Paid For

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Be sure to sit at Christ’s table, because He’s already picked up the tab.”

TB

Debt Repaid

It’s very important to understand the distinction of who we are with and without Christ. We are born sinners with evil deeds and thoughts that we desire to carry out. That’s just the reality. It’s also true the when we repent and turn away from wickedness, accepting that Jesus is the only way, that debt is paid for by Christ. Friends, there is no other way around that. And repentance is not just some words we mutter, it’s a total, spiritual transformation.

Honest Effort

When you know that someone has purchased an irreplaceable gift for you, especially when you don’t and can do nothing to deserve it, it’s a game-changer. It changes how you look at yourself, your neighbors, your family, your spouse– everyone. Remember, if you’re still alive, God has still given you the opportunity to sit at His table so He can pick up your tab. Be humble and honest enough to accept it.

Today’s Question

Are you humbly asking God for a seat at His table or are you foolish enough to pick up your own tab?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 47

1 Then Joseph went to see Pharaoh and told him, “My father and my brothers have arrived from the land of Canaan. They have come with all their flocks and herds and possessions, and they are now in the region of Goshen.” 2 Joseph took five of his brothers with him and presented them to Pharaoh. 3 And Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?” They replied, “We, your servants, are shepherds, just like our ancestors. 4 We have come to live here in Egypt for a while, for there is no pasture for our flocks in Canaan. The famine is very severe there. So please, we request permission to live in the region of Goshen.” 5 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and brothers have joined you here, 6 choose any place in the entire land of Egypt for them to live. Give them the best land of Egypt. Let them live in the region of Goshen. And if any of them have special skills, put them in charge of my livestock, too.” 7 Then Joseph brought in his father, Jacob, and presented him to Pharaoh. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 “How old are you?” Pharaoh asked him. 9 Jacob replied, “I have traveled this earth for 130 hard years. But my life has been short compared to the lives of my ancestors.” 10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh again before leaving his court. 11 So Joseph assigned the best land of Egypt—the region of Rameses—to his father and his brothers, and he settled them there, just as Pharaoh had commanded. 12 And Joseph provided food for his father and his brothers in amounts appropriate to the number of their dependents, including the smallest children. 13 Meanwhile, the famine became so severe that all the food was used up, and people were starving throughout the lands of Egypt and Canaan. 14 By selling grain to the people, Joseph eventually collected all the money in Egypt and Canaan, and he put the money in Pharaoh’s treasury. 15 When the people of Egypt and Canaan ran out of money, all the Egyptians came to Joseph. “Our money is gone!” they cried. “But please give us food, or we will die before your very eyes!” 16 Joseph replied, “Since your money is gone, bring me your livestock. I will give you food in exchange for your livestock.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph in exchange for food. In exchange for their horses, flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and donkeys, Joseph provided them with food for another year. 18 But that year ended, and the next year they came again and said, “We cannot hide the truth from you, my lord. Our money is gone, and all our livestock and cattle are yours. We have nothing left to give but our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we die before your very eyes? Buy us and our land in exchange for food; we offer our land and ourselves as slaves for Pharaoh. Just give us grain so we may live and not die, and so the land does not become empty and desolate.” 20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold him their fields because the famine was so severe, and soon all the land belonged to Pharaoh. 21 As for the people, he made them all slaves, from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 The only land he did not buy was the land belonging to the priests. They received an allotment of food directly from Pharaoh, so they didn’t need to sell their land. 23 Then Joseph said to the people, “Look, today I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. I will provide you with seed so you can plant the fields. 24 Then when you harvest it, one-fifth of your crop will belong to Pharaoh. You may keep the remaining four-fifths as seed for your fields and as food for you, your households, and your little ones.” 25 “You have saved our lives!” they exclaimed. “May it please you, my lord, to let us be Pharaoh’s servants.” 26 Joseph then issued a decree still in effect in the land of Egypt, that Pharaoh should receive one-fifth of all the crops grown on his land. Only the land belonging to the priests was not given to Pharaoh. 27 Meanwhile, the people of Israel settled in the region of Goshen in Egypt. There they acquired property, and they were fruitful, and their population grew rapidly. 28 Jacob lived for seventeen years after his arrival in Egypt, so he lived 147 years in all. 29 As the time of his death drew near, Jacob called for his son Joseph and said to him, “Please do me this favor. Put your hand under my thigh and swear that you will treat me with unfailing love by honoring this last request: Do not bury me in Egypt. 30 When I die, please take my body out of Egypt and bury me with my ancestors.” So Joseph promised, “I will do as you ask.” 31 “Swear that you will do it,” Jacob insisted. So Joseph gave his oath, and Jacob bowed humbly at the head of his bed.

