“If God gives you something, the devil cannot take it away, unless you let him.”
The devil does not have authority over us. He does, however, have permission to pester us, but it is up to us to take the bait or ignore it. For example he may not get you fired, but he can sow seeds of discord and derision between you and your coworkers. If an untamed ego pulls you into the trap, and you make the decision to engage with said coworker, that’s not the devil, that’s you.
God has the final say in all things, which is why we should have peace in all seasons of our lives. We find ourselves in trouble when we arrogantly believe we can play God as we deploy our haphazard schemes rather than going to God for the solution. So the next time you see the opposition trying to sabotage your blessings, check yourself, consult God, and all will be well.
Have you checked yourself or are you being played by a dumb trickster?
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1 Listen to this message that the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel—against the entire family I rescued from Egypt: 2 “From among all the families on the earth, I have been intimate with you alone. That is why I must punish you for all your sins.” 3 Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? 4 Does a lion ever roar in a thicket without first finding a victim? Does a young lion growl in its den without first catching its prey? 5 Does a bird ever get caught in a trap that has no bait? Does a trap spring shut when there’s nothing to catch? 6 When the ram’s horn blows a warning, shouldn’t the people be alarmed? Does disaster come to a city unless the LORD has planned it? 7 Indeed, the Sovereign LORD never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets. 8 The lion has roared— so who isn’t frightened? The Sovereign LORD has spoken— so who can refuse to proclaim his message? 9 Announce this to the leaders of Philistia and to the great ones of Egypt: “Take your seats now on the hills around Samaria, and witness the chaos and oppression in Israel.” 10 “My people have forgotten how to do right,” says the LORD . “Their fortresses are filled with wealth taken by theft and violence. 11 Therefore,” says the Sovereign LORD, “an enemy is coming! He will surround them and shatter their defenses. Then he will plunder all their fortresses.” 12 This is what the LORD says: “A shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion’s mouth will recover only two legs or a piece of an ear. So it will be for the Israelites in Samaria lying on luxurious beds, and for the people of Damascus reclining on couches. 13 “Now listen to this, and announce it throughout all Israel, ” says the Lord, the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies. 14 “On the very day I punish Israel for its sins, I will destroy the pagan altars at Bethel. The horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. 15 And I will destroy the beautiful homes of the wealthy— their winter mansions and their summer houses, too— all their palaces filled with ivory,” says the LORD .
“When you take cues from the world on how to live your life, it shows.”
Because we are designed to be lead (our choice on who or what), it’s natural to want to look at your neighbors and see what they are doing. The trouble lies in blindly following practices and customs that you know to be wrong. When you take cues from the world, it is much easier to find people that eagerly want to steer you in the wrong direction as they are driven by fleshly desires. Remember that the world brings death, but Christ brings life.
Take up your cross and learn to take your cues from Christ. By developing the discipline and patience to see through the corruption of the world, your eyes become accustomed to looking at Him instead of the world. Spirit lead, Christ will impart the wisdom, peace, and joy needed to live a victorious life. Of course, this requires you to look and follow Him. So friends, stop looking around and following the destruction and reconstruct your heart to focus and live by Christ
Who are you taking cues from?
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1 The people of Israel feed on the wind; they chase after the east wind all day long. They pile up lies and violence; they are making an alliance with Assyria while sending olive oil to buy support from Egypt. 2 Now the LORD is bringing charges against Judah. He is about to punish Jacob for all his deceitful ways, and pay him back for all he has done. 3 Even in the womb, Jacob struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God. 4 Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. There at Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him — 5 the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, the LORD is his name! 6 So now, come back to your God. Act with love and justice, and always depend on him. 7 But no, the people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales— they love to cheat. 8 Israel boasts, “I am rich! I’ve made a fortune all by myself! No one has caught me cheating! My record is spotless!” 9 “But I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. And I will make you live in tents again, as you do each year at the Festival of Shelters. 10 I sent my prophets to warn you with many visions and parables.” 11 But the people of Gilead are worthless because of their idol worship. And in Gilgal, too, they sacrifice bulls; their altars are lined up like the heaps of stone along the edges of a plowed field. 12 Jacob fled to the land of Aram, and there he earned a wife by tending sheep. 13 Then by a prophet the LORD brought Jacob’s descendants out of Egypt; and by that prophet they were protected. 14 But the people of Israel have bitterly provoked the LORD, so their Lord will now sentence them to death in payment for their sins.
“Don’t live by the judgments of man, only God can see you as you truly are.”~TB
Every single human being has insecurities, blind spots, and a slew of fallible qualities that make us terrible judges of character. For this reason, you cannot place your value in the hands of others. When we give people the authority to dictate how we see ourselves, chaos and imbalance ensues. That’s because humans are flawed and are unable to judge one another with the grace and unconditional love that can only come from our Father in Heaven. Even with the best intentions, we will fail each other, and we will fall short of each other’s expectations. So when a human condemns your character on circumstantial evidence, do your best to let it go, because holding on to the judgment of others hinders your personal and spiritual growth.
When you care about how you are viewed by others, you are essentially making your peers your god. This cripples you from being who God truly called you to be. You’re so busy worrying about offending, being uncool, or being seen as weird or different, that you don’t know who you are. Fortunately, this happens to all of us, but you don’t have to let it be a lifelong sentence. To really understand your true identity, develop your relationship with Christ. When you engage with Him regularly, He will show you who you really are— His. God’s opinion of you is infinitely more perfect and accurate than even your own parents. Because His opinion and judgment of you never waivers, you can stand firm on His promise and will for your life.
Whose authority are you submitting to?
1Now I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a rich and fertile hill.
2He plowed the land, cleared its stones, and planted it with the best vines. In the middle he built a watchtower and carved a winepress in the nearby rocks. Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes, but the grapes that grew were bitter.
3Now, you people of Jerusalem and Judah, you judge between me and my vineyard.
4What more could I have done for my vineyard that I have not already done? When I expected sweet grapes, why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes?
5Now let me tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will tear down its hedges and let it be destroyed. I will break down its walls and let the animals trample it.
6I will make it a wild place where the vines are not pruned and the ground is not hoed, a place overgrown with briers and thorns. I will command the clouds to drop no rain on it.
7The nation of Israel is the vineyard of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. The people of Judah are his pleasant garden. He expected a crop of justice, but instead he found oppression. He expected to find righteousness, but instead he heard cries of violence.
8What sorrow for you who buy up house after house and field after field, until everyone is evicted and you live alone in the land.
9But I have heard the LORD of Heaven’s Armies swear a solemn oath: “Many houses will stand deserted; even beautiful mansions will be empty.
10Ten acres of vineyard will not produce even six gallons of wine. Ten baskets of seed will yield only one basket of grain.”
11What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning looking for a drink of alcohol and spend long evenings drinking wine to make themselves flaming drunk.
12They furnish wine and lovely music at their grand parties— lyre and harp, tambourine and flute— but they never think about the LORD or notice what he is doing.
13So my people will go into exile far away because they do not know me. Those who are great and honored will starve, and the common people will die of thirst.
14The grave is licking its lips in anticipation, opening its mouth wide. The great and the lowly and all the drunken mob will be swallowed up.
15Humanity will be destroyed, and people brought down; even the arrogant will lower their eyes in humiliation.
16But the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will be exalted by his justice. The holiness of God will be displayed by his righteousness.
17In that day lambs will find good pastures, and fattened sheep and young goats will feed among the ruins.
18What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart!
19They even mock God and say, “Hurry up and do something! We want to see what you can do. Let the Holy One of Israel carry out his plan, for we want to know what it is.”
20What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.
21What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.
22What sorrow for those who are heroes at drinking wine and boast about all the alcohol they can hold.
23They take bribes to let the wicked go free, and they punish the innocent.
24Therefore, just as fire licks up stubble and dry grass shrivels in the flame, so their roots will rot and their flowers wither. For they have rejected the law of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies; they have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25That is why the LORD ’s anger burns against his people, and why he has raised his fist to crush them. The mountains tremble, and the corpses of his people litter the streets like garbage. But even then the LORD ’s anger is not satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike!
26He will send a signal to distant nations far away and whistle to those at the ends of the earth. They will come racing toward Jerusalem.
27They will not get tired or stumble. They will not stop for rest or sleep. Not a belt will be loose, not a sandal strap broken.
28Their arrows will be sharp and their bows ready for battle. Sparks will fly from their horses’ hooves, and the wheels of their chariots will spin like a whirlwind.
29They will roar like lions, like the strongest of lions. Growling, they will pounce on their victims and carry them off, and no one will be there to rescue them.
30They will roar over their victims on that day of destruction like the roaring of the sea. If someone looks across the land, only darkness and distress will be seen; even the light will be darkened by clouds.
“Stop complaining and complement your work with positive thinking, planning, practice, listening, reading, praying, and helping.” ~ Jon Barnes
Your work gets done faster and better when you compliment the people around you to compliment your good work ethics. If your work ethics are minimal then it is hard to give someone else a true compliment, coming from a lazy person who does not finish their tasks in a timely fashion.
You must turn your bad habits around into good habits by following God’s blueprint for success, the Bible. At best, your ideas are flawed, however, God will give you better ideas, if you are listening and paying attention to Him. Capitalize on your obedience and bless someone in need and pay your help and workers well. Don’t become a cheap Pharaoh, master of rundown slaves.
Treat people like you want to be treated and respect their hard work ethics. Good information, talent, and competent people are not a threat to your organization, job, or dreams. Dreams take a lifetime to build and you must respect and take care of your mind, body, spirit, and soul to complete your life’s body of work.
Why did you give up so easily on your dreams by following the devil, not doing God’s good work or believing you could finish what God has given you?
Enjoy The Reading
Manna and Quail from Heaven
16 Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin,[a] between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt.[b]2 There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron.
3 “If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions.5 On the sixth day they will gather food, and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual.”
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “By evening you will realize it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt.7 In the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaints, which are against him, not against us. What have we done that you should complain about us?”8 Then Moses added, “The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread to satisfy you in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against him. What have we done? Yes, your complaints are against the Lord, not against us.”
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Announce this to the entire community of Israel: ‘Present yourselves before the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’”10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the Lord in the cloud.
11 Then the Lord said to Moses,12 “I have heard the Israelites’ complaints. Now tell them, ‘In the evening you will have meat to eat, and in the morning you will have all the bread you want. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”
13 That evening vast numbers of quail flew in and covered the camp. And the next morning the area around the camp was wet with dew.14 When the dew evaporated, a flaky substance as fine as frost blanketed the ground.15 The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. “What is it?” they asked each other. They had no idea what it was.
And Moses told them, “It is the food the Lord has given you to eat.16 These are the Lord’s instructions: Each household should gather as much as it needs. Pick up two quarts[c] for each person in your tent.”
17 So the people of Israel did as they were told. Some gathered a lot, some only a little.18 But when they measured it out,[d] everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed.
19 Then Moses told them, “Do not keep any of it until morning.”20 But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Moses was very angry with them.
21 After this the people gathered the food morning by morning, each family according to its need. And as the sun became hot, the flakes they had not picked up melted and disappeared.22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much as usual—four quarts[e] for each person instead of two. Then all the leaders of the community came and asked Moses for an explanation.23 He told them, “This is what the Lord commanded: Tomorrow will be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath day set apart for the Lord. So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow.”
24 So they put some aside until morning, just as Moses had commanded. And in the morning the leftover food was wholesome and good, without maggots or odor.25 Moses said, “Eat this food today, for today is a Sabbath day dedicated to the Lord. There will be no food on the ground today.26 You may gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath. There will be no food on the ground that day.”
27 Some of the people went out anyway on the seventh day, but they found no food.28 The Lord asked Moses, “How long will these people refuse to obey my commands and instructions?29 They must realize that the Sabbath is the Lord’s gift to you. That is why he gives you a two-day supply on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days. On the Sabbath day you must each stay in your place. Do not go out to pick up food on the seventh day.”30 So the people did not gather any food on the seventh day.
31 The Israelites called the food manna.[f] It was white like coriander seed, and it tasted like honey wafers.
32 Then Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: Fill a two-quart container with manna to preserve it for your descendants. Then later generations will be able to see the food I gave you in the wilderness when I set you free from Egypt.”
33 Moses said to Aaron, “Get a jar and fill it with two quarts of manna. Then put it in a sacred place before the Lord to preserve it for all future generations.”34 Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded Moses. He eventually placed it in the Ark of the Covenant—in front of the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant.[g]35 So the people of Israel ate manna for forty years until they arrived at the land where they would settle. They ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.
36 The container used to measure the manna was an omer, which was one-tenth of an ephah; it held about two quarts.[h]