father. Then his son Rehoboam became the next king.
Love,
Jonathan

Sharing

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“It is hard to care, give, and share when you have nothing to show for your hard work and efforts.” ~ Jon Barnes

Nothing

I get nothing when I’m lazy, so I push myself to do the work God has for me to do each day and I reap what I sow. It is just that simple. Do the process and the work that is required and God will bless you, if you don’t faint and give up. You will be always be tested and it is not always easy, but the rewards are a lot of fun and full of joy.

Happens

Nothing happens by itself. God is the author and finisher of our faith so buy the book, go by the book, and enjoy the study of biblical contentment. Good things begin to happen by your work with your faith in God.  Stop eating your seeds and plant them in fertile ground.  Water, weed and protect your investment in God. Your love for God is all you need, so let Him guide you on your journey.

Godliness

The Goodness of God opens doors you just cannot see coming. This is how God shares His plans for you.  If the door is closed, it is for a reason. We are ants and too small to see anything above our heads. Yet, God still provides for us and gives us opportunities to improve, help, grow, learn, and share the Lord’s Prayer to all who will listen, hear and do. Be thankful that you were called to share the goodness of Jesus in your humble lifestyle of faith and good works. 
Today’s Question
Is your lifestyle worth sharing with other people or are you still at step one?
Enjoy The Reading

Visit of the Queen of Sheba

10 When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, which brought honor to the name of the Lord,[a] she came to test him with hard questions. She arrived in Jerusalem with a large group of attendants and a great caravan of camels loaded with spices, large quantities of gold, and precious jewels. When she met with Solomon, she talked with him about everything she had on her mind. Solomon had answers for all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba realized how very wise Solomon was, and when she saw the palace he had built, she was overwhelmed. She was also amazed at the food on his tables, the organization of his officials and their splendid clothing, the cup-bearers, and the burnt offerings Solomon made at the Temple of the Lord.
She exclaimed to the king, “Everything I heard in my country about your achievements[b] and wisdom is true! I didn’t believe what was said until I arrived here and saw it with my own eyes. In fact, I had not heard the half of it! Your wisdom and prosperity are far beyond what I was told. How happy your people[c]must be! What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day, listening to your wisdom! Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.”
10 Then she gave the king a gift of 9,000 pounds[d] of gold, great quantities of spices, and precious jewels. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 (In addition, Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir, and they also brought rich cargoes of red sandalwood[e] and precious jewels. 12 The king used the sandalwood to make railings for the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and to construct lyres and harps for the musicians. Never before or since has there been such a supply of sandalwood.)
13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba whatever she asked for, besides all the customary gifts he had so generously given. Then she and all her attendants returned to their own land.

Solomon’s Wealth and Splendor

14 Each year Solomon received about 25 tons[f] of gold. 15 This did not include the additional revenue he received from merchants and traders, all the kings of Arabia, and the governors of the land.
16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold, each weighing more than fifteen pounds.[g] 17 He also made 300 smaller shields of hammered gold, each weighing nearly four pounds.[h] The king placed these shields in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
18 Then the king made a huge throne, decorated with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. 19 The throne had six steps and a rounded back. There were armrests on both sides of the seat, and the figure of a lion stood on each side of the throne.20 There were also twelve other lions, one standing on each end of the six steps. No other throne in all the world could be compared with it!
21 All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were solid gold, as were all the utensils in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. They were not made of silver, for silver was considered worthless in Solomon’s day!
22 The king had a fleet of trading ships of Tarshish that sailed with Hiram’s fleet. Once every three years the ships returned, loaded with gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.[i]
23 So King Solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth.24 People from every nation came to consult him and to hear the wisdom God had given him. 25 Year after year everyone who visited brought him gifts of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
26 Solomon built up a huge force of chariots and horses.[j] He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He stationed some of them in the chariot cities and some near him in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah.[k] 28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt[l] and from Cilicia[m]; the king’s traders acquired them from Cilicia at the standard price. 29 At that time chariots from Egypt could be purchased for 600 pieces of silver,[n] and horses for 150 pieces of silver.[o] They were then exported to the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.
Love,
Jonathan

Enjoyment

girl-1245835_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Recognize and enjoy the personal ministry God has given to you to help all the people around you when you travel during the day.” ~ Jon Barnes

Discipleship

Find positive words and works to share with people, by faith in doing the scriptures and not merely quoting them. Plain talk goes a long way with regular people.  Meet them in the context of their life’s experiences so that you can connect to their world with God’s knowledge and love.  This balance of wisdom and information requires that you practice what you preach. Many people are lying to themselves and God because they refuse to hold up the high standards of Biblical content, by changing laws, stories, and commandments to fit their own agendas.

Commandments

I only follow God’s commandments and not my own agenda. It is just not profitable for me to focus on my own ideas, money, timing, and logic. As a result, I have become more sensitive to move in the direction that God places in front of me and I’ll find and see the opportunity that has my name on it. I then use all of the commandments to integrate into the conversations or situations that may arise and my biblical content is sprinkled all over my thought processes.

