Coping Mechanisms

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Your situation may not progress–not because of God– but because you haven’t changed your reaction to your trials.”~TB

Patterned Behavior

In order for us to change and grow closer to God in our walks, we must understand our behavior and the patterns we take when we deal with trials and tribulations. We all develop ways of coping through tough times. But when we look at how we respond to them, it’s more telling than the sinful behavior we participate in. The sin is a symptom of the fact that we chose to follow our flesh for comfort rather than relying on the comfort of God.

Examine

Because we are predictable, if we examine our actions, we can begin to develop new behaviors. Once you understand the underlying behavior of your actions, it’s time to repent and ask God for directions to properly pass your test. Rather than diving into anger, addiction, or any other flesh-driven alternative, you can learn to be still and choose to follow the teachings of Christ instead of the path of destruction.

Today’s Question

Are you a slave to destructive behavior because you haven’t asked God for help?

Enjoy the reading

Malachi 1

1 This is the message that the LORD gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi. 2 “I have always loved you,” says the LORD . But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?” And the LORD replies, “This is how I showed my love for you: I loved your ancestor Jacob, 3 but I rejected his brother, Esau, and devastated his hill country. I turned Esau’s inheritance into a desert for jackals.” 4 Esau’s descendants in Edom may say, “We have been shattered, but we will rebuild the ruins.” But the LORD of Heaven’s Armies replies, “They may try to rebuild, but I will demolish them again. Their country will be known as ‘The Land of Wickedness,’ and their people will be called ‘The People with Whom the LORD Is Forever Angry.’ 5 When you see the destruction for yourselves, you will say, ‘Truly, the LORD ’s greatness reaches far beyond Israel’s borders!’” 6 The LORD of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name! “But you ask, ‘How have we ever shown contempt for your name?’ 7 “You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar. “Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices? ’ “You defile them by saying the altar of the LORD deserves no respect. 8 When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 9 “Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” asks the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 10 “How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings. 11 But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “But you dishonor my name with your actions. By bringing contemptible food, you are saying it’s all right to defile the Lord’s table. 13 You say, ‘It’s too hard to serve the LORD,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Think of it! Animals that are stolen and crippled and sick are being presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?” asks the LORD . 14 “Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “and my name is feared among the nations!

Distance & Time

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“The path to Christ is the same no matter who you are. What differs is the time you take to get there, and that lies solely on you.”

TB

Length

It will never cease to amaze me that the Israelites took 40 years to make a trip that could have been done in 11 days. But then again, if you’ve ever worked on team projects for a business, it’s not that hard to understand how that could’ve happened. It wasn’t the distance or the lack of technology that hindered them. Fear, disobedience, and rebellion are the things that the Israelites clung to, which ultimately cost them the enjoyment of the Promise land. Now if we reflect on their journey, it won’t be hard to see the similarities of their journey within our own lives.

Speed

Christ gives salvation to anyone who humbly submits and accepts the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. That’s it. The ball is in our court and so is the timeline. You can spend your whole life avoiding God only to realize in the end that you need Him. Some (many) may never find Him. Even still, it takes a lifetime to even begin to truly know the Lord. That’s because God unlocks insight and vision to those who honestly seek Him. In spite of our slow travel times, He’s still with us, pouring into us mercy and grace that we do not deserve. Of course, no one knows when our journey will end, so friends, don’t wander for too long.

Today’s Question

How’s your ETA; will you make the destination?

