Doing

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t blame God for man’s doing.”

TB

Autonomy

God gave us the autonomy of free will. We can do, act, say, and be whatever we want. While we have the freedom to do as we please, we also have the freedom of experiencing the consequences of our actions. Remember, just because we can doesn’t mean that we should.

Deliverance

It’s funny, we crave freedom, but then we turn around and beg God for deliverance from said freedom. Friends, God is not trying to discourage us from living joyful lives. He’s basically trying to help us not put diesel in an unleaded car. Ask Him how to manage the gift of free will.

Today’s Question

Do you go to God for wisdom or only to clean up your mess?

Enjoy the reading

Numbers 23

1 Then Balaam said to King Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven young bulls and seven rams for me to sacrifice.” 2 Balak followed his instructions, and the two of them sacrificed a young bull and a ram on each altar. 3 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stand here by your burnt offerings, and I will go to see if the LORD will respond to me. Then I will tell you whatever he reveals to me.” So Balaam went alone to the top of a bare hill, 4 and God met him there. Balaam said to him, “I have prepared seven altars and have sacrificed a young bull and a ram on each altar.” 5 The LORD gave Balaam a message for King Balak. Then he said, “Go back to Balak and give him my message.” 6 So Balaam returned and found the king standing beside his burnt offerings with all the officials of Moab. 7 This was the message Balaam delivered: “Balak summoned me to come from Aram; the king of Moab brought me from the eastern hills. ‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me! Come and announce Israel’s doom.’ 8 But how can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I condemn those whom the LORD has not condemned? 9 I see them from the cliff tops; I watch them from the hills. I see a people who live by themselves, set apart from other nations. 10 Who can count Jacob’s descendants, as numerous as dust? Who can count even a fourth of Israel’s people? Let me die like the righteous; let my life end like theirs.” 11 Then King Balak demanded of Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies. Instead, you have blessed them!” 12 But Balaam replied, “I will speak only the message that the LORD puts in my mouth.” 13 Then King Balak told him, “Come with me to another place. There you will see another part of the nation of Israel, but not all of them. Curse at least that many!” 14 So Balak took Balaam to the plateau of Zophim on Pisgah Peak. He built seven altars there and offered a young bull and a ram on each altar. 15 Then Balaam said to the king, “Stand here by your burnt offerings while I go over there to meet the LORD .” 16 And the LORD met Balaam and gave him a message. Then he said, “Go back to Balak and give him my message.” 17 So Balaam returned and found the king standing beside his burnt offerings with all the officials of Moab. “What did the LORD say?” Balak asked eagerly. 18 This was the message Balaam delivered: “Rise up, Balak, and listen! Hear me, son of Zippor. 19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? 20 Listen, I received a command to bless; God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it! 21 No misfortune is in his plan for Jacob; no trouble is in store for Israel. For the LORD their God is with them; he has been proclaimed their king. 22 God brought them out of Egypt; for them he is as strong as a wild ox. 23 No curse can touch Jacob; no magic has any power against Israel. For now it will be said of Jacob, ‘What wonders God has done for Israel!’ 24 These people rise up like a lioness, like a majestic lion rousing itself. They refuse to rest until they have feasted on prey, drinking the blood of the slaughtered!” 25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Fine, but if you won’t curse them, at least don’t bless them!” 26 But Balaam replied to Balak, “Didn’t I tell you that I can do only what the LORD tells me?” 27 Then King Balak said to Balaam, “Come, I will take you to one more place. Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them from there.” 28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Mount Peor, overlooking the wasteland. 29 Balaam again told Balak, “Build me seven altars, and prepare seven young bulls and seven rams for me to sacrifice.” 30 So Balak did as Balaam ordered and offered a young bull and a ram on each altar.

Circumstance

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Your circumstance does not change who God is or what He’s promised His children”

TB

Tough

God does not promise a utopian life in this world. There are tough days, months, and sometimes years. God does promise to be with you, providing peace when we choose it.

Promis

We receive peace from Christ when we believe and act on the Truth. Learn to love as Christ does so that you may experience His peace. And, you begin to walk in peace no matter the circumstance.

Today’s Question

Are you trusting Him for peace?

Enjoy the reading

Leviticus 23

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. These are the LORD ’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as official days for holy assembly. 3 “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of complete rest, an official day for holy assembly. It is the LORD ’s Sabbath day, and it must be observed wherever you live. 4 “In addition to the Sabbath, these are the LORD ’s appointed festivals, the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year. 5 “The LORD ’s Passover begins at sundown on the fourteenth day of the first month. 6 On the next day, the fifteenth day of the month, you must begin celebrating the Festival of Unleavened Bread. This festival to the LORD continues for seven days, and during that time the bread you eat must be made without yeast. 7 On the first day of the festival, all the people must stop their ordinary work and observe an official day for holy assembly. 8 For seven days you must present special gifts to the LORD . On the seventh day the people must again stop all their ordinary work to observe an official day for holy assembly.” 9 Then the LORD said to Moses, 10 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you enter the land I am giving you and you harvest its first crops, bring the priest a bundle of grain from the first cutting of your grain harvest. 11 On the day after the Sabbath, the priest will lift it up before the LORD so it may be accepted on your behalf. 12 On that same day you must sacrifice a one-year-old male lamb with no defects as a burnt offering to the LORD . 13 With it you must present a grain offering consisting of four quarts of choice flour moistened with olive oil. It will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the LORD . You must also offer one quart of wine as a liquid offering. 14 Do not eat any bread or roasted grain or fresh kernels on that day until you bring this offering to your God. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live. 15 “From the day after the Sabbath—the day you bring the bundle of grain to be lifted up as a special offering—count off seven full weeks. 16 Keep counting until the day after the seventh Sabbath, fifty days later. Then present an offering of new grain to the LORD . 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves of bread to be lifted up before the LORD as a special offering. Make these loaves from four quarts of choice flour, and bake them with yeast. They will be an offering to the LORD from the first of your crops. 18 Along with the bread, present seven one-year-old male lambs with no defects, one young bull, and two rams as burnt offerings to the LORD . These burnt offerings, together with the grain offerings and liquid offerings, will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the LORD . 19 Then you must offer one male goat as a sin offering and two one-year-old male lambs as a peace offering. 20 “The priest will lift up the two lambs as a special offering to the LORD, together with the loaves representing the first of your crops. These offerings, which are holy to the LORD, belong to the priests. 21 That same day will be proclaimed an official day for holy assembly, a day on which you do no ordinary work. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live. 22 “When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. Leave it for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the LORD your God.” 23 The LORD said to Moses, 24 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. On the first day of the appointed month in early autumn, you are to observe a day of complete rest. It will be an official day for holy assembly, a day commemorated with loud blasts of a trumpet. 25 You must do no ordinary work on that day. Instead, you are to present special gifts to the LORD .” 26 Then the LORD said to Moses, 27 “Be careful to celebrate the Day of Atonement on the tenth day of that same month—nine days after the Festival of Trumpets. You must observe it as an official day for holy assembly, a day to deny yourselves and present special gifts to the LORD . 28 Do no work during that entire day because it is the Day of Atonement, when offerings of purification are made for you, making you right with the LORD your God. 29 All who do not deny themselves that day will be cut off from God’s people. 30 And I will destroy anyone among you who does any work on that day. 31 You must not do any work at all! This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live. 32 This will be a Sabbath day of complete rest for you, and on that day you must deny yourselves. This day of rest will begin at sundown on the ninth day of the month and extend until sundown on the tenth day.” 33 And the LORD said to Moses, 34 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. Begin celebrating the Festival of Shelters on the fifteenth day of the appointed month—five days after the Day of Atonement. This festival to the LORD will last for seven days. 35 On the first day of the festival you must proclaim an official day for holy assembly, when you do no ordinary work. 36 For seven days you must present special gifts to the LORD . The eighth day is another holy day on which you present your special gifts to the LORD . This will be a solemn occasion, and no ordinary work may be done that day. 37 (“These are the LORD ’s appointed festivals. Celebrate them each year as official days for holy assembly by presenting special gifts to the LORD —burnt offerings, grain offerings, sacrifices, and liquid offerings—each on its proper day. 38 These festivals must be observed in addition to the LORD ’s regular Sabbath days, and the offerings are in addition to your personal gifts, the offerings you give to fulfill your vows, and the voluntary offerings you present to the LORD .) 39 “Remember that this seven-day festival to the LORD —the Festival of Shelters—begins on the fifteenth day of the appointed month, after you have harvested all the produce of the land. The first day and the eighth day of the festival will be days of complete rest. 40 On the first day gather branches from magnificent trees —palm fronds, boughs from leafy trees, and willows that grow by the streams. Then celebrate with joy before the LORD your God for seven days. 41 You must observe this festival to the LORD for seven days every year. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed in the appointed month from generation to generation. 42 For seven days you must live outside in little shelters. All native-born Israelites must live in shelters. 43 This will remind each new generation of Israelites that I made their ancestors live in shelters when I rescued them from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” 44 So Moses gave the Israelites these instructions regarding the annual festivals of the LORD .

The Will of Free Will

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Do no underestimate (or mistake) the power of God’s will.”

TB

Choice

Imagine being powerful and almighty enough to know what happens even when mankind has the choice of free will. Only God knows the ending, and despite that, He gave us the choice to follow Him. It’s humbling when you sit and think about it for a moment.

Ending

The ending has been written and it’s set in stone. Luckily for us, we all have the choice and free will to decide where we want to be when we checkout. Friends, rejoice in the truth of choice because God loved us enough to make our own decisions. So with that, we must own our choice.

Today’s Question

Do you know the Truth, or do you want to be absolved of your choices?

Enjoy the reading

Exodus 14

1 Then the LORD gave these instructions to Moses: 2 “Order the Israelites to turn back and camp by Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, across from Baal-zephon. 3 Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!’ 4 And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD !” So the Israelites camped there as they were told. 5 When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. “What have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?” they asked. 6 So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops. 7 He took with him 600 of Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander. 8 The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, so he chased after the people of Israel, who had left with fists raised in defiance. 9 The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon. 10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the LORD, 11 and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? 12 Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’” 13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14 The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” 15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! 16 Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers. 18 When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the LORD !” 19 Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. 20 The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night. 21 Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. 22 So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side! 23 Then the Egyptians—all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers—chased them into the middle of the sea. 24 But just before dawn the LORD looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion. 25 He twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. “Let’s get out of here—away from these Israelites!” the Egyptians shouted. “The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt!” 26 When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the LORD said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.” 27 So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the LORD swept them into the sea. 28 Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers—the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived. 29 But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides. 30 That is how the LORD rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore. 31 When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

Downfall

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When we fail to learn and enact the teachings of Christ we are contributing to our own downfall.”

TB

Learn

When you continually study and walk with God, you understand His impact on the past, present, and future people. While God does permit us to walk in our free will, observe how this gift can become even the wisest of man’s downfall. This happens when we believe we are too good for God’s wisdom and are dumb enough to think we can live in sin without consequence.

Blind Descent

Consider King Solomon, one of the wisest of all people. In his youth, he managed to lead and judge people according to the teachings of Christ. He was incredibly successful until he decided to allow his flesh to lead to his kingdom’s destruction. Taking up with many women (700 wives and 300 concubines, sheesh!), King Solomon’s heart was corrupted, deserting the wisdom God had given him.

Consequence

Friends, you may be leading a double-life, on the surface praising God, but behind clothes doors, worshipping your flesh. While Solomon went down in history for his wisdom, it wasn’t all that great if you look at the later stages of his life. Just because God allowed him to be foolish did not mean that Solomon had His approval. So take a hard, honest look at your life and its path before your foolishness catches up with you.

Today’s Question

Are you dumb enough to believe that your wicked ways won’t lead to a downfall?

Enjoy the reading

Nahum 2

1 Your enemy is coming to crush you, Nineveh. Man the ramparts! Watch the roads! Prepare your defenses! Call out your forces! 2 Even though the destroyer has destroyed Judah, the LORD will restore its honor. Israel’s vine has been stripped of branches, but he will restore its splendor. 3 Shields flash red in the sunlight! See the scarlet uniforms of the valiant troops! Watch as their glittering chariots move into position, with a forest of spears waving above them. 4 The chariots race recklessly along the streets and rush wildly through the squares. They flash like firelight and move as swiftly as lightning. 5 The king shouts to his officers; they stumble in their haste, rushing to the walls to set up their defenses. 6 The river gates have been torn open! The palace is about to collapse! 7 Nineveh’s exile has been decreed, and all the servant girls mourn its capture. They moan like doves and beat their breasts in sorrow. 8 Nineveh is like a leaking water reservoir! The people are slipping away. “Stop, stop!” someone shouts, but no one even looks back. 9 Loot the silver! Plunder the gold! There’s no end to Nineveh’s treasures— its vast, uncounted wealth. 10 Soon the city is plundered, empty, and ruined. Hearts melt and knees shake. The people stand aghast, their faces pale and trembling. 11 Where now is that great Nineveh, that den filled with young lions? It was a place where people—like lions and their cubs— walked freely and without fear. 12 The lion tore up meat for his cubs and strangled prey for his mate. He filled his den with prey, his caverns with his plunder. 13 “I am your enemy!” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Your chariots will soon go up in smoke. Your young men will be killed in battle. Never again will you plunder conquered nations. The voices of your proud messengers will be heard no more.” Nahum 1Nahum 3  Parallel Compare

Elbow Grease

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

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

TB

Grace

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

Grit

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

Today’s Question

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

Enjoy the reading

Micah 1

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

Driver’s Seat

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Do not be afraid to give God the wheel.”

TB

Direction

We live in a world that wrongfully teaches people that we are ultimately in control of our lives. Granted, we have the free will to follow any and all directions. But friends, there is one direction that leads to the ultimate destination, and that requires us to put Christ in the driver’s seat of our lives.

Destination

When you move by faith, you will ultimately learn that God’s plan for your life far supersedes anything you could dream up for yourself. This is because He knows more than you or I will ever be able to contend with. Whatever is stopping you from being led, let it go. With God’s direction, you’ll get to the eternal destination.

Today’s Question

Are you giving up the driver’s seat or do you believe your destination is better than God’s?

Enjoy the reading

Hosea 6

1 “Come, let us return to the LORD . He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. 2 In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. 3 Oh, that we might know the LORD ! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” 4 “O Israel and Judah, what should I do with you?” asks the LORD . “For your love vanishes like the morning mist and disappears like dew in the sunlight. 5 I sent my prophets to cut you to pieces— to slaughter you with my words, with judgments as inescapable as light. 6 I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. 7 But like Adam, you broke my covenant and betrayed my trust. 8 “Gilead is a city of sinners, tracked with footprints of blood. 9 Priests form bands of robbers, waiting in ambush for their victims. They murder travelers along the road to Shechem and practice every kind of sin. 10 Yes, I have seen something horrible in Ephraim and Israel: My people are defiled by prostituting themselves with other gods! 11 “O Judah, a harvest of punishment is also waiting for you, though I wanted to restore the fortunes of my people.