Have you ever noticed that many people shoot for the minimum or enough to get by? It’s interesting how we as a society have conditioned ourselves to accept mediocrity, corruption, and the like as if bondage and enslavement are normal living conditions. We are more prone to believe in the negative things and scoff at the amazing possibilities . and potential that comes with following Christ. Self-sabotage is a behavior that keeps us from actualizing the promises that God gives to each and every one of us. In short, when we participate in these defeating practices, we’re giving the devil much unnecessary help that we could be using ourselves to answer the call of Christ.
Friends do not be scared, intimated, or in denial of the great dreams and potential that God has stored in each and every one of you. He has done a great work in all of us. The worst thing we can do is to trade a miraculous truth for comfortable lies. Yes, God’s plan requires faith, work, and humility, but the pay off is so much more satisfying and everlasting than not working to your potential. Look to God as the ultimate ally and guide for your life. When you read the Bible and see all of the people and works documented, the extraordinary seems more possible, because all things are possible through Him! Don’t do the enemy any favors by beating yourself up and living in condemnation. Instead, till the soil and see what it is that God has tasked you to do. It will be a life well-lived and full of adventure, no doubt.
Who are you working for; God of the devil?
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1This is what the LORD said to me: “Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it on, but do not wash it.”
2So I bought the loincloth as the LORD directed me, and I put it on.
3Then the LORD gave me another message:
4“Take the linen loincloth you are wearing, and go to the Euphrates River. Hide it there in a hole in the rocks.”
5So I went and hid it by the Euphrates as the LORD had instructed me.
6A long time afterward the LORD said to me, “Go back to the Euphrates and get the loincloth I told you to hide there.”
7So I went to the Euphrates and dug it out of the hole where I had hidden it. But now it was rotting and falling apart. The loincloth was good for nothing.
8Then I received this message from the LORD :
9“This is what the LORD says: This shows how I will rot away the pride of Judah and Jerusalem.
10These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They stubbornly follow their own desires and worship other gods. Therefore, they will become like this loincloth—good for nothing!
11As a loincloth clings to a man’s waist, so I created Judah and Israel to cling to me, says the LORD . They were to be my people, my pride, my glory—an honor to my name. But they would not listen to me.
12“So tell them, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: May all your jars be filled with wine.’ And they will reply, ‘Of course! Jars are made to be filled with wine!’
13“Then tell them, ‘No, this is what the LORD means: I will fill everyone in this land with drunkenness—from the king sitting on David’s throne to the priests and the prophets, right down to the common people of Jerusalem.
14I will smash them against each other, even parents against children, says the LORD . I will not let my pity or mercy or compassion keep me from destroying them.’”
15Listen and pay attention! Do not be arrogant, for the LORD has spoken.
16Give glory to the LORD your God before it is too late. Acknowledge him before he brings darkness upon you, causing you to stumble and fall on the darkening mountains. For then, when you look for light, you will find only terrible darkness and gloom.
17And if you still refuse to listen, I will weep alone because of your pride. My eyes will overflow with tears, because the LORD ’s flock will be led away into exile.
18Say to the king and his mother, “Come down from your thrones and sit in the dust, for your glorious crowns will soon be snatched from your heads.”
19The towns of the Negev will close their gates, and no one will be able to open them. The people of Judah will be taken away as captives. All will be carried into exile.
20Open up your eyes and see the armies marching down from the north! Where is your flock— your beautiful flock— that he gave you to care for?
21What will you say when the LORD takes the allies you have cultivated and appoints them as your rulers? Pangs of anguish will grip you, like those of a woman in labor!
22You may ask yourself, “Why is all this happening to me?” It is because of your many sins! That is why you have been stripped and raped by invading armies.
23Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard take away its spots? Neither can you start doing good, for you have always done evil.
24“I will scatter you like chaff that is blown away by the desert winds.
25This is your allotment, the portion I have assigned to you,” says the LORD, “for you have forgotten me, putting your trust in false gods.
26I myself will strip you and expose you to shame.
