“Don’t shortchange the importance of doing your Biblical homework as trick questions are difficult to answer if you haven’t practiced beforehand.”~TB
When I was in school, I seldom— if ever— did or turned in my homework or studied. I was clever enough to pass my tests and still receive somewhat decent grades in spite of my blatant disregard for homework. When I went to college, however, not turning in homework or studying was much harder to fake as the tests were more cumbersome and I couldn’t skate by as easily. I had to fail to realize how important studying and doing the homework correlated with a passing grade. As I continue my walk with God, I realize that studying and homework are even more important, as the opposition uses trick questions and fake answers to get us to stray.
The devil’s objective isn’t just about getting us to sin. It’s more to do with derailing God’s purpose for our lives. He’ll use cheap tricks and smoke and mirrors— creating seemingly lifelike problems to get you from deepening your relationship with Christ. This is where all that studying and homework come into play. When you make daily time for the Lord and when you read His teachings, the devil’s schemes are more easily discernible. But, if you don’t do the reading or know God on a deeper level, satan’s party tricks will sweep you up into a mental storm that can be difficult to overcome. If you find yourself in a pop quiz that you didn’t study for, go back to the Source Material that is the Bible.
What the devil doesn’t want you to realize is that all of these tests, trials, and tribulations are open book. Which means that at any given time, you can consult God and the Bible for the answers. Until our last breath on this Earth, we can retake tests as needed, with God lovingly showing us the way when we humble ourselves to put in the work. No test or walk is perfect. There are many times where I still fail to study, only to realize that I must do the work so that I too will not stumble. Thank God (literally) that He still loves a slacker like me and allows me to learn. So friends, learn to discipline yourselves to do your homework, study the word, and grow with God so that you spot the fake answers and pass your tests.
Are you ready to improve your study and homework methods?
Enjoy the reading
1In that day you will sing: “I will praise you, O LORD ! You were angry with me, but not any more. Now you comfort me.
2See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The LORD GOD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.”
3With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!
4In that wonderful day you will sing: “Thank the LORD ! Praise his name! Tell the nations what he has done. Let them know how mighty he is!
5Sing to the LORD, for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world.
6Let all the people of Jerusalem shout his praise with joy! For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.”
“When you fail to cultivate a relationship and understanding with God, you are hedging your bets, placing your faith in a fallen world”~TB
People do not want to take responsibility for learning the Truth, so they split hairs to justify their laziness. Willfully blind people will cherry pick lines from the Bible to “refute” the Truth. Instead of reading to understand, they read to criticize, judge, and condemn. Friends, the Bible cannot be understood by the blind, so why do you listen to them? When you fail to read the Bible for yourself, you fall prey to their wicked defiance because you lack the context, understanding, and sight to recognize the Truth. Stop allowing half-truths to dictate your life. If you cannot speak or see things plainly, you are operating out of confusion.
Following all religions is like trying to play it safe without putting in the honest effort. There is only one road to salvation, everything else is shoddy imitations, pretending to mirror the real thing. If you cherry pick from multiple theologies to justify your salvation, truly you have none. What’s sad about those who try and conform to all “gods” is that they fail to know who they are worshipping. How can you believe or follow something that you have not learned or practiced? More to the point, how can you follow God without reading the Word or forming a relationship with Him? The point is, without the Truth, all else is a lie. Do not wait until the end to throw a hail mary for your salvation. While you have the ability to be saved, God recognizes your heart, not just your words.
Are you gambling with the Truth and placing your bets in Hell?
Enjoy the reading
1Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
2Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
3For he has gathered the exiles from many lands, from east and west, from north and south.
4Some wandered in the wilderness, lost and homeless.
5Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died.
6“ LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he rescued them from their distress.
7He led them straight to safety, to a city where they could live.
8Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
9For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
10Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
11They rebelled against the words of God, scorning the counsel of the Most High.
12That is why he broke them with hard labor; they fell, and no one was there to help them.
13“ LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
14He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains.
15Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
16For he broke down their prison gates of bronze; he cut apart their bars of iron.
17Some were fools; they rebelled and suffered for their sins.
18They couldn’t stand the thought of food, and they were knocking on death’s door.
19“ LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
20He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.
21Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
22Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.
23Some went off to sea in ships, plying the trade routes of the world.
24They, too, observed the LORD ’s power in action, his impressive works on the deepest seas.
25He spoke, and the winds rose, stirring up the waves.
26Their ships were tossed to the heavens and plunged again to the depths; the sailors cringed in terror.
27They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end.
28“ LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
29He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves.
30What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor!
31Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
32Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation and before the leaders of the nation.
33He changes rivers into deserts, and springs of water into dry, thirsty land.
34He turns the fruitful land into salty wastelands, because of the wickedness of those who live there.
35But he also turns deserts into pools of water, the dry land into springs of water.
36He brings the hungry to settle there and to build their cities.
37They sow their fields, plant their vineyards, and harvest their bumper crops.
38How he blesses them! They raise large families there, and their herds of livestock increase.
39When they decrease in number and become impoverished through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
40the LORD pours contempt on their princes, causing them to wander in trackless wastelands.
41But he rescues the poor from trouble and increases their families like flocks of sheep.
42The godly will see these things and be glad, while the wicked are struck silent.
43Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the LORD .
“You have the choice to pass the buck and not develop your talents and relationship with God. Just don’t be upset watching other people pass you by.”~TB
Quit coveting the talents and belongings of your neighbor. You have the same hours and minutes in the day to develop yourself. These things don’t happen overnight. Each day, you make choices to either develop and grow or remain in your stupor. You can choose to get up, read your Bible, and make sound decisions. Friends, hard work and labor are Biblically inspired! What you do with your time is up to you.
You can make excuses for your life, your lack of development, and absentee relationship with God. If you’re creative enough, those excuses will seem valid. They may work on your brothers and sisters, but make no mistake, we are all seen by God for who we truly are. Don’t think your confusion surprises Him.
Are you developing your relationship or are you envying the labor of your neighbor?
Enjoy the reading
1Sing praises to God, our strength. Sing to the God of Jacob.
2Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp.
3Blow the ram’s horn at new moon, and again at full moon to call a festival!
4For this is required by the decrees of Israel; it is a regulation of the God of Jacob.
5He made it a law for Israel when he attacked Egypt to set us free. I heard an unknown voice say,
6“Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.
7You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you; I answered out of the thundercloud and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah. Interlude
8“Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings. O Israel, if you would only listen to me!
9You must never have a foreign god; you must not bow down before a false god.
10For it was I, the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.
11“But no, my people wouldn’t listen. Israel did not want me around.
12So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas.
13Oh, that my people would listen to me! Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths!
14How quickly I would then subdue their enemies! How soon my hands would be upon their foes!
15Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him; they would be doomed forever.
16But I would feed you with the finest wheat. I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock.”
“Even when we come together, there are too many things that keep our focus and attention on different technologies, instruments, phones, computers, books, TV, and activities, without true love and affection for one another.”~ Jon Barnes
Find a better balance to love God first and give the love to your families like you love yourself.Love yourself like you love God and the circle will be complete to freely give to others.The use of technologies will make better sense to us all as we balance technology, humanity, and God’s commandments in our lives.
It’s not hard to honestly look at our situation on earth to see the disconnect, disparity, and unfairness that we perpetuate,as we disrespect God’s laws of math, science, education, music, life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness with lies, propaganda, conspiracy, bureaucracy, and satanic thinking.These negative things all seem to normal in our societies as if our heads are stuck up our butts. Challenge your approach and motives.
Let us remove our heads from out of the sand, take a stand with God to personally do better service, quality work, balance family time, and reduce the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses down the street.Let us keep up with God and His Affirmation Plan to affirm our much need Spiritual Affirmative Action Plan for Humanity, Kindness, and Love!
Together, we must do better?
Enjoy The Reading
2 Chronicles 2
Preparations for Building the Temple
2 [a]Solomon decided to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord, and also a royal palace for himself.2 [b]He enlisted a force of 70,000 laborers, 80,000 men to quarry stone in the hill country, and 3,600 foremen.
3 Solomon also sent this message to King Hiram[c] at Tyre:
“Send me cedar logs as you did for my father, David, when he was building his palace.4 I am about to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God. It will be a place set apart to burn fragrant incense before him, to display the special sacrificial bread, and to sacrifice burnt offerings each morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, at new moon celebrations, and at the other appointed festivals of the Lord our God. He has commanded Israel to do these things forever.
5 “This must be a magnificent Temple because our God is greater than all other gods.6 But who can really build him a worthy home? Not even the highest heavens can contain him! So who am I to consider building a Temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices to him?
7 “So send me a master craftsman who can work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as with purple, scarlet, and blue cloth. He must be a skilled engraver who can work with the craftsmen of Judah and Jerusalem who were selected by my father, David.
8 “Also send me cedar, cypress, and red sandalwood[d] logs from Lebanon, for I know that your men are without equal at cutting timber in Lebanon. I will send my men to help them.9 An immense amount of timber will be needed, for the Temple I am going to build will be very large and magnificent.10 In payment for your woodcutters, I will send 100,000 bushels of crushed wheat, 100,000 bushels of barley,[e] 110,000 gallons of wine, and 110,000 gallons of olive oil.[f]”
11 King Hiram sent this letter of reply to Solomon:
“It is because the Lord loves his people that he has made you their king!12 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth! He has given King David a wise son, gifted with skill and understanding, who will build a Temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself.
13 “I am sending you a master craftsman named Huram-abi, who is extremely talented.14 His mother is from the tribe of Dan in Israel, and his father is from Tyre. He is skillful at making things from gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and he also works with stone and wood. He can work with purple, blue, and scarlet cloth and fine linen. He is also an engraver and can follow any design given to him. He will work with your craftsmen and those appointed by my lord David, your father.
15 “Send along the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine that my lord has mentioned.16 We will cut whatever timber you need from the Lebanon mountains and will float the logs in rafts down the coast of the Mediterranean Sea[g] to Joppa. From there you can transport the logs up to Jerusalem.”
17 Solomon took a census of all foreigners in the land of Israel, like the census his father had taken, and he counted 153,600.18 He assigned 70,000 of them as common laborers, 80,000 as quarry workers in the hill country, and 3,600 as foremen.
“Many times we put stumbling blocks in front of ourselves, cutting off communication, thinking up lies, not listening, and imagining things that don’t exist, being dishonest with God.” ~ Jon Barnes
Holding on to bad choices blocks good information from transmitting from the source of God’s Stories into your heart, mind, body, soul, and spirit. When presented with the facts, we tend to build bridges to lies, always talking about and doing negative, nonproductive, and hurtful things. Our time expires from waste, distraction, excuses, and laziness, which prevents us from seeing and doing the true work God wants us to accomplish.
We play games, blaming each other by leaving our assignments undone, running from the truth, and hiding behind the roadblocks that we have personally built in our disobedience. Together we all build the perfect blocks to permanently shut down good work. The blame game blocks future choices because we are stuck with clogged arteries and our main organs cannot function properly to move clean blood and good information freely.
Your mind wants to search for the truth, but it cannot function well with old, inaccurate, and misinformation. We then teach each other, our children, businesses, schools, churches, and other organizations how to enslave others with non-Biblical principals called tradition, that relates to all of us. Fortunately, the Spirit of God unblocks anything with love, obedience, kindness, long-suffering, meekness, gentleness, and patience, when we maintain our bridge and roadways with God’s ways.
Are you paying close attention to see how good people use God’s lifestyle to break through major roadblocks in their lives or do you want God to use the belt on your butt to unclog your roadblocks?
Enjoy Today’s Readings
Warning Against Falling Away
1Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And God permitting, we will do so. 4It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. 9Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
The Certainty of God’s Promise
13When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.16People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
“Distractions are weapons used to divide and conquer the good intentions of loving people, hoping that you would overlook simplicity of truth and God’s story of Love.” ~ Jon Barnes
When I see that extreme emotions being used to agitate and blindside people in their daily logical thinking process, I then place my full attention onto the fundamentals and commandments of God’s Love. Then I’m able to make clear choices and decisions of the heart, after purging all the evil, which may lay dormant at the subatomic level.
We are all unable to concentrate in an annoyed state of mind so try to step back, pray, think, and focus on the truth, before you speak, write, or act. This is the best weapon against confusion and distraction. Bless God!
Bless God that you are not confused or distracted by the lies. Be thankful that God has given you a steady mind, heart, eyes, ears, and body to control and work with. Let’s continue to help all people to see and love the truth in a positive, respectful way. Be prepared to help with good works.
Are you ready to help with the truth in love?
Enjoy today’s question
1 Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—2 and all the brothers and sisters[a] with me,
To the churches in Galatia:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
No Other Gospel
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Paul Called by God
11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin.12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas[b]and stayed with him fifteen days.19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James,the Lord’s brother.20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
21 Then I went to Syria and Cilicia.22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”24 And they praised God because of me.