Your Step

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Your step has your name and your lesson on it.”

Jon Barnes

Unique

Wherever you are in your relationship with God is distinctly between you and Him. In the grand scheme of things, this means that we all have unique and distinct relationships with God. For that reason, while we should encourage, share, and learn from one another, we cannot compare notes on our personal relationships with Christ.

Step 1, 2

Just because we are on different steps does not mean that anyone person is greater than the next. Friends we must not make God-specific judgments about people and their walk with Christ. In doing so, we take away the miraculousness that is God. Everyone fails without Christ. There isn’t a single person who is perfect. So, mind your step.

Today’s Question

Are you focusing on your steps with God, or are you stalled by looking out at other people?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 25

1 Abraham married another wife, whose name was Keturah. 2 She gave birth to Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan. Dedan’s descendants were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites. 4 Midian’s sons were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. These were all descendants of Abraham through Keturah. 5 Abraham gave everything he owned to his son Isaac. 6 But before he died, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them off to a land in the east, away from Isaac. 7 Abraham lived for 175 years, 8 and he died at a ripe old age, having lived a long and satisfying life. He breathed his last and joined his ancestors in death. 9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite. 10 This was the field Abraham had purchased from the Hittites and where he had buried his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who settled near Beer-lahai-roi in the Negev. 12 This is the account of the family of Ishmael, the son of Abraham through Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian servant. 13 Here is a list, by their names and clans, of Ishmael’s descendants: The oldest was Nebaioth, followed by Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 These twelve sons of Ishmael became the founders of twelve tribes named after them, listed according to the places they settled and camped. 17 Ishmael lived for 137 years. Then he breathed his last and joined his ancestors in death. 18 Ishmael’s descendants occupied the region from Havilah to Shur, which is east of Egypt in the direction of Asshur. There they lived in open hostility toward all their relatives. 19 This is the account of the family of Isaac, the son of Abraham. 20 When Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram and the sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac pleaded with the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The LORD answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins. 22 But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask the LORD about it. “Why is this happening to me?” she asked. 23 And the LORD told her, “The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.” 24 And when the time came to give birth, Rebekah discovered that she did indeed have twins! 25 The first one was very red at birth and covered with thick hair like a fur coat. So they named him Esau. 26 Then the other twin was born with his hand grasping Esau’s heel. So they named him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born. 27 As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter. He was an outdoorsman, but Jacob had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating the wild game Esau brought home, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”) 31 “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.” 32 “Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?” 33 But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.

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?

Hamster Wheel

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Spring to action and focus on God’s plan for you, because focusing on the devil’s distractions is much like being a hamster on a wheel.”

TB

Steadfast

We only have so much time to learn, comprehend, and carry out our plans and assignments. While God is faithful and merciful on deadlines, focus and prioritization are key to completing the objective. By staying wrapped in the word, we eat the good fruit and steer clear of the bad. However, there will be and are times where we find ourselves trapped in the distraction of the opposition.

Fruitless

Though we know what we must do, it’s important to understand how the devil keeps us from fulfilling our destinies. One such tactic is getting us off our path. When we believe or entertain the lies of the enemy, we begin to focus on matters that literally have nothing to do with our goals. Like hamsters on the wheel, we end up mindlessly chasing things, people, trends, money, and the like who have nothing to do with our purpose. If you’re tired of running aimlessly, turn your sights to God to get off of the wheel.

Fruitful

So how do we get off the wheel? We start by forgiving offenses, encouraging our brothers and sisters, reading the Word, and picking up our cross, and walking with Christ. Friends, it’s very easy to get caught up in the busyness of our own plans. Like the hamster on the wheel, we can aimlessly chase for nothing, while wasting time failing to learn the whole Truth. Look to God for a fruitful direction, walk in patience, humility, and forgiveness so that you can continue in progress. By identifying the trap of the hamster wheel, you can avoid the distraction and walk your walk with Christ.

