Willing and Able

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“If you desire to know God, you must be willing and able.”

TB

Willing

We all have an intrinsic need for connection, that is how we were created. That connection that we seek is to God, but you must be willing to admit that. If you are not willing to acknowledge your need for Christ, you will not be able to know Him.

Able

To be able to know God, you must put down your selfish desires and walk the narrow path. The funny thing is, the narrow path brings a direct connection to Christ, and yet many still reject Him. Friends God isn’t hiding from you, you’re hiding from Him

Today’s Question

Are you willing and able?

Enjoy the reading

Numbers 31

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “On behalf of the people of Israel, take revenge on the Midianites for leading them into idolatry. After that, you will die and join your ancestors.” 3 So Moses said to the people, “Choose some men, and arm them to fight the LORD ’s war of revenge against Midian. 4 From each tribe of Israel, send 1,000 men into battle.” 5 So they chose 1,000 men from each tribe of Israel, a total of 12,000 men armed for battle. 6 Then Moses sent them out, 1,000 men from each tribe, and Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest led them into battle. They carried along the holy objects of the sanctuary and the trumpets for sounding the charge. 7 They attacked Midian as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men. 8 All five of the Midianite kings—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba—died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. 9 Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder. 10 They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived. 11 After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, 12 they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho. 13 Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. 14 But Moses was furious with all the generals and captains who had returned from the battle. 15 “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded. 16 “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD ’s people. 17 So kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man. 18 Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves. 19 And all of you who have killed anyone or touched a dead body must stay outside the camp for seven days. You must purify yourselves and your captives on the third and seventh days. 20 Purify all your clothing, too, and everything made of leather, goat hair, or wood.” 21 Then Eleazar the priest said to the men who were in the battle, “The LORD has given Moses this legal requirement: 22 Anything made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, or lead— 23 that is, all metals that do not burn—must be passed through fire in order to be made ceremonially pure. These metal objects must then be further purified with the water of purification. But everything that burns must be purified by the water alone. 24 On the seventh day you must wash your clothes and be purified. Then you may return to the camp.” 25 And the LORD said to Moses, 26 “You and Eleazar the priest and the family leaders of each tribe are to make a list of all the plunder taken in the battle, including the people and animals. 27 Then divide the plunder into two parts, and give half to the men who fought the battle and half to the rest of the people. 28 From the army’s portion, first give the LORD his share of the plunder—one of every 500 of the prisoners and of the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats. 29 Give this share of the army’s half to Eleazar the priest as an offering to the LORD . 30 From the half that belongs to the people of Israel, take one of every fifty of the prisoners and of the cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and other animals. Give this share to the Levites, who are in charge of maintaining the LORD ’s Tabernacle.” 31 So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the LORD commanded Moses. 32 The plunder remaining from everything the fighting men had taken totaled 675,000 sheep and goats, 33 72,000 cattle, 34 61,000 donkeys, 35 and 32,000 virgin girls. 36 Half of the plunder was given to the fighting men. It totaled 337,500 sheep and goats, 37 of which 675 were the LORD ’s share; 38 36,000 cattle, of which 72 were the LORD ’s share; 39 30,500 donkeys, of which 61 were the LORD ’s share; 40 and 16,000 virgin girls, of whom 32 were the LORD ’s share. 41 Moses gave all the LORD ’s share to Eleazar the priest, just as the LORD had directed him. 42 Half of the plunder belonged to the people of Israel, and Moses separated it from the half belonging to the fighting men. 43 It totaled 337,500 sheep and goats, 44 36,000 cattle, 45 30,500 donkeys, 46 and 16,000 virgin girls. 47 From the half-share given to the people, Moses took one of every fifty prisoners and animals and gave them to the Levites, who maintained the LORD ’s Tabernacle. All this was done as the LORD had commanded Moses. 48 Then all the generals and captains came to Moses 49 and said, “We, your servants, have accounted for all the men who went out to battle under our command; not one of us is missing! 50 So we are presenting the items of gold we captured as an offering to the LORD from our share of the plunder—armbands, bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces. This will purify our lives before the LORD and make us right with him. ” 51 So Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from all the military commanders—all kinds of jewelry and crafted objects. 52 In all, the gold that the generals and captains presented as a gift to the LORD weighed about 420 pounds. 53 All the fighting men had taken some of the plunder for themselves. 54 So Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted the gifts from the generals and captains and brought the gold to the Tabernacle as a reminder to the LORD that the people of Israel belong to him.

