“If there is anyone truly worth imitating, it’s God Himself.”~TB
By design, we humans are wired to seek out our Teacher– our Father in Heaven. Unfortunately, most have decided to go with the false teachers of this world for the fool’s gold that they peddle. One of the most detrimental things that we’ve done as a society is to brainwash ourselves through marketing, media, influencers, etc. I suspect down the line, there will be studies that support this argument. When you look to these false teachers, leaders, and the like, you’re ability to spot the truth dulls as the flashy fleshly desires of evil call to you like a shiny object to a monkey. Because of your attraction to superficial things, the Truth is boring and lame while sin is desirable.
The Real McCoy
God never changes. He does not fail, He does not lie and His teachings remain the same from the time they first were instructed to this very day. What does change, what does fail, are evil and humanity, because both are fundamentally flawed. Human culture changes depending on what’s trending or deemed socially accepted. When leaders cower to the pressures of dumb, evil beings, people fall in line because, “if pastor so and so, or preacher this and that, said so, it must be true!”. Friends, we cannot imitate each other so blindly because you and I are a bunch of flesh bag idiots who are easily lead astray. Instead, follow God, hold each other accountable, and resist the temptation to entertain evil.
Are you following the crowd to Hell or walking the narrow path alongside our Father in Heaven?
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1While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the LORD gave him this second message:
2“This is what the LORD says—the LORD who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the LORD :
3Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.
4For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: You have torn down the houses of this city and even the king’s palace to get materials to strengthen the walls against the siege ramps and swords of the enemy.
5You expect to fight the Babylonians, but the men of this city are already as good as dead, for I have determined to destroy them in my terrible anger. I have abandoned them because of all their wickedness.
6“Nevertheless, the time will come when I will heal Jerusalem’s wounds and give it prosperity and true peace.
7I will restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel and rebuild their towns.
8I will cleanse them of their sins against me and forgive all their sins of rebellion.
9Then this city will bring me joy, glory, and honor before all the nations of the earth! The people of the world will see all the good I do for my people, and they will tremble with awe at the peace and prosperity I provide for them.
10“This is what the LORD says: You have said, ‘This is a desolate land where people and animals have all disappeared.’ Yet in the empty streets of Jerusalem and Judah’s other towns, there will be heard once more
11the sounds of joy and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will be heard again, along with the joyous songs of people bringing thanksgiving offerings to the LORD . They will sing, ‘Give thanks to the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, for the LORD is good. His faithful love endures forever!’ For I will restore the prosperity of this land to what it was in the past, says the LORD .
12“This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: This land—though it is now desolate and has no people and animals—will once more have pastures where shepherds can lead their flocks.
13Once again shepherds will count their flocks in the towns of the hill country, the foothills of Judah, the Negev, the land of Benjamin, the vicinity of Jerusalem, and all the towns of Judah. I, the LORD, have spoken!
14“The day will come, says the LORD, when I will do for Israel and Judah all the good things I have promised them.
15“In those days and at that time I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will do what is just and right throughout the land.
16In that day Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this will be its name: ‘The LORD Is Our Righteousness.’
17For this is what the LORD says: David will have a descendant sitting on the throne of Israel forever.
18And there will always be Levitical priests to offer burnt offerings and grain offerings and sacrifices to me.”
19Then this message came to Jeremiah from the LORD :
20“This is what the LORD says: If you can break my covenant with the day and the night so that one does not follow the other,
21only then will my covenant with my servant David be broken. Only then will he no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. The same is true for my covenant with the Levitical priests who minister before me.
22And as the stars of the sky cannot be counted and the sand on the seashore cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of my servant David and the Levites who minister before me.”
23The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said,
24“Have you noticed what people are saying?—‘The LORD chose Judah and Israel and then abandoned them!’ They are sneering and saying that Israel is not worthy to be counted as a nation.
25But this is what the LORD says: I would no more reject my people than I would change my laws that govern night and day, earth and sky.
26I will never abandon the descendants of Jacob or David, my servant, or change the plan that David’s descendants will rule the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Instead, I will restore them to their land and have mercy on them.”