Today’s Question

Are you a hamster or a child of God?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 36

1 “Son of man, prophesy to Israel’s mountains. Give them this message: O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD ! 2 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Your enemies have taunted you, saying, ‘Aha! Now the ancient heights belong to us!’ 3 Therefore, son of man, give the mountains of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD : Your enemies have attacked you from all directions, making you the property of many nations and the object of much mocking and slander. 4 Therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign LORD . He speaks to the hills and mountains, ravines and valleys, and to ruined wastes and long-deserted cities that have been destroyed and mocked by the surrounding nations. 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My jealous anger burns against these nations, especially Edom, because they have shown utter contempt for me by gleefully taking my land for themselves as plunder. 6 “Therefore, prophesy to the hills and mountains, the ravines and valleys of Israel. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am furious that you have suffered shame before the surrounding nations. 7 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I have taken a solemn oath that those nations will soon have their own shame to endure. 8 “But the mountains of Israel will produce heavy crops of fruit for my people—for they will be coming home again soon! 9 See, I care about you, and I will pay attention to you. Your ground will be plowed and your crops planted. 10 I will greatly increase the population of Israel, and the ruined cities will be rebuilt and filled with people. 11 I will increase not only the people, but also your animals. O mountains of Israel, I will bring people to live on you once again. I will make you even more prosperous than you were before. Then you will know that I am the LORD . 12 I will cause my people to walk on you once again, and you will be their territory. You will never again rob them of their children. 13 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: The other nations taunt you, saying, ‘Israel is a land that devours its own people and robs them of their children!’ 14 But you will never again devour your people or rob them of their children, says the Sovereign LORD . 15 I will not let you hear those other nations insult you, and you will no longer be mocked by them. You will not be a land that causes its nation to fall, says the Sovereign LORD .” 16 Then this further message came to me from the LORD : 17 “Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by the evil way they lived. To me their conduct was as unclean as a woman’s menstrual cloth. 18 They polluted the land with murder and the worship of idols, so I poured out my fury on them. 19 I scattered them to many lands to punish them for the evil way they had lived. 20 But when they were scattered among the nations, they brought shame on my holy name. For the nations said, ‘These are the people of the LORD, but he couldn’t keep them safe in his own land!’ 21 Then I was concerned for my holy name, on which my people brought shame among the nations. 22 “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD : I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations. 23 I will show how holy my great name is—the name on which you brought shame among the nations. And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes, says the Sovereign LORD, then the nations will know that I am the LORD . 24 For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land. 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. 28 “And you will live in Israel, the land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will cleanse you of your filthy behavior. I will give you good crops of grain, and I will send no more famines on the land. 30 I will give you great harvests from your fruit trees and fields, and never again will the surrounding nations be able to scoff at your land for its famines. 31 Then you will remember your past sins and despise yourselves for all the detestable things you did. 32 But remember, says the Sovereign LORD, I am not doing this because you deserve it. O my people of Israel, you should be utterly ashamed of all you have done! 33 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When I cleanse you from your sins, I will repopulate your cities, and the ruins will be rebuilt. 34 The fields that used to lie empty and desolate in plain view of everyone will again be farmed. 35 And when I bring you back, people will say, ‘This former wasteland is now like the Garden of Eden! The abandoned and ruined cities now have strong walls and are filled with people!’ 36 Then the surrounding nations that survive will know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted the wasteland. For I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will do what I say. 37 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am ready to hear Israel’s prayers and to increase their numbers like a flock. 38 They will be as numerous as the sacred flocks that fill Jerusalem’s streets at the time of her festivals. The ruined cities will be crowded with people once more, and everyone will know that I am the LORD .”

Lighthouse

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“To avoid crashing from the darkness of this world, use the Truth of Christ to be the lighthouse bringing you safely home

TB

Destruction

There is so much noise and distraction in the world. Many of us have to fight to stay focused on our walks with God. If we’re not careful, we can get swept up in the sweet-sounding destruction of the opposition.

Safety

To avoid the pitfalls and snares, quiet your surroundings to focus on the Truth of Christ. Within the Word, you’ll find the light leading you to safety and the wisdom to keep you grounded. Like a lighthouse guiding ships home, follow Him to get to the destination

Today’s Question

Are you following the right directions?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 18

