Suggestions

books-768426_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“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

Great

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 recalibrate 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.

Intentions

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.

Perceived

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.
Today’s Question
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?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Job 13 

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.
I know as much as you do.
    You are no better than I am.
As for me, I would speak directly to the Almighty.
    I want to argue my case with God himself.
As for you, you smear me with lies.
    As physicians, you are worthless quacks.
If only you could be silent!
    That’s the wisest thing you could do.
Listen to my charge;
    pay attention to my arguments.
“Are you defending God with lies?
    Do you make your dishonest arguments for his sake?
Will you slant your testimony in his favor?
    Will you argue God’s case for him?
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.
 
Love,
 
Jonathan

Daily

new-york-748595_1920Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“The facts of God are clear, just obey them!”  ~ Jon Barnes

Worship

Since God is our Father and He created all things, it is natural for us to Love, Respect, and Admire the Author and Finisher of our Faith, life, and being. Visiting new cultures and seeing new faces can only increase the magnitude of pure worship for God and His Amazing efforts and variety of creation.

Prayer

I pray that you can see God’s Hand and Face on all that He is and does.  Try not to take for granted the movement of air, wind, water, and Spirit, which is given by God freely to all of His Children.  Avoid becoming a disobedient child, full of hate, anger, and confusion, because it is not worth the effort.

Walk

As a representative of love, justice, kindness, and honor, walk with God’s truth to daily enjoy the Facts of Life, Love, and Liberty with our Creator.  Recognize your beauty and richness in talent to give, share, and shine with others, who are on this daily Love Journey to Heaven.
Today’s Question
Which Trip will you choose to vacation in spirit forever?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Ezra 9 

Ezra’s Prayer concerning Intermarriage

When these things had been done, the Jewish leaders came to me and said, “Many of the people of Israel, and even some of the priests and Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the other peoples living in the land. They have taken up the detestable practices of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. For the men of Israel have married women from these people and have taken them as wives for their sons. So the holy race has become polluted by these mixed marriages. Worse yet, the leaders and officials have led the way in this outrage.”
When I heard this, I tore my cloak and my shirt, pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down utterly shocked. Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel came and sat with me because of this outrage committed by the returned exiles. And I sat there utterly appalled until the time of the evening sacrifice.
At the time of the sacrifice, I stood up from where I had sat in mourning with my clothes torn. I fell to my knees and lifted my hands to the Lord my God. I prayed,
“O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens.From the days of our ancestors until now, we have been steeped in sin. That is why we and our kings and our priests have been at the mercy of the pagan kings of the land. We have been killed, captured, robbed, and disgraced, just as we are today.
“But now we have been given a brief moment of grace, for the Lord our God has allowed a few of us to survive as a remnant. He has given us security in this holy place. Our God has brightened our eyes and granted us some relief from our slavery. For we were slaves, but in his unfailing love our God did not abandon us in our slavery. Instead, he caused the kings of Persia to treat us favorably. He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God and repair its ruins. He has given us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem.
10 “And now, O our God, what can we say after all of this? For once again we have abandoned your commands! 11 Your servants the prophets warned us when they said, ‘The land you are entering to possess is totally defiled by the detestable practices of the people living there. From one end to the other, the land is filled with corruption. 12 Don’t let your daughters marry their sons! Don’t take their daughters as wives for your sons. Don’t ever promote the peace and prosperity of those nations. If you follow these instructions, you will be strong and will enjoy the good things the land produces, and you will leave this prosperity to your children forever.’
13 “Now we are being punished because of our wickedness and our great guilt. But we have actually been punished far less than we deserve, for you, our God, have allowed some of us to survive as a remnant. 14 But even so, we are again breaking your commands and intermarrying with people who do these detestable things. Won’t your anger be enough to destroy us, so that even this little remnant no longer survives? 15 Lord, God of Israel, you are just. We come before you in our guilt as nothing but an escaped remnant, though in such a condition none of us can stand in your presence.”
Love,
Jonathan

Just

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Good people do just enough to love God and live by faith, doing the daily activities and work that is full of joy, peace, kindness, long-suffering, patience, mercy, and grace, because God uses the blood of Christ to wash away our sins, in our honest repentance.” ~  Jon Barnes

Just Now

Believe God has forgiven you and live the lifestyle that God has given to help your family and yourself.  You help your family by teaching, communicating, and sharing examples of love that God has granted.  Grant the same level of love and respect to others and watch your life bless others all around you. Just Do It! Fake repentance does not get washed by the Blood of Jesus. 

Just Enough

The things that God gives you is just enough for you to do the job of love, work of faith, and balance with mercy and grace to display the full gospel in your life to others as well.  Each step that you take walks towards God and Heaven’s Gates by faith in doing the right things that are pleasing to God. You know that you are pleasing God because your balanced life connects as the just shall live by faith.  This faith is directed at your children first.

Just Faith

You know the truth and the steps to take, so just do it and communicate God’s truth each day by faith.  God is in the buildings of His People and your light, love for God, and actions of faith are alive as you breathe, walk, talk, and shine His Light and Spirit through Your Eyes. We don’t judge and bully people.  We just love them and let God’s conviction or judgment do the work of faith.  Mastering these Gospel Fundamentals will transform your family!
Today’s Question
Since Christ died for our sins, are you taking care of your temple as a living participant in God’s love, work, faith, and action or are you just OFF TASK and OFFLINE?
Enjoy The Reading

Ezra 8 

Exiles Who Returned with Ezra

Here is a list of the family leaders and the genealogies of those who came with me from Babylon during the reign of King Artaxerxes:
From the family of Phinehas: Gershom.
From the family of Ithamar: Daniel.
From the family of David: Hattush, a descendant of Shecaniah.
From the family of Parosh: Zechariah and 150 other men were registered.
From the family of Pahath-moab: Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah and 200 other men.
From the family of Zattu[a]: Shecaniah son of Jahaziel and 300 other men.
From the family of Adin: Ebed son of Jonathan and 50 other men.
From the family of Elam: Jeshaiah son of Athaliah and 70 other men.
From the family of Shephatiah: Zebadiah son of Michael and 80 other men.
From the family of Joab: Obadiah son of Jehiel and 218 other men.
10 From the family of Bani[b]: Shelomith son of Josiphiah and 160 other men.
11 From the family of Bebai: Zechariah son of Bebai and 28 other men.
12 From the family of Azgad: Johanan son of Hakkatan and 110 other men.
13 From the family of Adonikam, who came later[c]: Eliphelet, Jeuel, Shemaiah, and 60 other men.
14 From the family of Bigvai: Uthai, Zaccur,[d] and 70 other men.

Ezra’s Journey to Jerusalem

15 I assembled the exiles at the Ahava Canal, and we camped there for three days while I went over the lists of the people and the priests who had arrived. I found that not one Levite had volunteered to come along. 16 So I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, who were leaders of the people. I also sent for Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of discernment. 17 I sent them to Iddo, the leader of the Levites at Casiphia, to ask him and his relatives and the Temple servants to send us ministers for the Temple of God at Jerusalem.
18 Since the gracious hand of our God was on us, they sent us a man named Sherebiah, along with eighteen of his sons and brothers. He was a very astute man and a descendant of Mahli, who was a descendant of Levi son of Israel.[e]19 They also sent Hashabiah, together with Jeshaiah from the descendants of Merari, and twenty of his sons and brothers, 20 and 220 Temple servants. The Temple servants were assistants to the Levites—a group of Temple workers first instituted by King David and his officials. They were all listed by name.
21 And there by the Ahava Canal, I gave orders for all of us to fast and humble ourselves before our God. We prayed that he would give us a safe journey and protect us, our children, and our goods as we traveled. 22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen[f] to accompany us and protect us from enemies along the way. After all, we had told the king, “Our God’s hand of protection is on all who worship him, but his fierce anger rages against those who abandon him.” 23 So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer.
24 I appointed twelve leaders of the priests—Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten other priests— 25 to be in charge of transporting the silver, the gold, the gold bowls, and the other items that the king, his council, his officials, and all the people of Israel had presented for the Temple of God. 26 I weighed the treasure as I gave it to them and found the totals to be as follows:
24 tons[g] of silver,
7,500 pounds[h] of silver articles,
7,500 pounds of gold,
27 20 gold bowls, equal in value to 1,000 gold coins,[i]
2 fine articles of polished bronze, as precious as gold.
28 And I said to these priests, “You and these treasures have been set apart as holy to the Lord. This silver and gold is a voluntary offering to the Lord, the God of our ancestors. 29 Guard these treasures well until you present them to the leading priests, the Levites, and the leaders of Israel, who will weigh them at the storerooms of the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem.” 30 So the priests and the Levites accepted the task of transporting these treasures of silver and gold to the Temple of our God in Jerusalem.
31 We broke camp at the Ahava Canal on April 19[j] and started off to Jerusalem. And the gracious hand of our God protected us and saved us from enemies and bandits along the way. 32 So we arrived safely in Jerusalem, where we rested for three days.
33 On the fourth day after our arrival, the silver, gold, and other valuables were weighed at the Temple of our God and entrusted to Meremoth son of Uriah the priest and to Eleazar son of Phinehas, along with Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui—both of whom were Levites. 34 Everything was accounted for by number and weight, and the total weight was officially recorded.
35 Then the exiles who had come out of captivity sacrificed burnt offerings to the God of Israel. They presented twelve bulls for all the people of Israel, as well as ninety-six rams and seventy-seven male lambs. They also offered twelve male goats as a sin offering. All this was given as a burnt offering to the Lord. 36 The king’s decrees were delivered to his highest officers and the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River,[k] who then cooperated by supporting the people and the Temple of God.
Love,
Jonathan

The Playground

playground-99509_1920
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“There are many ways to play on the playground, but one rule still applies; You must play with God’s Rules and commandments.” ~ Jon Barnes

Flexibility

God’s rules of love are laced with commandments, grace, mercy, kindness, meekness, long-suffering, humility, goodness, patience, and the likes so that a wide variety of good things can occur by faith. However, this is not a legalistic loop hole for foolishness and disobedience.  Respectfully, God’s Plans will happen whether you like it or not and we all must remain flexible to allow God to Move and Work in and through us. Become flexible enough to get out of your own way so that others may grow and play on the playground too.

Selfishness

Don’t hog up the swing set on the playground.  Have fun, but get out of the way so that other children can play and learn from God too. You can still swing again, but this time, be kind and push, while someone else takes a turn. Sharing is the work of your faith in your daily walk with The Lord.  Don’t gossip to hurt others, but share God’s stories of Love in your life about yourself.  Talking about yourself and how God moves in your life is called ministering. However, you have nothing to share when your power is used to shut the playground down. Don’t become a bully.

Filibuster

The act of shutting down the government or God’s playground is very similar because evil people don’t want to work, pay, help, compromise, or operate in honesty or integrity. Evil thinkers will do what they want to get their way and push their agendas onto the next person. Furthermore, their agenda will flow in the opposite direction of God’s plan. Jesus will use the waisted energy of the foolish to push all the good people on the playground into working smarter and harder for the Kingdom.  This is why the good and the evil will grow together and God will separate them during the great judgment. 
Today’s Question
Which group do you belong to on the playground, based on your relationship with God?
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 12 

The Northern Tribes Revolt

12 Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had gathered to make him king.When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of this, he returned from Egypt,[a] for he had fled to Egypt to escape from King Solomon. The leaders of Israel summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel went to speak with Rehoboam. “Your father was a hard master,” they said. “Lighten the harsh labor demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us. Then we will be your loyal subjects.”
Rehoboam replied, “Give me three days to think this over. Then come back for my answer.” So the people went away.
Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. “What is your advice?” he asked. “How should I answer these people?”
The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”
But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers.“What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?”
10 The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11 Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!’”
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to hear Rehoboam’s decision, just as the king had ordered. 13 But Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors 14 and followed the counsel of his younger advisers. He told the people, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”
15 So the king paid no attention to the people. This turn of events was the will of the Lord, for it fulfilled the Lord’s message to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh.
16 When all Israel realized that the king had refused to listen to them, they responded,
“Down with the dynasty of David!
    We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Back to your homes, O Israel!
    Look out for your own house, O David!”
So the people of Israel returned home. 17 But Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.
18 King Rehoboam sent Adoniram,[b] who was in charge of forced labor, to restore order, but the people of Israel stoned him to death. When this news reached King Rehoboam, he quickly jumped into his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. 19 And to this day the northern tribes of Israel have refused to be ruled by a descendant of David.
20 When the people of Israel learned of Jeroboam’s return from Egypt, they called an assembly and made him king over all Israel. So only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the family of David.

Shemaiah’s Prophecy

21 When Rehoboam arrived at Jerusalem, he mobilized the men of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—180,000 select troops—to fight against the men of Israel and to restore the kingdom to himself.
22 But God said to Shemaiah, the man of God, 23 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the people of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not fight against your relatives, the Israelites. Go back home, for what has happened is my doing!’” So they obeyed the message of the Lord and went home, as the Lord had commanded.

Jeroboam Makes Gold Calves

25 Jeroboam then built up the city of Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and it became his capital. Later he went and built up the town of Peniel.[c]
26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “Unless I am careful, the kingdom will return to the dynasty of David. 27 When these people go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the Temple of the Lord, they will again give their allegiance to King Rehoboam of Judah. They will kill me and make him their king instead.”
28 So on the advice of his counselors, the king made two gold calves. He said to the people,[d] “It is too much trouble for you to worship in Jerusalem. Look, Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of Egypt!”
29 He placed these calf idols in Bethel and in Dan—at either end of his kingdom.30 But this became a great sin, for the people worshiped the idols, traveling as far north as Dan to worship the one there.
31 Jeroboam also erected buildings at the pagan shrines and ordained priests from the common people—those who were not from the priestly tribe of Levi. 32 And Jeroboam instituted a religious festival in Bethel, held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month,[e] in imitation of the annual Festival of Shelters in Judah. There at Bethel he himself offered sacrifices to the calves he had made, and he appointed priests for the pagan shrines he had made. 33 So on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a day that he himself had designated, Jeroboam offered sacrifices on the altar at Bethel. He instituted a religious festival for Israel, and he went up to the altar to burn incense.
Love,
Jonathan

Humbled

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Remaining humbled and faithful when God blesses you is a test of obedience in which many us will fail because our will is more important that God’s Will and Commandments.” ~ Jon Barnes 

Trophy

Our prayer life and praises unto God are not trophies to be displayed before people just to be seen. Yet God would rather you pray and work like children of God from your secret closet. Our humbled secret works of faith, prayer, and praise are rewarded by God openly in how you live openly every day. The humility of your actions shines like the sun and your trumpet doesn’t need to blast before you enter the room, like a trophy.

Blast

Sometimes God will use a trumpet blast to get our attention, destroy walls, make a point, or handle issues, but in general, God doesn’t need our help to blast anything.  It is us who need God. Master the ability and humility of following God’s directions, not the hype of traditions of men. Blast your way into God’s hands and not into the ways of man.

Outcast

You may seem like an outcast by following God’s agenda and not your own.  When things don’t work out from your perspective, it is God’s plan that directs you to the flow of where you will go.  Be open to change directions because God is steering the boat.  Don’t allow your pride to take over the captain’s seat, which dishonors your parents and God.  Stay humble and relevant.
Today’s Question.
Are you relevant to God in humility, faith, love, forgiveness, work, prayer, and truth?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Samuel 3 

That was the beginning of a long war between those who were loyal to Saul and those loyal to David. As time passed David became stronger and stronger, while Saul’s dynasty became weaker and weaker.

David’s Sons Born in Hebron

These are the sons who were born to David in Hebron:
The oldest was Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel.
The second was Daniel,[a] whose mother was Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel.
The third was Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur.
The fourth was Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith.
The fifth was Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital.
The sixth was Ithream, whose mother was Eglah, David’s wife.
These sons were all born to David in Hebron.

Abner Joins Forces with David

As the war between the house of Saul and the house of David went on, Abner became a powerful leader among those loyal to Saul. One day Ishbosheth,[b]Saul’s son, accused Abner of sleeping with one of his father’s concubines, a woman named Rizpah, daughter of Aiah.
Abner was furious. “Am I some Judean dog to be kicked around like this?” he shouted. “After all I have done for your father, Saul, and his family and friends by not handing you over to David, is this my reward—that you find fault with me about this woman? May God strike me and even kill me if I don’t do everything I can to help David get what the Lord has promised him! 10 I’m going to take Saul’s kingdom and give it to David. I will establish the throne of David over Israel as well as Judah, all the way from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south.”11 Ishbosheth didn’t dare say another word because he was afraid of what Abner might do.
12 Then Abner sent messengers to David, saying, “Doesn’t the entire land belong to you? Make a solemn pact with me, and I will help turn over all of Israel to you.”
13 “All right,” David replied, “but I will not negotiate with you unless you bring back my wife Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come.”
14 David then sent this message to Ishbosheth, Saul’s son: “Give me back my wife Michal, for I bought her with the lives[c] of 100 Philistines.”
15 So Ishbosheth took Michal away from her husband, Palti[d] son of Laish. 16 Palti followed along behind her as far as Bahurim, weeping as he went. Then Abner told him, “Go back home!” So Palti returned.
17 Meanwhile, Abner had consulted with the elders of Israel. “For some time now,” he told them, “you have wanted to make David your king. 18 Now is the time! For the Lord has said, ‘I have chosen David to save my people Israel from the hands of the Philistines and from all their other enemies.’” 19 Abner also spoke with the men of Benjamin. Then he went to Hebron to tell David that all the people of Israel and Benjamin had agreed to support him.
20 When Abner and twenty of his men came to Hebron, David entertained them with a great feast. 21 Then Abner said to David, “Let me go and call an assembly of all Israel to support my lord the king. They will make a covenant with you to make you their king, and you will rule over everything your heart desires.” So David sent Abner safely on his way.

Joab Murders Abner

22 But just after David had sent Abner away in safety, Joab and some of David’s troops returned from a raid, bringing much plunder with them. 23 When Joab arrived, he was told that Abner had just been there visiting the king and had been sent away in safety.
24 Joab rushed to the king and demanded, “What have you done? What do you mean by letting Abner get away? 25 You know perfectly well that he came to spy on you and find out everything you’re doing!”
26 Joab then left David and sent messengers to catch up with Abner, asking him to return. They found him at the well of Sirah and brought him back, though David knew nothing about it. 27 When Abner arrived back at Hebron, Joab took him aside at the gateway as if to speak with him privately. But then he stabbed Abner in the stomach and killed him in revenge for killing his brother Asahel.
28 When David heard about it, he declared, “I vow by the Lord that I and my kingdom are forever innocent of this crime against Abner son of Ner. 29 Joab and his family are the guilty ones. May the family of Joab be cursed in every generation with a man who has open sores or leprosy[e] or who walks on crutches[f] or dies by the sword or begs for food!”
30 So Joab and his brother Abishai killed Abner because Abner had killed their brother Asahel at the battle of Gibeon.

David Mourns Abner’s Death

31 Then David said to Joab and all those who were with him, “Tear your clothes and put on burlap. Mourn for Abner.” And King David himself walked behind the procession to the grave. 32 They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king and all the people wept at his graveside. 33 Then the king sang this funeral song for Abner:
“Should Abner have died as fools die?
34 Your hands were not bound;
    your feet were not chained.
No, you were murdered—
    the victim of a wicked plot.”
All the people wept again for Abner. 35 David had refused to eat anything on the day of the funeral, and now everyone begged him to eat. But David had made a vow, saying, “May God strike me and even kill me if I eat anything before sundown.”
36 This pleased the people very much. In fact, everything the king did pleased them! 37 So everyone in Judah and all Israel understood that David was not responsible for Abner’s murder.
38 Then King David said to his officials, “Don’t you realize that a great commander has fallen today in Israel? 39 And even though I am the anointed king, these two sons of Zeruiah—Joab and Abishai—are too strong for me to control. So may the Lord repay these evil men for their evil deeds.”
Love,
Jonathan

Mad Men

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“There are plenty of mad people who ignore God’s warnings and pretend to be wise with wickedness, but God has a special reward and place for them.” ~ Jon Barnes

Are You

Mad people enjoy imitating other mad people and they love each other’s company. Are you one of them? Of course, you’re not because you’re reading this and working on improving your status with God. Each day we potentially grow to get better with grace and love and it is fascinating to see the improvements. Keep improving.

Understanding

By doing what God asks, you begin to understand a little more about the big picture of life and love. We experience rays of hope, love, grace, and mercy from the cracks of darkness and suddenly, the sun shines and blots out all the evil and darkness. It all seems slow, gradual, but life ends quicker than you think. 

Improvements

You should be concerned when you are not improving your understanding and walk with God. God is always expanding and improving perfection. I don’t have to understand how this happens, but I believe it to be true. Each life has a purpose and meaning from God, otherwise, you may grow mad. 
Today’s Question
Do you recognize the signs of Madness with the absence of God in the lives of people?
Enjoy Today’s Reading

1 Samuel 24 

David Spares Saul’s Life

24 [a]After Saul returned from fighting the Philistines, he was told that David had gone into the wilderness of En-gedi. So Saul chose 3,000 elite troops from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the wild goats.
At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave!
“Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’” So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe.
But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king. I shouldn’t attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul.
After Saul had left the cave and gone on his way, David came out and shouted after him, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked around, David bowed low before him.
Then he shouted to Saul, “Why do you listen to the people who say I am trying to harm you? 10 This very day you can see with your own eyes it isn’t true. For the Lord placed you at my mercy back there in the cave. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I spared you. For I said, ‘I will never harm the king—he is the Lord’s anointed one.’ 11 Look, my father, at what I have in my hand. It is a piece of the hem of your robe! I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. This proves that I am not trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me.
12 “May the Lord judge between us. Perhaps the Lord will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you. 13 As that old proverb says, ‘From evil people come evil deeds.’ So you can be sure I will never harm you. 14 Who is the king of Israel trying to catch anyway? Should he spend his time chasing one who is as worthless as a dead dog or a single flea? 15 May the Lord therefore judge which of us is right and punish the guilty one. He is my advocate, and he will rescue me from your power!”
16 When David had finished speaking, Saul called back, “Is that really you, my son David?” Then he began to cry. 17 And he said to David, “You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil. 18 Yes, you have been amazingly kind to me today, for when the Lordput me in a place where you could have killed me, you didn’t do it. 19 Who else would let his enemy get away when he had him in his power? May the Lord reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today. 20 And now I realize that you are surely going to be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will flourish under your rule. 21 Now swear to me by the Lordthat when that happens you will not kill my family and destroy my line of descendants!”
22 So David promised this to Saul with an oath. Then Saul went home, but David and his men went back to their stronghold.
Love,
Jonathan

Loyalty

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“When you are loyal to God you will keep His Commandments and when you are unfaithful, you will find ways to break them.” ~ Jon Barnes

The Loyal

The loyalty of a faithful person is honest and consistent like the rising of the sun to shine a light and provide heat.  It becomes equally obvious when the love from the wicked grows cold with a heart of stone for God. It’s like the sun melting from the sky, never to return. Continue to guard your heart and honest loyalty for royalty in The Lord, to secure your place in Him in Heaven.

Royal Blood

Royal Blood runs through your veins when you serve The Living God because the Blood of Christ cleans and washes your sins. Your commitment to God with a repentant heart sustains the flow of Royal Blood from God to your heart each day. As we wash our bodies each day, we should continue the same in God to follow His fresh footprints.

Fresh Prints

There are always signs of God’s fresh fingerprints on your life each day, as your walk with Him.  Enjoy the moments, miracles, and mind-boggling events that shape your life and destiny, with simplistic honor, grace, and mercy. Few people will get the chance to experience loyal royalty from heaven, because the cost is great for those who are fake!
Today’s Question
Are you a royal fraud, pretending to be loyal, and but not loving God?
 
Enjoy The Reading

1 Samuel 23 

David Protects the Town of Keilah

23 One day news came to David that the Philistines were at Keilah stealing grain from the threshing floors. David asked the Lord, “Should I go and attack them?”
“Yes, go and save Keilah,” the Lord told him.
But David’s men said, “We’re afraid even here in Judah. We certainly don’t want to go to Keilah to fight the whole Philistine army!”
So David asked the Lord again, and again the Lord replied, “Go down to Keilah, for I will help you conquer the Philistines.”
So David and his men went to Keilah. They slaughtered the Philistines and took all their livestock and rescued the people of Keilah. Now when Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, he brought the ephod with him.
Saul soon learned that David was at Keilah. “Good!” he exclaimed. “We’ve got him now! God has handed him over to me, for he has trapped himself in a walled town!” So Saul mobilized his entire army to march to Keilah and besiege David and his men.
But David learned of Saul’s plan and told Abiathar the priest to bring the ephod and ask the Lord what he should do. 10 Then David prayed, “O Lord, God of Israel, I have heard that Saul is planning to come and destroy Keilah because I am here. 11 Will the leaders of Keilah betray me to him?[a] And will Saul actually come as I have heard? O Lord, God of Israel, please tell me.”
And the Lord said, “He will come.”
12 Again David asked, “Will the leaders of Keilah betray me and my men to Saul?”
And the Lord replied, “Yes, they will betray you.”

David Hides in the Wilderness

13 So David and his men—about 600 of them now—left Keilah and began roaming the countryside. Word soon reached Saul that David had escaped, so he didn’t go to Keilah after all. 14 David now stayed in the strongholds of the wilderness and in the hill country of Ziph. Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn’t let Saul find him.
15 One day near Horesh, David received the news that Saul was on the way to Ziph to search for him and kill him. 16 Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the king of Israel, and I will be next to you, as my father, Saul, is well aware.”18 So the two of them renewed their solemn pact before the Lord. Then Jonathan returned home, while David stayed at Horesh.
19 But now the men of Ziph went to Saul in Gibeah and betrayed David to him. “We know where David is hiding,” they said. “He is in the strongholds of Horesh on the hill of Hakilah, which is in the southern part of Jeshimon. 20 Come down whenever you’re ready, O king, and we will catch him and hand him over to you!”
21 “The Lord bless you,” Saul said. “At last someone is concerned about me! 22 Go and check again to be sure of where he is staying and who has seen him there, for I know that he is very crafty. 23 Discover his hiding places, and come back when you are sure. Then I’ll go with you. And if he is in the area at all, I’ll track him down, even if I have to search every hiding place in Judah!” 24 So the men of Ziph returned home ahead of Saul.
Meanwhile, David and his men had moved into the wilderness of Maon in the Arabah Valley south of Jeshimon. 25 When David heard that Saul and his men were searching for him, he went even farther into the wilderness to the great rock, and he remained there in the wilderness of Maon. But Saul kept after him in the wilderness.
26 Saul and David were now on opposite sides of a mountain. Just as Saul and his men began to close in on David and his men, 27 an urgent message reached Saul that the Philistines were raiding Israel again. 28 So Saul quit chasing David and returned to fight the Philistines. Ever since that time, the place where David was camped has been called the Rock of Escape.[b] 29 [c]David then went to live in the strongholds of En-gedi.
Love,
Jonathan