“Slow down and be present in your lives so that the opposition does not trip you up in your haste.”~TB
We’re a busy on the go bunch of people, and despite the high praise of multi-tasking and multi-focus, when our attention is split, we run the risk of being prey for the devil. When you’re too fast, you miss the obvious signs and inconsistencies that evil inserts to get us to focus on fear and forget our tasks. Like a banana peel on the ground to trip on because we are going to fast, we stop to evaluate the lies from the truth. You may sign away your land because you didn’t read the terms of the agreement, you may rush into a relationship because you did not evaluate the character of the other person. You may do immoral things because of fear of your employer. Going at warped speed can cause unnecessary pitfalls and disasters because our eyes are not on the prize, which is Christ.
Break it Down
When my dad is teaching new music to the kids in his class, he is known to break up the parts, teach each phrase one at a time until his students get this. He did this with my siblings and me back in the day. It used to drive me nuts because I was impatient (still am). The benefit of slowing things down and breaking down the lessons was that you learn each piece, lessening the chance of learning bad habits and mistakes. Slowing it down and breaking the Biblical lessons we learn from God and the Bible have the same effect. When we know the Truth, it’s easier to spot the inconsistencies and blatant lies from the opposition. We know real from fake, true from false, but it takes a careful, studied, and watchful eye. So in all that you do, apply the lessons learned from Christ. To be the most successful you first must slow down and see the world and its experiences for what they truly are.
Are you slowing down and keeping calm, or are you blazing through hitting every pothole on the way?
Enjoy the reading
1After King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon exiled Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, to Babylon along with the officials of Judah and all the craftsmen and artisans, the LORD gave me this vision. I saw two baskets of figs placed in front of the LORD ’s Temple in Jerusalem.
2One basket was filled with fresh, ripe figs, while the other was filled with bad figs that were too rotten to eat.
3Then the LORD said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I replied, “Figs, some very good and some very bad, too rotten to eat.”
4Then the LORD gave me this message:
5“This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: The good figs represent the exiles I sent from Judah to the land of the Babylonians.
6I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them.
7I will give them hearts that recognize me as the LORD . They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.
8“But the bad figs,” the LORD said, “represent King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, all the people left in Jerusalem, and those who live in Egypt. I will treat them like bad figs, too rotten to eat.
9I will make them an object of horror and a symbol of evil to every nation on earth. They will be disgraced and mocked, taunted and cursed, wherever I scatter them.
10And I will send war, famine, and disease until they have vanished from the land of Israel, which I gave to them and their ancestors.”
“Follow your productivity trail with God’s path to see where the joys of walking with God shall be experienced and do not fall weary of the evil traps set by satan.” ~ Jon Barnes
Be glad you have been invited to the party and that God accepted your invitation. The devil cannot stop you. Continue to get rid of your old fleshy ways of this world and transform into the best persona God had designed for your lifestyle. Always pick yourself up and count your mistakes as joyous learning curves in life. Properly use, save, and share your resources, experiences, and stories.
Thank God for sharing great ideas with you and don’t forget where they came from. Your daily communication and prayers with God are critical. Give credit where credit is due and share your success stories with others. In thanksgiving, you will help many people, because your light of love shines through in all of your personal stories, lifestyle, and actions.
When you make a mistake, stop, and check with God for the proper solution, and do what you are supposed to do. Why would you spread lies about your mess. Just clean it up. Repent, stop living a lie, and tell the truth by living the truth. God will be pleased with your honesty and obedience. Your character will shine with your productivity and choices.
Have you been reading your Father’s book to improve your productivity, character, life, and future or have you given up to live for the devil?
Enjoy The Reading
1 “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith.2 For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God.3 This is because they have never known the Father or me.4 Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
5 “But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. 6 Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you.7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.9 The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more.11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.
12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’
Sadness Will Be Turned to Joy
16 “In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.”
17 Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’?18 And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”
19 Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again.20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.21 It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.22 So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.23 At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name.24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
25 “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father.26 Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf,27 for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.28 Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.”
29 Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively.30 Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.”
