“Don’t be so quick to place people on a pedestal because we never truly know what’s under the hood.”
We’ve been conditioned to believe that the shiniest and brilliant people, places, and things are worth special attention. Because of that additional value, we perceive that these people –especially those who step into the spotlight as ambassadors for God– have, we allow them carte blanche. Of course, as people in power fall (as they often do), it can feel destabilizing, forcing you to question what you believe. Friends, when this happens, it means we were chasing man more than we were chasing God.
Because it is impossible to know all that goes on within people, we must judge them according to their deeds. We must also learn and understand scripture so that we can much their words against the Word of God. Further, because we are given the Holy Spirit, it is up to us to individually know who God is. When we honestly pursue Christ, we understand that no man is above reproach and we must develop our personal relationships with Him to know the Truth. So put your faith in God, not man.
Are you looking up to someone or The One?
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1 When I looked again, I saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 “Where are you going?” I asked. He replied, “I am going to measure Jerusalem, to see how wide and how long it is.” 3 Then the angel who was with me went to meet a second angel who was coming toward him. 4 The other angel said, “Hurry, and say to that young man, ‘Jerusalem will someday be so full of people and livestock that there won’t be room enough for everyone! Many will live outside the city walls. 5 Then I, myself, will be a protective wall of fire around Jerusalem, says the LORD . And I will be the glory inside the city!’” 6 The LORD says, “Come away! Flee from Babylon in the land of the north, for I have scattered you to the four winds. 7 Come away, people of Zion, you who are exiled in Babylon!” 8 After a period of glory, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies sent me against the nations who plundered you. For he said, “Anyone who harms you harms my most precious possession. 9 I will raise my fist to crush them, and their own slaves will plunder them.” Then you will know that the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. 10 The LORD says, “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you. 11 Many nations will join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they, too, will be my people. I will live among you, and you will know that the LORD of Heaven’s Armies sent me to you. 12 The land of Judah will be the LORD ’s special possession in the holy land, and he will once again choose Jerusalem to be his own city. 13 Be silent before the LORD, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.”
It’s ironic when people want to share the Good News of Christ with everyone else, but their own immediate family. Friends, church does not begin when you amass a noteworthy amount of followers. No, it begins with the people who are in your own home. If your own family does not see the teachings of Christ through your deeds, surely you are misguided.
Drop the arrogance, the need for a platform, the influence of the masses to see the Truth of Christ. If you truly want to demonstrate who Christ is, start at home. Love your family as God loves you. Friends, if you love others more than you love your flesh and blood, I tell you the truth, you only love yourself.
Are you heading up your church or are you playing pretend?
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1 One night during the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had such disturbing dreams that he couldn’t sleep. 2 He called in his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers, and he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed. As they stood before the king, 3 he said, “I have had a dream that deeply troubles me, and I must know what it means.” 4 Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, “Long live the king! Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.” 5 But the king said to the astrologers, “I am serious about this. If you don’t tell me what my dream was and what it means, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be turned into heaps of rubble! 6 But if you tell me what I dreamed and what the dream means, I will give you many wonderful gifts and honors. Just tell me the dream and what it means!” 7 They said again, “Please, Your Majesty. Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.” 8 The king replied, “I know what you are doing! You’re stalling for time because you know I am serious when I say, 9 ‘If you don’t tell me the dream, you are doomed.’ So you have conspired to tell me lies, hoping I will change my mind. But tell me the dream, and then I’ll know that you can tell me what it means.” 10 The astrologers replied to the king, “No one on earth can tell the king his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer! 11 The king’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.” 12 The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed. 13 And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends. 14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. 15 He asked Arioch, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” So Arioch told him all that had happened. 16 Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant. 17 Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened. 18 He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon. 19 That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven. 20 He said, “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. 21 He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. 22 He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light. 23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength. You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.” 24 Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, whom the king had ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream.” 25 Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king and said, “I have found one of the captives from Judah who will tell the king the meaning of his dream!” 26 The king said to Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar), “Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?” 27 Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed. 29 “While Your Majesty was sleeping, you dreamed about coming events. He who reveals secrets has shown you what is going to happen. 30 And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart. 31 “In your vision, Your Majesty, you saw standing before you a huge, shining statue of a man. It was a frightening sight. 32 The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze, 33 its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay. 34 As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. 35 The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth. 36 “That was the dream. Now we will tell the king what it means. 37 Your Majesty, you are the greatest of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor. 38 He has made you the ruler over all the inhabited world and has put even the wild animals and birds under your control. You are the head of gold. 39 “But after your kingdom comes to an end, another kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise to take your place. After that kingdom has fallen, yet a third kingdom, represented by bronze, will rise to rule the world. 40 Following that kingdom, there will be a fourth one, as strong as iron. That kingdom will smash and crush all previous empires, just as iron smashes and crushes everything it strikes. 41 The feet and toes you saw were a combination of iron and baked clay, showing that this kingdom will be divided. Like iron mixed with clay, it will have some of the strength of iron. 42 But while some parts of it will be as strong as iron, other parts will be as weak as clay. 43 This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay do not mix. 44 “During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. 45 That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.” 46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar threw himself down before Daniel and worshiped him, and he commanded his people to offer sacrifices and burn sweet incense before him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is the greatest of gods, the Lord over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.” 48 Then the king appointed Daniel to a high position and gave him many valuable gifts. He made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon, as well as chief over all his wise men. 49 At Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be in charge of all the affairs of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained in the king’s court.
