Have you ever noticed how the majority of the world’s standards and practices go against the Biblical and wise solutions and messages of Christ? More to the point, society teaches us the very ideas that poison our mind, body, and spirit. I know that sounds hyperbolic, but hear me out. What we eat, how we think, what we do with our bodies— there’s this indoctrination of indulgence and gluttony. We also glorify a lazy and mediocre existence. For argument’s sake, let’s drop the morality perspective and focus on the physiological. The mind, body and soul are all connected, which means how we treat one impacts the rest.
How’s your thought life? Do you hold yourself in a positive light or do you allow others to tear you down and believe their lies? Stinkin’ Thinkin’— as Joyce Meyer calls it— is detrimental to your wellbeing. The beauty is that we can control what we choose to think about. Of course, that take a conscious and present effort. Distraction is the ultimate slippery slope to a junky thought life. When your thoughts are negative, you’re less likely to take care of yourself, both physically and spiritually. This feeds directly into how you treat your body.
Physical activity is incredibly important. It helps us to reconcile the mind junk and hold on to the positive truths. Food is also key. What are you eating? Fun fact, your stomach contains neurons, which acts as your second brain. So when you eat junk, it messes with your brain. When we talk about mental health, it’s impossible not to connect your dietary habits with your mind because your stomach quite literally contributes to it. As for the soul connection, if you’re out there using your body like a playground with others, friends there are major spiritual implications.
Have you ever wondered why we call liquor ‘spirits’? Alcohol isn’t inherently bad, I mean Jesus turned water into wine after all. But context matters as does the spiritual implications of drugs (I could go on but this post is pretty long already). Sex in its proper context is great! However, when it’s as common as a handshake, as the saying goes, if you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. And I’m not just talking about diseases. Though our society teaches a “free spirit” and “sex positive” attitude, it fails to teach you the spiritual pitfalls that come from that lifestyle. There is a spiritual transference that occurs and you’re essentially giving pieces of yourself whenever you partake. No, this isn’t meant to shame you into celibacy. In fact, this isn’t about shame at all. But notice how these three things cycle back together. A broken mind leads to a broken body thus leading to a broken spirit, or any combination of the three. So why is this important?
Because God created us, our minds, bodies, and souls cannot be explained without Him. We are like his custom-built machines, which mean He’s the ultimate User Manual. So if we stand a chance to flee from our flesh, the world and the opposition, we have to continually read and understand the User Manual AKA the Bible. When we engage in pleasure-seeking activities that exist outside of His will for us, we suffer. No, not because He’s punishing us, it’s because we aren’t operating as intended. It’s like putting diesel fuel in a gas tank. You’re going to mess up the engine. We must stop perceiving discipline and obedience as punitive but as the guidelines for healthy operation. Guard your mind, body, and soul accordingly so that you can work as God intended. He made you for a purpose.
Who or what is in control of your “machinery”
1“Come down, virgin daughter of Babylon, and sit in the dust. For your days of sitting on a throne have ended. O daughter of Babylonia, never again will you be the lovely princess, tender and delicate.
2Take heavy millstones and grind flour. Remove your veil, and strip off your robe. Expose yourself to public view.
3You will be naked and burdened with shame. I will take vengeance against you without pity.”
4Our Redeemer, whose name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, is the Holy One of Israel.
5“O beautiful Babylon, sit now in darkness and silence. Never again will you be known as the queen of kingdoms.
6For I was angry with my chosen people and punished them by letting them fall into your hands. But you, Babylon, showed them no mercy. You oppressed even the elderly.
7You said, ‘I will reign forever as queen of the world!’ You did not reflect on your actions or think about their consequences.
8“Listen to this, you pleasure-loving kingdom, living at ease and feeling secure. You say, ‘I am the only one, and there is no other. I will never be a widow or lose my children.’
9Well, both these things will come upon you in a moment: widowhood and the loss of your children. Yes, these calamities will come upon you, despite all your witchcraft and magic.
10“You felt secure in your wickedness. ‘No one sees me,’ you said. But your ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ have led you astray, and you said, ‘I am the only one, and there is no other.’
11So disaster will overtake you, and you won’t be able to charm it away. Calamity will fall upon you, and you won’t be able to buy your way out. A catastrophe will strike you suddenly, one for which you are not prepared.
12“Now use your magical charms! Use the spells you have worked at all these years! Maybe they will do you some good. Maybe they can make someone afraid of you.