“God never asks for perfection, just obedience.”~TB
Do you ever sit back and reflect on the standards that Christ has asked of us? Love your neighbor as yourself, don’t covet, forgive others, honor thy mother and father, and so on. These standards in of themselves are not difficult. They do not require a Ph.D. nor a mathematical background to practice. More to the point, even when we do screw those up, all we have to do is repent and turn from our stupidity. Imagine that! So why is it that we as people have come so far astray from those simple commandments and deeds? We’ve adopted our own morbid standards of human perfection (depravity) and have tossed God’s to the wayside. If you don’t believe me consider this: depending on the human audience, the standards change. But, God’s standards, never change no matter the audience or time period.
So if man’s standards change– as they often do– it can’t come as a massive surprise that we feel the instability and insecurity that is plaguing our society. From social standards, workplace standards, economic standards, it’s all over the place! This means, that instead of trying to perfect any standard, it’s always best to practice obeying the standards of Christ. Because God’s word never fails, deviates, and obscures, all we have is Him — which is all we need. Think about it; when we die, we can’t take any of this with us. What Suzy said about your outfit or the way you made your quiche does not come into play at the Pearly Gates. Jim’s amazing man cave or home gym does not matter one iota. Friends, imagine if we moved in the way that Christ asked of us. It would be interesting to see what we could accomplish and the peace that would ensue. So, instead of looking to be perfect, practice obeying what Christ has written on our hearts.
Are you practicing obedience or practicing stupidity?
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1This message came to Jeremiah from the LORD, explaining why he was holding back the rain:
2“Judah wilts; commerce at the city gates grinds to a halt. All the people sit on the ground in mourning, and a great cry rises from Jerusalem.
3The nobles send servants to get water, but all the wells are dry. The servants return with empty pitchers, confused and desperate, covering their heads in grief.
4The ground is parched and cracked for lack of rain. The farmers are deeply troubled; they, too, cover their heads.
5Even the doe abandons her newborn fawn because there is no grass in the field.
6The wild donkeys stand on the bare hills panting like thirsty jackals. They strain their eyes looking for grass, but there is none to be found.”
7The people say, “Our wickedness has caught up with us, LORD, but help us for the sake of your own reputation. We have turned away from you and sinned against you again and again.
8O Hope of Israel, our Savior in times of trouble, why are you like a stranger to us? Why are you like a traveler passing through the land, stopping only for the night?
9Are you also confused? Is our champion helpless to save us? You are right here among us, LORD . We are known as your people. Please don’t abandon us now!”
10So this is what the LORD says to his people: “You love to wander far from me and do not restrain yourselves. Therefore, I will no longer accept you as my people. Now I will remember all your wickedness and will punish you for your sins.”
11Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for these people anymore.
12When they fast, I will pay no attention. When they present their burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept them. Instead, I will devour them with war, famine, and disease.”
13Then I said, “O Sovereign LORD, their prophets are telling them, ‘All is well—no war or famine will come. The LORD will surely send you peace.’”
14Then the LORD said, “These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts.
15Therefore, this is what the LORD says: I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they themselves will die by war and famine!
16As for the people to whom they prophesy—their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and war. There will be no one left to bury them. Husbands, wives, sons, and daughters—all will be gone. For I will pour out their own wickedness on them.
17Now, Jeremiah, say this to them: “Night and day my eyes overflow with tears. I cannot stop weeping, for my virgin daughter—my precious people— has been struck down and lies mortally wounded.
18If I go out into the fields, I see the bodies of people slaughtered by the enemy. If I walk the city streets, I see people who have died of starvation. The prophets and priests continue with their work, but they don’t know what they’re doing.”
19LORD, have you completely rejected Judah? Do you really hate Jerusalem? Why have you wounded us past all hope of healing? We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.
20LORD, we confess our wickedness and that of our ancestors, too. We all have sinned against you.
21For the sake of your reputation, LORD, do not abandon us. Do not disgrace your own glorious throne. Please remember us, and do not break your covenant with us.
22Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, you are the one, O LORD our God! Only you can do such things. So we will wait for you to help us.
