“Check your motives and behaviors because sometimes your illness is caused by your actions.”~TB
Isn’t weird how many of the things we do in our lives are counterintuitive to the goals we wish to achieve? Say you’re trying to lose weight, but keep buying croissants and donuts. Or, you’re trying to start a business but don’t want to qualify prospects. Though we are engaging in this behavior, many times we are quick to blame our circumstance while forgetting about the deeds we did to get there. Our wounds can be self-inflicted and certain afflictions are a result of what we have or haven’t done. When we don’t take responsibility for our hand in our situations, it can seem like life is unfair or that the cards are stacked against you. No, I’m not saying that every bad thing in your life is your fault. I am saying, that the choices we make today impact our ability and mobility tomorrow. More to the point, maybe learned behaviors or life experiences have caused you to take an “ill” viewpoint. To get out of that mentality, a shift in discipline and accountability is imperative. When there is a lack of discipline and accountability, tilling the soil becomes a nuisance rather than the objective.
Discipline isn’t fun but it is a necessary daily practice that we must do. It first starts with disciplining our minds and hearts to follow God. Putting God first every day is challenging for everyone, even those who’ve been doing for a long time. That’s because we are always battling our flesh which is why discipline and endurance are vital. Discipline teaches you to show up, even when you don’t want to. Endurance gives you the extra push to keep going when your tank is on empty. And God fills in the blanks and covers the rest when we fall short. We begin to see the errors of our ways by having honest conversations with God and ourselves. To get there takes humility and an understanding that we’re all flawed. The world isn’t always against you. Sometimes it’s actually you that’s against you. Calling yourself to the carpet and cultivating self-discipline are the best things you can do, not only in your relationship with Christ, but in your relationship and dealing within the world. When you shift your perspective, you will see that your illness is subjective and that if you allow Him, God can prescribe the antidote.
Are you sick of being sick?
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1When Ahaz, son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, set out to attack Jerusalem. However, they were unable to carry out their plan.
2The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel against us!” So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.
3Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear-jashub and go out to meet King Ahaz. You will find him at the end of the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed.
4Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah.
5Yes, the kings of Syria and Israel are plotting against him, saying,
6‘We will attack Judah and capture it for ourselves. Then we will install the son of Tabeel as Judah’s king.’
7But this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “This invasion will never happen; it will never take place;
8for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus, and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin. As for Israel, within sixty-five years it will be crushed and completely destroyed.
9Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.”
10Later, the LORD sent this message to King Ahaz:
11“Ask the LORD your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead. ”
12But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the LORD like that.”
13Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well?
14All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
15By the time this child is old enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong, he will be eating yogurt and honey.
16For before the child is that old, the lands of the two kings you fear so much will both be deserted.
17“Then the LORD will bring things on you, your nation, and your family unlike anything since Israel broke away from Judah. He will bring the king of Assyria upon you!”
18In that day the LORD will whistle for the army of southern Egypt and for the army of Assyria. They will swarm around you like flies and bees.
19They will come in vast hordes and settle in the fertile areas and also in the desolate valleys, caves, and thorny places.
20In that day the Lord will hire a “razor” from beyond the Euphrates River —the king of Assyria—and use it to shave off everything: your land, your crops, and your people.
21In that day a farmer will be fortunate to have a cow and two sheep or goats left.
22Nevertheless, there will be enough milk for everyone because so few people will be left in the land. They will eat their fill of yogurt and honey.
23In that day the lush vineyards, now worth 1,000 pieces of silver, will become patches of briers and thorns.
24The entire land will become a vast expanse of briers and thorns, a hunting ground overrun by wildlife.
25No one will go to the fertile hillsides where the gardens once grew, for briers and thorns will cover them. Cattle, sheep, and goats will graze there.
“Take care to balance your work and rest. Overindulging in one or the other is sure to send you into chaos.”~TB
Every day, work as if God is your employer. That way you will find favor in the Lord. Everyone has worked for a bad employer at some point. But when you’re working for God, He’ll make up the difference. Producing honest and good work is vital in your walk with Christ. Like diligently planting seeds, you honest work produces a relationship with Him that is firm and rooted by the Word. When you’ve done your daily work, then you rest.