Sprinklers

My sprinkler system of love enjoys watering the grass to preserve the green fresh look on life and God’s plans. I’m just a helper, messenger, and student of The Lord. My goal is to take the classes, enjoy the lectures, do the homework, pass the test, quizzes, and final exam.  God is the best teacher and He provides a world of opportunities for you to succeed in Him if you are interested.
Today’s Question
Are you interested in being taught by God with joy and the fruit of the Spirit or are you trying to seal your fate in hell? 
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 9

The Lord’s Response to Solomon

So Solomon finished building the Temple of the Lord, as well as the royal palace. He completed everything he had planned to do. Then the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had done before at Gibeon. The Lord said to him,
“I have heard your prayer and your petition. I have set this Temple apart to be holy—this place you have built where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.
“As for you, if you will follow me with integrity and godliness, as David your father did, obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations, then I will establish the throne of your dynasty over Israel forever. For I made this promise to your father, David: ‘One of your descendants will always sit on the throne of Israel.’
“But if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the commands and decrees I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, then I will uproot Israel from this land that I have given them. I will reject this Temple that I have made holy to honor my name. I will make Israel an object of mockery and ridicule among the nations. And though this Temple is impressive now, all who pass by will be appalled and will gasp in horror. They will ask, ‘Why did the Lord do such terrible things to this land and to this Temple?’
“And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why the Lord has brought all these disasters on them.’”

Solomon’s Agreement with Hiram

10 It took Solomon twenty years to build the Lord’s Temple and his own royal palace. At the end of that time, 11 he gave twenty towns in the land of Galilee to King Hiram of Tyre. (Hiram had previously provided all the cedar and cypress timber and gold that Solomon had requested.) 12 But when Hiram came from Tyre to see the towns Solomon had given him, he was not at all pleased with them.13 “What kind of towns are these, my brother?” he asked. So Hiram called that area Cabul (which means “worthless”), as it is still known today. 14 Nevertheless, Hiram paid[a] Solomon 9,000 pounds[b] of gold.

Solomon’s Many Achievements

15 This is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon conscripted to build the Lord’s Temple, the royal palace, the supporting terraces,[c] the wall of Jerusalem, and the cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16 (Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had attacked and captured Gezer, killing the Canaanite population and burning it down. He gave the city to his daughter as a wedding gift when she married Solomon. 17 So Solomon rebuilt the city of Gezer.) He also built up the towns of Lower Beth-horon, 18 Baalath, and Tamar[d] in the wilderness within his land. 19 He built towns as supply centers and constructed towns where his chariots and horses[e] could be stationed. He built everything he desired in Jerusalem and Lebanon and throughout his entire realm.
20 There were still some people living in the land who were not Israelites, including Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 21 These were descendants of the nations whom the people of Israel had not completely destroyed.[f] So Solomon conscripted them as slaves, and they serve as forced laborers to this day. 22 But Solomon did not conscript any of the Israelites for forced labor. Instead, he assigned them to serve as fighting men, government officials, officers and captains in his army, commanders of his chariots, and charioteers.23 Solomon appointed 550 of them to supervise the people working on his various projects.
24 Solomon moved his wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, from the City of David to the new palace he had built for her. Then he constructed the supporting terraces.
25 Three times each year Solomon presented burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar he had built for the Lord. He also burned incense to the Lord. And so he finished the work of building the Temple.
26 King Solomon also built a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, a port near Elath[g] in the land of Edom, along the shore of the Red Sea.[h] 27 Hiram sent experienced crews of sailors to sail the ships with Solomon’s men. 28 They sailed to Ophir and brought back to Solomon some sixteen tons[i] of gold.
Love,
Jonathan

Courageous

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“It takes courage to share your lifestyle of experiences about God’s love in a naturally meaningful way to people you don’t know.” ~ Jon Barnes

Content

Ask God to teach you how to study, read, think, learn, and grow in grace, mercy, and love first. You need time and courage to work on your own problems and experiences before you can go around helping others. Mastering the content of God’s lifestyle is a life long goal of gradual improvements, prayer, fasting, focus, relaxation, and mature thinking about biblical stories and consequences. Your personal due diligence with God is honorable, rewarding, and self-evident. Learn as you and master God’s Content.

Integration

Ask God to integrate your time, talent, work, and faith into your daily routine of life with your walk, talk, hearing, sight, taste, feelings, and planing.
God will help you organize and implement these plans with you because you asked and worked in your secret prayer closet. Openly, God will show everyone what you have learned and are doing for the Kingdom of God. Your money is not the object, but your faith, connection, and quality work with God take courage and consistency. Individuals integrate.