Enjoy the reading

Haggai 2

1 Then on October 17 of that same year, the LORD sent another message through the prophet Haggai. 2 “Say this to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of God’s people there in the land: 3 ‘Does anyone remember this house—this Temple—in its former splendor? How, in comparison, does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all! 4 But now the LORD says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 5 My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.’ 6 “For this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: In just a little while I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the dry land. 7 I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 9 The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. And in this place I will bring peace. I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!” 10 On December 18 of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the LORD sent this message to the prophet Haggai: 11 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says. Ask the priests this question about the law: 12 ‘If one of you is carrying some meat from a holy sacrifice in his robes and his robe happens to brush against some bread or stew, wine or olive oil, or any other kind of food, will it also become holy?’” The priests replied, “No.” 13 Then Haggai asked, “If someone becomes ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person and then touches any of these foods, will the food be defiled?” And the priests answered, “Yes.” 14 Then Haggai responded, “That is how it is with this people and this nation, says the LORD . Everything they do and everything they offer is defiled by their sin. 15 Look at what was happening to you before you began to lay the foundation of the LORD ’s Temple. 16 When you hoped for a twenty-bushel crop, you harvested only ten. When you expected to draw fifty gallons from the winepress, you found only twenty. 17 I sent blight and mildew and hail to destroy everything you worked so hard to produce. Even so, you refused to return to me, says the LORD . 18 “Think about this eighteenth day of December, the day when the foundation of the LORD ’s Temple was laid. Think carefully. 19 I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.” 20 On that same day, December 18, the LORD sent this second message to Haggai: 21 “Tell Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, that I am about to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overthrow royal thrones and destroy the power of foreign kingdoms. I will overturn their chariots and riders. The horses will fall, and their riders will kill each other. 23 “But when this happens, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, I will honor you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant. I will make you like a signet ring on my finger, says the LORD, for I have chosen you. I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”

Jurisdiction

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you love your brothers and sisters as God loves you, there is no need for you to have jurisdiction over what they do with their lives.”

TB

Cut Short

As we grow closer with God, one of the biggest challenges we must overcome is being puffed up by religious knowledge and foolishly thinking that we have a say in the lives of those we care about. Imagine if God only loved us when we behaved? Surely none of us would make the mark. So, if God doesn’t love you only when you’re on the right path, how can you do the same to your brothers and sisters?

Long Live

Because we only see a fragment of what God sees, there is literally no way for any of us to know how He will use people and situations for the greater good. As such, we cannot play backseat quarterback to those around us. Let’s say you are right about something. So what? There is no special prize for knowing something your peers do not. Instead of condemnation, choose love, and in that way, we can extend grace to each other as God does with us.

Today’s Question

Are you foolish enough to play God?

Enjoy the reading

Habakkuk 2

1 I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint. 2 Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. 3 This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. 4 “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God. 5 Wealth is treacherous, and the arrogant are never at rest. They open their mouths as wide as the grave, and like death, they are never satisfied. In their greed they have gathered up many nations and swallowed many peoples. 6 “But soon their captives will taunt them. They will mock them, saying, ‘What sorrow awaits you thieves! Now you will get what you deserve! You’ve become rich by extortion, but how much longer can this go on?’ 7 Suddenly, your debtors will take action. They will turn on you and take all you have, while you stand trembling and helpless. 8 Because you have plundered many nations, now all the survivors will plunder you. You committed murder throughout the countryside and filled the towns with violence. 9 “What sorrow awaits you who build big houses with money gained dishonestly! You believe your wealth will buy security, putting your family’s nest beyond the reach of danger. 10 But by the murders you committed, you have shamed your name and forfeited your lives. 11 The very stones in the walls cry out against you, and the beams in the ceilings echo the complaint. 12 “What sorrow awaits you who build cities with money gained through murder and corruption! 13 Has not the LORD of Heaven’s Armies promised that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes? They work so hard, but all in vain! 14 For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the LORD . 15 “What sorrow awaits you who make your neighbors drunk! You force your cup on them so you can gloat over their shameful nakedness. 16 But soon it will be your turn to be disgraced. Come, drink and be exposed! Drink from the cup of the LORD ’s judgment, and all your glory will be turned to shame. 17 You cut down the forests of Lebanon. Now you will be cut down. You destroyed the wild animals, so now their terror will be yours. You committed murder throughout the countryside and filled the towns with violence. 18 “What good is an idol carved by man, or a cast image that deceives you? How foolish to trust in your own creation— a god that can’t even talk! 19 What sorrow awaits you who say to wooden idols, ‘Wake up and save us!’ To speechless stone images you say, ‘Rise up and teach us!’ Can an idol tell you what to do? They may be overlaid with gold and silver, but they are lifeless inside. 20 But the LORD is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him.”

