“Don’t be so quick to fall in love with only the outcome. It will make you hate the process.”~TB
God will provide you with a vision for your destiny here on earth. This is meant to inspire and give you hope to develop yourself and your relationship in Christ. Inspiration, when put in the right context empowers you to move in ways you could never conceive. When you put your faith in Christ and in the vision He gives you, great things are possible. On the other hand, if you basque in the potential of what could be without doing the work to make it happen, you will remain stuck in the ‘what if’ because you failed to do the process.
Before the vision can be achieved, the work needed to complete the job has to be done. Don’t compare your work or your vision to the work and vision of others. You will only see the fruits (or lack thereof) of their labor, but you fail to see what they did (or did not do) to get there. The same understanding can be applied to your relationship with God. It is a 1 on 1 relationship that takes intentional development over time. Friends, spending time with God daily is not for His benefit, it is for yours! Having a talk with God is not an “optional” endeavor, but rather the necessary process of spiritual growth. You would not give a calculus test to a 3rd grader. In the same way, God cannot bestow gifts and glory to those who are not connected to Him. Submit to the process to actualize the outcome.
Whenever you see your brothers and sisters in Christ succeed, be it in life, money, spiritual growth, etc., remember that they too had to go through a process. The outcome can only be attained if you do the work. It’s as simple as that. If you’re trying to save money, limit your unnecessary spending. If you’re trying to learn a new language, study, daily. If you seek the wisdom of God, walk with Him always. Friends, success is not by accident and there are no overnight victories. Some days will be easier than others. Even on the hard days, the process is still there, so get to work! The point is, though salvation is freely given, you must actively and intentionally seek God. No, not just on the hour of church on Sunday, that is supplemental. Fall in love with the process so that you can experience the outcome.
Are you in love with the process or are you in love with avoiding the work?
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1From the depths of despair, O LORD, I call for your help.
2Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.
3LORD, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?
4But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.
5I am counting on the LORD ; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.
6I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.
7O Israel, hope in the LORD ; for with the LORD there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows.
8He himself will redeem Israel from every kind of sin.
“Sometimes you need to rest from all of your hard work so that your mind, body, heart, spirit, and soul can enjoy the fruits of your labor.”~Jon Barnes
Hit the reset button when you take time each day to reflect, relax, and balance your activities in love with your life.Some days may seem more productive than others, but to God, they are all the same, containing the same amount of time for you to breath the same volume of oxygen to live.What you do with it counts and is recorded.
When you honestly want to improve yourself, your standing, and purpose in life, you will step up your game and do the work that is required to balance all of your efforts, goals, dreams, and desires.They all will line up with God’s framework and personal plan of reality if you love God.Each step is ordered with a reset button of repentance, by faith, love, and action to keep you on the straight and narrow path into Heaven.
Repeating the plan that God has set for you is a lot of fun because of your experiences and fruit from your labor nets amazing results.Notice and be happy in the success God has given you, rejoice and be glad to be a blessing to others.Hit the reset button each day and do it again.Something new always happens, in spite of the repetition of daily activities.Don’t forget to smile!
Are you amazed at the new things God teaches you each day or do you know it all and don’t need a reset button from your pride and arrogance?
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For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 How the king rejoices in your strength, O Lord! He shouts with joy because you give him victory. 2 For you have given him his heart’s desire; you have withheld nothing he requested. Interlude
3 You welcomed him back with success and prosperity. You placed a crown of finest gold on his head. 4 He asked you to preserve his life, and you granted his request. The days of his life stretch on forever. 5 Your victory brings him great honor, and you have clothed him with splendor and majesty. 6 You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence. 7 For the king trusts in the Lord. The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling.
8 You will capture all your enemies. Your strong right hand will seize all who hate you. 9 You will throw them in a flaming furnace when you appear. The Lord will consume them in his anger; fire will devour them. 10 You will wipe their children from the face of the earth; they will never have descendants. 11 Although they plot against you, their evil schemes will never succeed. 12 For they will turn and run when they see your arrows aimed at them. 13 Rise up, O Lord, in all your power. With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.
“I suggest you don’t take my word for anything, but check in with God and His Standards to understand what you are doing, what you should do, and what you should not do for your life, family, and others.”~ Jon Barnes
God’s faithfulness to us is the greatest but we are not so faithful, which is why God gives us grace and mercy to repent and re–calibrate on a daily basis.However, it is wise to use God’s Lord’s Prayer to focus your attention, meditation, and action plan to remember your spiritual mission statement, boundaries, and landmarks.