Execution

Ask God to show you the daily miracles that happen in your life so that you can appreciate what you have, what you are doing, and where you are going. Share and point to these wonderful things that God does for all of us since many of us take them for granted. People know you as an expert in your work. Lightly remind them that the sun continues to rise and fall based on God’s movements and not our own. We are truly like ants in the dirt and our humility, kindness, and thoughtfulness, attracts people’s attention! 
Today’s Question
Are you ready and prepared to ease God’s information and lifestyle into the conversations of work, play, and relaxation or are you just talking about a whole lot of nothing, gossip, and murmuring? 
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 8

The Ark Brought to the Temple

Solomon then summoned to Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes—the leaders of the ancestral families of the Israelites. They were to bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant to the Temple from its location in the City of David, also known as Zion. So all the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon at the annual Festival of Shelters, which is held in early autumn in the month of Ethanim.[a]
When all the elders of Israel arrived, the priests picked up the Ark. The priests and Levites brought up the Ark of the Lord along with the special tent[b] and all the sacred items that had been in it. There, before the Ark, King Solomon and the entire community of Israel sacrificed so many sheep, goats, and cattle that no one could keep count!
Then the priests carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant into the inner sanctuary of the Temple—the Most Holy Place—and placed it beneath the wings of the cherubim. The cherubim spread their wings over the Ark, forming a canopy over the Ark and its carrying poles. These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place, which is in front of the Most Holy Place, but not from the outside. They are still there to this day. Nothing was in the Ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Mount Sinai,[c] where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel when they left the land of Egypt.
10 When the priests came out of the Holy Place, a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. 11 The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of the Lord.

Solomon Praises the Lord

12 Then Solomon prayed, “O Lord, you have said that you would live in a thick cloud of darkness. 13 Now I have built a glorious Temple for you, a place where you can live forever![d]
14 Then the king turned around to the entire community of Israel standing before him and gave this blessing: 15 “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept the promise he made to my father, David. For he told my father, 16 ‘From the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have never chosen a city among any of the tribes of Israel as the place where a Temple should be built to honor my name. But I have chosen David to be king over my people Israel.’”
17 Then Solomon said, “My father, David, wanted to build this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 18 But the Lord told him, ‘You wanted to build the Temple to honor my name. Your intention is good, 19 but you are not the one to do it. One of your own sons will build the Temple to honor me.’
20 “And now the Lord has fulfilled the promise he made, for I have become king in my father’s place, and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised. I have built this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 And I have prepared a place there for the Ark, which contains the covenant that the Lordmade with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.”

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire community of Israel. He lifted his hands toward heaven, 23 and he prayed,
“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. 24 You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today.
25 “And now, O Lord, God of Israel, carry out the additional promise you made to your servant David, my father. For you said to him, ‘If your descendants guard their behavior and faithfully follow me as you have done, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.’ 26 Now, O God of Israel, fulfill this promise to your servant David, my father.
27 “But will God really live on earth? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! 28 Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you today. 29 May you watch over this Temple night and day, this place where you have said, ‘My name will be there.’ May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place. 30 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.
31 “If someone wrongs another person and is required to take an oath of innocence in front of your altar in this Temple, 32 then hear from heaven and judge between your servants—the accuser and the accused. Punish the guilty as they deserve. Acquit the innocent because of their innocence.
33 “If your people Israel are defeated by their enemies because they have sinned against you, and if they turn to you and acknowledge your name and pray to you here in this Temple, 34 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and return them to this land you gave their ancestors.
35 “If the skies are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and if they pray toward this Temple and acknowledge your name and turn from their sins because you have punished them, 36 then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them to follow the right path, and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as their special possession.
37 “If there is a famine in the land or a plague or crop disease or attacks of locusts or caterpillars, or if your people’s enemies are in the land besieging their towns—whatever disaster or disease there is— 38 and if your people Israel pray about their troubles, raising their hands toward this Temple, 39 then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart. 40 Then they will fear you as long as they live in the land you gave to our ancestors.
41 “In the future, foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel will hear of you. They will come from distant lands because of your name, 42 for they will hear of your great name and your strong hand and your powerful arm. And when they pray toward this Temple, 43 then hear from heaven where you live, and grant what they ask of you. In this way, all the people of the earth will come to know and fear you, just as your own people Israel do. They, too, will know that this Temple I have built honors your name.
44 “If your people go out where you send them to fight their enemies, and if they pray to the Lord by turning toward this city you have chosen and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name, 45 then hear their prayers from heaven and uphold their cause.
46 “If they sin against you—and who has never sinned?—you might become angry with them and let their enemies conquer them and take them captive to their land far away or near. 47 But in that land of exile, they might turn to you in repentance and pray, ‘We have sinned, done evil, and acted wickedly.’ 48 If they turn to you with their whole heart and soul in the land of their enemies and pray toward the land you gave to their ancestors—toward this city you have chosen, and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name— 49 then hear their prayers and their petition from heaven where you live, and uphold their cause.50 Forgive your people who have sinned against you. Forgive all the offenses they have committed against you. Make their captors merciful to them, 51 for they are your people—your special possession—whom you brought out of the iron-smelting furnace of Egypt.
52 “May your eyes be open to my requests and to the requests of your people Israel. May you hear and answer them whenever they cry out to you. 53 For when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, O Sovereign Lord, you told your servant Moses that you had set Israel apart from all the nations of the earth to be your own special possession.”