“Only you can give up your peace; but you must cultivate your faith to believe it.”~TB
Faith is total trust and confidence in God. It’s a verb in that you must act on it every second of every day. Though we can’t open a door and say “Here is God!”, we know that He exists and is the creator of all. It’s easy to say we have faith. After all, it sounds pretty and whimsical. But there is a fundamental difference between talking faith and walking in faith. And, we are tested on this day in and day out. The devil can rattle your cage, but ultimately you must decided whether or not to lose your peace about it.
Walking in faith means that even though you are not in control of your situation, you are at total peace because you know who is. It means to sit still and let God handle the heavy lifting in your life. It also means to not allow your upstairs neighbor who likes to crank her bass up loud all day long after you’ve talked to her twice about it get under your skin. When you experience a tough time, remember that God is sovereign and there is nothing out of His control. So don’t merely talk about faith, walk in it so that you can experience the Hand of God in your life.
Are you using the real ‘F’ word?
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1But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.
2When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
3For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
4Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.
5“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west.
6I will say to the north and south, ‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth.
7Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.’”
8Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.
9Gather the nations together! Assemble the peoples of the world! Which of their idols has ever foretold such things? Which can predict what will happen tomorrow? Where are the witnesses of such predictions? Who can verify that they spoke the truth?
10“But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the LORD . “You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God— there never has been, and there never will be.
11I, yes I, am the LORD, and there is no other Savior.
12First I predicted your rescue, then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world. No foreign god has ever done this. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the LORD .
13“From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.”
14This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sakes I will send an army against Babylon, forcing the Babylonians to flee in those ships they are so proud of.
15I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator and King.
16I am the LORD, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea.
17I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horses. I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned, their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick.
18“But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
19For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
20The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed.
21I have made Israel for myself, and they will someday honor me before the whole world.
22“But, dear family of Jacob, you refuse to ask for my help. You have grown tired of me, O Israel!
23You have not brought me sheep or goats for burnt offerings. You have not honored me with sacrifices, though I have not burdened and wearied you with requests for grain offerings and frankincense.
24You have not brought me fragrant calamus or pleased me with the fat from sacrifices. Instead, you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your faults.
25“I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.
26Let us review the situation together, and you can present your case to prove your innocence.
27From the very beginning, your first ancestor sinned against me; all your leaders broke my laws.
28That is why I have disgraced your priests; I have decreed complete destruction for Jacob and shame for Israel.
“There are times where plans are delayed because we forgot something and God is giving us a chance to make it up.”~TB
My dog, Abbey, absolutely loves going on walks. Whenever I open the drawer where her leash is kept, she runs straight for the door, anticipating an outing. There are times where I get to the parking lot stairs and realize that I’ve forgotten my phone or wallet, and we have to walk back to my door. If we have to turn around before going out, Abbey will anchor herself to the floor refusing to move, because she thinks we’re no longer going for the walk. After a few tugs, I’ll get her to come along, I’ll retrieve whatever I’ve forgotten and then we’re off to go on the walk. Then as if it’s a surprise, she becomes excited again that we’re going for the walk after all! Every single time this happens ( it happens a lot, I’m really forgetful.) the same behavior occurs and the other day, it made me realize there are times where I will do that with God too. How many times have you refused to change course because you thought your plans were being dashed? If we don’t reflect on our behaviors and circumstances, we can miss the tools and skills we need to progress to the next stage. If you’ve stalled, seek God to find our why. There is most certainly a purpose.
Delay is not Denial
I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Christian colloquialisms— often because the people using them are trying to circumvent honest or good behavior (a different story for a different day). But, I will say that God will delay a change in course if we haven’t done the work to make it to the next step. For example, you can’t just run a marathon if you haven’t even trained to complete a 5k. God gives each of us a dream, purpose, or goal. And with those wonderful plans comes the responsibility of tilling your soil to fulfill that purpose. Many times we fail to actualize God’s plans for us because we either allow people to discourage such “crazy ideas” or we didn’t condition ourselves to prepare for the road less traveled. I’m thankful that He gives us a lifetime to answer our specific call. So the next time things aren’t going according to plan, look for the lessons or tools you may have forgotten along the way. Don’t worry, you haven’t been left behind, just delayed. God hasn’t forgotten the vision He planted in you, He’s just giving you time to catch up.
