“You can have your cake and eat it too, just don’t be foolish enough to disregard the terms and conditions.”~TB
It’s human nature to be selfish and we live in a world that supports that kind of mentality. Everyone wants to gorge themselves on the cake, but no one wants to take responsibility for the calories. More specifically, everyone wants to be their best version of a heathen, but no one wants to acknowledge their connection to God. So they ignore Him and those who warn them of their waywardness. If you think trivializing God changes your fate, welp, you can’t say you weren’t warned.
Discipline breeds results and nothing worth achieving comes easy. Seeking the Lord requires you to spit out the ‘cake’ that the world serves you. Sure, it’ll be tough in the beginning, but the relationship that discipline brings tastes sweeter than any confectionary delight. Indulge in God and He will take delight in you. Ignore God and don’t expect Him to vouch for you. You can’t have it both ways; you either know God or you won’t. But don’t lie to yourself come judgment day about the discipline you never enacted because you’d rather eat cake.
Are you developing discipline or are you on the road to being disciplined?
1“In that day,” says the LORD, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.
2This is what the LORD says: “Those who survive the coming destruction will find blessings even in the barren land, for I will give rest to the people of Israel.”
3Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
4I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel. You will again be happy and dance merrily with your tambourines.
5Again you will plant your vineyards on the mountains of Samaria and eat from your own gardens there.
6The day will come when watchmen will shout from the hill country of Ephraim, ‘Come, let us go up to Jerusalem to worship the LORD our God.’”
7Now this is what the LORD says: “Sing with joy for Israel. Shout for the greatest of nations! Shout out with praise and joy: ‘Save your people, O LORD, the remnant of Israel!’
8For I will bring them from the north and from the distant corners of the earth. I will not forget the blind and lame, the expectant mothers and women in labor. A great company will return!
9Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care. They will walk beside quiet streams and on smooth paths where they will not stumble. For I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my oldest child.
10“Listen to this message from the LORD, you nations of the world; proclaim it in distant coastlands: The LORD, who scattered his people, will gather them and watch over them as a shepherd does his flock.
11For the LORD has redeemed Israel from those too strong for them.
12They will come home and sing songs of joy on the heights of Jerusalem. They will be radiant because of the LORD ’s good gifts— the abundant crops of grain, new wine, and olive oil, and the healthy flocks and herds. Their life will be like a watered garden, and all their sorrows will be gone.
13The young women will dance for joy, and the men—old and young—will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.
14The priests will enjoy abundance, and my people will feast on my good gifts. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
15This is what the LORD says: “A cry is heard in Ramah— deep anguish and bitter weeping. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted— for her children are gone.”
16But now this is what the LORD says: “Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you,” says the LORD . “Your children will come back to you from the distant land of the enemy.
17There is hope for your future,” says the LORD . “Your children will come again to their own land.
18I have heard Israel saying, ‘You disciplined me severely, like a calf that needs training for the yoke. Turn me again to you and restore me, for you alone are the LORD my God.
19I turned away from God, but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity! I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.’
20“Is not Israel still my son, my darling child?” says the LORD . “I often have to punish him, but I still love him. That’s why I long for him and surely will have mercy on him.
21Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Mark well the path by which you came. Come back again, my virgin Israel; return to your towns here.
22How long will you wander, my wayward daughter? For the LORD will cause something new to happen— Israel will embrace her God. ”
23This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity, the people of Judah and its towns will again say, ‘The LORD bless you, O righteous home, O holy mountain!’
24Townspeople and farmers and shepherds alike will live together in peace and happiness.
25For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.”
26At this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very sweet.
27“The day is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will greatly increase the human population and the number of animals here in Israel and Judah.
28In the past I deliberately uprooted and tore down this nation. I overthrew it, destroyed it, and brought disaster upon it. But in the future I will just as deliberately plant it and build it up. I, the LORD, have spoken!
29“The people will no longer quote this proverb: ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste.’
30All people will die for their own sins—those who eat the sour grapes will be the ones whose mouths will pucker.
31“The day is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.
32This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the LORD .
33“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the LORD . “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the LORD .’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the LORD . “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”
35It is the LORD who provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night, and who stirs the sea into roaring waves. His name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, and this is what he says:
36“I am as likely to reject my people Israel as I am to abolish the laws of nature!”
37This is what the LORD says: “Just as the heavens cannot be measured and the foundations of the earth cannot be explored, so I will not consider casting them away for the evil they have done. I, the LORD, have spoken!
38“The day is coming,” says the LORD, “when all Jerusalem will be rebuilt for me, from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.
39A measuring line will be stretched out over the hill of Gareb and across to Goah.
40And the entire area—including the graveyard and ash dump in the valley, and all the fields out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the Horse Gate—will be holy to the LORD . The city will never again be captured or destroyed.”
“Be confident about how people perceive and know who you are, what you are doing, and how you serve God because they can tell if you are a fraud when they test you.” ~ Jon Barnes
Become successful at loving God and you will be spiritually and naturally rich and not an evil fraud. Money does not measure your richness with God because it is like dirt to Him. The streets of Heaven are paved with treasures unseen. Your family and the people around you will admire your faith, work ethic, and talent that God has blessed you with. People will become jealous and they will try to treat you badly for doing a good job. Count it all as Joy.
There is no need to brag about your accomplishments with serving God because it is obvious. The simplicity of obedience means the most to God and it is the foundation of your faith in Jesus. Pray that you stay connected and humble in the Love of God, with your faith, actions, words, work, and service to others. Quality Love builds confidence that you can naturally be proud of and feel good about, just like a Dad who takes good care of his kids and family. The truth always rises to the top of who you are in Christ.
I get this jolly feeling of joy when I see my children obey God’s commandments, talk about bible stories, and improve their lives. It is more joyful to see this happen with my grandchildren as well. Continue to share and reflect on these things to enjoy the lifestyle God has blessed you with. Teach the next generation by example, daily practice, and discussions with gladness and success. This way of life should be natural, unforced, and encouraged for generational transfer of wisdom, love, and understanding with good common sense, family values, ethics, morals, and discipline.
Are you happy about working for God and going to Heaven or would you rather go to hell by worshiping something else?
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Jesus, the True Vine
15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command.15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.17 This is my command: Love each other.
The World’s Hatred
18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin.23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father.24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father.25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’
26 “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.
“Less is more in the hands of the least, discarded, and thrown away societies around the world, but God has a balanced compensation plan for eternity with those who love Him.” ~ Jon Barnes
People in poverty who know and walk with God are the most content people in the world because they know that their pain and suffering for doing good is only for a brief moment.Materialism, capitalism, persecution, or hunger will not stop them from loving God.God’s Affirmative Action plan for the poor will shock the rich and sinners on judgment day, as it did with the rich man in hell, wanting to tell his brothers to act right. Notice that he didn’t get a second chance.
The poor will use imagination, grit, and discovery to fuel progress to freedom and liberty in God because the love of money is not the center of their attention and greed.Working for food and survival is the opposite of working for excess and self-indulgence.Discovering the difference between the two is a good start.
God gives relief to the hunger pains of the poor supernaturally by feeding them spiritual food, contentment, and the fear of the Lord.This love and fear is a reverence that balances the scales of eternal fate and is a reference point for those that are in contempt with greed, evil, and selfish mindset, who will discard human life like trash.The pains of the righteous are temporal but the pains of the unjust are forever.
Why are you always looking for second chances when you can do the right things NOW?
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Gifts for Building the Temple
29 Then King David turned to the entire assembly and said, “My son Solomon, whom God has clearly chosen as the next king of Israel, is still young and inexperienced. The work ahead of him is enormous, for the Temple he will build is not for mere mortals—it is for the Lord God himself!2 Using every resource at my command, I have gathered as much as I could for building the Temple of my God. Now there is enough gold, silver, bronze, iron, and wood, as well as great quantities of onyx, other precious stones, costly jewels, and all kinds of fine stone and marble.
3 “And now, because of my devotion to the Temple of my God, I am giving all of my own private treasures of gold and silver to help in the construction. This is in addition to the building materials I have already collected for his holy Temple.4 I am donating more than 112 tons of gold[a] from Ophir and 262 tons of refined silver[b] to be used for overlaying the walls of the buildings5 and for the other gold and silver work to be done by the craftsmen. Now then, who will follow my example and give offerings to the Lord today?”
6 Then the family leaders, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the generals and captains of the army,[c] and the king’s administrative officers all gave willingly.7 For the construction of the Temple of God, they gave about 188 tons of gold,[d] 10,000 gold coins,[e] 375 tons of silver,[f]675 tons of bronze,[g] and 3,750 tons of iron.[h]8 They also contributed numerous precious stones, which were deposited in the treasury of the house of the Lord under the care of Jehiel, a descendant of Gershon.9 The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy.
David’s Prayer of Praise
10 Then David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly:
“O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel,[i] may you be praised forever and ever!11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.12 Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.
13 “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name!14 But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!15 We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.
16 “O Lord our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you!17 I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.
18 “O Lord, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes.19 Give my son Solomon the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees, and to do everything necessary to build this Temple, for which I have made these preparations.”
20 Then David said to the whole assembly, “Give praise to the Lord your God!” And the entire assembly praised the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and they bowed low and knelt before the Lord and the king.
Solomon Named as King
21 The next day they brought 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, and 1,000 male lambs as burnt offerings to the Lord. They also brought liquid offerings and many other sacrifices on behalf of all Israel.22 They feasted and drank in the Lord’s presence with great joy that day.
And again they crowned David’s son Solomon as their new king. They anointed him before the Lord as their leader, and they anointed Zadok as priest.23 So Solomon took the throne of the Lord in place of his father, David, and he succeeded in everything, and all Israel obeyed him.24 All the officials, the warriors, and the sons of King David pledged their loyalty to King Solomon.25 And the Lord exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel, and he gave Solomon greater royal splendor than any king in Israel before him.
Summary of David’s Reign
26 So David son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.27 He reigned over Israel for forty years, seven of them in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem.28 He died at a ripe old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth, and honor. Then his son Solomon ruled in his place.
29 All the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in The Record of Samuel the Seer, The Record of Nathan the Prophet, and The Record of Gad the Seer.30 These accounts include the mighty deeds of his reign and everything that happened to him and to Israel and to all the surrounding kingdoms.
“Move your heart, head, hands, feet, and ways in the path that is right in God’s sight, because the wicked and the just will not be treated the same!” ~ Jon Barnes
When the fullness of evil doers have completed their purpose, God will judge and give out graduation rewards of eternity. The wicked will have a separate ceremony location and after party, burning and full of smoke, gnashing of teeth, and wailing music. This will truly be a sight for sore eyes.
The just who lived by faith, following God’s foot steps, lifestyle, and biblical commandments, will be judged and rewarded for eternity as well. Heaven has many mansions for the few who follow God therein. As a friend and a child of God, you will be recognized by your actions of faith and stamp of the Holy Spirit upon your life, using the Key of Jesus Christ.
The Blood of Christ from the cross is our hope and salvation of repentance and redemption, which is given to those who ask, act, and acknowledge God as Lord of your life. The Father of all things knows the direction you should move and travel and it is my job to find out The Way!
Did you find your way to the fire or the mansion and do you need to move out of Hell’s City?
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Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed
19 That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom. Lot was sitting there, and when he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed with his face to the ground.2 “My lords,” he said, “come to my home to wash your feet, and be my guests for the night. You may then get up early in the morning and be on your way again.”
“Oh no,” they replied. “We’ll just spend the night out here in the city square.”
3 But Lot insisted, so at last they went home with him. Lot prepared a feast for them, complete with fresh bread made without yeast, and they ate.4 But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house.5 They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”
6 So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him.7 “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing.8 Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.”
9 “Stand back!” they shouted. “This fellow came to town as an outsider, and now he’s acting like our judge! We’ll treat you far worse than those other men!” And they lunged toward Lot to break down the door.
10 But the two angels[a] reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door.11 Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.
12 Meanwhile, the angels questioned Lot. “Do you have any other relatives here in the city?” they asked. “Get them out of this place—your sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else.13 For we are about to destroy this city completely. The outcry against this place is so great it has reached the Lord, and he has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot rushed out to tell his daughters’ fiancés, “Quick, get out of the city! The Lord is about to destroy it.” But the young men thought he was only joking.
15 At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. “Hurry,” they said to Lot. “Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!”
16 When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful.17 When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”
18 “Oh no, my lord!” Lot begged.19 “You have been so gracious to me and saved my life, and you have shown such great kindness. But I cannot go to the mountains. Disaster would catch up to me there, and I would soon die.20 See, there is a small village nearby. Please let me go there instead; don’t you see how small it is? Then my life will be saved.”
21 “All right,” the angel said, “I will grant your request. I will not destroy the little village.22 But hurry! Escape to it, for I can do nothing until you arrive there.” (This explains why that village was known as Zoar, which means “little place.”)
23 Lot reached the village just as the sun was rising over the horizon.24 Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah.25 He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation.26 But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.
27 Abraham got up early that morning and hurried out to the place where he had stood in the Lord’s presence.28 He looked out across the plain toward Sodom and Gomorrah and watched as columns of smoke rose from the cities like smoke from a furnace.
29 But God had listened to Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain.
Lot and His Daughters
30 Afterward Lot left Zoar because he was afraid of the people there, and he went to live in a cave in the mountains with his two daughters.31 One day the older daughter said to her sister, “There are no men left anywhere in this entire area, so we can’t get married like everyone else. And our father will soon be too old to have children.32 Come, let’s get him drunk with wine, and then we will have sex with him. That way we will preserve our family line through our father.”
33 So that night they got him drunk with wine, and the older daughter went in and had intercourse with her father. He was unaware of her lying down or getting up again.
34 The next morning the older daughter said to her younger sister, “I had sex with our father last night. Let’s get him drunk with wine again tonight, and you go in and have sex with him. That way we will preserve our family line through our father.”35 So that night they got him drunk with wine again, and the younger daughter went in and had intercourse with him. As before, he was unaware of her lying down or getting up again.
36 As a result, both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their own father.37 When the older daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Moab.[b] He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Moabites.38 When the younger daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Ben-ammi.[c] He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Ammonites.