“Live your life in a way that God is your go-to for all things.”
Left to our own desires, we put ourselves first, forgetting that we have a higher authority with infinitely more wisdom than our own. It’s only when our messes get too big for us to clean up that we call on Him. Friends, let God be the first of whom you consult with.
When we put ourselves first, we inevitably come in last. That’s because we lack the wisdom that can only come from Christ. If you’re tired of your mistakes forcing you to come in last in your life, ask God for help. He is with you always; let Him be your go-to.
Are you going to the One who can provide you eternal solutions?
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1 There was a man named Micah, who lived in the hill country of Ephraim. 2 One day he said to his mother, “I heard you place a curse on the person who stole 1,100 pieces of silver from you. Well, I have the money. I was the one who took it.” “The LORD bless you for admitting it,” his mother replied. 3 He returned the money to her, and she said, “I now dedicate these silver coins to the LORD . In honor of my son, I will have an image carved and an idol cast.” 4 So when he returned the money to his mother, she took 200 silver coins and gave them to a silversmith, who made them into an image and an idol. And these were placed in Micah’s house. 5 Micah set up a shrine for the idol, and he made a sacred ephod and some household idols. Then he installed one of his sons as his personal priest. 6 In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. 7 One day a young Levite, who had been living in Bethlehem in Judah, arrived in that area. 8 He had left Bethlehem in search of another place to live, and as he traveled, he came to the hill country of Ephraim. He happened to stop at Micah’s house as he was traveling through. 9 “Where are you from?” Micah asked him. He replied, “I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, and I am looking for a place to live.” 10 “Stay here with me,” Micah said, “and you can be a father and priest to me. I will give you ten pieces of silver a year, plus a change of clothes and your food.” 11 The Levite agreed to this, and the young man became like one of Micah’s sons. 12 So Micah installed the Levite as his personal priest, and he lived in Micah’s house. 13 “I know the LORD will bless me now,” Micah said, “because I have a Levite serving as my priest.”
“When dealing with life’s ebbs and flows, always ask your Father in Heaven.”
We get ourselves into all kinds of trouble when we fail to ask God, our Father in Heaven for advice. Take Adam and Eve, for example. When they were tempted, all they had to do was ask God about the apple and He would’ve set them straight. Instead, they followed their flesh and, the rest is history. We’re no different than Adam and Eve.
Following our flesh always ends up with us repenting and begging God for forgiveness. Of course, as we mature spiritually, the hope is that we begin to call Him up more than we blindly give in to our fleshly motives. Friends, God has wonderful plans for all of us and He’ll never steer you wrong. So, resolve to call Him up more often than not.
Did you ask your Father in Heaven or are you continually calling Him for a bailout?
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1 Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, “Gather around me, and I will tell you what will happen to each of you in the days to come. 2 “Come and listen, you sons of Jacob; listen to Israel, your father. 3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength, the child of my vigorous youth. You are first in rank and first in power. 4 But you are as unruly as a flood, and you will be first no longer. For you went to bed with my wife; you defiled my marriage couch. 5 “Simeon and Levi are two of a kind; their weapons are instruments of violence. 6 May I never join in their meetings; may I never be a party to their plans. For in their anger they murdered men, and they crippled oxen just for sport. 7 A curse on their anger, for it is fierce; a curse on their wrath, for it is cruel. I will scatter them among the descendants of Jacob; I will disperse them throughout Israel. 8 “Judah, your brothers will praise you. You will grasp your enemies by the neck. All your relatives will bow before you. 9 Judah, my son, is a young lion that has finished eating its prey. Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? 10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor. 11 He ties his foal to a grapevine, the colt of his donkey to a choice vine. He washes his clothes in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk. 13 “Zebulun will settle by the seashore and will be a harbor for ships; his borders will extend to Sidon. 14 “Issachar is a sturdy donkey, resting between two saddlepacks. 15 When he sees how good the countryside is and how pleasant the land, he will bend his shoulder to the load and submit himself to hard labor. 16 “Dan will govern his people, like any other tribe in Israel. 17 Dan will be a snake beside the road, a poisonous viper along the path that bites the horse’s hooves so its rider is thrown off. 18 I trust in you for salvation, O LORD ! 19 “Gad will be attacked by marauding bands, but he will attack them when they retreat. 20 “Asher will dine on rich foods and produce food fit for kings. 21 “Naphtali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns. 22 “Joseph is the foal of a wild donkey, the foal of a wild donkey at a spring— one of the wild donkeys on the ridge. 