The Dedication of the Temple

54 When Solomon finished making these prayers and petitions to the Lord, he stood up in front of the altar of the Lord, where he had been kneeling with his hands raised toward heaven. 55 He stood and in a loud voice blessed the entire congregation of Israel:
56 “Praise the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises he gave through his servant Moses. 57 May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us or abandon us. 58 May he give us the desire to do his will in everything and to obey all the commands, decrees, and regulations that he gave our ancestors. 59 And may these words that I have prayed in the presence of the Lord be before him constantly, day and night, so that the Lord our God may give justice to me and to his people Israel, according to each day’s needs. 60 Then people all over the earth will know that the Lord alone is God and there is no other.61 And may you be completely faithful to the Lord our God. May you always obey his decrees and commands, just as you are doing today.”
62 Then the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices to the Lord. 63 Solomon offered to the Lord a peace offering of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. And so the king and all the people of Israel dedicated the Temple of the Lord.
64 That same day the king consecrated the central area of the courtyard in front of the Lord’s Temple. He offered burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the fat of peace offerings there, because the bronze altar in the Lord’s presence was too small to hold all the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings.
65 Then Solomon and all Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters[e] in the presence of the Lord our God. A large congregation had gathered from as far away as Lebo-hamath in the north and the Brook of Egypt in the south. The celebration went on for fourteen days in all—seven days for the dedication of the altar and seven days for the Festival of Shelters.[f] 66 After the festival was over,[g] Solomon sent the people home. They blessed the king and went to their homes joyful and glad because the Lord had been good to his servant David and to his people Israel.
Love,
Jonathan

Mapped

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“The more steps you take towards God along the narrow path, your map in life becomes more centered and beautifully balanced around Him.” ~ Jon Barnes
 

Increase

Gradually increase the number of steps towards God each day and you will start acting like Him. Your choices and options in life become randomly clear, cleaner, and easier to follow, adjust, and adapt to moving in God’s plan and direction. Your own plans are not good enough since we don’t have The Map of Life. When you meet people, it is good to have the right things to say and give because you are following God and His Map of Life for you. Be a blessing.

Pension

We all pay into the Great Pension Plan in life because God has mandated that we will reap what we sow.  Your choice of maps will also affect the outcome of your personal pension plan and it’s purpose. The Good Work you do for God by faith activates and accumulates your heavenly Pension Plan of eternal action and acceptance, based on your repentance and honest heart. Guard your personal pension plan with pure love for God in all things that you do.

Savings

We all have different levels and types of savings plans, but Jesus knows who is following the Map of Savings with The Bank of Christ. Your debits and credit of the fruit of the Spirit are being calculated by your faith and works. Your lifestyle is following your map of choice, which has a destination of purpose or foolishness. Saving with God is an act of being Saved and the more savings you accumulate the more you can help others as an example. God is the final judge!

Given

Your tithes are money you personally put into the Kingdom to advance ministry all around the world. Church, Missionary, Evangelism, Street Ministry, Music Ministry, and the likes can all help support the Body of Christ and global network of support. Only God can judge what, when, where, how, and why you give to the Kingdom of God and It’s Church Body. Some methods are traditional and other may be rather creative, but God knows your heart and motives in your thanksgiving, tithes, offerings, and steps towards Him. Give your time, money, and best effort.
Today’s Question
Are you following God’s Map or the map of man?
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 7 

Solomon Builds His Palace

Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years to complete the construction.
One of Solomon’s buildings was called the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. It was 150 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.[a] There were four rows of cedar pillars, and great cedar beams rested on the pillars. The hall had a cedar roof. Above the beams on the pillars were forty-five side rooms,[b] arranged in three tiers of fifteen each. On each end of the long hall were three rows of windows facing each other. All the doorways and doorposts[c] had rectangular frames and were arranged in sets of three, facing each other.
Solomon also built the Hall of Pillars, which was 75 feet long and 45 feet wide.[d]There was a porch in front, along with a canopy supported by pillars.
Solomon also built the throne room, known as the Hall of Justice, where he sat to hear legal matters. It was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling.[e] Solomon’s living quarters surrounded a courtyard behind this hall, and they were constructed the same way. He also built similar living quarters for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married.
From foundation to eaves, all these buildings were built from huge blocks of high-quality stone, cut with saws and trimmed to exact measure on all sides.10 Some of the huge foundation stones were 15 feet long, and some were 12 feet[f]long. 11 The blocks of high-quality stone used in the walls were also cut to measure, and cedar beams were also used. 12 The walls of the great courtyard were built so that there was one layer of cedar beams between every three layers of finished stone, just like the walls of the inner courtyard of the Lord’s Temple with its entry room.