Your true intentions are perceived and known by God before you even think about or discover your own thoughts.Who you are and what you will do is already know by your Heavenly Father.My suggestion is to come clean, stay clean, and keep cleaning up your actions of faith, as you grow in Grace, Love, and Mercy. Do not let distractions become a stumbling block.
I perceive that my job is to judge myself, look in the mirror, and manage my own life to exemplify God’s lifestyle.I can only enjoy looking at the fruit of others, which is not my fruit to eat.I will enjoy and eat the fruit of my own ways, habits, thoughts, works, and faith in God.We must all grow and eat our own fruit, which will be tested and tasted by God to see if you are fit for the kingdom.According to scriptures, many will go to hell and few will go to heaven.
Are you one of the few who will be prepared for entering Heaven, based on God’s Holy Commandments and path of Jesus Christ or are you following the devil’s suggestions of choice?
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Job Wants to Argue His Case with God
13 “Look, I have seen all this with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears, and now I understand. 2 I know as much as you do. You are no better than I am. 3 As for me, I would speak directly to the Almighty. I want to argue my case with God himself. 4 As for you, you smear me with lies. As physicians, you are worthless quacks. 5 If only you could be silent! That’s the wisest thing you could do. 6 Listen to my charge; pay attention to my arguments.
7 “Are you defending God with lies? Do you make your dishonest arguments for his sake? 8 Will you slant your testimony in his favor? Will you argue God’s case for him? 9 What will happen when he finds out what you are doing? Can you fool him as easily as you fool people? 10 No, you will be in trouble with him if you secretly slant your testimony in his favor. 11 Doesn’t his majesty terrify you? Doesn’t your fear of him overwhelm you? 12 Your platitudes are as valuable as ashes. Your defense is as fragile as a clay pot.
13 “Be silent now and leave me alone. Let me speak, and I will face the consequences. 14 Why should I put myself in mortal danger[a] and take my life in my own hands? 15 God might kill me, but I have no other hope.[b] I am going to argue my case with him. 16 But this is what will save me—I am not godless. If I were, I could not stand before him.
17 “Listen closely to what I am about to say. Hear me out. 18 I have prepared my case; I will be proved innocent. 19 Who can argue with me over this? And if you prove me wrong, I will remain silent and die.
Job Asks How He Has Sinned
20 “O God, grant me these two things, and then I will be able to face you. 21 Remove your heavy hand from me, and don’t terrify me with your awesome presence. 22 Now summon me, and I will answer! Or let me speak to you, and you reply. 23 Tell me, what have I done wrong? Show me my rebellion and my sin. 24 Why do you turn away from me? Why do you treat me as your enemy? 25 Would you terrify a leaf blown by the wind? Would you chase dry straw?
26 “You write bitter accusations against me and bring up all the sins of my youth. 27 You put my feet in stocks. You examine all my paths. You trace all my footprints. 28 I waste away like rotting wood, like a moth-eaten coat.
“I learned to make myself read until I learned to enjoy it, which is one of the many miracles God has given me as a tool to fight the devil with.”~Jon Barnes
Making yourself responsible for your own actions is a tough job.Many people become masters at lying to themselves and others about everything.Making excuses and ignoring symptoms of spiritual laziness, sickness, and disobedience is the path of destruction, evil, and contempt.You know better.
Making of A
Being honest about your wicked heart is the first step in true repentance and stability with daily prayer, reading, and walking with God.Amazing lessons are learned in being humble, faithful, and diligent with God’s love.Taking advantage of God’s love is not true faith or true love, like people who fornicate or commit adultery.The making of a disciple requires real honesty.
True disciples do not hide the truth of love in Christ.Simple acts of kindness, faith, love, charity, humility, long-suffering, and the likes are fruits of the Spirit that follows every Christian all day and all of the time.It’s not a button you just turn on for show or convenience.
Does your life look like who you are in God or are you a fraud?
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3 After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.2 He said:
3 “May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’ 4 That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it. 5 May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm it. 6 That night—may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months. 7 May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it. 8 May those who curse days[a] curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan. 9 May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn, 10 for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes.
11 “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb? 12 Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I might be nursed? 13 For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest 14 with kings and rulers of the earth, who built for themselves places now lying in ruins, 15 with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver. 16 Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day? 17 There the wicked cease from turmoil, and there the weary are at rest. 18 Captives also enjoy their ease; they no longer hear the slave driver’s shout. 19 The small and the great are there, and the slaves are freed from their owners.