Are you learning during your delay or are you missing the point?
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1This message came to me concerning Babylon—the desert by the sea : Disaster is roaring down on you from the desert, like a whirlwind sweeping in from the Negev.
2I see a terrifying vision: I see the betrayer betraying, the destroyer destroying. Go ahead, you Elamites and Medes, attack and lay siege. I will make an end to all the groaning Babylon caused.
3My stomach aches and burns with pain. Sharp pangs of anguish are upon me, like those of a woman in labor. I grow faint when I hear what God is planning; I am too afraid to look.
4My mind reels and my heart races. I longed for evening to come, but now I am terrified of the dark.
5Look! They are preparing a great feast. They are spreading rugs for people to sit on. Everyone is eating and drinking. But quick! Grab your shields and prepare for battle. You are being attacked!
6Meanwhile, the Lord said to me, “Put a watchman on the city wall. Let him shout out what he sees.
7He should look for chariots drawn by pairs of horses, and for riders on donkeys and camels. Let the watchman be fully alert.”
8Then the watchman called out, “Day after day I have stood on the watchtower, my lord. Night after night I have remained at my post.
9Now at last—look! Here comes a man in a chariot with a pair of horses!” Then the watchman said, “Babylon is fallen, fallen! All the idols of Babylon lie broken on the ground!”
10O my people, threshed and winnowed, I have told you everything the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has said, everything the God of Israel has told me.
11This message came to me concerning Edom : Someone from Edom keeps calling to me, “Watchman, how much longer until morning? When will the night be over?”
12The watchman replies, “Morning is coming, but night will soon return. If you wish to ask again, then come back and ask.”
13This message came to me concerning Arabia: O caravans from Dedan, hide in the deserts of Arabia.
14O people of Tema, bring water to these thirsty people, food to these weary refugees.
15They have fled from the sword, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow and the terrors of battle.
16The Lord said to me, “Within a year, counting each day, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end.
17Only a few of its courageous archers will survive. I, the LORD, the God of Israel, have spoken!”
“God respects a humble honest attempt over the deceptively sweet sounds of empty promises.”~TB
It’s easy to have goals. It’s a whole different ball game to create a plan to achieve said goal and then go off and execute it. We’ve all known (and have been guilty of) someone who claims to want to improve, yet fails to cultivate the discipline to follow through. Someone wants to write a book yet fails to create an outline or even begin writing at all. We do the same thing with God. Many Christians claim to want to know Him, but then the idea of having to change behaviors, change thought patterns, or regularly pick up the Bible stops them in their tracks. Discipline of any kind is tough in the beginning. But without it, change is impossible. The beauty of pursuing a relationship with God is that only one of you is flawed and the other perfect. And trust me, that unconditional thing goes a long way.
God isn’t looking for perfection, He’s looking for obedience and an honest effort. So when we make mistakes, have doubts, go through humbling moments, though point is to get back up, acknowledge our shortcomings and ask God to make up the difference in our effort to walk the path of righteousness. It doesn’t matter how many times you have to get up, repent, and move on, but just like a kid trying to learn how to ride a bicycle, just keep trying. And by doing so time and time again, you begin to understand how God personally sees you and how valuable you are to Him. So the next time you feel like phoning it in, remember God’s grace and put in the effort.
Does your effort match your mouth?
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1Listen, Ethiopia —land of fluttering sails that lies at the headwaters of the Nile,
2that sends ambassadors in swift boats down the river. Go, swift messengers! Take a message to a tall, smooth-skinned people, who are feared far and wide for their conquests and destruction, and whose land is divided by rivers.
3All you people of the world, everyone who lives on the earth— when I raise my battle flag on the mountain, look! When I blow the ram’s horn, listen!
4For the LORD has told me this: “I will watch quietly from my dwelling place— as quietly as the heat rises on a summer day, or as the morning dew forms during the harvest.”
5Even before you begin your attack, while your plans are ripening like grapes, the LORD will cut off your new growth with pruning shears. He will snip off and discard your spreading branches.
6Your mighty army will be left dead in the fields for the mountain vultures and wild animals. The vultures will tear at the corpses all summer. The wild animals will gnaw at the bones all winter.
7At that time the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will receive gifts from this land divided by rivers, from this tall, smooth-skinned people, who are feared far and wide for their conquests and destruction. They will bring the gifts to Jerusalem, where the LORD of Heaven’s Armies dwells.
“As you grow in Christ it’s important to discern the difference between conviction and condemnation.”~TB
Each step you take, following Christ, you will see that your old misdeeds of yesterday no longer bring you the same pleasure as they once did. Even still, as you mess up, you will feel the Holy Spirit correct you in your wrongdoing. Conviction is the tug from the Holy Spirit letting you know that you’re doing wrong. It brings you closer to God. Friends, take joy in the correction of conviction. This means that your flesh is being tamed day by day. While we will always fall short of perfection, the conviction of your sin and the condemnation that may occur after are two separate things.
Once you’ve confessed your transgressions to God and have turned away from your wayward behavior, that’s it. Notice how God does not harp on you about who you were yesterday, let alone a decade ago. If you feel the weight of sins that you’ve confessed and fled from creep into your life, that is not of God. Condemnation is the recurring guilt of old behaviors you left behind. Condemnation brings guilt and shame, making you feel stuck, ultimately leading you away from God. The opposition will use this to get you off your walk Consult God daily to understand what is conviction and what is condemnation.
Have you spent time with God and the Word to know the difference?
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1Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.
2The king’s fury is like a lion’s roar; to rouse his anger is to risk your life.
3Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.
4Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.
5Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out.
6Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?
7The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.
8When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good.
9Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin”?
10False weights and unequal measures — the LORD detests double standards of every kind.
11Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.
12Ears to hear and eyes to see— both are gifts from the LORD .
13If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!
14The buyer haggles over the price, saying, “It’s worthless,” then brags about getting a bargain!
15Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies.
16Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.
17Stolen bread tastes sweet, but it turns to gravel in the mouth.
18Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.
19A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers.
20If you insult your father or mother, your light will be snuffed out in total darkness.
21An inheritance obtained too early in life is not a blessing in the end.
22Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the LORD to handle the matter.
23The LORD detests double standards; he is not pleased by dishonest scales.
24The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?
25Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.
26A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat, then runs his threshing wheel over them.
27The LORD ’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.
28Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king; his throne is made secure through love.
29The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.
30Physical punishment cleanses away evil; such discipline purifies the heart.
“Set your mind on God to experience His Truth” ~TB
Your mind is a gift or a curse– depending on how you use it. You can choose to fill it with God’s wisdom, live an obedient life, and be kind to your neighbors. Or, you can fill it with filth, walk around mindlessly, preferring destruction over peace. Sure, those seem drastically different, but the Truth is living in or out of God’s Will Isdrastically different. Do not be fooled by the external lives of others. Only God can truly examine one’s heart. Work on your mind and don’t fall prey to the fake minds around you.
When you set your mind, thoughts, and actions of God you rely on His strength and wisdom and not your own. The impossible becomes possible because you understand that you need Him in everything that you are and everything that you do. Allowing God to steer your mind sets you up for the peace and joy He graciously offers. It is a gift like no other and humans are unable to recreate such things. When you set your mind on the things of the flesh, you welcome confusion, stupor, and chaos. Friends, the human mind is incapable of such a Holy Mindset. Rely on Him.
Is your mind set on God or do you have a fleshly mindset?
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1Praise the LORD ! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
2Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD ? Who can ever praise him enough?
3There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right.
4Remember me, LORD, when you show favor to your people; come near and rescue me.
5Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones. Let me rejoice in the joy of your people; let me praise you with those who are your heritage.
6Like our ancestors, we have sinned. We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly!
7Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the LORD ’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.
8Even so, he saved them— to defend the honor of his name and to demonstrate his mighty power.
9He commanded the Red Sea to dry up. He led Israel across the sea as if it were a desert.
10So he rescued them from their enemies and redeemed them from their foes.
11Then the water returned and covered their enemies; not one of them survived.
12Then his people believed his promises. Then they sang his praise.
13Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done! They wouldn’t wait for his counsel!
14In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland.
15So he gave them what they asked for, but he sent a plague along with it.
16The people in the camp were jealous of Moses and envious of Aaron, the LORD ’s holy priest.
17Because of this, the earth opened up; it swallowed Dathan and buried Abiram and the other rebels.
18Fire fell upon their followers; a flame consumed the wicked.
19The people made a calf at Mount Sinai ; they bowed before an image made of gold.
20They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull.
21They forgot God, their savior, who had done such great things in Egypt—
22such wonderful things in the land of Ham, such awesome deeds at the Red Sea.
23So he declared he would destroy them. But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the LORD and the people. He begged him to turn from his anger and not destroy them.
24The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.
25Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD .
26Therefore, he solemnly swore that he would kill them in the wilderness,
27that he would scatter their descendants among the nations, exiling them to distant lands.
28Then our ancestors joined in the worship of Baal at Peor; they even ate sacrifices offered to the dead!
29They angered the LORD with all these things, so a plague broke out among them.
30But Phinehas had the courage to intervene, and the plague was stopped.
31So he has been regarded as a righteous man ever since that time.
32At Meribah, too, they angered the LORD, causing Moses serious trouble.
33They made Moses angry, and he spoke foolishly.
34Israel failed to destroy the nations in the land, as the LORD had commanded them.
35Instead, they mingled among the pagans and adopted their evil customs.
36They worshiped their idols, which led to their downfall.
37They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons.
38They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters. By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan, they polluted the land with murder.
39They defiled themselves by their evil deeds, and their love of idols was adultery in the LORD ’s sight.
40That is why the LORD ’s anger burned against his people, and he abhorred his own special possession.
41He handed them over to pagan nations, and they were ruled by those who hated them.
42Their enemies crushed them and brought them under their cruel power.
43Again and again he rescued them, but they chose to rebel against him, and they were finally destroyed by their sin.
44Even so, he pitied them in their distress and listened to their cries.
45He remembered his covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love.
46He even caused their captors to treat them with kindness.
47Save us, O LORD our God! Gather us back from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.
48Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD !
“Let’s be honest; you want God’s grace but you don’t want the honest work attached to it.”~TB
People aren’t successful because they fail to put in the honest Biblical effort to build a foundational relationship with God. This isn’t a transactional endeavor. God seeks your heart, spirit, and mind, not your wishful prayers. If you honestly seek Him, roll up your sleeves, dust off your Bibles, and get to work.
God has more respect for those who unabashedly reject their inheritance than those who pretend to till the soil. You may fool everyone with your schemes, dreams, and plots to steal what doesn’t belong to you, but God is no slouch. You will be dealt with. Instead, honestly examine your heart and make the honest choice to return home to the Lord.
Are you an honest worker or are you honestly stupid?
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1It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High.
2It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening,
3accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre.
4You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.
5O LORD, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts.
6Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this:
7Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever.
8But you, O LORD, will be exalted forever.
9Your enemies, LORD, will surely perish; all evildoers will be scattered.
10But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil.
11My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents.
12But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
13For they are transplanted to the LORD ’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.
14Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.
15They will declare, “The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”
Who will hear the voices of the innocent whose pain and suffering go unanswered? Most will walk by, pretending like it’s not their problem. They drown out the sounds of the downtrodden, preferring comfort instead of justice. Friends, justice is coming.
Who will see the injustices and corrupt practices of leaders? Many will blindly collect their bi-weekly checks while remaining silent because they are not affected yet. Be aware that keeping your head in the sand doesn’t protect you. We will all be witness to the changing tide.
Who will be the person that God intended and turn their backs on the immoral vices of the world? The majority will listen to the siren-like songs of the devil, woefully ignorant that they are crashing into destruction. Friends, you have a choice. Listen wisely as we all are held accountable.
Question of the day
Will you rise to the occasion or will you wait until it’s too late to understand the truth?
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1O LORD, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced.2Save me and rescue me, for you do what is right. Turn your ear to listen to me, and set me free. 3Be my rock of safety where I can always hide. Give the order to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked, from the clutches of cruel oppressors. 5O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O LORD, from childhood. 6Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you! 7My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. 8That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long. 9And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside. Don’t abandon me when my strength is failing. 10For my enemies are whispering against me. They are plotting together to kill me. 11They say, “God has abandoned him. Let’s go and get him, for no one will help him now.” 12O God, don’t stay away. My God, please hurry to help me. 13Bring disgrace and destruction on my accusers. Humiliate and shame those who want to harm me. 14But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more. 15I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words. 16I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign LORD . I will tell everyone that you alone are just. 17O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. 18Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me. 19Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God? 20You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. 21You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again. 22Then I will praise you with music on the harp, because you are faithful to your promises, O my God. I will sing praises to you with a lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 23I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have ransomed me. 24I will tell about your righteous deeds all day long, for everyone who tried to hurt me has been shamed and humiliated.
“People are not looking for a handout, they are looking for a hand up with some real help and solutions to age-old problems.”~ Jon Barnes
God is not giving the people of this world a handout, but He is a hand up through Jesus Christ to follow Him into the Pearly Gates of Heaven.When you grab the hand of Christ to walk the ways and path of biblical faith, honesty, and integrity, God will hold your hand and never let you go.
When you let the hand of God go to follow your own lust of your flesh, desires, interest, greed, power, and beliefs, the devil enjoys holding your hand of rebellious foolishness to walk with you straight to hell.Smile and enjoy the journey into the pit of fire forever with the many people of the world who choose to let go of God’s Hand of Salvation and path of righteousness.
God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross for our sins so that we could choose the path to Heaven of the path to hell.This is not a handout or a free meal ticket for evil people trying to steal their way into the heart of God’s eternal rest.God’s final chapter of structure, love, and complete understanding will accompany all things known as they are, through the Pearly Gates, if He knows you as a child of God, who ran the race properly.
Are you still running your race with God or are you running around lying, begging, cheating, stealing, and looking for handouts?
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1Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
2Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me.
3I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.
4Those who hate me without cause outnumber the hairs on my head. Many enemies try to destroy me with lies, demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal.
5O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you.
6Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me, O Sovereign LORD of Heaven’s Armies. Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated, O God of Israel.
7For I endure insults for your sake; humiliation is written all over my face.
8Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me; they treat me like a stranger.
9Passion for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
10When I weep and fast, they scoff at me.
11When I dress in burlap to show sorrow, they make fun of me.
12I am the favorite topic of town gossip, and all the drunks sing about me.
13But I keep praying to you, LORD, hoping this time you will show me favor. In your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with your sure salvation.
14Rescue me from the mud; don’t let me sink any deeper! Save me from those who hate me, and pull me from these deep waters.
15Don’t let the floods overwhelm me, or the deep waters swallow me, or the pit of death devour me.
16Answer my prayers, O LORD, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful.
17Don’t hide from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble!
18Come and redeem me; free me from my enemies.
19You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace. You see all that my enemies are doing.
20Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me.
21But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst.
22Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare and their prosperity become a trap.
23Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and make their bodies shake continually.
24Pour out your fury on them; consume them with your burning anger.
25Let their homes become desolate and their tents be deserted.
26To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury; they add to the pain of those you have hurt.
27Pile their sins up high, and don’t let them go free.
28Erase their names from the Book of Life; don’t let them be counted among the righteous.
29I am suffering and in pain. Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.
30Then I will praise God’s name with singing, and I will honor him with thanksgiving.
31For this will please the LORD more than sacrificing cattle, more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.
32The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.
33For the LORD hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people.
34Praise him, O heaven and earth, the seas and all that move in them.
35For God will save Jerusalem and rebuild the towns of Judah. His people will live there and settle in their own land.
36The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land, and those who love him will live there in safety.