This life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and to progress, we must rest well. While some of us enjoy the work, so much that we overwork, rest is vital so that we can be prepared to work again tomorrow. Friends, take rest as needed, otherwise, your flesh will become unruly, entertaining thoughts and deeds a rested mind knows to ignore. Therefore be disciplined in getting the proper rest so that you can continue the good work that God has asked of you.
When you seek the Lord, produce honest work, and rest as needed, life is quite simple. No, it is not without its challenges, however, in doing the work and resting after the fact, God’s word reigns supreme in your hearts and minds. Follow the Biblical roadmap to balance your affairs. Conversely, when you rest and do not do the work, you fall prey to the modern-day slave owners, who seek to entrap you. Because you have not done your work, you have to rely on someone else to provide for you. Friends, be a servant to God and not to man. Work, rest, and repeat and you will find peace and contentment in the Lord.
Are you working and resting in a balanced manner or are you out of balance in your life?
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1On the holy mountain stands the city founded by the LORD .
2He loves the city of Jerusalem more than any other city in Israel.
3O city of God, what glorious things are said of you! Interlude
4I will count Egypt and Babylon among those who know me— also Philistia and Tyre, and even distant Ethiopia. They have all become citizens of Jerusalem!
5Regarding Jerusalem it will be said, “Everyone enjoys the rights of citizenship there.” And the Most High will personally bless this city.
6When the LORD registers the nations, he will say, “They have all become citizens of Jerusalem.” Interlude
7The people will play flutes and sing, “The source of my life springs from Jerusalem!”
“Caution yourself before you speak negatively about things so that you can learn to see the good that is happening all around you, every second of the day.”~Jon Barnes
Negativity is a distraction that takes your mind, thoughts, words, and deeds off of the work of faith.Make things better with your situation and people will copy you and become inspired, because of your lifestyle and preparation.Shut down the negative attitude approach and open up the mouth of positivity, so that we all speak better blessings into the future.
Enjoy keeping your mind, mouth, and actions, on what God has for you to do by doing wonderful things each day, all of the time.As a habit, you will develop wonderful skills to last a lifetime of fun, discovery, service, and respect for God’s plan for your life.The challenges in life will keep coming, but your solutions are better than any problem you will face.God is the Solution!
Don’t go down the street with wicked people trying to find trouble.Stay with who you are and become better at being yourself.As an individual, there is no need to copy the negative distractions and actions of others.Use your words, works, and faith to define your destiny of positive living and be the blessing to others.
Are you a blessingto God or a blessing to the devil?
1 Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise him. 2 Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp. 3 Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. 4 For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. 5 He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.
6 The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. 7 He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs. 8 Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him. 9 For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.
10 The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes. 11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.
12 What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.
13 The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. 14 From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. 15 He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. 16 The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. 17 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory— for all its strength, it cannot save you.
18 But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. 19 He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.
20 We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.
“When you pick up evil habits that go undetected, unchanged, and ignored, you stand the risk of ruining your life, because these little problems will grow into major catastrophes, due to your arrogance.”~Jon Barnes
Your evil work is like an invisible eraser that removes any trace of morals and values from your character God has taught you.Your will and pride overrides how to do the right things and your hearing and doing the truth fade away by default.The old memory card gets erased, deleted, corrupt or altered.
Bad patterns of evil slowly grow into your DNA, replacing good nerves for bad nerves. Soon, your whole body and mind become wrapped up and intertwined with little lies, fake news, and stories that are untrue. Who you are can no longer be recognized and your lifestyle has successfully duplicated who the devil is.
Pay attention to who, what, when, why, and where you pattern yourself, thoughts, actions, mind, body, habits, and spirit after.We follow Christ in Love to copy His Patterns of truth, justice, honesty, integrity, love, and fun in doing the good work, spreading great memories and controlling our negative mouths and actions.
Are you trying to spin the truth of Good Intentions with your evil tongue, by letting the Spirit of God control and replace your negative behavior, words, stories, and ideas with good ones.
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A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, I give my life to you. 2 I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. 3 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.
4 Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. 5 Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. 6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past. 7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord.
8 The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. 9 He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. 10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
11 For the honor of your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins. 12 Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose. 13 They will live in prosperity, and their children will inherit the land. 14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant. 15 My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.
16 Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. 17 My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! 18 Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins. 19 See how many enemies I have and how viciously they hate me! 20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them! Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge. 21 May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you.