His Equation

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Ask God for His equation and you will find that it’s always true and will never change.”

TB

Human Formula

God, His love, and His teachings are straightforward. His equation is short yet effective and everlasting. Many fail to learn His equation because they add their theoretical and imaginary math to the mix. When you try to spin your formula, you will find that it takes numerous boards of fake complex math that ultimately solves for nothing.

Incontrovertible

Friends lay down your fake math equations that lead to destruction. Instead, learn the simple formula that God shares so willingly with His children. This requires you to submit to the Truth. In order to understand the simple formula, you must learn how to see, hear, and behave in honest, Christ-like ways so that you may be able to read and accept the equation.

Today’s Question

Are you enjoying God’s simple equation, or are you trying to justify your fake and complex math?

Enjoy the reading

Exodus 17

1 At the LORD ’s command, the whole community of Israel left the wilderness of Sin and moved from place to place. Eventually they camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there for the people to drink. 2 So once more the people complained against Moses. “Give us water to drink!” they demanded. “Quiet!” Moses replied. “Why are you complaining against me? And why are you testing the LORD ?” 3 But tormented by thirst, they continued to argue with Moses. “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Are you trying to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?” 4 Then Moses cried out to the LORD, “What should I do with these people? They are ready to stone me!” 5 The LORD said to Moses, “Walk out in front of the people. Take your staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile, and call some of the elders of Israel to join you. 6 I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink.” So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on. 7 Moses named the place Massah (which means “test”) and Meribah (which means “arguing”) because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the LORD by saying, “Is the LORD here with us or not?” 8 While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. 9 Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. 11 As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. 12 Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. 13 As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle. 14 After the victory, the LORD instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”). 16 He said, “They have raised their fist against the LORD ’s throne, so now the LORD will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”

Nearness

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God will be as near or far as you want Him to be.”

TB

Choice

God gave each of us the free will to make the decisions for our lives. Some may choose to have a relationship with Him and some may deny His sovereignty, but the Truth remains, it’s our choice to seek God. If you want a life without God, He will allow it. If you desire to walk with Him, He will allow that also.

Distance

No matter your choice, God is true to His word. If you come before Him with a humble heart, He will welcome you into His flock. Even if you’ve wandered out into the wilderness, if you call out, He will answer. Even in the seasons where you can’t seem to find Him, He’s right there. That’s because God never leaves, we do. We leave when we follow our fleshly desires. We leave when we put ourselves above Christ. Fortunately for us, God is only one repentant call away.

Today’s Question

Did you know God’s place in your life is your choice?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 21

