“Resources are meant to be used to grow with Christ, not to replace Him.”~TB
A major balancing act in the Christian walk is utilizing and appreciating the resources that God gives us without allowing them to take on a god-like persona. If we’re honest, I’m sure we all have had moments where we want God’s ‘stuff’ more than we want Him. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a tough pill to swallow because the truth of the matter, money, cars, fame, notoriety are really just stuff. More to the point, wanting stuff more than we want God is quite sad and a major indictment on what we value as a collective. As someone who has experience with first-world niceties, I can say for certain, the best manmade things do not hold a candle to being in the presence of the Lord.
Remain in Him
These days, everything I have is a resource to remain in Christ. My money, time, love, etc. are poured into building my relationships with my family, spending time with God, sharing His Truth with others, and things of the like. That’s not to say I’m perfect, oh, I’m far from it. Over time, I’ve come to learn to hang out with God more, glean His insights, which helps me to make better decisions. He has shown and taught me how wonderful it is to walk with Him and the resources He gives me are to grow stronger in Him. Friends, we have to evaluate how we look at things. Most of the time, we want ‘stuff’ just to impress others. The things of this world are temporary. We cannot take them with us when we go. But, the relationship we forge with Christ is everlasting, so enjoy the resources, but make sure they point back to Him.
Do you want God’s resources or God Himself?
Enjoy the reading
1This is what the LORD said to me: “Go over and speak directly to the king of Judah. Say to him,
2‘Listen to this message from the LORD, you king of Judah, sitting on David’s throne. Let your attendants and your people listen, too.
3This is what the LORD says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent!
4If you obey me, there will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem. The king will ride through the palace gates in chariots and on horses, with his parade of attendants and subjects.
5But if you refuse to pay attention to this warning, I swear by my own name, says the LORD, that this palace will become a pile of rubble.’”
6Now this is what the LORD says concerning Judah’s royal palace: “I love you as much as fruitful Gilead and the green forests of Lebanon. But I will turn you into a desert, with no one living within your walls.
7I will call for wreckers, who will bring out their tools to dismantle you. They will tear out all your fine cedar beams and throw them on the fire.
8“People from many nations will pass by the ruins of this city and say to one another, ‘Why did the LORD destroy such a great city?’
9And the answer will be, ‘Because they violated their covenant with the LORD their God by worshiping other gods.’”
10Do not weep for the dead king or mourn his loss. Instead, weep for the captive king being led away! For he will never return to see his native land again.
11For this is what the LORD says about Jehoahaz, who succeeded his father, King Josiah, and was taken away as a captive: “He will never return.
12He will die in a distant land and will never again see his own country.”
13And the LORD says, “What sorrow awaits Jehoiakim, who builds his palace with forced labor. He builds injustice into its walls, for he makes his neighbors work for nothing. He does not pay them for their labor.
14He says, ‘I will build a magnificent palace with huge rooms and many windows. I will panel it throughout with fragrant cedar and paint it a lovely red.’
15But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king! Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him.
16He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know me?” says the LORD .
17“But you! You have eyes only for greed and dishonesty! You murder the innocent, oppress the poor, and reign ruthlessly.”
18Therefore, this is what the LORD says about Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah: “The people will not mourn for him, crying to one another, ‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’ His subjects will not mourn for him, crying, ‘Alas, our master is dead! Alas, his splendor is gone!’
19He will be buried like a dead donkey— dragged out of Jerusalem and dumped outside the gates!
20Weep for your allies in Lebanon. Shout for them in Bashan. Search for them in the regions east of the river. See, they are all destroyed. Not one is left to help you.
21I warned you when you were prosperous, but you replied, ‘Don’t bother me.’ You have been that way since childhood— you simply will not obey me!
22And now the wind will blow away your allies. All your friends will be taken away as captives. Surely then you will see your wickedness and be ashamed.
23It may be nice to live in a beautiful palace paneled with wood from the cedars of Lebanon, but soon you will groan with pangs of anguish— anguish like that of a woman in labor.
24“As surely as I live,” says the LORD, “I will abandon you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. Even if you were the signet ring on my right hand, I would pull you off.
25I will hand you over to those who seek to kill you, those you so desperately fear—to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the mighty Babylonian army.
26I will expel you and your mother from this land, and you will die in a foreign country, not in your native land.
27You will never again return to the land you yearn for.
28“Why is this man Jehoiachin like a discarded, broken jar? Why are he and his children to be exiled to a foreign land?
29O earth, earth, earth! Listen to this message from the LORD !
30This is what the LORD says: ‘Let the record show that this man Jehoiachin was childless. He is a failure, for none of his children will succeed him on the throne of David to rule over Judah.’
“Don’t be fooled by the guise of self-reliance because only God can allow our seeds to grow.”~TB
In the eyes of man, we applaud the idea that we can achieve anything based on our own merit. With our two hands, grit, and determination, we have everything we need. To the world, success happens by yourself on your own accord. Friends, while we have to play an active role in our lives, the belief that we don’t need anyone or anything is a fallacy. It conveniently leaves out our Maker and how His hand dictates the events that play out in our lives.
When you know who actually runs the show, you recognize how needy and dependent you actually are. In life, we need Christ to show us the way, to approve of our plans so that we build our lives on the firm foundation of God. Being and believing that you are indeed God-Made allows you to receive His instructions. It also encourages you to engage with the Body of Christ– the people around you– as you know it takes a village to succeed. So rather than relying on your flesh, rely on the One who first called you His so you can truly see what you are made of.
When the time comes to give your account, who do you want to vouch for you; yourself or Christ?
Enjoy the reading
1The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said,
2“Go to the entrance of the LORD ’s Temple, and give this message to the people: ‘O Judah, listen to this message from the LORD ! Listen to it, all of you who worship here!
3This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “‘Even now, if you quit your evil ways, I will let you stay in your own land.
4But don’t be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the LORD ’s Temple is here. They chant, “The LORD ’s Temple is here! The LORD ’s Temple is here!”
5But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice;
6only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols.
7Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever.
8“‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie!
9Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours,
10and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”—only to go right back to all those evils again?
11Don’t you yourselves admit that this Temple, which bears my name, has become a den of thieves? Surely I see all the evil going on there. I, the LORD, have spoken!
12“‘Go now to the place at Shiloh where I once put the Tabernacle that bore my name. See what I did there because of all the wickedness of my people, the Israelites.
13While you were doing these wicked things, says the LORD, I spoke to you about it repeatedly, but you would not listen. I called out to you, but you refused to answer.
14So just as I destroyed Shiloh, I will now destroy this Temple that bears my name, this Temple that you trust in for help, this place that I gave to you and your ancestors.
15And I will send you out of my sight into exile, just as I did your relatives, the people of Israel. ’
16“Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, and don’t beg me to help them, for I will not listen to you.
17Don’t you see what they are doing throughout the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
18No wonder I am so angry! Watch how the children gather wood and the fathers build sacrificial fires. See how the women knead dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. And they pour out liquid offerings to their other idol gods!
19Am I the one they are hurting?” asks the LORD . “Most of all, they hurt themselves, to their own shame.”
20So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “I will pour out my terrible fury on this place. Its people, animals, trees, and crops will be consumed by the unquenchable fire of my anger.”
21This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Take your burnt offerings and your other sacrifices and eat them yourselves!
22When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, it was not burnt offerings and sacrifices I wanted from them.
23This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!’
24“But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward.
25From the day your ancestors left Egypt until now, I have continued to send my servants, the prophets—day in and day out.
26But my people have not listened to me or even tried to hear. They have been stubborn and sinful—even worse than their ancestors.
27“Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond.
28Say to them, ‘This is the nation whose people will not obey the LORD their God and who refuse to be taught. Truth has vanished from among them; it is no longer heard on their lips.
29Shave your head in mourning, and weep alone on the mountains. For the LORD has rejected and forsaken this generation that has provoked his fury.’
30“The people of Judah have sinned before my very eyes,” says the LORD . “They have set up their abominable idols right in the Temple that bears my name, defiling it.
31They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!
32So beware, for the time is coming,” says the LORD, “when that garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. They will bury the bodies in Topheth until there is no more room for them.
33The bodies of my people will be food for the vultures and wild animals, and no one will be left to scare them away.
34I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in the streets of Jerusalem. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard in the towns of Judah. The land will lie in complete desolation.
“A shattered mirror is no longer useful, so leave the pieces and get a new one.”~TB
There will be times in your life where things implode. This could be in the form of family, friends, work, etc. In the moment, it will sting, but before you jump to conclusions, let the dust settle.
Break the Cycle
God’s plan is to free us from bondage and restore our relationship with Him. He will implode circumstances that we need to be ripped out of because He knows we would not willingly leave otherwise. Don’t despair as the shrapnel from the fallout is no longer useful to you.
The broken pieces of the implosion are the image we hide behind to avoid working on our issues. We hide in an effort to conceal our shortcomings while appearing to not have struggles. This facade helps no one as a false testimony is useless. Leave the pieces behind, so that Christ can heal your wounds, freeing you to be who He intended you to be.
Are you done with your false image?
Enjoy the reading
1To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.
2The LORD approves of those who are good, but he condemns those who plan wickedness.
3Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots.
4A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.
5The plans of the godly are just; the advice of the wicked is treacherous.
6The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives.
7The wicked die and disappear, but the family of the godly stands firm.
8A sensible person wins admiration, but a warped mind is despised.
9Better to be an ordinary person with a servant than to be self-important but have no food.
10The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel.
11A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.
12Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.
13The wicked are trapped by their own words, but the godly escape such trouble.
14Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards.
15Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
16A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
17An honest witness tells the truth; a false witness tells lies.
18Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.
19Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.
20Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace!
21No harm comes to the godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
22The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.
23The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness.
24Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.
25Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
26The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.
27Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch, but the diligent make use of everything they find.
28The way of the godly leads to life; that path does not lead to death
“You will live according to whoever has your ear, heart, and mind. Choose wisely.”~TB
You will fail. You will disappoint. You won’t measure up. Every man on this earth is fallible, short-sighted, and operates according to their own fleshly desires and motives. Even the best of us suck! For this reason, you must never place your value or worth against the opinions of your brothers and sisters. They lack the Holy lens to assess you as our Father in Heaven can. According to humans, you will have to change your appearance, your tone, your attitude, before you are accepted. And even still, you can follow the rules right down to the letter and still not be enough! So why bother? If you know the truth– which is written down in the Bible– you will know that according to the One who made you, you are accepted as you already are.
You are redeemed. You are forgiven. You are loved. You are accepted. Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we would be set apart in God’s Holy stable. Friends, take comfort in this Truth. God loves you as you are! No, you are not perfect, and yes, you will make mistakes. However, when you come to Him with your imperfections in honest and humble repentance, He will wipe the slate clean and will lovingly remind you that you are His. God’s opinion is mightier, holier, and infinitely more valuable than any man’s opinion on this earth. Remember this fundamental truth so that when people come against you with their manmade requirements and measurements, you will not bow down to imperfect standards. Don’t let foolish people rob you of your joy. You have been spared, so live in peace.
Who’s will are you living according to?
Enjoy the reading
1Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.
2It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.
3Children are a gift from the LORD ; they are a reward from him.
4Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
5How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.
“Keep your identity in Christ, so when trials occur, you know who to lean on.”~TB
Leading a life Christ-filled life is not without its challenges, obstacles, and trials. If you’re wrapped up in your human-made identity, pride will be your downfall. Unchecked pride can manifest itself in many different ways, depending on the person and the situation. Your pride may lead you to take on too many things, leaving you feeling overworked, underappreciated, etc. Pride can also lead you into judgment and temptation. Pride can also cause you to covet that which is not yours, the list goes on and on. When your identity is built on man-made designs, you will feel empty, broken, and confused because your fragile image will eventually break.
L’eggo Your Ego
Let go of your pride and ego to recognize your true identity, a Child of God. When you focus on all He has done, you begin to realize that you will never measure up to the perfection that is Christ. Fortunately, He isn’t asking for perfection, but rather, obedience. When you understand this fundamental truth, all other fake identities fall to the wayside because you know that being called His is infinitely worth more than any worldly title man can create. Lean into God’s grace, wisdom, and mercy instead of your own. In your true identity, the opinions of man are loud, obnoxious noise compared to His Perfect Peace. Let your identity in Christ shine brightly to bear witness of His unfailing love.
Do you know your identity in Christ or do you identify as stupid?
Enjoy the reading
1I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.
2Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!
3Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow.
4Then I called on the name of the LORD : “Please, LORD, save me!”
5How kind the LORD is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours!
6The LORD protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me.
7Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me.
8He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
9And so I walk in the LORD ’s presence as I live here on earth!
10I believed in you, so I said, “I am deeply troubled, LORD .”
11In my anxiety I cried out to you, “These people are all liars!”
12What can I offer the LORD for all he has done for me?
13I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the LORD ’s name for saving me.
14I will keep my promises to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
15The LORD cares deeply when his loved ones die.
16O LORD, I am your servant; yes, I am your servant, born into your household; you have freed me from my chains.
17I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD .
18I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people—
19in the house of the LORD in the heart of Jerusalem. Praise the LORD !
“If being authentic requires you to physically change yourself, that’s not authenticity”~TB
As You Are
We live in a time where people scream authenticity yet their behaviors and desires say anything but. Their bodies, minds, and spirit are chemically, physically, and mentally altered by man-made foolishness. Society–backed by money-hungry companies– spend millions of dollars to create a fake utopian illusion that distorts love and teaches people they are not good enough as they are. Instead, you need to spend money to be considered acceptable. Do you know who already considers you beautiful and acceptable? God. He made you and already paid the ultimate price for you. No marketing department of any corporation will ever invest that much on you.
Open Your Eyes
If being the ‘real’ you requires you to change your appearance, how real are you? There is another name for that; idolatry. Friends, be wary of people, products, and businesses that profit off of your insecurity. God created you as you are intended. Open your eyes and see that the very people shouting ‘freedom, self-expression, and choice’ are trapping you into their distorted version of reality. If freedom means conforming to a society built by a fallen world, that is not freedom. If practicing ‘self-love’ involves discarding the teachings of the Bible, truly that is not love at all! Watch yourselves on this slippery slope. Stop being enticed into self-worship, seeking validation from other confused people. If it’s authenticity and love that you seek, turn your eyes to God.
Are you an authentic Child of God or has this sin-fallen world taught you to be your own god?
Enjoy the reading
1Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth!
2Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.
3Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
“It does not take much to justify evil, because unchecked flesh craves sin and will blindly see it as good!”~TB
You justify worshipping yourselves by throwing decadent parades glorifying your own image. You publicly glorify the defilement of your bodies, claiming freedom and self-revolution yet you are a slave to your own depravity. You lure people with sweet words and songs, only to manipulate them into doing your bidding under the guise of being “nice”. Of course, if one doesn’t bend to your will and kneel on their knees, it’s their fault! You justify the cruel treatment of foreigners citing the very same corrupt laws that enslave you. Yet you say you love the Lord. You will be judged.
Friends, it’s time to make some adjustments. Have you not studied the readings? Are you arrogant enough to believe that we are above the same fates as Judah and Israel? Do not be surprised when judgment floods the land, crushing the blind and the corrupt. Do not be surprised when your cries to the Lord for relief and mercy fall on deaf ears. He will give you the same silence that you gave the oppressed. Enjoy the festivities now because they are surely coming to an end.
Are you still justifying or are you making adjustments to turn to the Lord?
Enjoy the reading
1Please, God, rescue me! Come quickly, LORD, and help me.
2May those who try to kill me be humiliated and put to shame. May those who take delight in my trouble be turned back in disgrace.
3Let them be horrified by their shame, for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”
4But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “God is great!”
5But as for me, I am poor and needy; please hurry to my aid, O God. You are my helper and my savior; O LORD, do not delay.
“Most of us are really good at using someone else as a scapegoat for all of our personal failures, inaction, and inadequate behaviors.”~ Jon Barnes
People use the behavior of others to copy, embrace, zone out, and imitate as their own ideas because they are too lazy to work, think, and learn for themselves.Ignorant people use deviant methods and behaviors as a distraction to their wicked intentions of deception, hidden agendas, and false hope.Their job is to zone out so they can take what you have and run.
Real people write their own books each day with the wonderful faith, events, work challenges, homework, and solutions that were discovered.Your mind, processes, photocopies, files, and organizes all of the books, actions, experiences, hopes, and dreams that you have uploaded each day to help you navigate tomorrow’s experiences.Evil people create life books and experiences of destruction, confusion, discourse, and chaos everywhere they go.Their goal is to zone you out and disconnect your mind so they can control it.
Beware that you don’t copy the works of wicked evil people, who are trying to pass their intentions off as being good, honest, loving, helpful, and spiritual. Stay in your zone with God.These fake people must be exposed by not following them into traps of destruction, bad habits, and laziness.Copy the good God wants you to do, because it is impossible to plagiarize the love of God in your life.Your life must write love books of actions in faith, which is taught to you from God through the reading and studying of scriptures.
Are you committing plagiarism by stealing and copying someone else’s evil ideas and lifestyle that is not approved by God for your life?
Enjoy The Reading
A psalm of David, asking God to remember him.
1 O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage! 2 Your arrows have struck deep, and your blows are crushing me. 3 Because of your anger, my whole body is sick; my health is broken because of my sins. 4 My guilt overwhelms me— it is a burden too heavy to bear. 5 My wounds fester and stink because of my foolish sins. 6 I am bent over and racked with pain. All day long I walk around filled with grief. 7 A raging fever burns within me, and my health is broken. 8 I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart.
9 You know what I long for, Lord; you hear my every sigh. 10 My heart beats wildly, my strength fails, and I am going blind. 11 My loved ones and friends stay away, fearing my disease. Even my own family stands at a distance. 12 Meanwhile, my enemies lay traps to kill me. Those who wish me harm make plans to ruin me. All day long they plan their treachery.
13 But I am deaf to all their threats. I am silent before them as one who cannot speak. 14 I choose to hear nothing, and I make no reply. 15 For I am waiting for you, O Lord. You must answer for me, O Lord my God. 16 I prayed, “Don’t let my enemies gloat over me or rejoice at my downfall.”
17 I am on the verge of collapse, facing constant pain. 18 But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done. 19 I have many aggressive enemies; they hate me without reason. 20 They repay me evil for good and oppose me for pursuing good. 21 Do not abandon me, O Lord. Do not stand at a distance, my God. 22 Come quickly to help me, O Lord my savior.
“My children act like my grandparents because I continue to train them in the ways my grandparents trained me, with God’s Speed.”
Quickly, we repent and look for guidance and ways to practice doing the good work of growing in God, so that we look and act just like God. My son looks at me the other day and said, WoW DaD, you look and act just like me! I quickly agreed with God’s Speed, since I still look as good as he does. LOL Copy God and your children will Copy You and God too, as you train them to do so, with God’s Speed!
What measure of faith are you using to accomplish this goal of training your children to worship God, love God, Act like God, and resist the temptations of the devil? My personal goal is to write, communicate, and transport this information around the world so that it reaches my children each day to let them know that I read, think, eat, sleep, work, and play with the tools God has given me from His Bible every day.
My daily exercises with God moves through my soul, body, and mind, at the Speed of light in order to get a look at myself, as I see God’s image in my personal mirror. My reflection looks like my Dad and Heavenly Father, just as your reflection should, as a child or an adult. I know that I am made in the image of God and I teach that we should all act like God and His light of Love that operates in our lives. This work of faith is your image in God, as His Children.
Are you copying the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is the physical copy of God and Child of God, who died for our sins and created a way for us to reconnect with God’s Image?
Enjoy The Reading
The Sabbath Year
25 While Moses was on Mount Sinai, the Lord said to him, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you have entered the land I am giving you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath rest before the Lord every seventh year. 3 For six years you may plant your fields and prune your vineyards and harvest your crops, 4 but during the seventh year the land must have a Sabbath year of complete rest. It is the Lord’s Sabbath. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards during that year. 5 And don’t store away the crops that grow on their own or gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. The land must have a year of complete rest. 6 But you may eat whatever the land produces on its own during its Sabbath. This applies to you, your male and female servants, your hired workers, and the temporary residents who live with you. 7 Your livestock and the wild animals in your land will also be allowed to eat what the land produces.
The Year of Jubilee
8 “In addition, you must count off seven Sabbath years, seven sets of seven years, adding up to forty-nine years in all. 9 Then on the Day of Atonement in the fiftieth year,[a] blow the ram’s horn loud and long throughout the land. 10 Set this year apart as holy, a time to proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors and return to your own clan. 11 This fiftieth year will be a jubilee for you. During that year you must not plant your fields or store away any of the crops that grow on their own, and don’t gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. 12 It will be a jubilee year for you, and you must keep it holy. But you may eat whatever the land produces on its own. 13 In the Year of Jubilee each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors.
14 “When you make an agreement with your neighbor to buy or sell property, you must not take advantage of each other. 15 When you buy land from your neighbor, the price you pay must be based on the number of years since the last jubilee. The seller must set the price by taking into account the number of years remaining until the next Year of Jubilee. 16 The more years until the next jubilee, the higher the price; the fewer years, the lower the price. After all, the person selling the land is actually selling you a certain number of harvests. 17 Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I am the Lord your God.
18 “If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations. 19 Then the land will yield large crops, and you will eat your fill and live securely in it. 20 But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?’ 21 Be assured that I will send my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years. 22 When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the large crop of the sixth year. In fact, you will still be eating from that large crop when the new crop is harvested in the ninth year.
Redemption of Property
23 “The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me.
24 “With every purchase of land you must grant the seller the right to buy it back.25 If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and is forced to sell some family land, then a close relative should buy it back for him. 26 If there is no close relative to buy the land, but the person who sold it gets enough money to buy it back,27 he then has the right to redeem it from the one who bought it. The price of the land will be discounted according to the number of years until the next Year of Jubilee. In this way the original owner can then return to the land. 28 But if the original owner cannot afford to buy back the land, it will remain with the new owner until the next Year of Jubilee. In the jubilee year, the land must be returned to the original owners so they can return to their family land.
29 “Anyone who sells a house inside a walled town has the right to buy it back for a full year after its sale. During that year, the seller retains the right to buy it back.30 But if it is not bought back within a year, the sale of the house within the walled town cannot be reversed. It will become the permanent property of the buyer. It will not be returned to the original owner in the Year of Jubilee. 31 But a house in a village—a settlement without fortified walls—will be treated like property in the countryside. Such a house may be bought back at any time, and it must be returned to the original owner in the Year of Jubilee.
32 “The Levites always have the right to buy back a house they have sold within the towns allotted to them. 33 And any property that is sold by the Levites—all houses within the Levitical towns—must be returned in the Year of Jubilee. After all, the houses in the towns reserved for the Levites are the only property they own in all Israel. 34 The open pastureland around the Levitical towns may never be sold. It is their permanent possession.
Redemption of the Poor and Enslaved
35 “If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and cannot support himself, support him as you would a foreigner or a temporary resident and allow him to live with you. 36 Do not charge interest or make a profit at his expense. Instead, show your fear of God by letting him live with you as your relative. 37 Remember, do not charge interest on money you lend him or make a profit on food you sell him. 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.
