“There will always be times where you will lack the inspiration or desire to pursue Christ. Do the work anyway.”~TB
Everyone experiences a feeling of stagnation or plateau when developing their relationship with God. More often than not it’s due to us disconnecting from Him because we’re off trying to accomplish our own agendas. Friends, remember His will and plan for your life. I can guarantee you that when you allow God to lead, His plan will always bring a better outcome than any plan you could imagine. When you start to feel bored or uninspired, that’s when you need to speak to Him the most.
Have a talk with God
Prayer is like a casual conversation with the wisest being in existence. You don’t have to be ceremonial or ritualistic about it. Come to Him as you are and He will delight in your humility. There are times where I just say, “God, what gives?” and will air out my grievances honestly and openly. When I’m done ranting, I then listen and am inspired by the response! Friends, you can only get answers from God when you communicate with Him regularly. Don’t get too bold in your own thinking, trust that God’s answers are better than yours and you’ll find an infinite well of inspiration in your Heavenly Father.
Are you talking to God or are you only listening to yourself?
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1I cry out to the LORD ; I plead for the LORD ’s mercy.
2I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.
3When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me.
4I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me.
5Then I pray to you, O LORD . I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.
6Hear my cry, for I am very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.
7Bring me out of prison so I can thank you. The godly will crowd around me, for you are good to me.”
“Be present and pay attention while on your walk, as some lessons you’ll want to avoid”~TB
On the Path
On the path requires focus, patience, and presence because, in an upside down world, the devil will not hesitate to throw a decoy in your path. If you are humble enough to heed the teachings in the Bible, some test will be easier than others. Friends, walking and talking with God, not only brings peace, but also discernment. Set your eyes on Him to avoid being derailed.
Off the Path
The devil wants you to be like Red Riding Hood, wandering all willy-nilly while a wolf seeks to destroy you. The threat is real, but not to be feared, unless you didn’t adhere to the teachings. Off the path brings chaos and turmoil, but fortunately for you, God is a loving savior who will place you back on track when things get dicey.
The Added Measure of Discernment
No one’s walk is perfect, and we all will face a “big bad wolf” from time to time due to our negligence. Understand that faith and follow through are critical in being one with God. These aren’t just nice “safety nets” without a purpose. Evil is real and the devil is more than happy to trip you up, especially if you are soldiering on for Christ. Do well to root your attention in the Word, so that you are vigilant, diligent, and discerning when challenges arise.
Are you on the path or are you headed for a wolf’s den?
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1I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven.
2We keep looking to the LORD our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.
3Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy, for we have had our fill of contempt.
4We have had more than our fill of the scoffing of the proud and the contempt of the arrogant.
“When you’re focused on building and maintaining your relationship with God, all other affairs become boring and meaningless”~TB
This world is designed for you to become preoccupied and obsessed with the dealings of your neighbor. Instead of cultivating your talents, your faith, your life, you’d rather open up a screen and see how everyone else is failing. What you fail to realize is that growing with God requires your focus. You cannot serve two masters. Quit being nosey and make something of yourself.
In being nosey, your mindset and focus become noisy, blocking out God and His wisdom. When you can’t hear the Lord, you then lean on your own foolish understanding of the world. You blindly follow the dumb practices of a flesh-driven world, filling your decorative prisons with things that temporarily bring you happiness. By participating in the noise, you abdicate your inheritance as you excitedly embrace your golden handcuffs.
When you obsess over your neighbor, fail to do your Biblical homework, and desire what everyone else has, you are now a prisoner in the worldly system. You can’t blame anyone but yourself, which is difficult to bear, so you become a numb cog in the wheel drudging along. Of course, this is when you cling to your “christian” titles and your judgments of others to make yourself feel better for your complacent lives. Stop looking at your neighbor, block out the noise to avoid a numb lifestyle. Ask God and He will show you what you refuse to see.
Are you a nosey neighbor focused on the noise, numbing your relationship with God?
1Praise the LORD ! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
2Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD ? Who can ever praise him enough?
3There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right.
4Remember me, LORD, when you show favor to your people; come near and rescue me.
5Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones. Let me rejoice in the joy of your people; let me praise you with those who are your heritage.
6Like our ancestors, we have sinned. We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly!
7Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the LORD ’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.
8Even so, he saved them— to defend the honor of his name and to demonstrate his mighty power.
9He commanded the Red Sea to dry up. He led Israel across the sea as if it were a desert.
10So he rescued them from their enemies and redeemed them from their foes.
11Then the water returned and covered their enemies; not one of them survived.
12Then his people believed his promises. Then they sang his praise.
13Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done! They wouldn’t wait for his counsel!
14In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland.
15So he gave them what they asked for, but he sent a plague along with it.
16The people in the camp were jealous of Moses and envious of Aaron, the LORD ’s holy priest.
17Because of this, the earth opened up; it swallowed Dathan and buried Abiram and the other rebels.
18Fire fell upon their followers; a flame consumed the wicked.
19The people made a calf at Mount Sinai ; they bowed before an image made of gold.
20They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull.
21They forgot God, their savior, who had done such great things in Egypt—
22such wonderful things in the land of Ham, such awesome deeds at the Red Sea.
23So he declared he would destroy them. But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the LORD and the people. He begged him to turn from his anger and not destroy them.
24The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.
25Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD .
26Therefore, he solemnly swore that he would kill them in the wilderness,
27that he would scatter their descendants among the nations, exiling them to distant lands.
28Then our ancestors joined in the worship of Baal at Peor; they even ate sacrifices offered to the dead!
29They angered the LORD with all these things, so a plague broke out among them.
30But Phinehas had the courage to intervene, and the plague was stopped.
31So he has been regarded as a righteous man ever since that time.
32At Meribah, too, they angered the LORD, causing Moses serious trouble.
33They made Moses angry, and he spoke foolishly.
34Israel failed to destroy the nations in the land, as the LORD had commanded them.
35Instead, they mingled among the pagans and adopted their evil customs.
36They worshiped their idols, which led to their downfall.
37They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons.
38They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters. By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan, they polluted the land with murder.
39They defiled themselves by their evil deeds, and their love of idols was adultery in the LORD ’s sight.
40That is why the LORD ’s anger burned against his people, and he abhorred his own special possession.
41He handed them over to pagan nations, and they were ruled by those who hated them.
42Their enemies crushed them and brought them under their cruel power.
43Again and again he rescued them, but they chose to rebel against him, and they were finally destroyed by their sin.
44Even so, he pitied them in their distress and listened to their cries.
45He remembered his covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love.
46He even caused their captors to treat them with kindness.
47Save us, O LORD our God! Gather us back from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.
48Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD !
“When you have an authentic relationship with God, you begin to understand which messages are from Him and which messages are not”~TB
When you regularly engage in walking with the Lord, you begin to see the world differently. Consequentially, you begin to discern the thoughts that are your’s, His, and the evil ones. And with this relationship with Christ, you know that your previous deeds are no longer acceptable. This conviction allows you to put aside foolish behaviors as you seek to mirror the life of Christ. No one’s walk will be perfect, but the messages from God will help you get back on track if you choose to listen.
Walking in sin is much more difficult for the born again because you know the price that was paid for you by Jesus. Of course, there will be times when messages of extreme guilt and worthlessness begin to creep into your head. They may cause you to question your standing with God. Friends, these messages are not from God, but rather the evil one. Condemnation is lamenting over deeds that He has already forgiven you for. If God isn’t repeatedly pointing at your past, why are you? Delete those messages as they deter your path with the Lord.
As you grow in Christ, you will level up in discernment, filtering which messages are important and which ones are unnecessary. This is why it is so important to read the Bible, to talk with God, and to pick up the Cross daily to cast away your former evil selves. Knowing and practicing the difference helps you avert pitfalls and temptations because you know who you are in Christ. The messages will never go away, but when you truly know the Lord, you can filter through the noise.
Which messages are you reading, the good or the evil?
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1Let all that I am praise the LORD . O LORD my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and majesty.
2You are dressed in a robe of light. You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens;
3you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds. You make the clouds your chariot; you ride upon the wings of the wind.
4The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants.