20 “Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, 21 to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure, 22 who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave? 23 Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? 24 For sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water. 25 What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. 26 I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
“Many of us are shamed into doing the right things because we see that others are doing such a great job for God and it is good that I should, stepped up my game, because of what I learned from God, my family, friends, and enemies.” ~ Jon Barnes
It is good to improve and change from your shameful ways, after seeing how wonderfully God has blessed you and others.This is called positive peer pleasure, which is self-inflicted, positive pressure that helps motivate all of us to improve in working for God. Rejoice with those who inspire you and continue in this manner to increase your passion and love for Your Creator, Father God.
Continue in your well doing, sacrifice, and focus upon God so that each day is fresh, new, and more wonderful than the last in all circumstances.I can say that I’m having the time of my life in every second God gives me!Praise God with all that you are and have so that you can be rich in the Kingdom.For me, this type of work is done in the middle of the night, when only God is watching and the overflow follows by day.
Do not copy your family’s history of alcohol, drug, sex, greed, hypocrisy, and other abusive lifestyle ways!But copy God’s Laws, Commandments, and Wonderful ways of living a clean, honest life as a habit.Repent and enjoy the fruits of the Spirit in obedience and not the fruits of shamefulness.
Are you a Hypocrite like many of God’s Children from the past and the future?
Darius Approves the Rebuilding
6 So King Darius issued orders that a search be made in the Babylonian archives, which were stored in the treasury.2 But it was at the fortress at Ecbatana in the province of Media that a scroll was found. This is what it said:
3 “In the first year of King Cyrus’s reign, a decree was sent out concerning the Temple of God at Jerusalem.
“Let the Temple be rebuilt on the site where Jews used to offer their sacrifices, using the original foundations. Its height will be ninety feet, and its width will be ninety feet.[a]4 Every three layers of specially prepared stones will be topped by a layer of timber. All expenses will be paid by the royal treasury.5 Furthermore, the gold and silver cups, which were taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar from the Temple of God in Jerusalem, must be returned to Jerusalem and put back where they belong. Let them be taken back to the Temple of God.”
6 So King Darius sent this message:
“Now therefore, Tattenai, governor of the province west of the Euphrates River,[b]and Shethar-bozenai, and your colleagues and other officials west of the Euphrates River—stay away from there!7 Do not disturb the construction of the Temple of God. Let it be rebuilt on its original site, and do not hinder the governor of Judah and the elders of the Jews in their work.
8 “Moreover, I hereby decree that you are to help these elders of the Jews as they rebuild this Temple of God. You must pay the full construction costs, without delay, from my taxes collected in the province west of the Euphrates River so that the work will not be interrupted.
9 “Give the priests in Jerusalem whatever is needed in the way of young bulls, rams, and male lambs for the burnt offerings presented to the God of heaven. And without fail, provide them with as much wheat, salt, wine, and olive oil as they need each day.10 Then they will be able to offer acceptable sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the welfare of the king and his sons.
11 “Those who violate this decree in any way will have a beam pulled from their house. Then they will be lifted up and impaled on it, and their house will be reduced to a pile of rubble.[c]12 May the God who has chosen the city of Jerusalem as the place to honor his name destroy any king or nation that violates this command and destroys this Temple.
“I, Darius, have issued this decree. Let it be obeyed with all diligence.”
The Temple’s Dedication
13 Tattenai, governor of the province west of the Euphrates River, and Shethar-bozenai and their colleagues complied at once with the command of King Darius.14 So the Jewish elders continued their work, and they were greatly encouraged by the preaching of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo. The Temple was finally finished, as had been commanded by the God of Israel and decreed by Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes, the kings of Persia.15 The Temple was completed on March 12,[d] during the sixth year of King Darius’s reign.
16 The Temple of God was then dedicated with great joy by the people of Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the people who had returned from exile.17 During the dedication ceremony for the Temple of God, 100 young bulls, 200 rams, and 400 male lambs were sacrificed. And 12 male goats were presented as a sin offering for the twelve tribes of Israel.18 Then the priests and Levites were divided into their various divisions to serve at the Temple of God in Jerusalem, as prescribed in the Book of Moses.
Celebration of Passover
19 On April 21[e] the returned exiles celebrated Passover.20 The priests and Levites had purified themselves and were ceremonially clean. So they slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the returned exiles, for their fellow priests, and for themselves.21 The Passover meal was eaten by the people of Israel who had returned from exile and by the others in the land who had turned from their corrupt practices to worship the Lord, the God of Israel.22 Then they celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. There was great joy throughout the land because the Lord had caused the king of Assyria[f] to be favorable to them, so that he helped them to rebuild the Temple of God, the God of Israel.
“It is hard to care, give, and share when you have nothing to show for your hard work and efforts.” ~ Jon Barnes
I get nothing when I’m lazy, so I push myself to do the work God has for me to do each day and I reap what I sow. It is just that simple. Do the process and the work that is required and God will bless you, if you don’t faint and give up. You will be always be tested and it is not always easy, but the rewards are a lot of fun and full of joy.
Nothing happens by itself. God is the author and finisher of our faith so buy the book, go by the book, and enjoy the study of biblical contentment. Good things begin to happen by your work with your faith in God.Stop eating your seeds and plant them in fertile ground.Water, weed and protect your investment in God. Your love for God is all you need, so let Him guide you on your journey.
The Goodness of God opens doors you just cannot see coming. This is how God shares His plans for you.If the door is closed, it is for a reason. We are ants and too small to see anything above our heads. Yet, God still provides for us and gives us opportunities to improve, help, grow, learn, and share the Lord’s Prayer to all who will listen, hear and do. Be thankful that you were called to share the goodness of Jesus in your humble lifestyle of faith and good works.
Is your lifestyle worth sharing with other people or are you still at step one?
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Visit of the Queen of Sheba
10 When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, which brought honor to the name of the Lord,[a] she came to test him with hard questions.2 She arrived in Jerusalem with a large group of attendants and a great caravan of camels loaded with spices, large quantities of gold, and precious jewels. When she met with Solomon, she talked with him about everything she had on her mind.3 Solomon had answers for all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her.4 When the queen of Sheba realized how very wise Solomon was, and when she saw the palace he had built,5 she was overwhelmed. She was also amazed at the food on his tables, the organization of his officials and their splendid clothing, the cup-bearers, and the burnt offerings Solomon made at the Temple of the Lord.
6 She exclaimed to the king, “Everything I heard in my country about your achievements[b] and wisdom is true!7 I didn’t believe what was said until I arrived here and saw it with my own eyes. In fact, I had not heard the half of it! Your wisdom and prosperity are far beyond what I was told.8 How happy your people[c]must be! What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day, listening to your wisdom!9 Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.”
10 Then she gave the king a gift of 9,000 pounds[d] of gold, great quantities of spices, and precious jewels. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 (In addition, Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir, and they also brought rich cargoes of red sandalwood[e] and precious jewels.12 The king used the sandalwood to make railings for the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and to construct lyres and harps for the musicians. Never before or since has there been such a supply of sandalwood.)
13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba whatever she asked for, besides all the customary gifts he had so generously given. Then she and all her attendants returned to their own land.
Solomon’s Wealth and Splendor
14 Each year Solomon received about 25 tons[f] of gold.15 This did not include the additional revenue he received from merchants and traders, all the kings of Arabia, and the governors of the land.
16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold, each weighing more than fifteen pounds.[g]17 He also made 300 smaller shields of hammered gold, each weighing nearly four pounds.[h] The king placed these shields in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
18 Then the king made a huge throne, decorated with ivory and overlaid with fine gold.19 The throne had six steps and a rounded back. There were armrests on both sides of the seat, and the figure of a lion stood on each side of the throne.20 There were also twelve other lions, one standing on each end of the six steps. No other throne in all the world could be compared with it!
21 All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were solid gold, as were all the utensils in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. They were not made of silver, for silver was considered worthless in Solomon’s day!
22 The king had a fleet of trading ships of Tarshish that sailed with Hiram’s fleet. Once every three years the ships returned, loaded with gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.[i]
23 So King Solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth.24 People from every nation came to consult him and to hear the wisdom God had given him.25 Year after year everyone who visited brought him gifts of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
26 Solomon built up a huge force of chariots and horses.[j] He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He stationed some of them in the chariot cities and some near him in Jerusalem.27 The king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah.[k]28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt[l] and from Cilicia[m]; the king’s traders acquired them from Cilicia at the standard price.29 At that time chariots from Egypt could be purchased for 600 pieces of silver,[n] and horses for 150 pieces of silver.[o] They were then exported to the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.
“The more steps you take towards God along the narrow path, your map in life becomes more centered and beautifully balanced around Him.” ~ Jon Barnes
Gradually increase the number of steps towards God each day and you will start acting like Him. Your choices and options in life become randomly clear, cleaner, and easier to follow, adjust, and adapt to moving in God’s plan and direction. Your own plans are not good enough since we don’t have The Map of Life. When you meet people, it is good to have the right things to say and give because you are following God and His Map of Life for you. Be a blessing.
We all pay into the Great Pension Plan in life because God has mandated that we will reap what we sow.Your choice of maps will also affect the outcome of your personal pension plan and it’s purpose. The Good Work you do for God by faith activates and accumulates your heavenly Pension Plan of eternal action and acceptance, based on your repentance and honest heart. Guard your personal pension plan with pure love for God in all things that you do.
We all have different levels and types of savings plans, but Jesus knows who is following the Map of Savings with The Bank of Christ. Your debits and credit of the fruit of the Spirit are being calculated by your faith and works. Your lifestyle is following your map of choice, which has a destination of purpose or foolishness. Saving with God is an act of being Saved and the more savings you accumulate the more you can help others as an example. God is the final judge!
Your tithes are money you personally put into the Kingdom to advance ministry all around the world. Church, Missionary, Evangelism, Street Ministry, Music Ministry, and the likes can all help support the Body of Christ and global network of support. Only God can judge what, when, where, how, and why you give to the Kingdom of God and It’s Church Body. Some methods are traditional and other may be rather creative, but God knows your heart and motives in your thanksgiving, tithes, offerings, and steps towards Him. Give your time, money, and best effort.
Are you following God’s Map or the map of man?
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1 Kings 7
Solomon Builds His Palace
7 Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years to complete the construction.
2 One of Solomon’s buildings was called the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. It was 150 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.[a] There were four rows of cedar pillars, and great cedar beams rested on the pillars.3 The hall had a cedar roof. Above the beams on the pillars were forty-five side rooms,[b] arranged in three tiers of fifteen each.4 On each end of the long hall were three rows of windows facing each other.5 All the doorways and doorposts[c] had rectangular frames and were arranged in sets of three, facing each other.
6 Solomon also built the Hall of Pillars, which was 75 feet long and 45 feet wide.[d]There was a porch in front, along with a canopy supported by pillars.
7 Solomon also built the throne room, known as the Hall of Justice, where he sat to hear legal matters. It was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling.[e]8 Solomon’s living quarters surrounded a courtyard behind this hall, and they were constructed the same way. He also built similar living quarters for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married.
9 From foundation to eaves, all these buildings were built from huge blocks of high-quality stone, cut with saws and trimmed to exact measure on all sides.10 Some of the huge foundation stones were 15 feet long, and some were 12 feet[f]long.11 The blocks of high-quality stone used in the walls were also cut to measure, and cedar beams were also used.12 The walls of the great courtyard were built so that there was one layer of cedar beams between every three layers of finished stone, just like the walls of the inner courtyard of the Lord’s Temple with its entry room.
Furnishings for the Temple
13 King Solomon then asked for a man named Huram[g] to come from Tyre.14 He was half Israelite, since his mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father had been a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. Huram was extremely skillful and talented in any work in bronze, and he came to do all the metal work for King Solomon.
15 Huram cast two bronze pillars, each 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference.[h]16 For the tops of the pillars he cast bronze capitals, each 7 1⁄2 feet[i] tall.17 Each capital was decorated with seven sets of latticework and interwoven chains.18 He also encircled the latticework with two rows of pomegranates to decorate the capitals over the pillars.19 The capitals on the columns inside the entry room were shaped like water lilies, and they were six feet[j] tall.20 The capitals on the two pillars had 200 pomegranates in two rows around them, beside the rounded surface next to the latticework.21 Huram set the pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one toward the south and one toward the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north Boaz.[k]22 The capitals on the pillars were shaped like water lilies. And so the work on the pillars was finished.
23 Then Huram cast a great round basin, 15 feet across from rim to rim, called the Sea. It was 7 1⁄2 feet deep and about 45 feet in circumference.[l]24 It was encircled just below its rim by two rows of decorative gourds. There were about six gourds per foot[m] all the way around, and they were cast as part of the basin.
25 The Sea was placed on a base of twelve bronze oxen,[n] all facing outward. Three faced north, three faced west, three faced south, and three faced east, and the Sea rested on them.26 The walls of the Sea were about three inches[o] thick, and its rim flared out like a cup and resembled a water lily blossom. It could hold about 11,000 gallons[p] of water.
