Tortoise and the Hare

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Rely on the wisdom of Christ to run your race”~TB

The Hustle

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.

Burnout

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.

Long Run

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.

Today’s Question

Are you looking for a lifetime run or a lifetime full of excuses?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 27

1 In 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.
3 I, the LORD, will watch over it, watering it carefully. Day and night I will watch so no one can harm it.
4 My anger will be gone. If I find briers and thorns growing, I will attack them; I will burn them up—
5 unless they turn to me for help. Let them make peace with me; yes, let them make peace with me.”
6 The time is coming when Jacob’s descendants will take root. Israel will bud and blossom and fill the whole earth with fruit!
7 Has the LORD struck Israel as he struck her enemies? Has he punished her as he punished them?
8 No, 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.
9 The 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.
10 The fortified towns will be silent and empty, the houses abandoned, the streets overgrown with weeds. Calves will graze there, chewing on twigs and branches.
11 The 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.
12 Yet 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.
13 In 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.

Mentor

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Find older and wiser people who can teach you a thing or two about life.”~TB

Communication

It’s wise to spend time with those who have a well developed relationship with God. While you still have to cultivate your own, a mentor can help you with perspective when you can’t get out of your own way. Great lessons and ‘ah hah’ moments can be discovered when you seek counsel from those who’ve come before you. Those who have spent some time on this Earth have seen and experienced moments that the youth have not, so when making any decision of importance, have a word with a mentor.

Pride Check

Perhaps the best reason for having a mentor is to get advice when your pride is writing checks it can’t cash. We all struggle with an ego from time to time and having  a soundboard who is emotionally removed from your situation will give you a more nuanced understanding of what you’re going through. More to the point, you can learn from their lessons if you are willing to let go of what is causing you to stumble. So while you’re having talks with God, be sure to chat with those who’ve walked with Him before you.

Today’s Question

Who do you consult with to keep you accountable?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 2

1 This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 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.
3People 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.
4 The LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. 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.
5 Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD !
6 For the LORD has rejected his people, the descendants of Jacob, because they have filled their land with practices from the East and with sorcerers, as the Philistines do. They have made alliances with pagans.
7 Israel is full of silver and gold; there is no end to its treasures. Their land is full of warhorses; there is no end to its chariots.
8 Their land is full of idols; the people worship things they have made with their own hands.
9 So now they will be humbled, and all will be brought low— do not forgive them.
10 Crawl into caves in the rocks. Hide in the dust from the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty.
11Human pride will be brought down, and human arrogance will be humbled. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment.
12 For the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has a day of reckoning. He will punish the proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted.
13He will cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon and all the mighty oaks of Bashan.
14 He will level all the high mountains and all the lofty hills.
15 He will break down every high tower and every fortified wall.
16 He will destroy all the great trading ships and every magnificent vessel.
17 Human pride will be humbled, and human arrogance will be brought down. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment.
18 Idols will completely disappear.
19 When the LORD rises to shake the earth, his enemies will crawl into holes in the ground. They will hide in caves in the rocks from the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty.
20 On that day of judgment they will abandon the gold and silver idols they made for themselves to worship. They will leave their gods to the rodents and bats,
21 while they crawl away into caverns and hide among the jagged rocks in the cliffs. They will try to escape the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty as he rises to shake the earth.
22 Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?

 

 

You need Him

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Stop looking to people, places, or things for things that only God can give you.”~TB

Origin

Every single sin– all the way back to the original sin– is rooted in one basic premise: trying to fill a need outside of God’s will. People look for love, comfort, possessions, revenge, etc. in all the wrong places! The world will tell you it’s ok to shack up with your partner. The devil and your untamed flesh will wholeheartedly agree! Your anger may encourage you to kill someone. Trust me, the opposition will egg you on and then taunt you when you are punished for your crime. Bottom line, nothing good comes from humans arrogantly operating outside God’s will. There are too many dumb outliers in the hands of man that will lead you astray.

Needy

Humans are very needy creatures. We need shelter, food, air, love, support, exercise, coffee (well, some of us), the list goes on and on. Like I said, we’re very needy! When you seek a relationship with God, you will find that in one way or another, He will provide these things for you. The problem is, you’re fighting the world, your flesh, and the devil, which can often temporarily blur the path. This is especially true if you are undisciplined in your walk with Christ. If you are ruled by these three things, you believe that man-made solutions will fulfill you. Friends, no person, place, or thing can give you what you need. In fact, chasing man-made solutions will continually leave you feeling empty. The temporary fix then becomes an addiction of sorts because you need more of it each time you run out. Stop trying to supply your own needs. Seek God first.

Teacher

God is the ultimate provider and if you let Him, He will fulfill every need and then some! God’s love and wisdom are graciously given to those who honestly seek Him. When you understand this fundamental truth, you can then clinically look at your behaviors, thoughts, and deeds. Take a step back and ask yourself, “why am I doing this?”, “does this align with God’s will?”, “Am I relying on my own flawed thinking to justify my sinful behavior?”. Then, ask God for the right answers. In one way another, He will teach you how to discipline and tame your flesh so that you learn to turn to Him in all aspects of your life. Through discipline, the vices and temptations you struggle with cannot enslave you because you know Who gives you what you need. Give all things to God and He will give you everything you need.

Today’s Question

Are you relying on God to fulfill your needs?

Proverbs 7

1 Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands. 
2 Obey my commands and live! Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
3 Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. 
4 Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family. 
5 Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman, from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman. 
6 While I was at the window of my house, looking through the curtain, 
7 I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense. 
8 He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house. 
9 It was at twilight, in the evening, as deep darkness fell. 
10 The woman approached him, seductively dressed and sly of heart.
11 She was the brash, rebellious type, never content to stay at home.
12 She is often in the streets and markets, soliciting at every corner. 
13She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said, 
14 “I’ve just made my peace offerings and fulfilled my vows. 
15You’re the one I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are!
16 My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. 
17 I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses, 
19 for my husband is not home. He’s away on a long trip. 
20He has taken a wallet full of money with him and won’t return until later this month. ” 
21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. 
22 He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, 
23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life. 
24 So listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words. 
25 Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her. Don’t wander down her wayward path. 
26 For she has been the ruin of many; many men have been her victims. 
27 Her house is the road to the grave. Her bedroom is the den of death.

Pay Attention

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Be present and pay attention while on your walk, as some lessons you’ll want to avoid”~TB

On the Path

On the path requires focus, patience, and presence because, in an upside down world, the devil will not hesitate to throw a decoy in your path. If you are humble enough to heed the teachings in the Bible, some test will be easier than others. Friends, walking and talking with God, not only brings peace, but also discernment. Set your eyes on Him to avoid being derailed.

Off the Path

The devil wants you to be like Red Riding Hood, wandering all willy-nilly while a wolf seeks to destroy you. The threat is real, but not to be feared, unless you didn’t adhere to the teachings. Off the path brings chaos and turmoil, but fortunately for you, God is a loving savior who will place you back on track when things get dicey.

The Added Measure of Discernment

No one’s walk is perfect, and we all will face a “big bad wolf” from time to time due to our negligence. Understand that faith and follow through are critical in being one with God. These aren’t just nice “safety nets” without a purpose. Evil is real and the devil is more than happy to trip you up, especially if you are soldiering on for Christ. Do well to root your attention in the Word, so that you are vigilant, diligent, and discerning when challenges arise.

Today’s Question

Are you on the path or are you headed for a wolf’s den?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 123

1 I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven. 
2 We keep looking to the LORD our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal. 
3Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy, for we have had our fill of contempt.
4 We have had more than our fill of the scoffing of the proud and the contempt of the arrogant.

Exposing

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Expose yourself to God and He will reveal Himself to you, simply because you asked and want to know the truth about your Heavenly Father.”  ~ Jon Barnes

DNA

Get your DNA Test from God so He can show you what you look like, how to behave, and the origin of your design and genetics.  Look into the mirror and you will see an image of Him, created, designed, maintained, and sustained by God.  

Master

The Master Creator, Artist, Engineer, Painter, Sculpture, Planner, and King of All the Universe and things to come will give you a history lesson, assessment, and road map of the beginning into the future to get a vast scope of life, His Creations, and soul destinations.  Studying, knowing, and sharing the truth is a simple, consistent, and honest task of perpetual love firing on all cylinders. 

Universal

God’s universal laws, wisdom, and understanding is far beyond our comprehension that the simplicity of order and ease of construction could only come from one source, with an unlimited expanse, space, time, and resources.  The Spirit of God is endless boundless, matchless, and unimaginable.
Today’s Question
How can mere words describe, capture, and depict the Majesty, Mystery, Mind, Muscle, Magnified Magnificence and Might of God?
Enjoy The Reading
 
 

Psalm 8 

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.[a]

Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
    Your glory is higher than the heavens.
You have taught children and infants
    to tell of your strength,[b]
silencing your enemies
    and all who oppose you.
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
    the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
    human beings that you should care for them?[c]
Yet you made them only a little lower than God[d]
    and crowned them[e] with glory and honor.
You gave them charge of everything you made,
    putting all things under their authority—
the flocks and the herds
    and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
    and everything that swims the ocean currents.
Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Love,
 
Jonathan

Ask God

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Embrace your mistakes, learn from them,  repent, and simply do not do them again.” ~ Jon Barnes

Some

Some mistakes you just cannot afford to make. Dying and going to hell is one of them.  Decide in your mind, heart soul, and spirit that you will repent,  connect with God, and do a better job than your parents.  Communicate with God and your parents to bridge the gap to improve your game, by understanding their mistakes.  Your skill set depends upon your ability to save time, minimize mistakes, save money, and energy to improve your love, faith, and work for God. Ask questions, pay attention, and keep learning.

Mistakes

As a child, I asked God why was my life like this and my parent’s behavior so full of challenges, tests, and obstacles?  My thought was, surely when I get older, I would try to do a better job and learn from their mistakes.  This observation sounds so easy to accomplish but in reality, most of my time is spent on prevention and not finger pointing.  Forgiving people for their mistakes allows you to learn from them, allowing you the ability to become a better advocate for justice, faith, and good works.  Become a better role model.

Afford

Your mistake is not the focus, but prevention with righteousness is the goal.  Why should you copy people from generation to generation when we should be copying God?  Asking God and seeking His wisdom is far better than ignoring Him and living with the eternal doom of hell.  Frankly, you cannot ask and connect with God after it’s too late.  The Judge will have the final say about your lifestyle and choices on earth when you die.
Today’s Question
Are you hoping God will judge you in a fair manner or are you looking for another illegal way into Heaven to avoid your earned sentence to Hell?
Enjoy The Reading

Job 25 

Bildad’s Third Response to Job

25 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
“God is powerful and dreadful.
    He enforces peace in the heavens.
Who is able to count his heavenly army?
    Doesn’t his light shine on all the earth?
How can a mortal be innocent before God?
    Can anyone born of a woman be pure?
God is more glorious than the moon;
    he shines brighter than the stars.
In comparison, people are maggots;
    we mortals are mere worms.”
 
Love,
 
Jonathan

Cool

water-1761027_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“A good parent will inform their children and train them to understand right from wrong, model this Godly behavior, correct misunderstandings, and fix problems early in the relationship, so that evil will not befall and take over your family!” ~ Jon Barnes

Calm

Remain calm and be cool when evil knocks at your door so that you can place the Blood of Jesus over your life and the situations that will occur.  Challenge your faith by becoming more honest with God and yourself to avoid unnecessary tests and lessons to learn.  Just calmly do what God says.

Collective

Your negative sinful lifestyle will collect disorders, depression, diseases, calamity, and false information because this is what you have attracted for yourself over the years.  Your ugly behavior, thoughts, and deeds will get uglier if you don’t change and your past will catch up to you.  Remember, you will always reap what you sow in all that you do and know.  Allow people to learn from your positive experiences with God’s Collective and enjoy the improvements in your new mindset.

Calculated

These calculated movements that God will guide you through will challenge, test, and strengthen your faith in love, prayer, reading, fasting, and working in truth.  The Spirit of God will help you in keeping your cool while getting your assignments done in a timely fashion.  Collect your steps, budget, and calculate the cost and amount that you will save in time, energy, and heartache.  Just be cool, while walking with God and you’ll learn more than you can dream. Improve your family by improving yourself and your leadership abilities with God’s help.
Today’s Question
Are you quick to follow fake Christian people who only talk about God or will you be a real Christian by doing the work of faith in your daily adventures?  
 
Enjoy The Reading
 

Job 22 

Eliphaz’s Third Response to Job

22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
“Can a person do anything to help God?
    Can even a wise person be helpful to him?
Is it any advantage to the Almighty if you are righteous?
    Would it be any gain to him if you were perfect?
Is it because you’re so pious that he accuses you
    and brings judgment against you?
No, it’s because of your wickedness!
    There’s no limit to your sins.
“For example, you must have lent money to your friend
    and demanded clothing as security.
    Yes, you stripped him to the bone.
You must have refused water for the thirsty
    and food for the hungry.
You probably think the land belongs to the powerful
    and only the privileged have a right to it!
You must have sent widows away empty-handed
    and crushed the hopes of orphans.
10 That is why you are surrounded by traps
    and tremble from sudden fears.
11 That is why you cannot see in the darkness,
    and waves of water cover you.
12 “God is so great—higher than the heavens,
    higher than the farthest stars.
13 But you reply, ‘That’s why God can’t see what I am doing!
    How can he judge through the thick darkness?
14 For thick clouds swirl about him, and he cannot see us.
    He is way up there, walking on the vault of heaven.’
15 “Will you continue on the old paths
    where evil people have walked?
16 They were snatched away in the prime of life,
    the foundations of their lives washed away.
17 For they said to God, ‘Leave us alone!
    What can the Almighty do to us?’
18 Yet he was the one who filled their homes with good things,
    so I will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking.
19 “The righteous will be happy to see the wicked destroyed,
    and the innocent will laugh in contempt.
20 They will say, ‘See how our enemies have been destroyed.
    The last of them have been consumed in the fire.’
21 “Submit to God, and you will have peace;
    then things will go well for you.
22 Listen to his instructions,
    and store them in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored—
    so clean up your life.
24 If you give up your lust for money
    and throw your precious gold into the river,
25 the Almighty himself will be your treasure.
    He will be your precious silver!
26 “Then you will take delight in the Almighty
    and look up to God.
27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
    and you will fulfill your vows to him.
28 You will succeed in whatever you choose to do,
    and light will shine on the road ahead of you.
29 If people are in trouble and you say, ‘Help them,’
    God will save them.
30 Even sinners will be rescued;
    they will be rescued because your hands are pure.”
Love,
 
Jonathan

Stand Against

no-person-3091208_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Who can stand against God, His Ways, Stories, History, and Future; NONE!!!???!!!  ~ Jon Barnes

Wit

Notice the wit God uses in all of His Stories in the Bible to teach lessons, values, secrets, and commandments to His Children.  Obedient children, know, learn, and grow in grace with God and their faith is the foundation of their being.

Will

The devil has no power against God, because God is the source of All Power and nothing happens without His Knowledge or Approval.  Within this amazing universal balance, Good and evil occur as part of the story, choices, and power given from God.

Wisdom

As a result, wisdom is forged out of experience in life, love, spirit, and scriptures provided by God.  His solutions manual to His Universe is complete, accurate, and most helpful for the Christian who loves God.  The devil is a loser who must play his lost role in the battle, that is not really a battle at all in the sight of God, His Power, and Might.
Today’s Question
Do you really believe that nothing can stand against God?
 
Enjoy The Reading

Job 10 

10 “I loathe my very life;
    therefore I will give free rein to my complaint
    and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.
I say to God: Do not declare me guilty,
    but tell me what charges you have against me.
Does it please you to oppress me,
    to spurn the work of your hands,
    while you smile on the plans of the wicked?
Do you have eyes of flesh?
    Do you see as a mortal sees?
Are your days like those of a mortal
    or your years like those of a strong man,
that you must search out my faults
    and probe after my sin—
though you know that I am not guilty
    and that no one can rescue me from your hand?
“Your hands shaped me and made me.
    Will you now turn and destroy me?
Remember that you molded me like clay.
    Will you now turn me to dust again?
10 Did you not pour me out like milk
    and curdle me like cheese,
11 clothe me with skin and flesh
    and knit me together with bones and sinews?
12 You gave me life and showed me kindness,
    and in your providence watched over my spirit.
13 “But this is what you concealed in your heart,
    and I know that this was in your mind:
14 If I sinned, you would be watching me
    and would not let my offense go unpunished.
15 If I am guilty—woe to me!
    Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head,
for I am full of shame
    and drowned in[a] my affliction.
16 If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion
    and again display your awesome power against me.
17 You bring new witnesses against me
    and increase your anger toward me;
    your forces come against me wave upon wave.
18 “Why then did you bring me out of the womb?
    I wish I had died before any eye saw me.
19 If only I had never come into being,
    or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!
20 Are not my few days almost over?
    Turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy
21 before I go to the place of no return,
    to the land of gloom and utter darkness,
22 to the land of deepest night,
    of utter darkness and disorder,
    where even the light is like darkness.”
 
Love,
 
Jonathan

Buffer

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Great teachers have learned to buffer, package, and deliver difficult concepts, ideas, and standards from God’s Holy Word so that people, students, and families can understand why we all must follow, do, and teach the truth.”

Make

Too many people are making up their own fake math, logic, and things to discuss, implement, and disguise their evil intentions. They make up a new law to change the standards, hurt the poor, enslave their friends, and hoard life, liberty, justice, and freedom for themselves.

Shift

Shift your thinking and position to channel and challenge the youth in mastering the standards God has set before us.  Then they will be able to discern the truth from injustice.  Give age appropriate answers and guidance to the next generation to make better choices and decisions for the future.

Cover

Cover your wisdom with the buffer of love so that people, students, family, and enemies can receive God’s message of hope, charity, thanksgiving, and honesty.  We have the liberty to choose right from wrong so make it plain for people to choose better answers and solutions to their own problems.  You are the buffer of Hope.
Today’s Question 
Will you allow God to use you as a buffer and beacon of light?
Enjoy Your Reading
 

2 Chronicles 36 

36 And the people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father.

Jehoahaz King of Judah

Jehoahaz[a] was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. The king of Egypt dethroned him in Jerusalem and imposed on Judah a levy of a hundred talents[b] of silver and a talent[c] of gold. The king of Egypt made Eliakim, a brother of Jehoahaz, king over Judah and Jerusalem and changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. But Necho took Eliakim’s brother Jehoahaz and carried him off to Egypt.

Jehoiakim King of Judah

Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord his God. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked him and bound him with bronze shackles to take him to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also took to Babylon articles from the temple of the Lord and put them in his temple[d] there.
The other events of Jehoiakim’s reign, the detestable things he did and all that was found against him, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. And Jehoiachin his son succeeded him as king.

Jehoiachin King of Judah

Jehoiachin was eighteen[e] years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. 10 In the spring, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for him and brought him to Babylon, together with articles of value from the temple of the Lord, and he made Jehoiachin’s uncle,[f] Zedekiah, king over Judah and Jerusalem.

Zedekiah King of Judah

11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. 12 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord his God and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke the word of the Lord. 13 He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him take an oath in God’s name. He became stiff-neckedand hardened his heart and would not turn to the Lord, the God of Israel. 14 Furthermore, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful, following all the detestable practices of the nations and defiling the temple of the Lord, which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.

The Fall of Jerusalem

15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians,[g] who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. 18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.
20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power.21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.
22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
23 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’”

Love,

Jonathan

Calm

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“It is a blessing to remain calm and focused when you are challenged, tested, and confronted with all manner of trials and tribulations, which allows the Joy in your heart from God to handle all situations.” ~ Jon Barnes

Faith

Pleasing God with strong honest faith is like shining the sun in the face of others.  Darkness will never comprehend God’s plans and actions by the faithful servants of God.  Your ordered steps will seem like confusion to the foolish.

Excitement

Become excited about your work and delivery of God’s messages and be happy that your joy is contagious. Like water, flow where you need to go and let God’s Will be done.  Forgive the people and problems that you will face.

Home School

Learn and practice these lessons at home to motivate and inspire your family.  Then take that experience into the battlefield of life.  Live, Love, and Learn all of the wonderful things God has to show you and notice how the Bible Reading already mapped out your success.
Today’s Question
Are you overwhelmed with pure joy from God when you are working for him at 100 percent capacity, like a child playing on the playground?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Chronicles 32 

Assyria Invades Judah

32 After Hezekiah had faithfully carried out this work, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified towns, giving orders for his army to break through their walls. When Hezekiah realized that Sennacherib also intended to attack Jerusalem, he consulted with his officials and military advisers, and they decided to stop the flow of the springs outside the city. They organized a huge work crew to stop the flow of the springs, cutting off the brook that ran through the fields. For they said, “Why should the kings of Assyria come here and find plenty of water?”
Then Hezekiah worked hard at repairing all the broken sections of the wall, erecting towers, and constructing a second wall outside the first. He also reinforced the supporting terraces[a] in the City of David and manufactured large numbers of weapons and shields. He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate. Then Hezekiah encouraged them by saying: “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” Hezekiah’s words greatly encouraged the people.

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem

While King Sennacherib of Assyria was still besieging the town of Lachish, he sent his officers to Jerusalem with this message for Hezekiah and all the people in the city:
10 “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you think you can survive my siege of Jerusalem? 11 Hezekiah has said, ‘The Lord our God will rescue us from the king of Assyria.’ Surely Hezekiah is misleading you, sentencing you to death by famine and thirst! 12 Don’t you realize that Hezekiah is the very person who destroyed all the Lord’s shrines and altars? He commanded Judah and Jerusalem to worship only at the altar at the Temple and to offer sacrifices on it alone.
13 “Surely you must realize what I and the other kings of Assyria before me have done to all the people of the earth! Were any of the gods of those nations able to rescue their people from my power? 14 Which of their gods was able to rescue its people from the destructive power of my predecessors? What makes you think your God can rescue you from me? 15 Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you! Don’t let him fool you like this! I say it again—no god of any nation or kingdom has ever yet been able to rescue his people from me or my ancestors. How much less will your God rescue you from my power!”
16 And Sennacherib’s officers further mocked the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah, heaping insult upon insult. 17 The king also sent letters scorning the Lord, the God of Israel. He wrote, “Just as the gods of all the other nations failed to rescue their people from my power, so the God of Hezekiah will also fail.” 18 The Assyrian officials who brought the letters shouted this in Hebrew[b] to the people gathered on the walls of the city, trying to terrify them so it would be easier to capture the city. 19 These officers talked about the God of Jerusalem as though he were one of the pagan gods, made by human hands.
20 Then King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to God in heaven. 21 And the Lord sent an angel who destroyed the Assyrian army with all its commanders and officers. So Sennacherib was forced to return home in disgrace to his own land. And when he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons killed him there with a sword.
22 That is how the Lord rescued Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the others who threatened them. So there was peace throughout the land. 23 From then on King Hezekiah became highly respected among all the surrounding nations, and many gifts for the Lord arrived at Jerusalem, with valuable presents for King Hezekiah, too.

Hezekiah’s Sickness and Recovery

24 About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill. He prayed to the Lord, who healed him and gave him a miraculous sign. 25 But Hezekiah did not respond appropriately to the kindness shown him, and he became proud. So the Lord’s anger came against him and against Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Then Hezekiah humbled himself and repented of his pride, as did the people of Jerusalem. So the Lord’s anger did not fall on them during Hezekiah’s lifetime.
27 Hezekiah was very wealthy and highly honored. He built special treasury buildings for his silver, gold, precious stones, and spices, and for his shields and other valuable items. 28 He also constructed many storehouses for his grain, new wine, and olive oil; and he made many stalls for his cattle and pens for his flocks of sheep and goats. 29 He built many towns and acquired vast flocks and herds, for God had given him great wealth. 30 He blocked up the upper spring of Gihon and brought the water down through a tunnel to the west side of the City of David. And so he succeeded in everything he did.
31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.

Summary of Hezekiah’s Reign

32 The rest of the events in Hezekiah’s reign and his acts of devotion are recorded in The Vision of the Prophet Isaiah Son of Amoz, which is included in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 33 When Hezekiah died, he was buried in the upper area of the royal cemetery, and all Judah and Jerusalem honored him at his death. And his son Manasseh became the next king.
Love,
Jonathan