References

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Maintain reverence for the Bible so that you may unlock its references on how to successfully live your life.”

TB

Setup

Depending on your deeds, you can either set up your life for success by accepting God’s gift of salvation, or; you can get set up by the opposition by your rejection of the truth. That choice is yours alone to make. Reading the Bible, in addition to walking with Christ, gives you the historical reference to improve your relationship with God and avoid the mistakes of those before you. Friends, it’s up to you to spot the patterns and wisdom of the Bible.

Sources

Reading the Bible isn’t just about obedience or checking off your ‘good Christian’ checklist. Within it contains the wisdom and context to help you make the best decisions for your life. You also learn the history of God’s people, the fact that humans have been foolish since our genesis, and that in spite of it all, God loves us enough to keep redeeming us even though we fall short. But, we don’t know this unless we learn the references of the Bible.

Today’s Question

Are you learning from the historical references of the Bible, or are you repeating the foolishness of the past?

Enjoy the reading

Exodus 32

1 When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.” 2 So Aaron said, “Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” 5 Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the LORD !” 6 The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry. 7 The LORD told Moses, “Quick! Go down the mountain! Your people whom you brought from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. 8 How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted down gold and made a calf, and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it. They are saying, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” 9 Then the LORD said, “I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are. 10 Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation.” 11 But Moses tried to pacify the LORD his God. “O LORD !” he said. “Why are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and such a strong hand? 12 Why let the Egyptians say, ‘Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earth’? Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against your people! 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You bound yourself with an oath to them, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven. And I will give them all of this land that I have promised to your descendants, and they will possess it forever.’” 14 So the LORD changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people. 15 Then Moses turned and went down the mountain. He held in his hands the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16 These tablets were God’s work; the words on them were written by God himself. 17 When Joshua heard the boisterous noise of the people shouting below them, he exclaimed to Moses, “It sounds like war in the camp!” 18 But Moses replied, “No, it’s not a shout of victory nor the wailing of defeat. I hear the sound of a celebration.” 19 When they came near the camp, Moses saw the calf and the dancing, and he burned with anger. He threw the stone tablets to the ground, smashing them at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf they had made and burned it. Then he ground it into powder, threw it into the water, and forced the people to drink it. 21 Finally, he turned to Aaron and demanded, “What did these people do to you to make you bring such terrible sin upon them?” 22 “Don’t get so upset, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know how evil these people are. 23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.’ 24 So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!” 25 Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies. 26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the LORD ’s side, come here and join me.” And all the Levites gathered around him. 27 Moses told them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Each of you, take your swords and go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other. Kill everyone—even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.” 28 The Levites obeyed Moses’ command, and about 3,000 people died that day. 29 Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the LORD, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing.” 30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a terrible sin, but I will go back up to the LORD on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able to obtain forgiveness for your sin.” 31 So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a terrible sin these people have committed. They have made gods of gold for themselves. 32 But now, if you will only forgive their sin—but if not, erase my name from the record you have written!” 33 But the LORD replied to Moses, “No, I will erase the name of everyone who has sinned against me. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about. Look! My angel will lead the way before you. And when I come to call the people to account, I will certainly hold them responsible for their sins.” 35 Then the LORD sent a great plague upon the people because they had worshiped the calf Aaron had made.

Office Hours

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“To gain understanding, make sure you sign up for God’s office hours.”

TB

In Session

God is miraculous in that He makes time for each and every one of us to ask questions that help us to grow and improve our relationship with Him. Like a dedicated professor, He graciously extends His office hours, 24/7 available for anyone who seeks Him. Be sure to stop by to learn the formulas for your tests.

Ditch

When you make the decision to ditch office hours, you fail to learn the lessons that enable you to grow closer to Christ. Instead, you become like a disengaged student who shows up at the final only to flunk because they were unprepared. Friends, don’t show up until it’s too late. Stop by the Holy Office for your 1:1 tutoring today.

