“Consider it as joy when you suffer for what is right. God will balance the scales in all things.”~TB
Through the Fire
If we believe that the Bible is accurate and true, we must accept the trouble that is a byproduct of following God’s will in our lives. When you are working for the Lord, giving Him your best, don’t be surprised when evil people seek to throw you in the fire. While it is human to want to crawl out of the pit, fearing for your safety, rest assured God is with you, keeping you from being burned.
In your time of waiting for man-made judgment take comfort in knowing that God has declared you not guilty on all accounts. The devil will always make your waiting time appear more dire and severe than it truly is. Looking back at certain trials of my life while the waiting period was insanely frustrating, scary, and uncertain to my eyes, I realize as I sit here today, I was never harmed! So, if you are working for the Lord, being a humble servant, opposition and persecution are par for the course but know that God has the final say in the end and He will restore all that and more to those who remain faithful.
Are you not guilty or are you falsely accusing those who are?
Enjoy the reading
1“Run for your lives, you people of Benjamin! Get out of Jerusalem! Sound the alarm in Tekoa! Send up a signal at Beth-hakkerem! A powerful army is coming from the north, coming with disaster and destruction.
2O Jerusalem, you are my beautiful and delicate daughter— but I will destroy you!
3Enemies will surround you, like shepherds camped around the city. Each chooses a place for his troops to devour.
4They shout, ‘Prepare for battle! Attack at noon!’ ‘No, it’s too late; the day is fading, and the evening shadows are falling.’
5‘Well then, let’s attack at night and destroy her palaces!’”
6This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “Cut down the trees for battering rams. Build siege ramps against the walls of Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished, for she is wicked through and through.
7She spouts evil like a fountain. Her streets echo with the sounds of violence and destruction. I always see her sickness and sores.
8Listen to this warning, Jerusalem, or I will turn from you in disgust. Listen, or I will turn you into a heap of ruins, a land where no one lives.”
9This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “Even the few who remain in Israel will be picked over again, as when a harvester checks each vine a second time to pick the grapes that were missed.”
10To whom can I give warning? Who will listen when I speak? Their ears are closed, and they cannot hear. They scorn the word of the LORD . They don’t want to listen at all.
11So now I am filled with the LORD ’s fury. Yes, I am tired of holding it in! “I will pour out my fury on children playing in the streets and on gatherings of young men, on husbands and wives and on those who are old and gray.
12Their homes will be turned over to their enemies, as will their fields and their wives. For I will raise my powerful fist against the people of this land,” says the LORD .
13“From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. From prophets to priests, they are all frauds.
14They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace.
15Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them,” says the LORD .
16This is what the LORD says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’
17I posted watchmen over you who said, ‘Listen for the sound of the alarm.’ But you replied, ‘No! We won’t pay attention!’
18“Therefore, listen to this, all you nations. Take note of my people’s situation.
19Listen, all the earth! I will bring disaster on my people. It is the fruit of their own schemes, because they refuse to listen to me. They have rejected my word.
20There’s no use offering me sweet frankincense from Sheba. Keep your fragrant calamus imported from distant lands! I will not accept your burnt offerings. Your sacrifices have no pleasing aroma for me.”
21Therefore, this is what the LORD says: “I will put obstacles in my people’s path. Fathers and sons will both fall over them. Neighbors and friends will die together.”
22This is what the LORD says: “Look! A great army coming from the north! A great nation is rising against you from far-off lands.
23They are armed with bows and spears. They are cruel and show no mercy. They sound like a roaring sea as they ride forward on horses. They are coming in battle formation, planning to destroy you, beautiful Jerusalem. ”
24We have heard reports about the enemy, and we wring our hands in fright. Pangs of anguish have gripped us, like those of a woman in labor.
25Don’t go out to the fields! Don’t travel on the roads! The enemy’s sword is everywhere and terrorizes us at every turn!
26Oh, my people, dress yourselves in burlap and sit among the ashes. Mourn and weep bitterly, as for the loss of an only son. For suddenly the destroying armies will be upon you!
27“Jeremiah, I have made you a tester of metals, that you may determine the quality of my people.
28They are the worst kind of rebel, full of slander. They are as hard as bronze and iron, and they lead others into corruption.
29The bellows fiercely fan the flames to burn out the corruption. But it does not purify them, for the wickedness remains.
30I will label them ‘Rejected Silver,’ for I, the LORD, am discarding them.”
“The truth is pleasant when you hear and do the honest work of faith, because everyone can see it, hear it, and enjoy the clean, fresh look of progress and the steps God gives you to cross the finish line.” ~ Jon Barnes
We are all capable of doing great things with the talent and skillsets that we have. Be the first to see a problem, providing a personal solution, before someone asks you for help. Don’t be a stumbling block for someone else by being mean. Give solutions and allow people to fix their own problems and copy good behavior.
You don’t need to copyright or patent everything in your life, as if you are trying to gain all of the gold in the world. Your level of greed will consume you and prevent you from achieving the real path of justice and truth in God. Don’t burn the bridge so that no one else can cross it after you. Be happy at each level you find yourself stepping into with God to bridge the gap.
It is silly to think that your steps are random, but they are ordered by God since you are His child. Keep walking the right path. Take every opportunity to learn from your mistakes by correcting them to move to the next level of love. Clean up your own workspace and stop waiting for others to do the job for you.
Did you notice how people will become inspired to clean up as you clean up all around you and if they don’t, are you praying for them?
The Prayer of Jesus
17 After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him.3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
6 “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word.7 Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you,8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.
9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.10 All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.11 Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.
13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do.17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me.26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
“Be diligent in the tasks you have to complete because your reward comes from God, not man.”~TB
Exploitation of workers is nothing new and can be traced back all the way to the beginning of man. Just ask the Israelites. Today, many work for pennies on the dollar all the while employers act like you’re supposed to be grateful for the opportunity to make them richer. Fortunately, our reward does not come from our employers but from God.
Even when the scales of this world are tipped in the favor of the wicked, God will balance them for those He sees fit. Keep an honest account of your work, your habits, and how you treat your neighbors. Even when those who seek to take what you have without payment, God will repay you and then some. So when you experience unfair situations from corrupt employers, focus on your task so that God can give you a raise.
Do you know who you’re working for?
Enjoy the reading
1 What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws.
2 They deprive the poor of justice and deny the rights of the needy among my people. They prey on widows and take advantage of orphans.
3What will you do when I punish you, when I send disaster upon you from a distant land? To whom will you turn for help? Where will your treasures be safe?
4 You will stumble along as prisoners or lie among the dead. But even then the LORD ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.
5 “What sorrow awaits Assyria, the rod of my anger. I use it as a club to express my anger.
6 I am sending Assyria against a godless nation, against a people with whom I am angry. Assyria will plunder them, trampling them like dirt beneath its feet.
7 But the king of Assyria will not understand that he is my tool; his mind does not work that way. His plan is simply to destroy, to cut down nation after nation.
8 He will say, ‘Each of my princes will soon be a king.
9 We destroyed Calno just as we did Carchemish. Hamath fell before us as Arpad did. And we destroyed Samaria just as we did Damascus.
10 Yes, we have finished off many a kingdom whose gods were greater than those in Jerusalem and Samaria.
11 So we will defeat Jerusalem and her gods, just as we destroyed Samaria with hers.’”
12 After the Lord has used the king of Assyria to accomplish his purposes on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will turn against the king of Assyria and punish him—for he is proud and arrogant.
13 He boasts, “By my own powerful arm I have done this. With my own shrewd wisdom I planned it. I have broken down the defenses of nations and carried off their treasures. I have knocked down their kings like a bull.
14 I have robbed their nests of riches and gathered up kingdoms as a farmer gathers eggs. No one can even flap a wing against me or utter a peep of protest.”
15 But can the ax boast greater power than the person who uses it? Is the saw greater than the person who saws? Can a rod strike unless a hand moves it? Can a wooden cane walk by itself?
16 Therefore, the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, will send a plague among Assyria’s proud troops, and a flaming fire will consume its glory.
17 The LORD, the Light of Israel, will be a fire; the Holy One will be a flame. He will devour the thorns and briers with fire, burning up the enemy in a single night.
18 The LORD will consume Assyria’s glory like a fire consumes a forest in a fruitful land; it will waste away like sick people in a plague.
19 Of all that glorious forest, only a few trees will survive— so few that a child could count them!
20 In that day the remnant left in Israel, the survivors in the house of Jacob, will no longer depend on allies who seek to destroy them. But they will faithfully trust the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.
21 A remnant will return; yes, the remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God.
22 But though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore, only a remnant of them will return. The LORD has rightly decided to destroy his people.
23 Yes, the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, has already decided to destroy the entire land.
24 So this is what the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, says: “O my people in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians when they oppress you with rod and club as the Egyptians did long ago.
25 In a little while my anger against you will end, and then my anger will rise up to destroy them.”
26 The LORD of Heaven’s Armies will lash them with his whip, as he did when Gideon triumphed over the Midianites at the rock of Oreb, or when the LORD ’s staff was raised to drown the Egyptian army in the sea.
27 In that day the LORD will end the bondage of his people. He will break the yoke of slavery and lift it from their shoulders.
28 Look, the Assyrians are now at Aiath. They are passing through Migron and are storing their equipment at Micmash.
29 They are crossing the pass and are camping at Geba. Fear strikes the town of Ramah. All the people of Gibeah, the hometown of Saul, are running for their lives.
30 Scream in terror, you people of Gallim! Shout out a warning to Laishah. Oh, poor Anathoth!
31 There go the people of Madmenah, all fleeing. The citizens of Gebim are trying to hide.
32 The enemy stops at Nob for the rest of that day. He shakes his fist at beautiful Mount Zion, the mountain of Jerusalem.
33 But look! The Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, will chop down the mighty tree of Assyria with great power! He will cut down the proud. That lofty tree will be brought down.
34 He will cut down the forest trees with an ax. Lebanon will fall to the Mighty One.
“All the good that you do can potentially be erased based on your behavior and negative mouth, which can X out the layers of greatness that you achieve.” ~ Jon Barnes
God gives us our own personal bill of rights to learn about and use in our daily work and activities of doing cool things in life.When opposition comes, we also have choices to make, which can help or haunt us for the rest of our lives.The best choices net the greatest rewards from God.
Do not become the cause of your own downfall by ignoring the rules and regulations set before you.Become an advocate for positive change, fairness, equality, and honest social practices that benefit humanity, society, and all people.Fight evil with good.
Over time, evil will be exposed and justice will be rendered.Don’t allow poison to take residence in your home, relationships, work ethic, faith, and studies.People who practice laziness risk poisoning their body, mind, soul, and spirit.By using God’s Word as a tool for personal gardening, you will grow amazing trees and fruit within your own family and society.
Do you have a good garden or is your life full of weeds?
Enjoy The Reading
A psalm of David.
1 Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. 2 Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. 3 For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth. 4 I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. 5 I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked. 6 I wash my hands to declare my innocence. I come to your altar, O Lord, 7 singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders. 8 I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glorious presence dwells.
9 Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners. Don’t condemn me along with murderers. 10 Their hands are dirty with evil schemes, and they constantly take bribes. 11 But I am not like that; I live with integrity. So redeem me and show me mercy. 12 Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord.
“When you pick up evil habits that go undetected, unchanged, and ignored, you stand the risk of ruining your life, because these little problems will grow into major catastrophes, due to your arrogance.”~Jon Barnes
Your evil work is like an invisible eraser that removes any trace of morals and values from your character God has taught you.Your will and pride overrides how to do the right things and your hearing and doing the truth fade away by default.The old memory card gets erased, deleted, corrupt or altered.
Bad patterns of evil slowly grow into your DNA, replacing good nerves for bad nerves. Soon, your whole body and mind become wrapped up and intertwined with little lies, fake news, and stories that are untrue. Who you are can no longer be recognized and your lifestyle has successfully duplicated who the devil is.
Pay attention to who, what, when, why, and where you pattern yourself, thoughts, actions, mind, body, habits, and spirit after.We follow Christ in Love to copy His Patterns of truth, justice, honesty, integrity, love, and fun in doing the good work, spreading great memories and controlling our negative mouths and actions.
Are you trying to spin the truth of Good Intentions with your evil tongue, by letting the Spirit of God control and replace your negative behavior, words, stories, and ideas with good ones.
Enjoy The Reading
A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, I give my life to you. 2 I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. 3 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.
4 Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. 5 Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. 6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past. 7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord.
8 The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. 9 He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. 10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
11 For the honor of your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins. 12 Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose. 13 They will live in prosperity, and their children will inherit the land. 14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant. 15 My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.
16 Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. 17 My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! 18 Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins. 19 See how many enemies I have and how viciously they hate me! 20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them! Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge. 21 May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you.
“It is pure Joy to read, think, listen, muse and become a part of the audience in God’s Court House, by studying the wonderful biblical stories and accounts of History that paints pictures of how God Thinks, right before your eyes; even as most are blind to His Artistry, Majesty, Message, and Wit!”~Jon Barnes
In my house, there is honesty, integrity, loyalty, faith, good work, and logic with God’s word, ways, lessons, and studies.Following the path and stories of old will guide you into the future with God into Heaven, as a true worshiper of Spirit and Truth in God’s love.His Holy Courthouse will portray justice and review real evidence that exposes and opposed the devil and his evil ways.You will also be exposed when you are doing wrong.
Do not oppose the exposure of your wicked behavior before God. Repent and reapply your faith in action with love, fear, respect, and improvement.Your silly arguments are worthless in the court of law with God, who already knows all things.Use the Spirit of God, your connection to Him, and His Holy Word to encourage your faith, fate, and future in Christ. Oppose your pride.
You have to know knowledge or personal defense that would bring justice to the Court of The Almighty because you cannot defend your sin, thoughts, ideas, or behavior.We are all guilty and the connection to the Blood of Christ, with our true repented state and status, allows us access, acceptance, and actual hope in Heaven.Our faith, work, and faithfulness is an honest process that will test and strengthen our spiritual connection and defense in the Day of Judgement.
What foolish mess will you bring to the Court of Christ in your defense, since your whole life has been full of wicked deception, evil, and contempt?
Enjoy The Reading
Zophar’s Second Response to Job
20 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2 “I must reply because I am greatly disturbed. 3 I’ve had to endure your insults, but now my spirit prompts me to reply.
4 “Don’t you realize that from the beginning of time, ever since people were first placed on the earth, 5 the triumph of the wicked has been short lived and the joy of the godless has been only temporary? 6 Though the pride of the godless reaches to the heavens and their heads touch the clouds, 7 yet they will vanish forever, thrown away like their own dung. Those who knew them will ask, ‘Where are they?’ 8 They will fade like a dream and not be found. They will vanish like a vision in the night. 9 Those who once saw them will see them no more. Their families will never see them again. 10 Their children will beg from the poor, for they must give back their stolen riches. 11 Though they are young, their bones will lie in the dust.
12 “They enjoyed the sweet taste of wickedness, letting it melt under their tongue. 13 They savored it, holding it long in their mouths. 14 But suddenly the food in their bellies turns sour, a poisonous venom in their stomach. 15 They will vomit the wealth they swallowed. God won’t let them keep it down. 16 They will suck the poison of cobras. The viper will kill them. 17 They will never again enjoy streams of olive oil or rivers of milk and honey. 18 They will give back everything they worked for. Their wealth will bring them no joy. 19 For they oppressed the poor and left them destitute. They foreclosed on their homes. 20 They were always greedy and never satisfied. Nothing remains of all the things they dreamed about. 21 Nothing is left after they finish gorging themselves. Therefore, their prosperity will not endure.
22 “In the midst of plenty, they will run into trouble and be overcome by misery. 23 May God give them a bellyful of trouble. May God rain down his anger upon them. 24 When they try to escape an iron weapon, a bronze-tipped arrow will pierce them. 25 The arrow is pulled from their back, and the arrowhead glistens with blood.[a] The terrors of death are upon them. 26 Their treasures will be thrown into deepest darkness. A wildfire will devour their goods, consuming all they have left. 27 The heavens will reveal their guilt, and the earth will testify against them. 28 A flood will sweep away their house. God’s anger will descend on them in torrents. 29 This is the reward that God gives the wicked. It is the inheritance decreed by God.”
“Stop following yourself and take God off of the shelf to walk the ways of truth, justice, and love.” ~ Jon Barnes
When your life feels like a dried up raisin, laying on the ground, because the good grapes were picked, chosen, and used for God’s purpose, you missed the party of eternal happiness.Following yourself into a hole does get old and no one can pull you out.Unless you humble yourself, pray, and follow God’s footsteps and close your mouth.The good that you say and do can bring life into your situation.
Your unbelief will trample you to death in the choices that you make for your life each day.Since they are not God’s choices and plans, you will reap what you sow, say, and do with misery in every way.Stuck in that black hole you will stay, living with the dead in their wicked ways.The evil that you say and do can bring death to your situation as well.God’s Truth is not dried up at all.
Stumble back to camp and climb up the ramp to see all the fun you are missing. Just because you know the right way doesn’t mean you will stay committed every day.So, let Jesus help you in all your ways. Answering problems become easier as you become a strong believer, with your focus on Christ in the hands of God.Leave your old self on the shelf and play the cards that God has dealt for your life and family.
Why did you choose the barren dried up rocks to live out your life, without God’s Hand, Purpose, and Grace?
Enjoy The Reading
2 Kings 8
The Woman from Shunem Returns Home
8 Elisha had told the woman whose son he had brought back to life, “Take your family and move to some other place, for the Lord has called for a famine on Israel that will last for seven years.”2 So the woman did as the man of God instructed. She took her family and settled in the land of the Philistines for seven years.
3 After the famine ended she returned from the land of the Philistines, and she went to see the king about getting back her house and land.4 As she came in, the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God. The king had just said, “Tell me some stories about the great things Elisha has done.”5 And Gehazi was telling the king about the time Elisha had brought a boy back to life. At that very moment, the mother of the boy walked in to make her appeal to the king about her house and land.
“Look, my lord the king!” Gehazi exclaimed. “Here is the woman now, and this is her son—the very one Elisha brought back to life!”
6 “Is this true?” the king asked her. And she told him the story. So he directed one of his officials to see that everything she had lost was restored to her, including the value of any crops that had been harvested during her absence.
Hazael Murders Ben-Hadad
7 Elisha went to Damascus, the capital of Aram, where King Ben-hadad lay sick. When someone told the king that the man of God had come,8 the king said to Hazael, “Take a gift to the man of God. Then tell him to ask the Lord, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”
9 So Hazael loaded down forty camels with the finest products of Damascus as a gift for Elisha. He went to him and said, “Your servant Ben-hadad, the king of Aram, has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”
10 And Elisha replied, “Go and tell him, ‘You will surely recover.’ But actually the Lord has shown me that he will surely die!”11 Elisha stared at Hazael[a] with a fixed gaze until Hazael became uneasy.[b] Then the man of God started weeping.
12 “What’s the matter, my lord?” Hazael asked him.
Elisha replied, “I know the terrible things you will do to the people of Israel. You will burn their fortified cities, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women!”
13 Hazael responded, “How could a nobody like me[c] ever accomplish such great things?”
Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you are going to be the king of Aram.”
14 When Hazael left Elisha and went back, the king asked him, “What did Elisha tell you?”
And Hazael replied, “He told me that you will surely recover.”
15 But the next day Hazael took a blanket, soaked it in water, and held it over the king’s face until he died. Then Hazael became the next king of Aram.
Jehoram Rules in Judah
16 Jehoram son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah began to rule over Judah in the fifth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab, king of Israel.17 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years.18 But Jehoram followed the example of the kings of Israel and was as wicked as King Ahab, for he had married one of Ahab’s daughters. So Jehoram did what was evil in the Lord’s sight.19 But the Lord did not want to destroy Judah, for he had promised his servant David that his descendants would continue to rule, shining like a lamp forever.
20 During Jehoram’s reign, the Edomites revolted against Judah and crowned their own king.21 So Jehoram[d] went with all his chariots to attack the town of Zair.[e] The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but he went out at night and attacked them[f]under cover of darkness. But Jehoram’s army deserted him and fled to their homes.22 So Edom has been independent from Judah to this day. The town of Libnah also revolted about that same time.
23 The rest of the events in Jehoram’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.24 When Jehoram died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Ahaziah became the next king.
Ahaziah Rules in Judah
25 Ahaziah son of Jehoram began to rule over Judah in the twelfth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab, king of Israel.
26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel.27 Ahaziah followed the evil example of King Ahab’s family. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as Ahab’s family had done, for he was related by marriage to the family of Ahab.
28 Ahaziah joined Joram son of Ahab in his war against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. When the Arameans wounded King Joram in the battle,29 he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he had received at Ramoth.[g] Because Joram was wounded, King Ahaziah of Judah went to Jezreel to visit him.
“It is your choice to follow God’s liberty bell of freedom and it comes with an eternal sticker price of obedience, faith, good works, repentance, and honesty to boot.” ~ Jon Barnes
Religious freedom is important, but God’s judgment day will clear and clean the air of errors when you take your last breath; Then and only then you will truly know how connected your love to God is. Squeezing through the vents in heaven will not be an option. God is smarter, the Bible is honest, and God’s love is accurate and all powerful with truth and justice. Let your freedom ring on the right side of justice and honor.
We all will Enjoy the fruit of our lifestyle choice soon enough so continue in your well doing, studies, prayer, and acts of kindness in faith. God will not be slow in giving you your reward both now and in heaven or hell if you choose to go there, based on your own lifestyle decisions. God will not chase you down to make you love Him, you must love God first and chase Him down like you do with your idols, rock stars, and famous people.
Friends of mine honestly talk about the effects of fake Christians and people, who think God is simply stupid and won’t hold people accountable for the obvious disobedience, that is habitually done, day after day, with no regret or repentance. They don’t know God and they don’t want to know God. Quoting scriptures is not knowing God. Following His Commandments and lifestyle is the simplicity of Love, with freedom rings the choice.
Do you let freedom ring for God in your heart, connecting to His love, will, and purpose?
Enjoy The Reading
The Israelites Defeat Ai
8 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Take all your fighting men and attack Ai, for I have given you the king of Ai, his people, his town, and his land.2 You will destroy them as you destroyed Jericho and its king. But this time you may keep the plunder and the livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the town.”
3 So Joshua and all the fighting men set out to attack Ai. Joshua chose 30,000 of his best warriors and sent them out at night4 with these orders: “Hide in ambush close behind the town and be ready for action.5 When our main army attacks, the men of Ai will come out to fight as they did before, and we will run away from them.6 We will let them chase us until we have drawn them away from the town. For they will say, ‘The Israelites are running away from us as they did before.’ Then, while we are running from them,7 you will jump up from your ambush and take possession of the town, for the Lord your God will give it to you.8 Set the town on fire, as the Lord has commanded. You have your orders.”
9 So they left and went to the place of ambush between Bethel and the west side of Ai. But Joshua remained among the people in the camp that night.10 Early the next morning Joshua roused his men and started toward Ai, accompanied by the elders of Israel.11 All the fighting men who were with Joshua marched in front of the town and camped on the north side of Ai, with a valley between them and the town.12 That night Joshua sent about 5,000 men to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the town.13 So they stationed the main army north of the town and the ambush west of the town. Joshua himself spent that night in the valley.
14 When the king of Ai saw the Israelites across the valley, he and all his army hurried out early in the morning and attacked the Israelites at a place overlooking the Jordan Valley.[a] But he didn’t realize there was an ambush behind the town.15 Joshua and the Israelite army fled toward the wilderness as though they were badly beaten.16 Then all the men in the town were called out to chase after them. In this way, they were lured away from the town.17 There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel[b] who did not chase after the Israelites, and the town was left wide open.
18 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Point the spear in your hand toward Ai, for I will hand the town over to you.” Joshua did as he was commanded.19 As soon as Joshua gave this signal, all the men in ambush jumped up from their position and poured into the town. They quickly captured it and set it on fire.
20 When the men of Ai looked behind them, smoke from the town was filling the sky, and they had nowhere to go. For the Israelites who had fled in the direction of the wilderness now turned on their pursuers.21 When Joshua and all the other Israelites saw that the ambush had succeeded and that smoke was rising from the town, they turned and attacked the men of Ai.22 Meanwhile, the Israelites who were inside the town came out and attacked the enemy from the rear. So the men of Ai were caught in the middle, with Israelite fighters on both sides. Israel attacked them, and not a single person survived or escaped.23 Only the king of Ai was taken alive and brought to Joshua.
24 When the Israelite army finished chasing and killing all the men of Ai in the open fields, they went back and finished off everyone inside.25 So the entire population of Ai, including men and women, was wiped out that day—12,000 in all.26 For Joshua kept holding out his spear until everyone who had lived in Ai was completely destroyed.[c]27 Only the livestock and the treasures of the town were not destroyed, for the Israelites kept these as plunder for themselves, as the Lordhad commanded Joshua.28 So Joshua burned the town of Ai,[d] and it became a permanent mound of ruins, desolate to this very day.
29 Joshua impaled the king of Ai on a sharpened pole and left him there until evening. At sunset the Israelites took down the body, as Joshua commanded, and threw it in front of the town gate. They piled a great heap of stones over him that can still be seen today.
The Lord’s Covenant Renewed
30 Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal.31 He followed the commands that Moses the Lord’s servant had written in the Book of Instruction: “Make me an altar from stones that are uncut and have not been shaped with iron tools.”[e] Then on the altar they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord.32 And as the Israelites watched, Joshua copied onto the stones of the altar[f] the instructions Moses had given them.
33 Then all the Israelites—foreigners and native-born alike—along with the elders, officers, and judges, were divided into two groups. One group stood in front of Mount Gerizim, the other in front of Mount Ebal. Each group faced the other, and between them stood the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant. This was all done according to the commands that Moses, the servant of the Lord, had previously given for blessing the people of Israel.
34 Joshua then read to them all the blessings and curses Moses had written in the Book of Instruction.35 Every word of every command that Moses had ever given was read to the entire assembly of Israel, including the women and children and the foreigners who lived among them.
“Count the many times you have allowed the anger of other people shut you down and stopped you from doing all the good you are supposed to do, because you absorbed the anger into your spirit.” ~ Jon Barnes
Block out evil with your smile and kind words and works of faith, justice, responsibility, and love, by staying focused, counting your blessings, and thanking God. You are not blocked, the devil is blocked and hell bound, in The Name of Jesus. Now, Count the many times you will be a blessing by doing God’s will and not your own.
Count the many times you have been distracted, lazy, not available to perform the good things with your name on it. Who is stopping you? Yourself! Get out of your own way, stay the course and walk with God in your path. Stay on the post in your duty with the Army of God. Organize and schedule your daily attacks on evil, using God’s offensive and defensive maneuvers.
Each step you take moves you into the right direction by faith, because you honestly love God and your motives and movements are useful and pure. Mistakes are blessings in the hands of God because they are used to teach you the valuable lessons to share with others, as you overcome your self-righteousness. Exercise skill and care when communicating with God and people you love.
Are you counting the many victories in God because of your obedience or are you failing your tests time and time again?
Enjoy the Reading
Sins Requiring a Sin Offering
5 “If you are called to testify about something you have seen or that you know about, it is sinful to refuse to testify, and you will be punished for your sin.
2 “Or suppose you unknowingly touch something that is ceremonially unclean, such as the carcass of an unclean animal. When you realize what you have done, you must admit your defilement and your guilt. This is true whether it is a wild animal, a domestic animal, or an animal that scurries along the ground.
3 “Or suppose you unknowingly touch something that makes a person unclean. When you realize what you have done, you must admit your guilt.
4 “Or suppose you make a foolish vow of any kind, whether its purpose is for good or for bad. When you realize its foolishness, you must admit your guilt.
5 “When you become aware of your guilt in any of these ways, you must confess your sin.6 Then you must bring to the Lord as the penalty for your sin a female from the flock, either a sheep or a goat. This is a sin offering with which the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord.[a]
7 “But if you cannot afford to bring a sheep, you may bring to the Lord two turtledoves or two young pigeons as the penalty for your sin. One of the birds will be for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.8 You must bring them to the priest, who will present the first bird as the sin offering. He will wring its neck but without severing its head from the body.9 Then he will sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering against the sides of the altar, and the rest of the blood will be drained out at the base of the altar. This is an offering for sin.10 The priest will then prepare the second bird as a burnt offering, following all the procedures that have been prescribed. Through this process the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven.
11 “If you cannot afford to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, you may bring two quarts[b] of choice flour for your sin offering. Since it is an offering for sin, you must not moisten it with olive oil or put any frankincense on it.12 Take the flour to the priest, who will scoop out a handful as a representative portion. He will burn it on the altar on top of the special gifts presented to the Lord. It is an offering for sin.13 Through this process, the priest will purify those who are guilty of any of these sins, making them right with the Lord, and they will be forgiven. The rest of the flour will belong to the priest, just as with the grain offering.”
Procedures for the Guilt Offering
14 Then the Lord said to Moses,15 “If one of you commits a sin by unintentionally defiling the Lord’s sacred property, you must bring a guilt offering to the Lord. The offering must be your own ram with no defects, or you may buy one of equal value with silver, as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel.[c]16 You must make restitution for the sacred property you have harmed by paying for the loss, plus an additional 20 percent. When you give the payment to the priest, he will purify you with the ram sacrificed as a guilt offering, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven.
17 “Suppose you sin by violating one of the Lord’s commands. Even if you are unaware of what you have done, you are guilty and will be punished for your sin.18 For a guilt offering, you must bring to the priest your own ram with no defects, or you may buy one of equal value. Through this process the priest will purify you from your unintentional sin, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven.19 This is a guilt offering, for you have been guilty of an offense against the Lord.”
“The Battle is won when you hold up your hands with God’s Commandments while fighting the good battle of faith, justice, and obedience.
God’s battle plans perfectly display a perspective and point of view that is unknown to you and I. Since we cannot see that far, we must rely on God’s judgment, by faith. Enjoy the view God has on your life and follow the Battle Plans of Love, Peace, and Honesty in your life. Following God’s loving instructions will make the Battle easier, from the Tower of God.
If God can make water pour out from a dry rock, then He can turn your sorrows from your heart and mind into joy and happiness. Drink from God’s Holy Water and keep your cup full of peace and understanding of patience and good balanced work ethic. Water everything around you with a smile and good deed.
You only have 24 hours in a day to execute the love of God from your heart into your work and life. Rest on your rest day of the week and keep it easy, full of relaxation to fill up your well, before it runs dry. Make time with God by swimming and teaching others to swim and God will set the timer on His Battle Ship to fight for you.
Can you see God’s Staff in you holy hand, when you lift them up to God, with Love?
Enjoy The Reading
Jethro’s Visit to Moses
18 Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, heard about everything God had done for Moses and his people, the Israelites. He heard especially about how the Lord had rescued them from Egypt.
2 Earlier, Moses had sent his wife, Zipporah, and his two sons back to Jethro, who had taken them in.3 (Moses’ first son was named Gershom,[a] for Moses had said when the boy was born, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.”4 His second son was named Eliezer,[b] for Moses had said, “The God of my ancestors was my helper; he rescued me from the sword of Pharaoh.”)5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, now came to visit Moses in the wilderness. He brought Moses’ wife and two sons with him, and they arrived while Moses and the people were camped near the mountain of God.6 Jethro had sent a message to Moses, saying, “I, Jethro, your father-in-law, am coming to see you with your wife and your two sons.”
7 So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law. He bowed low and kissed him. They asked about each other’s welfare and then went into Moses’ tent.8 Moses told his father-in-law everything the Lord had done to Pharaoh and Egypt on behalf of Israel. He also told about all the hardships they had experienced along the way and how the Lord had rescued his people from all their troubles.9 Jethro was delighted when he heard about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel as he rescued them from the hand of the Egyptians.
10 “Praise the Lord,” Jethro said, “for he has rescued you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh. Yes, he has rescued Israel from the powerful hand of Egypt!11 I know now that the Lord is greater than all other gods, because he rescued his people from the oppression of the proud Egyptians.”
12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God. Aaron and all the elders of Israel came out and joined him in a sacrificial meal in God’s presence.
Jethro’s Wise Advice
13 The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.
14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”
15 Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God.16 When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.”
17 “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed.18 “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself.19 Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him.20 Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives.21 But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.22 They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you.23 If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”
24 Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions.25 He chose capable men from all over Israel and appointed them as leaders over the people. He put them in charge of groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.26 These men were always available to solve the people’s common disputes. They brought the major cases to Moses, but they took care of the smaller matters themselves.
27 Soon after this, Moses said good-bye to his father-in-law, who returned to his own land.