Far Better Than Worse

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“With God, doing life with your brothers and sisters in Christ is far better than worse.”

TB

Real Talk

Love is a verb and it’s a hard one. Especially when it comes to loving those closest to you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve imagined jumping ship to greener pastures. But, as I reflect on the amazing people that God has placed in my corner to do life with, I can say it is far better than worse. I didn’t always feel this way. And sometimes, I still scratch my head when it comes to those I love as they likely scratch their head at me. I’m sure we all do. But, when we allow Christ’s loving example to guide how we love others, it does make those trying times a bit easier.

Hard Work

God-inspired love takes an honest, hardworking, and consistent approach to even do a halfway decent job of it. It forces us to be present. It calls us to forgive as God freely forgives us. It causes us to swallow our pride and let transgressors off the hook. It causes us to put down our lectures and let God be God to teach us what we need to learn. Christ-like love is tough from a human perspective, which is why we have to use God’s filter rather than our own. So the next time you feel like you may want to excommunicate a loved one, remember how Christ loves you and see how you can mirror that love. Using Christ’s template, you will come to find that love is far better than worse.

Today’s Question

Who are you modeling your love after?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 52

1 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 2 But Zedekiah did what was evil in the LORD ’s sight, just as Jehoiakim had done. 3 These things happened because of the LORD ’s anger against the people of Jerusalem and Judah, until he finally banished them from his presence and sent them into exile. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 So on January 15, during the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon led his entire army against Jerusalem. They surrounded the city and built siege ramps against its walls. 5 Jerusalem was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah’s reign. 6 By July 18 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign, the famine in the city had become very severe, and the last of the food was entirely gone. 7 Then a section of the city wall was broken down, and all the soldiers fled. Since the city was surrounded by the Babylonians, they waited for nightfall. Then they slipped through the gate between the two walls behind the king’s garden and headed toward the Jordan Valley. 8 But the Babylonian troops chased King Zedekiah and overtook him on the plains of Jericho, for his men had all deserted him and scattered. 9 They captured the king and took him to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath. There the king of Babylon pronounced judgment upon Zedekiah. 10 The king of Babylon made Zedekiah watch as he slaughtered his sons. He also slaughtered all the officials of Judah at Riblah. 11 Then he gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in bronze chains, and the king of Babylon led him away to Babylon. Zedekiah remained there in prison until the day of his death. 12 On August 17 of that year, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard and an official of the Babylonian king, arrived in Jerusalem. 13 He burned down the Temple of the LORD, the royal palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem. He destroyed all the important buildings in the city. 14 Then he supervised the entire Babylonian army as they tore down the walls of Jerusalem on every side. 15 Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took as exiles some of the poorest of the people, the rest of the people who remained in the city, the defectors who had declared their allegiance to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen. 16 But Nebuzaradan allowed some of the poorest people to stay behind to care for the vineyards and fields. 17 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars in front of the LORD ’s Temple, the bronze water carts, and the great bronze basin called the Sea, and they carried all the bronze away to Babylon. 18 They also took all the ash buckets, shovels, lamp snuffers, basins, dishes, and all the other bronze articles used for making sacrifices at the Temple. 19 The captain of the guard also took the small bowls, incense burners, basins, pots, lampstands, ladles, bowls used for liquid offerings, and all the other articles made of pure gold or silver. 20 The weight of the bronze from the two pillars, the Sea with the twelve bronze oxen beneath it, and the water carts was too great to be measured. These things had been made for the LORD ’s Temple in the days of King Solomon. 21 Each of the pillars was 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference. They were hollow, with walls 3 inches thick. 22 The bronze capital on top of each pillar was 7 feet high and was decorated with a network of bronze pomegranates all the way around. 23 There were 96 pomegranates on the sides, and a total of 100 pomegranates on the network around the top. 24 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took with him as prisoners Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the priest of the second rank, and the three chief gatekeepers. 25 And from among the people still hiding in the city, he took an officer who had been in charge of the Judean army; seven of the king’s personal advisers; the army commander’s chief secretary, who was in charge of recruitment; and sixty other citizens. 26 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took them all to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27 And there at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king of Babylon had them all put to death. So the people of Judah were sent into exile from their land. 28 The number of captives taken to Babylon in the seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign was 3,023. 29 Then in Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year he took 832 more. 30 In Nebuchadnezzar’s twenty-third year he sent Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, who took 745 more—a total of 4,600 captives in all. 31 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, Evil-merodach ascended to the Babylonian throne. He was kind to Jehoiachin and released him from prison on March 31 of that year. 32 He spoke kindly to Jehoiachin and gave him a higher place than all the other exiled kings in Babylon. 33 He supplied Jehoiachin with new clothes to replace his prison garb and allowed him to dine in the king’s presence for the rest of his life. 34 So the Babylonian king gave him a regular food allowance as long as he lived. This continued until the day of his death.