27I have seen your adultery and lust, and your disgusting idol worship out in the fields and on the hills. What sorrow awaits you, Jerusalem! How long before you are pure?”
“When you believe that God’s ideas are better than your’s, then you’ve arrived.”~Jon Barnes
God gave us free will, which means that we are free to carry out our own plans. Thing is, between the flesh, the world, and the opposition, we don’t always make the best decisions. If you’re tired of hitting your head against the wall, doing things that don’t give you peace or contentment, try letting God be your GPS.
Allowing God to direct your steps is like being in the driver’s seat of a self-operating vehicle. You first have to have the faith that God knows better than you. Then you have to let His will be done in lieu of your own. Friends, as a control freak, I completely understand how difficult that is.
God’s plan is way cooler, way better, way more Devine than anything we could ever cook up. It’s mustering up the faith and stillness to allow His Plan to work that is the hard part. When we understand that we must ignore our foolish plans and adopt His, God can work wonders in our lives.
Which ideas are you listening to?
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1Listen to me, all you in distant lands! Pay attention, you who are far away! The LORD called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name.
2He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword. He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand. I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver.
3He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory.”
4I replied, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the LORD ’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.”
5And now the LORD speaks— the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him. The LORD has honored me, and my God has given me strength.
6He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
7The LORD, the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel, says to the one who is despised and rejected by the nations, to the one who is the servant of rulers: “Kings will stand at attention when you pass by. Princes will also bow low because of the LORD, the faithful one, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
8This is what the LORD says: “At just the right time, I will respond to you. On the day of salvation I will help you. I will protect you and give you to the people as my covenant with them. Through you I will reestablish the land of Israel and assign it to its own people again.
9I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’ They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare.
10They will neither hunger nor thirst. The searing sun will not reach them anymore. For the LORD in his mercy will lead them; he will lead them beside cool waters.
11And I will make my mountains into level paths for them. The highways will be raised above the valleys.
12See, my people will return from far away, from lands to the north and west, and from as far south as Egypt. ”
13Sing for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on them in their suffering.
14Yet Jerusalem says, “The LORD has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.”
15“Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!
16See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.
17Soon your descendants will come back, and all who are trying to destroy you will go away.
18Look around you and see, for all your children will come back to you. As surely as I live,” says the LORD, “they will be like jewels or bridal ornaments for you to display.
19“Even the most desolate parts of your abandoned land will soon be crowded with your people. Your enemies who enslaved you will be far away.
20The generations born in exile will return and say, ‘We need more room! It’s crowded here!’
21Then you will think to yourself, ‘Who has given me all these descendants? For most of my children were killed, and the rest were carried away into exile. I was left here all alone. Where did all these people come from? Who bore these children? Who raised them for me?’”
22This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I will give a signal to the godless nations. They will carry your little sons back to you in their arms; they will bring your daughters on their shoulders.
23Kings and queens will serve you and care for all your needs. They will bow to the earth before you and lick the dust from your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD . Those who trust in me will never be put to shame.”
24Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior? Who can demand that a tyrant let his captives go?
25But the LORD says, “The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children.
26I will feed your enemies with their own flesh. They will be drunk with rivers of their own blood. All the world will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel. ”
“There are times where plans are delayed because we forgot something and God is giving us a chance to make it up.”~TB
My dog, Abbey, absolutely loves going on walks. Whenever I open the drawer where her leash is kept, she runs straight for the door, anticipating an outing. There are times where I get to the parking lot stairs and realize that I’ve forgotten my phone or wallet, and we have to walk back to my door. If we have to turn around before going out, Abbey will anchor herself to the floor refusing to move, because she thinks we’re no longer going for the walk. After a few tugs, I’ll get her to come along, I’ll retrieve whatever I’ve forgotten and then we’re off to go on the walk. Then as if it’s a surprise, she becomes excited again that we’re going for the walk after all! Every single time this happens ( it happens a lot, I’m really forgetful.) the same behavior occurs and the other day, it made me realize there are times where I will do that with God too. How many times have you refused to change course because you thought your plans were being dashed? If we don’t reflect on our behaviors and circumstances, we can miss the tools and skills we need to progress to the next stage. If you’ve stalled, seek God to find our why. There is most certainly a purpose.
