“Life will always present new opportunities and challenges, so hang tight, calm down, and remember who made you.”~TB
This sin fallen world will lull you into the fake belief that Christian life is some perfect-Instagram-able filter, where Jesus protects you from experiencing any pain or hardship. Many of you believe that if bad things happen, God must not be around. How foolish! Read your Bibles and you will see that every single person who took up their Holy employment struggled with many things. Even David, God’s favorite, endured hardship. The enemy uses this false ploy to deceive young believers. The moment you face a struggle, you abandon ship. You cower in fear and anguish over every little thing, because you haven’t done your reading. Friends, use your hardships to deepen your relationship with God. In those moments, double-down in your faith.
No one gets out of this life unbruised as we are all tested, pruned, pressed, into becoming more and more into the image of our Father in Heaven. To walk the path of Jesus means to catch a glimpse of what He endured to save us. When you understand this truth, go to the ultimate playbook, the Bible, to see how to navigate tricky situations. Troubles do not go away the closer you walk with God. However, because you’ve done your work and you know His teachings, He gives you the grace, strength, patience to endure any and every test thrown your way. So stop looking for the perfect life as a sign that God is good. God is Good because He IS. Calm down, remember the truth, and make Biblical decisions in all that you do.
How do you respond to your trials and tribulations?
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1A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
2Those who follow the right path fear the LORD ; those who take the wrong path despise him.
3A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe.
4Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.
5An honest witness does not lie; a false witness breathes lies.
6A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding.
7Stay away from fools, for you won’t find knowledge on their lips.
8The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.
9Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.
10Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy.
11The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the godly will flourish.
12There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
13Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.
14Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward.
15Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.
16The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.
17Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated.
18Simpletons are clothed with foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19Evil people will bow before good people; the wicked will bow at the gates of the godly.
20The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many “friends.”
21It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor.
22If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.
23Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!
24Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only foolishness.
25A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is a traitor.
26Those who fear the LORD are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.
27Fear of the LORD is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.
28A growing population is a king’s glory; a prince without subjects has nothing.
29People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.
30A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
31Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him.
32The wicked are crushed by disaster, but the godly have a refuge when they die.
33Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not found among fools.
34Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
35A king rejoices in wise servants but is angry with those who disgrace him.
“Make a decision and stick with it, because a double-mind cannot properly follow the Lord.”~TB
Reconcile Your Path
Saying you’ve accepted Christ is one thing. Walking the path is another. If you decide to accept the gift of salvation, be bold and follow through on that decision. People fall into traps because they say one thing but do the opposite. This happens because you are looking around at everything else when really you should focus your attention on God. Your relationship with God influences every aspect of your life, develop it first and the rest will follow.
Being disengaged in your relationship with God is like trying to pull yourself out of quicksand to no avail. When you are double-minded– practicing opposing behaviors– your mind becomes trapped, unable to free itself from a loop of negative/evil thinking. Friends, nothing good comes from a corrupt mind, as your actions and behaviors will soon mirror your destructive thoughts. Making evil choices is like a poisoned well, where your misdeeds leak onto all who encounter you. To be free of this trap, ask God for help.
Follow the Leader
Like Red Riding Hood, everyone strays from the path, getting into tricky situations. Fortunately, God is the wisest of them all, and no amount of quicksand is too difficult for Him to free you. Experiencing this freedom requires you to follow God, the leader. Though this path is narrow, it is clear, and simple to follow. Understand that simple and easy are not the same thing, as you must decide in everything you do to follow Christ. Be sober in your judgment and decisions and you will find peace in God’s path.
Are you upholding your decision to follow the path or is quicksand a better option?
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1My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment,
2for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions.
3For I, too, was once my father’s son, tenderly loved as my mother’s only child.
4My father taught me, “Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live.
5Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
6Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you.
7Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
8If you prize wisdom, she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will honor you.
9She will place a lovely wreath on your head; she will present you with a beautiful crown.”
10My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life.
11I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths.
12When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble.
13Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.
14Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers.
15Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving.
16For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day. They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble.
17They eat the food of wickedness and drink the wine of violence!
18The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
19But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over.
20My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words.
21Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.
23Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
24Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.
25Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.
27Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
“Don’t give the devil more credit than he deserves.”~TB
To understand what you’re up against, you must know your battlefield. There are three things that will constantly test you. Know what you’re up against so that you can pass your tests. Give credit where it is due, but don’t let these things rule over you.
There is no reason to fear the devil. The enemy can only do so much to you. When you give credit to the evil one for all of the struggles in your life, you are abdicating your responsibility in the decisions that you make. You have to make the choice to act on his influence, he can’t force you to sin.
As sin-fallen creatures, your flesh will always desire ungodly things. Power, sex, money, these are temptations that you must control your flesh around, otherwise, you will be ruled by them. You control your flesh, not the devil. So when you screw up, credit yourself, not him. Read the Word to tame your flesh. Lean on the Holy Spirit to form a disciplined thought life. You can to actively choose to deny your flesh, don’t sleep on your authority.
The world is a vile place that will chop and screw you up if you let it. Society mocks what is good, branding it as ‘lame’ or ‘uncool’. Do not fall for the illustrious ways of the world. It will seduce you into debt, jealousy, shame, violence, and destruction. The world is quite influential if you give it credit. But even still, you make the choice to buy shiny things you cannot afford. You make the decision to adhere to sinful practices in order to gain influence. You choose to deny God because you bow down to the pressure of your peers.
Are you taking credit for your choices or is it always someone else’s fault?
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1My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart.
2If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.
3Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.
4Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
6Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
7Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
9Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.
10Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
11My child, don’t reject the LORD ’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
12For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
13Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.
14For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.
15Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
16She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left.
17She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying.
18Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.
19By wisdom the LORD founded the earth; by understanding he created the heavens.
20By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth, and the dew settles beneath the night sky.
21My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them,
22for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace.
23They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble.
24You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.
25You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
26for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.
27Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.
28If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”
29Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you.
30Don’t pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you harm.
31Don’t envy violent people or copy their ways.
32Such wicked people are detestable to the LORD, but he offers his friendship to the godly.
33The LORD curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright.
34The LORD mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble.
35The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!
“There’s a reason why fear is a main tactic of the devil. It’s effective, unless you double down on the truth.”~TB
The devil will implement all types of lies and situations to get you fearful of your destiny. Like a pretend boogeyman, he’ll get you to avert your gaze from the Lord and onto your fears. Friends, this is merely a distraction ploy. Fear is such a visceral and powerful emotion, but it holds no bearing on the truth. Yes, the feeling of fear is very real, but the reality of its effects are only as real as you allow them to be. The devil is banking on you to cower in a corner because if you turn on the light with the truth, you’d see there is nothing actually there. The truth is your friend and guiding light. Lean into it!
The truth is that while bad things happen, we can overcome them. The only person that wins when you lose heart is the opposition. Friends, I implore you to look closely at your fears. They are not serving you, they are hindering you. God has and will continue to be a guiding force, but only if you let Him. This is where the Bible really comes in handy. When you read on a consistent basis, you will see that people have faced and endured hardships since the dawn of time. Granted, the battlefield has transferred from the land and into our thoughts. Be vigilant in what you feed your mind. Let the word of God guide you in times of fear so you can avoid the fake taunts of an inconsequential boogeyman.
Have you read the Bible to light your way or are you still believing the lies of a boogeyman?
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1When the LORD brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream!
2We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the LORD has done for them.”
3Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!
4Restore our fortunes, LORD, as streams renew the desert.
5Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.
6They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.
“When you fail to read the Word for yourself, you fall prey to false leaders who give a flattering message that waters down the Truth. Let’s call it what it is, a lie!”~TB
Today’s culture wants a surgary interpretation of God’s Truth. You want the inheritance, blessings, and mercy. Yet, you hate His discipline, correction, and Truth. False teachers, leaders, preachers, line up to give you their “good news” and because it’s easier to swallow, you blindly eat it up! Friends, anything outside God’s truth is a lie! Beware of leaders who weep for buildings, but not for their flock. Beware of seers who sing sweet words when in actuality we are being warned! Do not let anyone tell you differently.
Because you refuse to understand the Truth on your own, you are asleep at the wheel, failing to understand what is going on around you. Do you honestly think that the destruction occurring worldwide is God’s way of “bringing us together”? No, it is the judgment we so richly deserve. If this message offends you, good! It means there is still hope. Don’t look to me, look at the Bible and you will know what you are reading is true. Or, stay asleep and reap the judgment coming due.
Are you ok with the diet bible answers that lead to destruction or are you ready for the Truth?
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1LORD, you poured out blessings on your land! You restored the fortunes of Israel.
2You forgave the guilt of your people— yes, you covered all their sins. Interlude
3You held back your fury. You kept back your blazing anger.
4Now restore us again, O God of our salvation. Put aside your anger against us once more.
5Will you be angry with us always? Will you prolong your wrath to all generations?
6Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?
7Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.
8I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people. But let them not return to their foolish ways.
9Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, so our land will be filled with his glory.
10Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!
11Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven.
12Yes, the LORD pours down his blessings. Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.
13Righteousness goes as a herald before him, preparing the way for his steps.
“The devil is just a big insecure bully with a pathetic bag of tricks to scare you into submission. Stay rooted in the Word to see how harmless he truly is.” ~TB
Friends don’t fret over the nonsense that the evil one will try to sell you. Expect to question your thoughts, behavior, and external oppressive obstacles. He will not fight fair and you will be tried. But remember, we are strengthened in the Lord and He will fight on our behalf. Of course, evil is terrified of this fact and will try to distort this fact. Rest in the Truth that God has already won.
Do Your Part
Don’t forget, we are all one body in Christ, which means how we navigate our trials is a collective effort. Mature believers, when you don’t stand up to the injustices, enslavement, and poor treatment from corrupt leaders, you are allowing the innocent to be trampled by such nonsense. Why are you so afraid to hold evil to the fire of the Truth? Do you think he is mightier than God? Resist him so that generations will see the Truth in action.
Are you standing up against evil or are you numbing yourself in fear of a beaten foe?
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1We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.
2God says, “At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked.
3When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the one who keeps its foundations firm. Interlude
4“I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’ I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists!
5Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens or speak with such arrogance.’”
6For no one on earth—from east or west, or even from the wilderness— should raise a defiant fist.
7It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall.
8For the LORD holds a cup in his hand that is full of foaming wine mixed with spices. He pours out the wine in judgment, and all the wicked must drink it, draining it to the dregs.
9But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.”
“The hand of God is so powerful and awesome, I’m starting to correct many of my mistakes to now notice the best choices, options, decisions, thoughts, and words to say, exercise, share, and type each day; because I want to do better.”~Jon Barnes
Connect and correct your mistakes, error of thinking, and judgment with God so that He can guide how you talk, think, work, listen, and respond to others with quality, dignity, respect, and thoughtful responses to the needs of others.Help people and yourself by giving honest truth and moving through life as you should.
Run to the devil with the truth and he will step aside because God is with you!When he shows up, have your spiritual atomic bombs ready to hand him, as you pull the grenade-like pin, placing the bomb into satan’s mouth.There is no need to be afraid when you are doing the right things with God’s blessings.
Enjoy how God’s atomic love explodes in the face of evil like lovely fireworks of splendor in the grass, along with your best choices of patience, commitment, quality, and consistency for sharing God’s love everywhere you go and in everything you do.Let your reputation sing like a symphony of all styles of music, being conducted by the very Hand of God. God can see all of your work, before, during, and after it happens.
Are you a true instrument of God’s musical body of works or are you a mistake to blot out of Lamb’s Book of Life in Heaven?
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For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Death of the Son.”
1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. 2 I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
3 My enemies retreated; they staggered and died when you appeared. 4 For you have judged in my favor; from your throne you have judged with fairness. 5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have erased their names forever. 6 The enemy is finished, in endless ruins; the cities you uprooted are now forgotten.
7 But the Lord reigns forever, executing judgment from his throne. 8 He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness. 9 The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.
11 Sing praises to the Lord who reigns in Jerusalem.[a] Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds. 12 For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless. He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer.
13 Lord, have mercy on me. See how my enemies torment me. Snatch me back from the jaws of death. 14 Save me so I can praise you publicly at Jerusalem’s gates, so I can rejoice that you have rescued me.
15 The nations have fallen into the pit they dug for others. Their own feet have been caught in the trap they set. 16 The Lord is known for his justice. The wicked are trapped by their own deeds. Quiet Interlude[b]
17 The wicked will go down to the grave.[c] This is the fate of all the nations who ignore God. 18 But the needy will not be ignored forever; the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed.
19 Arise, O Lord! Do not let mere mortals defy you! Judge the nations! 20 Make them tremble in fear, O Lord. Let the nations know they are merely human. Interlude
“Closely listen and follow what God tells you to do and your path will stay set in the Kingdom of God forever.” ~ Jon Barnes
God understands us far better than we can imagine and life has been designed for us to learn why God is God!For those who choose not to understand, love, and follow God’s provisions, counsel, and wisdom, Woe unto you. Fear God and understand your childlike position in Him.
Notice the outcomes of the people who obeyed God in the Bible.Closely re-read and study their fate and connect your fate with those stories to receive a similar outcome.Or, choose to do the opposite and prepare for the worst detours in your life.
Choose the platform of eternity that is right for you.Many people will like it hot, but I have chosen the comforts of God in Heaven to focus my affections upon.All other platforms cannot compare or measure up to the living water of God’s Spirit that quenches the heat of hell, death, and destruction of satan with the Blood of Jesus.
Are you closely monitoring your party’s platform to ensure your allegiance, alliance, and attention in God’s Love is well placed?
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A History of the Priests and Levites
12 Here is the list of the priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the high priest:
These were the leaders of the priests and their associates in the days of Jeshua.
8 The Levites who returned with them were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who with his associates was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving.9 Their associates, Bakbukiah and Unni, stood opposite them during the service.
10 Jeshua the high priest was the father of Joiakim. Joiakim was the father of Eliashib. Eliashib was the father of Joiada. 11 Joiada was the father of Johanan.[d] Johanan was the father of Jaddua.
12 Now when Joiakim was high priest, the family leaders of the priests were as follows:
Meraiah was leader of the family of Seraiah. Hananiah was leader of the family of Jeremiah. 13 Meshullam was leader of the family of Ezra. Jehohanan was leader of the family of Amariah. 14 Jonathan was leader of the family of Malluch.[e] Joseph was leader of the family of Shecaniah.[f] 15 Adna was leader of the family of Harim. Helkai was leader of the family of Meremoth.[g] 16 Zechariah was leader of the family of Iddo. Meshullam was leader of the family of Ginnethon. 17 Zicri was leader of the family of Abijah. There was also a[h] leader of the family of Miniamin. Piltai was leader of the family of Moadiah. 18 Shammua was leader of the family of Bilgah. Jehonathan was leader of the family of Shemaiah. 19 Mattenai was leader of the family of Joiarib. Uzzi was leader of the family of Jedaiah. 20 Kallai was leader of the family of Sallu.[i] Eber was leader of the family of Amok. 21 Hashabiah was leader of the family of Hilkiah. Nethanel was leader of the family of Jedaiah.
22 A record of the Levite families was kept during the years when Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua served as high priest. Another record of the priests was kept during the reign of Darius the Persian.[j]23 A record of the heads of the Levite families was kept in The Book of History down to the days of Johanan, the grandson[k] of Eliashib.
24 These were the family leaders of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua, Binnui,[l] Kadmiel, and other associates, who stood opposite them during the ceremonies of praise and thanksgiving, one section responding to the other, as commanded by David, the man of God.25 This included Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, and Obadiah.
Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were the gatekeepers in charge of the storerooms at the gates.26 These all served in the days of Joiakim son of Jeshua, son of Jehozadak,[m] and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra the priest and scribe.
Dedication of Jerusalem’s Wall
27 For the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem, the Levites throughout the land were asked to come to Jerusalem to assist in the ceremonies. They were to take part in the joyous occasion with their songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres.28 The singers were brought together from the region around Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites.29 They also came from Beth-gilgal and the rural areas near Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built their own settlements around Jerusalem.30 The priests and Levites first purified themselves; then they purified the people, the gates, and the wall.
31 I led the leaders of Judah to the top of the wall and organized two large choirs to give thanks. One of the choirs proceeded southward[n] along the top of the wall to the Dung Gate.32 Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed them,33 along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam,34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, and Jeremiah.35 Then came some priests who played trumpets, including Zechariah son of Jonathan, son of Shemaiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micaiah, son of Zaccur, a descendant of Asaph.36 And Zechariah’s colleagues were Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani. They used the musical instruments prescribed by David, the man of God. Ezra the scribe led this procession.37 At the Fountain Gate they went straight up the steps on the ascent of the city wall toward the City of David. They passed the house of David and then proceeded to the Water Gate on the east.
38 The second choir giving thanks went northward[o] around the other way to meet them. I followed them, together with the other half of the people, along the top of the wall past the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall,39 then past the Ephraim Gate to the Old City Gate,[p] past the Fish Gate and the Tower of Hananel, and on to the Tower of the Hundred. Then we continued on to the Sheep Gate and stopped at the Guard Gate.
40 The two choirs that were giving thanks then proceeded to the Temple of God, where they took their places. So did I, together with the group of leaders who were with me.41 We went together with the trumpet-playing priests—Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah—42 and the singers—Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam, and Ezer. They played and sang loudly under the direction of Jezrahiah the choir director.
43 Many sacrifices were offered on that joyous day, for God had given the people cause for great joy. The women and children also participated in the celebration, and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away.
Provisions for Temple Worship
44 On that day men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the offerings, the first part of the harvest, and the tithes. They were responsible to collect from the fields outside the towns the portions required by the Law for the priests and Levites. For all the people of Judah took joy in the priests and Levites and their work.45 They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as commanded by David and his son Solomon, and so did the singers and the gatekeepers.46 The custom of having choir directors to lead the choirs in hymns of praise and thanksgiving to God began long ago in the days of David and Asaph.47 So now, in the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah, all Israel brought a daily supply of food for the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Levites. The Levites, in turn, gave a portion of what they received to the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
“You cannot be afraid to follow God’s Commandments, Directions, Wisdom, and Fruit of the Spiritin all the things you do.” ~ Jon Barnes
Your thanksgiving makes you fearless in God because you killed your pride, cleaned up your life in Christ, and you follow God.Being safe in God protects you from hell, death, and destruction. It is not the reason you love God. You don’t need a reason to love Your Father in Heaven, who created all things! The fear of the Lord makes you fearless of everything else, because of your true love for God.
Arrogance makes you weak, disobedient, and full of pride when you don’t believe in God. You say you do but, you really don’t. Your actions follow your belief and your works and words match your actions and behavior. Debating about frivolous statements will not aid in your arrogance. Kindly, close your mouth, read the Bible, obey God to kill your pride in God’s Holy Spirit to walk in the fruit of the Spirit.
Being grateful for what God has done in your life is an act of thanksgiving, which will help you to humble yourself in meditation, prayer, and motivation to do the will of God each day. Following God’s footsteps is a lot of fun and will inspire people who come in contact with you.Let your light shine fearlessly so that others may be fearful in their sin and compelled to repent.
What is your job for God and how does your love Him help others?
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2 Samuel 12
Nathan Rebukes David
12 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor.2 The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle.3 The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter.4 One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”
5 David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die!6 He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul.8 I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more.9 Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife.10 From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own.
11 “This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view.12 You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.”
David Confesses His Guilt
13 Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.14 Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the word of the Lord[a] by doing this, your child will die.”
15 After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah’s wife.16 David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground.17 The elders of his household pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused.
18 Then on the seventh day the child died. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He wouldn’t listen to reason while the child was ill,” they said. “What drastic thing will he do when we tell him the child is dead?”
19 When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the child dead?” he asked.
“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”
20 Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions,[b] and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate.
21 His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.”
22 David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’23 But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”
24 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David[c] named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded.[d]
David Captures Rabbah
26 Meanwhile, Joab was fighting against Rabbah, the capital of Ammon, and he captured the royal fortifications.[e]27 Joab sent messengers to tell David, “I have fought against Rabbah and captured its water supply.[f]28 Now bring the rest of the army and capture the city. Otherwise, I will capture it and get credit for the victory.”
29 So David gathered the rest of the army and went to Rabbah, and he fought against it and captured it.30 David removed the crown from the king’s head,[g] and it was placed on his own head. The crown was made of gold and set with gems, and it weighed seventy-five pounds.[h]David took a vast amount of plunder from the city.31 He also made slaves of the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with[i] saws, iron picks, and iron axes, and to work in the brick kilns.[j] That is how he dealt with the people of all the Ammonite towns. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.
“Too often we are copying people and not doing our own homework, following God, The Bible, and His Lifestyle Requirements for good living.” ~ Jon Barnes
Fear from the devil’s tricks locks up our minds with confusion, eats up our thoughts, waists our processing and thinking time, and prevents us from naturally seeing the truth.The blindfolds of fear also clog our ears, dulls our senses, and stops us from remembering and using scriptures to fight our battles. The world copies a wicked order of thinking to control, enslave, organization, cheat, steal, and lie to people to hide the real truth behind evil and deceptive practices and agendas. This is how we get caught up in the mess of copyingother wicked people because we fear the world and not God.
Being stuck in your self-made anxiety, given to you by the devil, freezes up your assets and ability to say, think, and do the good work for the Kingdom of God.You can handcuff yourself to these unwanted things because you haven’t settled your mind to listen to the scriptures, not your thoughts. You cannot freeze your mind into God’s scriptures and mindset if you have not read the whole Bible to remember the correct story for your situation and destiny. As a result, we tend to freeze up and copy what we fear and know, rather than learning directly from God through His Bible.
Repent, read, reorganize, and freeze yourself into the repentance mode as you gather and analyze God’s Biblical Intel to navigate your life from out of evilfear. Relax and walk through the shadow of death, anxiety, uncertainty, and emptiness and know that God is always with you, which makes you more than a conqueror. Fear God and not evil, so that you can fight with the fruits of the Spirit and not with your own intellect.
Are you copying God or Man?
Enjoy the Reading
The Lord’s Chosen Place for Worship
12 “These are the decrees and regulations you must be careful to obey when you live in the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. You must obey them as long as you live.
2 “When you drive out the nations that live there, you must destroy all the places where they worship their gods—high on the mountains, up on the hills, and under every green tree.3 Break down their altars and smash their sacred pillars. Burn their Asherah poles and cut down their carved idols. Completely erase the names of their gods!
4 “Do not worship the Lord your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods.5 Rather, you must seek the Lord your God at the place of worship he himself will choose from among all the tribes—the place where his name will be honored.6 There you will bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your sacred offerings, your offerings to fulfill a vow, your voluntary offerings, and your offerings of the firstborn animals of your herds and flocks.7 There you and your families will feast in the presence of the Lord your God, and you will rejoice in all you have accomplished because the Lord your God has blessed you.
8 “Your pattern of worship will change. Today all of you are doing as you please,9 because you have not yet arrived at the place of rest, the land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession.10 But you will soon cross the Jordan River and live in the land the Lord your God is giving you. When he gives you rest from all your enemies and you’re living safely in the land,11 you must bring everything I command you—your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your sacred offerings, and your offerings to fulfill a vow—to the designated place of worship, the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored.
12 “You must celebrate there in the presence of the Lord your God with your sons and daughters and all your servants. And remember to include the Levites who live in your towns, for they will receive no allotment of land among you.13 Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings just anywhere you like.14 You may do so only at the place the Lord will choose within one of your tribal territories. There you must offer your burnt offerings and do everything I command you.
15 “But you may butcher your animals and eat their meat in any town whenever you want. You may freely eat the animals with which the Lord your God blesses you. All of you, whether ceremonially clean or unclean, may eat that meat, just as you now eat gazelle and deer.16 But you must not consume the blood. You must pour it out on the ground like water.
17 “But you may not eat your offerings in your hometown—neither the tithe of your grain and new wine and olive oil, nor the firstborn of your flocks and herds, nor any offering to fulfill a vow, nor your voluntary offerings, nor your sacred offerings.18 You must eat these in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose. Eat them there with your children, your servants, and the Levites who live in your towns, celebrating in the presence of the Lord your God in all you do.19 And be very careful never to neglect the Levites as long as you live in your land.
20 “When the Lord your God expands your territory as he has promised, and you have the urge to eat meat, you may freely eat meat whenever you want.21 It might happen that the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored—is a long way from your home. If so, you may butcher any of the cattle, sheep, or goats the Lord has given you, and you may freely eat the meat in your hometown, as I have commanded you.22 Anyone, whether ceremonially clean or unclean, may eat that meat, just as you do now with gazelle and deer.23 But never consume the blood, for the blood is the life, and you must not consume the lifeblood with the meat.24 Instead, pour out the blood on the ground like water.25 Do not consume the blood, so that all may go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what pleases the Lord.
26 “Take your sacred gifts and your offerings given to fulfill a vow to the place the Lord chooses.27 You must offer the meat and blood of your burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord your God. The blood of your other sacrifices must be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, but you may eat the meat.28 Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and pleasing to the Lord your God.
29 “When the Lord your God goes ahead of you and destroys the nations and you drive them out and live in their land,30 do not fall into the trap of following their customs and worshiping their gods. Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.’31 You must not worship the Lord your God the way the other nations worship their gods, for they perform for their gods every detestable act that the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods.
32 [a]“So be careful to obey all the commands I give you. You must not add anything to them or subtract anything from them.