23 Archers attacked him savagely; they shot at him and harassed him. 24 But his bow remained taut, and his arms were strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. 25 May the God of your father help you; may the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, and blessings of the watery depths below, and blessings of the breasts and womb. 26 May my fatherly blessings on you surpass the blessings of my ancestors, reaching to the heights of the eternal hills. May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph, who is a prince among his brothers. 27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, devouring his enemies in the morning and dividing his plunder in the evening.” 28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he told his sons good-bye. He blessed each one with an appropriate message. 29 Then Jacob instructed them, “Soon I will die and join my ancestors. Bury me with my father and grandfather in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30 This is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a permanent burial site. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried. There Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, are buried. And there I buried Leah. 32 It is the plot of land and the cave that my grandfather Abraham bought from the Hittites.” 33 When Jacob had finished this charge to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and joined his ancestors in death.
“To grow farther in your walk with Christ, become open to receiving correction and feedback from wise counsel.”
In one way or another, we’re all full of it. The best way to combat the BS we feed ourselves is by following it with a dose of Holy Fiber. God will always be honest with us. And, when we don’t hear Him loud and clear, He sends someone along to give you the recommended dose. Holy Fiber, also known as the Truth, enables us to listen, learn, and loves as our Father in Heaven instructs. Without it, we’d all be backed up and bloated by our foolish nature. More to the point, we become prone to foolishness and poor choices that ultimately we beg God to relieve us from.
Because the Truth is optional, it is up to you to cleanse your palate. Pride and arrogance push the Truth and those who bring it away. But friends, practice humility and discipline to take the spoonful as recommended. This happens when you listen to God and the people He sends your way to help you remain on the straight and narrow. Of course, feedback and correction at first are hard supplements to swallow. But ask yourselves this, if God is loving enough to tell us the Truth, and send folks to reinforce it, perhaps we ought to ask for the check.
Are you taking your recommended dose of Holy Fiber or are you full of it?
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1 Abraham was now a very old man, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. 2 One day Abraham said to his oldest servant, the man in charge of his household, “Take an oath by putting your hand under my thigh. 3 Swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. 4 Go instead to my homeland, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.” 5 The servant asked, “But what if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to travel so far from home? Should I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives in the land you came from?” 6 “No!” Abraham responded. “Be careful never to take my son there. 7 For the LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and my native land, solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants. He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife there for my son. 8 If she is unwilling to come back with you, then you are free from this oath of mine. But under no circumstances are you to take my son there.” 9 So the servant took an oath by putting his hand under the thigh of his master, Abraham. He swore to follow Abraham’s instructions. 10 Then he loaded ten of Abraham’s camels with all kinds of expensive gifts from his master, and he traveled to distant Aram-naharaim. There he went to the town where Abraham’s brother Nahor had settled. 11 He made the camels kneel beside a well just outside the town. It was evening, and the women were coming out to draw water. 12 “O LORD, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. 13 See, I am standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming out to draw water. 14 This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.” 15 Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah. 16 Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again. 17 Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.” 18 “Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink. 19 When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw water for all his camels. 21 The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not the LORD had given him success in his mission. 22 Then at last, when the camels had finished drinking, he took out a gold ring for her nose and two large gold bracelets for her wrists. 23 “Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “And please tell me, would your father have any room to put us up for the night?” 24 “I am the daughter of Bethuel,” she replied. “My grandparents are Nahor and Milcah. 25 Yes, we have plenty of straw and feed for the camels, and we have room for guests.” 26 The man bowed low and worshiped the LORD . 