Easy Button

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Understand the implications when you choose the easy button by living by your flesh”

TB

Instructions

We are the way we are because Adam and Eve failed to follow instructions. Imagine living your best life in Eden, only to derail it because your flesh overrode your obedience. We’re very much like that today. While God’s love for us is everlasting and His instructions simple, the battle of our flesh and untamed discipline is a lifelong struggle.

Refrain

We choose the easy button when we sin. When we decide to give in to temptation, rather than referring back to the Truth, we refer to our flesh. Then, we have to go back to God, hat in hand, asking for forgiveness. Friends, while we may never be perfect, we can develop the discipline to override our flesh. This starts with refraining to push the easy button and turning to Christ.

Today’s Question

How many times are you going to hit the easy button before you realize that God has everything you need?

Enjoy the reading

Exodus 8

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go back to Pharaoh and announce to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 2 If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs across your entire land. 3 The Nile River will swarm with frogs. They will come up out of the river and into your palace, even into your bedroom and onto your bed! They will enter the houses of your officials and your people. They will even jump into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4 Frogs will jump on you, your people, and all your officials.’” 5 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise the staff in your hand over all the rivers, canals, and ponds of Egypt, and bring up frogs over all the land.’” 6 So Aaron raised his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs came up and covered the whole land! 7 But the magicians were able to do the same thing with their magic. They, too, caused frogs to come up on the land of Egypt. 8 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, “Plead with the LORD to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the LORD .” 9 “You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.” 10 “Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. “All right,” Moses replied, “it will be as you have said. Then you will know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11 The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials, and your people. They will remain only in the Nile River.” 12 So Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh’s palace, and Moses cried out to the LORD about the frogs he had inflicted on Pharaoh. 13 And the LORD did just what Moses had predicted. The frogs in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields all died. 14 The Egyptians piled them into great heaps, and a terrible stench filled the land. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that relief had come, he became stubborn. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had predicted. 16 So the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise your staff and strike the ground. The dust will turn into swarms of gnats throughout the land of Egypt.’” 17 So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded them. When Aaron raised his hand and struck the ground with his staff, gnats infested the entire land, covering the Egyptians and their animals. All the dust in the land of Egypt turned into gnats. 18 Pharaoh’s magicians tried to do the same thing with their secret arts, but this time they failed. And the gnats covered everyone, people and animals alike. 19 “This is the finger of God!” the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He wouldn’t listen to them, just as the LORD had predicted. 20 Then the LORD told Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand in Pharaoh’s way as he goes down to the river. Say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 21 If you refuse, then I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials, your people, and all the houses. The Egyptian homes will be filled with flies, and the ground will be covered with them. 22 But this time I will spare the region of Goshen, where my people live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the LORD and that I am present even in the heart of your land. 23 I will make a clear distinction between my people and your people. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.’” 24 And the LORD did just as he had said. A thick swarm of flies filled Pharaoh’s palace and the houses of his officials. The whole land of Egypt was thrown into chaos by the flies. 25 Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron. “All right! Go ahead and offer sacrifices to your God,” he said. “But do it here in this land.” 26 But Moses replied, “That wouldn’t be right. The Egyptians detest the sacrifices that we offer to the LORD our God. Look, if we offer our sacrifices here where the Egyptians can see us, they will stone us. 27 We must take a three-day trip into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, just as he has commanded us.” 28 “All right, go ahead,” Pharaoh replied. “I will let you go into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God. But don’t go too far away. Now hurry and pray for me.” 29 Moses answered, “As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the LORD, and tomorrow the swarms of flies will disappear from you and your officials and all your people. But I am warning you, Pharaoh, don’t lie to us again and refuse to let the people go to sacrifice to the LORD .” 30 So Moses left Pharaoh’s palace and pleaded with the LORD to remove all the flies. 31 And the LORD did as Moses asked and caused the swarms of flies to disappear from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. Not a single fly remained. 32 But Pharaoh again became stubborn and refused to let the people go.

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.

Fool’s Errand

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t allow your unchecked flesh to turn you into an errand boy/girl for the devil.”

