Step Up

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“The Body of Christ means that we are all in this together.”~TB

Church Is

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.

Church Isn’t

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.

Today’s Question

Are you stepping up or stepping on your brothers and sisters?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 46

1 Bel 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.
2 Both 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.
4 I 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!
7 They 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.
9 Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.
10 Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.
11 I 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.
13 For 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.

Formality

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“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

Church

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.

Deeds

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.

Today’s Question

What are the true motives in your heart?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 78

1 O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, 
2 for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— 
3 stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. 
4 We 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. 
5 For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, 
6 so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. 
7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. 
8 Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God. 
9 The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned their backs and fled on the day of battle. 
10 They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his instructions. 
11 They forgot what he had done— the great wonders he had shown them, 
12 the miracles he did for their ancestors on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt.
13 For he divided the sea and led them through, making the water stand up like walls! 
14 In the daytime he led them by a cloud, and all night by a pillar of fire. 
15 He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them water, as from a gushing spring. 
16 He made streams pour from the rock, making the waters flow down like a river! 
17 Yet they kept on sinning against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. 
18 They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved.
19 They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness. 
20 Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.” 
21 When the LORD heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel, 
22 for they did not believe God or trust him to care for them. 
23 But he commanded the skies to open; he opened the doors of heaven. 
24 He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven. 
25 They ate the food of angels! God gave them all they could hold. 
26 He released the east wind in the heavens and guided the south wind by his mighty power. 
27 He rained down meat as thick as dust— birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore! 
28 He caused the birds to fall within their camp and all around their tents. 
29 The people ate their fill. He gave them what they craved. 
30 But before they satisfied their craving, while the meat was yet in their mouths, 
31 the anger of God rose against them, and he killed their strongest men. He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men. 
32 But in spite of this, the people kept sinning. Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him. 
33 So he ended their lives in failure, their years in terror. 
34 When God began killing them, they finally sought him. They repented and took God seriously. 
35 Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High was their redeemer. 
36 But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues. 
37 Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant. 
38 Yet 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! 
39 For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns. 
40 Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. 
41 Again and again they tested God’s patience and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his power and how he rescued them from their enemies. 
43 They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders on the plain of Zoan. 
44 For he turned their rivers into blood, so no one could drink from the streams. 
45 He sent vast swarms of flies to consume them and hordes of frogs to ruin them. 
46 He gave their crops to caterpillars; their harvest was consumed by locusts. 
47 He destroyed their grapevines with hail and shattered their sycamore-figs with sleet. 
48 He 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. 
50 He turned his anger against them; he did not spare the Egyptians’ lives but ravaged them with the plague. 
51 He killed the oldest son in each Egyptian family, the flower of youth throughout the land of Egypt. 
52 But he led his own people like a flock of sheep, guiding them safely through the wilderness. 
53 He kept them safe so they were not afraid; but the sea covered their enemies.
54 He brought them to the border of his holy land, to this land of hills he had won for them. 
55 He 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. 
57 They turned back and were as faithless as their parents. They were as undependable as a crooked bow. 
58 They 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. 
60 Then he abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh, the Tabernacle where he had lived among the people. 
61 He allowed the Ark of his might to be captured; he surrendered his glory into enemy hands. 
62 He gave his people over to be butchered by the sword, because he was so angry with his own people—his special possession. 
63 Their young men were killed by fire; their young women died before singing their wedding songs.
64 Their priests were slaughtered, and their widows could not mourn their deaths. 
65 Then the Lord rose up as though waking from sleep, like a warrior aroused from a drunken stupor. 
66 He routed his enemies and sent them to eternal shame. 
67 But he rejected Joseph’s descendants; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim. 
68 He chose instead the tribe of Judah, and Mount Zion, which he loved. 
69 There he built his sanctuary as high as the heavens, as solid and enduring as the earth. 
70 He chose his servant David, calling him from the sheep pens. 
71 He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants— God’s own people, Israel. 
72 He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.

Comfortably Dumb

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

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

Sweet Nothings

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.

Inconvenient Truth

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.

 

Today’s Question

When are you going to give up your way to follow His way?
Enjoy the reading

Psalm 60

1 You have rejected us, O God, and broken our defenses. You have been angry with us; now restore us to your favor. 2 You have shaken our land and split it open. Seal the cracks, for the land trembles. 3 You have been very hard on us, making us drink wine that sent us reeling.4 But you have raised a banner for those who fear you— a rallying point in the face of attack. Interlude 5 Now rescue your beloved people. Answer and save us by your power. 6 God has promised this by his holiness: “I will divide up Shechem with joy. I will measure out the valley of Succoth. 7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh, too. Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors, and Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings. 8 But Moab, my washbasin, will become my servant, and I will wipe my feet on Edom and shout in triumph over Philistia.” 9 Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will bring me victory over Edom? 10 Have you rejected us, O God? Will you no longer march with our armies? 11 Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. 12 With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.

Provocation

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“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

Protected 

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.

Provision

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

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.
Today’s Question
Is your soul saved or will you be like the many, who will find hell their home?
Enjoy The Reading

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] 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?’
“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. They will greet you and offer you two of the loaves, which you are to accept.
“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. 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. After these signs take place, do what must be done, for God is with you. 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

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.
Love,
Jonathan

Grandpa

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote 
“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

Without

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?

Recite

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.”

Proudly

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!
Today’s Question
Will your grandparents be proud of your lifestyle, action, and faith in God or will God reject you as you are rejecting Him?
Enjoy Today’s Reading

Leviticus 24

Pure Oil and Holy Bread

24 The Lord said to Moses, “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually. 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. Aaron and the priests must tend the lamps on the pure gold lampstand continually in the Lord’s presence.
“You must bake twelve flat loaves of bread from choice flour, using four quarts[b]of flour for each loaf. Place the bread before the Lord on the pure gold table, and arrange the loaves in two stacks, with six loaves in each stack. Put some pure frankincense near each stack to serve as a representative offering, a special gift presented to the Lord. 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. 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.
Love,
Jonathan