Furnishings for the Temple

13 King Solomon then asked for a man named Huram[g] to come from Tyre. 14 He was half Israelite, since his mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father had been a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. Huram was extremely skillful and talented in any work in bronze, and he came to do all the metal work for King Solomon.
15 Huram cast two bronze pillars, each 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference.[h]16 For the tops of the pillars he cast bronze capitals, each 7 1⁄2 feet[i] tall. 17 Each capital was decorated with seven sets of latticework and interwoven chains. 18 He also encircled the latticework with two rows of pomegranates to decorate the capitals over the pillars. 19 The capitals on the columns inside the entry room were shaped like water lilies, and they were six feet[j] tall. 20 The capitals on the two pillars had 200 pomegranates in two rows around them, beside the rounded surface next to the latticework. 21 Huram set the pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one toward the south and one toward the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north Boaz.[k] 22 The capitals on the pillars were shaped like water lilies. And so the work on the pillars was finished.
23 Then Huram cast a great round basin, 15 feet across from rim to rim, called the Sea. It was 7 1⁄2 feet deep and about 45 feet in circumference.[l] 24 It was encircled just below its rim by two rows of decorative gourds. There were about six gourds per foot[m] all the way around, and they were cast as part of the basin.
25 The Sea was placed on a base of twelve bronze oxen,[n] all facing outward. Three faced north, three faced west, three faced south, and three faced east, and the Sea rested on them. 26 The walls of the Sea were about three inches[o] thick, and its rim flared out like a cup and resembled a water lily blossom. It could hold about 11,000 gallons[p] of water.
27 Huram also made ten bronze water carts, each 6 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 4 1⁄2 feet tall.[q] 28 They were constructed with side panels braced with crossbars.29 Both the panels and the crossbars were decorated with carved lions, oxen, and cherubim. Above and below the lions and oxen were wreath decorations. 30 Each of these carts had four bronze wheels and bronze axles. There were supporting posts for the bronze basins at the corners of the carts; these supports were decorated on each side with carvings of wreaths. 31 The top of each cart had a rounded frame for the basin. It projected 1 1⁄2 feet[r] above the cart’s top like a round pedestal, and its opening was 2 1⁄4 feet[s] across; it was decorated on the outside with carvings of wreaths. The panels of the carts were square, not round.32 Under the panels were four wheels that were connected to axles that had been cast as one unit with the cart. The wheels were 2 1⁄4 feet in diameter 33 and were similar to chariot wheels. The axles, spokes, rims, and hubs were all cast from molten bronze.
34 There were handles at each of the four corners of the carts, and these, too, were cast as one unit with the cart. 35 Around the top of each cart was a rim nine inches wide.[t] The corner supports and side panels were cast as one unit with the cart. 36 Carvings of cherubim, lions, and palm trees decorated the panels and corner supports wherever there was room, and there were wreaths all around.37 All ten water carts were the same size and were made alike, for each was cast from the same mold.
38 Huram also made ten smaller bronze basins, one for each cart. Each basin was six feet across and could hold 220 gallons[u] of water. 39 He set five water carts on the south side of the Temple and five on the north side. The great bronze basin called the Sea was placed near the southeast corner of the Temple. 40 He also made the necessary washbasins, shovels, and bowls.
So at last Huram completed everything King Solomon had assigned him to make for the Temple of the Lord:
41 the two pillars;
the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;
the two networks of interwoven chains that decorated the capitals;
42 the 400 pomegranates that hung from the chains on the capitals (two rows of pomegranates for each of the chain networks that decorated the capitals on top of the pillars);
43 the ten water carts holding the ten basins;
44 the Sea and the twelve oxen under it;
45 the ash buckets, the shovels, and the bowls.
Huram made all these things of burnished bronze for the Temple of the Lord, just as King Solomon had directed. 46 The king had them cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan. 47 Solomon did not weigh all these things because there were so many; the weight of the bronze could not be measured.
48 Solomon also made all the furnishings of the Temple of the Lord:
the gold altar;
the gold table for the Bread of the Presence;
49 the lampstands of solid gold, five on the south and five on the north, in front of the Most Holy Place;
the flower decorations, lamps, and tongs—all of gold;
50 the small bowls, lamp snuffers, bowls, ladles, and incense burners—all of solid gold;
the doors for the entrances to the Most Holy Place and the main room of the Temple, with their fronts overlaid with gold.
51 So King Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the Lord. Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the various articles—and he stored them in the treasuries of the Lord’s Temple.
Love,
Jonathan

Treasures

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“In your heart, store up all of your treasures in Heaven by doing all the things God requires of you and do not fall in  love with money, materialism, fame, greed, and other lusts of the flesh.” ~ Jon Barnes

Treasure

The love of God is all the treasure you need with your affections focused on Him. Your love and allegiance to God will teach you how to love others, serve, and develop the best systems of help and honor in life. The joy of giving is the secret to self-help, service, improvement, and strong work ethic.  Balancing God’s blessings along with your good behavior will improve your lifestyle, walk with God, and your light will shine like God’s wisdom of Good Gold before people.

Kingdom

There is no need to steal God’s Good Gold to hoard it here on earth, because you will die in your sin, leaving it all behind for someone else to spend, while missing the Kingdom of God for eternity, burning in hell with your greedy heart. Gold is used to pave the streets, not your heart. Too many of us pave our hearts, minds, and lifestyle full of stuff that is unnecessary. God’s wisdom of Good Gold is to love the lifestyle that He teaches. The Kingdom of God most important, necessary, and should be the only treasure of love in your heart. 