Today’s Question

Did you go to God’s office hours or are you determined to fail the final?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 27

1 One day when Isaac was old and turning blind, he called for Esau, his older son, and said, “My son.” “Yes, Father?” Esau replied. 2 “I am an old man now,” Isaac said, “and I don’t know when I may die. 3 Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4 Prepare my favorite dish, and bring it here for me to eat. Then I will pronounce the blessing that belongs to you, my firstborn son, before I die.” 5 But Rebekah overheard what Isaac had said to his son Esau. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game, 6 she said to her son Jacob, “Listen. I overheard your father say to Esau, 7 ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare me a delicious meal. Then I will bless you in the LORD ’s presence before I die.’ 8 Now, my son, listen to me. Do exactly as I tell you. 9 Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. I’ll use them to prepare your father’s favorite dish. 10 Then take the food to your father so he can eat it and bless you before he dies.” 11 “But look,” Jacob replied to Rebekah, “my brother, Esau, is a hairy man, and my skin is smooth. 12 What if my father touches me? He’ll see that I’m trying to trick him, and then he’ll curse me instead of blessing me.” 13 But his mother replied, “Then let the curse fall on me, my son! Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats for me!” 14 So Jacob went out and got the young goats for his mother. Rebekah took them and prepared a delicious meal, just the way Isaac liked it. 15 Then she took Esau’s favorite clothes, which were there in the house, and gave them to her younger son, Jacob. 16 She covered his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skin of the young goats. 17 Then she gave Jacob the delicious meal, including freshly baked bread. 18 So Jacob took the food to his father. “My father?” he said. “Yes, my son,” Isaac answered. “Who are you—Esau or Jacob?” 19 Jacob replied, “It’s Esau, your firstborn son. I’ve done as you told me. Here is the wild game. Now sit up and eat it so you can give me your blessing.” 20 Isaac asked, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?” “The LORD your God put it in my path!” Jacob replied. 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so I can touch you and make sure that you really are Esau.” 22 So Jacob went closer to his father, and Isaac touched him. “The voice is Jacob’s, but the hands are Esau’s,” Isaac said. 23 But he did not recognize Jacob, because Jacob’s hands felt hairy just like Esau’s. So Isaac prepared to bless Jacob. 24 “But are you really my son Esau?” he asked. “Yes, I am,” Jacob replied. 25 Then Isaac said, “Now, my son, bring me the wild game. Let me eat it, and then I will give you my blessing.” So Jacob took the food to his father, and Isaac ate it. He also drank the wine that Jacob served him. 26 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come a little closer and kiss me, my son.” 27 So Jacob went over and kissed him. And when Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he was finally convinced, and he blessed his son. He said, “Ah! The smell of my son is like the smell of the outdoors, which the LORD has blessed! 28 “From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine. 29 May many nations become your servants, and may they bow down to you. May you be the master over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. All who curse you will be cursed, and all who bless you will be blessed.” 30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and almost before Jacob had left his father, Esau returned from his hunt. 31 Esau prepared a delicious meal and brought it to his father. Then he said, “Sit up, my father, and eat my wild game so you can give me your blessing.” 32 But Isaac asked him, “Who are you?” Esau replied, “It’s your son, your firstborn son, Esau.” 33 Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably and said, “Then who just served me wild game? I have already eaten it, and I blessed him just before you came. And yes, that blessing must stand!” 34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he let out a loud and bitter cry. “Oh my father, what about me? Bless me, too!” he begged. 35 But Isaac said, “Your brother was here, and he tricked me. He has taken away your blessing.” 36 Esau exclaimed, “No wonder his name is Jacob, for now he has cheated me twice. First he took my rights as the firstborn, and now he has stolen my blessing. Oh, haven’t you saved even one blessing for me?” 37 Isaac said to Esau, “I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine—what is left for me to give you, my son?” 38 Esau pleaded, “But do you have only one blessing? Oh my father, bless me, too!” Then Esau broke down and wept. 39 Finally, his father, Isaac, said to him, “You will live away from the richness of the earth, and away from the dew of the heaven above. 40 You will live by your sword, and you will serve your brother. But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck.” 41 From that time on, Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing. And Esau began to scheme: “I will soon be mourning my father’s death. Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.” 42 But Rebekah heard about Esau’s plans. So she sent for Jacob and told him, “Listen, Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you. 43 So listen carefully, my son. Get ready and flee to my brother, Laban, in Haran. 44 Stay there with him until your brother cools off. 45 When he calms down and forgets what you have done to him, I will send for you to come back. Why should I lose both of you in one day?” 46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m sick and tired of these local Hittite women! I would rather die than see Jacob marry one of them.”

Refill

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“No matter how long you’ve been walking with God, He always manages to refill your spiritual well.”

TB

Drought

When you hang out with God for a minute, it’s easy to let your flesh take over and make you jaded– especially if you’re good at spotting patterns. You may think, “humans are jaded, screwing up time and time again,” or, “the corruption never ceases, the wicked oppress the poor,” or some other true yet misguided statement. Friends, don’t become puffed up in being “righteous” otherwise you fall prey to the fact that we cannot produce spiritual fuel.

Endless

Sure, the above statements may be true and yes, in the context and eyesight of man, it sure is bleak. However, if you ask God what He sees and surely, He will reveal to you how to change your tune. Because our Father in Heaven is merciful and just, He continually goes after His lost flock giving them a chance to repent. Friends, knowing all part of the Truth (as much as we can) enables God to refill our spirits, teaching us something new, as long as we seek to learn.

Today’s Question

Are you too knowledgeable to learn something new from God?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 19

1 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 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. 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. 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. He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Ammonites.

Under the Hood

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t be so quick to place people on a pedestal because we never truly know what’s under the hood.”

TB

Shiny

We’ve been conditioned to believe that the shiniest and brilliant people, places, and things are worth special attention. Because of that additional value, we perceive that these people –especially those who step into the spotlight as ambassadors for God– have, we allow them carte blanche. Of course, as people in power fall (as they often do), it can feel destabilizing, forcing you to question what you believe. Friends, when this happens, it means we were chasing man more than we were chasing God.

Internal

Because it is impossible to know all that goes on within people, we must judge them according to their deeds. We must also learn and understand scripture so that we can much their words against the Word of God. Further, because we are given the Holy Spirit, it is up to us to individually know who God is. When we honestly pursue Christ, we understand that no man is above reproach and we must develop our personal relationships with Him to know the Truth. So put your faith in God, not man.

Today’s Question

Are you looking up to someone or The One?

Enjoy the reading

Zechariah 2

1 When I looked again, I saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 “Where are you going?” I asked. He replied, “I am going to measure Jerusalem, to see how wide and how long it is.” 3 Then the angel who was with me went to meet a second angel who was coming toward him. 4 The other angel said, “Hurry, and say to that young man, ‘Jerusalem will someday be so full of people and livestock that there won’t be room enough for everyone! Many will live outside the city walls. 5 Then I, myself, will be a protective wall of fire around Jerusalem, says the LORD . And I will be the glory inside the city!’” 6 The LORD says, “Come away! Flee from Babylon in the land of the north, for I have scattered you to the four winds. 7 Come away, people of Zion, you who are exiled in Babylon!” 8 After a period of glory, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies sent me against the nations who plundered you. For he said, “Anyone who harms you harms my most precious possession. 9 I will raise my fist to crush them, and their own slaves will plunder them.” Then you will know that the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. 10 The LORD says, “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you. 11 Many nations will join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they, too, will be my people. I will live among you, and you will know that the LORD of Heaven’s Armies sent me to you. 12 The land of Judah will be the LORD ’s special possession in the holy land, and he will once again choose Jerusalem to be his own city. 13 Be silent before the LORD, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.”

Good Time

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you live life knowing the Good News, it’s hard not to have a good time.”

TB

Moment

Learning the Good News is easy. Living our lives in that truth is a continuous endeavor. Though we know Christ and His Promise are true, we live in a world that lives counterproductive to Him. As such we must balance what we see against what we know to be true. And, we do that by staying in the Word and reflecting the Light that God gives us to those we encounter every day.

Present

When we make it a daily habit to hang out with God and stay in the word, we learn and gain the patience to discern the real from the fake. From there, we can have the clarity and peace to practice joy in the days of our lives. By embracing the Good News, we find ourselves having a good no matter the circumstance. It’s not because everything is perfect, but because in Christ, He perfects everything.

Today’s Question

Are you enjoying the Good News and having a good time?

Enjoy the reading

Micah 4

1 In the last days, the mountain of the LORD ’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. 2 People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the LORD ’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. 3 The LORD will mediate between peoples and will settle disputes between strong nations far away. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore. 4 Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear. The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has made this promise! 5 Though the nations around us follow their idols, we will follow the LORD our God forever and ever. 6 “In that coming day,” says the LORD, “I will gather together those who are lame, those who have been exiles, and those whom I have filled with grief. 7 Those who are weak will survive as a remnant; those who were exiles will become a strong nation. Then I, the LORD, will rule from Jerusalem as their king forever.” 8 As for you, Jerusalem, the citadel of God’s people, your royal might and power will come back to you again. The kingship will be restored to my precious Jerusalem. 9 But why are you now screaming in terror? Have you no king to lead you? Have your wise people all died? Pain has gripped you like a woman in childbirth. 10 Writhe and groan like a woman in labor, you people of Jerusalem, for now you must leave this city to live in the open country. You will soon be sent in exile to distant Babylon. But the LORD will rescue you there; he will redeem you from the grip of your enemies. 11 Now many nations have gathered against you. “Let her be desecrated,” they say. “Let us see the destruction of Jerusalem. ” 12 But they do not know the LORD ’s thoughts or understand his plan. These nations don’t know that he is gathering them together to be beaten and trampled like sheaves of grain on a threshing floor. 13 “Rise up and crush the nations, O Jerusalem!” says the LORD . “For I will give you iron horns and bronze hooves, so you can trample many nations to pieces. You will present their stolen riches to the LORD, their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.”

Grace

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Learn to listen to your brothers and sisters with a loving ear.”

TB

Wisdom

We display Christ’s teachings when we listen to each other with love and grace. More often than not, we respond with legalistic rhetoric, when really, the person needs a kind word. It’s easy to correct a downfallen neighbor, but it takes divine wisdom to show them grace. Notice how God treats you when you fall. It’s not with a harsh or haughty rebuke, but like a father lovingly picking you up after you’ve fallen and scraped a knee. If you aspire to be wise, show grace and love.

Build

When we treat others as God treats us, we exemplify Kingdom traits, encouraging others to draw closer to Him. Friends, it is not our job to be religious, but to rather share the Gift that has been freely given to us. When you realize that Christ-like love is the formula for sharing the Good News, God can then impart wisdom within you to carry out the goal. Graceful wisdom builds Christ-bearing relationships. So when your brother or sister becomes discouraged, remember to lead with grace and love.

Today’s Question

Are you leading with grace?

Enjoy the reading

Hosea 7

1 “I want to heal Israel, but its sins are too great. Samaria is filled with liars. Thieves are on the inside and bandits on the outside! 2 Its people don’t realize that I am watching them. Their sinful deeds are all around them, and I see them all. 3 “The people entertain the king with their wickedness, and the princes laugh at their lies. 4 They are all adulterers, always aflame with lust. They are like an oven that is kept hot while the baker is kneading the dough. 5 On royal holidays, the princes get drunk with wine, carousing with those who mock them. 6 Their hearts are like an oven blazing with intrigue. Their plot smolders through the night, and in the morning it breaks out like a raging fire. 7 Burning like an oven, they consume their leaders. They kill their kings one after another, and no one cries to me for help. 8 “The people of Israel mingle with godless foreigners, making themselves as worthless as a half-baked cake! 9 Worshiping foreign gods has sapped their strength, but they don’t even know it. Their hair is gray, but they don’t realize they’re old and weak. 10 Their arrogance testifies against them, yet they don’t return to the LORD their God or even try to find him. 11 “The people of Israel have become like silly, witless doves, first calling to Egypt, then flying to Assyria for help. 12 But as they fly about, I will throw my net over them and bring them down like a bird from the sky. I will punish them for all the evil they do. 13 “What sorrow awaits those who have deserted me! Let them die, for they have rebelled against me. I wanted to redeem them, but they have told lies about me. 14 They do not cry out to me with sincere hearts. Instead, they sit on their couches and wail. They cut themselves, begging foreign gods for grain and new wine, and they turn away from me. 15 I trained them and made them strong, yet now they plot evil against me. 16 They look everywhere except to the Most High. They are as useless as a crooked bow. Their leaders will be killed by their enemies because of their insolence toward me. Then the people of Egypt will laugh at them.