“Stop trying to prove that you are right and just do the work of a righteous person because the proof is in your actions and not your vain words and explanations.”~ Jon Barnes
People who waste time talking about the work that they need to do with the people they should avoid, typically do little work and continue to do the wrong things with the wrong crowd. Spend more time listening, learning, and growing with the people who are relevant in your life, especially God.
People who are focused and quiet tend to stay busy getting the work done with little help or support.The proof is in the work of a self-starter, not the talker.The go-getter gets the proof from within and they can see the steps, as God guides His children.The slackers take, talk, steal, and pretend that they are doing the work.Quietly ask God for help and He will give it to you. Accept the help.
When you reject God’s help, methods, and suggestion, you have obtained the proof of your ignorance, stubbornness, and stupidity of arrogance.When calamity continues in your life, there is yet more proof of your folly.Go back to the closet with God, humble yourself, repent, pray, and look for the truth in love.Things will change for the better when you change your ways.
If you interested in the truth, where is your proof?
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1 Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? 2 The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. 3 “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.”
4 But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury. 6 For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem,[a] on my holy mountain.”
7 The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son.[b] Today I have become your Father.[c] 8 Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. 9 You will break[d] them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.’”
10 Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! 11 Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Submit to God’s royal son,[e] or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities— for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!
“Since the wicked are trapped in their own deed, how much more are God’s good people rewarded for the work of faith and honest actions of love?”~ Jon Barnes
Fix your eyes daily on the marvelous wonders of God, His Ways, and creations to keep your minds fresh, filled with faith, love, and hope.Be ready to do the work. Know that God’s rewards will blow your mind in Heaven and nothing that you can say or think will compare or be accurate in imagining such splendor and spectacular lifestyle of Spirit, Awe, and Wonder!
God will appear in all the things you do and surround you with His love and favor. The level of support and assistance will rock your world and sing into the heavens to declare your loyalty and love for God.All of creation will witness who you are in God and they will know your place in Him as you do.
When God is absent from your life, evil surrounds you and it is known by all.Since you continue to do dumb things, there is no hiding who you are and what you do.Calamity follows your thoughts and actions at every turn and your children act like you do.God’s words, work, and faith are far from your life and lips.You will not be absent in your eternal reward of hell and judgment.
Where is your confusion coming from?
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Job’s Ninth Speech: A Response to Bildad
26 Then Job spoke again:
2 “How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the weak! 3 How you have enlightened my stupidity! What wise advice you have offered! 4 Where have you gotten all these wise sayings? Whose spirit speaks through you?
5 “The dead tremble— those who live beneath the waters. 6 The underworld[a] is naked in God’s presence. The place of destruction[b] is uncovered. 7 God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. 8 He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds don’t burst with the weight. 9 He covers the face of the moon,[c] shrouding it with his clouds. 10 He created the horizon when he separated the waters; he set the boundary between day and night. 11 The foundations of heaven tremble; they shudder at his rebuke. 12 By his power the sea grew calm. By his skill he crushed the great sea monster.[d] 13 His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and his power pierced the gliding serpent. 14 These are just the beginning of all that he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of his power?”
“When you give a lecture about the love and passion of your profession, the proof is obvious with your actions, completed work, and content.” ~Jon Barnes
Displaying your life’s work, answering questions, and inspiring others to do their work is an honest profession and takes great skill to convey.Not only is the message and body of works important, but also the integrity and quality of work performed.
You can’t steal someone’s work and expect God to give you credit.Buying someone’s work and putting your name on it is not the same.You still must deliver the ingredients of success for yourself with your own life. Stay connected to your job to develop your own vision that God has for you to complete.
A true owner can perform all of the functions of the job in their own shop.They train their students, workers, helpers, and managers so that the success of the operation is a picture of themselves.When you begin to take shortcuts the quality of your work begins to diminish and fall apart.
Did you allow your workshop to become a cheap, chop shop to make fast money?
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7 After the wall was finished and I had set up the doors in the gates, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed.2 I gave the responsibility of governing Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah, the commander of the fortress, for he was a faithful man who feared God more than most.3 I said to them, “Do not leave the gates open during the hottest part of the day.[a] And even while the gatekeepers are on duty, have them shut and bar the doors. Appoint the residents of Jerusalem to act as guards, everyone on a regular watch. Some will serve at sentry posts and some in front of their own homes.”
Nehemiah Registers the People
4 At that time the city was large and spacious, but the population was small, and none of the houses had been rebuilt.5 So my God gave me the idea to call together all the nobles and leaders of the city, along with the ordinary citizens, for registration. I had found the genealogical record of those who had first returned to Judah. This is what was written there:
6 Here is the list of the Jewish exiles of the provinces who returned from their captivity. King Nebuchadnezzar had deported them to Babylon, but now they returned to Jerusalem and the other towns in Judah where they originally lived.7 Their leaders were Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah,[b] Reelaiah,[c]Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar,[d] Bigvai, Rehum,[e] and Baanah.
This is the number of the men of Israel who returned from exile:
8 The family of Parosh
9 The family of Shephatiah
10 The family of Arah
11 The family of Pahath-moab (descendants of Jeshua and Joab)
60 In all, the Temple servants and the descendants of Solomon’s servants numbered 392.
61 Another group returned at this time from the towns of Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Kerub, Addan,[r] and Immer. However, they could not prove that they or their families were descendants of Israel.62 This group included the families of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda—a total of 642 people.
63 Three families of priests—Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai—also returned. (This Barzillai had married a woman who was a descendant of Barzillai of Gilead, and he had taken her family name.)64 They searched for their names in the genealogical records, but they were not found, so they were disqualified from serving as priests.65 The governor told them not to eat the priests’ share of food from the sacrifices until a priest could consult the Lord about the matter by using the Urim and Thummim—the sacred lots.
66 So a total of 42,360 people returned to Judah,67 in addition to 7,337 servants and 245 singers, both men and women.68 They took with them 736 horses, 245 mules,[s]69 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.
70 Some of the family leaders gave gifts for the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 gold coins,[t] 50 gold basins, and 530 robes for the priests.71 The other leaders gave to the treasury a total of 20,000 gold coins[u] and some 2,750 pounds[v] of silver for the work.72 The rest of the people gave 20,000 gold coins, about 2,500 pounds[w] of silver, and 67 robes for the priests.
73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Temple servants, and some of the common people settled near Jerusalem. The rest of the people returned to their own towns throughout Israel.
Ezra Reads the Law
In October,[x] when the Israelites had settled in their towns,
“We are all famous for what we do, be it for good or for evil, since God can see all of our thoughts and actions.” ~ Jon Barnes
You can’t hide your thoughts and actions because eventually you will display and do what is in your heart. God can see your heart and your pride. Since your heart and mind and the control systems of your life, people need to pray and ask God for guidance with life, humility, personal, and family development.
Pretending to work, help, love, give, and obey God’ s commandments is not how you honor God. Why would you want to be famous for acting like the devil? Making choices to please God is the wisest steps to take in life’s many decisions and personal steps of actions. The truth about you is known and will always shine through the mask of deception.
Your daily walk, work, actions, and love will always paint the correct picture of what you look and sound like to God. We all will see this picture easily because what we do and say will be the evidence of how God will judge us on that famous DAY!
Why do you believe and live out the lies of the wicked and ignore pursuing the truth in God’s loving instructions?
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Manasseh Rules in Judah
33 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years.2 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites.3 He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had broken down. He constructed altars for the images of Baal and set up Asherah poles. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them.
4 He built pagan altars in the Temple of the Lord, the place where the Lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.”5 He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the Lord’s Temple.6 Manasseh also sacrificed his own sons in the fire[a] in the valley of Ben-Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the Lord’s sight, arousing his anger.
7 Manasseh even took a carved idol he had made and set it up in God’s Temple, the very place where God had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel.8 If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws, decrees, and regulations given through Moses—I will not send them into exile from this land that I set aside for your ancestors.”9 But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the Lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.
10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings.11 So the Lord sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon.12 But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors.13 And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the Lord alone is God!
14 After this Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, from west of the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley to the Fish Gate, and continuing around the hill of Ophel. He built the wall very high. And he stationed his military officers in all of the fortified towns of Judah.15 Manasseh also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the Lord’s Temple. He tore down all the altars he had built on the hill where the Temple stood and all the altars that were in Jerusalem, and he dumped them outside the city.16 Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it. He also encouraged the people of Judah to worship the Lord, the God of Israel.17 However, the people still sacrificed at the pagan shrines, though only to the Lord their God.