39 “If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and is forced to sell himself to you, do not treat him as a slave. 40 Treat him instead as a hired worker or as a temporary resident who lives with you, and he will serve you only until the Year of Jubilee. 41 At that time he and his children will no longer be obligated to you, and they will return to their clans and go back to the land originally allotted to their ancestors. 42 The people of Israel are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt, so they must never be sold as slaves. 43 Show your fear of God by not treating them harshly.
44 “However, you may purchase male and female slaves from among the nations around you. 45 You may also purchase the children of temporary residents who live among you, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, 46 passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat them as slaves, but you must never treat your fellow Israelites this way.
47 “Suppose a foreigner or temporary resident becomes rich while living among you. If any of your fellow Israelites fall into poverty and are forced to sell themselves to such a foreigner or to a member of his family, 48 they still retain the right to be bought back, even after they have been purchased. They may be bought back by a brother, 49 an uncle, or a cousin. In fact, anyone from the extended family may buy them back. They may also redeem themselves if they have prospered. 50 They will negotiate the price of their freedom with the person who bought them. The price will be based on the number of years from the time they were sold until the next Year of Jubilee—whatever it would cost to hire a worker for that period of time. 51 If many years still remain until the jubilee, they will repay the proper proportion of what they received when they sold themselves. 52 If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, they will repay a small amount for their redemption. 53 The foreigner must treat them as workers hired on a yearly basis. You must not allow a foreigner to treat any of your fellow Israelites harshly.54 If any Israelites have not been bought back by the time the Year of Jubilee arrives, they and their children must be set free at that time. 55 For the people of Israel belong to me. They are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
“Your image is a reflection of yourself, but it is still not who you are, what you look like inside, how your heart loves, where your compassion originates or who you should follow and imitate; God is your image source of the universe and affections, so imitate His Image and Likeness.” ~ Jon Barnes
The soft sunrise at 4:00AM, the cool air blowing into open doors and windows, the sounds of birds communicating thanks to God for the light rain, thunder, worms and the glorious colors of cloud formations and movements, all swing and musically sing a new song each day; Hallelujah! Your praise, worship, ministry, and good deeds of thanksgiving cannot be outsourced, but must come from the heart of the image you are in your soul to connect to God.
Take your own pictures, experiences, and stories of love to share with God and your loved ones so that the real you comes out, alive, full of life, love, wonder, and purpose to share. Hiding who you are is not who you are, so put away your stock photos of old and take some fresh pictures of the new day, that is unique, different and one of a kind; Just like the look of your soul, it matures.
In your lifetime, you will find and select some of the best photos taken in your mind to remember and share with everyone, because you are the only one who experience the shot behind your lens, with the proper angle, and perspective to communicate the love of the event. These are your personal moments with God that you seek to find images of Him is all of the Good Work you have done for Him in the service of the Kingdom of Love.
Where are your Masterpieces of Images you were able to experience from the Hand and Connection of God or did you purchase worthless, replicated outsourced photos that belong to someone else for a second hand, unrealistic experience?
Enjoy Today’s reading
41 Two full years later, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing on the bank of the Nile River.2 In his dream he saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river and begin grazing in the marsh grass.3 Then he saw seven more cows come up behind them from the Nile, but these were scrawny and thin. These cows stood beside the fat cows on the riverbank.4 Then the scrawny, thin cows ate the seven healthy, fat cows! At this point in the dream, Pharaoh woke up.
5 But he fell asleep again and had a second dream. This time he saw seven heads of grain, plump and beautiful, growing on a single stalk.6 Then seven more heads of grain appeared, but these were shriveled and withered by the east wind.7 And these thin heads swallowed up the seven plump, well-formed heads! Then Pharaoh woke up again and realized it was a dream.
8 The next morning Pharaoh was very disturbed by the dreams. So he called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. When Pharaoh told them his dreams, not one of them could tell him what they meant.
9 Finally, the king’s chief cup-bearer spoke up. “Today I have been reminded of my failure,” he told Pharaoh.10 “Some time ago, you were angry with the chief baker and me, and you imprisoned us in the palace of the captain of the guard.11 One night the chief baker and I each had a dream, and each dream had its own meaning.12 There was a young Hebrew man with us in the prison who was a slave of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he told us what each of our dreams meant.13 And everything happened just as he had predicted. I was restored to my position as cup-bearer, and the chief baker was executed and impaled on a pole.”
14 Pharaoh sent for Joseph at once, and he was quickly brought from the prison. After he shaved and changed his clothes, he went in and stood before Pharaoh.15 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream last night, and no one here can tell me what it means. But I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it.”
16 “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”
17 So Pharaoh told Joseph his dream. “In my dream,” he said, “I was standing on the bank of the Nile River,18 and I saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river and begin grazing in the marsh grass.19 But then I saw seven sick-looking cows, scrawny and thin, come up after them. I’ve never seen such sorry-looking animals in all the land of Egypt.20 These thin, scrawny cows ate the seven fat cows.21 But afterward you wouldn’t have known it, for they were still as thin and scrawny as before! Then I woke up.
22 “In my dream I also saw seven heads of grain, full and beautiful, growing on a single stalk.23 Then seven more heads of grain appeared, but these were blighted, shriveled, and withered by the east wind.24 And the shriveled heads swallowed the seven healthy heads. I told these dreams to the magicians, but no one could tell me what they mean.”
25 Joseph responded, “Both of Pharaoh’s dreams mean the same thing. God is telling Pharaoh in advance what he is about to do.26 The seven healthy cows and the seven healthy heads of grain both represent seven years of prosperity.27 The seven thin, scrawny cows that came up later and the seven thin heads of grain, withered by the east wind, represent seven years of famine.
28 “This will happen just as I have described it, for God has revealed to Pharaoh in advance what he is about to do.29 The next seven years will be a period of great prosperity throughout the land of Egypt.30 But afterward there will be seven years of famine so great that all the prosperity will be forgotten in Egypt. Famine will destroy the land.31 This famine will be so severe that even the memory of the good years will be erased.32 As for having two similar dreams, it means that these events have been decreed by God, and he will soon make them happen.
33 “Therefore, Pharaoh should find an intelligent and wise man and put him in charge of the entire land of Egypt.34 Then Pharaoh should appoint supervisors over the land and let them collect one-fifth of all the crops during the seven good years.35 Have them gather all the food produced in the good years that are just ahead and bring it to Pharaoh’s storehouses. Store it away, and guard it so there will be food in the cities.36 That way there will be enough to eat when the seven years of famine come to the land of Egypt. Otherwise this famine will destroy the land.”
Joseph Made Ruler of Egypt
37 Joseph’s suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials.38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?”39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are.40 You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.”
41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.”42 Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck.43 Then he had Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second-in-command. And wherever Joseph went, the command was shouted, “Kneel down!” So Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of all Egypt.44 And Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.”
45 Then Pharaoh gave Joseph a new Egyptian name, Zaphenath-paneah.[a] He also gave him a wife, whose name was Asenath. She was the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On.[b] So Joseph took charge of the entire land of Egypt.46 He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And when Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he inspected the entire land of Egypt.
47 As predicted, for seven years the land produced bumper crops.48 During those years, Joseph gathered all the crops grown in Egypt and stored the grain from the surrounding fields in the cities.49 He piled up huge amounts of grain like sand on the seashore. Finally, he stopped keeping records because there was too much to measure.
50 During this time, before the first of the famine years, two sons were born to Joseph and his wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On.51 Joseph named his older son Manasseh,[c] for he said, “God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s family.”52 Joseph named his second son Ephraim,[d] for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.”
53 At last the seven years of bumper crops throughout the land of Egypt came to an end.54 Then the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had predicted. The famine also struck all the surrounding countries, but throughout Egypt there was plenty of food.55 Eventually, however, the famine spread throughout the land of Egypt as well. And when the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, he told them, “Go to Joseph, and do whatever he tells you.”56 So with severe famine everywhere, Joseph opened up the storehouses and distributed grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt.57 And people from all around came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe throughout the world.