1 Then this message came to me from the LORD : 2 “Son of man, turn and face Jerusalem and prophesy against Israel and her sanctuaries. 3 Tell her, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am your enemy, O Israel, and I am about to unsheath my sword to destroy your people—the righteous and the wicked alike. 4 Yes, I will cut off both the righteous and the wicked! I will draw my sword against everyone in the land from south to north. 5 Everyone in the world will know that I am the LORD . My sword is in my hand, and it will not return to its sheath until its work is finished.’ 6 “Son of man, groan before the people! Groan before them with bitter anguish and a broken heart. 7 When they ask why you are groaning, tell them, ‘I groan because of the terrifying news I have heard. When it comes true, the boldest heart will melt with fear; all strength will disappear. Every spirit will faint; strong knees will become as weak as water. And the Sovereign LORD says: It is coming! It’s on its way!’” 8 Then the LORD said to me, 9 “Son of man, give the people this message from the Lord: “A sword, a sword is being sharpened and polished. 10 It is sharpened for terrible slaughter and polished to flash like lightning! Now will you laugh? Those far stronger than you have fallen beneath its power! 11 Yes, the sword is now being sharpened and polished; it is being prepared for the executioner. 12 “Son of man, cry out and wail; pound your thighs in anguish, for that sword will slaughter my people and their leaders— everyone will die! 13 It will put them all to the test. What chance do they have? says the Sovereign LORD . 14 “Son of man, prophesy to them and clap your hands. Then take the sword and brandish it twice, even three times, to symbolize the great massacre, the great massacre facing them on every side. 15 Let their hearts melt with terror, for the sword glitters at every gate. It flashes like lightning and is polished for slaughter! 16 O sword, slash to the right, then slash to the left, wherever you will, wherever you want. 17 I, too, will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury. I, the LORD, have spoken!” 18 Then this message came to me from the LORD : 19 “Son of man, make a map and trace two routes on it for the sword of Babylon’s king to follow. Put a signpost on the road that comes out of Babylon where the road forks into two— 20 one road going to Ammon and its capital, Rabbah, and the other to Judah and fortified Jerusalem. 21 The king of Babylon now stands at the fork, uncertain whether to attack Jerusalem or Rabbah. He calls his magicians to look for omens. They cast lots by shaking arrows from the quiver. They inspect the livers of animal sacrifices. 22 The omen in his right hand says, ‘Jerusalem!’ With battering rams his soldiers will go against the gates, shouting for the kill. They will put up siege towers and build ramps against the walls. 23 The people of Jerusalem will think it is a false omen, because of their treaty with the Babylonians. But the king of Babylon will remind the people of their rebellion. Then he will attack and capture them. 24 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Again and again you remind me of your sin and your guilt. You don’t even try to hide it! In everything you do, your sins are obvious for all to see. So now the time of your punishment has come! 25 “O you corrupt and wicked prince of Israel, your final day of reckoning is here! 26 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Take off your jeweled crown, for the old order changes. Now the lowly will be exalted, and the mighty will be brought down. 27 Destruction! Destruction! I will surely destroy the kingdom. And it will not be restored until the one appears who has the right to judge it. Then I will hand it over to him. 28 “And now, son of man, prophesy concerning the Ammonites and their mockery. Give them this message from the Sovereign LORD : “A sword, a sword is drawn for your slaughter. It is polished to destroy, flashing like lightning! 29 Your prophets have given false visions, and your fortune-tellers have told lies. The sword will fall on the necks of the wicked for whom the day of final reckoning has come. 30 “Now return the sword to its sheath, for in your own country, the land of your birth, I will pass judgment upon you. 31 I will pour out my fury on you and blow on you with the fire of my anger. I will hand you over to cruel men who are skilled in destruction. 32 You will be fuel for the fire, and your blood will be spilled in your own land. You will be utterly wiped out, your memory lost to history, for I, the LORD, have spoken!”

Compassion

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Hug your brothers and sisters during their times of struggle as love covers a multitude of sins.”

TB

Listen

I was talking to someone today who had retaliated against someone who transgressed against them. My first reaction was to tell them that while I understood where they were coming from, they were wrong in how they handled the situation. But after I got off the phone, I realized I missed the bigger picture.

Understand

I realized that person is generally a God-fearing and good-natured person. It’s not typical of their character to do something malicious. Then I thought about what that person had to experience in order for them to behave that way. Friends, we must understand when people lash out or behave in troubling ways. There is usually a great deal of hurt attached.

Love

I quickly called them back and apologized for my rebuke. Instead, I acknowledged their struggle offered compassion and understanding as to why they reacted so poorly. By meeting them in their need instead of condemning them, we were able to get to the heart of the matter so that they could heal from experience and move on.

United

Why is it that when people make mistakes, we react harshly? I can tell you from experience that when I go before God and confess my sins, His response is always in love, kindness, and compassion. Surely He, out of everyone, has the right to strike me down because of my shortcomings. Instead, like a Father comforting a daughter who’s fallen off her bike, God’s forgiveness is merciful and encouraging.

Cover

Love covers a multitude of sins. When we forgive others as God forgives us, we give them the space and grace they need to heal. God doesn’t beat us down when we’re broken. To that same effect, we cannot do so to our brothers and sisters. I know from experience the hardship and heartache that occurs when people that you love are only able to see you for your mistakes. Instead, let’s practice the Christ-like love so that we can help one another heal and grow from our sins.

Today’s Question

Are you offering Christ-like love or strong legalistic rebukes?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 6

1 Again a message came to me from the LORD : 2 “Son of man, turn and face the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them. 3 Proclaim this message from the Sovereign LORD against the mountains of Israel. This is what the Sovereign LORD says to the mountains and hills and to the ravines and valleys: I am about to bring war upon you, and I will smash your pagan shrines. 4 All your altars will be demolished, and your places of worship will be destroyed. I will kill your people in front of your idols. 5 I will lay your corpses in front of your idols and scatter your bones around your altars. 6 Wherever you live there will be desolation, and I will destroy your pagan shrines. Your altars will be demolished, your idols will be smashed, your places of worship will be torn down, and all the religious objects you have made will be destroyed. 7 The place will be littered with corpses, and you will know that I alone am the LORD . 8 “But I will let a few of my people escape destruction, and they will be scattered among the nations of the world. 9 Then when they are exiled among the nations, they will remember me. They will recognize how hurt I am by their unfaithful hearts and lustful eyes that long for their idols. Then at last they will hate themselves for all their detestable sins. 10 They will know that I alone am the LORD and that I was serious when I said I would bring this calamity on them. 11 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Clap your hands in horror, and stamp your feet. Cry out because of all the detestable sins the people of Israel have committed. Now they are going to die from war and famine and disease. 12 Disease will strike down those who are far away in exile. War will destroy those who are nearby. And anyone who survives will be killed by famine. So at last I will spend my fury on them. 13 They will know that I am the LORD when their dead lie scattered among their idols and altars on every hill and mountain and under every green tree and every great shade tree—the places where they offered sacrifices to their idols. 14 I will crush them and make their cities desolate from the wilderness in the south to Riblah in the north. Then they will know that I am the LORD .”