Hamster Wheel

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Spring to action and focus on God’s plan for you, because focusing on the devil’s distractions is much like being a hamster on a wheel.”

TB

Steadfast

We only have so much time to learn, comprehend, and carry out our plans and assignments. While God is faithful and merciful on deadlines, focus and prioritization are key to completing the objective. By staying wrapped in the word, we eat the good fruit and steer clear of the bad. However, there will be and are times where we find ourselves trapped in the distraction of the opposition.

Fruitless

Though we know what we must do, it’s important to understand how the devil keeps us from fulfilling our destinies. One such tactic is getting us off our path. When we believe or entertain the lies of the enemy, we begin to focus on matters that literally have nothing to do with our goals. Like hamsters on the wheel, we end up mindlessly chasing things, people, trends, money, and the like who have nothing to do with our purpose. If you’re tired of running aimlessly, turn your sights to God to get off of the wheel.

Fruitful

So how do we get off the wheel? We start by forgiving offenses, encouraging our brothers and sisters, reading the Word, and picking up our cross, and walking with Christ. Friends, it’s very easy to get caught up in the busyness of our own plans. Like the hamster on the wheel, we can aimlessly chase for nothing, while wasting time failing to learn the whole Truth. Look to God for a fruitful direction, walk in patience, humility, and forgiveness so that you can continue in progress. By identifying the trap of the hamster wheel, you can avoid the distraction and walk your walk with Christ.

Today’s Question

Are you a hamster or a child of God?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 36

1 “Son of man, prophesy to Israel’s mountains. Give them this message: O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD ! 2 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Your enemies have taunted you, saying, ‘Aha! Now the ancient heights belong to us!’ 3 Therefore, son of man, give the mountains of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD : Your enemies have attacked you from all directions, making you the property of many nations and the object of much mocking and slander. 4 Therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign LORD . He speaks to the hills and mountains, ravines and valleys, and to ruined wastes and long-deserted cities that have been destroyed and mocked by the surrounding nations. 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My jealous anger burns against these nations, especially Edom, because they have shown utter contempt for me by gleefully taking my land for themselves as plunder. 6 “Therefore, prophesy to the hills and mountains, the ravines and valleys of Israel. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am furious that you have suffered shame before the surrounding nations. 7 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I have taken a solemn oath that those nations will soon have their own shame to endure. 8 “But the mountains of Israel will produce heavy crops of fruit for my people—for they will be coming home again soon! 9 See, I care about you, and I will pay attention to you. Your ground will be plowed and your crops planted. 10 I will greatly increase the population of Israel, and the ruined cities will be rebuilt and filled with people. 11 I will increase not only the people, but also your animals. O mountains of Israel, I will bring people to live on you once again. I will make you even more prosperous than you were before. Then you will know that I am the LORD . 12 I will cause my people to walk on you once again, and you will be their territory. You will never again rob them of their children. 13 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: The other nations taunt you, saying, ‘Israel is a land that devours its own people and robs them of their children!’ 14 But you will never again devour your people or rob them of their children, says the Sovereign LORD . 15 I will not let you hear those other nations insult you, and you will no longer be mocked by them. You will not be a land that causes its nation to fall, says the Sovereign LORD .” 16 Then this further message came to me from the LORD : 17 “Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by the evil way they lived. To me their conduct was as unclean as a woman’s menstrual cloth. 18 They polluted the land with murder and the worship of idols, so I poured out my fury on them. 19 I scattered them to many lands to punish them for the evil way they had lived. 20 But when they were scattered among the nations, they brought shame on my holy name. For the nations said, ‘These are the people of the LORD, but he couldn’t keep them safe in his own land!’ 21 Then I was concerned for my holy name, on which my people brought shame among the nations. 22 “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD : I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations. 23 I will show how holy my great name is—the name on which you brought shame among the nations. And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes, says the Sovereign LORD, then the nations will know that I am the LORD . 24 For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land. 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. 28 “And you will live in Israel, the land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will cleanse you of your filthy behavior. I will give you good crops of grain, and I will send no more famines on the land. 30 I will give you great harvests from your fruit trees and fields, and never again will the surrounding nations be able to scoff at your land for its famines. 31 Then you will remember your past sins and despise yourselves for all the detestable things you did. 32 But remember, says the Sovereign LORD, I am not doing this because you deserve it. O my people of Israel, you should be utterly ashamed of all you have done! 33 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When I cleanse you from your sins, I will repopulate your cities, and the ruins will be rebuilt. 34 The fields that used to lie empty and desolate in plain view of everyone will again be farmed. 35 And when I bring you back, people will say, ‘This former wasteland is now like the Garden of Eden! The abandoned and ruined cities now have strong walls and are filled with people!’ 36 Then the surrounding nations that survive will know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted the wasteland. For I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will do what I say. 37 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am ready to hear Israel’s prayers and to increase their numbers like a flock. 38 They will be as numerous as the sacred flocks that fill Jerusalem’s streets at the time of her festivals. The ruined cities will be crowded with people once more, and everyone will know that I am the LORD .”