Disturbing the Peace

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“The devil is like an annoying noisy upstairs neighbor. Don’t let him take your peace.”~TB

One Note

It is incredibly important for you to remember that the devil is a one hit wonder. His song entices you to take your eyes off the prize that is Christ. He’ll go about it in different ways, but rest assured, it’s the same song, different pitch. Think of him like the frustrating neighbor who cranks up the music because they know it bothers you. Their actions may be annoying, but the secret, rather, the truth is in how you deal with the situation. He can’t do anything to you that can truly affect you. You can however, do his bidding by being the weakest link.

Weakest Link

Everyone at one point or another has been the weakest link in any relationship.  If you’re the weakest link, it can transpire in a few ways. You cause arguments on arbitrary issues. You’re too legalistic or litigious without balancing your judgement with mercy and grace. You refuse to apologize when you’re wrong. Even worse, you get mad at the person you’ve wronged! To stop being the weakest link, we all have to reflect on our behavior with honesty and humility. Ask yourself, if you love the person that you’re fighting with, is winning the argument that big of a deal? What do you stand to gain if you win the battle but lose the relationship? In those instances, only the devil wins, which is the point!

Ask Him

If you indeed find yourself in the weakest link seat, have a chat with God. There’s a good chance that our issues are ones that we’ve been dealing with for a long time. When you lean on God, you learn to put the sword down and stop fighting. When speaking with God, He will tell you that you’re quarrel isn’t with man, it’s with the opposition. However, you must acknowledge your weak link behavior and that takes some work. No one likes to admit that our number 2’s stink. But they do! So when you embrace humility and recognize that the goal isn’t to be right or to stir discord within your family, friends, or community, you stop being the devil’s plaything. Just ask and you shall receive.

Today’s Question

Are you ready to stop being the devil’s pawn or do you enjoy disturbing the peace?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 45

1 This is what the LORD says to Cyrus, his anointed one, whose right hand he will empower. Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear. Their fortress gates will be opened, never to shut again.
2 This is what the LORD says: “I will go before you, Cyrus, and level the mountains. I will smash down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness— secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.
4 “And why have I called you for this work? Why did I call you by name when you did not know me? It is for the sake of Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one.
5 I am the LORD ; there is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don’t even know me,
6 so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the LORD, and there is no other.
7 I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things.
8 “Open up, O heavens, and pour out your righteousness. Let the earth open wide so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together. I, the LORD, created them.
9 “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’
10How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father, ‘Why was I born?’ or if it said to its mother, ‘Why did you make me this way?’”
11This is what the LORD says— the Holy One of Israel and your Creator: “Do you question what I do for my children? Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens. All the stars are at my command.
13 I will raise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose, and I will guide his actions. He will restore my city and free my captive people— without seeking a reward! I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”
14 This is what the LORD says: “You will rule the Egyptians, the Ethiopians, and the Sabeans. They will come to you with all their merchandise, and it will all be yours. They will follow you as prisoners in chains. They will fall to their knees in front of you and say, ‘God is with you, and he is the only God. There is no other.’”
15 Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior, you work in mysterious ways.
16 All craftsmen who make idols will be humiliated. They will all be disgraced together.
17 But the LORD will save the people of Israel with eternal salvation. Throughout everlasting ages, they will never again be humiliated and disgraced.
18 For the LORD is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. “I am the LORD,” he says, “and there is no other.
19I publicly proclaim bold promises. I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner. I would not have told the people of Israel to seek me if I could not be found. I, the LORD, speak only what is true and declare only what is right.
20“Gather together and come, you fugitives from surrounding nations. What fools they are who carry around their wooden idols and pray to gods that cannot save!
21 Consult together, argue your case. Get together and decide what to say. Who made these things known so long ago? What idol ever told you they would happen? Was it not I, the LORD ? For there is no other God but me, a righteous God and Savior. There is none but me.
22 Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other.
23 I have sworn by my own name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to me. ”
24 The people will declare, “The LORD is the source of all my righteousness and strength.” And all who were angry with him will come to him and be ashamed.
25 In the LORD all the generations of Israel will be justified, and in him they will boast.