TB

Distorted

When we decide to let our flesh overrule our understanding of Christ and His teachings, we unwittingly become foot soldiers of tomfoolery. It could be that you’re sowing unnecessary seeds of discord through anger. It could be coveting your neighbor. It could be stealing, and so on. The point is, when we abandon the ways of Christ, our misdeeds are ultimately helping the opposition further his wicked agenda.

Wise Up

At first, it can be challenging to know if your behavior stinks, so ask yourself this: “are there behaviors in my life that are causing strife and destruction?”. If the answer is yes, then it’s time to rebuke your flesh-driven ways and turn to God in repentance. Ask Him to highlight the error of your ways. Allow Him to guide you to better, Christ-centered behaviors so that you don’t get caught up working with the opposition. In time, discipline will override your temptations.

Today’s Question

Are you too prideful to see you’re being used for destructive purposes?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 37

1 So Jacob settled again in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived as a foreigner. 2 This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing. 3 Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. 4 But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him. 5 One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. 6 “Listen to this dream,” he said. 7 “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” 8 His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them. 9 Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!” 10 This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?” 11 But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant. 12 Soon after this, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. 13 When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Get ready, and I will send you to them.” “I’m ready to go,” Joseph replied. 14 “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along,” Jacob said. “Then come back and bring me a report.” So Jacob sent him on his way, and Joseph traveled to Shechem from their home in the valley of Hebron. 15 When he arrived there, a man from the area noticed him wandering around the countryside. “What are you looking for?” he asked. 16 “I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Do you know where they are pasturing their sheep?” 17 “Yes,” the man told him. “They have moved on from here, but I heard them say, ‘Let’s go on to Dothan.’” So Joseph followed his brothers to Dothan and found them there. 18 When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. 19 “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. 20 “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!” 21 But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. 22 “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father. 23 So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing. 24 Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. 25 Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt. 26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. 27 Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. 28 So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt. 29 Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the cistern. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in grief. 30 Then he went back to his brothers and lamented, “The boy is gone! What will I do now?” 31 Then the brothers killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood. 32 They sent the beautiful robe to their father with this message: “Look at what we found. Doesn’t this robe belong to your son?” 33 Their father recognized it immediately. “Yes,” he said, “it is my son’s robe. A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!” 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time. 35 His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep. 36 Meanwhile, the Midianite traders arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.

Yes, Sir

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Once you understand and internalize that God has the very best planned for you, obedience becomes a welcomed process.”

TB

Shadow

Notice how the opposition and his foot soldiers (the blind) cast shadows and doubt around what is true. You’ll hear things like “God is mean”, “why would I follow someone who will send me to hell?”, or “why does God hate those who are different”. Now, if you take a surface view, and you don’t have any context to who God is, their argument seems valid. But friends, understand that the devil is in the details, which is why you must read the Word for yourself and do your own due diligence! Because God created us, we are His. Which means He knows the best way for us to operate.

Optimal Performance

If you desire to live a life full of contentment, it’s in your best interest to know God on a personal level. Friends, God does not lie or mislead His children. In fact, He delights those who humbly and honestly seek Him, sharing the wisdom and insights that draw us closer to Him. This requires active faith, which is faith that transforms and changes your hearts and minds. It activates the obedience and discipline required to turn away from evil and shameful deeds. When you take care to abandon your flesh-driven desires, you are then able to see the difference between your old life and your new one.

Aye Aye, Captain

As you grow more mature in your walk with Christ, examine the patterns and situations you’ve experienced through your personal timeline. Notice how you’ve put down the cup of the foolishness of the world and how you’ve picked up the cup of righteousness. The road does become more narrow, as old habits and the people around them fade away. However, the wisdom and direction from God become clearer, like a lighthouse shining its light to guide you home. So friends, pick up your cross so that you can understand the joy of following God. In time, you’ll see His way is the only guide that makes sense.

Today’s Question

Are you listening to the half-truths of the devil rather than saying yes to God?

Enjoy the reading

Malachi 3

1 “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 2 “But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. 3 He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD . 4 Then once more the LORD will accept the offerings brought to him by the people of Judah and Jerusalem, as he did in the past. 5 “At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 6 “I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. 7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’ 8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 13 “You have said terrible things about me,” says the LORD . “But you say, ‘What do you mean? What have we said against you?’ 14 “You have said, ‘What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by trying to show the LORD of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins? 15 From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich, and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm.’” 16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name. 17 “They will be my people,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”

Footing

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“For firm footing, ask God.”

TB

Quicksand

If you want to live a life built on quicksand, worship people and the false idols they create. Because we are flesh-driven and desire to pursue our own foolish desires, man will always lead one another astray. Like quicksand, wayward people trap one another with lies and desires from a fallen world. Don’t take my word for it, look at the world with a sober mind and it will show you the Truth– it is destined to fall.

Firm Foundation

Like Laban treated Jacob, the world’s goalpost is constantly changing, the rules never stay the same, and the house always wins– or so it seems. But for the uninitiated, God pre-destined this long ago, which is why we must place our feet firmly on His Word to see things as they are. First, we must turn away from our wicked deeds, commit to walking the walk, and then actually put one foot in front of the other, towards Christ.

Today’s Question

Are you tired of drowning in Quicksand yet?

Enjoy the reading

Zechariah 7

1 On December 7 of the fourth year of King Darius’s reign, another message came to Zechariah from the LORD . 2 The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regemmelech, along with their attendants, to seek the LORD ’s favor. 3 They were to ask this question of the prophets and the priests at the Temple of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies: “Should we continue to mourn and fast each summer on the anniversary of the Temple’s destruction, as we have done for so many years?” 4 The LORD of Heaven’s Armies sent me this message in reply: 5 “Say to all your people and your priests, ‘During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the summer and in early autumn, was it really for me that you were fasting? 6 And even now in your holy festivals, aren’t you eating and drinking just to please yourselves? 7 Isn’t this the same message the LORD proclaimed through the prophets in years past when Jerusalem and the towns of Judah were bustling with people, and the Negev and the foothills of Judah were well populated?’” 8 Then this message came to Zechariah from the LORD : 9 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. 10 Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other. 11 “Your ancestors refused to listen to this message. They stubbornly turned away and put their fingers in their ears to keep from hearing. 12 They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the instructions or the messages that the LORD of Heaven’s Armies had sent them by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. That is why the LORD of Heaven’s Armies was so angry with them. 13 “Since they refused to listen when I called to them, I would not listen when they called to me, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 14 As with a whirlwind, I scattered them among the distant nations, where they lived as strangers. Their land became so desolate that no one even traveled through it. They turned their pleasant land into a desert.”

Chasing Tails

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“To proclaim love for the Lord but to desire worldly pursuits is like a dog chasing its tail.”

TB

Duplicitous

When we know God, we also know what is wrong and what is right. But an untamed heart, mind, and flesh will always crave the things of this world. When pride and ego are your only friends, words of wisdom sound foolish, and foolish words seem wise. In this flesh-driven thinking, you’ll find yourself repeating the same mistakes over and over, like a distracted animal.

Intentional

So, how is it that we still chase after the things that are not of God? That’s because the flesh will always lead us into temptation, but if we strengthen our resolve to follow Christ first, we can minimize our sinful nature. This occurs when we limit worldly influence, cling to the Word of Christ, and spend time with those who eagerly seek Him as well.

Today’s Question

Are you done running around in circles chasing your tail?

Enjoy the reading

Nahum 3

1 What sorrow awaits Nineveh, the city of murder and lies! She is crammed with wealth and is never without victims. 2 Hear the crack of whips, the rumble of wheels! Horses’ hooves pound, and chariots clatter wildly. 3 See the flashing swords and glittering spears as the charioteers charge past! There are countless casualties, heaps of bodies— so many bodies that people stumble over them. 4 All this because Nineveh, the beautiful and faithless city, mistress of deadly charms, enticed the nations with her beauty. She taught them all her magic, enchanting people everywhere. 5 “I am your enemy!” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “And now I will lift your skirts and show all the earth your nakedness and shame. 6 I will cover you with filth and show the world how vile you really are. 7 All who see you will shrink back and say, ‘Nineveh lies in ruins. Where are the mourners?’ Does anyone regret your destruction?” 8 Are you any better than the city of Thebes, situated on the Nile River, surrounded by water? She was protected by the river on all sides, walled in by water. 9 Ethiopia and the land of Egypt gave unlimited assistance. The nations of Put and Libya were among her allies. 10 Yet Thebes fell, and her people were led away as captives. Her babies were dashed to death against the stones of the streets. Soldiers threw dice to get Egyptian officers as servants. All their leaders were bound in chains. 11 And you, Nineveh, will also stagger like a drunkard. You will hide for fear of the attacking enemy. 12 All your fortresses will fall. They will be devoured like the ripe figs that fall into the mouths of those who shake the trees. 13 Your troops will be as weak and helpless as women. The gates of your land will be opened wide to the enemy and set on fire and burned. 14 Get ready for the siege! Store up water! Strengthen the defenses! Go into the pits to trample clay, and pack it into molds, making bricks to repair the walls. 15 But the fire will devour you; the sword will cut you down. The enemy will consume you like locusts, devouring everything they see. There will be no escape, even if you multiply like swarming locusts. 16 Your merchants have multiplied until they outnumber the stars. But like a swarm of locusts, they strip the land and fly away. 17 Your guards and officials are also like swarming locusts that crowd together in the hedges on a cold day. But like locusts that fly away when the sun comes up, all of them will fly away and disappear. 18 Your shepherds are asleep, O Assyrian king; your princes lie dead in the dust. Your people are scattered across the mountains with no one to gather them together. 19 There is no healing for your wound; your injury is fatal. All who hear of your destruction will clap their hands for joy. Where can anyone be found who has not suffered from your continual cruelty?

Pacify

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t let your flesh pacify God’s Will for your life.”

TB

One Body

We all have a responsibility to our brothers, sisters, widows, and children as God commanded us to look out for one another. As the body of Christ, God gives us a mission that is as unique to our one on one relationship with Him. When we fail to do our God-given responsibilities, we are following our own fleshly agendas.

One Agenda

You can tell a lot about a person from how they treat the people around them. If your life is selfishly lived for your own pleasure, and yet you call yourself a child of Christ. It’s time to examine your internal behavior. Friends, we cannot serve two masters. So, if you find that you are the master and commander of your own ship, don’t pacify your deeds. Turn to God.

Today’s Question

Are you part of the body of Christ or part of your own agenda?

Enjoy the reading

Micah 3

1 I said, “Listen, you leaders of Israel! You are supposed to know right from wrong, 2 but you are the very ones who hate good and love evil. You skin my people alive and tear the flesh from their bones. 3 Yes, you eat my people’s flesh, strip off their skin, and break their bones. You chop them up like meat for the cooking pot. 4 Then you beg the LORD for help in times of trouble! Do you really expect him to answer? After all the evil you have done, he won’t even look at you!” 5 This is what the LORD says: “You false prophets are leading my people astray! You promise peace for those who give you food, but you declare war on those who refuse to feed you. 6 Now the night will close around you, cutting off all your visions. Darkness will cover you, putting an end to your predictions. The sun will set for you prophets, and your day will come to an end. 7 Then you seers will be put to shame, and you fortune-tellers will be disgraced. And you will cover your faces because there is no answer from God.” 8 But as for me, I am filled with power— with the Spirit of the LORD . I am filled with justice and strength to boldly declare Israel’s sin and rebellion. 9 Listen to me, you leaders of Israel! You hate justice and twist all that is right. 10 You are building Jerusalem on a foundation of murder and corruption. 11 You rulers make decisions based on bribes; you priests teach God’s laws only for a price; you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid. Yet all of you claim to depend on the LORD . “No harm can come to us,” you say, “for the LORD is here among us.” 12 Because of you, Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field; Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins! A thicket will grow on the heights where the Temple now stands.

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?

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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.

Taking Cues

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you take cues from the world on how to live your life, it shows.”

TB

Foolishness

Because we are designed to be lead (our choice on who or what), it’s natural to want to look at your neighbors and see what they are doing. The trouble lies in blindly following practices and customs that you know to be wrong. When you take cues from the world, it is much easier to find people that eagerly want to steer you in the wrong direction as they are driven by fleshly desires. Remember that the world brings death, but Christ brings life.

Divine Authority

Take up your cross and learn to take your cues from Christ. By developing the discipline and patience to see through the corruption of the world, your eyes become accustomed to looking at Him instead of the world. Spirit lead, Christ will impart the wisdom, peace, and joy needed to live a victorious life. Of course, this requires you to look and follow Him. So friends, stop looking around and following the destruction and reconstruct your heart to focus and live by Christ

Today’s Question

Who are you taking cues from?

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Hosea 12

1 The people of Israel feed on the wind; they chase after the east wind all day long. They pile up lies and violence; they are making an alliance with Assyria while sending olive oil to buy support from Egypt. 2 Now the LORD is bringing charges against Judah. He is about to punish Jacob for all his deceitful ways, and pay him back for all he has done. 3 Even in the womb, Jacob struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God. 4 Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. There at Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him — 5 the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, the LORD is his name! 6 So now, come back to your God. Act with love and justice, and always depend on him. 7 But no, the people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales— they love to cheat. 8 Israel boasts, “I am rich! I’ve made a fortune all by myself! No one has caught me cheating! My record is spotless!” 9 “But I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. And I will make you live in tents again, as you do each year at the Festival of Shelters. 10 I sent my prophets to warn you with many visions and parables.” 11 But the people of Gilead are worthless because of their idol worship. And in Gilgal, too, they sacrifice bulls; their altars are lined up like the heaps of stone along the edges of a plowed field. 12 Jacob fled to the land of Aram, and there he earned a wife by tending sheep. 13 Then by a prophet the LORD brought Jacob’s descendants out of Egypt; and by that prophet they were protected. 14 But the people of Israel have bitterly provoked the LORD, so their Lord will now sentence them to death in payment for their sins.

Swept Up

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Stay rooted in the Word so that you may not get swept up in a fallen world.”

TB

Unruly

When we don’t know about Christ, this world can seem like the only source of truth. It tells us that life is left to chance and to follow our own desires. To the unaware, this seems fine, but the truth is, this flies in the face of Christ and His teachings. The fallen world teaches chaos and destruction for the sole purpose of getting people to turn away from the Truth. When we’re occupied with our own agenda, Christ is an afterthought.

Rules of Engagement

Friends, learn how to tame your flesh, or else you will be ruled by it. The devil does not care about your possessions or anything else in this world. He wants to steal your faith so that you trade in your salvation for a bunch of lies. He does this by touting flesh-driven desires. Understanding this, work to build your relationship with Christ so that you can understand how to avoid the trappings of a fallen world.

Today’s Question

Are you developing your roots in Christ or are you swept up in your flesh?

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Hosea 4

1 Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel! The LORD has brought charges against you, saying: “There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land. 2 You make vows and break them; you kill and steal and commit adultery. There is violence everywhere— one murder after another. 3 That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away. Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea are disappearing. 4 “Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame! My complaint, you priests, is with you. 5 So you will stumble in broad daylight, and your false prophets will fall with you in the night. And I will destroy Israel, your mother. 6 My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children. 7 The more priests there are, the more they sin against me. They have exchanged the glory of God for the shame of idols. 8 “When the people bring their sin offerings, the priests get fed. So the priests are glad when the people sin! 9 ‘And what the priests do, the people also do.’ So now I will punish both priests and people for their wicked deeds. 10 They will eat and still be hungry. They will play the prostitute and gain nothing from it, for they have deserted the LORD 11 to worship other gods. “Wine has robbed my people of their understanding. 12 They ask a piece of wood for advice! They think a stick can tell them the future! Longing after idols has made them foolish. They have played the prostitute, serving other gods and deserting their God. 13 They offer sacrifices to idols on the mountaintops. They go up into the hills to burn incense in the pleasant shade of oaks, poplars, and terebinth trees. “That is why your daughters turn to prostitution, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery. 14 But why should I punish them for their prostitution and adultery? For your men are doing the same thing, sinning with whores and shrine prostitutes. O foolish people! You refuse to understand, so you will be destroyed. 15 “Though you, Israel, are a prostitute, may Judah not be guilty of such things. Do not join the false worship at Gilgal or Beth-aven, and do not take oaths there in the LORD ’s name. 16 Israel is stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. So should the LORD feed her like a lamb in a lush pasture? 17 Leave Israel alone, because she is married to idolatry. 18 When the rulers of Israel finish their drinking, off they go to find some prostitutes. They love shame more than honor. 19 So a mighty wind will sweep them away. Their sacrifices to idols will bring them shame.