1 Then another message came to me from the LORD : 2 “Why do you quote this proverb concerning the land of Israel: ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste’? 3 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, you will not quote this proverb anymore in Israel. 4 For all people are mine to judge—both parents and children alike. And this is my rule: The person who sins is the one who will die. 5 “Suppose a certain man is righteous and does what is just and right. 6 He does not feast in the mountains before Israel’s idols or worship them. He does not commit adultery or have intercourse with a woman during her menstrual period. 7 He is a merciful creditor, not keeping the items given as security by poor debtors. He does not rob the poor but instead gives food to the hungry and provides clothes for the needy. 8 He grants loans without interest, stays away from injustice, is honest and fair when judging others, 9 and faithfully obeys my decrees and regulations. Anyone who does these things is just and will surely live, says the Sovereign LORD . 10 “But suppose that man has a son who grows up to be a robber or murderer and refuses to do what is right. 11 And that son does all the evil things his father would never do—he worships idols on the mountains, commits adultery, 12 oppresses the poor and helpless, steals from debtors by refusing to let them redeem their security, worships idols, commits detestable sins, 13 and lends money at excessive interest. Should such a sinful person live? No! He must die and must take full blame. 14 “But suppose that sinful son, in turn, has a son who sees his father’s wickedness and decides against that kind of life. 15 This son refuses to worship idols on the mountains and does not commit adultery. 16 He does not exploit the poor, but instead is fair to debtors and does not rob them. He gives food to the hungry and provides clothes for the needy. 17 He helps the poor, does not lend money at interest, and obeys all my regulations and decrees. Such a person will not die because of his father’s sins; he will surely live. 18 But the father will die for his many sins—for being cruel, robbing people, and doing what was clearly wrong among his people. 19 “‘What?’ you ask. ‘Doesn’t the child pay for the parent’s sins?’ No! For if the child does what is just and right and keeps my decrees, that child will surely live. 20 The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness. 21 But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. 22 All their past sins will be forgotten, and they will live because of the righteous things they have done. 23 “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign LORD . Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live. 24 However, if righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things and act like other sinners, should they be allowed to live? No, of course not! All their righteous acts will be forgotten, and they will die for their sins. 25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you? 26 When righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. 27 And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. 28 They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die. 29 And yet the people of Israel keep saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ O people of Israel, it is you who are not doing what’s right, not I. 30 “Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign LORD . Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you! 31 Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel? 32 I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign LORD . Turn back and live!

Hands Off, Handoff

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“We must take our hands off the things we can’t control and give them the handoff to God.”

TB

Hands Off

Admittedly, though I like to believe that I’m laid-back, I am a low-key control freak, obsessed over the things I cannot control. In my brain, I see the many inefficiencies in life and if I could just get my hands on it, things would be much better (arrogant much?). As such, the things I do have control over tend to be neglected. I’m sure many of us are like that to some degree. The ironic thing is that God is looking at us to put our hands on the things we are meant to be obedient with, while keeping our hands off on the areas where only He can make the difference. This is where trust and obedience really come into play. When we trust that God is sovereign, we can more easily hand off the matters that really aren’t our own.

Handoff

Obsessing over the things we cannot control in our lives is an unnecessary burden. All it does is cause us to remain stuck in neutral, feeling frustrated and hopeless. Friends, the devil likes us to be in this position because when we are preoccupied with what we can’t do, we aren’t doing the things we can do. For example, I forgot to post yesterday because I was focused on a myriad of things that are out of my control to fix. So rather than share the Good News, I stewed in my own thoughts. I share this so that you can look at your own lives and examine what needs to be handed off to God. Friends, our lives aren’t meant to feel burdened, hopeless, or overwhelming. We have to relent and give God control otherwise we end up needlessly stuck in neutral.

Today’s Question

Are you ready to let God be God in your life?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 50

1 The LORD gave Jeremiah the prophet this message concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians. 2 This is what the LORD says: “Tell the whole world, and keep nothing back. Raise a signal flag to tell everyone that Babylon will fall! Her images and idols will be shattered. Her gods Bel and Marduk will be utterly disgraced. 3 For a nation will attack her from the north and bring such destruction that no one will live there again. Everything will be gone; both people and animals will flee. 4 “In those coming days,” says the LORD, “the people of Israel will return home together with the people of Judah. They will come weeping and seeking the LORD their God. 5 They will ask the way to Jerusalem and will start back home again. They will bind themselves to the LORD with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten. 6 “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains. They have lost their way and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold. 7 All who found them devoured them. Their enemies said, ‘We did nothing wrong in attacking them, for they sinned against the LORD, their true place of rest, and the hope of their ancestors.’ 8 “But now, flee from Babylon! Leave the land of the Babylonians. Like male goats at the head of the flock, lead my people home again. 9 For I am raising up an army of great nations from the north. They will join forces to attack Babylon, and she will be captured. The enemies’ arrows will go straight to the mark; they will not miss! 10 Babylonia will be looted until the attackers are glutted with loot. I, the LORD, have spoken! 11 “You rejoice and are glad, you who plundered my chosen people. You frisk about like a calf in a meadow and neigh like a stallion. 12 But your homeland will be overwhelmed with shame and disgrace. You will become the least of nations— a wilderness, a dry and desolate land. 13 Because of the LORD ’s anger, Babylon will become a deserted wasteland. All who pass by will be horrified and will gasp at the destruction they see there. 14 “Yes, prepare to attack Babylon, all you surrounding nations. Let your archers shoot at her; spare no arrows. For she has sinned against the LORD . 15 Shout war cries against her from every side. Look! She surrenders! Her walls have fallen. It is the LORD ’s vengeance, so take vengeance on her. Do to her as she has done to others! 16 Take from Babylon all those who plant crops; send all the harvesters away. Because of the sword of the enemy, everyone will run away and rush back to their own lands. 17 “The Israelites are like sheep that have been scattered by lions. First the king of Assyria ate them up. Then King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon cracked their bones.” 18 Therefore, this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Now I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, just as I punished the king of Assyria. 19 And I will bring Israel home again to its own land, to feed in the fields of Carmel and Bashan, and to be satisfied once more in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead. 20 In those days,” says the LORD, “no sin will be found in Israel or in Judah, for I will forgive the remnant I preserve. 21 “Go up, my warriors, against the land of Merathaim and against the people of Pekod. Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them, as I have commanded you,” says the LORD . 22 “Let the battle cry be heard in the land, a shout of great destruction. 23 Babylon, the mightiest hammer in all the earth, lies broken and shattered. Babylon is desolate among the nations! 24 Listen, Babylon, for I have set a trap for you. You are caught, for you have fought against the LORD . 25 The LORD has opened his armory and brought out weapons to vent his fury. The terror that falls upon the Babylonians will be the work of the Sovereign LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 26 Yes, come against her from distant lands. Break open her granaries. Crush her walls and houses into heaps of rubble. Destroy her completely, and leave nothing! 27 Destroy even her young bulls— it will be terrible for them, too! Slaughter them all! For Babylon’s day of reckoning has come. 28 Listen to the people who have escaped from Babylon, as they tell in Jerusalem how the LORD our God has taken vengeance against those who destroyed his Temple. 29 “Send out a call for archers to come to Babylon. Surround the city so none can escape. Do to her as she has done to others, for she has defied the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. 30 Her young men will fall in the streets and die. Her soldiers will all be killed,” says the LORD . 31 “See, I am your enemy, you arrogant people,” says the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Your day of reckoning has arrived— the day when I will punish you. 32 O land of arrogance, you will stumble and fall, and no one will raise you up. For I will light a fire in the cities of Babylon that will burn up everything around them.” 33 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “The people of Israel and Judah have been wronged. Their captors hold them and refuse to let them go. 34 But the one who redeems them is strong. His name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. He will defend them and give them rest again in Israel. But for the people of Babylon there will be no rest! 35 “The sword of destruction will strike the Babylonians,” says the LORD . “It will strike the people of Babylon— her officials and wise men, too. 36 The sword will strike her wise counselors, and they will become fools. The sword will strike her mightiest warriors, and panic will seize them. 37 The sword will strike her horses and chariots and her allies from other lands, and they will all become like women. The sword will strike her treasures, and they all will be plundered. 38 A drought will strike her water supply, causing it to dry up. And why? Because the whole land is filled with idols, and the people are madly in love with them. 39 “Soon Babylon will be inhabited by desert animals and hyenas. It will be a home for owls. Never again will people live there; it will lie desolate forever. 40 I will destroy it as I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns,” says the LORD . “No one will live there; no one will inhabit it. 41 “Look! A great army is coming from the north. A great nation and many kings are rising against you from far-off lands. 42 They are armed with bows and spears. They are cruel and show no mercy. As they ride forward on horses, they sound like a roaring sea. They are coming in battle formation, planning to destroy you, Babylon. 43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about the enemy, and he is weak with fright. Pangs of anguish have gripped him, like those of a woman in labor. 44 “I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan, leaping on the sheep in the pasture. I will chase Babylon from its land, and I will appoint the leader of my choice. For who is like me, and who can challenge me? What ruler can oppose my will?” 45 Listen to the LORD ’s plans against Babylon and the land of the Babylonians. Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep, and their homes will be destroyed. 46 The earth will shake with the shout, “Babylon has been taken!” and its cry of despair will be heard around the world.

