Hair Split

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t walk away from the Truth by splitting hairs.”

TB

Cause

Spend time with God so that you may know who you are in relationship to Him. By doing so, the gift of salvation becomes the obvious choice, enabling you to pick up your cross. When you split hairs by not doing the due diligence of searching for the Truth, the sweet aroma of half-truths will ensnare you. Friends, be careful.

Reconcile

Reconcile the Truth from the lies, before the lies overcome your spirit, mind, and body. What is, it; and what isn’t is not. King Saul sparing the Amalekite king and keeping the choice plunder is a prime example of clinging to a lie instead of the Truth. Just because your choice is convenient, does not mean you are obeying Christ.

Today’s Question

Are you willing to give up the Truth to appease yourself?

Enjoy the reading

Leviticus 10

1 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over them. In this way, they disobeyed the LORD by burning before him the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. 2 So fire blazed forth from the LORD ’s presence and burned them up, and they died there before the LORD . 3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD meant when he said, ‘I will display my holiness through those who come near me. I will display my glory before all the people.’” And Aaron was silent. 4 Then Moses called for Mishael and Elzaphan, Aaron’s cousins, the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel. He said to them, “Come forward and carry away the bodies of your relatives from in front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” 5 So they came forward and picked them up by their garments and carried them out of the camp, just as Moses had commanded. 6 Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not show grief by leaving your hair uncombed or by tearing your clothes. If you do, you will die, and the LORD ’s anger will strike the whole community of Israel. However, the rest of the Israelites, your relatives, may mourn because of the LORD ’s fiery destruction of Nadab and Abihu. 7 But you must not leave the entrance of the Tabernacle or you will die, for you have been anointed with the LORD ’s anointing oil.” So they did as Moses commanded. 8 Then the LORD said to Aaron, 9 “You and your descendants must never drink wine or any other alcoholic drink before going into the Tabernacle. If you do, you will die. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation. 10 You must distinguish between what is sacred and what is common, between what is ceremonially unclean and what is clean. 11 And you must teach the Israelites all the decrees that the LORD has given them through Moses.” 12 Then Moses said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “Take what is left of the grain offering after a portion has been presented as a special gift to the LORD, and eat it beside the altar. Make sure it contains no yeast, for it is most holy. 13 You must eat it in a sacred place, for it has been given to you and your descendants as your portion of the special gifts presented to the LORD . These are the commands I have been given. 14 But the breast and thigh that were lifted up as a special offering may be eaten in any place that is ceremonially clean. These parts have been given to you and your descendants as your portion of the peace offerings presented by the people of Israel. 15 You must lift up the thigh and breast as a special offering to the LORD, along with the fat of the special gifts. These parts will belong to you and your descendants as your permanent right, just as the LORD has commanded.” 16 Moses then asked them what had happened to the goat of the sin offering. When he discovered it had been burned up, he became very angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s remaining sons. 17 “Why didn’t you eat the sin offering in the sacred area?” he demanded. “It is a holy offering! The LORD has given it to you to remove the guilt of the community and to purify the people, making them right with the LORD . 18 Since the animal’s blood was not brought into the Holy Place, you should have eaten the meat in the sacred area as I ordered you.” 19 Then Aaron answered Moses, “Today my sons presented both their sin offering and their burnt offering to the LORD . And yet this tragedy has happened to me. If I had eaten the people’s sin offering on such a tragic day as this, would the LORD have been pleased?” 20 And when Moses heard this, he was satisfied.

Perfume

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Spraying perfume on poop will only temporarily override the smell. Eventually, it will come out.”

TB

Stench

Engaging in sinful behavior is a lot like hanging out in a pig’s den. When you’ve been in the pig’s trough long enough, the smell begins to disappear. Soon, what was once incredibly foul becomes your day-to-day, but that doesn’t stop you from trying to cover it up. Friends, when we’re lying in filth, we’re only fooling ourselves.

Clean Up

When you grow tired of the stench, or someone who cares for you points it out, turn to God for a Holy Clean Up. Cleaning up sinful behavior requires us to own up to it. Perhaps these behaviors have been going on for so long that you’re not even aware. By studying the Word, you can identify what is stinking up your life, but first, you must turn to God.