“Accepting responsibility for your own choices is a step in the right direction so that God can help you improve your right standing and understanding as a good person, parent, or follower of Christ.” ~ Jon Barnes
God gives us the responsibility to become trustworthy in learning and training our own families about God. Your home is the church that you take to church and practice church each and every day with everybody. The church is the practice of walking with God every day with your family and you must accept your responsibility to do the work of faith in all things!
Those who are not responsible for carrying out the commandments that God explicitly writes about will suffer loss, rejection, and judgment. There is a personal cost to your obedience or disobedience. Heaven and Hell were made for specific people, with specific lifestyles that are opposite and mutually exclusive from each other. You cannot blend the two together to make up your own hybrid. Imagine standing at the Pearly Gates trying to negotiate with God?
Since life is so short, we should all be punctual in our time management to complete all the objectives given to us by God. Since the tricks of the devil are real, you can waste a lot of time chasing your own tail, thinking that you are doing the work of God and you are not. Don’t be deceived and accept your true calling of being a real man or woman after God’s own image. You cannot create your own image or yourself.
Are you trustworthy enough to accept the responsibility of telling the whole truth about God’s word, lifestyle, and consequences for disobedient children, as a parent who raises their family in wisdom?
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A Woman Caught in Adultery
8 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery.5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Jesus, the Light of the World
12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
13 The Pharisees replied, “You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid.”
14 Jesus told them, “These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me.15 You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone.16 And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone. The Father who sent me is with me.17 Your own law says that if two people agree about something, their witness is accepted as fact.18 I am one witness, and my Father who sent me is the other.”
19 “Where is your father?” they asked.
Jesus answered, “Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.” 20 Jesus made these statements while he was teaching in the section of the Temple known as the Treasury. But he was not arrested, because his time had not yet come.
The Unbelieving People Warned
21 Later Jesus said to them again, “I am going away. You will search for me but will die in your sin. You cannot come where I am going.”
22 The people asked, “Is he planning to commit suicide? What does he mean, ‘You cannot come where I am going’?”
23 Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not.24 That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”
25 “Who are you?” they demanded.
Jesus replied, “The one I have always claimed to be. 26 I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won’t. For I say only what I have heard from the one who sent me, and he is completely truthful.”27 But they still didn’t understand that he was talking about his Father.
28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me.29 And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him.”30 Then many who heard him say these things believed in him.
Jesus and Abraham
31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?”
34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever.36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.37 Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message.38 I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.”
39 “Our father is Abraham!” they declared.
“No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example. 40 Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing.41 No, you are imitating your real father.”
They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.”
42 Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me.43 Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me!44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.45 So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me!46 Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me?47 Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”
48 The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?”
49 “No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father—and you dishonor me.50 And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge.51 I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!”
52 The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’55 but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him.56 Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.”
57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?”
58 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!”59 At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.
61 Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you?62 Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again?63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.64 But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.)65 Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”
66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him.67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”
68 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.69 We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”
70 Then Jesus said, “I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.”71 He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would later betray him.
“The Body of Christ means that we are all in this together.”~TB
Church is God’s people, not merely a place you go to on Sunday to check off your sanctified box. Church is everyday, doing life with you brother, sister, family, neighbor and so on. It means stepping in to help the widowed, the poor, the downtrodden, and the like. It means mirroring the ways of Jesus to the best of our ability. Unfortunately, somewhere down the line, many of us missed the memo on the lessons that Christ actually conveyed.
If you’re idea of Christianity is looking like an Instagram filter on Sundays while judging the members of your church based on a vanity metric system, you need to recalibrate. Our roles as children of God is to spread His message, and not our personal agendas. We must check out egos at the door and see what is needed and not just what we want. There is much more gained in giving than receiving. In all that you do, remember what Jesus did to guide your way.
Are you stepping up or stepping on your brothers and sisters?
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1Bel and Nebo, the gods of Babylon, bow as they are lowered to the ground. They are being hauled away on ox carts. The poor beasts stagger under the weight.
2Both the idols and their owners are bowed down. The gods cannot protect the people, and the people cannot protect the gods. They go off into captivity together.
3“Listen to me, descendants of Jacob, all you who remain in Israel. I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born.
4I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.
5“To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?
6Some people pour out their silver and gold and hire a craftsman to make a god from it. Then they bow down and worship it!
7They carry it around on their shoulders, and when they set it down, it stays there. It can’t even move! And when someone prays to it, there is no answer. It can’t rescue anyone from trouble.
8“Do not forget this! Keep it in mind! Remember this, you guilty ones.
9Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.
10Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.
11I will call a swift bird of prey from the east— a leader from a distant land to come and do my bidding. I have said what I would do, and I will do it.
12“Listen to me, you stubborn people who are so far from doing right.
13For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future, but right now! I am ready to save Jerusalem and show my glory to Israel.
“God isn’t interested in your formalities, your buildings, your ornaments, your performances, or your pandering. He’s interested in the motives of your heart.”~TB
Keep your religious spirit, your virtue-signaling goodness, and moral superiority to yourself. God wants none of it. You cry when religious buildings are destroyed, but you care not for the people He placed in your charge! What good is a building if the people are wicked? Friends, the church is not merely a place, it is within your heart. As He dwells within us, our actions, hearts, and minds must exude His presence. Putting on your Sunday best and turning up your nose at the “heathens” is not Biblical. Well, it is in the Bible, but those people paved the road to Hell.
It’s amazing how quickly the religious mobilize when their image is at stake. Let’s not worry about the exceedingly poor living conditions or the slave wages people are forced to accept. Why do you perform such blasphemous self-promoting acts in the name of God? How impactful is a mission if your actual neighbor is suffering? Truly, you must understand that your deeds are not for Him, they are for yourself. Every formality and hypocritical act performed is a mockery to God. Friends, the state of the world is in disarray! Because the nation has abandoned Him, He will abandon the nation. So cling tightly to your possessions and your neatly adorned items. They are all you have left and soon they too will abandon you.
What are the true motives in your heart?
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1O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying,
2for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—
3stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us.
4We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about his power and his mighty wonders.
5For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children,
6so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children.
7So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.
8Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.
9The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned their backs and fled on the day of battle.
10They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his instructions.
11They forgot what he had done— the great wonders he had shown them,
12the miracles he did for their ancestors on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt.
13For he divided the sea and led them through, making the water stand up like walls!
14In the daytime he led them by a cloud, and all night by a pillar of fire.
15He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them water, as from a gushing spring.
16He made streams pour from the rock, making the waters flow down like a river!
17Yet they kept on sinning against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved.
19They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness.
20Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.”
21When the LORD heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel,
22for they did not believe God or trust him to care for them.
23But he commanded the skies to open; he opened the doors of heaven.
24He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven.
25They ate the food of angels! God gave them all they could hold.
26He released the east wind in the heavens and guided the south wind by his mighty power.
27He rained down meat as thick as dust— birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore!
28He caused the birds to fall within their camp and all around their tents.
29The people ate their fill. He gave them what they craved.
30But before they satisfied their craving, while the meat was yet in their mouths,
31the anger of God rose against them, and he killed their strongest men. He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men.
32But in spite of this, the people kept sinning. Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him.
33So he ended their lives in failure, their years in terror.
34When God began killing them, they finally sought him. They repented and took God seriously.
35Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High was their redeemer.
36But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues.
37Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant.
38Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and did not destroy them all. Many times he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury!
39For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns.
40Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland.
41Again and again they tested God’s patience and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42They did not remember his power and how he rescued them from their enemies.
43They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders on the plain of Zoan.
44For he turned their rivers into blood, so no one could drink from the streams.
45He sent vast swarms of flies to consume them and hordes of frogs to ruin them.
46He gave their crops to caterpillars; their harvest was consumed by locusts.
47He destroyed their grapevines with hail and shattered their sycamore-figs with sleet.
48He abandoned their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning.
49He loosed on them his fierce anger— all his fury, rage, and hostility. He dispatched against them a band of destroying angels.
50He turned his anger against them; he did not spare the Egyptians’ lives but ravaged them with the plague.
51He killed the oldest son in each Egyptian family, the flower of youth throughout the land of Egypt.
52But he led his own people like a flock of sheep, guiding them safely through the wilderness.
53He kept them safe so they were not afraid; but the sea covered their enemies.
54He brought them to the border of his holy land, to this land of hills he had won for them.
55He drove out the nations before them; he gave them their inheritance by lot. He settled the tribes of Israel into their homes.
56But they kept testing and rebelling against God Most High. They did not obey his laws.
57They turned back and were as faithless as their parents. They were as undependable as a crooked bow.
58They angered God by building shrines to other gods; they made him jealous with their idols.
59When God heard them, he was very angry, and he completely rejected Israel.
60Then he abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh, the Tabernacle where he had lived among the people.
61He allowed the Ark of his might to be captured; he surrendered his glory into enemy hands.
62He gave his people over to be butchered by the sword, because he was so angry with his own people—his special possession.
63Their young men were killed by fire; their young women died before singing their wedding songs.
64Their priests were slaughtered, and their widows could not mourn their deaths.
65Then the Lord rose up as though waking from sleep, like a warrior aroused from a drunken stupor.
66He routed his enemies and sent them to eternal shame.
67But he rejected Joseph’s descendants; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.
68He chose instead the tribe of Judah, and Mount Zion, which he loved.
69There he built his sanctuary as high as the heavens, as solid and enduring as the earth.
70He chose his servant David, calling him from the sheep pens.
71He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants— God’s own people, Israel.
72He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.
Don’t be comforted by the sweet empty words of the world for there is one truth and many falsehoods. Make no mistake, there is nothing more detestable than a false Christian.~TB
Christians have become lazy and complacent, pretending as if being preached at for an hour a week is what following Jesus is all about. We dumb ourselves down when we fail to cultivate a personal relationship with God. You cannot successfully navigate a fallen world when you are too lazy to pick up the Bible. Like a calf being fattened for slaughter, we minimize our sin, creating false personas to appease our peers with our “pure christian lifestyle”. Do not be fooled, God is not an accessory, nor is He a trinket we can use to tout superiority over nonbelievers.
God created man; man did not create God. We must fit into His plan and not the other way around. Walking the path of Jesus is filled with rejection and criticism from the world. True Christianity calls for us to take up the cross daily and examine our own hearts and minds. Stop waiting for someone to tell you who God is and go straight to the Source. There is only one way to enter His kingdom and that is through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus. No “universe”, “energy source”, or “good vibes” can help you. Don’t be the fool at the pearly gates with one of those excuses. There is no excuse for ignorance.
When are you going to give up your way to follow His way?
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1You have rejected us, O God, and broken our defenses. You have been angry with us; now restore us to your favor. 2You have shaken our land and split it open. Seal the cracks, for the land trembles. 3You have been very hard on us, making us drink wine that sent us reeling.4But you have raised a banner for those who fear you— a rallying point in the face of attack. Interlude 5Now rescue your beloved people. Answer and save us by your power. 6God has promised this by his holiness: “I will divide up Shechem with joy. I will measure out the valley of Succoth. 7Gilead is mine, and Manasseh, too. Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors, and Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings. 8But Moab, my washbasin, will become my servant, and I will wipe my feet on Edom and shout in triumph over Philistia.” 9Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will bring me victory over Edom? 10Have you rejected us, O God? Will you no longer march with our armies? 11Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. 12With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.