18 The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, his prayer to God, and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel.19 Manasseh’s prayer, the account of the way God answered him, and an account of all his sins and unfaithfulness are recorded in The Record of the Seers.[b] It includes a list of the locations where he built pagan shrines and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself and repented.20 When Manasseh died, he was buried in his palace. Then his son Amon became the next king.
Amon Rules in Judah
21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years.22 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. He worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols his father had made.23 But unlike his father, he did not humble himself before the Lord. Instead, Amon sinned even more.
24 Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace.25 But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.
“People who stink may use their dirty laundry as a deterrent, to keep you from noticing their dirty room, car, house, habits, evil ways, bad people skills, and inadequate hygiene.” ~ Jon Barnes
There is always room for growth with cleaning up your own dirty laundry, mouth, mind, body, and soul. Each day we should repent of our funky behavior, ways, ideas, mind, heart, body, and soul like actions that are not consistent with God’s message. There is always room for improvement. I remain humbled and vigilant by this statement and I encourage you all to do the same. You only have enough time and energy to clean up your own room.
We can inspire others to keep their rooms, minds, bodies, souls, and the likes clean, but they must use their energy to do their own work for themselves. Daily upkeep requires more than just a little help from family and friends. You must want to improve your life for yourself and begin inspiring your children, family, and friends as well. Unorganized, lazy behavior is no excuse for dirtiness in your life. Inspire yourself and clean as you go.Change your stinking ways into fruitful actions of the Spirit.
Your next step should not be over your slop, clothes, trash, junk, pet poop, urine, paper, garbage, or other things that are out of place. Imagine your palace in Heaven and how you would take care of it. Do you think that God will allow you to be a slob in Heaven? Then, fix your personal problems of disobedience now.Why wait? Become the best you can be today. This is your next step and goal. Practice clean gospel thinking, living, loving, sharing, and caring with honesty, conviction, humility, mercy, kindness, long-suffering, balance, and real effort.
Is it hard to practice what you preach with the fruit of the Spirit in God?
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1 Kings 22
Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab
22 For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel.2 But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel.3 The king of Israel had said to his officials, “Don’t you know that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?”
4 So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?”
Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”
6 So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?”
“Go,” they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”
8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.
9 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”
10 Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.11 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”
12 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”
14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”
15 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?”
“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”
17 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”
18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”
19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left.20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’
“One suggested this, and another that.21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’
22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.
“‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.
“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’
23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”
24 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from[a] the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.
25 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”
26 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”
28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”
Ahab Killed at Ramoth Gilead
29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead.30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
31 Now the king of Aram had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.”32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, “Surely this is the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him, but when Jehoshaphat cried out,33 the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel and stopped pursuing him.
34 But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.”35 All day long the battle raged, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died.36 As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army: “Every man to his town. Every man to his land!”
37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried him there.38 They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria (where the prostitutes bathed),[b] and the dogs licked up his blood, as the word of the Lord had declared.
39 As for the other events of Ahab’s reign, including all he did, the palace he built and adorned with ivory, and the cities he fortified, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?40 Ahab rested with his ancestors. And Ahaziah his son succeeded him as king.
Jehoshaphat King of Judah
41 Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel.42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.43 In everything he followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. The high places, however, were not removed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.[c]44 Jehoshaphat was also at peace with the king of Israel.
45 As for the other events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, the things he achieved and his military exploits, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?46 He rid the land of the rest of the male shrine prostitutes who remained there even after the reign of his father Asa.47 There was then no king in Edom; a provincial governor ruled.
48 Now Jehoshaphat built a fleet of trading ships[d] to go to Ophir for gold, but they never set sail—they were wrecked at Ezion Geber.49 At that time Ahaziah son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my men sail with yours,” but Jehoshaphat refused.
50 Then Jehoshaphat rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of David his father. And Jehoram his son succeeded him as king.
Ahaziah King of Israel
51 Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years.52 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, because he followed the ways of his father and mother and of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin.53 He served and worshiped Baal and aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, just as his father had done.
“The actions of your faith like the work and lifestyle you live and the fruit of your choices and labor are self-evident, pleasing to God and helpful to others.” ~ Jon Barnes
You will always have a job when your quality, integrity, and honorable workflows from you. People will notice complement your thoughtfulness, helpfulness, honesty, and competence; whether you believe it or not. It takes work to make sure your talent, character, and lifestyle match what you preach.Eyes are always upon you and your reputation will follow you as well.