Action Jackson

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Be quick to handle assignments that God has given you.”

TB

On High

Notice the plans, dreams, and goals that God places in your heart. Often time they seem wildly progressive and beyond our scope of the imagination. But, if the Bible is any indication that what God’s desire for us is great, we should be quick to listen, accept, and obey the directives, jumping into action with what He’s planned for us. While it’s important to confirm that our steps are aligned with His plan, there’s only so much research one can do before we must get to work.

Wild Ride

Get ready for the incredible journey that is leading a Christ-filled life. Compared to the lies and handcuffs of the natural world, God’s plan seems perplexing and impossible. But friends, ask yourself this, why is it so easy to accept a life of bondage and enslavement? Surely God does not want His people to be at the mercy of people, places, or things. In order to step into the ways of Christ, we first must reject the corrupt and evil practices set in place. To do that successfully, we must quickly and faithfully jump into action, working on the mission that God has assigned you. One step at a time, you will find that His way makes way more sense than the foolish plans of man.

Today’s Question

Are you fulfilling your assignment?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 47

1 This is the LORD ’s message to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the Philistines of Gaza, before it was captured by the Egyptian army. 2 This is what the LORD says: “A flood is coming from the north to overflow the land. It will destroy the land and everything in it— cities and people alike. People will scream in terror, and everyone in the land will wail. 3 Hear the clatter of stallions’ hooves and the rumble of wheels as the chariots rush by. Terrified fathers run madly, without a backward glance at their helpless children. 4 “The time has come for the Philistines to be destroyed, along with their allies from Tyre and Sidon. Yes, the LORD is destroying the remnant of the Philistines, those colonists from the island of Crete. 5 Gaza will be humiliated, its head shaved bald; Ashkelon will lie silent. You remnant from the Mediterranean coast, how long will you cut yourselves in mourning? 6 “Now, O sword of the LORD, when will you be at rest again? Go back into your sheath; rest and be still. 7 “But how can it be still when the LORD has sent it on a mission? For the city of Ashkelon and the people living along the sea must be destroyed.”

Just Mercy

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“There is nothing more loving, merciful, and just than a person who is willing to tell you God’s honest truth.”~TB

Humble Pie

I once had a client who was dangling a promising contract over my head, but instead of honoring it, they would tease out assignments. They paid well and on time, but the deal was exploitative and I hated it. I called my mom and dad to talk about it. Furious about the change in terms I vowed to drop the client. My mother calmly and gently brought up the point that I was not in the position to drop clients. I had financial responsibilities and did not have the extra resources to be choosey about who I worked with. It was a tough thing to hear. My ego was not happy to ingest this news, but I am so grateful and thankful that she had enough love and mercy to tell me the Truth rather than stoking the fire to my already outrageous ego. More to the point, it empowered me to work harder so that I would not have to be in that position again. Thanks, Mom!

Loving Honestly

Friends, we have to drop our egos if we want a chance to know our Father in Heaven. This means listening to wise counsel, being brave enough to speak the Truth no matter the consequence, and being merciful when giving a hard word. We are called the Body of Christ, which means we’re in this together! If someone has broccoli in their teeth, tell them! If your brother is walking into a fire pit, shout to let him know. We’ve tricked ourselves into believing that honesty is mean. But I ask you this, what is meaner: telling someone their behavior is detrimental or letting them self-destruct in ignorance? It’s not nice to prolong someone’s suffering because you don’t want to be inconvenienced by speaking the truth. God blesses the merciful and friends, honesty– in the right context– is merciful. So let’s hold each other to righteous and just mercy so that we help each other when we stumble rather than become onlookers to the fallen.

