“Don’t try to fight your battles on your own unless you want to be in a constant tug of war with your flesh, the world, and the devil.”~TB
It’s important to know your opposition, weaknesses, and stumbling blocks because in the battle for your mind, body, and soul, all bets are off. Your flesh won’t fight fair, neither will the world or the evil one. This isn’t to say that you should fear these things. No, but to understand what you’re dealing with gives you the reality that you need God to intervene so that you can win the war.
When you’re sick of struggling to deal with the thorn in your side, ask God to join your team. With Him on your side, your game of tug of war is no match for the opposing team. Christ is like having the best player as a teammate, as you are able to rely on His Power to make up what you lack. To experience this, you must know that the battle cannot be won on your own accord. Get on Team Jesus so that He can thwart the enemy.
Are you ready to stop playing tug of war on your own?
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Song of Solomon 8
1Oh, I wish you were my brother, who nursed at my mother’s breasts. Then I could kiss you no matter who was watching, and no one would criticize me.
2I would bring you to my childhood home, and there you would teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine.
3Your left arm would be under my head, and your right arm would embrace me.
4Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.
5Who is this sweeping in from the desert, leaning on her lover? Young Woman I aroused you under the apple tree, where your mother gave you birth, where in great pain she delivered you.
6Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.
7Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.
8We have a little sister too young to have breasts. What will we do for our sister if someone asks to marry her?
9If she is a virgin, like a wall, we will protect her with a silver tower. But if she is promiscuous, like a swinging door, we will block her door with a cedar bar.
10I was a virgin, like a wall; now my breasts are like towers. When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees.
11Solomon has a vineyard at Baal-hamon, which he leases out to tenant farmers. Each of them pays a thousand pieces of silver for harvesting its fruit.
12But my vineyard is mine to give, and Solomon need not pay a thousand pieces of silver. But I will give two hundred pieces to those who care for its vines.
13O my darling, lingering in the gardens, your companions are fortunate to hear your voice. Let me hear it, too!
14Come away, my love! Be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.
“Do your best to be even-keeled as life if full of hills, valleys, and plateaus. The only thing we can be sure of is that God is in the midst of it all.”~TB
Notice the patterns in life, things are always in motion, whether you like it or not. Good things happen, followed by bad things, followed by ok things, and so on and so on. When you rely on the understanding the world tries to give, you will be as helpless and unstable as a leaf in a severe wind. If you seek peace, get to know God. It is that relationship, and that relationship alone that can help you understand the tide of your life.
Instead of fighting the tide, learn to flow with it. God will teach you how to wade in the waters of life if you let Him. This starts by relinquishing what control you believe to have in this worlds. Friends, we control nothing and even the best laid plans can crumble. This shouldn’t scare you, no, instead rejoice in the Truth that the Hand of God is in all things. All things work for Him, so don’t push or pull in your life, but rather, go with the flow.
Are you going with the flow with God?
1For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
2A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
9What do people really get for all their hard work?
10I have seen the burden God has placed on us all.
11Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
12So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.
13And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.
14And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him.
15What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.
16I also noticed that under the sun there is evil in the courtroom. Yes, even the courts of law are corrupt!
17I said to myself, “In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.”
18I also thought about the human condition—how God proves to people that they are like animals.
19For people and animals share the same fate—both breathe and both must die. So people have no real advantage over the animals. How meaningless!
20Both go to the same place—they came from dust and they return to dust.
21For who can prove that the human spirit goes up and the spirit of animals goes down into the earth?
22So I saw that there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work. That is our lot in life. And no one can bring us back to see what happens after we die.
“Seek God’s Counsel to search the motives of your heart, because a determined mind can make the case for any argument.”~TB
When you allow someone else to inform your relationship, or lack there of, with Christ, you’re relying on secondhand information. Like listening to the rumors about someone you don’t know, the information you are receiving may be distorted or false. For this reason, you must test everything you hear against the Truth, which is written in the Bible.You don’t need a middle man to find Christ. Yes, getting insights from wise people is well and good, but friends, you must test the wise because they are human too. More to the point, fleshly people will always give their take on how to compromise the Truth. In these “modern times” many are quick to split hairs, diluting the truth to circumvent obedience. If you’re looking to justify your actions, you don’t have to look hard to find a consenting viewpoint. For the best and accurate information go straight to the source
Cite Your Source
If you find that the people you seek counsel from give you questionable advice, cross reference that intel with the Truth of the Bible. Applying the wisdom found in the Bible is the only way to get the honest intel. In order to achieve this, you must always check the motivations of your heart. When your motives are pure humility is a byproduct. Even when we screw up, there is the call to return to the Lord. When your motives are wicked, you find ways to justify your wickedness, placing the blame externally instead of taking responsibility of your actions. The Living Word does not change, even as humanity changes from generation to generation. When you carefully study the Word with an open and honest heart, you will find that the information applies to your life in every stage you’re in. We are called to continually study the Word not for obedience’s sake, but for the eternal wisdom that it provides. The Bible teaches you relational wisdom. If you allow him, God will share the Truth with you.
Are you acting on Bad Intel because you refuse to do your own Biblical research?
Enjoy today’s Reading
1Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
2The rich and poor have this in common: The LORD made them both.
3A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
4True humility and fear of the LORD lead to riches, honor, and long life.
5Corrupt people walk a thorny, treacherous road; whoever values life will avoid it.
6Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
7Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.
8Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster, and their reign of terror will come to an end.
9Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.
10Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too. Quarrels and insults will disappear.
11Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend.
12The LORD preserves those with knowledge, but he ruins the plans of the treacherous.
13The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there! If I go outside, I might be killed!”
14The mouth of an immoral woman is a dangerous trap; those who make the LORD angry will fall into it.
15A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.
16A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.
17Listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction.
18For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart and always ready on your lips.
19I am teaching you today—yes, you— so you will trust in the LORD .
20I have written thirty sayings for you, filled with advice and knowledge.
21In this way, you may know the truth and take an accurate report to those who sent you.
22Don’t rob the poor just because you can, or exploit the needy in court.
23For the LORD is their defender. He will ruin anyone who ruins them.
24Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people,
25or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.
26Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for someone else.
27If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.
28Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers set up by previous generations.
29Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.
“Fortify your mind like the walls of Jericho, so that you will rely on God’s perfect peace in all of the relationships within your life.”~TB
When you’ve mastered your mind, you begin to understand how truly helpless you are without God. Friends, your foundation has to begin and end with Him. More to the point, loving God above all else is key to loving anyone at all! Experiencing God’s love informs you on how to properly love your brothers and sisters. You cannot truly love someone if you don’t know God’s love. His love is the only infinite and unyielding love there is! Mold your love after the love of Christ and watch how your relationships change. Because God freely loves and forgives, take those same principles and apply them to every relationship in your life. There will be times of mal-intent. There will be times of friendly fire. No matter the case, when God is first in your life, His Truth will reign supreme, giving you the peace and understanding of what it takes to truly love your neighbor.
If you love yourself more than you love God, it will show. But, what does that look like? You love yourself more than God when you allow the influence of external factors dictate your mindset, behavior, etc., overriding your connection to Him. Your mind left undisciplined, will lead you to believe that you are the master and commander of this show. Friends, don’t fall for the lies of your ego and the opposition. The devil knows how to use a weak-minded person and he will use you to cause destruction. Because you are weak, you will gladly participate in his foolishness, as you blindly do his bidding, causing chaos amongst God’s people. Fortunately for us, all things work for Christ and even in your weak-mindedness, God uses it to His benefit. Our strength lies in our weakness because God makes up the difference when we fall short. Remember who loved you first so that you rule your mind accordingly.
Are you giving your weak mind permission to wreak havoc in your life?
Enjoy the reading
1Unfriendly people care only about themselves; they lash out at common sense.
2Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.
3Doing wrong leads to disgrace, and scandalous behavior brings contempt.
4Wise words are like deep waters; wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.
5It is not right to acquit the guilty or deny justice to the innocent.
6Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating.
7The mouths of fools are their ruin; they trap themselves with their lips.
8Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.
9A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things.
10The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.
11The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense; they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.
12Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.
13Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.
14The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?
15Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.
16Giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people!
17The first to speak in court sounds right— until the cross-examination begins.
18Flipping a coin can end arguments; it settles disputes between powerful opponents.
19An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.
20Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction.
21The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
22The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD .
23The poor plead for mercy; the rich answer with insults.
24There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
“Fear of the Lord is Good. Fear of other things, not so much.”~TB
Growth over Comfort
There are practical fears and then fears that are so debilitating that they stop you in your tracks. Most common fears come from trying to control something that is out of your grasp. Friends, in any given situation, do what you can do, and let God handle the rest. Those times will probably call for you to step out in faith which is uncomfortable. Choose growth over comfort, as God is showing you how to rely on Him.
In His Hands
When you read the Bible, you will know that all things come from God and nothing is out of His domain. So, if that is the truth, why should any of us be afraid? If God has given you a task, be quick to finish so that your fears won’t hinder your movements. Fear is such a great tool for the enemy because it cripples the mind with minimal effort. Don’t let a virus in the mind corrupt the life that God has for you. Reconcile your fears and know that God is in control.
Are you at the wheel or is fear driving your vessel?
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1I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever.
2I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever.
3Great is the LORD ! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness.
4Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.
5I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles.
6Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness.
7Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.
8The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation.
10All of your works will thank you, LORD, and your faithful followers will praise you.
11They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power.
12They will tell about your mighty deeds and about the majesty and glory of your reign.
13For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The LORD always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.
14The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
15The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it.
16When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
17The LORD is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.
18The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.
19He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
20The LORD protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked.
21I will praise the LORD, and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever.
“When troubles come your way, break out your spiritual first aid kit.”~TB
You know that your body is capable of getting ill. The same thing occurs within a lackadaisical spirit. When you’re sick, you take medicine to feel better. When you’re spiritually ill, you must rely on the Word and your relationship in Christ. There will be periods of spiritual unrest in which the opposition will find any weakness to cause your spiritual ailments. There is a remedy, which must be applied and practiced each and every day.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Reading the Bible each day keeps the devil at bay. Being a follower of Christ is not a passive endeavor and you must take your spiritual vitamins– applying the teachings of God– daily to receive the maximum impact of Christ. Friends, this relationship has so many nutrients and healing properties if you take the time to apply them daily.
Are you taking your Holy holistic supplements of Christ or are you ok with the synthetic remedies of the world?
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1Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
2Let all Israel repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”
3Let Aaron’s descendants, the priests, repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”
4Let all who fear the LORD repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”
5In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free.
6The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?
7Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me.
8It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people.
9It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
10Though hostile nations surrounded me, I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD .
11Yes, they surrounded and attacked me, but I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD .
12They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a crackling fire. But I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD .
13My enemies did their best to kill me, but the LORD rescued me.
14The LORD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.
15Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!
16The strong right arm of the LORD is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!
17I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the LORD has done.
18The LORD has punished me severely, but he did not let me die.
19Open for me the gates where the righteous enter, and I will go in and thank the LORD .
20These gates lead to the presence of the LORD, and the godly enter there.
21I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory!
22The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.
23This is the LORD ’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.
24This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
25Please, LORD, please save us. Please, LORD, please give us success.
26Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD . We bless you from the house of the LORD .
27The LORD is God, shining upon us. Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar.
28You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you!
29Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
“The devil is just a big insecure bully with a pathetic bag of tricks to scare you into submission. Stay rooted in the Word to see how harmless he truly is.” ~TB
Friends don’t fret over the nonsense that the evil one will try to sell you. Expect to question your thoughts, behavior, and external oppressive obstacles. He will not fight fair and you will be tried. But remember, we are strengthened in the Lord and He will fight on our behalf. Of course, evil is terrified of this fact and will try to distort this fact. Rest in the Truth that God has already won.
Do Your Part
Don’t forget, we are all one body in Christ, which means how we navigate our trials is a collective effort. Mature believers, when you don’t stand up to the injustices, enslavement, and poor treatment from corrupt leaders, you are allowing the innocent to be trampled by such nonsense. Why are you so afraid to hold evil to the fire of the Truth? Do you think he is mightier than God? Resist him so that generations will see the Truth in action.
Are you standing up against evil or are you numbing yourself in fear of a beaten foe?
Enjoy the reading
1We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.
2God says, “At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked.
3When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the one who keeps its foundations firm. Interlude
4“I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’ I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists!
5Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens or speak with such arrogance.’”
6For no one on earth—from east or west, or even from the wilderness— should raise a defiant fist.
7It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall.
8For the LORD holds a cup in his hand that is full of foaming wine mixed with spices. He pours out the wine in judgment, and all the wicked must drink it, draining it to the dregs.
9But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.”
“Stop getting mad at each new challenge, as if you don’t have a solution that fits.”~ Jon Barnes
Wasted energy on being upset will not help you learn, grow, and think on the good things God has planned for you.The opposite occurs, with your anger stealing all of your hopes, dreams, love, and energy to do good work.Many of us lose out on time, success, and love because we chose to live with a negative cloud over our heads and in our hearts.For many, it rains everywhere they go!
Occupy your mind, body, heart, spirit, and soul with prayers to God when you are happy, sad, mad, confessed, and unsure of what actions to take.Talk to God whenever you like.This step of prayer is the key to unlock the mysteries of faith in action.The work you do will bring great results that will blow your mind and keep God smiling upon your life.Your problems will escalate when you stop talking and praying to God.
By faith we give, love, help, serve, learn, live, and grow into the wonderful people God would have us to become.This light from God connects to us, flows through us, and reconnects to all of the people you come in contact with.What people do with this light becomes their choice to make and you cannot be mad at their choices.
Are you using your energy to get the work done or are you always critical, upset, and mad at the world and God?
Enjoy The Reading
For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.
1 Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! 2 For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth. 3 He subdues the nations before us, putting our enemies beneath our feet. 4 He chose the Promised Land as our inheritance, the proud possession of Jacob’s descendants, whom he loves. Interlude
5 God has ascended with a mighty shout. The Lord has ascended with trumpets blaring. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises! 7 For God is the King over all the earth. Praise him with a psalm. 8 God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne. 9 The rulers of the world have gathered together with the people of the God of Abraham. For all the kings of the earth belong to God. He is highly honored everywhere.
“Use God’s viewpoint as an opportunity of faith to love, learn, grow, and go about the business of sharing, caring, building, and giving your best work to advance your future.”~Jon Barnes
Spring out of bed, from your prayer closet of faith, knowing that the day will be full of wonderful opportunities to serve, shine, and make a difference in your own family, community, and job.Your body, mind, and soul should be a reflection of the Spirit of God that is in you to do excellent work.
Winterize your home, ideas, and actions to improve your mindset, purpose, and personal energy-saving strategies for sustained success, health, wealth, and growth.The rotations from the seasons are a visual, artistic landscape of fresh ideas that God gives us in following and managing our time, language, actions, and love.Exercise your faith in this manner and enjoy the views.
Fall into summer with the best body, mind, and level of energy because you managed to shed the leaves of fat from your body each year.Holding onto crumbled up old bags of leaves, as stored up fat around your stomach is not the design for your body shape.Work out each day and naturally thin out the waste that you are carrying all year long.
Are you keeping a new visualization of yourself in God to adapt to the changing seasons of life or are you holding onto all of the fat that is holding your mental, physical, and spiritual health hostage?
Enjoy The Reading
1 Declare me innocent, O God! Defend me against these ungodly people. Rescue me from these unjust liars. 2 For you are God, my only safe haven. Why have you tossed me aside? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies? 3 Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. 4 There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!
5 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!
“The best way to do something is to aim straight for the target that is meant for you, which is the easiest method and direction of travel that God is navigating in your life.”~Jon Barnes
Straight from the heart, God teaches us all the things we need to know when we respect, acknowledge, share, and thank Him for the love from His Biblical Teachings.You cannot take God’s own Words, Work, and World to create new fake stories up for your own causes, which enslaves people in traditions of evil behavior.Do not become distracted by wicked people and their smiling lies.Question what you are doing and who you are following.
Make sure you have and read your own set of instructions from God so that your mental, spiritual, and physical navigation systems are not offline.Avoiding all other misguided directions, actions, and mistakes can make your life a lot easier, more interesting, with time to explore new things.You don’t want to be caught driving in the middle of nowhere without a source of God’s directions, resources, transportation, and sustenance to keep you spiritual and physically alive.
It is impossible to remain healthy by eating what the devil gives you for food, thoughts, imitation faith, and counterfeit love.He is not the author or target of our faith and love because he is NOT God.The devil will mix up the bad with the good so that your targets becomes a distorted blur to weaken your mind, body, and resolve. Let God sustain you in all things by focusing all that you are and have upon God’s love, grace, mercy, and faith.This work of love in your life will connect you to the real, true, and only ONE TARGET – JESUS!
Did the devil target you as a weak minded person who will follow anything, anybody, anyhow, and anywhere that is away from God?
Enjoy The Reading
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble. 2 The Lord protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies. 3 The Lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health.
4 “O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me. Heal me, for I have sinned against you.” 5 But my enemies say nothing but evil about me. “How soon will he die and be forgotten?” they ask. 6 They visit me as if they were my friends, but all the while they gather gossip, and when they leave, they spread it everywhere. 7 All who hate me whisper about me, imagining the worst. 8 “He has some fatal disease,” they say. “He will never get out of that bed!” 9 Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me.
10 Lord, have mercy on me. Make me well again, so I can pay them back! 11 I know you are pleased with me, for you have not let my enemies triumph over me. 12 You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever.
13 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and amen!