Today’s Question

Do you really think spraying perfume on the stink of your sin really fools God?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 14

1 About this time war broke out in the region. King Amraphel of Babylonia, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Kedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim 2 fought against King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (also called Zoar). 3 This second group of kings joined forces in Siddim Valley (that is, the valley of the Dead Sea ). 4 For twelve years they had been subject to King Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled against him. 5 One year later Kedorlaomer and his allies arrived and defeated the Rephaites at Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzites at Ham, the Emites at Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites at Mount Seir, as far as El-paran at the edge of the wilderness. 7 Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (now called Kadesh) and conquered all the territory of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites living in Hazazon-tamar. 8 Then the rebel kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela (also called Zoar) prepared for battle in the valley of the Dead Sea. 9 They fought against King Kedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Babylonia, and King Arioch of Ellasar—four kings against five. 10 As it happened, the valley of the Dead Sea was filled with tar pits. And as the army of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into the tar pits, while the rest escaped into the mountains. 11 The victorious invaders then plundered Sodom and Gomorrah and headed for home, taking with them all the spoils of war and the food supplies. 12 They also captured Lot—Abram’s nephew who lived in Sodom—and carried off everything he owned. 13 But one of Lot’s men escaped and reported everything to Abram the Hebrew, who was living near the oak grove belonging to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his relatives, Eshcol and Aner, were Abram’s allies. 14 When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them at Dan. 15 There he divided his men and attacked during the night. Kedorlaomer’s army fled, but Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Abram recovered all the goods that had been taken, and he brought back his nephew Lot with his possessions and all the women and other captives. 17 After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. 19 Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered.” 22 Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I solemnly swear to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept only what my young warriors have already eaten, and I request that you give a fair share of the goods to my allies—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre.”

Compelling

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Just because a lie sounds compelling, does not negate the fact that it’s a lie.”

TB

Compiled

Humans are unnecessarily complicated in the fact that when left to our own devices, we’ll allow ourselves to get tricked into accepting sinful behaviors due to our unmitigated pride. So what does that look like? First, we want to engage in something that we know is inherently against God’s will for us. Second, we will find like-minded individuals to support our sinful agenda. Third, we’ll intellectualize and form “logical arguments” for our need for this sin. Then, we’ll inject our compiled lies, backed back manmade thinking and logic, in the hopes that we trick double-minded people into our deception. As the support for it grows (as it always will) people who fail to build their relationship with God then bow down to societal pressure because of the ‘facts, theories, and burgeoning support’ from those with sin-filled agendas. Friends, do not live as an empty vessel, unable to discern what is of God and what is from man. There is a distinct difference for those who can see and hear.

Combatted

The only way we rise above becoming embroiled in sin is when we combat it with the Truth that is Christ. While we will always fall (very) short of a sinless life, we can avoid living enslaved to sin. This starts by understanding and accepting the need for salvation. Then we must get to know Christ through the Holy Spirit and the Bible because that is the Truth. When we study, reflect, and live out the Truth, we lower our propensity to seek out alternative (sinful) realities. By doing so, we learn the deceptive tactics of the evil one and how he will use and manipulate people into doing his bidding. So how can we root out the lies from the Truth? Reflect, study, and understand the patterns of our flesh-driven nature. Then weigh those ideals against the Holy Spirit and the Bible. It is easier to fall in line and accept the approval of the world. It is far more disciplined to align with Christ, yet the reward is eternal. So friends, don’t be compelled by worldly lies.

Today’s Question

If a lie is repeated and practiced 1000000 times, does it make it true?

Enjoy the reading

Amos 5

1 Listen, you people of Israel! Listen to this funeral song I am singing: 2 “The virgin Israel has fallen, never to rise again! She lies abandoned on the ground, with no one to help her up.” 3 The Sovereign LORD says: “When a city sends a thousand men to battle, only a hundred will return. When a town sends a hundred, only ten will come back alive.” 4 Now this is what the LORD says to the family of Israel: “Come back to me and live! 5 Don’t worship at the pagan altars at Bethel; don’t go to the shrines at Gilgal or Beersheba. For the people of Gilgal will be dragged off into exile, and the people of Bethel will be reduced to nothing.” 6 Come back to the LORD and live! Otherwise, he will roar through Israel like a fire, devouring you completely. Your gods in Bethel won’t be able to quench the flames. 7 You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the oppressed. You treat the righteous like dirt. 8 It is the LORD who created the stars, the Pleiades and Orion. He turns darkness into morning and day into night. He draws up water from the oceans and pours it down as rain on the land. The LORD is his name! 9 With blinding speed and power he destroys the strong, crushing all their defenses. 10 How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! 11 You trample the poor, stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses, you will never live in them. Though you plant lush vineyards, you will never drink wine from them. 12 For I know the vast number of your sins and the depth of your rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. 13 So those who are smart keep their mouths shut, for it is an evil time. 14 Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. 15 Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people. 16 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, says: “There will be crying in all the public squares and mourning in every street. Call for the farmers to weep with you, and summon professional mourners to wail. 17 There will be wailing in every vineyard, for I will destroy them all,” says the LORD . 18 What sorrow awaits you who say, “If only the day of the LORD were here!” You have no idea what you are wishing for. That day will bring darkness, not light. 19 In that day you will be like a man who runs from a lion— only to meet a bear. Escaping from the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house— and he’s bitten by a snake. 20 Yes, the day of the LORD will be dark and hopeless, without a ray of joy or hope. 21 “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. 22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. 23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. 25 “Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, Israel? 26 No, you served your pagan gods—Sakkuth your king god and Kaiwan your star god—the images you made for yourselves. 27 So I will send you into exile, to a land east of Damascus, ” says the LORD, whose name is the God of Heaven’s Armies.

Confront

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t be afraid to confront the Truth, because it allows you to see God’s sovereignty so that you make the necessary changes to grow closer to Him.”

TB

Temporary

Lies can seem comforting when you lack the discipline to change your ways. Like junk food, sin feels great going in but has some real consequences on the way out. Don’t mistake temporary comfort for the real thing, unless permanent discomfort is ok with you. To get away from the temporary, you must know the permanent truth, which is that the price for salvation was paid long ago.

Permanent

If you read the Bible, especially the first four chapters in the New Testament you will learn that people who literally walked with Jesus still sought to condemn Him to death. This tells us that in spite of the Truth, people still chose evil. Fortunately for us, salvation was freely given that day so that you and I could know God on a 1:1 level. Instead of clinging to a tolerable lie, pick up your cross and walk in the Truth.

Today’s Question

Are you confronting the Truth or consuming the lies?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 41

1 After that, the man brought me into the sanctuary of the Temple. He measured the walls on either side of its doorway, and they were 10 feet thick. 2 The doorway was 17 feet wide, and the walls on each side of it were 8 feet long. The sanctuary itself was 70 feet long and 35 feet wide. 3 Then he went beyond the sanctuary into the inner room. He measured the walls on either side of its entrance, and they were 3 feet thick. The entrance was 10 feet wide, and the walls on each side of the entrance were 12 feet long. 4 The inner room of the sanctuary was 35 feet long and 35 feet wide. “This,” he told me, “is the Most Holy Place.” 5 Then he measured the wall of the Temple, and it was 10 feet thick. There was a row of rooms along the outside wall; each room was 7 feet wide. 6 These side rooms were built in three levels, one above the other, with thirty rooms on each level. The supports for these side rooms rested on exterior ledges on the Temple wall; they did not extend into the wall. 7 Each level was wider than the one below it, corresponding to the narrowing of the Temple wall as it rose higher. A stairway led up from the bottom level through the middle level to the top level. 8 I saw that the Temple was built on a terrace, which provided a foundation for the side rooms. This terrace was 10 feet high. 9 The outer wall of the Temple’s side rooms was 8 feet thick. This left an open area between these side rooms 10 and the row of rooms along the outer wall of the inner courtyard. This open area was 35 feet wide, and it went all the way around the Temple. 11 Two doors opened from the side rooms into the terrace yard, which was 8 feet wide. One door faced north and the other south. 12 A large building stood on the west, facing the Temple courtyard. It was 122 feet wide and 157 feet long, and its walls were 8 feet thick. 13 Then the man measured the Temple, and it was 175 feet long. The courtyard around the building, including its walls, was an additional 175 feet in length. 14 The inner courtyard to the east of the Temple was also 175 feet wide. 15 The building to the west, including its two walls, was also 175 feet wide. The sanctuary, the inner room, and the entry room of the Temple 16 were all paneled with wood, as were the frames of the recessed windows. The inner walls of the Temple were paneled with wood above and below the windows. 17 The space above the door leading into the inner room, and its walls inside and out, were also paneled. 18 All the walls were decorated with carvings of cherubim, each with two faces, and there was a carving of a palm tree between each of the cherubim. 19 One face—that of a man—looked toward the palm tree on one side. The other face—that of a young lion—looked toward the palm tree on the other side. The figures were carved all along the inside of the Temple, 20 from the floor to the top of the walls, including the outer wall of the sanctuary. 21 There were square columns at the entrance to the sanctuary, and the ones at the entrance of the Most Holy Place were similar. 22 There was an altar made of wood, 5 feet high and 3 feet across. Its corners, base, and sides were all made of wood. “This,” the man told me, “is the table that stands in the LORD ’s presence.” 23 Both the sanctuary and the Most Holy Place had double doorways, 24 each with two swinging doors. 25 The doors leading into the sanctuary were decorated with carved cherubim and palm trees, just as on the walls. And there was a wooden roof at the front of the entry room to the Temple. 26 On both sides of the entry room were recessed windows decorated with carved palm trees. The side rooms along the outside wall also had roofs.

Reason

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Be diligent in the company you keep and the actions you engage in, because the Bible shares a variety of wisdom for a reason.”

TB

Bold Print

There is nothing subtle about the content within the Bible. In fact, many declarations and accounts are written more than once! Cling to the Living Word, because it is THE foundational truth of which we have to build our lives on. If you don’t, you will be tricked by the false imitations, foolishly lying down with dogs and waking up with fleas. In all things that you do, keep the Word close, and let it guide your minds, hearts, and actions.

Earned

God says love everyone. That said, He does not say trust everyone and that is a key distinction we must take into account. Love should be freely given, but trust, that is earned. In fact, when it came to men of God, those who spoke on His behalf, He called his people to discernment and to look for proof. So why is it in the present we blindly believe anyone with a captivating word, but then turnaround and blame God when they’re revealed to be a charlatan? When you look to bring people into your world, listen to their words, but trust their deeds! Take heed of the wisdom repeated in the word so that your discernment is as sharp as a razor-edge sword.

Today’s Quote

Do you listen to the wisdom of the Bible of the sweet nothings of the corrupt?

Enjoy the reading

1 On July 31 of my thirtieth year, while I was with the Judean exiles beside the Kebar River in Babylon, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. 2 This happened during the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity. 3 (The LORD gave this message to Ezekiel son of Buzi, a priest, beside the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians, and he felt the hand of the LORD take hold of him.) 4 As I looked, I saw a great storm coming from the north, driving before it a huge cloud that flashed with lightning and shone with brilliant light. There was fire inside the cloud, and in the middle of the fire glowed something like gleaming amber. 5 From the center of the cloud came four living beings that looked human, 6 except that each had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight, and their feet had hooves like those of a calf and shone like burnished bronze. 8 Under each of their four wings I could see human hands. So each of the four beings had four faces and four wings. 9 The wings of each living being touched the wings of the beings beside it. Each one moved straight forward in any direction without turning around. 10 Each had a human face in the front, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle at the back. 11 Each had two pairs of outstretched wings—one pair stretched out to touch the wings of the living beings on either side of it, and the other pair covered its body. 12 They went in whatever direction the spirit chose, and they moved straight forward in any direction without turning around. 13 The living beings looked like bright coals of fire or brilliant torches, and lightning seemed to flash back and forth among them. 14 And the living beings darted to and fro like flashes of lightning. 15 As I looked at these beings, I saw four wheels touching the ground beside them, one wheel belonging to each. 16 The wheels sparkled as if made of beryl. All four wheels looked alike and were made the same; each wheel had a second wheel turning crosswise within it. 17 The beings could move in any of the four directions they faced, without turning as they moved. 18 The rims of the four wheels were tall and frightening, and they were covered with eyes all around. 19 When the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. When they flew upward, the wheels went up, too. 20 The spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. So wherever the spirit went, the wheels and the living beings also went. 21 When the beings moved, the wheels moved. When the beings stopped, the wheels stopped. When the beings flew upward, the wheels rose up, for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. 22 Spread out above them was a surface like the sky, glittering like crystal. 23 Beneath this surface the wings of each living being stretched out to touch the others’ wings, and each had two wings covering its body. 24 As they flew, their wings sounded to me like waves crashing against the shore or like the voice of the Almighty or like the shouting of a mighty army. When they stopped, they let down their wings. 25 As they stood with wings lowered, a voice spoke from beyond the crystal surface above them. 26 Above this surface was something that looked like a throne made of blue lapis lazuli. And on this throne high above was a figure whose appearance resembled a man. 27 From what appeared to be his waist up, he looked like gleaming amber, flickering like a fire. And from his waist down, he looked like a burning flame, shining with splendor. 28 All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day. This is what the glory of the LORD looked like to me. When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me.

Validation

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Stop looking to man for validation. Only God’s validation brings salvation, all else brings destruction”~TB

Approval

As humans, we are flawed, flesh-driven creatures, prone to activities that are detestable in the eyes of God. For this reason, we cannot look to one another for approval. When you look to your peers for validation, you’re literally practicing idol worship. When you avert your gaze from God and turn towards man, we eventually fall into the snare of their evil desires. Think about it, when you crave the validation of man, you are more susceptible to fall prey to their carnal practices. Slowly but surely, they begin soliciting you with corrupt activities. Because you begin to fear losing that validation, you are willing to compromise the Truth for a lie in order to keep your empty status. How foolish!

Disapproval

Even with everything you know, why do you still seek the validation of heathens? You shamelessly follow their evil ways, accepting and contributing to their immoral practices. And for what, a seat at the table that is on the fast track to hell? Are you that foolish to believe that temporary popularity is far better than validation in eternity? Turn your eyes to the Lord before you go to your final resting place. Come judgment day you will see whose validation truly matters.

Today’s Question

Are you willing to sacrifice your salvation just for the temporary validation of a sin-fallen world?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 86

1 Bend down, O LORD, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help. 
2 Protect me, for I am devoted to you. Save me, for I serve you and trust you. You are my God. 
3 Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am calling on you constantly. 
4 Give me happiness, O Lord, for I give myself to you. 
5O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help. 
6 Listen closely to my prayer, O LORD ; hear my urgent cry. 
7 I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me. 
8 No pagan god is like you, O Lord. None can do what you do! 
9 All the nations you made will come and bow before you, Lord; they will praise your holy name. 
10 For you are great and perform wonderful deeds. You alone are God. 
11 Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.
12 With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever, 
13 for your love for me is very great. You have rescued me from the depths of death. 
14 O God, insolent people rise up against me; a violent gang is trying to kill me. You mean nothing to them. 
15 But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. 
16 Look down and have mercy on me. Give your strength to your servant; save me, the son of your servant.
17 Send me a sign of your favor. Then those who hate me will be put to shame, for you, O LORD, help and comfort me.

Reality

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“As we all have been given the gift of life, soon it will be taken away, so there is no need to regret, neglect, or forget the love God has given each second to all of us.” ~ Jon Barnes

Dread

It would be dreadful to arrive at the end of your life feeling disappointed because you did little or nothing with the love God has given you.  You failed to cross the line of true repentance.  There is nothing to show for your efforts in reading, learning, or following His footsteps of love in your life.

Horror

The personal horror of knowing how unconcerned, disobedient, and careless, you have been with your life is a tragic look to see in the face of a person’s life, just before they die.  The despair of hopelessness without Christ in your life is an empty black hole of darkness, waiting to die, sentenced to hell.  Believing the devil’s lie over the truth of God is a pity.

Ridicule

You will be ridiculed as you ridiculed the good work that has been done for you in hopes of helping, explaining, sharing, and teaching God’s ways. Ignorance is not a free hall pass to skip class and personal responsibility with God, family, and people.  God will judge you.  A reality check can be a sobering encounter, in the heart of a true believer who is honest with God and His gift of Salvation.
Today’s Question
Are you drunk and drugged up with the foolishness of this world or do you understand and live by God’s Reality of Faith?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Ezra 4 

Enemies Oppose the Rebuilding

The enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were rebuilding a Temple to the Lord, the God of Israel. So they approached Zerubbabel and the other leaders and said, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God just as you do. We have sacrificed to him ever since King Esarhaddon of Assyria brought us here.”
But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the other leaders of Israel replied, “You may have no part in this work. We alone will build the Temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, just as King Cyrus of Persia commanded us.”
Then the local residents tried to discourage and frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work. They bribed agents to work against them and to frustrate their plans. This went on during the entire reign of King Cyrus of Persia and lasted until King Darius of Persia took the throne.[a]

Later Opposition under Xerxes and Artaxerxes

Years later when Xerxes[b] began his reign, the enemies of Judah wrote a letter of accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
Even later, during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia,[c] the enemies of Judah, led by Bishlam, Mithredath, and Tabeel, sent a letter to Artaxerxes in the Aramaic language, and it was translated for the king.
[d]Rehum the governor and Shimshai the court secretary wrote the letter, telling King Artaxerxes about the situation in Jerusalem. They greeted the king for all their colleagues—the judges and local leaders, the people of Tarpel, the Persians, the Babylonians, and the people of Erech and Susa (that is, Elam). 10 They also sent greetings from the rest of the people whom the great and noble Ashurbanipal[e] had deported and relocated in Samaria and throughout the neighboring lands of the province west of the Euphrates River.[f] 11 This is a copy of their letter:
“To King Artaxerxes, from your loyal subjects in the province west of the Euphrates River.
12 “The king should know that the Jews who came here to Jerusalem from Babylon are rebuilding this rebellious and evil city. They have already laid the foundation and will soon finish its walls. 13 And the king should know that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, it will be much to your disadvantage, for the Jews will then refuse to pay their tribute, customs, and tolls to you.
14 “Since we are your loyal subjects[g] and do not want to see the king dishonored in this way, we have sent the king this information. 15 We suggest that a search be made in your ancestors’ records, where you will discover what a rebellious city this has been in the past. In fact, it was destroyed because of its long and troublesome history of revolt against the kings and countries who controlled it. 16 We declare to the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, the province west of the Euphrates River will be lost to you.”
17 Then King Artaxerxes sent this reply:
“To Rehum the governor, Shimshai the court secretary, and their colleagues living in Samaria and throughout the province west of the Euphrates River. Greetings.
18 “The letter you sent has been translated and read to me. 19 I ordered a search of the records and have found that Jerusalem has indeed been a hotbed of insurrection against many kings. In fact, rebellion and revolt are normal there! 20 Powerful kings have ruled over Jerusalem and the entire province west of the Euphrates River, receiving tribute, customs, and tolls. 21 Therefore, issue orders to have these men stop their work. That city must not be rebuilt except at my express command. 22 Be diligent, and don’t neglect this matter, for we must not permit the situation to harm the king’s interests.”
23 When this letter from King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum, Shimshai, and their colleagues, they hurried to Jerusalem. Then, with a show of strength, they forced the Jews to stop building.

The Rebuilding Resumes

24 So the work on the Temple of God in Jerusalem had stopped, and it remained at a standstill until the second year of the reign of King Darius of Persia.
Love,
Jonathan

Word Works

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Words have meanings, but your actions tell the true story, motives, results from the test of your love, that communicates the intentions of your heart.” ~ Jon Barnes

You Can

You can lie to yourself but you cannot lie to the fruit of your actions. You can say the words of repentance and keep doing the opposite based on your wonderful ability to cognitively lie to your mind and enslave your heart with evil. Your words mean nothing until you activate your faith, obey God, and connect with His Results and Plans. You are not a part of God’s Plan unless you work in God’s Plan.  Planning to fail is like ignoring God’s lifestyle, Commandments, and stories. Planning for success is like doing the good work within God’s Plan and seeing the results of the seeds, work, fruit, trees, and crops of your labor.

Your Children

Your children are your crops and you must work the soil with your hands and the sweat of your brow, with pain and suffering, until you die.  You will learn and feel what God experience when mankind does not listen to Biblical Instructions, just like your children disobey you. We truly get the experience of God as we raise our kids, teach others, and help those in need.  The patience and long-suffering gained in this transaction, helps you to see and understand the meanings hidden in the biblical stories of old and true motives of God.

You Cannot

You cannot live the life of your child or make their decisions to know God, learn or improve an individual’s right standing with God. We must have the faith to work on our relationship and connect with God on our own merit. Value is placed on your words as you complete the work of each test you must take. Balancing work, faith, action, practice, and studies will look easy from the sidelines until you have to do the work. Many fail God’s vocabulary test and quizzes because they do not study or commit to the 10 Commandments and the word meanings. Let the true meanings of your words and work speak the Gospel of your life in your actions for all to see around you. 
Today’s Question
Do you know your 10 Commandments?
Enjoy the Reading
 

Deuteronomy 16

Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread

16 “In honor of the Lord your God, celebrate the Passover each year in the early spring, in the month of Abib,[a] for that was the month in which the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. Your Passover sacrifice may be from either the flock or the herd, and it must be sacrificed to the Lord your God at the designated place of worship—the place he chooses for his name to be honored.Eat it with bread made without yeast. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast, as when you escaped from Egypt in such a hurry. Eat this bread—the bread of suffering—so that as long as you live you will remember the day you departed from Egypt. Let no yeast be found in any house throughout your land for those seven days. And when you sacrifice the Passover lamb on the evening of the first day, do not let any of the meat remain until the next morning.
“You may not sacrifice the Passover in just any of the towns that the Lord your God is giving you. You must offer it only at the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored. Sacrifice it there in the evening as the sun goes down on the anniversary of your exodus from Egypt.Roast the lamb and eat it in the place the Lord your God chooses. Then you may go back to your tents the next morning. For the next six days you may not eat any bread made with yeast. On the seventh day proclaim another holy day in honor of the Lord your God, and no work may be done on that day.

The Festival of Harvest

“Count off seven weeks from when you first begin to cut the grain at the time of harvest. 10 Then celebrate the Festival of Harvest[b] to honor the Lord your God. Bring him a voluntary offering in proportion to the blessings you have received from him. 11 This is a time to celebrate before the Lord your God at the designated place of worship he will choose for his name to be honored. Celebrate with your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites from your towns, and the foreigners, orphans, and widows who live among you. 12 Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt, so be careful to obey all these decrees.

The Festival of Shelters

13 “You must observe the Festival of Shelters[c] for seven days at the end of the harvest season, after the grain has been threshed and the grapes have been pressed. 14 This festival will be a happy time of celebrating with your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows from your towns. 15 For seven days you must celebrate this festival to honor the Lord your God at the place he chooses, for it is he who blesses you with bountiful harvests and gives you success in all your work. This festival will be a time of great joy for all.
16 “Each year every man in Israel must celebrate these three festivals: the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Harvest, and the Festival of Shelters. On each of these occasions, all men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he chooses, but they must not appear before the Lord without a gift for him. 17 All must give as they are able, according to the blessings given to them by the Lordyour God.

Justice for the People

18 “Appoint judges and officials for yourselves from each of your tribes in all the towns the Lord your God is giving you. They must judge the people fairly. 19 You must never twist justice or show partiality. Never accept a bribe, for bribes blind the eyes of the wise and corrupt the decisions of the godly. 20 Let true justice prevail, so you may live and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
21 “You must never set up a wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build for the Lord your God. 22 And never set up sacred pillars for worship, for the Lord your God hates them.

Love,

Jonathan