5You placed the world on its foundation so it would never be moved.
6You clothed the earth with floods of water, water that covered even the mountains.
7At your command, the water fled; at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away.
8Mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed.
9Then you set a firm boundary for the seas, so they would never again cover the earth.
10You make springs pour water into the ravines, so streams gush down from the mountains.
11They provide water for all the animals, and the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12The birds nest beside the streams and sing among the branches of the trees.
13You send rain on the mountains from your heavenly home, and you fill the earth with the fruit of your labor.
14You cause grass to grow for the livestock and plants for people to use. You allow them to produce food from the earth—
15wine to make them glad, olive oil to soothe their skin, and bread to give them strength.
16The trees of the LORD are well cared for— the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17There the birds make their nests, and the storks make their homes in the cypresses.
18High in the mountains live the wild goats, and the rocks form a refuge for the hyraxes.
19You made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to set.
20You send the darkness, and it becomes night, when all the forest animals prowl about.
21Then the young lions roar for their prey, stalking the food provided by God.
22At dawn they slink back into their dens to rest.
23Then people go off to their work, where they labor until evening.
24O LORD, what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures.
25Here is the ocean, vast and wide, teeming with life of every kind, both large and small.
26See the ships sailing along, and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea.
27They all depend on you to give them food as they need it.
28When you supply it, they gather it. You open your hand to feed them, and they are richly satisfied.
29But if you turn away from them, they panic. When you take away their breath, they die and turn again to dust.
30When you give them your breath, life is created, and you renew the face of the earth.
31May the glory of the LORD continue forever! The LORD takes pleasure in all he has made!
32The earth trembles at his glance; the mountains smoke at his touch.
33I will sing to the LORD as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath!
34May all my thoughts be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD .
35Let all sinners vanish from the face of the earth; let the wicked disappear forever. Let all that I am praise the LORD . Praise the LORD !
“If you want to hear God’s Truth, simply silence the noise around you and tune in”~TB
There are so many distractions that we fall prey to on any given day. What you choose to focus on sets the tone of your mindset. Find some time in the day to bask in the peace and quiet of the Lord. When you steal away from the world’s nonsense, you are able to hear His voice which will reveal your purpose and next steps. Take care to listen for Him.
Less is more
People tend to talk themselves out of their inheritance perpetuating confidence as if they control the Hand of God. Friends, you’d do well to wait patiently for instruction rather than try and force His hand. As an experienced and reformed meddler, I can guarantee you that God’s timing supersedes human logic. Enjoy the silence and rest in His grace while you move in this world.
Silence brings Truth
The less you say and the more you listen, you will see that people show you who they are. Pay attention and be diligent about who you spend your time with. Those that intend to rob you of your peace and joy blatantly display their nefarious intentions. When you are quiet and focused their deceptive ways practices are glaringly apparent. The same goes for those who consider themselves wise. Be silent so that you can discern the real from the fake.
Are you learning to enjoy the silence or are you hell bent on loudly displaying your ignorance?
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1How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
2I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD . With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.
3Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
4What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises. Interlude
5What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
6When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
7They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.
8O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer. Listen, O God of Jacob. Interlude
9O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield! Show favor to the one you have anointed.
10A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
11For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.
12O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.
“Each side of an argument sounds good, but there can be only one truth to God’s solution for passing His Test.”~Jon Barnes
You can speak truthful things out of context and misplace the accuracy of Love and Good Intentions.This is when silence is the truth and patience is understanding with wisdom.The more people talk, the greater the probability foolishness will spill from their lips.Let your dialog copy what God has to say and reflect upon the biblical stories of old.This dialog will teach you more about the big picture when you read and muse the complete stories and experiences.
Even though you may have questions, focus, read, and observe all the moving parts in the dialog to get a full understanding of its content, character, structure, pictures, colors, tones and textures.Your questions will be answered in light of all sides of the arguments before and after they occur.Vain babbling will continue only because you keep opening up your mouth.Ergo, your answers will improve in your silence, meditation, prayer, reading, and listing to God, minus your thoughts.