Chest

Loving the lifestyle of God is the only thing that should be full in your chest, heart, mind, body, and soul. Mastering this will give you the wisdom to teach you how to balance loving your spouse, family, friends, and enemies. Less space is used for arrogance, titles, positions, awards, rewards, recognition, and the like.  More attention, time, and space are placed on the service, help, humility, honesty, integrity, respect, and honor to your parents, family, and God. Continue to fill your treasure chest with God’s Good Gold, which is full of invisible kingdom wisdom and be content with His Holy Word and Spirit Connection.
Today’s Question
What matters the most in your life?
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 6 

Solomon Builds the Temple

It was in midspring, in the month of Ziv,[a] during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, that he began to construct the Temple of the Lord. This was 480 years after the people of Israel were rescued from their slavery in the land of Egypt.
The Temple that King Solomon built for the Lord was 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high.[b] The entry room at the front of the Temple was 30 feet[c] wide, running across the entire width of the Temple. It projected outward 15 feet[d] from the front of the Temple. Solomon also made narrow recessed windows throughout the Temple.
He built a complex of rooms against the outer walls of the Temple, all the way around the sides and rear of the building. The complex was three stories high, the bottom floor being 7 1⁄2 feet wide, the second floor 9 feet wide, and the top floor 10 1⁄2 feet wide.[e] The rooms were connected to the walls of the Temple by beams resting on ledges built out from the wall. So the beams were not inserted into the walls themselves.
The stones used in the construction of the Temple were finished at the quarry, so there was no sound of hammer, ax, or any other iron tool at the building site.
The entrance to the bottom floor[f] was on the south side of the Temple. There were winding stairs going up to the second floor, and another flight of stairs between the second and third floors. After completing the Temple structure, Solomon put in a ceiling made of cedar beams and planks. 10 As already stated, he built a complex of rooms along the sides of the building, attached to the Temple walls by cedar timbers. Each story of the complex was 7 1⁄2 feet[g] high.
11 Then the Lord gave this message to Solomon: 12 “Concerning this Temple you are building, if you keep all my decrees and regulations and obey all my commands, I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father, David. 13 I will live among the Israelites and will never abandon my people Israel.”

The Temple’s Interior

14 So Solomon finished building the Temple. 15 The entire inside, from floor to ceiling, was paneled with wood. He paneled the walls and ceilings with cedar, and he used planks of cypress for the floors. 16 He partitioned off an inner sanctuary—the Most Holy Place—at the far end of the Temple. It was 30 feet deep and was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling. 17 The main room of the Temple, outside the Most Holy Place, was 60 feet[h] long. 18 Cedar paneling completely covered the stone walls throughout the Temple, and the paneling was decorated with carvings of gourds and open flowers.
19 He prepared the inner sanctuary at the far end of the Temple, where the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant would be placed. 20 This inner sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He overlaid the inside with solid gold. He also overlaid the altar made of cedar.[i] 21 Then Solomon overlaid the rest of the Temple’s interior with solid gold, and he made gold chains to protect the entrance[j] to the Most Holy Place. 22 So he finished overlaying the entire Temple with gold, including the altar that belonged to the Most Holy Place.
23 He made two cherubim of wild olive[k] wood, each 15 feet[l] tall, and placed them in the inner sanctuary. 24 The wingspan of each of the cherubim was 15 feet, each wing being 7 1⁄2 feet[m] long. 25 The two cherubim were identical in shape and size;26 each was 15 feet tall. 27 He placed them side by side in the inner sanctuary of the Temple. Their outspread wings reached from wall to wall, while their inner wings touched at the center of the room. 28 He overlaid the two cherubim with gold.
29 He decorated all the walls of the inner sanctuary and the main room with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. 30 He overlaid the floor in both rooms with gold.
31 For the entrance to the inner sanctuary, he made double doors of wild olive wood with five-sided doorposts.[n] 32 These double doors were decorated with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. The doors, including the decorations of cherubim and palm trees, were overlaid with gold.
33 Then he made four-sided doorposts of wild olive wood for the entrance to the Temple. 34 There were two folding doors of cypress wood, and each door was hinged to fold back upon itself. 35 These doors were decorated with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers—all overlaid evenly with gold.
36 The walls of the inner courtyard were built so that there was one layer of cedar beams between every three layers of finished stone.
37 The foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid in midspring, in the month of Ziv,[o]during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign. 38 The entire building was completed in every detail by midautumn, in the month of Bul,[p] during the eleventh year of his reign. So it took seven years to build the Temple.
Love,
Jonathan

Universally Accepted

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“In the beginning, God created the Heavens and The Earth and He was the only God in the Universe because man hadn’t created his own little gods yet to defy His Father’s Plans.” ~  Jon Barnes

God

God knows who He is, the question becomes, do you? Can you map and sustain the movement, course, a and rotation of the Universe with all of its content, capacity, and moving parts? God is so big that He is everywhere, at the same time, and all knowing. Nothing is done without God’s knowledge, wisdom, mercy, grace, or forethought. Since His plan and map of all things are extreme and universal, how can we begin to comprehend such magnificence? No wonder Adam and Eve tried to steal the power of God!

Jesus

Jesus answered all of our questions in the parables and books of the bible. But we must search, read, and walk in this truth. We can get a complete human understanding of God’s plan and how we fit inside the narrow path towards Heaven. However, the dark, deep meanings will elude, many who are lazy and content with being foolish, hard-headed, and evil. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and you must use His map to find God, (The Treasure).

Treasure

The Treasures of God will not rote, spoil, or be stolen. Save and store your Heavenly Treasures with Jesus so that God smiles upon you for eternity. Many people will only put their time and money into worldly positions, possessions, and passions of pleasures that are not fit for the Kingdom of God. However, few will allow God to teach, train, and balance their lives in a healthy balance of time, resources, work, and faith in the Gospel. Store your treasure where you want to live for eternity. 
Today’s Question
Did you know that God is the only one with the Universal Master Plan for your life since He is your Heavenly Father?
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 5 

Preparations for Building the Temple

[a]King Hiram of Tyre had always been a loyal friend of David. When Hiram learned that David’s son Solomon was the new king of Israel, he sent ambassadors to congratulate him.
Then Solomon sent this message back to Hiram:
“You know that my father, David, was not able to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord his God because of the many wars waged against him by surrounding nations. He could not build until the Lord gave him victory over all his enemies. But now the Lord my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well. So I am planning to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God, just as he had instructed my father, David. For the Lord told him, ‘Your son, whom I will place on your throne, will build the Temple to honor my name.’
“Therefore, please command that cedars from Lebanon be cut for me. Let my men work alongside yours, and I will pay your men whatever wages you ask. As you know, there is no one among us who can cut timber like you Sidonians!”
When Hiram received Solomon’s message, he was very pleased and said, “Praise the Lord today for giving David a wise son to be king of the great nation of Israel.” Then he sent this reply to Solomon:
“I have received your message, and I will supply all the cedar and cypress timber you need. My servants will bring the logs from the Lebanon mountains to the Mediterranean Sea[b] and make them into rafts and float them along the coast to whatever place you choose. Then we will break the rafts apart so you can carry the logs away. You can pay me by supplying me with food for my household.”
10 So Hiram supplied as much cedar and cypress timber as Solomon desired. 11 In return, Solomon sent him an annual payment of 100,000 bushels[c] of wheat for his household and 110,000 gallons[d] of pure olive oil. 12 So the Lord gave wisdom to Solomon, just as he had promised. And Hiram and Solomon made a formal alliance of peace.
13 Then King Solomon conscripted a labor force of 30,000 men from all Israel.14 He sent them to Lebanon in shifts, 10,000 every month, so that each man would be one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of this labor force. 15 Solomon also had 70,000 common laborers, 80,000 quarry workers in the hill country, 16 and 3,600[e] foremen to supervise the work. 17 At the king’s command, they quarried large blocks of high-quality stone and shaped them to make the foundation of the Temple. 18 Men from the city of Gebal helped Solomon’s and Hiram’s builders prepare the timber and stone for the Temple.
Love,
Jonathan

Be The Blessing

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Be a blessing by positively responding to the call of giving your service and sharing your gift, which is the answer to someone’s prayer.” ~ Jon Barnes

Pray

When we pray, God will use you to answer another person’s prayer or questions.  Be ready and prepared to give the correct answer with your good works and deeds.  People will tell you when you have answered their prayer because they are grateful for your obedience to God. Even when you don’t feel like doing the work, go the extra mile for God.

Mileage

God orders your steps so that you can bless people everywhere you go.  Let your entire day be a blessing to others. Stay in the lane of joy, happiness, peace, and contentment so that your love becomes the answer to person’s problem.  Get plenty of sleep and rest well, for the days are long and full of fruitful activities. Be ready and be a blessing.

Activities

Be kind in your activities, as you firmly stand your ground in the Lord, speaking gently to others.  Visit, share, and donate your time so that God blesses your blessings. Be patient. Your reward will be great in heaven because of your obedience and sacrifices of love for God and people.  Balance your activities so that you have enough time for yourself, your family, and God each day. Rest in The Lord. Always try to be a blessing and notice how your quality of life escalates.
Today’s Question
Are you a curse on the person standing next to you?

Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 4

Solomon’s Officials and Governors

King Solomon now ruled over all Israel, and these were his high officials:
Azariah son of Zadok was the priest.
Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, were court secretaries.
Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian.
Benaiah son of Jehoiada was commander of the army.
Zadok and Abiathar were priests.
Azariah son of Nathan was in charge of the district governors.
Zabud son of Nathan, a priest, was a trusted adviser to the king.
Ahishar was manager of the palace property.
Adoniram son of Abda was in charge of forced labor.
Solomon also had twelve district governors who were over all Israel. They were responsible for providing food for the king’s household. Each of them arranged provisions for one month of the year. These are the names of the twelve governors:
Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim.
Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon-bethhanan.
10 Ben-hesed, in Arubboth, including Socoh and all the land of Hepher.
11 Ben-abinadab, in all of Naphoth-dor.[a] (He was married to Taphath, one of Solomon’s daughters.)
12 Baana son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, all of Beth-shan[b] near Zarethan below Jezreel, and all the territory from Beth-shan to Abel-meholah and over to Jokmeam.
13 Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead, including the Towns of Jair (named for Jair of the tribe of Manasseh[c]) in Gilead, and in the Argob region of Bashan, including sixty large fortified towns with bronze bars on their gates.
14 Ahinadab son of Iddo, in Mahanaim.
15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali. (He was married to Basemath, another of Solomon’s daughters.)
16 Baana son of Hushai, in Asher and in Aloth.
17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah, in Issachar.
18 Shimei son of Ela, in Benjamin.
19 Geber son of Uri, in the land of Gilead,[d] including the territories of King Sihon of the Amorites and King Og of Bashan.
There was also one governor over the land of Judah.[e]

Solomon’s Prosperity and Wisdom

20 The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They were very contented, with plenty to eat and drink. 21 [f]Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River[g] in the north to the land of the Philistines and the border of Egypt in the south. The conquered peoples of those lands sent tribute money to Solomon and continued to serve him throughout his lifetime.
22 The daily food requirements for Solomon’s palace were 150 bushels of choice flour and 300 bushels of meal[h]; 23 also 10 oxen from the fattening pens, 20 pasture-fed cattle, 100 sheep or goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roe deer, and choice poultry.[i]
24 Solomon’s dominion extended over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza. And there was peace on all his borders. 25 During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.[j]
26 Solomon had 4,000[k] stalls for his chariot horses, and he had 12,000 horses.[l]
27 The district governors faithfully provided food for King Solomon and his court; each made sure nothing was lacking during the month assigned to him. 28 They also brought the necessary barley and straw for the royal horses in the stables.
29 God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore. 30 In fact, his wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men of the East and the wise men of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite and the sons of Mahol—Heman, Calcol, and Darda. His fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations. 32 He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. 33 He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, small creatures, and fish. 34 And kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.
Love,
Jonathan

Waiting

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“The art of waiting on God is like studying for a big weighted, final exam because you have to do the work and practice, along with your faith.” ~ Jon Barnes

Something

Many of us want the best something for nothing, and our laziness toward hard work and commitment is obvious. When we get off task with our daily devotional, prayer, meditation, reading, and reflection, we fail at incorporating and sharing God’s love, gentleness, meekness, kindness, patience, and long-suffering. We become impatient, forgetful, unthankful, unreliable, and ready to accept anything as truth, particularly the things that are not from God. 

Anything

God is not an anything God that you can say and do anything and get away with it. The level of respect and honor that I have for God grows each day as I can see His Orchestrations and lessons that I am learning and following each day. I am humbled by the humor, content, illustrations, and examples of all my mistakes of the past and success of the future.  I will not settle for just anything, but God and His Plans. Only God knows your plan.

Nothing

We all came into this world with nothing and we shall leave with nothing. God will weigh our faith and works with His Holy Spirit and Scale to determine the clarity of our intentions, motives, actions, and love. If we pass the final exam of life’s walk of love with Him and not just for our selfish wicked ways then God’s Truth will set you free into the kingdom of God. God will choose His children based on His Commandments and information He has set forth. I can do nothing but follow the instructions, directions, wait, and do the work by faith and weight.
Today’s Question
Are you holding down the Gospel and placing a heavy weight of importance in your life or are you waiting for someone else to do your work?
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 3 

Solomon Asks for Wisdom

Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and married one of his daughters. He brought her to live in the City of David until he could finish building his palace and the Temple of the Lord and the wall around the city. At that time the people of Israel sacrificed their offerings at local places of worship, for a temple honoring the name of the Lord had not yet been built.
Solomon loved the Lord and followed all the decrees of his father, David, except that Solomon, too, offered sacrifices and burned incense at the local places of worship. The most important of these places of worship was at Gibeon, so the king went there and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings. That night the Lordappeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
Solomon replied, “You showed great and faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you. And you have continued to show this great and faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne.
“Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. 11 So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies— 12 I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! 13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! 14 And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”
15 Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem and stood before the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, where he sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. Then he invited all his officials to a great banquet.

Solomon Judges Wisely

16 Some time later two prostitutes came to the king to have an argument settled.17 “Please, my lord,” one of them began, “this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a baby while she was with me in the house. 18 Three days later this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there were only two of us in the house.
19 “But her baby died during the night when she rolled over on it. 20 Then she got up in the night and took my son from beside me while I was asleep. She laid her dead child in my arms and took mine to sleep beside her. 21 And in the morning when I tried to nurse my son, he was dead! But when I looked more closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t my son at all.”
22 Then the other woman interrupted, “It certainly was your son, and the living child is mine.”
“No,” the first woman said, “the living child is mine, and the dead one is yours.” And so they argued back and forth before the king.
23 Then the king said, “Let’s get the facts straight. Both of you claim the living child is yours, and each says that the dead one belongs to the other. 24 All right, bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought to the king.
25 Then he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!”
26 Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, “Oh no, my lord! Give her the child—please do not kill him!”
But the other woman said, “All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us!”
27 Then the king said, “Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!”
28 When all Israel heard the king’s decision, the people were in awe of the king, for they saw the wisdom God had given him for rendering justice.
Love,
Jonathan