Leadership

workplace-1245776_1920 (1).jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Following evil leadership is not an excuse to behave so wickedly against God and His commandments since you have a personal choice and commitment to make.” ~ Jon Barnes

Against

Fighting against the good things that God has established is never the direction to follow.  Do not follow leaders and people in these directions and paths. Travel in the direction that makes sense to God and it will all make sense to you after you obey the instruction.  Stop fighting against God’s Good Instructions and intentions.

Hard

It becomes difficult to break the bad habits of doing the wrong things because your body and mind crave the things you feed it.  Learn to feed your body and mind what God wants you to eat.  The more junk you give it the more junk you want and your life stores up this mess of fat, which becomes hard to get rid of.  Follow God to the Holy Gym and start working out with your personal trainer.  He has time for everyone if you go to the Real Gym of spiritual exercises and follow the program.

Sets

Applying new techniques and repetitious sets of God’s personal exercises will get your spiritual and physical body in shape for the good work you are committed too as well.  Being fit is half the battle and being obedient is the other half. Just a few moves each day will change your lifestyle, perspective, friends, enemies, and future, as the light of God will shine from your life.  God will make you the leader of your own lifestyle when you love Him and His Ways.
Today’s Question
Is it really that difficult to follow God and His good rules of simplicity?

2 Kings 24 

24 During Jehoiakim’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded the land of Judah. Jehoiakim surrendered and paid him tribute for three years but then rebelled. Then the Lord sent bands of Babylonian,[a] Aramean, Moabite, and Ammonite raiders against Judah to destroy it, just as the Lord had promised through his prophets. These disasters happened to Judah because of the Lord’s command. He had decided to banish Judah from his presence because of the many sins of Manasseh, who had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood. The Lord would not forgive this.
The rest of the events in Jehoiakim’s reign and all his deeds are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. When Jehoiakim died, his son Jehoiachin became the next king.
The king of Egypt did not venture out of his country after that, for the king of Babylon captured the entire area formerly claimed by Egypt—from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates River.

Jehoiachin Rules in Judah

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan from Jerusalem. Jehoiachin did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his father had done.
10 During Jehoiachin’s reign, the officers of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up against Jerusalem and besieged it. 11 Nebuchadnezzar himself arrived at the city during the siege. 12 Then King Jehoiachin, along with the queen mother, his advisers, his commanders, and his officials, surrendered to the Babylonians.
In the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, he took Jehoiachin prisoner. 13 As the Lord had said beforehand, Nebuchadnezzar carried away all the treasures from the Lord’s Temple and the royal palace. He stripped away[b] all the gold objects that King Solomon of Israel had placed in the Temple. 14 King Nebuchadnezzar took all of Jerusalem captive, including all the commanders and the best of the soldiers, craftsmen, and artisans—10,000 in all. Only the poorest people were left in the land.
15 Nebuchadnezzar led King Jehoiachin away as a captive to Babylon, along with the queen mother, his wives and officials, and all Jerusalem’s elite. 16 He also exiled 7,000 of the best troops and 1,000 craftsmen and artisans, all of whom were strong and fit for war. 17 Then the king of Babylon installed Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s[c] uncle, as the next king, and he changed Mattaniah’s name to Zedekiah.

Zedekiah Rules in Judah

18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 19 But Zedekiah did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as Jehoiakim had done. 20 These things happened because of the Lord’s anger against the people of Jerusalem and Judah, until he finally banished them from his presence and sent them into exile.

The Fall of Jerusalem

Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
Love,
Jonathan

Basically

fish-3062034_1920
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Basically, I enjoy seeing how God sets up my playbook for the day and the action-packed events that usually follow are quite epic and miraculous in nature.” ~ Jon Barnes

Sound

I notice the sounds of His commandments in the steps I take and the direction I walk, as I connect with others to listen, learn, grow, share, care, compare, and help.  People can learn from each other in the exchange process of reaping what you sow as well as learning from their mistakes.  The calculations of discussion, passion, presentation, intelligence, and spirituality are balanced on both sides of the mathematical equation in this exchange process that God sets up.

Deaf

Unfortunately, we tend to clog up our own ears to hear what we want to hear with our own power, might, ego, and arrogance of positions, titles, jobs, and methods of control.  Being impatient is never a good thing.  When God is clearly not in control of your life, you become the devil’s workshop of nonsense, personally spitting on everyone you meet. What a dumb approach to take in your haste.

Stupidity

The truth needs no apologies and you better wake up to the basic facts that your calculations are wrong without God’s consent and controls.  Imagine that you created a robot who runs into a brick wall all day, every day until the life of its battery is used up.  Your creation was worthless, suffered ruin, and was a complete waste of your time and effort.  In the end, The Human Robot was melted down and the soul of it was destroyed for eternity into the pit of hell.
Today’s Question
Basically, do you understand that I’m just telling you the truth to help you make simple, calculated, decisions about God’s Love and Lifestyle?
Enjoy The Reading
 

2 Kings 17 

Hoshea Rules in Israel

17 Hoshea son of Elah began to rule over Israel in the twelfth year of King Ahaz’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria nine years. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, but not to the same extent as the kings of Israel who ruled before him.
King Shalmaneser of Assyria attacked King Hoshea, so Hoshea was forced to pay heavy tribute to Assyria. But Hoshea stopped paying the annual tribute and conspired against the king of Assyria by asking King So of Egypt[a] to help him shake free of Assyria’s power. When the king of Assyria discovered this treachery, he seized Hoshea and put him in prison.

Samaria Falls to Assyria

Then the king of Assyria invaded the entire land, and for three years he besieged the city of Samaria. Finally, in the ninth year of King Hoshea’s reign, Samaria fell, and the people of Israel were exiled to Assyria. They were settled in colonies in Halah, along the banks of the Habor River in Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
This disaster came upon the people of Israel because they worshiped other gods. They sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them safely out of Egypt and had rescued them from the power of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. They had followed the practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of them, as well as the practices the kings of Israel had introduced. The people of Israel had also secretly done many things that were not pleasing to the Lord their God. They built pagan shrines for themselves in all their towns, from the smallest outpost to the largest walled city. 10 They set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles at the top of every hill and under every green tree.11 They offered sacrifices on all the hilltops, just like the nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of them. So the people of Israel had done many evil things, arousing the Lord’s anger. 12 Yes, they worshiped idols,[b] despite the Lord’s specific and repeated warnings.
13 Again and again the Lord had sent his prophets and seers to warn both Israel and Judah: “Turn from all your evil ways. Obey my commands and decrees—the entire law that I commanded your ancestors to obey, and that I gave you through my servants the prophets.”
14 But the Israelites would not listen. They were as stubborn as their ancestors who had refused to believe in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they despised all his warnings. They worshiped worthless idols, so they became worthless themselves. They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them.
16 They rejected all the commands of the Lord their God and made two calves from metal. They set up an Asherah pole and worshiped Baal and all the forces of heaven. 17 They even sacrificed their own sons and daughters in the fire.[c] They consulted fortune-tellers and practiced sorcery and sold themselves to evil, arousing the Lord’s anger.
18 Because the Lord was very angry with Israel, he swept them away from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah remained in the land. 19 But even the people of Judah refused to obey the commands of the Lord their God, for they followed the evil practices that Israel had introduced. 20 The Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel. He punished them by handing them over to their attackers until he had banished Israel from his presence.
21 For when the Lord[d] tore Israel away from the kingdom of David, they chose Jeroboam son of Nebat as their king. But Jeroboam drew Israel away from following the Lord and made them commit a great sin. 22 And the people of Israel persisted in all the evil ways of Jeroboam. They did not turn from these sins 23 until the Lord finally swept them away from his presence, just as all his prophets had warned. So Israel was exiled from their land to Assyria, where they remain to this day.

Foreigners Settle in Israel

24 The king of Assyria transported groups of people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and resettled them in the towns of Samaria, replacing the people of Israel. They took possession of Samaria and lived in its towns. 25 But since these foreign settlers did not worship the Lord when they first arrived, the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them.
26 So a message was sent to the king of Assyria: “The people you have sent to live in the towns of Samaria do not know the religious customs of the God of the land. He has sent lions among them to destroy them because they have not worshiped him correctly.”
27 The king of Assyria then commanded, “Send one of the exiled priests back to Samaria. Let him live there and teach the new residents the religious customs of the God of the land.”28 So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria returned to Bethel and taught the new residents how to worship the Lord.
29 But these various groups of foreigners also continued to worship their own gods. In town after town where they lived, they placed their idols at the pagan shrines that the people of Samaria had built. 30 Those from Babylon worshiped idols of their god Succoth-benoth. Those from Cuthah worshiped their god Nergal. And those from Hamath worshiped Ashima.31 The Avvites worshiped their gods Nibhaz and Tartak. And the people from Sepharvaim even burned their own children as sacrifices to their gods Adrammelech and Anammelech.
32 These new residents worshiped the Lord, but they also appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests to offer sacrifices at their places of worship. 33 And though they worshiped the Lord, they continued to follow their own gods according to the religious customs of the nations from which they came. 34 And this is still going on today. They continue to follow their former practices instead of truly worshiping the Lord and obeying the decrees, regulations, instructions, and commands he gave the descendants of Jacob, whose name he changed to Israel.
35 For the Lord had made a covenant with the descendants of Jacob and commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow before them or serve them or offer sacrifices to them.36 But worship only the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt with great strength and a powerful arm. Bow down to him alone, and offer sacrifices only to him. 37 Be careful at all times to obey the decrees, regulations, instructions, and commands that he wrote for you. You must not worship other gods. 38 Do not forget the covenant I made with you, and do not worship other gods. 39 You must worship only the Lord your God. He is the one who will rescue you from all your enemies.”
40 But the people would not listen and continued to follow their former practices. 41 So while these new residents worshiped the Lord, they also worshiped their idols. And to this day their descendants do the same.
Love,
Jonathan

No Good

environmental-protection-683437_1280.jpg
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“No good thing can come out a bad attitude with a stubborn, thankless, think-less, mindset void of God’s Spirit.” ~ Jon Barnes

Skipped

Good people who value their family will train them to teach God’s ways, commandments, lifestyle, and blessing of choice to relatives.  The responsibility of sharing, caring, nurturing, and giving, teaches the circle of life that is passed down the generations.  Do not let a generation be skipped on your watch.  No good thing can come out of evil people, disobeying God.

Wasted

People who are taught the wonderful ways of God and choose not to follow the guidepost in life will suffer great loss for eternity, by choice.  Respect the calling and good information about God so that your family will thrive in good or bad times.  There is no need to not listen to the truth that God has taken the time to give you.  Why would you waste this opportunity and experience?

No Reason

Too many people use the reason, I don’t know so that they can close their eyes to do evil.  They are lying.  You do know right from wrong. Good people will expose lies and fix their problems by doing their homework, focusing, praying, and practicing the things God says to do.  Others will ignore the information God has provided so that they can write their own maps, ways, and solutions to ultimately fail.
Today’s Question
Did you complete all of the things God asked you to do?
Enjoy The Reading
 

2 Kings 10 

Jehu Kills Ahab’s Family

10 Ahab had seventy sons living in the city of Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the elders and officials of the city,[a] and to the guardians of King Ahab’s sons. He said, “The king’s sons are with you, and you have at your disposal chariots, horses, a fortified city, and weapons. As soon as you receive this letter, select the best qualified of your master’s sons to be your king, and prepare to fight for Ahab’s dynasty.”
But they were paralyzed with fear and said, “We’ve seen that two kings couldn’t stand against this man! What can we do?”
So the palace and city administrators, together with the elders and the guardians of the king’s sons, sent this message to Jehu: “We are your servants and will do anything you tell us. We will not make anyone king; do whatever you think is best.”
Jehu responded with a second letter: “If you are on my side and are going to obey me, bring the heads of your master’s sons to me at Jezreel by this time tomorrow.” Now the seventy sons of the king were being cared for by the leaders of Samaria, where they had been raised since childhood. When the letter arrived, the leaders killed all seventy of the king’s sons. They placed their heads in baskets and presented them to Jehu at Jezreel.
A messenger went to Jehu and said, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.”
So Jehu ordered, “Pile them in two heaps at the entrance of the city gate, and leave them there until morning.”
In the morning he went out and spoke to the crowd that had gathered around them. “You are not to blame,” he told them. “I am the one who conspired against my master and killed him. But who killed all these? 10 You can be sure that the message of the Lord that was spoken concerning Ahab’s family will not fail. The Lord declared through his servant Elijah that this would happen.” 11 Then Jehu killed all who were left of Ahab’s relatives living in Jezreel and all his important officials, his personal friends, and his priests. So Ahab was left without a single survivor.
12 Then Jehu set out for Samaria. Along the way, while he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds, 13 he met some relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah. “Who are you?” he asked them.
And they replied, “We are relatives of King Ahaziah. We are going to visit the sons of King Ahab and the sons of the queen mother.”
14 “Take them alive!” Jehu shouted to his men. And they captured all forty-two of them and killed them at the well of Beth-eked. None of them escaped.
15 When Jehu left there, he met Jehonadab son of Recab, who was coming to meet him. After they had greeted each other, Jehu said to him, “Are you as loyal to me as I am to you?”
“Yes, I am,” Jehonadab replied.
“If you are,” Jehu said, “then give me your hand.” So Jehonadab put out his hand, and Jehu helped him into the chariot. 16 Then Jehu said, “Now come with me, and see how devoted I am to the Lord.” So Jehonadab rode along with him.
17 When Jehu arrived in Samaria, he killed everyone who was left there from Ahab’s family, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.

Jehu Kills the Priests of Baal

18 Then Jehu called a meeting of all the people of the city and said to them, “Ahab’s worship of Baal was nothing compared to the way I will worship him! 19 Therefore, summon all the prophets and worshipers of Baal, and call together all his priests. See to it that every one of them comes, for I am going to offer a great sacrifice to Baal. Anyone who fails to come will be put to death.” But Jehu’s cunning plan was to destroy all the worshipers of Baal.
20 Then Jehu ordered, “Prepare a solemn assembly to worship Baal!” So they did. 21 He sent messengers throughout all Israel summoning those who worshiped Baal. They all came—not a single one remained behind—and they filled the temple of Baal from one end to the other.22 And Jehu instructed the keeper of the wardrobe, “Be sure that every worshiper of Baal wears one of these robes.” So robes were given to them.
23 Then Jehu went into the temple of Baal with Jehonadab son of Recab. Jehu said to the worshipers of Baal, “Make sure no one who worships the Lord is here—only those who worship Baal.” 24 So they were all inside the temple to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed eighty of his men outside the building and had warned them, “If you let anyone escape, you will pay for it with your own life.”
25 As soon as Jehu had finished sacrificing the burnt offering, he commanded his guards and officers, “Go in and kill all of them. Don’t let a single one escape!” So they killed them all with their swords, and the guards and officers dragged their bodies outside.[b] Then Jehu’s men went into the innermost fortress[c] of the temple of Baal. 26 They dragged out the sacred pillar[d] used in the worship of Baal and burned it. 27 They smashed the sacred pillar and wrecked the temple of Baal, converting it into a public toilet, as it remains to this day.
28 In this way, Jehu destroyed every trace of Baal worship from Israel. 29 He did not, however, destroy the gold calves at Bethel and Dan, with which Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to sin.
30 Nonetheless the Lord said to Jehu, “You have done well in following my instructions to destroy the family of Ahab. Therefore, your descendants will be kings of Israel down to the fourth generation.” 31 But Jehu did not obey the Law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit.

The Death of Jehu

32 At about that time the Lord began to cut down the size of Israel’s territory. King Hazael conquered several sections of the country 33 east of the Jordan River, including all of Gilead, Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh. He conquered the area from the town of Aroer by the Arnon Gorge to as far north as Gilead and Bashan.
34 The rest of the events in Jehu’s reign—everything he did and all his achievements—are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel.
35 When Jehu died, he was buried in Samaria. Then his son Jehoahaz became the next king.36 In all, Jehu reigned over Israel from Samaria for twenty-eight years.
Love,
Jonathan

Sharing

duckling-2659938_1920.jpg
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“It is hard to care, give, and share when you have nothing to show for your hard work and efforts.” ~ Jon Barnes

Nothing

I get nothing when I’m lazy, so I push myself to do the work God has for me to do each day and I reap what I sow. It is just that simple. Do the process and the work that is required and God will bless you, if you don’t faint and give up. You will be always be tested and it is not always easy, but the rewards are a lot of fun and full of joy.

Happens

Nothing happens by itself. God is the author and finisher of our faith so buy the book, go by the book, and enjoy the study of biblical contentment. Good things begin to happen by your work with your faith in God.  Stop eating your seeds and plant them in fertile ground.  Water, weed and protect your investment in God. Your love for God is all you need, so let Him guide you on your journey.

Godliness

The Goodness of God opens doors you just cannot see coming. This is how God shares His plans for you.  If the door is closed, it is for a reason. We are ants and too small to see anything above our heads. Yet, God still provides for us and gives us opportunities to improve, help, grow, learn, and share the Lord’s Prayer to all who will listen, hear and do. Be thankful that you were called to share the goodness of Jesus in your humble lifestyle of faith and good works. 
Today’s Question
Is your lifestyle worth sharing with other people or are you still at step one?
Enjoy The Reading

Visit of the Queen of Sheba

10 When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, which brought honor to the name of the Lord,[a] she came to test him with hard questions. She arrived in Jerusalem with a large group of attendants and a great caravan of camels loaded with spices, large quantities of gold, and precious jewels. When she met with Solomon, she talked with him about everything she had on her mind. Solomon had answers for all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba realized how very wise Solomon was, and when she saw the palace he had built, she was overwhelmed. She was also amazed at the food on his tables, the organization of his officials and their splendid clothing, the cup-bearers, and the burnt offerings Solomon made at the Temple of the Lord.
She exclaimed to the king, “Everything I heard in my country about your achievements[b] and wisdom is true! I didn’t believe what was said until I arrived here and saw it with my own eyes. In fact, I had not heard the half of it! Your wisdom and prosperity are far beyond what I was told. How happy your people[c]must be! What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day, listening to your wisdom! Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.”
10 Then she gave the king a gift of 9,000 pounds[d] of gold, great quantities of spices, and precious jewels. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 (In addition, Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir, and they also brought rich cargoes of red sandalwood[e] and precious jewels. 12 The king used the sandalwood to make railings for the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and to construct lyres and harps for the musicians. Never before or since has there been such a supply of sandalwood.)
13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba whatever she asked for, besides all the customary gifts he had so generously given. Then she and all her attendants returned to their own land.

Solomon’s Wealth and Splendor

14 Each year Solomon received about 25 tons[f] of gold. 15 This did not include the additional revenue he received from merchants and traders, all the kings of Arabia, and the governors of the land.
16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold, each weighing more than fifteen pounds.[g] 17 He also made 300 smaller shields of hammered gold, each weighing nearly four pounds.[h] The king placed these shields in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
18 Then the king made a huge throne, decorated with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. 19 The throne had six steps and a rounded back. There were armrests on both sides of the seat, and the figure of a lion stood on each side of the throne.20 There were also twelve other lions, one standing on each end of the six steps. No other throne in all the world could be compared with it!
21 All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were solid gold, as were all the utensils in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. They were not made of silver, for silver was considered worthless in Solomon’s day!
22 The king had a fleet of trading ships of Tarshish that sailed with Hiram’s fleet. Once every three years the ships returned, loaded with gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.[i]
23 So King Solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth.24 People from every nation came to consult him and to hear the wisdom God had given him. 25 Year after year everyone who visited brought him gifts of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
26 Solomon built up a huge force of chariots and horses.[j] He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He stationed some of them in the chariot cities and some near him in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah.[k] 28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt[l] and from Cilicia[m]; the king’s traders acquired them from Cilicia at the standard price. 29 At that time chariots from Egypt could be purchased for 600 pieces of silver,[n] and horses for 150 pieces of silver.[o] They were then exported to the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.
Love,
Jonathan

Courageous

overcoming-1697546_1920.jpg
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“It takes courage to share your lifestyle of experiences about God’s love in a naturally meaningful way to people you don’t know.” ~ Jon Barnes

Content

Ask God to teach you how to study, read, think, learn, and grow in grace, mercy, and love first. You need time and courage to work on your own problems and experiences before you can go around helping others. Mastering the content of God’s lifestyle is a life long goal of gradual improvements, prayer, fasting, focus, relaxation, and mature thinking about biblical stories and consequences. Your personal due diligence with God is honorable, rewarding, and self-evident. Learn as you and master God’s Content.

Integration

Ask God to integrate your time, talent, work, and faith into your daily routine of life with your walk, talk, hearing, sight, taste, feelings, and planing.
God will help you organize and implement these plans with you because you asked and worked in your secret prayer closet. Openly, God will show everyone what you have learned and are doing for the Kingdom of God. Your money is not the object, but your faith, connection, and quality work with God take courage and consistency. Individuals integrate.

Execution

Ask God to show you the daily miracles that happen in your life so that you can appreciate what you have, what you are doing, and where you are going. Share and point to these wonderful things that God does for all of us since many of us take them for granted. People know you as an expert in your work. Lightly remind them that the sun continues to rise and fall based on God’s movements and not our own. We are truly like ants in the dirt and our humility, kindness, and thoughtfulness, attracts people’s attention! 
Today’s Question
Are you ready and prepared to ease God’s information and lifestyle into the conversations of work, play, and relaxation or are you just talking about a whole lot of nothing, gossip, and murmuring? 
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 8

The Ark Brought to the Temple

Solomon then summoned to Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes—the leaders of the ancestral families of the Israelites. They were to bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant to the Temple from its location in the City of David, also known as Zion. So all the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon at the annual Festival of Shelters, which is held in early autumn in the month of Ethanim.[a]
When all the elders of Israel arrived, the priests picked up the Ark. The priests and Levites brought up the Ark of the Lord along with the special tent[b] and all the sacred items that had been in it. There, before the Ark, King Solomon and the entire community of Israel sacrificed so many sheep, goats, and cattle that no one could keep count!
Then the priests carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant into the inner sanctuary of the Temple—the Most Holy Place—and placed it beneath the wings of the cherubim. The cherubim spread their wings over the Ark, forming a canopy over the Ark and its carrying poles. These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place, which is in front of the Most Holy Place, but not from the outside. They are still there to this day. Nothing was in the Ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Mount Sinai,[c] where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel when they left the land of Egypt.
10 When the priests came out of the Holy Place, a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. 11 The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of the Lord.

Solomon Praises the Lord

12 Then Solomon prayed, “O Lord, you have said that you would live in a thick cloud of darkness. 13 Now I have built a glorious Temple for you, a place where you can live forever![d]
14 Then the king turned around to the entire community of Israel standing before him and gave this blessing: 15 “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept the promise he made to my father, David. For he told my father, 16 ‘From the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have never chosen a city among any of the tribes of Israel as the place where a Temple should be built to honor my name. But I have chosen David to be king over my people Israel.’”
17 Then Solomon said, “My father, David, wanted to build this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 18 But the Lord told him, ‘You wanted to build the Temple to honor my name. Your intention is good, 19 but you are not the one to do it. One of your own sons will build the Temple to honor me.’
20 “And now the Lord has fulfilled the promise he made, for I have become king in my father’s place, and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised. I have built this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 And I have prepared a place there for the Ark, which contains the covenant that the Lordmade with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.”

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire community of Israel. He lifted his hands toward heaven, 23 and he prayed,
“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. 24 You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today.
25 “And now, O Lord, God of Israel, carry out the additional promise you made to your servant David, my father. For you said to him, ‘If your descendants guard their behavior and faithfully follow me as you have done, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.’ 26 Now, O God of Israel, fulfill this promise to your servant David, my father.
27 “But will God really live on earth? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! 28 Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you today. 29 May you watch over this Temple night and day, this place where you have said, ‘My name will be there.’ May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place. 30 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.
31 “If someone wrongs another person and is required to take an oath of innocence in front of your altar in this Temple, 32 then hear from heaven and judge between your servants—the accuser and the accused. Punish the guilty as they deserve. Acquit the innocent because of their innocence.
33 “If your people Israel are defeated by their enemies because they have sinned against you, and if they turn to you and acknowledge your name and pray to you here in this Temple, 34 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and return them to this land you gave their ancestors.
35 “If the skies are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and if they pray toward this Temple and acknowledge your name and turn from their sins because you have punished them, 36 then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them to follow the right path, and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as their special possession.
37 “If there is a famine in the land or a plague or crop disease or attacks of locusts or caterpillars, or if your people’s enemies are in the land besieging their towns—whatever disaster or disease there is— 38 and if your people Israel pray about their troubles, raising their hands toward this Temple, 39 then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart. 40 Then they will fear you as long as they live in the land you gave to our ancestors.
41 “In the future, foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel will hear of you. They will come from distant lands because of your name, 42 for they will hear of your great name and your strong hand and your powerful arm. And when they pray toward this Temple, 43 then hear from heaven where you live, and grant what they ask of you. In this way, all the people of the earth will come to know and fear you, just as your own people Israel do. They, too, will know that this Temple I have built honors your name.
44 “If your people go out where you send them to fight their enemies, and if they pray to the Lord by turning toward this city you have chosen and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name, 45 then hear their prayers from heaven and uphold their cause.
46 “If they sin against you—and who has never sinned?—you might become angry with them and let their enemies conquer them and take them captive to their land far away or near. 47 But in that land of exile, they might turn to you in repentance and pray, ‘We have sinned, done evil, and acted wickedly.’ 48 If they turn to you with their whole heart and soul in the land of their enemies and pray toward the land you gave to their ancestors—toward this city you have chosen, and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name— 49 then hear their prayers and their petition from heaven where you live, and uphold their cause.50 Forgive your people who have sinned against you. Forgive all the offenses they have committed against you. Make their captors merciful to them, 51 for they are your people—your special possession—whom you brought out of the iron-smelting furnace of Egypt.
52 “May your eyes be open to my requests and to the requests of your people Israel. May you hear and answer them whenever they cry out to you. 53 For when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, O Sovereign Lord, you told your servant Moses that you had set Israel apart from all the nations of the earth to be your own special possession.”

The Dedication of the Temple

54 When Solomon finished making these prayers and petitions to the Lord, he stood up in front of the altar of the Lord, where he had been kneeling with his hands raised toward heaven. 55 He stood and in a loud voice blessed the entire congregation of Israel:
56 “Praise the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises he gave through his servant Moses. 57 May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us or abandon us. 58 May he give us the desire to do his will in everything and to obey all the commands, decrees, and regulations that he gave our ancestors. 59 And may these words that I have prayed in the presence of the Lord be before him constantly, day and night, so that the Lord our God may give justice to me and to his people Israel, according to each day’s needs. 60 Then people all over the earth will know that the Lord alone is God and there is no other.61 And may you be completely faithful to the Lord our God. May you always obey his decrees and commands, just as you are doing today.”
62 Then the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices to the Lord. 63 Solomon offered to the Lord a peace offering of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. And so the king and all the people of Israel dedicated the Temple of the Lord.
64 That same day the king consecrated the central area of the courtyard in front of the Lord’s Temple. He offered burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the fat of peace offerings there, because the bronze altar in the Lord’s presence was too small to hold all the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings.
65 Then Solomon and all Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters[e] in the presence of the Lord our God. A large congregation had gathered from as far away as Lebo-hamath in the north and the Brook of Egypt in the south. The celebration went on for fourteen days in all—seven days for the dedication of the altar and seven days for the Festival of Shelters.[f] 66 After the festival was over,[g] Solomon sent the people home. They blessed the king and went to their homes joyful and glad because the Lord had been good to his servant David and to his people Israel.
Love,
Jonathan

Story

business-3365363_1920
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Focus on the story God wants you to tell with your life so that others can be blessed in the lifestyle that is following God.” ~ Jon Barnes

Lies

Lies are not stories that are told by good people. Evil people believe and follow lies because, this is what they are interested in selling, living, promoting, and doing.  Foolishness is the result of sharing, telling, thinking, and doing things without love, respect, honor, integrity, and God. Since God is true love, fake love will lack substance, wisdom, and the fruit of the Spirit. Focus on True Love in all that you do!

Learn

Learn about the true stories of old when you read them yourself. Most people know nothing about the Bible so, they can’t even have an intelligent conversation or factual thought process for themselves to naturally engage. Stop relying on others to do your homework, thinking, and praying for you. Read and pray to God each day and know the stories for yourself. Drink your own water, eat your own food, and live your own life as God intended for you to do. Being a slave to evil thoughts, ideas, stories and work is not the goal of good people in a good community.

Rules

Do not follow the rules and ways of wicked people. Break the rules of sin in your life by not participating in foolish behavior. You know better. Live the truth by seeking the kingdom of God, which is to Love God and people as you love yourself. Stand up for yourself and your family, by following the commandments of God and your life will have meaning, purpose, and clarity. Your love will be pure, honest, and simple. The focus of your story will be crystal clear, organized, and ordered by God, openly for all to see, feel, and understand. Good news is not fake news. We live, eat, and breath the real story of how God supplies all of our needs each day.
Today’s Question
Have you decided what side of the story to live on, fiction or non-fiction; your reality or God’s reality?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Samuel 14 

Joab Arranges for Absalom’s Return

14 Joab realized how much the king longed to see Absalom. So he sent for a woman from Tekoa who had a reputation for great wisdom. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning; wear mourning clothes and don’t put on lotions.[a] Act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time. Then go to the king and tell him the story I am about to tell you.” Then Joab told her what to say.
When the woman from Tekoa approached[b] the king, she bowed with her face to the ground in deep respect and cried out, “O king! Help me!”
“What’s the trouble?” the king asked.
“Alas, I am a widow!” she replied. “My husband is dead. My two sons had a fight out in the field. And since no one was there to stop it, one of them was killed. Now the rest of the family is demanding, ‘Let us have your son. We will execute him for murdering his brother. He doesn’t deserve to inherit his family’s property.’ They want to extinguish the only coal I have left, and my husband’s name and family will disappear from the face of the earth.”
“Leave it to me,” the king told her. “Go home, and I’ll see to it that no one touches him.”
“Oh, thank you, my lord the king,” the woman from Tekoa replied. “If you are criticized for helping me, let the blame fall on me and on my father’s house, and let the king and his throne be innocent.”
10 “If anyone objects,” the king said, “bring him to me. I can assure you he will never harm you again!”
11 Then she said, “Please swear to me by the Lord your God that you won’t let anyone take vengeance against my son. I want no more bloodshed.”
“As surely as the Lord lives,” he replied, “not a hair on your son’s head will be disturbed!”
12 “Please allow me to ask one more thing of my lord the king,” she said.
“Go ahead and speak,” he responded.
13 She replied, “Why don’t you do as much for the people of God as you have promised to do for me? You have convicted yourself in making this decision, because you have refused to bring home your own banished son. 14 All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.
15 “I have come to plead with my lord the king because people have threatened me. I said to myself, ‘Perhaps the king will listen to me 16 and rescue us from those who would cut us off from the inheritance[c] God has given us. 17 Yes, my lord the king will give us peace of mind again.’ I know that you are like an angel of God in discerning good from evil. May the Lordyour God be with you.”
18 “I must know one thing,” the king replied, “and tell me the truth.”
“Yes, my lord the king,” she responded.
19 “Did Joab put you up to this?”
And the woman replied, “My lord the king, how can I deny it? Nobody can hide anything from you. Yes, Joab sent me and told me what to say. 20 He did it to place the matter before you in a different light. But you are as wise as an angel of God, and you understand everything that happens among us!”
21 So the king sent for Joab and told him, “All right, go and bring back the young man Absalom.”
22 Joab bowed with his face to the ground in deep respect and said, “At last I know that I have gained your approval, my lord the king, for you have granted me this request!”
23 Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. 24 But the king gave this order: “Absalom may go to his own house, but he must never come into my presence.” So Absalom did not see the king.

Absalom Reconciled to David

25 Now Absalom was praised as the most handsome man in all Israel. He was flawless from head to foot. 26 He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was so heavy. When he weighed it out, it came to five pounds![d] 27 He had three sons and one daughter. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she was very beautiful.
28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, but he never got to see the king. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab to ask him to intercede for him, but Joab refused to come. Absalom sent for him a second time, but again Joab refused to come. 30 So Absalom said to his servants, “Go and set fire to Joab’s barley field, the field next to mine.” So they set his field on fire, as Absalom had commanded.
31 Then Joab came to Absalom at his house and demanded, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?”
32 And Absalom replied, “Because I wanted you to ask the king why he brought me back from Geshur if he didn’t intend to see me. I might as well have stayed there. Let me see the king; if he finds me guilty of anything, then let him kill me.”
33 So Joab told the king what Absalom had said. Then at last David summoned Absalom, who came and bowed low before the king, and the king kissed him.
Love,
Jonathan

Idle Idolatry

time-3222267_1920
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Your desire for success, profits, and business can grow to override your love for God, so keep your motives and love focused on His Commandments and lifestyle.” ~ Jon Barnes

Idle

Keep a schedule to stay focused on the daily work and progress needed to accomplish the big mission. Clean up as you go and fix each problem as it occurs. Follow up on phone calls, mail, bills, maintenance schedules, classes, meetings, and faith stuff, with a balance and blend of relaxation, play, and exercise time. There is joy in organization and efficiency. Stop complaining, be quiet, and get to work. 

Timed

Wasted time is like overcooking a meal until it burns.  The energy and resources used can never be replaced. You only have one shot at the time that you have to live.  Use all of it in a timely effective manner. God should be at the center of your time management, so that the good works you do reflects miracles, signs, and wonders of God’s hand on your life Don’t put God on time out, because of your idolatry. 

Idolatry

Idle Idolatry is when you spend too much time thinking about what you want and not what God wants for your life. Your ideas and stuff are more important than the Godly things you should be doing.  Something is wrong with this picture. The type of lifestyle you live should reflect the love of God in all that you do and the importance of your spiritual work will be at the top of your game, not the bottom of your list.
Today’s Question
Did you clean up and get rid of the mess you are worshiping and holding on to?
Enjoy The Reading
 

2 Samuel 6 

Moving the Ark to Jerusalem

Then David again gathered all the elite troops in Israel, 30,000 in all. He led them to Baalah of Judah[a] to bring back the Ark of God, which bears the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,[b] who is enthroned between the cherubim. They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were guiding the cart that carried the Ark of God.[c] Ahio walked in front of the Ark. David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, singing songs[d] and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.
But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God. Then the Lord’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this.[e] So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.
David was angry because the Lord’s anger had burst out against Uzzah. He named that place Perez-uzzah (which means “to burst out against Uzzah”), as it is still called today.
David was now afraid of the Lord, and he asked, “How can I ever bring the Ark of the Lord back into my care?” 10 So David decided not to move the Ark of the Lord into the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-edom of Gath.11 The Ark of the Lord remained there in Obed-edom’s house for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and his entire household.
12 Then King David was told, “The Lord has blessed Obed-edom’s household and everything he has because of the Ark of God.” So David went there and brought the Ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the City of David with a great celebration. 13 After the men who were carrying the Ark of the Lord had gone six steps, David sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment.[f] 15 So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.

Michal’s Contempt for David

16 But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she was filled with contempt for him.
17 They brought the Ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And David sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. 18 When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 19 Then he gave to every Israelite man and woman in the crowd a loaf of bread, a cake of dates,[g] and a cake of raisins. Then all the people returned to their homes.
20 When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!”
21 David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. 22 Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! But those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!” 23 So Michal, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life.
Love,
Jonathan