Downfall

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When we fail to learn and enact the teachings of Christ we are contributing to our own downfall.”

TB

Learn

When you continually study and walk with God, you understand His impact on the past, present, and future people. While God does permit us to walk in our free will, observe how this gift can become even the wisest of man’s downfall. This happens when we believe we are too good for God’s wisdom and are dumb enough to think we can live in sin without consequence.

Blind Descent

Consider King Solomon, one of the wisest of all people. In his youth, he managed to lead and judge people according to the teachings of Christ. He was incredibly successful until he decided to allow his flesh to lead to his kingdom’s destruction. Taking up with many women (700 wives and 300 concubines, sheesh!), King Solomon’s heart was corrupted, deserting the wisdom God had given him.

Consequence

Friends, you may be leading a double-life, on the surface praising God, but behind clothes doors, worshipping your flesh. While Solomon went down in history for his wisdom, it wasn’t all that great if you look at the later stages of his life. Just because God allowed him to be foolish did not mean that Solomon had His approval. So take a hard, honest look at your life and its path before your foolishness catches up with you.

Today’s Question

Are you dumb enough to believe that your wicked ways won’t lead to a downfall?

Enjoy the reading

Nahum 2

1 Your enemy is coming to crush you, Nineveh. Man the ramparts! Watch the roads! Prepare your defenses! Call out your forces! 2 Even though the destroyer has destroyed Judah, the LORD will restore its honor. Israel’s vine has been stripped of branches, but he will restore its splendor. 3 Shields flash red in the sunlight! See the scarlet uniforms of the valiant troops! Watch as their glittering chariots move into position, with a forest of spears waving above them. 4 The chariots race recklessly along the streets and rush wildly through the squares. They flash like firelight and move as swiftly as lightning. 5 The king shouts to his officers; they stumble in their haste, rushing to the walls to set up their defenses. 6 The river gates have been torn open! The palace is about to collapse! 7 Nineveh’s exile has been decreed, and all the servant girls mourn its capture. They moan like doves and beat their breasts in sorrow. 8 Nineveh is like a leaking water reservoir! The people are slipping away. “Stop, stop!” someone shouts, but no one even looks back. 9 Loot the silver! Plunder the gold! There’s no end to Nineveh’s treasures— its vast, uncounted wealth. 10 Soon the city is plundered, empty, and ruined. Hearts melt and knees shake. The people stand aghast, their faces pale and trembling. 11 Where now is that great Nineveh, that den filled with young lions? It was a place where people—like lions and their cubs— walked freely and without fear. 12 The lion tore up meat for his cubs and strangled prey for his mate. He filled his den with prey, his caverns with his plunder. 13 “I am your enemy!” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Your chariots will soon go up in smoke. Your young men will be killed in battle. Never again will you plunder conquered nations. The voices of your proud messengers will be heard no more.” Nahum 1Nahum 3  Parallel Compare

Homegrown

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Understand that most of our challenges are homegrown, so go to God for Him to recalibrate your harvest.”

TB

Homemade

The flesh is fickle, as such, if we follow it with every whim, chaos will ensue. That’s not to say that setbacks aren’t real. That said, who we’re in relationship with, how we spend our time, what deeds we partake in, they are the sum total of our harvest. So, if your harvest is rotten, it’s time to go to the Almighty Gardener.

Heaven-made

When we check-in with God, get to know Him and learn to live by Christ’s teachings, we will see our harvest change. It’s not that He’s all of a sudden making things easier. No, it’s because we develop the discipline to leave behind corruptive behaviors while learning to love the goodness of God. So friends, let’s turn away from our flesh and turn to Him.