No Offense

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you hold on to offenses and refuse to forgive others, you are establishing yourself as your own god because you cast your judgment on others.”~TB

A Moment

Who are you to judge someone in their worst moment(s)? When you take offense or fail to forgive someone, in your eyes you are immortalizing that person in their misdeed. How blatantly arrogant! Have you not offended? Are you perfect? Of course not, so if the One who Is can freely forgive, what’s your excuse? Friends, take care to resolve your feelings and overinflated egos because when you play god by participating in unforgiveness, you risk poisoning the well, creating a nasty cycle of broken people. People can change, or have you forgotten what our Father in Heaven has done in your life?

A Lifetime

Does a handful of moments override a lifetime? No! How else do you think salvation works? Thank God that He does not make snap decisions or assumptions against us as we do to one another. No one would survive! Fortunately, when we humbly repent, He forgives and forgets, allowing us to grow closer to Him. Forgiveness allows both parties to move past the hurt and become who God intended them to be. Forgiveness is not only for your sake but for all involved! When we humble ourselves and take care to quash offenses, that’s when God can truly do works in us. Don’t play God, He’s infinitely more qualified.

Today’s Question

Are you playing god through your unforgiveness or do you know better?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 144

1 Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. 
2 He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me. 
3 O LORD, what are human beings that you should notice them, mere mortals that you should think about them? 
4 For they are like a breath of air; their days are like a passing shadow. 
5 Open the heavens, LORD, and come down. Touch the mountains so they billow smoke. 
6 Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies! Shoot your arrows and confuse them! 
7 Reach down from heaven and rescue me; rescue me from deep waters, from the power of my enemies. 
8 Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. 
9 I will sing a new song to you, O God! I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp. 
10 For you grant victory to kings! You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword. 
11 Save me! Rescue me from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. 
12 May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. 
13May our barns be filled with crops of every kind. May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands, even tens of thousands, 
14 and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no enemy breaking through our walls, no going into captivity, no cries of alarm in our town squares. 
15Yes, joyful are those who live like this! Joyful indeed are those whose God is the LORD .

My Way

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“In order to improve, you need to play and hangout with people who are more honest and better than you, so that you can learn from them as they learn from you, while working out God’s Plan for your life.” ~ Jon Barnes

Blame

We spend years of our lives watching God work through lives blessing people, particularly our parents, grandparents, and teachers, yet we still don’t listen to the people who are smarter than we are. In our arrogance, we make the same mistakes in relationships by running away from the test of improvement, hiding behind a beer, drug, computer, cell phone, TV, food, or some excuse to make ourselves feel better. We lie and smile with comfort. In a true relationship, you must practice each day doing and telling the truth, because your spouse will call you out on your negative and positive behaviors and there is nowhere to hide errors.

Game

In this game, the honest person wins each round, which makes the other person strive to do a better job. It’s fun. Everybody wins as each person passes the test of honesty at each level of everything going on in their lives. No stone is left unturned in the sight of God in our personal lives. You are accountable for yourself and each other. God rewards each player, often in the game so that the other person can see, feel, and know that true progress is real, honest, and consistent with Biblical Principles and Standards that drives our world and eternity. Each person is happy to lose because the other person has improved. Each person is happy to win because happiness, love, and faith in God are on both ends.