Today’s Question

Are you practicing just mercy or are you just standing by watching?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 25

1 This message for all the people of Judah came to Jeremiah from the LORD during the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign over Judah. This was the year when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon began his reign. 
2 Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people in Judah and Jerusalem, 
3 “For the past twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah, until now—the LORD has been giving me his messages. I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened. 
4 “Again and again the LORD has sent you his servants, the prophets, but you have not listened or even paid attention. 
5 Each time the message was this: ‘Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the LORD gave to you and your ancestors forever. 
6 Do not provoke my anger by worshiping idols you made with your own hands. Then I will not harm you.’ 
7 “But you would not listen to me,” says the LORD . “You made me furious by worshiping idols you made with your own hands, bringing on yourselves all the disasters you now suffer. 
8 And now the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Because you have not listened to me, 
9 I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy. I will bring them all against this land and its people and against the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy you and make you an object of horror and contempt and a ruin forever. 
10 I will take away your happy singing and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard. Your millstones will fall silent, and the lights in your homes will go out. 
11 This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years. 
12 “Then, after the seventy years of captivity are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and his people for their sins,” says the LORD . “I will make the country of the Babylonians a wasteland forever. 
13 I will bring upon them all the terrors I have promised in this book—all the penalties announced by Jeremiah against the nations. 
14 Many nations and great kings will enslave the Babylonians, just as they enslaved my people. I will punish them in proportion to the suffering they cause my people.” 
15 This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled to the brim with my anger, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink from it. 
16 When they drink from it, they will stagger, crazed by the warfare I will send against them.” 
17 So I took the cup of anger from the LORD and made all the nations drink from it—every nation to which the LORD sent me. 
18 I went to Jerusalem and the other towns of Judah, and their kings and officials drank from the cup. From that day until this, they have been a desolate ruin, an object of horror, contempt, and cursing. 
19 I gave the cup to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials, and all his people, 
20 along with all the foreigners living in that land. I also gave it to all the kings of the land of Uz and the kings of the Philistine cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and what remains of Ashdod. 
21 Then I gave the cup to the nations of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, 
22 and the kings of Tyre and Sidon, and the kings of the regions across the sea. 
23 I gave it to Dedan, Tema, and Buz, and to the people who live in distant places. 
24 I gave it to the kings of Arabia, the kings of the nomadic tribes of the desert, 
25 and to the kings of Zimri, Elam, and Media. 
26 And I gave it to the kings of the northern countries, far and near, one after the other—all the kingdoms of the world. And finally, the king of Babylon himself drank from the cup of the LORD ’s anger. 
27 Then the LORD said to me, “Now tell them, ‘This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Drink from this cup of my anger. Get drunk and vomit; fall to rise no more, for I am sending terrible wars against you.’ 
28 And if they refuse to accept the cup, tell them, ‘The LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: You have no choice but to drink from it. 
29 I have begun to punish Jerusalem, the city that bears my name. Now should I let you go unpunished? No, you will not escape disaster. I will call for war against all the nations of the earth. I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!’ 
30 “Now prophesy all these things, and say to them, “‘The LORD will roar against his own land from his holy dwelling in heaven. He will shout like those who tread grapes; he will shout against everyone on earth. 
31 His cry of judgment will reach the ends of the earth, for the LORD will bring his case against all the nations. He will judge all the people of the earth, slaughtering the wicked with the sword. I, the LORD, have spoken!’” 
32 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “Look! Disaster will fall upon nation after nation! A great whirlwind of fury is rising from the most distant corners of the earth!” 
33 In that day those the LORD has slaughtered will fill the earth from one end to the other. No one will mourn for them or gather up their bodies to bury them. They will be scattered on the ground like manure. 
34 Weep and moan, you evil shepherds! Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock! The time of your slaughter has arrived; you will fall and shatter like a fragile vase. 
35 You will find no place to hide; there will be no way to escape. 
36 Listen to the frantic cries of the shepherds. The leaders of the flock are wailing in despair, for the LORD is ruining their pastures. 
37 Peaceful meadows will be turned into a wasteland by the LORD ’s fierce anger. 
38 He has left his den like a strong lion seeking its prey, and their land will be made desolate by the sword of the enemy and the LORD ’s fierce anger.