27 Huram also made ten bronze water carts, each 6 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 4 1⁄2 feet tall.[q]28 They were constructed with side panels braced with crossbars.29 Both the panels and the crossbars were decorated with carved lions, oxen, and cherubim. Above and below the lions and oxen were wreath decorations.30 Each of these carts had four bronze wheels and bronze axles. There were supporting posts for the bronze basins at the corners of the carts; these supports were decorated on each side with carvings of wreaths.31 The top of each cart had a rounded frame for the basin. It projected 1 1⁄2 feet[r] above the cart’s top like a round pedestal, and its opening was 2 1⁄4 feet[s] across; it was decorated on the outside with carvings of wreaths. The panels of the carts were square, not round.32 Under the panels were four wheels that were connected to axles that had been cast as one unit with the cart. The wheels were 2 1⁄4 feet in diameter33 and were similar to chariot wheels. The axles, spokes, rims, and hubs were all cast from molten bronze.
34 There were handles at each of the four corners of the carts, and these, too, were cast as one unit with the cart.35 Around the top of each cart was a rim nine inches wide.[t] The corner supports and side panels were cast as one unit with the cart.36 Carvings of cherubim, lions, and palm trees decorated the panels and corner supports wherever there was room, and there were wreaths all around.37 All ten water carts were the same size and were made alike, for each was cast from the same mold.
38 Huram also made ten smaller bronze basins, one for each cart. Each basin was six feet across and could hold 220 gallons[u] of water.39 He set five water carts on the south side of the Temple and five on the north side. The great bronze basin called the Sea was placed near the southeast corner of the Temple.40 He also made the necessary washbasins, shovels, and bowls.
So at last Huram completed everything King Solomon had assigned him to make for the Temple of the Lord:
41 the two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two networks of interwoven chains that decorated the capitals; 42 the 400 pomegranates that hung from the chains on the capitals (two rows of pomegranates for each of the chain networks that decorated the capitals on top of the pillars); 43 the ten water carts holding the ten basins; 44 the Sea and the twelve oxen under it; 45 the ash buckets, the shovels, and the bowls.
Huram made all these things of burnished bronze for the Temple of the Lord, just as King Solomon had directed.46 The king had them cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan.47 Solomon did not weigh all these things because there were so many; the weight of the bronze could not be measured.
48 Solomon also made all the furnishings of the Temple of the Lord:
the gold altar; the gold table for the Bread of the Presence; 49 the lampstands of solid gold, five on the south and five on the north, in front of the Most Holy Place; the flower decorations, lamps, and tongs—all of gold; 50 the small bowls, lamp snuffers, bowls, ladles, and incense burners—all of solid gold; the doors for the entrances to the Most Holy Place and the main room of the Temple, with their fronts overlaid with gold.
51 So King Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the Lord. Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the various articles—and he stored them in the treasuries of the Lord’s Temple.
“As you age, you should have developed good habits and behaviors that will carry you for the rest of your life in God’s Will. It is the job of the next generation to pick out those habits and improve upon them.”~ Jon Barnes
Practicing who you are is personal. Your character is developed on your own, with your own thoughts that are focused on God’s Love or the devil’s workshop. Your job is to know what you are thinking to stay focused on who you love, God or wickedness.Your actions spin in control or out of control, based on your steps towards or away from God.
You choose and select from the menu of life because God has given us this option to be who we are and to run our personal race. Each person is an Olympic athlete unto God and your training schedule, diet, thoughts, routines, and good works are logged on His Holy iPad.There is a delete button at the gate of Heaven for many people who choose behaviors that are not consistent with the fruit of the Spirit.
Members of God’s Olympic Team are all Gold Medalists who improved their personal walk over time, did the work, kept the faith, helped others, followed God’s Olympic Manual and rules of the games.Our lives passed the Olympic test of Commandment, Procedures, and Consistent Love for honest repentance and improvements towards God in our brief moments in time. The time you’ve spent doing what you do, defined your behaviors towards God and your Olympic Holy Metal and passport into Heaven.
Do you behave like an Olympic Champion for God or did you give up and quit your training?
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A Levite and His Concubine
19 In those days Israel had no king.
Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah.2 But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents’ home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months,3 her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents’ home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him.4 His father-in-law, the woman’s father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking, and sleeping there.
5 On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Refresh yourself with something to eat; then you can go.”6 So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman’s father said, “Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.”7 And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night.8 On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the woman’s father said, “Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!” So the two of them ate together.
9 Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman’s father, said, “Now look, it’s almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home.”10 But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine.
11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Come, let’s stop at this city of the Jebusites and spend the night.”
12 His master replied, “No. We won’t go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah.”13 He added, “Come, let’s try to reach Gibeah or Ramah and spend the night in one of those places.”14 So they went on, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin.15 There they stopped to spend the night. They went and sat in the city square, but no one took them in for the night.