Same

When you love God, you will love your spouse, family, friends, and enemies with the same love God has given you with wisdom, respect, time, and distance. We help each other out by allowing each other to pass tests and copying their success, just like Jesus copied His Father, God. When you disrespect God’s working model of Father, son, parent, child, husband, wife, friend relationship, by making up your own rules to live and faking love your way, then you will keep failing the same tests. It is the same test for all of us all of the time. Stories, names, lives, locations, situations, and circumstances will vary, but God and His Bible change NOT! Your way is Not God’s Way! This is why many people will not study, read, and embrace God’s Truth.
Today’s Question
Are you growing better fruit only to let it rot on your table since you refuse to finish playing the game of God’s Rules?
Enjoy Your Reading.

Numbers 27

The Daughters of Zelophehad

27 One day a petition was presented by the daughters of Zelophehad—Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. Their father, Zelophehad, was a descendant of Hepher son of Gilead, son of Makir, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph. These women stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the tribal leaders, and the entire community at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[a] “Our father died in the wilderness,” they said. “He was not among Korah’s followers, who rebelled against the Lord; he died because of his own sin. But he had no sons.Why should the name of our father disappear from his clan just because he had no sons? Give us property along with the rest of our relatives.”
So Moses brought their case before the Lord. And the Lord replied to Moses, “The claim of the daughters of Zelophehad is legitimate. You must give them a grant of land along with their father’s relatives. Assign them the property that would have been given to their father.
“And give the following instructions to the people of Israel: If a man dies and has no son, then give his inheritance to his daughters. And if he has no daughter either, transfer his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 But if his father has no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan. This is a legal requirement for the people of Israel, just as the Lord commanded Moses.”

Joshua Chosen to Lead Israel

12 One day the Lord said to Moses, “Climb one of the mountains east of the river,[b] and look out over the land I have given the people of Israel. 13 After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron, 14 for you both rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness of Zin. When the people of Israel rebelled, you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters.” (These are the waters of Meribah at Kadesh[c] in the wilderness of Zin.)
15 Then Moses said to the Lord, 16 “O Lord, you are the God who gives breath to all creatures. Please appoint a new man as leader for the community. 17 Give them someone who will guide them wherever they go and will lead them into battle, so the community of the Lord will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
18 The Lord replied, “Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him. 19 Present him to Eleazar the priest before the whole community, and publicly commission him to lead the people. 20 Transfer some of your authority to him so the whole community of Israel will obey him. 21 When direction from the Lord is needed, Joshua will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will use the Urim—one of the sacred lots cast before the Lord—to determine his will. This is how Joshua and the rest of the community of Israel will determine everything they should do.”
22 So Moses did as the Lord commanded. He presented Joshua to Eleazar the priest and the whole community. 23 Moses laid his hands on him and commissioned him to lead the people, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses.
Love, 
Jonathan

Friends & Ships

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you mistreat your best friends, all the people around you, including God can see your arrogance and pride, while laughing at you and your foolish mistakes, until you repent.” ~ Jon Barnes

All Around

The people all around you each day know who you are and what you stand for.  Carefully look at the flag of your ship to see what it says; Good or Evil. Good work and workers hide behind their work, but foolish workers make mistakes as big as the sun, which provides a lot of fun for everyone! Look around and stare deeply into the mirror so that you talk to yourself to reject your pride and arrogant ways before you hurt someone. 

I’ll Tell You

Your true friends will always tell you the truth in love and God will verify your corrections.  The question is, are you listening and did you change?  When I find myself making the same mistakes over and over again, I stop, drop, pray, and change.  Then, I thank God for the mind to act right and improve my focus and position.  Money, talent, fame, and status are not relevant to God, thus not to me.  I’m sailing on a different ship.


Best Friends

God is Your Best Friend, and when you learn to treat Him well, you will love, respect, and respond to others with the same lifestyle and mentorship from your personal relationship with God.  God will give you wise, trusted counselors, teachers, and people to help you follow biblical principles, along with God answering your personal question from your daily bible reading.  When you Enjoy God’s Friendship and you will love everyone else even more. Let us become best of Friends with God and sail together!

Today’s Question

Are you enjoying God’s friendship  and sprinkling His Love on all other relationships?

Enjoy today’s Reading.

Ephesians 1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Love,

Jonathan