Resources

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Resources are meant to be used to grow with Christ, not to replace Him.”~TB

Just Stuff

A major balancing act in the Christian walk is utilizing and appreciating the resources that God gives us without allowing them to take on a god-like persona. If we’re honest, I’m sure we all have had moments where we want God’s ‘stuff’ more than we want Him. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a tough pill to swallow because the truth of the matter, money, cars, fame, notoriety are really just stuff. More to the point, wanting stuff more than we want God is quite sad and a major indictment on what we value as a collective. As someone who has experience with first-world niceties, I can say for certain, the best manmade things do not hold a candle to being in the presence of the Lord.

Remain in Him

These days, everything I have is a resource to remain in Christ. My money, time, love, etc. are poured into building my relationships with my family, spending time with God, sharing His Truth with others, and things of the like. That’s not to say I’m perfect, oh, I’m far from it. Over time, I’ve come to learn to hang out with God more, glean His insights, which helps me to make better decisions.  He has shown and taught me how wonderful it is to walk with Him and the resources He gives me are to grow stronger in Him. Friends, we have to evaluate how we look at things. Most of the time, we want ‘stuff’ just to impress others. The things of this world are temporary. We cannot take them with us when we go. But, the relationship we forge with Christ is everlasting, so enjoy the resources, but make sure they point back to Him.

Today’s Question

Do you want God’s resources or God Himself?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 22

1 This is what the LORD said to me: “Go over and speak directly to the king of Judah. Say to him, 
2 ‘Listen to this message from the LORD, you king of Judah, sitting on David’s throne. Let your attendants and your people listen, too. 
3 This is what the LORD says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent! 
4 If you obey me, there will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem. The king will ride through the palace gates in chariots and on horses, with his parade of attendants and subjects. 
5 But if you refuse to pay attention to this warning, I swear by my own name, says the LORD, that this palace will become a pile of rubble.’” 
6 Now this is what the LORD says concerning Judah’s royal palace: “I love you as much as fruitful Gilead and the green forests of Lebanon. But I will turn you into a desert, with no one living within your walls. 
7 I will call for wreckers, who will bring out their tools to dismantle you. They will tear out all your fine cedar beams and throw them on the fire. 
8 “People from many nations will pass by the ruins of this city and say to one another, ‘Why did the LORD destroy such a great city?’ 
9 And the answer will be, ‘Because they violated their covenant with the LORD their God by worshiping other gods.’” 
10 Do not weep for the dead king or mourn his loss. Instead, weep for the captive king being led away! For he will never return to see his native land again. 
11 For this is what the LORD says about Jehoahaz, who succeeded his father, King Josiah, and was taken away as a captive: “He will never return. 
12 He will die in a distant land and will never again see his own country.” 
13 And the LORD says, “What sorrow awaits Jehoiakim, who builds his palace with forced labor. He builds injustice into its walls, for he makes his neighbors work for nothing. He does not pay them for their labor. 
14 He says, ‘I will build a magnificent palace with huge rooms and many windows. I will panel it throughout with fragrant cedar and paint it a lovely red.’ 
15 But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king! Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. 
16 He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know me?” says the LORD . 
17 “But you! You have eyes only for greed and dishonesty! You murder the innocent, oppress the poor, and reign ruthlessly.” 
18 Therefore, this is what the LORD says about Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah: “The people will not mourn for him, crying to one another, ‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’ His subjects will not mourn for him, crying, ‘Alas, our master is dead! Alas, his splendor is gone!’ 
19 He will be buried like a dead donkey— dragged out of Jerusalem and dumped outside the gates! 
20 Weep for your allies in Lebanon. Shout for them in Bashan. Search for them in the regions east of the river. See, they are all destroyed. Not one is left to help you. 
21 I warned you when you were prosperous, but you replied, ‘Don’t bother me.’ You have been that way since childhood— you simply will not obey me! 
22 And now the wind will blow away your allies. All your friends will be taken away as captives. Surely then you will see your wickedness and be ashamed. 
23 It may be nice to live in a beautiful palace paneled with wood from the cedars of Lebanon, but soon you will groan with pangs of anguish— anguish like that of a woman in labor. 
24 “As surely as I live,” says the LORD, “I will abandon you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. Even if you were the signet ring on my right hand, I would pull you off. 
25 I will hand you over to those who seek to kill you, those you so desperately fear—to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the mighty Babylonian army. 
26 I will expel you and your mother from this land, and you will die in a foreign country, not in your native land. 
27 You will never again return to the land you yearn for. 
28 “Why is this man Jehoiachin like a discarded, broken jar? Why are he and his children to be exiled to a foreign land? 
29 O earth, earth, earth! Listen to this message from the LORD ! 
30 This is what the LORD says: ‘Let the record show that this man Jehoiachin was childless. He is a failure, for none of his children will succeed him on the throne of David to rule over Judah.’