31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe?32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
“Until the day we die, there is always something to learn from God.”~TB
I was writing another blog post just a few moments ago, trying to break down some interesting concepts until I realized that the message wasn’t meant for the blog, but was a new ‘aha’ learning moment for me specifically. I took a minute to chew on it and was filled with joy at the new piece of the puzzle that I was given. To the outside world, I know a lot, but to tell you the truth, I’m also aware of how much I don’t know, which is why I keep pestering God with many, many questions. Fortunately, He is patient and doesn’t seem to mind answering them. Even better, being the Infinite being He is, we all can join in on His lesson plans.
Remarkably, the Bible has so much to say in every season of life. The Living Word is living up to its name, ha! As we go through this world, the wise teachings and stories are parallel to our own experiences, which is why we can glean so much information from one passage in any given era of our life. For example, I’ve read 2 Corinthians many times, yet, the other day, I got something out of it that I had not seen before. It encourages me to keep seeking the Truth in all of its forms because the lessons are neverending, and my relationship with God grows deeper and more joyful each passing day. I do have trying days like anyone else, but the comfort of the Lord makes them much more tolerable.
The Revelation of Reflection
When we quiet the external noise and train our minds to focus, God can then reveal the infinite amount of information that takes more than a lifetime to understand and pontificate on. Just when I think I know all of the statistical permutations, combinations, and variations there are to understand something, God drops another nugget of understanding, giving me something else to learn. The Truth is, we live in a chaotic, backward, deceitful world that benefits when we plug our ears, eyes, minds, and hearts from God. Many of us do not go on to learn and grow with God because of the distraction created by the world we inhabit. Fortunately for us, all we have to do is ask. Then, buckle up for a lifetime journey of learning.
Are you waiting until it’s too late to learn from God?
Enjoy the reading
1The LORD says, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name.
2All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people. But they follow their own evil paths and their own crooked schemes.
3All day long they insult me to my face by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens. They burn incense on pagan altars.
4At night they go out among the graves, worshiping the dead. They eat the flesh of pigs and make stews with other forbidden foods.
5Yet they say to each other, ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me! I am holier than you!’ These people are a stench in my nostrils, an acrid smell that never goes away.
6“Look, my decree is written out in front of me: I will not stand silent; I will repay them in full! Yes, I will repay them—
7both for their own sins and for those of their ancestors,” says the LORD . “For they also burned incense on the mountains and insulted me on the hills. I will pay them back in full!
8“But I will not destroy them all,” says the LORD . “For just as good grapes are found among a cluster of bad ones (and someone will say, ‘Don’t throw them all away— some of those grapes are good!’), so I will not destroy all Israel. For I still have true servants there.
9I will preserve a remnant of the people of Israel and of Judah to possess my land. Those I choose will inherit it, and my servants will live there.
10The plain of Sharon will again be filled with flocks for my people who have searched for me, and the valley of Achor will be a place to pasture herds.
11“But because the rest of you have forsaken the LORD and have forgotten his Temple, and because you have prepared feasts to honor the god of Fate and have offered mixed wine to the god of Destiny,
12now I will ‘destine’ you for the sword. All of you will bow down before the executioner. For when I called, you did not answer. When I spoke, you did not listen. You deliberately sinned—before my very eyes— and chose to do what you know I despise.”
13Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “My servants will eat, but you will starve. My servants will drink, but you will be thirsty. My servants will rejoice, but you will be sad and ashamed.
14My servants will sing for joy, but you will cry in sorrow and despair.
15Your name will be a curse word among my people, for the Sovereign LORD will destroy you and will call his true servants by another name.
16All who invoke a blessing or take an oath will do so by the God of truth. For I will put aside my anger and forget the evil of earlier days.
17“Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.
18Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation! And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness. Her people will be a source of joy.
19I will rejoice over Jerusalem and delight in my people. And the sound of weeping and crying will be heard in it no more.
20“No longer will babies die when only a few days old. No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life. No longer will people be considered old at one hundred! Only the cursed will die that young!
21In those days people will live in the houses they build and eat the fruit of their own vineyards.
22Unlike the past, invaders will not take their houses and confiscate their vineyards. For my people will live as long as trees, and my chosen ones will have time to enjoy their hard-won gains.
23They will not work in vain, and their children will not be doomed to misfortune. For they are people blessed by the LORD, and their children, too, will be blessed.
24I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
25The wolf and the lamb will feed together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. But the snakes will eat dust. In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
“Rely on the wisdom of Christ to run your race”~TB
My dad and I started playing chess this year. I had casually been playing on my iPad and thought I was doing quite well. One day, I challenged my father— thinking that my mental prowess would make me a superior player. He accepts, saying that he’s played a bit but isn’t that good. My ego— which is notorious for writing checks it can’t cash— saw a lamb ripe for slaughter. Needless to say, every time we’ve played, I leave with my tail tucked between my legs. My ego still has not recovered from the brutal beatings I’ve received. I’ve never come close to being a formidable opponent, which is a rarity for me. And on a side note, my dad comes off as this unassuming dude, which masks his shark-like thinking. You never see it coming until it’s too late. Even though I know this, I still get taken for a ride.
My brain processes information rather quickly. It allows me to think, decipher, theorize, and just think about multiple scenarios/conclusions within seconds. Usually this works in my favor, but in chess, not so much. In chess, patience and discipline reign supreme— especially when you’re learning the game. My father has those character traits in spades. He’s the tortoise to my hare— I may process faster, but I burnout quicker. Whereas, he may take longer, but he has the tenacity to finish the race. It reminds me of how we build our relationship with Jesus and how it equates to the race that is life. Walking with Christ requires long endurance, not short sprints. And if you have not developed the discipline it takes to run that race, prepare to have your tail between your legs quite a bit. Fortunately, Christ is always patient, so we have a lifetime to work on our endurance and discipline.
While life seems to go by in a blink of an eye, it’s really quite long. Our relationship, or lack thereof determines how we run that race. If you’re like me, trying to process and jump through lessons quickly, you can easily miss the lessons that He is trying to teach you. But, if you can slow down, assess your board and make moves according to His will, you’re able to learn lessons that many of us fail to even see! I say all of this to say, that your walk with Christ is a life-long, progressive relationship. There is always something new to learn and a new move to play. It’s the exact reason why the Bible is called the Living Word. Depending on where you are on the board of your life, the Bible can and will apply new revelations and meaning. So buckle up and put your long distance shoes on as it takes a lifetime to run the race God has set before you.
Are you looking for a lifetime run or a lifetime full of excuses?
Enjoy the reading
1In that day the LORD will take his terrible, swift sword and punish Leviathan, the swiftly moving serpent, the coiling, writhing serpent. He will kill the dragon of the sea.
2“In that day, sing about the fruitful vineyard.
3I, the LORD, will watch over it, watering it carefully. Day and night I will watch so no one can harm it.
4My anger will be gone. If I find briers and thorns growing, I will attack them; I will burn them up—
5unless they turn to me for help. Let them make peace with me; yes, let them make peace with me.”
6The time is coming when Jacob’s descendants will take root. Israel will bud and blossom and fill the whole earth with fruit!
7Has the LORD struck Israel as he struck her enemies? Has he punished her as he punished them?
8No, but he exiled Israel to call her to account. She was exiled from her land as though blown away in a storm from the east.
9The LORD did this to purge Israel’s wickedness, to take away all her sin. As a result, all the pagan altars will be crushed to dust. No Asherah pole or pagan shrine will be left standing.
10The fortified towns will be silent and empty, the houses abandoned, the streets overgrown with weeds. Calves will graze there, chewing on twigs and branches.
11The people are like the dead branches of a tree, broken off and used for kindling beneath the cooking pots. Israel is a foolish and stupid nation, for its people have turned away from God. Therefore, the one who made them will show them no pity or mercy.
12Yet the time will come when the LORD will gather them together like handpicked grain. One by one he will gather them—from the Euphrates River in the east to the Brook of Egypt in the west.
13In that day the great trumpet will sound. Many who were dying in exile in Assyria and Egypt will return to Jerusalem to worship the LORD on his holy mountain.
“If God thinks we’re all that and a bag of chips, then the opinions that we hold of each other don’t really matter.”~TB
A few years ago, I was helping my dad out by teaching his elementary school kids music a few kids at a time. This way, each kid could get some individualized attention on how to improve and whatnot. There was one kid who wasn’t quite getting it though I believed I was providing the best instruction possible. In my head, I figured he just couldn’t get it and wrote him off (I still worked with him, but I didn’t have high hopes). A few minutes later, my dad comes in checking out our progress. He goes through the kids that got it and stops to listen to the trumpet kid. My dad broke down the music and showed the kid how to play in a way that he understood. Moments later, the kid sounded like he knew what he was doing after all! Surprised, I immediately felt terrible for failing to see the potential that my dad saw. I’m grateful that teacher’s like my dad exist, because they see the value in every student, not just the ones they understand. More to the point, that experience showed me how dismissive we can be when we don’t see the value in each other. I’ll give you another example.
Last year, I decided to work with a startup in the financial services industry. The pay was significantly lower than my general fee, but since there was a lot of work to be done, I took it (On a side note, never work for less than you’re worth, if you can and never work with cheap people, it will not end well). Admittedly, I didn’t put my best foot forward, but the work was still good by any standard. The content manager quickly came back and told me my grammar was terrible and my rate didn’t justify the quality of work (I had negotiated a slightly higher rate). We parted ways and I was relieved because I knew the deal was crap. Funnily enough, I signed a contract with Stanford University a mere few days later. Ironic, right? I share these stories to say that man’s standards and evaluations of one another are utter crap. Basically, this stuff is all relative. Some may sing your praises while others won’t think you’re worth more than a hill of beans. But God, however has the ultimate judgment and He values you more than another other creation. Think about that.
Maybe someone in your life made you feel like you weren’t worth much. Well, they’re wrong. No matter what state you’re in God loves you more than anything else in this world. So what if that person at work can’t see it? So what if the person you admire doesn’t value what you bring to the table? Your value, your worth does not come from man, so let people have their opinions and keep it moving. Plus if someone cannot see how wonderfully God made you, then clearly they are not meant to be in your life, and that’s totally ok. Society will tell you to adjust yourself to the standards of others. That mentality is utter crap because it produces fake people living a fake lifestyle. If you have to change your personality, clothes, or whatever to be likable or authentic, trust me friends, you are neither. So the next time you’re feeling low because of the flawed evaluations of your peers, pick up the Word and read all of the amazing things God has done through His people to give us the ultimate gift. You won’t be able to help but feel amazing.
Do you base your worth in relation to man or in relation to your Creator?
Enjoy the reading
1This message came to me concerning Jerusalem—the Valley of Vision : What is happening? Why is everyone running to the rooftops?
2The whole city is in a terrible uproar. What do I see in this reveling city? Bodies are lying everywhere, killed not in battle but by famine and disease.
3All your leaders have fled. They surrendered without resistance. The people tried to slip away, but they were captured, too.
4That’s why I said, “Leave me alone to weep; do not try to comfort me. Let me cry for my people as I watch them being destroyed.”
5Oh, what a day of crushing defeat! What a day of confusion and terror brought by the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, upon the Valley of Vision! The walls of Jerusalem have been broken, and cries of death echo from the mountainsides.
6Elamites are the archers, with their chariots and charioteers. The men of Kir hold up the shields.
7Chariots fill your beautiful valleys, and charioteers storm your gates.
8Judah’s defenses have been stripped away. You run to the armory for your weapons.
9You inspect the breaks in the walls of Jerusalem. You store up water in the lower pool.
10You survey the houses and tear some down for stone to strengthen the walls.
11Between the city walls, you build a reservoir for water from the old pool. But you never ask for help from the One who did all this. You never considered the One who planned this long ago.
12At that time the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, called you to weep and mourn. He told you to shave your heads in sorrow for your sins and to wear clothes of burlap to show your remorse.
13But instead, you dance and play; you slaughter cattle and kill sheep. You feast on meat and drink wine. You say, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
14The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has revealed this to me: “Till the day you die, you will never be forgiven for this sin.” That is the judgment of the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
15This is what the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, said to me: “Confront Shebna, the palace administrator, and give him this message:
16“Who do you think you are, and what are you doing here, building a beautiful tomb for yourself— a monument high up in the rock?
17For the LORD is about to hurl you away, mighty man. He is going to grab you,
18crumple you into a ball, and toss you away into a distant, barren land. There you will die, and your glorious chariots will be broken and useless. You are a disgrace to your master!
19“Yes, I will drive you out of office,” says the LORD . “I will pull you down from your high position.
20And then I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah to replace you.
21I will dress him in your royal robes and will give him your title and your authority. And he will be a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah.
22I will give him the key to the house of David—the highest position in the royal court. When he opens doors, no one will be able to close them; when he closes doors, no one will be able to open them.
23He will bring honor to his family name, for I will drive him firmly in place like a nail in the wall.
24They will give him great responsibility, and he will bring honor to even the lowliest members of his family. ”
25But the LORD of Heaven’s Armies also says: “The time will come when I will pull out the nail that seemed so firm. It will come out and fall to the ground. Everything it supports will fall with it. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
“Examine how you spend your work hours because some work isn’t work at all.”~TB
You can stay busy and still be off task, not completing your assignment. This world is ripe for distraction, disruption, and the like, so an undisciplined worker doesn’t need much help in wasting their time. The guise of being busy is a great smokescreen to make you appear to be more productive that you actually are, but the results of your harvest will always tell the truth.
You can’t engage in wasted work and expect a positive outcome come harvest time. Sure, in your mind you worked hard, but all of the “work” did not produce any fruit! If you’re harvest is sparse, ask God on how to change your work ethic so that the next harvest will reap better results. Wasted work is a trap in the mind that keeps you from completing your assignments. Don’t fall for the trap. Work honestly and humbling to avoid wasted work.
Are you working hard or hardly working?
Enjoy the reading.
1A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born.
2Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies— so the living should take this to heart.
3Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.
4A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.
5Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool.
6A fool’s laughter is quickly gone, like thorns crackling in a fire. This also is meaningless.
7Extortion turns wise people into fools, and bribes corrupt the heart.
8Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.
9Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.
10Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise.
11Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life.
12Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life.
13Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.
15I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people.
16So don’t be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself?
17On the other hand, don’t be too wicked either. Don’t be a fool! Why die before your time?
18Pay attention to these instructions, for anyone who fears God will avoid both extremes.
19One wise person is stronger than ten leading citizens of a town!
20Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.
21Don’t eavesdrop on others—you may hear your servant curse you.
22For you know how often you yourself have cursed others.
23I have always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions. I said to myself, “I am determined to be wise.” But it didn’t work.
24Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find.
25I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness.
26I discovered that a seductive woman is a trap more bitter than death. Her passion is a snare, and her soft hands are chains. Those who are pleasing to God will escape her, but sinners will be caught in her snare.
27“This is my conclusion,” says the Teacher. “I discovered this after looking at the matter from every possible angle.
28Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman!
29But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”
“When you’re operating in your Holy position, it’s easier for you to assist a teammate in need.”~TB
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are on one team, which means it’s in our best interest to help one another succeed. Operating in this mindset, you’re able to lay down the offenses of your teammates to help with the assist so that they can shoot and score. When they score a point, so do you! So friends, don’t ball hog, just because you may be a better scorer. Instead, look to the Bible to understand the playbook so you can hook your teammates up with a stellar pass. God sees who is helping their teammates. He also sees who are holding each other back. Make sure you’re being a good teammate!
Even the best teammates need a break. When a star player is tired and weak, they are more susceptible to injury. If you see a teammate in need, call a timeout, sub in, and make the play on their behalf! Friends, we all grow tired and weary, which is why we need one another to achieve victory. No one Christian is capable of scoring all of the shots, which is why our Coach in Heaven gives drills, practices, and games to all of His players. When you understand that everyone is able to make the winning shot, sharing, caring, and assisting becomes the most important part of the game.
Are you assisting your teammates or are you ball hogging?
Enjoy the reading
1Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
2Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever.
3Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever.
4Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever.
5Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully. His faithful love endures forever.
6Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters. His faithful love endures forever.
7Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights— His faithful love endures forever.
8the sun to rule the day, His faithful love endures forever.
9and the moon and stars to rule the night. His faithful love endures forever.
10Give thanks to him who killed the firstborn of Egypt. His faithful love endures forever.
11He brought Israel out of Egypt. His faithful love endures forever.
12He acted with a strong hand and powerful arm. His faithful love endures forever.
13Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever.
14He led Israel safely through, His faithful love endures forever.
15but he hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever.
16Give thanks to him who led his people through the wilderness. His faithful love endures forever.
17Give thanks to him who struck down mighty kings. His faithful love endures forever.
18He killed powerful kings— His faithful love endures forever.
19Sihon king of the Amorites, His faithful love endures forever.
20and Og king of Bashan. His faithful love endures forever.
21God gave the land of these kings as an inheritance— His faithful love endures forever.
22a special possession to his servant Israel. His faithful love endures forever.
23He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever.
24He saved us from our enemies. His faithful love endures forever.
25He gives food to every living thing. His faithful love endures forever.
26Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.
“It’s difficult to grow your faith if you have a fixed mindset.”~TB
To the uninformed, once you know the Truth, all learning ceases. Even though the Truth– salvation is given to us through the sacrifice of Jesus– never changes, the trouble with that mindset is that life’s lessons and challenges still exist. The reason the Bible is called the Living Word is that it applies in your life in all of its stages. Friends, receiving salvation is the easy part. Staying in a learning mindset takes grit and perseverance. Failing to cultivate a lifelong relationship with Christ will cause you to stagnate because you don’t understand the landscape of a fallen world. Without understanding God’s love, it is difficult to practice His teachings. Adopt a continuous learning mindset so that you can grow with God throughout your life.
The truth is, there is always another level after the last. God’s ways are so expansive and massive that it takes a lifetime to even catch a glimpse. What a mighty God we serve! For this reason, you must always be willing and able to learn new things with Him. Human love pales in comparison to God’s love, which is why we must connect with Him daily to practice love from a Biblical perspective. Those who are considered wise understand that even in their wisdom, they still depend on God like a nursing baby. Without Him you are nothing. But with Him, nothing is impossible. Pass your tests and get to the next level, so that you may reach the next level after that. Once you understand that this is a lifelong process, you will love attending God’s Holy school.
Are you one of God’s lifelong students or are you flunking out?
Enjoy the reading
1How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!
2For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe.
3Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the LORD has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.
“When you’re focused on the right things, it’s amazing to see how God works.”~TB
God has given you a unique purpose that only you can fulfill. He will gently call you, and if you listen and answer, He will reveal His plans for you. Living a purposed-fill life in Christ can be challenging yet exciting. Walking with God requires you to put down the unclean things that once held your attention. At first, it will seem like a hard sacrifice. In time, however, you will come to realize that the things He is trying to give to you are more precious than anything you will find on this earth. Stay focused and on task.
If you’re not careful, the world will distract you, turning your focus from your personal Biblical development to a secular superficial lifestyle. While God wants balance and peace for you, if you are asleep at the wheel and not staying in the Word, the opposition will sneak in to try and get you off of your path. Be vigilant as getting off track is subtle and almost seemingly harmless. But after a time, you will see the chaos that distractions cause. Stay focused to run and finish your personal race.
Are you focused on your purpose or are you purposefully distracted?
Enjoy the reading
1I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there?
2My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!
3He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
5The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.
6The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.
7The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.
8The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
“Don’t fixate on your problems, because you may miss God’s solutions and blessing to the resolve it.”~TB
Smoke and Mirrors
The devil will use your setbacks to transfix you on the problems you face. When you are only focused on the problems, you are not paying attention to the Biblically simple solutions that will propel you to the next chapter in your life. Don’t miss your blessing by obsessing over the challenges. Objects are smaller than they appear.
God made you as you are, which means you have the tools to overcome any obstacle. One of the biggest misconceptions about walking with Christ is that all of your fleshly afflictions vanish and life becomes perfect. No, as you mature in Christ, you recognize that your flesh is fickle, so you simply step aside from the traps to avoid them. Not every thought and feeling is valid or useful so let go of the ones that cause you to stumble.
When you finally understand that you must depend on God in every second of every day, you let go of your man-made solutions which probably got you into your troubles in the first place. Let go of your legalistic pride, and accept the wisdom of God, which will gently nudge you to practice patience, forgiveness, and humility. Sure, you may not “win” every human argument, but winning with God is better than any victory the world could ever give you.
Are you fixating on your right ways or are you leaning on God’s solutions?
Enjoy the reading
1When the Israelites escaped from Egypt— when the family of Jacob left that foreign land—
2the land of Judah became God’s sanctuary, and Israel became his kingdom.
3The Red Sea saw them coming and hurried out of their way! The water of the Jordan River turned away.
4The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs!
5What’s wrong, Red Sea, that made you hurry out of their way? What happened, Jordan River, that you turned away?
6Why, mountains, did you skip like rams? Why, hills, like lambs?
7Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob.
8He turned the rock into a pool of water; yes, a spring of water flowed from solid rock.