Real people get the work done because they are honest, caring, and full of love. They don’t need a lot of instructions since they see the need. Their willingness to help is not a quality to be taken advantage of. However, God sees and rewards their quality of labor and character.Your character is not based on the things you have and how much money you make. By default, your motives from the heart automatically manifest your character and work ethic.
Continue to do the good works each day and enjoy the wonderful blessings that God will shine on you.Notice and be thankful for the near misses in car accidents, harmful plots, corruption, greed, and lust of the eyes that can befall us. Stay true to the cause of justice, love, honesty, and faithfulness.God will reward your loving work. Enjoy the Good Work, mercy, and grace in your life.
Does your good work follow you, as you walk, work, and live by faith?
Enjoy The Reading
2 Samuel 20
The Revolt of Sheba
20 There happened to be a troublemaker there named Sheba son of Bicri, a man from the tribe of Benjamin. Sheba blew a ram’s horn and began to chant:
“Down with the dynasty of David! We have no interest in the son of Jesse. Come on, you men of Israel, back to your homes!”
2 So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stayed with their king and escorted him from the Jordan River to Jerusalem.
3 When David came to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to look after the palace and placed them in seclusion. Their needs were provided for, but he no longer slept with them. So each of them lived like a widow until she died.
4 Then the king told Amasa, “Mobilize the army of Judah within three days, and report back at that time.”5 So Amasa went out to notify Judah, but it took him longer than the time he had been given.
6 Then David said to Abishai, “Sheba son of Bicri is going to hurt us more than Absalom did. Quick, take my troops and chase after him before he gets into a fortified town where we can’t reach him.”
7 So Abishai and Joab,[a] together with the king’s bodyguard[b] and all the mighty warriors, set out from Jerusalem to go after Sheba.8 As they arrived at the great stone in Gibeon, Amasa met them. Joab was wearing his military tunic with a dagger strapped to his belt. As he stepped forward to greet Amasa, he slipped the dagger from its sheath.[c]
9 “How are you, my cousin?” Joab said and took him by the beard with his right hand as though to kiss him.10 Amasa didn’t notice the dagger in his left hand, and Joab stabbed him in the stomach with it so that his insides gushed out onto the ground. Joab did not need to strike again, and Amasa soon died. Joab and his brother Abishai left him lying there and continued after Sheba.
11 One of Joab’s young men shouted to Amasa’s troops, “If you are for Joab and David, come and follow Joab.”12 But Amasa lay in his blood in the middle of the road, and Joab’s man saw that everyone was stopping to stare at him. So he pulled him off the road into a field and threw a cloak over him.13 With Amasa’s body out of the way, everyone went on with Joab to capture Sheba son of Bicri.
14 Meanwhile, Sheba traveled through all the tribes of Israel and eventually came to the town of Abel-beth-maacah. All the members of his own clan, the Bicrites,[d]assembled for battle and followed him into the town.15 When Joab’s forces arrived, they attacked Abel-beth-maacah. They built a siege ramp against the town’s fortifications and began battering down the wall.16 But a wise woman in the town called out to Joab, “Listen to me, Joab. Come over here so I can talk to you.”17 As he approached, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?”
“I am,” he replied.
So she said, “Listen carefully to your servant.”
“I’m listening,” he said.
18 Then she continued, “There used to be a saying, ‘If you want to settle an argument, ask advice at the town of Abel.’19 I am one who is peace loving and faithful in Israel. But you are destroying an important town in Israel.[e] Why do you want to devour what belongs to the Lord?”
20 And Joab replied, “Believe me, I don’t want to devour or destroy your town!21 That’s not my purpose. All I want is a man named Sheba son of Bicri from the hill country of Ephraim, who has revolted against King David. If you hand over this one man to me, I will leave the town in peace.”
“All right,” the woman replied, “we will throw his head over the wall to you.”22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off Sheba’s head and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the ram’s horn and called his troops back from the attack. They all returned to their homes, and Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.
23 Now Joab was the commander of the army of Israel. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard.24 Adoniram[f] was in charge of forced labor. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian.25 Sheva was the court secretary. Zadok and Abiathar were the priests.26 And Ira, a descendant of Jair, was David’s personal priest.