Elbow Grease

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Pick up your cross, put in some elbow grease, and keep following God.”

TB

Grace

God always does the heavy lifting in that He sent Jesus to fulfill our invitation to receive salvation. His Grace alone makes that possible. However, we must submit ourselves and accept that extended invitation. And, that is something only we can individually do.

Grit

Overriding your flesh and following Christ is an active decision that we must continually commit to. God gave us all free will, which is why we must exercise the discipline to act on. But once you put in the elbow grease, God will honor your efforts.

Today’s Question

How are you putting in the elbow grease to improve your relationship with Christ?

Enjoy the reading

Micah 1

1 The LORD gave this message to Micah of Moresheth during the years when Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. The visions he saw concerned both Samaria and Jerusalem. 2 Attention! Let all the people of the world listen! Let the earth and everything in it hear. The Sovereign LORD is making accusations against you; the Lord speaks from his holy Temple. 3 Look! The LORD is coming! He leaves his throne in heaven and tramples the heights of the earth. 4 The mountains melt beneath his feet and flow into the valleys like wax in a fire, like water pouring down a hill. 5 And why is this happening? Because of the rebellion of Israel — yes, the sins of the whole nation. Who is to blame for Israel’s rebellion? Samaria, its capital city! Where is the center of idolatry in Judah? In Jerusalem, its capital! 6 “So I, the LORD, will make the city of Samaria a heap of ruins. Her streets will be plowed up for planting vineyards. I will roll the stones of her walls into the valley below, exposing her foundations. 7 All her carved images will be smashed. All her sacred treasures will be burned. These things were bought with the money earned by her prostitution, and they will now be carried away to pay prostitutes elsewhere.” 8 Therefore, I will mourn and lament. I will walk around barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl. 9 For my people’s wound is too deep to heal. It has reached into Judah, even to the gates of Jerusalem. 10 Don’t tell our enemies in Gath ; don’t weep at all. You people in Beth-leaphrah, roll in the dust to show your despair. 11 You people in Shaphir, go as captives into exile—naked and ashamed. The people of Zaanan dare not come outside their walls. The people of Beth-ezel mourn, for their house has no support. 12 The people of Maroth anxiously wait for relief, but only bitterness awaits them as the LORD ’s judgment reaches even to the gates of Jerusalem. 13 Harness your chariot horses and flee, you people of Lachish. You were the first city in Judah to follow Israel in her rebellion, and you led Jerusalem into sin. 14 Send farewell gifts to Moresheth-gath ; there is no hope of saving it. The town of Aczib has deceived the kings of Israel. 15 O people of Mareshah, I will bring a conqueror to capture your town. And the leaders of Israel will go to Adullam. 16 Oh, people of Judah, shave your heads in sorrow, for the children you love will be snatched away. Make yourselves as bald as a vulture, for your little ones will be exiled to distant lands.

Benefits

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Choosing God over yourself is like choosing fresh food over fast food; it may not be ‘fun’, but the long-term benefits are incomparable.”

TB

Short-term

When we are at the wheel, we will always choose our flesh over the Truth. Like unruly children, we are not capable of thinking past our short-term gratification. If your focus is only on the now and what feels easy, friends, this life will come at you fast and hard. We may get what we want now, but it does have eternal consequences.