27 “Praise the LORD, the God of my master, Abraham,” he said. “The LORD has shown unfailing love and faithfulness to my master, for he has led me straight to my master’s relatives.” 28 The young woman ran home to tell her family everything that had happened. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, who ran out to meet the man at the spring. 30 He had seen the nose-ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man had said. So he rushed out to the spring, where the man was still standing beside his camels. 31 Laban said to him, “Come and stay with us, you who are blessed by the LORD ! Why are you standing here outside the town when I have a room all ready for you and a place prepared for the camels?” 32 So the man went home with Laban, and Laban unloaded the camels, gave him straw for their bedding, fed them, and provided water for the man and the camel drivers to wash their feet. 33 Then food was served. But Abraham’s servant said, “I don’t want to eat until I have told you why I have come.” “All right,” Laban said, “tell us.” 34 “I am Abraham’s servant,” he explained. 35 “And the LORD has greatly blessed my master; he has become a wealthy man. The LORD has given him flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, a fortune in silver and gold, and many male and female servants and camels and donkeys. 36 “When Sarah, my master’s wife, was very old, she gave birth to my master’s son, and my master has given him everything he owns. 37 And my master made me take an oath. He said, ‘Do not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. 38 Go instead to my father’s house, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son.’ 39 “But I said to my master, ‘What if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to go back with me?’ 40 He responded, ‘The LORD, in whose presence I have lived, will send his angel with you and will make your mission successful. Yes, you must find a wife for my son from among my relatives, from my father’s family. 41 Then you will have fulfilled your obligation. But if you go to my relatives and they refuse to let her go with you, you will be free from my oath.’ 42 “So today when I came to the spring, I prayed this prayer: ‘O LORD, God of my master, Abraham, please give me success on this mission. 43 See, I am standing here beside this spring. This is my request. When a young woman comes to draw water, I will say to her, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.” 44 If she says, “Yes, have a drink, and I will draw water for your camels, too,” let her be the one you have selected to be the wife of my master’s son.’ 45 “Before I had finished praying in my heart, I saw Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46 She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’ So I drank, and then she watered the camels. 47 “Then I asked, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel, and my grandparents are Nahor and Milcah.’ So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her wrists. 48 “Then I bowed low and worshiped the LORD . I praised the LORD, the God of my master, Abraham, because he had led me straight to my master’s niece to be his son’s wife. 49 So tell me—will you or won’t you show unfailing love and faithfulness to my master? Please tell me yes or no, and then I’ll know what to do next.” 50 Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “The LORD has obviously brought you here, so there is nothing we can say. 51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go. Yes, let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has directed.” 52 When Abraham’s servant heard their answer, he bowed down to the ground and worshiped the LORD . 53 Then he brought out silver and gold jewelry and clothing and presented them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive presents to her brother and mother. 54 Then they ate their meal, and the servant and the men with him stayed there overnight. But early the next morning, Abraham’s servant said, “Send me back to my master.” 55 “But we want Rebekah to stay with us at least ten days,” her brother and mother said. “Then she can go.” 56 But he said, “Don’t delay me. The LORD has made my mission successful; now send me back so I can return to my master.” 57 “Well,” they said, “we’ll call Rebekah and ask her what she thinks.” 58 So they called Rebekah. “Are you willing to go with this man?” they asked her. And she replied, “Yes, I will go.” 59 So they said good-bye to Rebekah and sent her away with Abraham’s servant and his men. The woman who had been Rebekah’s childhood nurse went along with her. 60 They gave her this blessing as she parted: “Our sister, may you become the mother of many millions! May your descendants be strong and conquer the cities of their enemies.” 61 Then Rebekah and her servant girls mounted the camels and followed the man. So Abraham’s servant took Rebekah and went on his way. 62 Meanwhile, Isaac, whose home was in the Negev, had returned from Beer-lahai-roi. 63 One evening as he was walking and meditating in the fields, he looked up and saw the camels coming. 64 When Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac, she quickly dismounted from her camel. 65 “Who is that man walking through the fields to meet us?” she asked the servant. And he replied, “It is my master.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil. 66 Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done. 67 And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother.
“Find older and wiser people who can teach you a thing or two about life.”~TB
It’s wise to spend time with those who have a well developed relationship with God. While you still have to cultivate your own, a mentor can help you with perspective when you can’t get out of your own way. Great lessons and ‘ah hah’ moments can be discovered when you seek counsel from those who’ve come before you. Those who have spent some time on this Earth have seen and experienced moments that the youth have not, so when making any decision of importance, have a word with a mentor.
Perhaps the best reason for having a mentor is to get advice when your pride is writing checks it can’t cash. We all struggle with an ego from time to time and having a soundboard who is emotionally removed from your situation will give you a more nuanced understanding of what you’re going through. More to the point, you can learn from their lessons if you are willing to let go of what is causing you to stumble. So while you’re having talks with God, be sure to chat with those who’ve walked with Him before you.
Who do you consult with to keep you accountable?
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1This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2In the last days, the mountain of the LORD ’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
3People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the LORD ’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem.
4The LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.
5Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD !
6For the LORD has rejected his people, the descendants of Jacob, because they have filled their land with practices from the East and with sorcerers, as the Philistines do. They have made alliances with pagans.
7Israel is full of silver and gold; there is no end to its treasures. Their land is full of warhorses; there is no end to its chariots.
8Their land is full of idols; the people worship things they have made with their own hands.
9So now they will be humbled, and all will be brought low— do not forgive them.
10Crawl into caves in the rocks. Hide in the dust from the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty.
11Human pride will be brought down, and human arrogance will be humbled. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment.
12For the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has a day of reckoning. He will punish the proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted.
13He will cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon and all the mighty oaks of Bashan.
14He will level all the high mountains and all the lofty hills.
15He will break down every high tower and every fortified wall.
16He will destroy all the great trading ships and every magnificent vessel.
17Human pride will be humbled, and human arrogance will be brought down. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment.
18Idols will completely disappear.
19When the LORD rises to shake the earth, his enemies will crawl into holes in the ground. They will hide in caves in the rocks from the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty.
20On that day of judgment they will abandon the gold and silver idols they made for themselves to worship. They will leave their gods to the rodents and bats,
21while they crawl away into caverns and hide among the jagged rocks in the cliffs. They will try to escape the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty as he rises to shake the earth.
22Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?
“Remember who made you so in all things you refer back to the source material.”~TB
God is here, available to direct and guide you to the best results and answers. He is gentle, never pushy, and you have to come to Him. We often fail to seek Him first, turning to external sources for subpar advice.
When you rely on the limited expertise of your peers, you will find that man-made solutions will only offer a temporary fix. Like placing a bandaid on an infected wound, it will cover the issue, but the problem will only grow worse.
When you get tired of having to constantly use temporary fixes, turn to God for help. Come before Him for all things and He will share His infinite wisdom, helping you to maintain and care for your wounds. Let go of your history, your pride, and your pain to connect to the source material.
Are you relying on the source material or are you addicted to temporary fixes?
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1Praise the LORD ! Sing to the LORD a new song. Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.
2O Israel, rejoice in your Maker. O people of Jerusalem, exult in your King.
3Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp.
4For the LORD delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
5Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.
6Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands—
7to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
8to bind their kings with shackles and their leaders with iron chains,
9to execute the judgment written against them. This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones. Praise the LORD !
“When a problem occurs, get up, look at yourself, and examine the many different ways you could have prepared, prevented or avoided the situation and give yourself time to learn, reflect, and absorb the best solutions, before giving your opinions, solutions, and advice.”~Jon Barnes
Advise yourself to work in your expertise and learn from other experts to improve your quality of work, ethics, and faith in God.You will notice the positive impact that you have on the lives of people because you are a follower of Jesus Christ and His Advice, not your own advice.Your personal improvements will become noticeable and obvious to everyone.
Stop giving advice and live what God is teaching you.Your lifestyle in God will reflect, teach, and encourage others to advise themselves, with God’s information.We all have to make up our own minds, do the work, use the measure of faith, and account for all of our actions.There is no time for me to account for your actions. I’m too busy keeping maintenance schedules, oil, and gas in my own car.
Look at your life’s reflection as you muse and reflect upon your relationship with God, along with your spiritual connectivity, walk, path, and direction.Notice how the Hand of God touches your life and others because you have learned not to give your opinions.Instead, give biblical facts and stories for people to muse and reflect upon, as they make their own choices in life while reading the bible for themselves.
Do you live your life in a way that people can see how to rise up and follow Christ in a loving, natural, honest manner?
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1Beautiful words stir my heart. I will recite a lovely poem about the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.
2You are the most handsome of all. Gracious words stream from your lips. God himself has blessed you forever.
3Put on your sword, O mighty warrior! You are so glorious, so majestic!
4In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice. Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds!
5Your arrows are sharp, piercing your enemies’ hearts. The nations fall beneath your feet.
6Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice.
7You love justice and hate evil. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.
8Myrrh, aloes, and cassia perfume your robes. In ivory palaces, the music of strings entertains you.
9Kings’ daughters are among your noble women. At your right side stands the queen, wearing jewelry of finest gold from Ophir!
10Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say. Forget your people and your family far away.
11For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.
12The princess of Tyre will shower you with gifts. The wealthy will beg your favor.
13The bride, a princess, looks glorious in her golden gown.
14In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids.
15What a joyful and enthusiastic procession as they enter the king’s palace!
16Your sons will become kings like their father. You will make them rulers over many lands.
17I will bring honor to your name in every generation. Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever.
Cover Up your heart, mind, body, spirit, and soul with God’s Spirit, so that His Love will operate your life and His Light will Cover Up your wickedness!” ~ Jon Barnes
We were born with the capacity to become evil with our feelings and choices in our daily lifestyles. God felt it best to give us a chance to understand what is feels like to have such a great responsibility to control your own life and produce the proper course of action for your destiny of eternity. We are now practicing whether or not we will listen and love God. Let us see if you are following the directions of How to Bake God’s Cake!
God gave us the means to procreate life, be fruitful, like a tree of life, and multiply onto the earth. Our instructions were to take care of the earth, love, mate, and teach our next generations about God’s ways, love, wisdom, and power, without covering up God’s Words with our evil, pride, thoughts, lust, and deeds. I feel there is no time to grumble, as we are all quickly approaching the end of our allotted time, so don’t stumble or drop your cake.
The injustice, deceit, and grumbling that we tend to participate in does not tell, teach, or expose the next generation to the truth about God’s Love. Evil tries to Cover Up, Make Up, and Avoid the tough question; Do you love God and your neighbor as yourself? For many of us the answer is No and we simply cannot cover this up any longer. We must follow God’s example and ways of love so that we do not waste the Truth of God with loveless lies, greed, and lavish lust, in the short life span we have.
Can you handle The Truth and the Tough Questions about your own life, lies, lust, greed, waste, disobedience, and pride to net you a blessing or a curse; Or would you like your death sentence or blessing right NOW from GOD?
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32 [a]As Jacob started on his way again, angels of God came to meet him.2 When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, “This is God’s camp!” So he named the place Mahanaim.[b]
Jacob Sends Gifts to Esau
3 Then Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother, Esau, who was living in the region of Seir in the land of Edom.4 He told them, “Give this message to my master Esau: ‘Humble greetings from your servant Jacob. Until now I have been living with Uncle Laban,5 and now I own cattle, donkeys, flocks of sheep and goats, and many servants, both men and women. I have sent these messengers to inform my lord of my coming, hoping that you will be friendly to me.’”
6 After delivering the message, the messengers returned to Jacob and reported, “We met your brother, Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you—with an army of 400 men!”7 Jacob was terrified at the news. He divided his household, along with the flocks and herds and camels, into two groups.8 He thought, “If Esau meets one group and attacks it, perhaps the other group can escape.”
9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac—O Lord, you told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ And you promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly.’10 I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps!11 O Lord, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children.12 But you promised me, ‘I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore—too many to count.’”
13 Jacob stayed where he was for the night. Then he selected these gifts from his possessions to present to his brother, Esau:14 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams,15 30 female camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys, and 10 male donkeys.16 He divided these animals into herds and assigned each to different servants. Then he told his servants, “Go ahead of me with the animals, but keep some distance between the herds.”
17 He gave these instructions to the men leading the first group: “When my brother, Esau, meets you, he will ask, ‘Whose servants are you? Where are you going? Who owns these animals?’18 You must reply, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob, but they are a gift for his master Esau. Look, he is coming right behind us.’”
19 Jacob gave the same instructions to the second and third herdsmen and to all who followed behind the herds: “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him.20 And be sure to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’”
Jacob thought, “I will try to appease him by sending gifts ahead of me. When I see him in person, perhaps he will be friendly to me.”21 So the gifts were sent on ahead, while Jacob himself spent that night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God
22 During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them.23 After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions.
24 This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break.25 When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket.26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 “What is your name?” the man asked.
He replied, “Jacob.”
28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel,[c] because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”
29 “Please tell me your name,” Jacob said.
“Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.
30 Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.”31 The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel,[d] and he was limping because of the injury to his hip.32 (Even today the people of Israel don’t eat the tendon near the hip socket because of what happened that night when the man strained the tendon of Jacob’s hip.)
“When you accept bad choices, thinking that they were good choices, you are evil because you are lazy and don’t respect God’s Good ideas and suggestions.” ~ Jon Barnes
Even I don’t like listening to God’s Good advice, yet I do anyway, since in my heart, I know God has the right answers and I do not. I tell myself that God’s ways are even and my ways are naturally odd. When I share God’s ways and view, even I am rejected often. Even I use to take advantage of other people and their bad choices. Reject negative thinking and actions that contradicts God’s Love.
Oddly enough, I have always picked the wrong answers until, I started doing the good work o love from God Perspective. Most of us only care about our agenda, perspective, wants, and needs. We don’t care about the feelings and needs of others, especially God’s feelings and needs. When I listen to God, the negative stuff in my life turns out to work for my good, because I was obedient and listened; rather than pretending to be smart with all of the answers!
If you follow your own pride 100% of the time, you will be wrong 100% of the time. If you follow the love of God, you will master the effects of sin in you life and make better choices. Pay attention to what God is saying and doing so that you stop following your own advice and opinions, which are evil or lacking. You opinion doesn’t count and will be rejected, since it is not full of love and God’s Character. Practice being quiet and you’ll become 100% smarter, while following God’s love to clean out your own room, house, or garage in life!
Are you preparing for the famine or did God reject you, your big mouth, and lying tongue?
Enjoy Today’s Reading
Isaac Deceives Abimelech
26 A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived.
2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you.3 Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants,[a] just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father.4 I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.5 I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.”6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7 When the men who lived there asked Isaac about his wife, Rebekah, he said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “They will kill me to get her, because she is so beautiful.”8 But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah.
9 Immediately, Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, “She is obviously your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
“Because I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me,” Isaac replied.
10 “How could you do this to us?” Abimelech exclaimed. “One of my people might easily have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin.”
11 Then Abimelech issued a public proclamation: “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death!”
Conflict over Water Rights
12 When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him.13 He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow.14 He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him.15 So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham.
16 Finally, Abimelech ordered Isaac to leave the country. “Go somewhere else,” he said, “for you have become too powerful for us.”
17 So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and settled down.18 He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them.
19 Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water.20 But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”).21 Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”).22 Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.”
23 From there Isaac moved to Beersheba,24 where the Lord appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.”25 Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well.
Isaac’s Covenant with Abimelech
26 One day King Abimelech came from Gerar with his adviser, Ahuzzath, and also Phicol, his army commander.27 “Why have you come here?” Isaac asked. “You obviously hate me, since you kicked me off your land.”
28 They replied, “We can plainly see that the Lord is with you. So we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant.29 Swear that you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how the Lord has blessed you!”
30 So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, and they ate and drank together.31 Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and they left him in peace.
32 That very day Isaac’s servants came and told him about a new well they had dug. “We’ve found water!” they exclaimed.33 So Isaac named the well Shibah (which means “oath”). And to this day the town that grew up there is called Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”).
34 At the age of forty, Esau married two Hittite wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon.35 But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah.