“Building a relationship with God is a worthy labor that pays more dividends than all of the stocks combined.”
When God is the priority in your life, your path becomes clearer as you work to get your affairs in order. Because He knows all and you’ve done the work to connect with the Holy Spirit, your footsteps are directed to the objectives God has for you.
Building that relationship is a labor because we all have a choice. We must deny our flesh-driven desires, turn our eyes above, and work to know our maker. Friends, that is a daily labor as we are painfully human and require consistent and continuous effort to do what is right. Thank God for forgiveness and everlasting love.
To know God is to know Truth and the world goes against that truth. The world will lead you on a carnal path destined for destruction. Spending time with God allows you to discern the real from the fake; Good from evil. Learn to find joy in walking with Christ as He delights in those who seek Him.
Are you doing the labor to know God?
Enjoy the reading
1 Then the LORD thundered, “Bring on the men appointed to punish the city! Tell them to bring their weapons with them!” 2 Six men soon appeared from the upper gate that faces north, each carrying a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man dressed in linen, who carried a writer’s case at his side. They all went into the Temple courtyard and stood beside the bronze altar. 3 Then the glory of the God of Israel rose up from between the cherubim, where it had rested, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. And the LORD called to the man dressed in linen who was carrying the writer’s case. 4 He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.” 5 Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! 6 Kill them all—old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin right here at the Temple.” So they began by killing the seventy leaders. 7 “Defile the Temple!” the LORD commanded. “Fill its courtyards with corpses. Go!” So they went and began killing throughout the city. 8 While they were out killing, I was all alone. I fell face down on the ground and cried out, “O Sovereign LORD ! Will your fury against Jerusalem wipe out everyone left in Israel?” 9 Then he said to me, “The sins of the people of Israel and Judah are very, very great. The entire land is full of murder; the city is filled with injustice. They are saying, ‘The LORD doesn’t see it! The LORD has abandoned the land!’ 10 So I will not spare them or have any pity on them. I will fully repay them for all they have done.” 11 Then the man in linen clothing, who carried the writer’s case, reported back and said, “I have done as you commanded.”
“Cultivate your relationship with God so that you get what you need from Him, rather than bleeding dry the people around you.”~TB
We human beings are inherently needy, which is by design. We need God and when we seek Him, we find those needs met. The problem that many of us face is that we continually look to other people, places, or things to fulfill needs that only God can meet. This results in messed up relationships, poor substance choices, destructive habits, you name it, we’re doing it. Even worse, if you look at our society, we’re perpetuating and championing this broken system.
Instead of relying on the people around you, fill your need by going to the everlasting well that is Christ. Christ sustains us and never runs out or dries up. His Word is perfect, rejuvenating and full of the spiritual vitamins that heal our wounds and makes us whole once again. But first, we have to start by activating the relationship. God will never force His will on you, you must decide that you need him. And when that happens, your neediness finds its rightful place.
Are you spiritually needy or are you relying on unfit sources?
Enjoy the reading
1“What sorrow awaits the leaders of my people—the shepherds of my sheep—for they have destroyed and scattered the very ones they were expected to care for,” says the LORD .
2Therefore, this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to these shepherds: “Instead of caring for my flock and leading them to safety, you have deserted them and driven them to destruction. Now I will pour out judgment on you for the evil you have done to them.
3But I will gather together the remnant of my flock from the countries where I have driven them. I will bring them back to their own sheepfold, and they will be fruitful and increase in number.
4Then I will appoint responsible shepherds who will care for them, and they will never be afraid again. Not a single one will be lost or missing. I, the LORD, have spoken!
5“For the time is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land.
6And this will be his name: ‘The LORD Is Our Righteousness.’ In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety.
7“In that day,” says the LORD, “when people are taking an oath, they will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’
8Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.’ Then they will live in their own land.”
9My heart is broken because of the false prophets, and my bones tremble. I stagger like a drunkard, like someone overcome by wine, because of the holy words the LORD has spoken against them.
10For the land is full of adultery, and it lies under a curse. The land itself is in mourning— its wilderness pastures are dried up. For they all do evil and abuse what power they have.
11“Even the priests and prophets are ungodly, wicked men. I have seen their despicable acts right here in my own Temple,” says the LORD .
12“Therefore, the paths they take will become slippery. They will be chased through the dark, and there they will fall. For I will bring disaster upon them at the time fixed for their punishment. I, the LORD, have spoken!
13“I saw that the prophets of Samaria were terribly evil, for they prophesied in the name of Baal and led my people of Israel into sin.
14But now I see that the prophets of Jerusalem are even worse! They commit adultery and love dishonesty. They encourage those who are doing evil so that no one turns away from their sins. These prophets are as wicked as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah once were.”
15Therefore, this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says concerning the prophets: “I will feed them with bitterness and give them poison to drink. For it is because of Jerusalem’s prophets that wickedness has filled this land.”
16This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says to his people: “Do not listen to these prophets when they prophesy to you, filling you with futile hopes. They are making up everything they say. They do not speak for the LORD !
17They keep saying to those who despise my word, ‘Don’t worry! The LORD says you will have peace!’ And to those who stubbornly follow their own desires, they say, ‘No harm will come your way!’
18“Have any of these prophets been in the LORD ’s presence to hear what he is really saying? Has even one of them cared enough to listen?
19Look! The LORD ’s anger bursts out like a storm, a whirlwind that swirls down on the heads of the wicked.
20The anger of the LORD will not diminish until it has finished all he has planned. In the days to come you will understand all this very clearly.
21“I have not sent these prophets, yet they run around claiming to speak for me. I have given them no message, yet they go on prophesying.
22If they had stood before me and listened to me, they would have spoken my words, and they would have turned my people from their evil ways and deeds.
23Am I a God who is only close at hand?” says the LORD . “No, I am far away at the same time.
24Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the LORD .
25“I have heard these prophets say, ‘Listen to the dream I had from God last night.’ And then they proceed to tell lies in my name.
26How long will this go on? If they are prophets, they are prophets of deceit, inventing everything they say.
27By telling these false dreams, they are trying to get my people to forget me, just as their ancestors did by worshiping the idols of Baal.
28“Let these false prophets tell their dreams, but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word. There is a difference between straw and grain!
29Does not my word burn like fire?” says the LORD . “Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?
30“Therefore,” says the LORD, “I am against these prophets who steal messages from each other and claim they are from me.
31I am against these smooth-tongued prophets who say, ‘This prophecy is from the LORD !’
32I am against these false prophets. Their imaginary dreams are flagrant lies that lead my people into sin. I did not send or appoint them, and they have no message at all for my people. I, the LORD, have spoken!
33“Suppose one of the people or one of the prophets or priests asks you, ‘What prophecy has the LORD burdened you with now?’ You must reply, ‘You are the burden! The LORD says he will abandon you!’
34“If any prophet, priest, or anyone else says, ‘I have a prophecy from the LORD,’ I will punish that person along with his entire family.
35You should keep asking each other, ‘What is the LORD ’s answer?’ or ‘What is the LORD saying?’
36But stop using this phrase, ‘prophecy from the LORD .’ For people are using it to give authority to their own ideas, turning upside down the words of our God, the living God, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
37“This is what you should say to the prophets: ‘What is the LORD ’s answer?’ or ‘What is the LORD saying?’
38But suppose they respond, ‘This is a prophecy from the LORD !’ Then you should say, ‘This is what the LORD says: Because you have used this phrase, “prophecy from the LORD,” even though I warned you not to use it,
39I will forget you completely. I will expel you from my presence, along with this city that I gave to you and your ancestors.
40And I will make you an object of ridicule, and your name will be infamous throughout the ages.’”
“Start your day with Him to put your best foot forward.”~TB
In the Beginning
Give God the first fruits of your day so that you can download the vital information. This way you can have the resources to attack your daily grind with the best information out there; from God. When you take that time in the morning, you find the best way to go about your daily responsibilities because you understand that you’re not working for man, but for God Himself.
At the End
When you give your daily first fruits, your day is spent and your sleep is earned because you obeyed our Father in Heaven. We tend to stay out of trouble and harms way because we followed our path, minimizing the human propensities of looking at other people’s paths. God gives us ample instructions and assignments to ensure that we are successful. To be connected to your purpose, be consistent in your first fruits.
Are you giving your first fruits or your first excuses in the morning?
Enjoy the reading
1“Run up and down every street in Jerusalem,” says the LORD . “Look high and low; search throughout the city! If you can find even one just and honest person, I will not destroy the city.
2But even when they are under oath, saying, ‘As surely as the LORD lives,’ they are still telling lies!”
3LORD, you are searching for honesty. You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to be corrected. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent.
4Then I said, “But what can we expect from the poor? They are ignorant. They don’t know the ways of the LORD . They don’t understand God’s laws.
5So I will go and speak to their leaders. Surely they know the ways of the LORD and understand God’s laws.” But the leaders, too, as one man, had thrown off God’s yoke and broken his chains.
6So now a lion from the forest will attack them; a wolf from the desert will pounce on them. A leopard will lurk near their towns, tearing apart any who dare to venture out. For their rebellion is great, and their sins are many.
7“How can I pardon you? For even your children have turned from me. They have sworn by gods that are not gods at all! I fed my people until they were full. But they thanked me by committing adultery and lining up at the brothels.
8They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor’s wife.
9Should I not punish them for this?” says the LORD . “Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?
10“Go down the rows of the vineyards and destroy the grapevines, leaving a scattered few alive. Strip the branches from the vines, for these people do not belong to the LORD .
11The people of Israel and Judah are full of treachery against me,” says the LORD .
12“They have lied about the LORD and said, ‘He won’t bother us! No disasters will come upon us. There will be no war or famine.
13God’s prophets are all windbags who don’t really speak for him. Let their predictions of disaster fall on themselves!’”
14Therefore, this is what the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies says: “Because the people are talking like this, my messages will flame out of your mouth and burn the people like kindling wood.
15O Israel, I will bring a distant nation against you,” says the LORD . “It is a mighty nation, an ancient nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you cannot understand.
16Their weapons are deadly; their warriors are mighty.
17They will devour the food of your harvest; they will devour your sons and daughters. They will devour your flocks and herds; they will devour your grapes and figs. And they will destroy your fortified towns, which you think are so safe.
18“Yet even in those days I will not blot you out completely,” says the LORD .
19“And when your people ask, ‘Why did the LORD our God do all this to us?’ you must reply, ‘You rejected him and gave yourselves to foreign gods in your own land. Now you will serve foreigners in a land that is not your own.’
20“Make this announcement to Israel, and say this to Judah:
21Listen, you foolish and senseless people, with eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear.
22Have you no respect for me? Why don’t you tremble in my presence? I, the LORD, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set.
23But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned away and abandoned me.
24They do not say from the heart, ‘Let us live in awe of the LORD our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.’
25Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings. Your sin has robbed you of all these good things.
26“Among my people are wicked men who lie in wait for victims like a hunter hiding in a blind. They continually set traps to catch people.
27Like a cage filled with birds, their homes are filled with evil plots. And now they are great and rich.
28They are fat and sleek, and there is no limit to their wicked deeds. They refuse to provide justice to orphans and deny the rights of the poor.
29Should I not punish them for this?” says the LORD . “Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?
30A horrible and shocking thing has happened in this land—
31the prophets give false prophecies, and the priests rule with an iron hand. Worse yet, my people like it that way! But what will you do when the end comes?
“In order to hear God, we first have to evict all of the noise that is in our minds.”~TB
At Some Point
Are you aware of what you think about on a daily basis? Better yet, how do you talk to yourself internally? How you think and what you say to yourself ultimately confirms who and what you believe in. The negative junk that clogs our minds comes from two places: the opposition and some poor souls who poured their negativity onto you. The good news, it’s all lies. Even better news, you have the power to control and filter what you think and what you say to yourself. At some point, you have to take captive your thoughts and let the past hurts fade away.
Listening and following God daily is the ultimate way to evict the junky thoughts that fill your mind. This is because His Truth supersedes whatever anyone else says about you. Remember, He made you.So who better to believe, the One who created you or the one who was cast out of heaven? When you make it your mission to talk to God each and every day, notice the internal communication you receive. His words are kind, loving and true. In order to hear them loud and clear, evict the crap, the negative feedback loops and the like so that you may know your true self in Him
Are you ready to serve your negative thoughts their eviction papers?
Enjoy the reading
1Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer.
2Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem. Sit in a place of honor. Remove the chains of slavery from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
3For this is what the LORD says: “When I sold you into exile, I received no payment. Now I can redeem you without having to pay for you.”
4This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Long ago my people chose to live in Egypt. Now they are oppressed by Assyria.
5What is this?” asks the LORD . “Why are my people enslaved again? Those who rule them shout in exultation. My name is blasphemed all day long.
6But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them.”
7How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!
8The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the LORD returning to Jerusalem.
9Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song, for the LORD has comforted his people. He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10The LORD has demonstrated his holy power before the eyes of all the nations. All the ends of the earth will see the victory of our God.
11Get out! Get out and leave your captivity, where everything you touch is unclean. Get out of there and purify yourselves, you who carry home the sacred objects of the LORD .
12You will not leave in a hurry, running for your lives. For the LORD will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.
13See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted.
14But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.
15And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about.
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?
Enjoy the reading
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 the truth of perfection sounds so negative that you have to be careful how you deliver the message so that people can receive what God is sharing with you to tell others.”~ Jon Barnes
Living and showing your message will be a great example of role play, role modeling, and effecting positive changes in life, relationships, and family dynamics. The inside will see the outside of our character and they will never be strangers.Also, we will all piss each other off each day, if we allow the devil to steal of joy, sense of humor, and humility.It is always a good practice to reflect and think before talking so much.Writing and reading help a lot too.
Let God show you solutions in you quiet hour and notice how much stronger your faith develops to see the daily miracles right before your eyes. Do not fall off the deep edged cliff, because you took your eyes off of Christ, by thinking that you are perfect and know all things.Learn to listen and copy God’s ways in your thoughts, words, work, actions, and deeds.
Take small steps and look carefully into what you say and do, as you learn, grow, and improve your standing with God, family, friends, and enemies.Your timing and smile mean a lot when delivering the important daily messages of love, hope, and mercy.We are not robots, machines, aliens, or animal from the forest.Every battle is not for you to win.
Does the gift of Love requires you to sacrifice and give something that is perfect?
37 “My heart pounds as I think of this. It trembles within me. 2 Listen carefully to the thunder of God’s voice as it rolls from his mouth. 3 It rolls across the heavens, and his lightning flashes in every direction. 4 Then comes the roaring of the thunder— the tremendous voice of his majesty. He does not restrain it when he speaks. 5 God’s voice is glorious in the thunder. We can’t even imagine the greatness of his power.
6 “He directs the snow to fall on the earth and tells the rain to pour down. 7 Then everyone stops working so they can watch his power. 8 The wild animals take cover and stay inside their dens. 9 The stormy wind comes from its chamber, and the driving winds bring the cold. 10 God’s breath sends the ice, freezing wide expanses of water. 11 He loads the clouds with moisture, and they flash with his lightning. 12 The clouds churn about at his direction. They do whatever he commands throughout the earth. 13 He makes these things happen either to punish people or to show his unfailing love.
14 “Pay attention to this, Job. Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God! 15 Do you know how God controls the storm and causes the lightning to flash from his clouds? 16 Do you understand how he moves the clouds with wonderful perfection and skill? 17 When you are sweltering in your clothes and the south wind dies down and everything is still, 18 he makes the skies reflect the heat like a bronze mirror. Can you do that?
19 “So teach the rest of us what to say to God. We are too ignorant to make our own arguments. 20 Should God be notified that I want to speak? Can people even speak when they are confused?[a] 21 We cannot look at the sun, for it shines brightly in the sky when the wind clears away the clouds. 22 So also, golden splendor comes from the mountain of God.[b] He is clothed in dazzling splendor. 23 We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty; but even though he is just and righteous, he does not destroy us. 24 No wonder people everywhere fear him. All who are wise show him reverence.[c]”
“When you don’t have a budget for your own ideas, work, and faith, you are telling God and people that you don’t support what you do, believe, and think, which will have little to no value to people and God.”~ Jon Barnes
Your best efforts are not your thoughts and words, but the actions of your thoughts and words carried out in your daily activities, by faith in God.These motives are carried out because in your heart, you really believe God’s Word and you will pay the cost to follow Him.Being Cheap is not an option.
Using your personal assets to uphold, share, and shine the love of God is a service only you can provide.God will judge how well you manage your assets for Kingdom business and family affairs.Everything else will budget itself in order of priority, proficiency, and efficiency.
The convictions of your good actions come from God and you should act accordingly.Take the time and resources that are needed to start and finish each job and notice the wonderful steps of progress that will occur.You have the budget and the know-how, so get it done.
Did you spend all of your budget on your greedy self, leaving nothing for God?
Enjoy The Reading
Job Continues to Defend His Innocence
17 “My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out. The grave is ready to receive me. 2 I am surrounded by mockers. I watch how bitterly they taunt me.
3 “You must defend my innocence, O God, since no one else will stand up for me. 4 You have closed their minds to understanding, but do not let them triumph. 5 They betray their friends for their own advantage, so let their children faint with hunger.
6 “God has made a mockery of me among the people; they spit in my face. 7 My eyes are swollen with weeping, and I am but a shadow of my former self. 8 The virtuous are horrified when they see me. The innocent rise up against the ungodly. 9 The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.
10 “As for all of you, come back with a better argument, though I still won’t find a wise man among you. 11 My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken. 12 These men say that night is day; they claim that the darkness is light. 13 What if I go to the grave[a] and make my bed in darkness? 14 What if I call the grave my father, and the maggot my mother or my sister? 15 Where then is my hope? Can anyone find it? 16 No, my hope will go down with me to the grave. We will rest together in the dust!”
“We are all famous for what we do, be it for good or for evil, since God can see all of our thoughts and actions.” ~ Jon Barnes
You can’t hide your thoughts and actions because eventually you will display and do what is in your heart. God can see your heart and your pride. Since your heart and mind and the control systems of your life, people need to pray and ask God for guidance with life, humility, personal, and family development.
Pretending to work, help, love, give, and obey God’ s commandments is not how you honor God. Why would you want to be famous for acting like the devil? Making choices to please God is the wisest steps to take in life’s many decisions and personal steps of actions. The truth about you is known and will always shine through the mask of deception.
Your daily walk, work, actions, and love will always paint the correct picture of what you look and sound like to God. We all will see this picture easily because what we do and say will be the evidence of how God will judge us on that famous DAY!
Why do you believe and live out the lies of the wicked and ignore pursuing the truth in God’s loving instructions?
Enjoy The Reading
Manasseh Rules in Judah
33 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years.2 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites.3 He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had broken down. He constructed altars for the images of Baal and set up Asherah poles. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them.
4 He built pagan altars in the Temple of the Lord, the place where the Lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.”5 He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the Lord’s Temple.6 Manasseh also sacrificed his own sons in the fire[a] in the valley of Ben-Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the Lord’s sight, arousing his anger.
7 Manasseh even took a carved idol he had made and set it up in God’s Temple, the very place where God had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel.8 If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws, decrees, and regulations given through Moses—I will not send them into exile from this land that I set aside for your ancestors.”9 But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the Lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.
10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings.11 So the Lord sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon.12 But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors.13 And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the Lord alone is God!
14 After this Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, from west of the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley to the Fish Gate, and continuing around the hill of Ophel. He built the wall very high. And he stationed his military officers in all of the fortified towns of Judah.15 Manasseh also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the Lord’s Temple. He tore down all the altars he had built on the hill where the Temple stood and all the altars that were in Jerusalem, and he dumped them outside the city.16 Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it. He also encouraged the people of Judah to worship the Lord, the God of Israel.17 However, the people still sacrificed at the pagan shrines, though only to the Lord their God.
18 The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, his prayer to God, and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel.19 Manasseh’s prayer, the account of the way God answered him, and an account of all his sins and unfaithfulness are recorded in The Record of the Seers.[b] It includes a list of the locations where he built pagan shrines and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself and repented.20 When Manasseh died, he was buried in his palace. Then his son Amon became the next king.
Amon Rules in Judah
21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years.22 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. He worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols his father had made.23 But unlike his father, he did not humble himself before the Lord. Instead, Amon sinned even more.
24 Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace.25 But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.
“Take the good that is in front of you and make it better to grow what you have learned in life and from God.” ~ Jon Barnes
When you take the simplistic front view of what God is showing you in life, copy and step forward in your life.Reading and understanding the scriptures will teach you how to avoid the lies people will place in your path.It is all in front of you and each day we all must choose the right direction and instructions to complete our daily tasks.
Moving forward takes courage, strength, and discipline to leave the bad habits behind to continue to walk and seek out the good habits.Notice the things that are wrong and change your views and ways. When you share these positive views, the people around you will improve, because they see how much you are improving.
Only focus on your improvements and continue to correct your mistakes.You cannot focus on and fix the problems of other people.We can show people better solutions based on what we are doing, sharing, giving, and how we love.People must take the good that is in front of them and sow it into the lives of others, just as God has done for all of us.
Are you waiting around for someone else to do your good works?
2 Kings 23
Josiah’s Religious Reforms
23 Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.2 And the king went up to the Temple of the Lord with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, along with the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the Lord’s Temple.3 The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the Lord’s presence. He pledged to obey the Lord by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. In this way, he confirmed all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll, and all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.
4 Then the king instructed Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the Temple gatekeepers to remove from the Lord’s Temple all the articles that were used to worship Baal, Asherah, and all the powers of the heavens. The king had all these things burned outside Jerusalem on the terraces of the Kidron Valley, and he carried the ashes away to Bethel.5 He did away with the idolatrous priests, who had been appointed by the previous kings of Judah, for they had offered sacrifices at the pagan shrines throughout Judah and even in the vicinity of Jerusalem. They had also offered sacrifices to Baal, and to the sun, the moon, the constellations, and to all the powers of the heavens.6 The king removed the Asherah pole from the Lord’s Temple and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it. Then he ground the ashes of the pole to dust and threw the dust over the graves of the people.7 He also tore down the living quarters of the male and female shrine prostitutes that were inside the Temple of the Lord, where the women wove coverings for the Asherah pole.
8 Josiah brought to Jerusalem all the priests who were living in other towns of Judah. He also defiled the pagan shrines, where they had offered sacrifices—all the way from Geba to Beersheba. He destroyed the shrines at the entrance to the gate of Joshua, the governor of Jerusalem. This gate was located to the left of the city gate as one enters the city.9 The priests who had served at the pagan shrines were not allowed to serve at[a] the Lord’s altar in Jerusalem, but they were allowed to eat unleavened bread with the other priests.
10 Then the king defiled the altar of Topheth in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, so no one could ever again use it to sacrifice a son or daughter in the fire[b] as an offering to Molech.11 He removed from the entrance of the Lord’s Temple the horse statues that the former kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were near the quarters of Nathan-melech the eunuch, an officer of the court.[c] The king also burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.
12 Josiah tore down the altars that the kings of Judah had built on the palace roof above the upper room of Ahaz. The king destroyed the altars that Manasseh had built in the two courtyards of the Lord’s Temple. He smashed them to bits[d] and scattered the pieces in the Kidron Valley.13 The king also desecrated the pagan shrines east of Jerusalem, to the south of the Mount of Corruption, where King Solomon of Israel had built shrines for Ashtoreth, the detestable goddess of the Sidonians; and for Chemosh, the detestable god of the Moabites; and for Molech,[e] the vile god of the Ammonites.14 He smashed the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. Then he desecrated these places by scattering human bones over them.
15 The king also tore down the altar at Bethel—the pagan shrine that Jeroboam son of Nebat had made when he caused Israel to sin. He burned down the shrine and ground it to dust, and he burned the Asherah pole.16 Then Josiah turned around and noticed several tombs in the side of the hill. He ordered that the bones be brought out, and he burned them on the altar at Bethel to desecrate it. (This happened just as the Lord had promised through the man of God when Jeroboam stood beside the altar at the festival.)
Then Josiah turned and looked up at the tomb of the man of God[f] who had predicted these things.17 “What is that monument over there?” Josiah asked.
And the people of the town told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted the very things that you have just done to the altar at Bethel!”
18 Josiah replied, “Leave it alone. Don’t disturb his bones.” So they did not burn his bones or those of the old prophet from Samaria.
19 Then Josiah demolished all the buildings at the pagan shrines in the towns of Samaria, just as he had done at Bethel. They had been built by the various kings of Israel and had made the Lord[g] very angry.20 He executed the priests of the pagan shrines on their own altars, and he burned human bones on the altars to desecrate them. Finally, he returned to Jerusalem.
Josiah Celebrates Passover
21 King Josiah then issued this order to all the people: “You must celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as required in this Book of the Covenant.”22 There had not been a Passover celebration like that since the time when the judges ruled in Israel, nor throughout all the years of the kings of Israel and Judah.23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, this Passover was celebrated to the Lord in Jerusalem.
24 Josiah also got rid of the mediums and psychics, the household gods, the idols,[h] and every other kind of detestable practice, both in Jerusalem and throughout the land of Judah. He did this in obedience to the laws written in the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had found in the Lord’s Temple.25 Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lordwith all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since.
26 Even so, the Lord was very angry with Judah because of all the wicked things Manasseh had done to provoke him.27 For the Lord said, “I will also banish Judah from my presence just as I have banished Israel. And I will reject my chosen city of Jerusalem and the Temple where my name was to be honored.”
28 The rest of the events in Josiah’s reign and all his deeds are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.
29 While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, went to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah and his army marched out to fight him,[i] but King Neco[j] killed him when they met at Megiddo.30 Josiah’s officers took his body back in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. Then the people of the land anointed Josiah’s son Jehoahaz and made him the next king.
Jehoahaz Rules in Judah
31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah.32 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestors had done.
33 Pharaoh Neco put Jehoahaz in prison at Riblah in the land of Hamath to prevent him from ruling[k] in Jerusalem. He also demanded that Judah pay 7,500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold[l] as tribute.
Jehoiakim Rules in Judah
34 Pharaoh Neco then installed Eliakim, another of Josiah’s sons, to reign in place of his father, and he changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. Jehoahaz was taken to Egypt as a prisoner, where he died.
35 In order to get the silver and gold demanded as tribute by Pharaoh Neco, Jehoiakim collected a tax from the people of Judah, requiring them to pay in proportion to their wealth.
36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother was Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah from Rumah.37 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestors had done.
“Each day brings a plethora of teachable moments to shine the love of God onto your home, workplace, and life, but you cannot make people love you or God!” ~ Jon Barnes
The momentum of your daily moments is directed by the sharing, caring, and thanksgiving of your own personal actions.Each moment sings like praises unto God in silent vibrations and acts of kindness that only God can feel, see, and hear.Like the wind, others will notice that special something, but they don’t know where the wind comes from.The wind comes from the Love of God and His Provisions for us.
Be a part of God’s provisions by providing opportunities of sharing, caring, giving, and thanksgiving, we live a lifestyle of goodness, mercy, honor, and grace, which is freely given to the people we meet, know, and love. Copying God’s methods of shining on the just and the unjust is a natural flow for Christians to follow.
Teachers and students alike both learn from the same reasons and lessons from life’s experiences of doing the work of God, not just merely reciting words of inaction. The very process of teaching is a student form of learning, growing, and sharing the kindness and love of God, which brings understanding, patience, meekness, and real results. Enjoy your moments with God and other each day you live.
Did you step up into your teachable moment to share your goodness and joy?
Enjoy The Reading
Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor
3 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home[a] for you, where you will be well provided for.2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor.3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking.4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”
5 “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered.6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.
7 When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down.8 In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!
9 “Who are you?” he asked.
“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer[b] of our family.”
10 “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.12 Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I.13 Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.”
14 So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.”
15 He also said, “Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he[c] went back to town.
16 When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?”
Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her17 and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”
18 Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”