Valid

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“The salvation of Christ is the only thing that makes us valid.”~TB

Invalid

Consulting self-help gurus, thought leaders, influencers, and peers who tout a false reality of what a valid life experience looks like has become standard practice. Thanks to our lookie-loo mentalities, there is an invalid acceptance that people crave that ultimately has nothing to do with Who made us and how we actually work. External and physical validity is superficial at best and downright depressing at worst. Because once you’ve achieved your targeted status in the world, one realizes that it actually does not fill the void you are looking to complete.

Valid

A connection with Christ is the only real antidote in this strange world. Knowing God on a deeper, everyday level brings a sense of true peace, contentment, and understanding that is second to none. With this, you stop looking to the outside and seek the internal answers that only He can give. When you build that relationship, you understand the sacrifice of salvation and the authenticity of the one who paid that price. It brings a wholeness knowing that you are loved and valid based on that act alone and

Today’s Question

Do you prefer the fool’s gold of public opinion to the priceless validity of Christ?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 10

1 Hear the word that the LORD speaks to you, O Israel! 
2 This is what the LORD says: “Do not act like the other nations, who try to read their future in the stars. Do not be afraid of their predictions, even though other nations are terrified by them. 
3 Their ways are futile and foolish. They cut down a tree, and a craftsman carves an idol. 
4 They decorate it with gold and silver and then fasten it securely with hammer and nails so it won’t fall over. 
5 Their gods are like helpless scarecrows in a cucumber field! They cannot speak, and they need to be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of such gods, for they can neither harm you nor do you any good.” 
6 LORD, there is no one like you! For you are great, and your name is full of power. 
7 Who would not fear you, O King of nations? That title belongs to you alone! Among all the wise people of the earth and in all the kingdoms of the world, there is no one like you. 
8 People who worship idols are stupid and foolish. The things they worship are made of wood! 
9 They bring beaten sheets of silver from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz, and they give these materials to skillful craftsmen who make their idols. Then they dress these gods in royal blue and purple robes made by expert tailors. 
10 But the LORD is the only true God. He is the living God and the everlasting King! The whole earth trembles at his anger. The nations cannot stand up to his wrath. 
11 Say this to those who worship other gods: “Your so-called gods, who did not make the heavens and earth, will vanish from the earth and from under the heavens.” 
12 But the LORD made the earth by his power, and he preserves it by his wisdom. With his own understanding he stretched out the heavens. 
13 When he speaks in the thunder, the heavens roar with rain. He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses. 
14 The whole human race is foolish and has no knowledge! The craftsmen are disgraced by the idols they make, for their carefully shaped works are a fraud. These idols have no breath or power. 
15 Idols are worthless; they are ridiculous lies! On the day of reckoning they will all be destroyed. 
16 But the God of Israel is no idol! He is the Creator of everything that exists, including Israel, his own special possession. The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is his name! 
17 Pack your bags and prepare to leave; the siege is about to begin. 
18 For this is what the LORD says: “Suddenly, I will fling out all you who live in this land. I will pour great troubles upon you, and at last you will feel my anger.” 
19 My wound is severe, and my grief is great. My sickness is incurable, but I must bear it. 
20 My home is gone, and no one is left to help me rebuild it. My children have been taken away, and I will never see them again. 
21 The shepherds of my people have lost their senses. They no longer seek wisdom from the LORD . Therefore, they fail completely, and their flocks are scattered. 
22 Listen! Hear the terrifying roar of great armies as they roll down from the north. The towns of Judah will be destroyed and become a haunt for jackals. 
23 I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. 
24 So correct me, LORD, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die. 
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to acknowledge you— on the peoples that do not call upon your name. For they have devoured your people Israel ; they have devoured and consumed them, making the land a desolate wilderness.

Rebrand

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you forgive others as God forgives you, you are essentially giving each other a rebrand, cleaning the slate as God does for all of His Kids.”~TB

Vulnerable

A dog shows its belly– the most vulnerable part of its body– to those it trusts. But if said trusted individual kicks the dog in the belly, that dog will be sure not to show weakness to that person again. We as people tend to have that mindset when dealing with each other. Forgiveness is difficult because at the root of it exists pain and mistrust. Our thought process is: “how can I trust that person if they’ve hurt me?”. And to be completely honest, it’s tough. While I try to quickly forgive and turn the other cheek, I too have to reconcile the pain and mistrust that happens when those close to us let us down in one way or the other. That’s where God steps in– if you ask and allow Him to.