After you ask the question, God will give you the answers you seek from the most interesting sources and you must be quiet and still to absorb the answers form many directions.Clarity comes with your good work of faith and time will show, breed, and cultivate God’s solutions, answers and perfect Will.An argument is a small component of the story with many words, yet God’s solutions are of few words with answers of infinite consequences.
Why are you always arguing with people and God?
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Job’s Fifth Speech: A Response to Eliphaz
16 Then Job spoke again:
2 “I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are! 3 Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air? What makes you keep on talking? 4 I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you. 5 But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief. 6 Instead, I suffer if I defend myself, and I suffer no less if I refuse to speak.
7 “O God, you have ground me down and devastated my family. 8 As if to prove I have sinned, you’ve reduced me to skin and bones. My gaunt flesh testifies against me. 9 God hates me and angrily tears me apart. He snaps his teeth at me and pierces me with his eyes. 10 People jeer and laugh at me. They slap my cheek in contempt. A mob gathers against me. 11 God has handed me over to sinners. He has tossed me into the hands of the wicked.
12 “I was living quietly until he shattered me. He took me by the neck and broke me in pieces. Then he set me up as his target, 13 and now his archers surround me. His arrows pierce me without mercy. The ground is wet with my blood.[a] 14 Again and again he smashes against me, charging at me like a warrior. 15 I wear burlap to show my grief. My pride lies in the dust. 16 My eyes are red with weeping; dark shadows circle my eyes. 17 Yet I have done no wrong, and my prayer is pure.
18 “O earth, do not conceal my blood. Let it cry out on my behalf. 19 Even now my witness is in heaven. My advocate is there on high. 20 My friends scorn me, but I pour out my tears to God. 21 I need someone to mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends. 22 For soon I must go down that road from which I will never return.
“God designed music, sound, and vibrations to move, accompany, and push the voice of thought, communication, and love, so thatyour actions fit the vibe of your intentions, without misinterpretation or deception.” ~ Jon Barnes
You were created to imagine and do what God has designed for you to do and He knows exactly what that looks like.Before you were born, your fate was sealed in God’s mind and now you are creating that vision.When you connect to God’s vision, you can see yourself and what you must do with His Communication, Commandments, and Conditions.
God’s Calculations are infinitely far greater and above our primitive thoughts, patterns, comparisons, and wisdom and our imaginations are designed to perceive this fact. Our hearts can calculate the love of God when we connect to His Spirit to understand what the flesh of man cannot.
As a result, we become content with the beauty and wonder of God, His Spirit, and Directives by choosing His Will over our own free will. This Great Gain of Glorious Love and Passion can only come from the Cross with The Blood of Christ, with Jesus as our Savior and Lord.God has effectively communicated that His Plan is The Only Plan!
When you go outside after the sun rises, do you notice that God’s creations, plans, people, things, and character respect and follow God’s Communication or are you following your own evil thoughts to hell?
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Job’s Fourth Speech: A Response to Zophar
12 Then Job spoke again:
2 “You people really know everything, don’t you? And when you die, wisdom will die with you! 3 Well, I know a few things myself— and you’re no better than I am. Who doesn’t know these things you’ve been saying? 4 Yet my friends laugh at me, for I call on God and expect an answer. I am a just and blameless man, yet they laugh at me. 5 People who are at ease mock those in trouble. They give a push to people who are stumbling. 6 But robbers are left in peace, and those who provoke God live in safety— though God keeps them in his power.[a]
7 “Just ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you. 8 Speak to the earth, and it will instruct you. Let the fish in the sea speak to you. 9 For they all know that my disaster[b] has come from the hand of the Lord. 10 For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being. 11 The ear tests the words it hears just as the mouth distinguishes between foods. 12 Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.
13 “But true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his. 14 What he destroys cannot be rebuilt. When he puts someone in prison, there is no escape. 15 If he holds back the rain, the earth becomes a desert. If he releases the waters, they flood the earth. 16 Yes, strength and wisdom are his; deceivers and deceived are both in his power. 17 He leads counselors away, stripped of good judgment; wise judges become fools. 18 He removes the royal robe of kings. They are led away with ropes around their waist. 19 He leads priests away, stripped of status; he overthrows those with long years in power. 20 He silences the trusted adviser and removes the insight of the elders. 21 He pours disgrace upon princes and disarms the strong.