Long-term

The long-term play requires of to rise above our flesh, pick up our cross daily, and follow someone who is greater than we are. By choosing Christ, we benefit from the wisdom and discipline of the Truth that only God can provide. Because God sees things from all angles, by following His steps, we begin to see the beauty of His teachings.

Today’s Question

Are you stuck on the benefits of now or focused on the gift of eternity?

Enjoy the reading

1 Then I saw a vision of the Lord standing beside the altar. He said, “Strike the tops of the Temple columns, so that the foundation will shake. Bring down the roof on the heads of the people below. I will kill with the sword those who survive. No one will escape! 2 “Even if they dig down to the place of the dead, I will reach down and pull them up. Even if they climb up into the heavens, I will bring them down. 3 Even if they hide at the very top of Mount Carmel, I will search them out and capture them. Even if they hide at the bottom of the ocean, I will send the sea serpent after them to bite them. 4 Even if their enemies drive them into exile, I will command the sword to kill them there. I am determined to bring disaster upon them and not to help them.” 5 The Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, touches the land and it melts, and all its people mourn. The ground rises like the Nile River at floodtime, and then it sinks again. 6 The LORD ’s home reaches up to the heavens, while its foundation is on the earth. He draws up water from the oceans and pours it down as rain on the land. The LORD is his name! 7 “Are you Israelites more important to me than the Ethiopians? ” asks the LORD . “I brought Israel out of Egypt, but I also brought the Philistines from Crete and led the Arameans out of Kir. 8 “I, the Sovereign LORD, am watching this sinful nation of Israel. I will destroy it from the face of the earth. But I will never completely destroy the family of Israel, ” says the LORD . 9 “For I will give the command and will shake Israel along with the other nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, yet not one true kernel will be lost. 10 But all the sinners will die by the sword— all those who say, ‘Nothing bad will happen to us.’ 11 “In that day I will restore the fallen house of David. I will repair its damaged walls. From the ruins I will rebuild it and restore its former glory. 12 And Israel will possess what is left of Edom and all the nations I have called to be mine. ” The LORD has spoken, and he will do these things. 13 “The time will come,” says the LORD, “when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested. Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine! 14 I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine. 15 I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God.

Aged

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Wisdom from Christ comes from application and time.”

TB

Old

Today I helped my dad stain his fence. We were using an experimental method of which he was casually staining the fence. And by casual, I mean it was less than perfect. When I asked him why, he said it was ‘good enough’ and when the fence dries, it’ll look great. And, a second coat would fix it in the end. Now, as a child, my father instilled within me the importance of great work and doing the job well. So to see him change his stance was surprising to, say the least. Perplexed, I picked up the brush and began working. After a while, I realized that the evolution of my dad’s method reminded me of the old testament and new.

New

In the beginning, we had laws and rigid practices. Just like perfect behavior, it was unattainable. When Jesus came onto the scene and died for our sins, God gave us our second chance. Now, we are required to accept salvation. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to show up. What a profound gift! Christ gets us to the finish line, not our deeds. As I worked on the fence, I had to laugh at myself and the strange behaviors of man. We tend to get stuck in performative actions, trying to achieve perfection, whether it’s in our jobs, our looks, our family, etc. The truth is, perfection is impossible. I’ve observed that if you walk with God as you age, you begin to see His wisdom at work, allowing you to lighten up and accept his gift. When you allow God to give you the ‘second coat’ of salvation, your efforts become more humble, honest, and intentional.

Today’s Question

Are you aged in Christ-like wisdom or in man-driven pride?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 15

1 Then this message came to me from the LORD : 2 “Son of man, how does a grapevine compare to a tree? Is a vine’s wood as useful as the wood of a tree? 3 Can its wood be used for making things, like pegs to hang up pots and pans? 4 No, it can only be used for fuel, and even as fuel, it burns too quickly. 5 Vines are useless both before and after being put into the fire! 6 “And this is what the Sovereign LORD says: The people of Jerusalem are like grapevines growing among the trees of the forest. Since they are useless, I have thrown them on the fire to be burned. 7 And I will see to it that if they escape from one fire, they will fall into another. When I turn against them, you will know that I am the LORD . 8 And I will make the land desolate because my people have been unfaithful to me. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”

Progress

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Progress in your walk with God requires continuity.”

TB

Dislodge

If you truly want to have a deep relationship with God, get comfortable with an adventure that spans a lifetime. That means we have to dislodge the idea that there is a destination to be reached. God isn’t dropping breadcrumbs waiting for you to find Him. He’s here now, but you have to actively seek him.

Continued

Admittedly, I love comfort. Even still, I can’t stand to stay in neutral. Our flesh and our spirit are quite similar. Our flash craves the carnal pleasures of instant gratification. Our spirit, however, desires to draw closer with Christ. So, we must pick up our crosses and continue with our progress. While it may feel uncomfortable, there is nothing more peaceful and fulfilling than hanging out with God Himself.

Today’s Question

How’s your progress?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 14

1 Then some of the leaders of Israel visited me, and while they were sitting with me, 2 this message came to me from the LORD : 3 “Son of man, these leaders have set up idols in their hearts. They have embraced things that will make them fall into sin. Why should I listen to their requests? 4 Tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: The people of Israel have set up idols in their hearts and fallen into sin, and then they go to a prophet asking for a message. So I, the LORD, will give them the kind of answer their great idolatry deserves. 5 I will do this to capture the minds and hearts of all my people who have turned from me to worship their detestable idols.’ 6 “Therefore, tell the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Repent and turn away from your idols, and stop all your detestable sins. 7 I, the LORD, will answer all those, both Israelites and foreigners, who reject me and set up idols in their hearts and so fall into sin, and who then come to a prophet asking for my advice. 8 I will turn against such people and make a terrible example of them, eliminating them from among my people. Then you will know that I am the LORD . 9 “‘And if a prophet is deceived into giving a message, it is because I, the LORD, have deceived that prophet. I will lift my fist against such prophets and cut them off from the community of Israel. 10 False prophets and those who seek their guidance will all be punished for their sins. 11 In this way, the people of Israel will learn not to stray from me, polluting themselves with sin. They will be my people, and I will be their God. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!’” 12 Then this message came to me from the LORD : 13 “Son of man, suppose the people of a country were to sin against me, and I lifted my fist to crush them, cutting off their food supply and sending a famine to destroy both people and animals. 14 Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, their righteousness would save no one but themselves, says the Sovereign LORD . 15 “Or suppose I were to send wild animals to invade the country, kill the people, and make the land too desolate and dangerous to pass through. 16 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, even if those three men were there, they wouldn’t be able to save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved, but the land would be made desolate. 17 “Or suppose I were to bring war against the land, and I sent enemy armies to destroy both people and animals. 18 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, even if those three men were there, they wouldn’t be able to save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved. 19 “Or suppose I were to pour out my fury by sending an epidemic into the land, and the disease killed people and animals alike. 20 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, they wouldn’t be able to save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved by their righteousness. 21 “Now this is what the Sovereign LORD says: How terrible it will be when all four of these dreadful punishments fall upon Jerusalem—war, famine, wild animals, and disease—destroying all her people and animals. 22 Yet there will be survivors, and they will come here to join you as exiles in Babylon. You will see with your own eyes how wicked they are, and then you will feel better about what I have done to Jerusalem. 23 When you meet them and see their behavior, you will understand that these things are not being done to Israel without cause. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”

Effort & Might

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God honors righteous effort over man-made might every day of the week.”

TB

Man

My dad says I’m smarter than him (I debate that to this day). Even if he’s right, his work ethic supersedes my intellect. Like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race. Conversely, I have found that my honest attempts have garnered me far more success than my clever schemes. That’s because God blesses the righteous, not the foolish. Especially in adverse situations.

Christ

God will use anyone and anything as He sees fit. Gideon in the Book of Judges is a great example of this. He was the least of his tribe, which was the least of all tribes. And yet, through God he led the victory or the Midianites. His faith and obedience were all he needed and God did the rest. So what does this tell us? God knows our hearts, minds, and capabilities. He made us. We all have a purpose that He provided. So let’s put in the effort to honor the kingdom and He will make a path for us to make that happen.

Today’s Question

Are you ready to put in the effort?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 11

1 Then the Spirit lifted me and brought me to the east gateway of the LORD ’s Temple, where I saw twenty-five prominent men of the city. Among them were Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, who were leaders among the people. 2 The Spirit said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are planning evil and giving wicked counsel in this city. 3 They say to the people, ‘Is it not a good time to build houses? This city is like an iron pot. We are safe inside it like meat in a pot. ’ 4 Therefore, son of man, prophesy against them loudly and clearly.” 5 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon me, and he told me to say, “This is what the LORD says to the people of Israel: I know what you are saying, for I know every thought that comes into your minds. 6 You have murdered many in this city and filled its streets with the dead. 7 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: This city is an iron pot all right, but the pieces of meat are the victims of your injustice. As for you, I will soon drag you from this pot. 8 I will bring on you the sword of war you so greatly fear, says the Sovereign LORD . 9 I will drive you out of Jerusalem and hand you over to foreigners, who will carry out my judgments against you. 10 You will be slaughtered all the way to the borders of Israel. I will execute judgment on you, and you will know that I am the LORD . 11 No, this city will not be an iron pot for you, and you will not be like meat safe inside it. I will judge you even to the borders of Israel, 12 and you will know that I am the LORD . For you have refused to obey my decrees and regulations; instead, you have copied the standards of the nations around you.” 13 While I was still prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah suddenly died. Then I fell face down on the ground and cried out, “O Sovereign LORD, are you going to kill everyone in Israel?” 14 Then this message came to me from the LORD : 15 “Son of man, the people still left in Jerusalem are talking about you and your relatives and all the people of Israel who are in exile. They are saying, ‘Those people are far away from the LORD, so now he has given their land to us!’ 16 “Therefore, tell the exiles, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I have scattered you in the countries of the world, I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile. 17 I, the Sovereign LORD, will gather you back from the nations where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel once again.’ 18 “When the people return to their homeland, they will remove every trace of their vile images and detestable idols. 19 And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, 20 so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those who long for vile images and detestable idols, I will repay them fully for their sins. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!” 22 Then the cherubim lifted their wings and rose into the air with their wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered above them. 23 Then the glory of the LORD went up from the city and stopped above the mountain to the east. 24 Afterward the Spirit of God carried me back again to Babylonia, to the people in exile there. And so ended the vision of my visit to Jerusalem. 25 And I told the exiles everything the LORD had shown me.

First Person

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“In order to build an authentic relationship with God, you must live a first person life.”~TB

Unreliable

I recently purchased a patio set that required some work to put it together. To give myself an understanding of what to expect, I read the reviews of people who had purchased the set. To my dismay, most said the process was hard, arduous, and not worth the effect. This made me avoid the project, dreading the idea of taking on such a difficult task. Yesterday, I finally got down to business, and not only did it take me about an hour, it was pretty straightforward and easy! Even more ironic, I enjoy putting things together, so why I allowed the opinions of others impede on my task is beyond me. As I sat on my newly built furniture, I laughed at myself because it had taken me an extra week to finish an easy and enjoyable project. I couldn’t help but see the correlation between how we pursue or don’t pursue a relationship with Christ based on the opinions of others.

In Real Time

When we live our lives based on the opinions and experiences of others, we fall prey to not truly living at all! The same can be said about knowing God. Just because you perceive that your buddy Joe is a Christian, that doesn’t mean he has all of the answers about God’s will for your life. That’s between you and God, not Joe. More to the point, most of us rely on faulty stories from other people that discourage us from knowing Him, only to find out that building that vital relationship was nothing like the bill of goods you were sold! Friends, walking with God is a first-person adventure. Your mother, brother, sister, daughter, son, pastor, teacher, or preacher cannot walk that walk for you. Even the wisest person is still unreliable in terms of perfectly exemplifying the behavior of Christ. So you must get to know him, otherwise you can fall prey to the false testimony of those who do now know Him.

Today’s Question

Are you actively walking with God, or are you getting advice from an unreliable source?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 37

1 Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim as the king of Judah. He was appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. 2 But neither King Zedekiah nor his attendants nor the people who were left in the land listened to what the LORD said through Jeremiah. 3 Nevertheless, King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the priest, son of Maaseiah, to ask Jeremiah, “Please pray to the LORD our God for us.” 4 Jeremiah had not yet been imprisoned, so he could come and go among the people as he pleased. 5 At this time the army of Pharaoh Hophra of Egypt appeared at the southern border of Judah. When the Babylonian army heard about it, they withdrew from their siege of Jerusalem. 6 Then the LORD gave this message to Jeremiah: 7 “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: The king of Judah sent you to ask me what is going to happen. Tell him, ‘Pharaoh’s army is about to return to Egypt, though he came here to help you. 8 Then the Babylonians will come back and capture this city and burn it to the ground.’ 9 “This is what the LORD says: Do not fool yourselves into thinking that the Babylonians are gone for good. They aren’t! 10 Even if you were to destroy the entire Babylonian army, leaving only a handful of wounded survivors, they would still stagger from their tents and burn this city to the ground!” 11 When the Babylonian army left Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s approaching army, 12 Jeremiah started to leave the city on his way to the territory of Benjamin, to claim his share of the property among his relatives there. 13 But as he was walking through the Benjamin Gate, a sentry arrested him and said, “You are defecting to the Babylonians!” The sentry making the arrest was Irijah son of Shelemiah, grandson of Hananiah. 14 “That’s not true!” Jeremiah protested. “I had no intention of doing any such thing.” But Irijah wouldn’t listen, and he took Jeremiah before the officials. 15 They were furious with Jeremiah and had him flogged and imprisoned in the house of Jonathan the secretary. Jonathan’s house had been converted into a prison. 16 Jeremiah was put into a dungeon cell, where he remained for many days. 17 Later King Zedekiah secretly requested that Jeremiah come to the palace, where the king asked him, “Do you have any messages from the LORD ?” “Yes, I do!” said Jeremiah. “You will be defeated by the king of Babylon.” 18 Then Jeremiah asked the king, “What crime have I committed? What have I done against you, your attendants, or the people that I should be imprisoned like this? 19 Where are your prophets now who told you the king of Babylon would not attack you or this land? 20 Listen, my lord the king, I beg you. Don’t send me back to the dungeon in the house of Jonathan the secretary, for I will die there.” 21 So King Zedekiah commanded that Jeremiah not be returned to the dungeon. Instead, he was imprisoned in the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace. The king also commanded that Jeremiah be given a loaf of fresh bread every day as long as there was any left in the city. So Jeremiah was put in the palace prison.

Tools

 

window-4553721_1920.jpgHi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Tools are only as good as you use them.”~TB

Possession

It’s human nature to think that just because you have the tools in your possession, you’re solid. Some of us spend a lifetime collecting the world’s best and shiniest tools only to let them sit and gather dust. It doesn’t necessarily matter if you ever use them, having them is what counts. We put these tools on display so that our peers can see how “prepared” and amazing we are, yet when it comes down to it, we’ve probably never even read the instruction manual to most of it. Oh man, with that kind of thinking, it’s no wonder why we struggle as a collective to discern the truth from the fake, good from evil, and so on. Yes, having the tools is a step in the right direction, but how effective can they be if you don’t ever use them?

Effective

I could have a state of the art gym in my house. However, if I don’t actually use it, how effective is just having the stuff around? The same concept can be applied to us and the Bible. Ask yourself, how much are you actually reading it? How often are you applying its wisdom to your life? If we spend more time binge-watching our favorite shows or zoning out to our preferred method of escapism, can we really blame the tools? Friends, it’s time that we put our tools to the test and use them to our advantage. The Living Word has a host of benefits that will serve you well all through your life. That said, you can only find that out if you use it.

Today’s Question

Are you collecting God’s tools or are you using them?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 27

1 This message came to Jeremiah from the LORD early in the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah, king of Judah. 
2 This is what the LORD said to me: “Make a yoke, and fasten it on your neck with leather straps. 
3 Then send messages to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon through their ambassadors who have come to see King Zedekiah in Jerusalem. 
4 Give them this message for their masters: ‘This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: 
5 With my great strength and powerful arm I made the earth and all its people and every animal. I can give these things of mine to anyone I choose. 
6 Now I will give your countries to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who is my servant. I have put everything, even the wild animals, under his control. 
7 All the nations will serve him, his son, and his grandson until his time is up. Then many nations and great kings will conquer and rule over Babylon. 
8 So you must submit to Babylon’s king and serve him; put your neck under Babylon’s yoke! I will punish any nation that refuses to be his slave, says the LORD . I will send war, famine, and disease upon that nation until Babylon has conquered it. 
9 “‘Do not listen to your false prophets, fortune-tellers, interpreters of dreams, mediums, and sorcerers who say, “The king of Babylon will not conquer you.” 
10 They are all liars, and their lies will lead to your being driven out of your land. I will drive you out and send you far away to die. 
11 But the people of any nation that submits to the king of Babylon will be allowed to stay in their own country to farm the land as usual. I, the LORD, have spoken!’” 
12 Then I repeated this same message to King Zedekiah of Judah. “If you want to live, submit to the yoke of the king of Babylon and his people. 
13 Why do you insist on dying—you and your people? Why should you choose war, famine, and disease, which the LORD will bring against every nation that refuses to submit to Babylon’s king? 
14 Do not listen to the false prophets who keep telling you, ‘The king of Babylon will not conquer you.’ They are liars. 
15 This is what the LORD says: ‘I have not sent these prophets! They are telling you lies in my name, so I will drive you from this land. You will all die—you and all these prophets, too.’” 
16 Then I spoke to the priests and the people and said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Do not listen to your prophets who claim that soon the gold articles taken from my Temple will be returned from Babylon. It is all a lie! 
17 Do not listen to them. Surrender to the king of Babylon, and you will live. Why should this whole city be destroyed? 
18 If they really are prophets and speak the LORD ’s messages, let them pray to the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. Let them pray that the articles remaining in the LORD ’s Temple and in the king’s palace and in the palaces of Jerusalem will not be carried away to Babylon!’ 
19 “For the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has spoken about the pillars in front of the Temple, the great bronze basin called the Sea, the water carts, and all the other ceremonial articles. 
20 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon left them here when he exiled Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, to Babylon, along with all the other nobles of Judah and Jerusalem. 
21 Yes, this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says about the precious things still in the Temple, in the palace of Judah’s king, and in Jerusalem: 
22 ‘They will all be carried away to Babylon and will stay there until I send for them,’ says the LORD . ‘Then I will bring them back to Jerusalem again.’”

Job

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t do the devil’s job for him.”~Jon Barnes

Enemy

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.

Ally

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.

Today’s Question

Who are you working for; God of the devil?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 13

1 This is what the LORD said to me: “Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it on, but do not wash it.” 
2 So I bought the loincloth as the LORD directed me, and I put it on. 
3 Then 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.” 
5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates as the LORD had instructed me. 
6 A long time afterward the LORD said to me, “Go back to the Euphrates and get the loincloth I told you to hide there.” 
7 So 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. 
8 Then 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. 
10 These 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! 
11 As 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. 
14 I 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.’” 
15 Listen and pay attention! Do not be arrogant, for the LORD has spoken. 
16 Give 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. 
17 And 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. 
18 Say 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.” 
19 The 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. 
20 Open 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? 
21 What 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! 
22 You 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. 
23 Can 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. 
25 This is your allotment, the portion I have assigned to you,” says the LORD, “for you have forgotten me, putting your trust in false gods. 
26 I myself will strip you and expose you to shame. 
27 I 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?”

Deeds

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Talking and walking are two different things.”~TB

Said

It’s one thing to know the truth. Hearing about the amazing works of Christ, how He brings us together to realize and share the Good News, it’s awesome! But faith is an amalgamation of both belief and deed. To put it bluntly, you can say you believe and follow Christ, but if you’re not acting on it, what good is your word?

Done

If you are looking to find healing, your belief has to be activated by your behavior. Sight alone does not change a situation, you have to activate your behavior. I can say I want to run a marathon, but if I’m not out there putting in the work, that dream is dead. Friends, we must all how ourselves accountable to the words and deeds we do or don’t do. Christ can fill the need, but we have to act on it.

Today’s Question

Does your talk outshine your walk?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 11

1 The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 
2 “Remind the people of Judah and Jerusalem about the terms of my covenant with them. 
3 Say to them, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Cursed is anyone who does not obey the terms of my covenant! 
4 For I said to your ancestors when I brought them out of the iron-smelting furnace of Egypt, “If you obey me and do whatever I command you, then you will be my people, and I will be your God.” 
5 I said this so I could keep my promise to your ancestors to give you a land flowing with milk and honey—the land you live in today.’” Then I replied, “Amen, LORD ! May it be so.” 
6 Then the LORD said, “Broadcast this message in the streets of Jerusalem. Go from town to town throughout the land and say, ‘Remember the ancient covenant, and do everything it requires. 
7 For I solemnly warned your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, “Obey me!” I have repeated this warning over and over to this day, 
8 but your ancestors did not listen or even pay attention. Instead, they stubbornly followed their own evil desires. And because they refused to obey, I brought upon them all the curses described in this covenant.’” 
9 Again the LORD spoke to me and said, “I have discovered a conspiracy against me among the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 
10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors. They have refused to listen to me and are worshiping other gods. Israel and Judah have both broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. 
11 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: I am going to bring calamity upon them, and they will not escape. Though they beg for mercy, I will not listen to their cries. 
12 Then the people of Judah and Jerusalem will pray to their idols and burn incense before them. But the idols will not save them when disaster strikes! 
13 Look now, people of Judah; you have as many gods as you have towns. You have as many altars of shame—altars for burning incense to your god Baal—as there are streets in Jerusalem. 
14 “Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, for I will not listen to them when they cry out to me in distress. 
15 “What right do my beloved people have to come to my Temple, when they have done so many immoral things? Can their vows and sacrifices prevent their destruction? They actually rejoice in doing evil! 
16 I, the LORD, once called them a thriving olive tree, beautiful to see and full of good fruit. But now I have sent the fury of their enemies to burn them with fire, leaving them charred and broken. 
17 “I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, who planted this olive tree, have ordered it destroyed. For the people of Israel and Judah have done evil, arousing my anger by burning incense to Baal.” 
18 Then the LORD told me about the plots my enemies were making against me. 
19 I was like a lamb being led to the slaughter. I had no idea that they were planning to kill me! “Let’s destroy this man and all his words,” they said. “Let’s cut him down, so his name will be forgotten forever.” 
20 O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, you make righteous judgments, and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets. Let me see your vengeance against them, for I have committed my cause to you. 
21 This is what the LORD says about the men of Anathoth who wanted me dead. They had said, “We will kill you if you do not stop prophesying in the LORD ’s name.” 
22 So this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says about them: “I will punish them! Their young men will die in battle, and their boys and girls will starve to death. 
23 Not one of these plotters from Anathoth will survive, for I will bring disaster upon them when their time of punishment comes.”