Give It Up

The pain and sorrow of transgressions are not for us to hold on to. In fact, we are supposed to give those things to God, because we lack the ability to process those things in a Christ-like manner on our own. When you give the transgressions and burdens to our Father in Heaven, He makes a way in us to love and extend forgiveness to our brothers and sisters. This is because He forgives us so freely and willingly each and every time, when you experience that kind of mercy, it becomes easier to share it with those around you. More to the point, when you practice honest, Biblical, forgiveness, not only do you allow the transgressor the ability to change, but so do you.

Anew

Have you ever been looked at as the person you once were rather than the person you are? It’s not fun carrying an outdated interpretation of your past, no matter how far you’ve come to make amends. It’s tough to change and grow when we all hold each other to the less than stellar moments in our lives. Trust me, we all have those moments. But to keep each other in those chains, it stagnates growth and community. That’s what happens when we do not forgive each other. Instead, give people space and grace to grow and be who God made them to be. By wiping the slate clean the act of forgiveness is a mutual endeavor that gives not only the parties involved the chance to start again, but those who are watching can accurately see that person as they truly are too. I’ve seen firsthand what a rebranded person looks and behaves like when given the opportunity. I hope that we all can tap into the Holy Spirit to grant each other that chance to rebrand and change too,

Today’s Question

Are you giving space and grace to allow your brothers and sisters to rebrand; or are you stagnating the healing process?

 

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 9

1 If only my head were a pool of water and my eyes a fountain of tears, I would weep day and night for all my people who have been slaughtered. 
2 Oh, that I could go away and forget my people and live in a travelers’ shack in the desert. For they are all adulterers— a pack of treacherous liars. 
3 “My people bend their tongues like bows to shoot out lies. They refuse to stand up for the truth. They only go from bad to worse. They do not know me,” says the LORD . 
4 “Beware of your neighbor! Don’t even trust your brother! For brother takes advantage of brother, and friend slanders friend. 
5 They all fool and defraud each other; no one tells the truth. With practiced tongues they tell lies; they wear themselves out with all their sinning. 
6 They pile lie upon lie and utterly refuse to acknowledge me,” says the LORD . 
7 Therefore, this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “See, I will melt them down in a crucible and test them like metal. What else can I do with my people? 
8 For their tongues shoot lies like poisoned arrows. They speak friendly words to their neighbors while scheming in their heart to kill them. 
9 Should I not punish them for this?” says the LORD . “Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?” 
10 I will weep for the mountains and wail for the wilderness pastures. For they are desolate and empty of life; the lowing of cattle is heard no more; the birds and wild animals have all fled. 
11 “I will make Jerusalem into a heap of ruins,” says the LORD . “It will be a place haunted by jackals. The towns of Judah will be ghost towns, with no one living in them.” 
12 Who is wise enough to understand all this? Who has been instructed by the LORD and can explain it to others? Why has the land been so ruined that no one dares to travel through it? 
13 The LORD replies, “This has happened because my people have abandoned my instructions; they have refused to obey what I said. 
14 Instead, they have stubbornly followed their own desires and worshiped the images of Baal, as their ancestors taught them. 
15 So now, this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Look! I will feed them with bitterness and give them poison to drink. 
16 I will scatter them around the world, in places they and their ancestors never heard of, and even there I will chase them with the sword until I have destroyed them completely.” 
17 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “Consider all this, and call for the mourners. Send for the women who mourn at funerals. 
18 Quick! Begin your weeping! Let the tears flow from your eyes. 
19 Hear the people of Jerusalem crying in despair, ‘We are ruined! We are completely humiliated! We must leave our land, because our homes have been torn down.’” 
20 Listen, you women, to the words of the LORD ; open your ears to what he has to say. Teach your daughters to wail; teach one another how to lament. 
21 For death has crept in through our windows and has entered our mansions. It has killed off the flower of our youth: Children no longer play in the streets, and young men no longer gather in the squares. 
22 This is what the LORD says: “Bodies will be scattered across the fields like clumps of manure, like bundles of grain after the harvest. No one will be left to bury them.” 
23 This is what the LORD says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. 
24 But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken! 
25 “A time is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will punish all those who are circumcised in body but not in spirit— 
26 the Egyptians, Edomites, Ammonites, Moabites, the people who live in the desert in remote places, and yes, even the people of Judah. And like all these pagan nations, the people of Israel also have uncircumcised hearts.”