Off-Topic

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Learn the topics and teachings of Christ so that you may not spend your life off-topic.”~TB

Attention

You ever notice how many distracting things there are in this world? Between all of the apps, gadgets, gossip, social posturing, and the like, left unchecked, a whole lifetime can be wasted on things that do not matter. How odd! There is only so much time in a given day and before you know it, it’s gone as quickly as it arrived.  If humans are so busy being plugged into the nonsense, it’s not hard to understand why people struggle to know who Christ actually is. More to the point, the opposition will leverage such distractions to keep people from being on topic. If you want to pursue a life of Christ, you must first learn what topics really matter so that you can discern truth from fake reality.

Focus

Take a moment to evaluate how and with whom you spend your time. Ask yourself if these things mirror the topics that God has placed in your heart. If you feel too distracted in your mind to know what those topics are, seek out the Word of God so that you can understand what this life is actually all about. When you know which topics are of Christ and which ones are not, it becomes easier to make the right decisions for your mind and time. Let’s not be mindless bots on a planet that seeks to distract and numb us from our calling. Instead, let’s be about Christ’s topics and how they can give us the peace and focus we seek.

Today’s Question

Are you good at wasting away instead of being on topic?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 12

1 LORD, you always give me justice when I bring a case before you. So let me bring you this complaint: Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil people so happy? 
2 You have planted them, and they have taken root and prospered. Your name is on their lips, but you are far from their hearts. 
3 But as for me, LORD, you know my heart. You see me and test my thoughts. Drag these people away like sheep to be butchered! Set them aside to be slaughtered! 
4 How long must this land mourn? Even the grass in the fields has withered. The wild animals and birds have disappeared because of the evil in the land. For the people have said, “The LORD doesn’t see what’s ahead for us!” 
5 “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan? 
6 Even your brothers, members of your own family, have turned against you. They plot and raise complaints against you. Do not trust them, no matter how pleasantly they speak. 
7 “I have abandoned my people, my special possession. I have surrendered my dearest ones to their enemies. 
8 My chosen people have roared at me like a lion of the forest, so I have treated them with contempt. 
9 My chosen people act like speckled vultures, but they themselves are surrounded by vultures. Bring on the wild animals to pick their corpses clean! 
10 “Many rulers have ravaged my vineyard, trampling down the vines and turning all its beauty into a barren wilderness. 
11 They have made it an empty wasteland; I hear its mournful cry. The whole land is desolate, and no one even cares. 
12 On all the bare hilltops, destroying armies can be seen. The sword of the LORD devours people from one end of the nation to the other. No one will escape! 
13 My people have planted wheat but are harvesting thorns. They have worn themselves out, but it has done them no good. They will harvest a crop of shame because of the fierce anger of the LORD .” 
14 Now this is what the LORD says: “I will uproot from their land all the evil nations reaching out for the possession I gave my people Israel. And I will uproot Judah from among them. 
15 But afterward I will return and have compassion on all of them. I will bring them home to their own lands again, each nation to its own possession. 
16 And if these nations truly learn the ways of my people, and if they learn to swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the LORD lives’ (just as they taught my people to swear by the name of Baal), then they will be given a place among my people. 
17 But any nation who refuses to obey me will be uprooted and destroyed. I, the LORD, have spoken!”