13All the advice you receive has made you tired. Where are all your astrologers, those stargazers who make predictions each month? Let them stand up and save you from what the future holds.
14But they are like straw burning in a fire; they cannot save themselves from the flame. You will get no help from them at all; their hearth is no place to sit for warmth.
15And all your friends, those with whom you’ve done business since childhood, will go their own ways, turning a deaf ear to your cries.
“In God’s orchestra, learn to improve and play your part.”~TB
I love orchestral music. The way the moving parts and pieces all come together to make sounds that no instrument can make on their own is fascinating to me. Individually, instruments— just like people— can be wonderful. However, when put together in one unit, great things can be accomplished. But to achieve that, we have to follow our director, God. When God is at the front and center of our lives, He will conduct the most impressive pieces, using ordinary instruments. His sheet music is infinitely more beautiful than our own. In order to fulfill our sheet music in Christ, we must learn to study, accept, and play the part that God has given us.
In an orchestra, you have many instruments, and each section within those instruments has their roles. You have your 1st chair, 2nd chair, and so on. The 1st chairs play the leads and often most complex parts of the music. They are the 1st chair because of their ability to understand and play the difficult parts. The 2nd chair shares some of the load, and 3rd chair and on assists with harmony and the details. In God’s orchestra, you have people who play major parts, but the minor parts— just like in a musical orchestra— add the subtle nuances that make the music sound great.
We all can’t be 1st chair in God’s orchestra, but that doesn’t mean that your part is any less valid or necessary. Maybe that one note that you play is the final long tone that ends the piece. Maybe that harmony really lifts up a section where the melody isn’t all that impressive on its own. My point is, every part and every person in God’s orchestra is vital, which is why we must show up and play to the best of our ability. Sure, looking at your sheet music on its own, your part may not seem all that great or necessary, but when you work together and play your part in God’s orchestra, only then can you see how truly vital you are.
Are you ready to give up your solo and play in God’s orchestra?
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1In that day so few men will be left that seven women will fight for each man, saying, “Let us all marry you! We will provide our own food and clothing. Only let us take your name so we won’t be mocked as old maids.”
2But in that day, the branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious; the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of all who survive in Israel.
3All who remain in Zion will be a holy people— those who survive the destruction of Jerusalem and are recorded among the living.
4The Lord will wash the filth from beautiful Zion and cleanse Jerusalem of its bloodstains with the hot breath of fiery judgment.
5Then the LORD will provide shade for Mount Zion and all who assemble there. He will provide a canopy of cloud during the day and smoke and flaming fire at night, covering the glorious land.
6It will be a shelter from daytime heat and a hiding place from storms and rain.
“Be conscious of the things you say as words have the power to build people up or tear them down.”
Everyone in this world, no matter how big or small has the ability to influence people with their words. Words like daggers can wound even the most thickest skin. Like a poisonous dart, harsh words pierce the soul, and it’s effects may still be seen for a long period of time. Friends, God doesn’t tear us down, so why tear each other?
Words of encouragement can inspire a person to achieve the impossible. The power of a kind word can be felt for years to come, lifting up the weary or acknowledging the oppressed. The words of life are like fuel to a fire, giving hope to those who need it. In all that you do, for yourself and others, speak life into it.
Are your words speaking life or sending people to the emotionally infirmary?
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Song of Solomon 2
1I am the spring crocus blooming on the Sharon Plain, the lily of the valley.
2Like a lily among thistles is my darling among young women.
3Like the finest apple tree in the orchard is my lover among other young men. I sit in his delightful shade and taste his delicious fruit.
4He escorts me to the banquet hall; it’s obvious how much he loves me.
5Strengthen me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples, for I am weak with love.
6His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.
7Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.
8Ah, I hear my lover coming! He is leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills.
9My lover is like a swift gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he is behind the wall, looking through the window, peering into the room.
10My lover said to me, “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!
11Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone.
12The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
13The fig trees are forming young fruit, and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming. Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!”
14My dove is hiding behind the rocks, behind an outcrop on the cliff. Let me see your face; let me hear your voice. For your voice is pleasant, and your face is lovely.
15Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!
16My lover is mine, and I am his. He browses among the lilies.
17Before the dawn breezes blow and the night shadows flee, return to me, my love, like a gazelle or a young stag on the rugged mountains.
“When you’re operating in your Holy position, it’s easier for you to assist a teammate in need.”~TB
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are on one team, which means it’s in our best interest to help one another succeed. Operating in this mindset, you’re able to lay down the offenses of your teammates to help with the assist so that they can shoot and score. When they score a point, so do you! So friends, don’t ball hog, just because you may be a better scorer. Instead, look to the Bible to understand the playbook so you can hook your teammates up with a stellar pass. God sees who is helping their teammates. He also sees who are holding each other back. Make sure you’re being a good teammate!
Even the best teammates need a break. When a star player is tired and weak, they are more susceptible to injury. If you see a teammate in need, call a timeout, sub in, and make the play on their behalf! Friends, we all grow tired and weary, which is why we need one another to achieve victory. No one Christian is capable of scoring all of the shots, which is why our Coach in Heaven gives drills, practices, and games to all of His players. When you understand that everyone is able to make the winning shot, sharing, caring, and assisting becomes the most important part of the game.
Are you assisting your teammates or are you ball hogging?
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1Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
2Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever.
3Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever.
4Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever.
5Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully. His faithful love endures forever.
6Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters. His faithful love endures forever.
7Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights— His faithful love endures forever.
8the sun to rule the day, His faithful love endures forever.
9and the moon and stars to rule the night. His faithful love endures forever.
10Give thanks to him who killed the firstborn of Egypt. His faithful love endures forever.
11He brought Israel out of Egypt. His faithful love endures forever.
12He acted with a strong hand and powerful arm. His faithful love endures forever.
13Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever.
14He led Israel safely through, His faithful love endures forever.
15but he hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever.
16Give thanks to him who led his people through the wilderness. His faithful love endures forever.
17Give thanks to him who struck down mighty kings. His faithful love endures forever.
18He killed powerful kings— His faithful love endures forever.
19Sihon king of the Amorites, His faithful love endures forever.
20and Og king of Bashan. His faithful love endures forever.
21God gave the land of these kings as an inheritance— His faithful love endures forever.
22a special possession to his servant Israel. His faithful love endures forever.
23He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever.
24He saved us from our enemies. His faithful love endures forever.
25He gives food to every living thing. His faithful love endures forever.
26Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.
“The devil is just a big insecure bully with a pathetic bag of tricks to scare you into submission. Stay rooted in the Word to see how harmless he truly is.” ~TB
Friends don’t fret over the nonsense that the evil one will try to sell you. Expect to question your thoughts, behavior, and external oppressive obstacles. He will not fight fair and you will be tried. But remember, we are strengthened in the Lord and He will fight on our behalf. Of course, evil is terrified of this fact and will try to distort this fact. Rest in the Truth that God has already won.
Do Your Part
Don’t forget, we are all one body in Christ, which means how we navigate our trials is a collective effort. Mature believers, when you don’t stand up to the injustices, enslavement, and poor treatment from corrupt leaders, you are allowing the innocent to be trampled by such nonsense. Why are you so afraid to hold evil to the fire of the Truth? Do you think he is mightier than God? Resist him so that generations will see the Truth in action.
Are you standing up against evil or are you numbing yourself in fear of a beaten foe?
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1We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.
2God says, “At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked.
3When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the one who keeps its foundations firm. Interlude
4“I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’ I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists!
5Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens or speak with such arrogance.’”
6For no one on earth—from east or west, or even from the wilderness— should raise a defiant fist.
7It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall.
8For the LORD holds a cup in his hand that is full of foaming wine mixed with spices. He pours out the wine in judgment, and all the wicked must drink it, draining it to the dregs.
9But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.”
“Stop getting mad at each new challenge, as if you don’t have a solution that fits.”~ Jon Barnes
Wasted energy on being upset will not help you learn, grow, and think on the good things God has planned for you.The opposite occurs, with your anger stealing all of your hopes, dreams, love, and energy to do good work.Many of us lose out on time, success, and love because we chose to live with a negative cloud over our heads and in our hearts.For many, it rains everywhere they go!
Occupy your mind, body, heart, spirit, and soul with prayers to God when you are happy, sad, mad, confessed, and unsure of what actions to take.Talk to God whenever you like.This step of prayer is the key to unlock the mysteries of faith in action.The work you do will bring great results that will blow your mind and keep God smiling upon your life.Your problems will escalate when you stop talking and praying to God.
By faith we give, love, help, serve, learn, live, and grow into the wonderful people God would have us to become.This light from God connects to us, flows through us, and reconnects to all of the people you come in contact with.What people do with this light becomes their choice to make and you cannot be mad at their choices.
Are you using your energy to get the work done or are you always critical, upset, and mad at the world and God?
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For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.
1 Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! 2 For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth. 3 He subdues the nations before us, putting our enemies beneath our feet. 4 He chose the Promised Land as our inheritance, the proud possession of Jacob’s descendants, whom he loves. Interlude
5 God has ascended with a mighty shout. The Lord has ascended with trumpets blaring. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises! 7 For God is the King over all the earth. Praise him with a psalm. 8 God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne. 9 The rulers of the world have gathered together with the people of the God of Abraham. For all the kings of the earth belong to God. He is highly honored everywhere.
“Use God’s viewpoint as an opportunity of faith to love, learn, grow, and go about the business of sharing, caring, building, and giving your best work to advance your future.”~Jon Barnes
Spring out of bed, from your prayer closet of faith, knowing that the day will be full of wonderful opportunities to serve, shine, and make a difference in your own family, community, and job.Your body, mind, and soul should be a reflection of the Spirit of God that is in you to do excellent work.
Winterize your home, ideas, and actions to improve your mindset, purpose, and personal energy-saving strategies for sustained success, health, wealth, and growth.The rotations from the seasons are a visual, artistic landscape of fresh ideas that God gives us in following and managing our time, language, actions, and love.Exercise your faith in this manner and enjoy the views.
Fall into summer with the best body, mind, and level of energy because you managed to shed the leaves of fat from your body each year.Holding onto crumbled up old bags of leaves, as stored up fat around your stomach is not the design for your body shape.Work out each day and naturally thin out the waste that you are carrying all year long.
Are you keeping a new visualization of yourself in God to adapt to the changing seasons of life or are you holding onto all of the fat that is holding your mental, physical, and spiritual health hostage?
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1 Declare me innocent, O God! Defend me against these ungodly people. Rescue me from these unjust liars. 2 For you are God, my only safe haven. Why have you tossed me aside? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies? 3 Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. 4 There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!
5 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!
“Frequently ask yourself how your positive words resonate in your heart, body, mind, and spirit when you talk to God, yourself, family, and others to ensure you are using the best words to pray, meditate, seek, ask, explain, play, teach, inquire, and learn new things each day.”~ Jon Barnes
There is something good to learn each second of your life as you play, record, speak, say, listen, and vibrate all of the energy God has given you to live with.It is up to you to dial into the frequencies of love that will drive you to accomplish, work, act, pray, help, and service God, yourself, and others. Stop relying on your feelings. Rely on God’s Word and Commandments!
Learning how to balance everything in your life requires a positive attitude to vibrate the love channels and sound waves that are constantly moving about inside our bodies and all around the world.We are affected by all moving parts at various degrees and our choices affect how efficient and helpful our movements become. Vibrate the best words, works, actions, and choices with God in mind.
All things live and have their being because of God and nothing moves unless He said so.Aligning your movements, words, works, sounds, colors, and ideas to flow with God will, which will allow you to have the most success in what you are doing, learning, saying, writing, eating, playing, praying, and believing.God is the author and finisher of your faith movement in your life and without Him, you are still in the dark.
Are you still in the dark wasteland of wickedness and evil from moving and vibrating in the wrong frequencies and circles or did you change your TONE?
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2 Chronicles 18
Jehoshaphat and Ahab
18 Jehoshaphat enjoyed great riches and high esteem, and he made an alliance with Ahab of Israel by having his son marry Ahab’s daughter.2 A few years later he went to Samaria to visit Ahab, who prepared a great banquet for him and his officials. They butchered great numbers of sheep, goats, and cattle for the feast. Then Ahab enticed Jehoshaphat to join forces with him to recover Ramoth-gilead.
3 “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” King Ahab of Israel asked King Jehoshaphat of Judah.
Jehoshaphat replied, “Why, of course! You and I are as one, and my troops are your troops. We will certainly join you in battle.”4 Then Jehoshaphat added, “But first let’s find out what the Lord says.”
5 So the king of Israel summoned the prophets, 400 of them, and asked them, “Should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold back?”
They all replied, “Yes, go right ahead! God will give the king victory.”
6 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not also a prophet of the Lord here? We should ask him the same question.”
7 The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man who could consult the Lord for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
Jehoshaphat replied, “That’s not the way a king should talk! Let’s hear what he has to say.”
8 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Quick! Bring Micaiah son of Imlah.”
Micaiah Prophesies against Ahab
9 King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah, dressed in their royal robes, were sitting on thrones at the threshing floor near the gate of Samaria. All of Ahab’s prophets were prophesying there in front of them.10 One of them, Zedekiah son of Kenaanah, made some iron horns and proclaimed, “This is what the Lord says: With these horns you will gore the Arameans to death!”
11 All the other prophets agreed. “Yes,” they said, “go up to Ramoth-gilead and be victorious, for the Lord will give the king victory!”
12 Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah said to him, “Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure that you agree with them and promise success.”
13 But Micaiah replied, “As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what my God says.”
14 When Micaiah arrived before the king, Ahab asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold back?”
Micaiah replied sarcastically, “Yes, go up and be victorious, for you will have victory over them!”
15 But the king replied sharply, “How many times must I demand that you speak only the truth to me when you speak for the Lord?”
16 Then Micaiah told him, “In a vision I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘Their master has been killed.[a] Send them home in peace.’”
17 “Didn’t I tell you?” the king of Israel exclaimed to Jehoshaphat. “He never prophesies anything but trouble for me.”
18 Then Micaiah continued, “Listen to what the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the armies of heaven around him, on his right and on his left.19 And the Lord said, ‘Who can entice King Ahab of Israel to go into battle against Ramoth-gilead so he can be killed?’
“There were many suggestions,20 and finally a spirit approached the Lord and said, ‘I can do it!’
“‘How will you do this?’ the Lord asked.
21 “And the spirit replied, ‘I will go out and inspire all of Ahab’s prophets to speak lies.’
“‘You will succeed,’ said the Lord. ‘Go ahead and do it.’
22 “So you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of your prophets. For the Lordhas pronounced your doom.”
23 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah walked up to Micaiah and slapped him across the face. “Since when did the Spirit of the Lord leave me to speak to you?” he demanded.
24 And Micaiah replied, “You will find out soon enough when you are trying to hide in some secret room!”
25 “Arrest him!” the king of Israel ordered. “Take him back to Amon, the governor of the city, and to my son Joash.26 Give them this order from the king: ‘Put this man in prison, and feed him nothing but bread and water until I return safely from the battle!’”
27 But Micaiah replied, “If you return safely, it will mean that the Lord has not spoken through me!” Then he added to those standing around, “Everyone mark my words!”
The Death of Ahab
28 So King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah led their armies against Ramoth-gilead.29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “As we go into battle, I will disguise myself so no one will recognize me, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle.
30 Meanwhile, the king of Aram had issued these orders to his chariot commanders: “Attack only the king of Israel! Don’t bother with anyone else.”31 So when the Aramean chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat in his royal robes, they went after him. “There is the king of Israel!” they shouted. But Jehoshaphat called out, and the Lord saved him. God helped him by turning the attackers away from him.32 As soon as the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, they stopped chasing him.
33 An Aramean soldier, however, randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. “Turn the horses[b] and get me out of here!” Ahab groaned to the driver of the chariot. “I’m badly wounded!”
34 The battle raged all that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans. In the evening, just as the sun was setting, he died.
“People who stink may use their dirty laundry as a deterrent, to keep you from noticing their dirty room, car, house, habits, evil ways, bad people skills, and inadequate hygiene.” ~ Jon Barnes
There is always room for growth with cleaning up your own dirty laundry, mouth, mind, body, and soul. Each day we should repent of our funky behavior, ways, ideas, mind, heart, body, and soul like actions that are not consistent with God’s message. There is always room for improvement. I remain humbled and vigilant by this statement and I encourage you all to do the same. You only have enough time and energy to clean up your own room.
We can inspire others to keep their rooms, minds, bodies, souls, and the likes clean, but they must use their energy to do their own work for themselves. Daily upkeep requires more than just a little help from family and friends. You must want to improve your life for yourself and begin inspiring your children, family, and friends as well. Unorganized, lazy behavior is no excuse for dirtiness in your life. Inspire yourself and clean as you go.Change your stinking ways into fruitful actions of the Spirit.
Your next step should not be over your slop, clothes, trash, junk, pet poop, urine, paper, garbage, or other things that are out of place. Imagine your palace in Heaven and how you would take care of it. Do you think that God will allow you to be a slob in Heaven? Then, fix your personal problems of disobedience now.Why wait? Become the best you can be today. This is your next step and goal. Practice clean gospel thinking, living, loving, sharing, and caring with honesty, conviction, humility, mercy, kindness, long-suffering, balance, and real effort.
Is it hard to practice what you preach with the fruit of the Spirit in God?
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1 Kings 22
Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab
22 For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel.2 But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel.3 The king of Israel had said to his officials, “Don’t you know that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?”
4 So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?”
Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”
6 So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?”
“Go,” they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”
8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.
9 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”
10 Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.11 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”
12 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”
14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”
15 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?”
“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”
17 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”
18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”
19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left.20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’
“One suggested this, and another that.21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’
22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.
“‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.
“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’
23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”
24 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from[a] the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.
25 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”
26 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”
28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”
Ahab Killed at Ramoth Gilead
29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead.30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
31 Now the king of Aram had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.”32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, “Surely this is the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him, but when Jehoshaphat cried out,33 the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel and stopped pursuing him.
34 But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.”35 All day long the battle raged, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died.36 As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army: “Every man to his town. Every man to his land!”
37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried him there.38 They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria (where the prostitutes bathed),[b] and the dogs licked up his blood, as the word of the Lord had declared.
39 As for the other events of Ahab’s reign, including all he did, the palace he built and adorned with ivory, and the cities he fortified, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?40 Ahab rested with his ancestors. And Ahaziah his son succeeded him as king.
Jehoshaphat King of Judah
41 Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel.42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.43 In everything he followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. The high places, however, were not removed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.[c]44 Jehoshaphat was also at peace with the king of Israel.
45 As for the other events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, the things he achieved and his military exploits, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?46 He rid the land of the rest of the male shrine prostitutes who remained there even after the reign of his father Asa.47 There was then no king in Edom; a provincial governor ruled.
48 Now Jehoshaphat built a fleet of trading ships[d] to go to Ophir for gold, but they never set sail—they were wrecked at Ezion Geber.49 At that time Ahaziah son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my men sail with yours,” but Jehoshaphat refused.
50 Then Jehoshaphat rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of David his father. And Jehoram his son succeeded him as king.
Ahaziah King of Israel
51 Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years.52 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, because he followed the ways of his father and mother and of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin.53 He served and worshiped Baal and aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, just as his father had done.
“Zero in on the talent that is in front of you and help others to develop their gifts from God and you will find that God has blessed you with more gifts than you had realized.” ~ Jon Barnes
Recognize the strengths in people and help them to develop their weaknesses with their strong gifts. Fix your problems with strong character and respect for God’s Commandments and your weaknesses will disappear.With each strong step, you take in God’s direction, a pound of weakness will fall off of your body, mind, heart, and spirit.
Your success is the success of someone else because we all need each other to work together and move forward. Focus and talk about the positive things that will help you and others to improve their right standing with God and Zero In on how well you are following the instructions from the Bible to critique your own improvement.You will notice that everyone around you will improve, whether they like it or not!
People are cultivated and trained by the examples you set with God’s Standards. When they see that you constantly attract blessings, just by leaving the house, talking to people, being friendly, loving, caring, and hopeful, the love of God begins to infect other people to grow as well.God’s Laws zero’s in of the cumulative cultivation process and provides the system for success and duplication methods.
Did you magnify your attention onto fixing your selfish motives so that you can love God and People or are you only focused on your talent and benefits?
Enjoy The Reading
Gideon Defeats the Midianites
7 Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh.2 The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’3 Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.
4 But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”
5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.”6 Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
7 The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.”8 So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.
Now the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley.9 During that night the Lordsaid to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands.10 If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah11 and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp.12 The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.
13 Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”
14 His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.”
15 When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, “Get up! The Lordhas given the Midianite camp into your hands.”16 Dividing the three hundred meninto three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside.
17 “Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do.18 When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”
19 Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands.20 The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”21 While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.
22 When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.23 Israelites from Naphtali, Asher and all Manasseh were called out, and they pursued the Midianites.24 Gideon sent messengers throughout the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down against the Midianites and seize the waters of the Jordan ahead of them as far as Beth Barah.”
So all the men of Ephraim were called out and they seized the waters of the Jordan as far as Beth Barah.25 They also captured two of the Midianite leaders, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. They pursued the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was by the Jordan.