Delay is not Denial
I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Christian colloquialisms— often because the people using them are trying to circumvent honest or good behavior (a different story for a different day). But, I will say that God will delay a change in course if we haven’t done the work to make it to the next step. For example, you can’t just run a marathon if you haven’t even trained to complete a 5k. God gives each of us a dream, purpose, or goal. And with those wonderful plans comes the responsibility of tilling your soil to fulfill that purpose. Many times we fail to actualize God’s plans for us because we either allow people to discourage such “crazy ideas” or we didn’t condition ourselves to prepare for the road less traveled. I’m thankful that He gives us a lifetime to answer our specific call. So the next time things aren’t going according to plan, look for the lessons or tools you may have forgotten along the way. Don’t worry, you haven’t been left behind, just delayed. God hasn’t forgotten the vision He planted in you, He’s just giving you time to catch up.
Are you learning during your delay or are you missing the point?
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1This message came to me concerning Babylon—the desert by the sea : Disaster is roaring down on you from the desert, like a whirlwind sweeping in from the Negev.
2I see a terrifying vision: I see the betrayer betraying, the destroyer destroying. Go ahead, you Elamites and Medes, attack and lay siege. I will make an end to all the groaning Babylon caused.
3My stomach aches and burns with pain. Sharp pangs of anguish are upon me, like those of a woman in labor. I grow faint when I hear what God is planning; I am too afraid to look.
4My mind reels and my heart races. I longed for evening to come, but now I am terrified of the dark.
5Look! They are preparing a great feast. They are spreading rugs for people to sit on. Everyone is eating and drinking. But quick! Grab your shields and prepare for battle. You are being attacked!
6Meanwhile, the Lord said to me, “Put a watchman on the city wall. Let him shout out what he sees.
7He should look for chariots drawn by pairs of horses, and for riders on donkeys and camels. Let the watchman be fully alert.”
8Then the watchman called out, “Day after day I have stood on the watchtower, my lord. Night after night I have remained at my post.
9Now at last—look! Here comes a man in a chariot with a pair of horses!” Then the watchman said, “Babylon is fallen, fallen! All the idols of Babylon lie broken on the ground!”
10O my people, threshed and winnowed, I have told you everything the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has said, everything the God of Israel has told me.
11This message came to me concerning Edom : Someone from Edom keeps calling to me, “Watchman, how much longer until morning? When will the night be over?”
12The watchman replies, “Morning is coming, but night will soon return. If you wish to ask again, then come back and ask.”
13This message came to me concerning Arabia: O caravans from Dedan, hide in the deserts of Arabia.
14O people of Tema, bring water to these thirsty people, food to these weary refugees.
15They have fled from the sword, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow and the terrors of battle.
16The Lord said to me, “Within a year, counting each day, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end.
17Only a few of its courageous archers will survive. I, the LORD, the God of Israel, have spoken!”
“Sometimes tough situations are a sign that it’s time for you to get moving in the direction that God wants you to.”~TB
When you don’t have a relationship with God, it is difficult to understand His plan for your life. When you face trials and tribulations, there is always a lesson or direction attached. Sometimes difficult situations teach you patience or faith. Other times it’s God’s way of telling you to move in a different direction or to move faster towards the task He’s led you to accomplish. Friends, grow close with God so that you may have the discernment to understand His will for you.
If God has given you a vision, a purpose, or a dream, hop to it! Just because you may not understand the end goal does not lessen the need for you to be obedient. We all have a choice to either spend our lives in the wilderness or, answer the call from our Father in Heaven, fulfilling our purpose as He intended. Let’s not be like the Israelites, who took 40 years for an 11-day journey. Contrary to what this sin-fallen world tells you, God did not create you for you to live in misery or enslaved by companies, brands, or whatever holds your heart. Move in the direction that God is leading, so that you may come into the Promiseland.
Are you on the move or are you stuck in fear and disbelief?
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1Praise the LORD ! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting!
2The LORD is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel.
3He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
4He counts the stars and calls them all by name.
5How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!
6The LORD supports the humble, but he brings the wicked down into the dust.
7Sing out your thanks to the LORD ; sing praises to our God with a harp.
8He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures.
9He gives food to the wild animals and feeds the young ravens when they cry.
10He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might.
11No, the LORD ’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
12Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!
13For he has strengthened the bars of your gates and blessed your children within your walls.
14He sends peace across your nation and satisfies your hunger with the finest wheat.
15He sends his orders to the world— how swiftly his word flies!
16He sends the snow like white wool; he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes.
17He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold?
18Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws.
19He has revealed his words to Jacob, his decrees and regulations to Israel.
20He has not done this for any other nation; they do not know his regulations. Praise the LORD !
“Our experiences and God’s Word are used to prepare, push and provoke the growth of our faith and work in the Kingdom of God, not your agenda, pride, or ego.” ~ Jon Barnes
People who place priority on the plans of God are pushed forward into their dreams and realities of God’s Purpose for their lives. They push themselves up the steps of righteousness to show others how to climb. These stories also show what it is like to fall down the steep steps of God when you are selfish, disobedient, and careless about God’s directions and commandments.
The bible posts these wonderful stories so that you push through your personal experiences, to visualize your character and actions within God’s Word, Stories, Psalms, and Lifestyle. Help people in your family to develop their faith by not being a hypocrite with the Word of God.Let the simplicity of your movements be full of God’s purpose and peeks of love.
Push to the peeks of your faith to show, share, and teach the steps in your work and perks of obedience, due diligence, and delivery of God’s methods. Peek the interest of your loved ones by doing good things with your faith, allowing them to see, imitate, and believe the handy work of God. Develop, manage, and push your time, actions, and faith as a blessing and not a curse.
Are you using or pushing your talent into a blessing or a curse?
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2 Samuel 1
David Learns of Saul’s Death
1 After the death of Saul, David returned from his victory over the Amalekites and spent two days in Ziklag.2 On the third day a man arrived from Saul’s army camp. He had torn his clothes and put dirt on his head to show that he was in mourning. He fell to the ground before David in deep respect.
3 “Where have you come from?” David asked.
“I escaped from the Israelite camp,” the man replied.
4 “What happened?” David demanded. “Tell me how the battle went.”
The man replied, “Our entire army fled from the battle. Many of the men are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.”
5 “How do you know Saul and Jonathan are dead?” David demanded of the young man.
6 The man answered, “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear with the enemy chariots and charioteers closing in on him.7 When he turned and saw me, he cried out for me to come to him. ‘How can I help?’ I asked him.
8 “He responded, ‘Who are you?’
“‘I am an Amalekite,’ I told him.
9 “Then he begged me, ‘Come over here and put me out of my misery, for I am in terrible pain and want to die.’
10 “So I killed him,” the Amalekite told David, “for I knew he couldn’t live. Then I took his crown and his armband, and I have brought them here to you, my lord.”
11 David and his men tore their clothes in sorrow when they heard the news.12 They mourned and wept and fasted all day for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the Lord’s army and the nation of Israel, because they had died by the sword that day.
13 Then David said to the young man who had brought the news, “Where are you from?”
And he replied, “I am a foreigner, an Amalekite, who lives in your land.”
14 “Why were you not afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed one?” David asked.
15 Then David said to one of his men, “Kill him!” So the man thrust his sword into the Amalekite and killed him.16 “You have condemned yourself,” David said, “for you yourself confessed that you killed the Lord’s anointed one.”
David’s Song for Saul and Jonathan
17 Then David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan,18 and he commanded that it be taught to the people of Judah. It is known as the Song of the Bow, and it is recorded in The Book of Jashar.[a]
19 Your pride and joy, O Israel, lies dead on the hills! Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen! 20 Don’t announce the news in Gath, don’t proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon, or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice and the pagans will laugh in triumph.
21 O mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor fruitful fields producing offerings of grain.[b] For there the shield of the mighty heroes was defiled; the shield of Saul will no longer be anointed with oil. 22 The bow of Jonathan was powerful, and the sword of Saul did its mighty work. They shed the blood of their enemies and pierced the bodies of mighty heroes.
23 How beloved and gracious were Saul and Jonathan! They were together in life and in death. They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. 24 O women of Israel, weep for Saul, for he dressed you in luxurious scarlet clothing, in garments decorated with gold.
25 Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies dead on the hills. 26 How I weep for you, my brother Jonathan! Oh, how much I loved you! And your love for me was deep, deeper than the love of women!
27 Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen! Stripped of their weapons, they lie dead.
“Climbing mountains requires good health, physical strength, mental toughness, balance, and common sense to see the path God wants you to take for your life.” ~ Jon Barnes
Stepping onto each rock, as you begin the journey teaches you how to pay close attention to what God is teaching you. All of your senses are needed to make the trip and you must rest and eat properly on the way. Things could be hiding in the rocks so you look ahead for potential danger on your travels.
Take pictures of when you start, during the journey, and at the top so that you can compare, contrast, learn and teach the ways of God’s movements in your life to the next generation. Share the pictures of your stories, hopes, and dreams to help them see the light of God in your life. Explain why each step was critical and many times, God spared your life because of your obedience and faithfulness.
Promote the good things in your life that brings honor to God and help others.Let’ not throw stones at people and cause problems by focusing your attention, resources, and energy into negative situations of hopelessness.God is in control and will move mountains on your behalf.If you are still alive, He has truly moved death mountains out of your way, when you were full of sin, walking into evil traps unaware.
Do you believe God has spared your life for a purpose that is larger than you can comprehend and your mountains have already been moved?
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1 Samuel 12
Samuel’s Farewell Address
12 Then Samuel addressed all Israel: “I have done as you asked and given you a king.2 Your king is now your leader. I stand here before you—an old, gray-haired man—and my sons serve you. I have served as your leader from the time I was a boy to this very day.3 Now testify against me in the presence of the Lord and before his anointed one. Whose ox or donkey have I stolen? Have I ever cheated any of you? Have I ever oppressed you? Have I ever taken a bribe and perverted justice? Tell me and I will make right whatever I have done wrong.”
4 “No,” they replied, “you have never cheated or oppressed us, and you have never taken even a single bribe.”
5 “The Lord and his anointed one are my witnesses today,” Samuel declared, “that my hands are clean.”
“Yes, he is a witness,” they replied.
6 “It was the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron,” Samuel continued. “He brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt.7 Now stand here quietly before the Lord as I remind you of all the great things the Lord has done for you and your ancestors.
8 “When the Israelites were[a] in Egypt and cried out to the Lord, he sent Moses and Aaron to rescue them from Egypt and to bring them into this land.9 But the people soon forgot about the Lord their God, so he handed them over to Sisera, the commander of Hazor’s army, and also to the Philistines and to the king of Moab, who fought against them.
10 “Then they cried to the Lord again and confessed, ‘We have sinned by turning away from the Lord and worshiping the images of Baal and Ashtoreth. But we will worship you and you alone if you will rescue us from our enemies.’11 Then the Lord sent Gideon,[b] Bedan,[c]Jephthah, and Samuel[d] to save you, and you lived in safety.
12 “But when you were afraid of Nahash, the king of Ammon, you came to me and said that you wanted a king to reign over you, even though the Lord your God was already your king.13 All right, here is the king you have chosen. You asked for him, and the Lord has granted your request.
14 “Now if you fear and worship the Lord and listen to his voice, and if you do not rebel against the Lord’s commands, then both you and your king will show that you recognize the Lord as your God.15 But if you rebel against the Lord’s commands and refuse to listen to him, then his hand will be as heavy upon you as it was upon your ancestors.
16 “Now stand here and see the great thing the Lord is about to do.17 You know that it does not rain at this time of the year during the wheat harvest. I will ask the Lord to send thunder and rain today. Then you will realize how wicked you have been in asking the Lord for a king!”
18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day. And all the people were terrified of the Lord and of Samuel.19 “Pray to the Lord your God for us, or we will die!” they all said to Samuel. “For now we have added to our sins by asking for a king.”
20 “Don’t be afraid,” Samuel reassured them. “You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the Lord with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him.21 Don’t go back to worshiping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you—they are totally useless!22 The Lord will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the Lord to make you his very own people.
23 “As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right.24 But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you.25 But if you continue to sin, you and your king will be swept away.”
“Reach and embrace your adjustments and improvements with God’s standards so that you connect with a variety of people and shining your holy light of truth from your biblically inspired lifestyle.” ~ Jon Barnes
Living with consistent standards from God and His Bible Stories helps us to understand faith, belief, fairness, and equity in copying God’s lifestyle. We naturally and consistently grow daily in Him as we study, read, pray, reach, and embrace God’s plans for our lives, while still being content. When the appropriate changes and new orders arrive, we are delighted that God gives us plans for our future with amazing outcomes and blessings to all the people we meet. We consistently reap what we sow and your fruit is always Good by following God’s farming techniques.
Reach for your dreams and goals in the Lord as you plan, prepare, and pray your way into thanksgiving, love, and hope with your work for God. Work is not always easy, but it is easy to stay on track when your focus is what God wants and not what you want. Reach to understand that wanting what God wants gives you the winning hand in your efforts.Losing with character, dignity, grace, and honesty is also a win in God’s Book. You learn a lot by losing, reaching, trying, and repeating tests until you pass them. Teach yourself to retake your test to pass it and learn from your mistakes.
Embrace what it takes to endure your race by listening to God the first time to cross the permanent finish line. Stop trying to reach for the devil, running in the opposite direction with your own ideas of pride, lust, and greedy ambitions. See the big picture of help, hopes, and honor within your choices. Stand firm in your conviction for God and trust His Will for your life. Relax as you reach for eternity, growing in God’s Grace.
Did you reach and embrace your destiny with God?
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Numbers 24 NLT
24 By now Balaam realized that the Lord was determined to bless Israel, so he did not resort to divination as before. Instead, he turned and looked out toward the wilderness,2 where he saw the people of Israel camped, tribe by tribe. Then the Spirit of God came upon him,3 and this is the message he delivered:
“This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, 4 the message of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: 5 How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob; how lovely are your homes, O Israel! 6 They spread before me like palm groves,[a] like gardens by the riverside. They are like tall trees planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters. 7 Water will flow from their buckets; their offspring have all they need. Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted. 8 God brought them out of Egypt; for them he is as strong as a wild ox. He devours all the nations that oppose him, breaking their bones in pieces, shooting them with arrows. 9 Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down; like a lioness, who dares to arouse her? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you.”
10 King Balak flew into a rage against Balaam. He angrily clapped his hands and shouted, “I called you to curse my enemies! Instead, you have blessed them three times.11 Now get out of here! Go back home! I promised to reward you richly, but the Lord has kept you from your reward.”
12 Balaam told Balak, “Don’t you remember what I told your messengers? I said,13 ‘Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord.’ I told you that I could say only what the Lord says!14 Now I am returning to my own people. But first let me tell you what the Israelites will do to your people in the future.”
Balaam’s Final Messages
15 This is the message Balaam delivered:
“This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, 16 the message of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: 17 I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the heads of Moab’s people, cracking the skulls[b] of the people of Sheth. 18 Edom will be taken over, and Seir, its enemy, will be conquered, while Israel marches on in triumph. 19 A ruler will rise in Jacob who will destroy the survivors of Ir.”
20 Then Balaam looked over toward the people of Amalek and delivered this message:
“Amalek was the greatest of nations, but its destiny is destruction!”
21 Then he looked over toward the Kenites and delivered this message:
“Your home is secure; your nest is set in the rocks. 22 But the Kenites will be destroyed when Assyria[c] takes you captive.”
23 Balaam concluded his messages by saying:
“Alas, who can survive unless God has willed it? 24 Ships will come from the coasts of Cyprus[d]; they will oppress Assyria and afflict Eber, but they, too, will be utterly destroyed.”
25 Then Balaam left and returned home, and Balak also went on his way.
“Each day, you will be tempted to follow and click the like button of lies, lust, greed, fake, famous stories of old, packaged in a trendy new look, with technologically advanced bling or subtle traps.” ~ Jon Barnes
We need new people to click the like button of love and follow the passions of Christ with honest business practices, helpful hands, methodical minds, practical patience in leadership, craftsmanship, apprenticeship, and ethics. Listen to proven experience of God’s stories of old to lay out the blueprints of success to avoid making age old mistakes of laziness and hypocrisy.
Work with, up lift, and grow with the people around you to build a better now so that you may delete negative nonsense, advertisements, and lying schemes from your life. You can make the good deals count because God help you put them together and you are willing to do the work and share the blessings to help others to fish for themselves. Maintain your beauty from inside your heart and God will beat beautiful sounding music on the outside for all to hear.
God guides us into things, blessings, and passions of good projects, goals and dreams to fulfill, if we listen, learn, and live the work of love. Unfollow the crowd of lust, greed, and unfairness and create improved groups of justice, truth, and equality to help, share, and build an informed workforce to do a better for our society. Be a consistent Good follower of Christ in your everyday work and play!
Does your life inspire others to do Good and Follow Jesus or are you following the directions of evil with satan into hell?
Enjoy Today’s Reading
The Thousand Years
20 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyssand holding in his hand a great chain.2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They[a] had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
The Judgment of Satan
7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur,where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The Judgment of the Dead
11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judgedaccording to what they had done as recorded in the books.13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
“When You take advantage of people, depending on someone else to feed you, because you failed to commit, developing your dreams, goals, and assignments of Good Works that you are destined to accomplish; you have been taken Advantage of by the devil.”
~ Jon Barnes
I had to look myself in the mirror and become the Best Dad in the World for my Kids! I had to look at myself in the mirror and become the Best Husband for my Wife! I had to look myself in the mirror and become the Best Teacher for my Students! I had to look at myself in the mirror and become the Best Manager of my Time. I had to look in the mirror and become the Best Solution to my Problems, All with God’s Speed and Help!
When you refuse to obey God, your life and dreams become meaningless because you enjoy enslaving, hurting, and destroying the lives of other people with your words, works, thoughts, actions, and your lies. Your lust for sin is so great that you would sacrifice your body, time, money, love, production, abilities, mind, and soul to work for the devil.
You chose to work for the devil because you do not work for God! As a result, you and the devil together take advantage of all of God’s Good Processes, resources and People to Plot your own Pretty, Pity, Party’s Pleasure Palace of Pollution, Promoting Propaganda of Pure chaos in every Path and Place you Proceed to Position yourself in and through.
You have no position with God because you are not His and He doesn’t know or recognize you as a Child of God! It is better to be a Humble, God Fearing, rich or poor, honest worker, who loves God and go to heaven with a Position with Christ than to live like a Poor or Rich King on Earth as a servant of the devil, living a lie, creating problems, and hurting people. Your choice and position is clear to God and God alone will have No Position for evil people in His Kingdom.
Is your life, job, and family a Joke to you or do you walk with God and His Blessings?
Mark 12New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Tenants
12 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place.2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard.3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed.4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully.5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
6 “He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
7 “But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’8 So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
9 “What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.10 Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:
“‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 11 the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’[a]?”
12 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.
Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar
13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words.14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax[b] to Caesar or not?15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.”16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
And they were amazed at him.
Marriage at the Resurrection
18 Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.19 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.20 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children.21 The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third.22 In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too.23 At the resurrection[c] whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”
24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[d]?27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”
The Greatest Commandment
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e]30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f]31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.”
32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
Whose Son Is the Messiah?
35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David?36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:
“‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’[h]
37 David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”
The large crowd listened to him with delight.
Warning Against the Teachers of the Law
38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces,39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
The Widow’s Offering
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”