 

Transactional

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Take care to develop honest relationships because a transactional lifestyle is meaningless.”~TB

Motives

In today’s surface-driven world, fake relationships and fake ideals run rampant. We seek what people can give to us or how we can use their status to achieve our agendas. Looking at people in a transactional manner is a dangerous precedent because the foundation is not real.  Consider your motives when developing relationships with people. What are you after?  Honest relationships require honest motives. If developing an authentic relationship with people and– more to the point– Christ is what you desire, you first must examine your heart.

Dig Deeper

Isn’t interesting that people can want what God can give them but not actually want God? The ironic part is that to know God is to have received something far greater than any wealth on this earth. But, to get to this fundamental truth, we have to forge an authentic and meaningful relationship with God. Christ is not here to grant us wishes, like some magic genie. No, we must talk, listen, learn, and practice the teachings of Christ so that we know the difference between what is real and what is fake. Throw off the superficial lifestyle to put on the authentic Truth that is God. By doing so, you change your heart and how you move in this world.

Today’s Question

Are you interested in knowing God or are you just looking to get things from Him?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah

1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 
2 The word of the LORD came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah, 
3 and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.

The Call of Jeremiah

4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 
6 “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” 
7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 
8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. 
9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 
10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” 
11 The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. 
12 The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” 
13 The word of the LORD came to me again: “What do you see?” “I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.” 
14 The LORD said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 
15 I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the LORD. “Their kings will come and set up their thrones in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem; they will come against all her surrounding walls and against all the towns of Judah. 
16 I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made. 
17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 
18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 
19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.

Enthusiastic

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Stop letting other people take the fall for your dumb choices and decisions, but rather enthusiastically accept your frailty and ask God to really help you to listen and learn from Him.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Trustworthy

When you become trustworthy enough to embrace God’s truth, hide it in your heart, and live by biblical morals, values, and principles.  God will build a circle of protection around you and reward you with eternal benefits in heaven.  If you do the opposite, you will reap the eternal benefits of hell forever.  This is not a threat, but a trustworthy promise from God with consequences or rewards.

Reward

It is standard to receive a reward for doing something right and obeying the rules.  We reap what we sow. As a result, it is the love of God that you have in your heart that activates the reward of doing the work God has commanded us to do.  We do not get the chance to make up God’s Commandments nor can we change or select which ones to obey!

Obey

It appears that we all are enthusiastic about doing God’s work and going to heaven or we are all enthusiastically following the devil to prepare our future home in hell.  In the court of God’s Kingdom, you will be judged accordingly and accurately, based on your lifestyle account.
Today’s Question
Are you motivated or are your motives out of touch with God’s reality?
Enjoy The Reading

John 4 

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

4 Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”
21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”
27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” 28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”
33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.
34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. 36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”

Many Samaritans Believe

39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”

Jesus Heals an Official’s Son

43 At the end of the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee. 44 He himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown. 45 Yet the Galileans welcomed him, for they had been in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration and had seen everything he did there.
46 As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die.
48 Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?”
49 The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.”
50 Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.
51 While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well. 52 He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, “Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!” 53 Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus. 54 This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea.