“God’s pattern for salvation is like sandpaper to the skin of evil people or buttermilk lotion to good people, who believe.” ~ Jon Barnes
“Be a trendsetter who is fundamental, morally, and ethically sound to be a leader, doing all the good you can for God, not for self-pity, fake piety, greed or ill-gotten gain.” ~ Jon Barnes
Ahaz Rules in Judah
“Remaining humbled and faithful when God blesses you is a test of obedience in which many us will fail because our will is more important that God’s Will and Commandments.” ~ Jon Barnes
2 Samuel 3
David’s Sons Born in Hebron
3 The second was Daniel,[a] whose mother was Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel.
The third was Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur.
4 The fourth was Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith.
The fifth was Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital.
5 The sixth was Ithream, whose mother was Eglah, David’s wife.
Abner Joins Forces with David
Joab Murders Abner
David Mourns Abner’s Death
34 Your hands were not bound;
your feet were not chained.
No, you were murdered—
the victim of a wicked plot.”
“Whatever you struggle with, don’t be surprised if it’s your test to get to the next level” ~Taryn Barnes
I haven’t been on this Earth very long, but I can say without a doubt that God has a very funny sense of humor. Yesterday, I talked about forgiveness and that it was something I was working on. Sure enough, only hours later, I was placed in a situation where my forgiveness levels were put to the test.
God put me smack dab in the room with the person I was struggling to forgive! At first, I was very upset at the situation. I didn’t want to be there and I didn’t want to deal with it. That said, in a very glaring way, I realized that I was being tested on how I’d react in the situation. I’m glad to say that I didn’t and I kept my cool. However, the night did leave a bad taste in my mouth, leaving me to struggle with it this very morning.
I had to admit that I was being legalistic about forgiveness. You see, just because you may be “right” in the eyes of man doesn’t mean that you’re “right” in the eyes of God. I could sit and be angry, or I can have peace and let God deal with the matters at hand. So I say, whatever turmoil, anguish, or problems you’re dealing with– whether situationally or relationally– let them go. It’s not about the other person or the problem. The truth is, the longer we dwell on the situation, the longer we rob ourselves of our joy, ultimately deterring our blessing for passing the test.
Lastly, when it comes to forgiving someone, it’s never about them. You choose to forgive because it’s the right thing to do. That other person/party involved does not have to be on board or even acknowledge their transgressions, you just forgive and move on anyway. It’s not always a walk in the park, but the peace and the close relationship you build with God is all the more worth it.
Question of the day
Are you deterring blessings by holding on to unforgiveness?
Enjoy today’s reading
Duties of Priests and Levites
Offerings for Priests and Levites
“Forgiveness is like running a marathon in that you cannot practice for one day and then expect to excel. In order to be successful, you must put in the work, conditioning your mind and heart to achieve desired results” ~Taryn Barnes
I’ll be honest, forgiveness is a tough business. There are times where transgressions can pass you by with a blink of an eye. Then other times, you may find yourself thinking things that you wouldn’t dare tell another living soul. As we progress in our walk with God, we get tested in all aspects and forgiveness can be quite the challenge.
Unpack Your Feelings
I recently had a major struggle in the forgiveness department. On paper, I understood that the chain of events wouldn’t resolve in the way that I would’ve liked, and at the time I had made up my mind to forgive and move on. However, as logical as I am, I forgot to dig a little deeper to unpack the emotional aspects of forgiveness. Though my brain had moved on, I had come to realize that I was still fraught with anger, resentment, rejection, sadness, and other fun feelings.
Let Them Go
Once I targeted the emotional barriers that were tripping me up on my quest for forgiveness, I realized that I had to let them go. Holding on to negative emotions only hinders your progress to grow with God, clouding your mind and judgment. Bottom line, you have to acknowledge those feelings in order for you to let them go.
Practice Makes Perfect
It takes practice to improve the art of forgiveness. Some people take to it naturally, while others have to put in a little extra work, which is perfectly ok. Don’t be afraid to get a training partner, who has run the race of forgiveness a bit longer than you. I often tease my dad about how amazing he is at forgiving people. Like a raincoat in the midst of a crazy storm, allowing transgressions to fall right off. I’m still working on my raincoat, but I try and put in the practice. We all start somewhere, advancing to different levels as we progress. Fortunately, in time, and with proper conditioning, we can extend grace and mercy to our fellow man as God extends it to us.
Question of the day
Are you showing up for your strength and conditioning practices for forgiveness?
The Budding of Aaron’s Staff
“Invest everything you are in God’s stock market as the ROI is everlasting” ~Taryn Barnes
The seeds we sow are like stocks in God’s stock market, going up and down in value as we navigate our personal daily choices. Those seeds are investments in our spiritual growth and development. Diversify your portfolio, and sow more good seeds than bad, as we all play the market in our own free will.
We reap what we sow for better or worse. As imperfect creatures our stock may become volatile, going up or plummeting, but rest assured if you put your heart and trust in Christ, God will always come through, exchanging your stocks with His, to see that your investment is actualized in heaven.
We play God’s stock market every day, giving us the opportunity to make better investments as we grow. Become a savvy investor by reading up on the good investment tips given to us by way of the Bible. The more you study, the better you become at investing, securing your retirement in heaven.
Question of the day
How is your biblical portfolio looking?
Enjoy today’s reading
Fire From the LORD
Quail From the LORD
“The flagship of your love boldly goes into the Spirit and Heart of God; Because your obedience, repentance, acts of faith, gifts of thanksgiving, and thoughtfulness of how much God has blessed you, is well received by God’s Mercy, Grace, Plan, and Provision.” ~ Jon Barnes
Evil is only an illusion so that the truth of our love for God can be tested! The fact is, all things are recycled and reclaimed into God either into heaven or into hell. If you have a wicked heart, then you will believe the devil or if you have a pure heart for God, then you will believe Him at His Word! By faith, your personal ability to properly love people is what wrestles with God and His plans to bless you. You cannot reap what you have sown if you did not bless your enemies, crew, and your loved ones, who all tend to be one in the same. God’s Orders, Words, and Love cannot be corrupted, broken or altered.
Jacob and Esau Make Peace