Today’s Question

How’s your harvest?

Enjoy the reading

Micah 7

1 How miserable I am! I feel like the fruit picker after the harvest who can find nothing to eat. Not a cluster of grapes or a single early fig can be found to satisfy my hunger. 2 The godly people have all disappeared; not one honest person is left on the earth. They are all murderers, setting traps even for their own brothers. 3 Both their hands are equally skilled at doing evil! Officials and judges alike demand bribes. The people with influence get what they want, and together they scheme to twist justice. 4 Even the best of them is like a brier; the most honest is as dangerous as a hedge of thorns. But your judgment day is coming swiftly now. Your time of punishment is here, a time of confusion. 5 Don’t trust anyone— not your best friend or even your wife! 6 For the son despises his father. The daughter defies her mother. The daughter-in-law defies her mother-in-law. Your enemies are right in your own household! 7 As for me, I look to the LORD for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. 8 Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. 9 I will be patient as the LORD punishes me, for I have sinned against him. But after that, he will take up my case and give me justice for all I have suffered from my enemies. The LORD will bring me into the light, and I will see his righteousness. 10 Then my enemies will see that the LORD is on my side. They will be ashamed that they taunted me, saying, “So where is the LORD — that God of yours?” With my own eyes I will see their downfall; they will be trampled like mud in the streets. 11 In that day, Israel, your cities will be rebuilt, and your borders will be extended. 12 People from many lands will come and honor you— from Assyria all the way to the towns of Egypt, from Egypt all the way to the Euphrates River, and from distant seas and mountains. 13 But the land will become empty and desolate because of the wickedness of those who live there. 14 O LORD, protect your people with your shepherd’s staff; lead your flock, your special possession. Though they live alone in a thicket on the heights of Mount Carmel, let them graze in the fertile pastures of Bashan and Gilead as they did long ago. 15 “Yes,” says the LORD, “I will do mighty miracles for you, like those I did when I rescued you from slavery in Egypt.” 16 All the nations of the world will stand amazed at what the LORD will do for you. They will be embarrassed at their feeble power. They will cover their mouths in silent awe, deaf to everything around them. 17 Like snakes crawling from their holes, they will come out to meet the LORD our God. They will fear him greatly, trembling in terror at his presence. 18 Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. 19 Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! 20 You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago. 

Pass it on

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Share Godly teachings with the next generation.”

TB

Reactive

Some of us grew up with family members that shared the Good News. Some of us come to know Christ later on in life. Some of us are still en route to opening that door. As we grow and learn more, it’s easy to lament and wish we knew more sooner. Of course, we cannot change the past, but we can use our past to help those who are growing into their lives. Instead of taking the reactive approach, ask God how you can be a resource to others, especially the younger people in the next generation.

Proactive

They say hindsight is 20/20 and we all have moments where we wished we had a more Biblical perspective. Friends, if you’ve learned a thing or two from God, share it with the next generation. Share with your kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren– anyone within your sphere of influence on the moments and situations they may come by and how they can lean on God to potentially gain wisdom that you did not. By sharing these moments, God gets the glory and the next generation may learn a thing or two.

Today’s Question

Are you spreading light or sulking in the darkness of your past?

Enjoy the reading

Jonah 2

1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish. 2 He said, “I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead, and LORD, you heard me! 3 You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. The mighty waters engulfed me; I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves. 4 Then I said, ‘O LORD, you have driven me from your presence. Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.’ 5 “I sank beneath the waves, and the waters closed over me. Seaweed wrapped itself around my head. 6 I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O LORD my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! 7 As my life was slipping away, I remembered the LORD . And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple. 8 Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies. 9 But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone.” 10 Then the LORD ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.

Compelling

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Just because a lie sounds compelling, does not negate the fact that it’s a lie.”

TB

Compiled

Humans are unnecessarily complicated in the fact that when left to our own devices, we’ll allow ourselves to get tricked into accepting sinful behaviors due to our unmitigated pride. So what does that look like? First, we want to engage in something that we know is inherently against God’s will for us. Second, we will find like-minded individuals to support our sinful agenda. Third, we’ll intellectualize and form “logical arguments” for our need for this sin. Then, we’ll inject our compiled lies, backed back manmade thinking and logic, in the hopes that we trick double-minded people into our deception. As the support for it grows (as it always will) people who fail to build their relationship with God then bow down to societal pressure because of the ‘facts, theories, and burgeoning support’ from those with sin-filled agendas. Friends, do not live as an empty vessel, unable to discern what is of God and what is from man. There is a distinct difference for those who can see and hear.

Combatted

The only way we rise above becoming embroiled in sin is when we combat it with the Truth that is Christ. While we will always fall (very) short of a sinless life, we can avoid living enslaved to sin. This starts by understanding and accepting the need for salvation. Then we must get to know Christ through the Holy Spirit and the Bible because that is the Truth. When we study, reflect, and live out the Truth, we lower our propensity to seek out alternative (sinful) realities. By doing so, we learn the deceptive tactics of the evil one and how he will use and manipulate people into doing his bidding. So how can we root out the lies from the Truth? Reflect, study, and understand the patterns of our flesh-driven nature. Then weigh those ideals against the Holy Spirit and the Bible. It is easier to fall in line and accept the approval of the world. It is far more disciplined to align with Christ, yet the reward is eternal. So friends, don’t be compelled by worldly lies.

Today’s Question

If a lie is repeated and practiced 1000000 times, does it make it true?

Enjoy the reading

Amos 5

1 Listen, you people of Israel! Listen to this funeral song I am singing: 2 “The virgin Israel has fallen, never to rise again! She lies abandoned on the ground, with no one to help her up.” 3 The Sovereign LORD says: “When a city sends a thousand men to battle, only a hundred will return. When a town sends a hundred, only ten will come back alive.” 4 Now this is what the LORD says to the family of Israel: “Come back to me and live! 5 Don’t worship at the pagan altars at Bethel; don’t go to the shrines at Gilgal or Beersheba. For the people of Gilgal will be dragged off into exile, and the people of Bethel will be reduced to nothing.” 6 Come back to the LORD and live! Otherwise, he will roar through Israel like a fire, devouring you completely. Your gods in Bethel won’t be able to quench the flames. 7 You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the oppressed. You treat the righteous like dirt. 8 It is the LORD who created the stars, the Pleiades and Orion. He turns darkness into morning and day into night. He draws up water from the oceans and pours it down as rain on the land. The LORD is his name! 9 With blinding speed and power he destroys the strong, crushing all their defenses. 10 How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! 11 You trample the poor, stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses, you will never live in them. Though you plant lush vineyards, you will never drink wine from them. 12 For I know the vast number of your sins and the depth of your rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. 13 So those who are smart keep their mouths shut, for it is an evil time. 14 Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. 15 Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people. 16 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, says: “There will be crying in all the public squares and mourning in every street. Call for the farmers to weep with you, and summon professional mourners to wail. 17 There will be wailing in every vineyard, for I will destroy them all,” says the LORD . 18 What sorrow awaits you who say, “If only the day of the LORD were here!” You have no idea what you are wishing for. That day will bring darkness, not light. 19 In that day you will be like a man who runs from a lion— only to meet a bear. Escaping from the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house— and he’s bitten by a snake. 20 Yes, the day of the LORD will be dark and hopeless, without a ray of joy or hope. 21 “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. 22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. 23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. 25 “Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, Israel? 26 No, you served your pagan gods—Sakkuth your king god and Kaiwan your star god—the images you made for yourselves. 27 So I will send you into exile, to a land east of Damascus, ” says the LORD, whose name is the God of Heaven’s Armies.