16 That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim, who was living in Gibeah (the inhabitants of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields.17 When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?”
18 He answered, “We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the Lord.[a] No one has taken me in for the night.19 We have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine for ourselves your servants—me, the woman and the young man with us. We don’t need anything.”
20 “You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.”21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.
22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”
23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing.24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”
25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go.26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.
27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold.28 He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.
29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel.30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!”
“leaning on your own understanding leads to languish, lust, pride, greed, and bad choices because we intentionally forget God’s plan and ways which prompt us to break His Commandments.” ~ Jon Barnes
When you are busy writing your own music, orchestrating your life, playing the parts in your head, and organizing your personal family band, you don’t have time to lust after the looks and sounds of another band. Yes, you can notice beauty from a distance, but, it is the inner beauty that attracts God, and drives the motives of the righteous.Be sure to score this type of music and thinking into your soul, so that people can see your real beauty, not just your hair cut or lipstick. Score quality, relevant, realistic, honest, and natural beauty in your heart, work, life, and faith.
The Score of your life is a video, musical, stage and an invitation to the movies in your life and character definition directed by God or the devil. The documentation of your actions speaks volumes from your heart and people know who you are, at a glance.Your history has painted a clear picture of where you are headed, because many will die in their sins and few will be saved by the grace of God! Your job is to take the invitation and re-write your the story and score to your personal movie and life. We all can see, what you don’t want us to see, especially God!
Take the deal and don’t get distracted by the jokes, play time, and party life of empty pleasure, from one night stands. Marry your King or Queen and live like one, treating your mate, with the quality of how God teaches you in all things. Good students of God will be the best, honest, servants, communicators, and helpers, who actively listens to God and healthy reason. Let God show you what to do, who to marry, where to work, how to talk, listen, and grow in grace. Avoid the empty attention from lust, greed, and power, which cannot be fulfilled and study God’s Bible, which is a score, script, story, and law unto itself of the Word of God.
Did you know that we are all composers inventing and branding the music and script of our own artwork, history, language, culture, and life or are you lusting after another script ignoring your own and copying, hijacking, or destroying someone else’s life?
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Conquest of the Midianites
31 Then the Lord said to Moses,2 “On behalf of the people of Israel, take revenge on the Midianites for leading them into idolatry. After that, you will die and join your ancestors.”
3 So Moses said to the people, “Choose some men, and arm them to fight the Lord’s war of revenge against Midian.4 From each tribe of Israel, send 1,000 men into battle.”5 So they chose 1,000 men from each tribe of Israel, a total of 12,000 men armed for battle.6 Then Moses sent them out, 1,000 men from each tribe, and Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest led them into battle. They carried along the holy objects of the sanctuary and the trumpets for sounding the charge.7 They attacked Midian as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men.8 All five of the Midianite kings—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba—died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword.
9 Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder.10 They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived.11 After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals,12 they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.13 Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp.14 But Moses was furious with all the generals and captains[a] who had returned from the battle.
15 “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded.16 “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the Lord at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the Lord’s people.17 So kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man.18 Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.19 And all of you who have killed anyone or touched a dead body must stay outside the camp for seven days. You must purify yourselves and your captives on the third and seventh days.20 Purify all your clothing, too, and everything made of leather, goat hair, or wood.”
21 Then Eleazar the priest said to the men who were in the battle, “The Lord has given Moses this legal requirement:22 Anything made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, or lead—23 that is, all metals that do not burn—must be passed through fire in order to be made ceremonially pure. These metal objects must then be further purified with the water of purification. But everything that burns must be purified by the water alone.24 On the seventh day you must wash your clothes and be purified. Then you may return to the camp.”
Division of the Plunder
25 And the Lord said to Moses,26 “You and Eleazar the priest and the family leaders of each tribe are to make a list of all the plunder taken in the battle, including the people and animals.27 Then divide the plunder into two parts, and give half to the men who fought the battle and half to the rest of the people.28 From the army’s portion, first give the Lord his share of the plunder—one of every 500 of the prisoners and of the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats.29 Give this share of the army’s half to Eleazar the priest as an offering to the Lord.30 From the half that belongs to the people of Israel, take one of every fifty of the prisoners and of the cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and other animals. Give this share to the Levites, who are in charge of maintaining the Lord’s Tabernacle.”31 So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses.
32 The plunder remaining from everything the fighting men had taken totaled 675,000 sheep and goats,33 72,000 cattle,34 61,000 donkeys,35 and 32,000 virgin girls.
36 Half of the plunder was given to the fighting men. It totaled 337,500 sheep and goats,37 of which 675 were the Lord’s share;38 36,000 cattle, of which 72 were the Lord’s share;39 30,500 donkeys, of which 61 were the Lord’s share;40 and 16,000 virgin girls, of whom 32 were the Lord’s share.41 Moses gave all the Lord’s share to Eleazar the priest, just as the Lord had directed him.
42 Half of the plunder belonged to the people of Israel, and Moses separated it from the half belonging to the fighting men.43 It totaled 337,500 sheep and goats,44 36,000 cattle,45 30,500 donkeys,46 and 16,000 virgin girls.47 From the half-share given to the people, Moses took one of every fifty prisoners and animals and gave them to the Levites, who maintained the Lord’s Tabernacle. All this was done as the Lord had commanded Moses.
48 Then all the generals and captains came to Moses49 and said, “We, your servants, have accounted for all the men who went out to battle under our command; not one of us is missing!50 So we are presenting the items of gold we captured as an offering to the Lord from our share of the plunder—armbands, bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces. This will purify our lives before the Lord and make us right with him.[b]”
51 So Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from all the military commanders—all kinds of jewelry and crafted objects.52 In all, the gold that the generals and captains presented as a gift to the Lord weighed about 420 pounds.[c]53 All the fighting men had taken some of the plunder for themselves.54 So Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted the gifts from the generals and captains and brought the gold to the Tabernacle[d] as a reminder to the Lord that the people of Israel belong to him.
“Maturity is when you refuse to take a step in the wrong direction because you are Happily, Willingly, and Blindly doing the Good Work God has created you to do, with no excuses, exceptions, explanations, or murmurings!” ~ Jon Barnes
After you have passed your test, maturity comes in the morning with Joy, having completed a passing grade on your last assignment. If you keep failing the test from God, you will keep taking the same test over and over again until you pass it. Take Joy in learning to focus on doing your own work well for God, passing your tests, and listening to Him, The Word, and His Lectures, without trying to debate nonsense. This is how you live your Dream.
Once you have accepted that you are arrogant, wrong, judgmental, lazy, and full of talk, then you will stay focused enough to see the fruits of your labor, without going backwards into your old sinful nature. Take comfort in the fact that you are at the door of comfort, ready to walk therein. Stay honest and positive and God will positively stay with you. Don’t stop the process and progress God has set you in. Stay upon the Rock of Comfort by obeying God and not your own selfish thoughts of slavery and deceit.
When you half do the good work, you get half the credit and half the comfort, because you gave the other half to the devil. Complete your good work and receive full credit and reward for passing your test. Get that “A” if you can! I really understand this from experience, as I use to be a terrible student, in college, until I got mad at my laziness and started to consistently work on ME! Repent and crucify your selfish heart, thoughts, actions, and ways. Just do it, God’s Way, for best results!
Did you pass the last test of Maturity or are you trying to write a book about your failures, like the devil, lying to people about your fake success?
Enjoy Today’s Reading
37 So Jacob settled again in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived as a foreigner.
2 This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing.
3 Jacob[a] loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe.[b]4 But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.
5 One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever.6 “Listen to this dream,” he said.7 “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!”
8 His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.
9 Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!”
10 This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?”11 But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.
12 Soon after this, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem.13 When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Get ready, and I will send you to them.”
“I’m ready to go,” Joseph replied.
14 “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along,” Jacob said. “Then come back and bring me a report.” So Jacob sent him on his way, and Joseph traveled to Shechem from their home in the valley of Hebron.
15 When he arrived there, a man from the area noticed him wandering around the countryside. “What are you looking for?” he asked.
16 “I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Do you know where they are pasturing their sheep?”
17 “Yes,” the man told him. “They have moved on from here, but I heard them say, ‘Let’s go on to Dothan.’” So Joseph followed his brothers to Dothan and found them there.
Joseph Sold into Slavery
18 When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him.19 “Here comes the dreamer!” they said.20 “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
21 But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said.22 “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.
23 So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing.24 Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it.25 Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime.[c]27 Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed.28 So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces[d] of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.
29 Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the cistern. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in grief.30 Then he went back to his brothers and lamented, “The boy is gone! What will I do now?”
31 Then the brothers killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood.32 They sent the beautiful robe to their father with this message: “Look at what we found. Doesn’t this robe belong to your son?”
33 Their father recognized it immediately. “Yes,” he said, “it is my son’s robe. A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!”34 Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time.35 His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave[e] mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep.
36 Meanwhile, the Midianite traders[f] arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.