Off-Topic

girls-3481791_1920.jpg

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Learn the topics and teachings of Christ so that you may not spend your life off-topic.”~TB

Attention

You ever notice how many distracting things there are in this world? Between all of the apps, gadgets, gossip, social posturing, and the like, left unchecked, a whole lifetime can be wasted on things that do not matter. How odd! There is only so much time in a given day and before you know it, it’s gone as quickly as it arrived.  If humans are so busy being plugged into the nonsense, it’s not hard to understand why people struggle to know who Christ actually is. More to the point, the opposition will leverage such distractions to keep people from being on topic. If you want to pursue a life of Christ, you must first learn what topics really matter so that you can discern truth from fake reality.

Focus

Take a moment to evaluate how and with whom you spend your time. Ask yourself if these things mirror the topics that God has placed in your heart. If you feel too distracted in your mind to know what those topics are, seek out the Word of God so that you can understand what this life is actually all about. When you know which topics are of Christ and which ones are not, it becomes easier to make the right decisions for your mind and time. Let’s not be mindless bots on a planet that seeks to distract and numb us from our calling. Instead, let’s be about Christ’s topics and how they can give us the peace and focus we seek.

Today’s Question

Are you good at wasting away instead of being on topic?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 12

1 LORD, you always give me justice when I bring a case before you. So let me bring you this complaint: Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil people so happy? 
2 You have planted them, and they have taken root and prospered. Your name is on their lips, but you are far from their hearts. 
3 But as for me, LORD, you know my heart. You see me and test my thoughts. Drag these people away like sheep to be butchered! Set them aside to be slaughtered! 
4 How long must this land mourn? Even the grass in the fields has withered. The wild animals and birds have disappeared because of the evil in the land. For the people have said, “The LORD doesn’t see what’s ahead for us!” 
5 “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan? 
6 Even your brothers, members of your own family, have turned against you. They plot and raise complaints against you. Do not trust them, no matter how pleasantly they speak. 
7 “I have abandoned my people, my special possession. I have surrendered my dearest ones to their enemies. 
8 My chosen people have roared at me like a lion of the forest, so I have treated them with contempt. 
9 My chosen people act like speckled vultures, but they themselves are surrounded by vultures. Bring on the wild animals to pick their corpses clean! 
10 “Many rulers have ravaged my vineyard, trampling down the vines and turning all its beauty into a barren wilderness. 
11 They have made it an empty wasteland; I hear its mournful cry. The whole land is desolate, and no one even cares. 
12 On all the bare hilltops, destroying armies can be seen. The sword of the LORD devours people from one end of the nation to the other. No one will escape! 
13 My people have planted wheat but are harvesting thorns. They have worn themselves out, but it has done them no good. They will harvest a crop of shame because of the fierce anger of the LORD .” 
14 Now this is what the LORD says: “I will uproot from their land all the evil nations reaching out for the possession I gave my people Israel. And I will uproot Judah from among them. 
15 But afterward I will return and have compassion on all of them. I will bring them home to their own lands again, each nation to its own possession. 
16 And if these nations truly learn the ways of my people, and if they learn to swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the LORD lives’ (just as they taught my people to swear by the name of Baal), then they will be given a place among my people. 
17 But any nation who refuses to obey me will be uprooted and destroyed. I, the LORD, have spoken!”

 

DysFUNction

08AD78CC-1EF3-40B3-BA27-B456621EA5C0

Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“If your life is constantly embroiled in chaos, it’s time to evaluate your part or the equation”~TB

Storm

In life, stormy weather does occur and bad days are par for the course. However, God did not call us to lead lives of constant chaos, nor is the devil permitted to hang over our heads like a perpetual thunder cloud. If you find yourself at odd with people, the world, and life in generally, it’s time to have an honest discussion with God about the reality of the life you lead.