22 “He uncovers mysteries hidden in darkness; he brings light to the deepest gloom. 23 He builds up nations, and he destroys them. He expands nations, and he abandons them. 24 He strips kings of understanding and leaves them wandering in a pathless wasteland. 25 They grope in the darkness without a light. He makes them stagger like drunkards.
“Being quick to judge with anger can shut down necessary communication, lessons to learn, solutions to problems, and answers to prayers, because of your impatience.” ~ Jon Barnes
Listen to what God has given you and follow what He has said. Share your faith to help others see the practical loving side of your work and the Hand of God on your life. Explain and show how your blessings from God has shaped your life and others around you.
This direct line of communication will help you to give soft answers to become more effective and efficient in your daily life and personal missionary work. You don’t need a title, money, or office to become a personal missionary for God.
Your actions will label your missionary work and your true gift will label the Love of God in your life to bless others, as well. Continue to encourage others and let God judge and do the rest. Use the tools God has ordained you to have that points to the Bible and follow practices of direct communication in love, patience, and kindness.
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Are you a patient missionary worker for God?
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2 Chronicles 31
Hezekiah’s Religious Reforms
31 When the festival ended, the Israelites who attended went to all the towns of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh, and they smashed all the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherah poles, and removed the pagan shrines and altars. After this, the Israelites returned to their own towns and homes.
2 Hezekiah then organized the priests and Levites into divisions to offer the burnt offerings and peace offerings, and to worship and give thanks and praise to the Lord at the gates of the Temple.3 The king also made a personal contribution of animals for the daily morning and evening burnt offerings, the weekly Sabbath festivals, the monthly new moon festivals, and the annual festivals as prescribed in the Law of the Lord.4 In addition, he required the people in Jerusalem to bring a portion of their goods to the priests and Levites, so they could devote themselves fully to the Law of the Lord.
5 When the people of Israel heard these requirements, they responded generously by bringing the first share of their grain, new wine, olive oil, honey, and all the produce of their fields. They brought a large quantity—a tithe of all they produced.6 The people who had moved to Judah from Israel, and the people of Judah themselves, brought in the tithes of their cattle, sheep, and goats and a tithe of the things that had been dedicated to the Lord their God, and they piled them up in great heaps.7 They began piling them up in late spring, and the heaps continued to grow until early autumn.[a]8 When Hezekiah and his officials came and saw these huge piles, they thanked the Lord and his people Israel!
9 “Where did all this come from?” Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites.
10 And Azariah the high priest, from the family of Zadok, replied, “Since the people began bringing their gifts to the Lord’s Temple, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare. The Lord has blessed his people, and all this is left over.”
11 Hezekiah ordered that storerooms be prepared in the Temple of the Lord. When this was done,12 the people faithfully brought all the gifts, tithes, and other items dedicated for use in the Temple. Conaniah the Levite was put in charge, assisted by his brother Shimei.13 The supervisors under them were Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismakiah, Mahath, and Benaiah. These appointments were made by King Hezekiah and Azariah, the chief official in the Temple of God.
14 Kore son of Imnah the Levite, who was the gatekeeper at the East Gate, was put in charge of distributing the voluntary offerings given to God, the gifts, and the things that had been dedicated to the Lord.15 His faithful assistants were Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah. They distributed the gifts among the families of priests in their towns by their divisions, dividing the gifts fairly among old and young alike.16 They distributed the gifts to all males three years old or older, regardless of their place in the genealogical records. The distribution went to all who would come to the Lord’s Temple to perform their daily duties according to their divisions.17 They distributed gifts to the priests who were listed by their families in the genealogical records, and to the Levites twenty years old or older who were listed according to their jobs and their divisions.18 Food allotments were also given to the families of all those listed in the genealogical records, including their little babies, wives, sons, and daughters. For they had all been faithful in purifying themselves.
19 As for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who were living in the open villages around the towns, men were appointed by name to distribute portions to every male among the priests and to all the Levites listed in the genealogical records.
20 In this way, King Hezekiah handled the distribution throughout all Judah, doing what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God.21 In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.
“There is no need to be rude or impatient, especially when God and His people are trying to help you out with understanding the things about work, life, family, love, and eternity.” ~ Jon Barnes
There is plenty of missing pieces with communication when people are so busy doing too many jobs and not one job with excellence.Time and attention of the working class are stretched into too many directions to focus on efficiency, resource management, and quality.Find a way to maximize the energy and talent that you have for God.
It IS time to rethink, recalibrate, and rewire our energy into making things better for the good of all and not just our own selfish ideas.Listening, explaining, and asking good questions will help us all to learn how to treat each other better in the best or worst of times. God’s wisdom teaches us how to rethink and not be rude.
You are required to be kind at all times to show the love of God and the Power of wisdom in your thinking, actions, and solutions you choose.The best communication, answers, and knowledge will come from God when you humble yourself, pray, and ask Him for leadership, guidance, and love. Relax and let God’s Power do the work for the kingdom, which is full of His Glory.
Are you treating people like slaves with your negative attitude, lacking focus, love, and honest fairness or is life about your own glory?
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2 Chronicles 13
Abijah’s War with Jeroboam
13 Abijah began to rule over Judah in the eighteenth year of Jeroboam’s reign in Israel.2 He reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother was Maacah,[a] the daughter of Uriel from Gibeah.
Then war broke out between Abijah and Jeroboam.3 Judah, led by King Abijah, fielded 400,000 select warriors, while Jeroboam mustered 800,000 select troops from Israel.
4 When the army of Judah arrived in the hill country of Ephraim, Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim and shouted to Jeroboam and all Israel: “Listen to me!5 Don’t you realize that the Lord, the God of Israel, made a lasting covenant[b] with David, giving him and his descendants the throne of Israel forever?6 Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, a mere servant of David’s son Solomon, rebelled against his master.7 Then a whole gang of scoundrels joined him, defying Solomon’s son Rehoboam when he was young and inexperienced and could not stand up to them.
8 “Do you really think you can stand against the kingdom of the Lord that is led by the descendants of David? You may have a vast army, and you have those gold calves that Jeroboam made as your gods.9 But you have chased away the priests of the Lord (the descendants of Aaron) and the Levites, and you have appointed your own priests, just like the pagan nations. You let anyone become a priest these days! Whoever comes to be dedicated with a young bull and seven rams can become a priest of these so-called gods of yours!
10 “But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not abandoned him. Only the descendants of Aaron serve the Lord as priests, and the Levites alone may help them in their work.11 They present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the Lord every morning and evening. They place the Bread of the Presence on the holy table, and they light the gold lampstand every evening. We are following the instructions of the Lord our God, but you have abandoned him.12 So you see, God is with us. He is our leader. His priests blow their trumpets and lead us into battle against you. O people of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed!”
13 Meanwhile, Jeroboam had secretly sent part of his army around behind the men of Judah to ambush them.14 When Judah realized that they were being attacked from the front and the rear, they cried out to the Lord for help. Then the priests blew the trumpets,15 and the men of Judah began to shout. At the sound of their battle cry, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel and routed them before Abijah and the army of Judah.
16 The Israelite army fled from Judah, and God handed them over to Judah in defeat.17 Abijah and his army inflicted heavy losses on them; 500,000 of Israel’s select troops were killed that day.18 So Judah defeated Israel on that occasion because they trusted in the Lord, the God of their ancestors.19 Abijah and his army pursued Jeroboam’s troops and captured some of his towns, including Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, along with their surrounding villages.
20 So Jeroboam of Israel never regained his power during Abijah’s lifetime, and finally the Lord struck him down and he died.21 Meanwhile, Abijah of Judah grew more and more powerful. He married fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.
22 The rest of the events of Abijah’s reign, including his words and deeds, are recorded in The Commentary of Iddo the Prophet.
“God’s pattern for salvation is like sandpaper to the skin of evil people or buttermilk lotion to good people, who believe.” ~ Jon Barnes
Outside your front door is an opportunity to love someone you meet.It is that simple. Many of us hate the person next to us and completely ignore people walking by us.I am guilty of being unfriendly, unkind, too focused, and inhumane at times, as well.But, the more I smile, greet, laugh, love, help, assist, and rest within God’s wisdom, the best experiences, conversations, and events happen.People learn about the salvation of God from your lifestyle, not your empty words.Your works of love are not sandpaper.
God helps us to find better ways to communicate, help and love people by staying connected to scriptures, stories, parables, and prayer.Our imperfection is not the issue, it’s our love and forgiveness that is in question.Don’t be so rigid in your thinking, giving, time, and ways.Kindly enjoy the people right in front of you and don’t stop loving them.You don’t have to become like them, but you strive to become like God!
Challenges will always come, like the rubbing of sandpaper onto the skin, but when you are clearly prepared, Healing Begins.Let God heal you of your old problems and war wounds and strive to live a better lifestyle in Him without sandpaper. Understanding comes from the heart and not your mind.Your mind learns from what you believe and do, not from what you think or say.Throw away the sandpaper thinking.
Have you accepted the pattern of God’s Salvation or are you still holding onto your sandpaper?
Enjoy The Reading
1 Chronicles 15
Preparing to Move the Ark
15 David now built several buildings for himself in the City of David. He also prepared a place for the Ark of God and set up a special tent for it.2 Then he commanded, “No one except the Levites may carry the Ark of God. The Lord has chosen them to carry the Ark of the Lord and to serve him forever.”
3 Then David summoned all Israel to Jerusalem to bring the Ark of the Lord to the place he had prepared for it.4 This is the number of the descendants of Aaron (the priests) and the Levites who were called together:
5 From the clan of Kohath, 120, with Uriel as their leader.
6 From the clan of Merari, 220, with Asaiah as their leader.
7 From the clan of Gershon,[a] 130, with Joel as their leader.
8 From the descendants of Elizaphan, 200, with Shemaiah as their leader.
9 From the descendants of Hebron, 80, with Eliel as their leader.
10 From the descendants of Uzziel, 112, with Amminadab as their leader.
11 Then David summoned the priests, Zadok and Abiathar, and these Levite leaders: Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab.12 He said to them, “You are the leaders of the Levite families. You must purify yourselves and all your fellow Levites, so you can bring the Ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it.13 Because you Levites did not carry the Ark the first time, the anger of the Lord our God burst out against us. We failed to ask God how to move it properly.”14 So the priests and the Levites purified themselves in order to bring the Ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to Jerusalem.15 Then the Levites carried the Ark of God on their shoulders with its carrying poles, just as the Lord had instructed Moses.
16 David also ordered the Levite leaders to appoint a choir of Levites who were singers and musicians to sing joyful songs to the accompaniment of harps, lyres, and cymbals.17 So the Levites appointed Heman son of Joel along with his fellow Levites: Asaph son of Berekiah, and Ethan son of Kushaiah from the clan of Merari.18 The following men were chosen as their assistants: Zechariah, Jaaziel,[b] Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, and the gatekeepers—Obed-edom and Jeiel.
19 The musicians Heman, Asaph, and Ethan were chosen to sound the bronze cymbals.20 Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah were chosen to play the harps.[c]21 Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah were chosen to play the lyres.[d]22 Kenaniah, the head Levite, was chosen as the choir leader because of his skill.
23 Berekiah and Elkanah were chosen to guard[e] the Ark.24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer—all of whom were priests—were chosen to blow the trumpets as they marched in front of the Ark of God. Obed-edom and Jehiah were chosen to guard the Ark.
Moving the Ark to Jerusalem
25 Then David and the elders of Israel and the generals of the army[f] went to the house of Obed-edom to bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant up to Jerusalem with a great celebration.26 And because God was clearly helping the Levites as they carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams.
27 David was dressed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who carried the Ark, and also the singers, and Kenaniah the choir leader. David was also wearing a priestly garment.[g]28 So all Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant with shouts of joy, the blowing of rams’ horns and trumpets, the crashing of cymbals, and loud playing on harps and lyres.
29 But as the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David skipping about and laughing with joy, she was filled with contempt for him.