“Sometimes we need to be provoked into doing the right things so that God can use our lives in His Plan for saving souls.” ~ Jon Barnes
Being a child of God with His protection does not give us the right to lie, cheat, and steal. People who do the opposite of what God stands for are not wise and will not become His chosen children for His Kingdom in Heaven.God will cut you off in your foolishness, wickedness, and blatant disobedience. You will not be protected unless you repent, change, and live your actions of faith.
God gives us what we need and He judges what we do with our responsibilities, time, actions, faith, and resources. It is our job to take care of ourselves, family, city, country, planet, and church showing examples of God’s light into the world. We teach the next generation how to connect to God by following the commandment, reading, writing, talking about the blessings and lifestyle God wants for us to have. We must choose the provisions and solutions given by God.
Procrastination is disobedience in disguise, which is a perfect excuse for the wicked behavior of laziness. When you ignore your responsibilities and work of faith for God, you have chosen the path of disobedience. Bad things tend to happen based on your poor choices because you will reap what you sow. Do what is right and benefit from God’s blessings or continue to be a liar, who is full of wickedness.
Is your soul saved or will you be like the many, who will find hell their home?
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1 Samuel 10
Samuel Anoints Saul as King
10 Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it over Saul’s head. He kissed Saul and said, “I am doing this because the Lord has appointed you to be the ruler over Israel, his special possession.[a]2 When you leave me today, you will see two men beside Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah, on the border of Benjamin. They will tell you that the donkeys have been found and that your father has stopped worrying about them and is now worried about you. He is asking, ‘Have you seen my son?’
3 “When you get to the oak of Tabor, you will see three men coming toward you who are on their way to worship God at Bethel. One will be bringing three young goats, another will have three loaves of bread, and the third will be carrying a wineskin full of wine.4 They will greet you and offer you two of the loaves, which you are to accept.
5 “When you arrive at Gibeah of God,[b] where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying.6 At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person.7 After these signs take place, do what must be done, for God is with you.8 Then go down to Gilgal ahead of me. I will join you there to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. You must wait for seven days until I arrive and give you further instructions.”
Samuel’s Signs Are Fulfilled
9 As Saul turned and started to leave, God gave him a new heart, and all Samuel’s signs were fulfilled that day.10 When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, they saw a group of prophets coming toward them. Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he, too, began to prophesy.11 When those who knew Saul heard about it, they exclaimed, “What? Is even Saul a prophet? How did the son of Kish become a prophet?”
12 And one of those standing there said, “Can anyone become a prophet, no matter who his father is?”[c] So that is the origin of the saying “Is even Saul a prophet?”
13 When Saul had finished prophesying, he went up to the place of worship.14 “Where have you been?” Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant.
“We were looking for the donkeys,” Saul replied, “but we couldn’t find them. So we went to Samuel to ask him where they were.”
15 “Oh? And what did he say?” his uncle asked.
16 “He told us that the donkeys had already been found,” Saul replied. But Saul didn’t tell his uncle what Samuel said about the kingdom.
Saul Is Acclaimed King
17 Later Samuel called all the people of Israel to meet before the Lord at Mizpah.18 And he said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has declared: I brought you from Egypt and rescued you from the Egyptians and from all of the nations that were oppressing you.19 But though I have rescued you from your misery and distress, you have rejected your God today and have said, ‘No, we want a king instead!’ Now, therefore, present yourselves before the Lord by tribes and clans.”
20 So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel before the Lord, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot.21 Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the Lord, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared!22 So they asked the Lord, “Where is he?”
And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.”23 So they found him and brought him out, and he stood head and shoulders above anyone else.
24 Then Samuel said to all the people, “This is the man the Lord has chosen as your king. No one in all Israel is like him!”
And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
25 Then Samuel told the people what the rights and duties of a king were. He wrote them down on a scroll and placed it before the Lord. Then Samuel sent the people home again.
26 When Saul returned to his home at Gibeah, a group of men whose hearts God had touched went with him.27 But there were some scoundrels who complained, “How can this man save us?” And they scorned him and refused to bring him gifts. But Saul ignored them.
[Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had been grievously oppressing the people of Gad and Reuben who lived east of the Jordan River. He gouged out the right eye of each of the Israelites living there, and he didn’t allow anyone to come and rescue them. In fact, of all the Israelites east of the Jordan, there wasn’t a single one whose right eye Nahash had not gouged out. But there were 7,000 men who had escaped from the Ammonites, and they had settled in Jabesh-gilead.
“Grandpa was an honest musician, choir director, Minister, interior decorator, a property developer, a business man who built a church with his own money, talent, and hands, while teaching his family values about God.” ~ Jon Barnes
My family is without excuse if many should die and go to hell, because my grandfather personally taught us all about the truth and I’m teaching my family to uphold God’s truth in their lives, as well. It was made clear to me that I needed to understand how to apply God’s Commandments and lifestyle laws to my personal life to walk in faith, integrity, honor, and simplicity. I have no excuse. People that I love know exactly where I stand with God in the center of my heart! There are no short cuts to heaven because you can fool people, but you cannot fool God. My question to myself is, am I a lying, cheating, stealing, lustful, foolish devil, pretending to love God?
Memorizing a prayer, giving money to churches, helping the poor, and living like a devil behind closed doors, six and a half days of the week, is wicked. The wicked can recite the Lord’s Prayer, Preach, and Teach things in the bible better than you, just like the devil lied to Eve and Adam. People make and change laws to suite their lifestyle, lust and greed. The job of evil is to appear to be nice, loving, giving, kind and helpful, so that you can slowly move into the dark side, providing much needed company in Hell. My grandpa was no fool and we often had long conversations about biblical principals. I would love to ask him tough questions that he didn’t have answers too, but was honest enough to say, “I don’t know.”
My Grandfather and I had many heart to heart talks about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as we talked about everything, his childhood, father, being a father, an employer, owner of real-estate, helping in the community, and doing your best. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, ” You are the only one of my boys, who graduated from college!” He then said, “Thank You for doing the things I have taught you to do, raising your family and moving forward in God.” It meant a lot to know that my grand farther was pleased with my work. The last month that he lived with me in California was the last time that I would see him alive, because he died 6 months later. I proudly bought plane tickets for the visit a year before he died. Bless God for Good GrandFathers!
Will your grandparents be proud of your lifestyle, action, and faith in God or will God reject you as you are rejecting Him?
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Pure Oil and Holy Bread
24 The Lord said to Moses,2 “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually.3 This is the lampstand that stands in the Tabernacle, in front of the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant.[a] Aaron must keep the lamps burning in the Lord’s presence all night. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation.4 Aaron and the priests must tend the lamps on the pure gold lampstand continually in the Lord’s presence.
5 “You must bake twelve flat loaves of bread from choice flour, using four quarts[b]of flour for each loaf.6 Place the bread before the Lord on the pure gold table, and arrange the loaves in two stacks, with six loaves in each stack.7 Put some pure frankincense near each stack to serve as a representative offering, a special gift presented to the Lord.8 Every Sabbath day this bread must be laid out before the Lord as a gift from the Israelites; it is an ongoing expression of the eternal covenant.9 The loaves of bread will belong to Aaron and his descendants, who must eat them in a sacred place, for they are most holy. It is the permanent right of the priests to claim this portion of the special gifts presented to the Lord.”
An Example of Just Punishment
10 One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father came out of his tent and got into a fight with one of the Israelite men.11 During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the Name of the Lord[c] with a curse. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan.12 They kept the man in custody until the Lord’s will in the matter should become clear to them.
13 Then the Lord said to Moses,14 “Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard the curse to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death.15 Say to the people of Israel: Those who curse their God will be punished for their sin.16 Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the Lord must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any native-born Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the Name of the Lord must be put to death.
17 “Anyone who takes another person’s life must be put to death.
18 “Anyone who kills another person’s animal must pay for it in full—a live animal for the animal that was killed.
19 “Anyone who injures another person must be dealt with according to the injury inflicted—20 a fracture for a fracture, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Whatever anyone does to injure another person must be paid back in kind.
21 “Whoever kills an animal must pay for it in full, but whoever kills another person must be put to death.
22 “This same standard applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.”
23 After Moses gave all these instructions to the Israelites, they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him to death. The Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.