Fun

Whether we like to admit it or not, chaos can be fun. It provides a good story to tell, sympathy, and something to do if you’re life seems boring. The problem is, continued chaos reeks havoc on the way humans operate. Every human being seeks routine, in one way or another. As we’re all creatures of comfort to some degree, when we fall off the rails of Biblical normalcy, unresolved issues can lead us to a life of chaos and disarray. If left unchecked, the cycle of chaos may become your routine as you learn to build a life around that dysfunction.

The Difference

If you find yourself enjoying the FUN in dysfunction, it’s high time you consult with the Lord about your life. Ask him to reveal the blind spots in your line of sight so you can see the chaos for what it truly is. Only when you see the brokenness that is swallowing you whole then can you change the patterns that had gotten hold of you. But first, that starts by surrendering to God so that you can begin to heal.

 

Today’s Question

Are you ready to ditch the Fun in dysfunction?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 3

1 The Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, will take away from Jerusalem and Judah everything they depend on: every bit of bread and every drop of water,
2 all their heroes and soldiers, judges and prophets, fortune-tellers and elders,
3 army officers and high officials, advisers, skilled sorcerers, and astrologers.
4 I will make boys their leaders, and toddlers their rulers.
5 People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor. Young people will insult their elders, and vulgar people will sneer at the honorable.
6 In those days a man will say to his brother, “Since you have a coat, you be our leader! Take charge of this heap of ruins!”
7 But he will reply, “No! I can’t help. I don’t have any extra food or clothes. Don’t put me in charge!”
8 For Jerusalem will stumble, and Judah will fall, because they speak out against the LORD and refuse to obey him. They provoke him to his face.
9 The very look on their faces gives them away. They display their sin like the people of Sodom and don’t even try to hide it. They are doomed! They have brought destruction upon themselves.
10 Tell the godly that all will be well for them. They will enjoy the rich reward they have earned!
11 But the wicked are doomed, for they will get exactly what they deserve.
12 Childish leaders oppress my people, and women rule over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you; they send you down the wrong road.
13 The LORD takes his place in court and presents his case against his people.
14 The LORD comes forward to pronounce judgment on the elders and rulers of his people: “You have ruined Israel, my vineyard. Your houses are filled with things stolen from the poor.
15 How dare you crush my people, grinding the faces of the poor into the dust?” demands the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
16 The LORD says, “Beautiful Zion is haughty: craning her elegant neck, flirting with her eyes, walking with dainty steps, tinkling her ankle bracelets.
17 So the Lord will send scabs on her head; the LORD will make beautiful Zion bald.”
18 On that day of judgment the Lord will strip away everything that makes her beautiful: ornaments, headbands, crescent necklaces,
19 earrings, bracelets, and veils;
20scarves, ankle bracelets, sashes, perfumes, and charms;
21 rings, jewels,
22 party clothes, gowns, capes, and purses;
23mirrors, fine linen garments, head ornaments, and shawls.
24 Instead of smelling of sweet perfume, she will stink. She will wear a rope for a sash, and her elegant hair will fall out. She will wear rough burlap instead of rich robes. Shame will replace her beauty.
25 The men of the city will be killed with the sword, and her warriors will die in battle.
26 The gates of Zion will weep and mourn. The city will be like a ravaged woman, huddled on the ground.

Focus

14E0A282-B77F-4004-830A-420083EB54CD

Hi Peeps

Today’s Quote

“Focus in today’s tasks as tomorrow will have their own”~TB

Futile

It is a waste of time to spend today paralyzed  worrying about the unknowns of tomorrow.  By not tilling the soil today, you are jeopardizing your harvest of the future.  Don’t be the maker of your own futility as there are other obstacles that will surely keep you busy. Quit worrying and focus on what God has asked you to do.

Hone

To focus, hone in on God‘s word and live your life according to his principles. That way you are keeping your eyes on what is that above, avoiding the pitfalls are trying to control something you have no jurisdiction over. Trust in His perfect timing by dwelling in his perfect peace so that your focus is on the right thing.

Today’s question

What are you focusing on?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 1

1 These are the visions that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. He saw these visions during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.
2 Listen, O heavens! Pay attention, earth! This is what the LORD says: “The children I raised and cared for have rebelled against me.
3 Even an ox knows its owner, and a donkey recognizes its master’s care— but Israel doesn’t know its master. My people don’t recognize my care for them.”
4Oh, what a sinful nation they are— loaded down with a burden of guilt. They are evil people, corrupt children who have rejected the LORD . They have despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.
5 Why do you continue to invite punishment? Must you rebel forever? Your head is injured, and your heart is sick.
6 You are battered from head to foot— covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds— without any soothing ointments or bandages.
7 Your country lies in ruins, and your towns are burned. Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes and destroy everything they see.
8Beautiful Jerusalem stands abandoned like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard, like a lean-to in a cucumber field after the harvest, like a helpless city under siege.
9 If the LORD of Heaven’s Armies had not spared a few of us, we would have been wiped out like Sodom, destroyed like Gomorrah.
10 Listen to the LORD, you leaders of “Sodom.” Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.”
11“What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the LORD . “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?
13 Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting— they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings.
14 I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
15 When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
16 Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways.
17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
18 “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD . “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
19 If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat.
20 But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
21 See how Jerusalem, once so faithful, has become a prostitute. Once the home of justice and righteousness, she is now filled with murderers.
22 Once like pure silver, you have become like worthless slag. Once so pure, you are now like watered-down wine.
23 Your leaders are rebels, the companions of thieves. All of them love bribes and demand payoffs, but they refuse to defend the cause of orphans or fight for the rights of widows.
24Therefore, the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the Mighty One of Israel, says, “I will take revenge on my enemies and pay back my foes!
25 I will raise my fist against you. I will melt you down and skim off your slag. I will remove all your impurities.
26 Then I will give you good judges again and wise counselors like you used to have. Then Jerusalem will again be called the Home of Justice and the Faithful City.”
27 Zion will be restored by justice; those who repent will be revived by righteousness.
28 But rebels and sinners will be completely destroyed, and those who desert the LORD will be consumed.
29 You will be ashamed of your idol worship in groves of sacred oaks. You will blush because you worshiped in gardens dedicated to idols.
30You will be like a great tree with withered leaves, like a garden without water.
31 The strongest among you will disappear like straw; their evil deeds will be the spark that sets it on fire. They and their evil works will burn up together, and no one will be able to put out the fire.

 

Through the Fire

lamp-2903830_1920 (1).jpg

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Walk with God through the fire and you will surely not burn.”~TB

Inferno

In this broken world, things will never go according to plan.  Trials and tribulations will always occur. Friends, how you handle those tests is of the utmost importance. If you try and fight the fire in your own accord, you will burn. This is because man has a 2-dimensional way of thinking. People judge by what they see, and to the human eye, things are not always what they appear to be. Leaning on your own understanding will cause you to be like a leaf in the wind– unrooted and all over the place. There are protection and guidance, but you must learn to walk with Him.

Fireproof

God is there in the midst of your inferno. The more consistent you are in studying the Word and applying its wisdom, the easier it is to see Him in the midst of your situation. Like a flame-retardant cloak, God’s presence allows you to pass through your suffering unscathed. Enjoy the peace and calm that can be found in His word.  When you put your Faith in God and not what is in front of you, watch how the moment changes. Even in the bleakest of circumstances, there is hope and protection. Seek out His grace to successfully walk through the fire.

Today’s Question

Is your lack of faith causing you to burn?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 131 

1 LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. 
2 Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me. 
3 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD — now and always.

Focus

archery-472932_1920.jpg

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you’re focused on the right things, it’s amazing to see how God works.”~TB

Purpose

God has given you a unique purpose that only you can fulfill. He will gently call you, and if you listen and answer, He will reveal His plans for you. Living a purposed-fill life in Christ can be challenging yet exciting. Walking with God requires you to put down the unclean things that once held your attention. At first, it will seem like a hard sacrifice. In time, however, you will come to realize that the things He is trying to give to you are more precious than anything you will find on this earth. Stay focused and on task.

Distractions

If you’re not careful, the world will distract you, turning your focus from your personal Biblical development to a secular superficial lifestyle. While God wants balance and peace for you, if you are asleep at the wheel and not staying in the Word, the opposition will sneak in to try and get you off of your path. Be vigilant as getting off track is subtle and almost seemingly harmless. But after a time, you will see the chaos that distractions cause. Stay focused to run and finish your personal race.

Today’s Question

Are you focused on your purpose or are you purposefully distracted?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 121

1 I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? 
2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! 
3 He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. 
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. 
5 The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. 
7 The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. 
8 The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.