Taking Cues

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you take cues from the world on how to live your life, it shows.”

TB

Foolishness

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.

Divine Authority

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

Today’s Question

Who are you taking cues from?

Enjoy the reading

Hosea 12

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.

Starve

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“In order to be free of what consumes you, you must starve it out.”

TB

Presto

Sin doesn’t just go away by praying to God to remove it from your life. No, you must do the work to actively stop the practice of immoral behavior. More to the point, just because it isn’t easy does not mean God gave you free license to live in a particular sin. Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you ‘tried’ means that you get a pass. Remember that God alone knows the true motives of our hearts.

Root Cause

Sin is a symptom of a greater issue. It’s the external evidence of an internal problem. For this reason, just merely abstaining from the act does not change the real issue. Sure, you may go for some time without the deed, but if the problem is just tamped down, eventually you will fall back into old patterns. So whether you’re struggling from lust, pride, anger, jealousy, or any other affliction, if you’re truly looking for the answer, you must come to God correctly, by asking Him to reveal what ails you.

Holy Solution

Remember that sin is the act of fulfilling a need that only God can. It will never provide you with the peace you’re truly after. Instead of asking God to remove the behavior, humbly submit to Him and ask the honest questions. Ask Him to reveal the true nature of your behavior. Ask Him to show you what ails you. Reflect on the Word to better understand the needs of God’s children. As he reveals to you what these issues are, ask for direction. By doing the deep work, God will honor your resolve by imparting the wisdom necessary to break away from sinful behaviors by strengthening your relationship with Him

Today’s Question

Are you ready to draw closer to God to change your ways?

Enjoy the reading

Hosea 3

1 Then the LORD said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the LORD still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them. ” 2 So I bought her back for fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine. 3 Then I said to her, “You must live in my house for many days and stop your prostitution. During this time, you will not have sexual relations with anyone, not even with me. ” 4 This shows that Israel will go a long time without a king or prince, and without sacrifices, sacred pillars, priests, or even idols! 5 But afterward the people will return and devote themselves to the LORD their God and to David’s descendant, their king. In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the LORD and of his goodness.

Cheap Substitute

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Sin is the cheap substitute for God’s peace.”

TB

Fear

It’s amazing what fear will drive us to do (or not do). If you look all throughout the Bible, you will see that people lied, stole, cheated, killed, and so much more on the basis of fear. Of course, if you finish those stories, you will find that those sinful actions rooted in fear always caused more problems in the end. Fear of the Lord is good; all else is wasted effort.

Faith

In order to rise above our flesh-driven ways, we must exercise faith, self-control, discipline, and temperance. Like developing muscles or a healthy diet, we have to take up our cross daily to walk away from sin and turn to God. Friends, faith requires action. So if you desire to turn away from wickedness, have faith in the One who created you and put in the work.

Today’s Question

What is stronger in your life; faith or fear?

Enjoy the reading

Hosea 1

1 The LORD gave this message to Hosea son of Beeri during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel. 2 When the LORD first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the LORD and worshiping other gods.” 3 So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son. 4 And the LORD said, “Name the child Jezreel, for I am about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel. In fact, I will bring an end to Israel’s independence. 5 I will break its military power in the Jezreel Valley.” 6 Soon Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to Hosea, “Name your daughter Lo-ruhamah—‘Not loved’—for I will no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them. 7 But I will show love to the people of Judah. I will free them from their enemies—not with weapons and armies or horses and charioteers, but by my power as the LORD their God.” 8 After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son. 9 And the LORD said, “Name him Lo-ammi—‘Not my people’—for Israel is not my people, and I am not their God. 10 “Yet the time will come when Israel’s people will be like the sands of the seashore—too many to count! Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said, ‘You are children of the living God.’ 11 Then the people of Judah and Israel will unite together. They will choose one leader for themselves, and they will return from exile together. What a day that will be—the day of Jezreel —when God will again plant his people in his land.