“If being nice means you have to subjugate the truth, then you’re not being nice; you’re lying.”~TB
Being “nice” is such a weird concept to me. It’s not “nice” to disagree even if you’re position is correct. It’s not “nice” to offend even if what you say is true. We use it as a means to not be honest. But friends, the truth is the truth, whether we want to hear it or not. And people with ulterior motives will shove “nice” down your throat to get you from seeing the truth and to accept their lies. “Nice” is circumstantial, but the Truth never changes. I’ll give you an example
5 or so years ago, when I first began freelancing, I was shucking and jiving, not doing what I needed to in order to run a successful business. I was hiding under the guise of fear and anxiety to avoid the truth: I wasn’t doing the work to make it happen. Fortunately, my mom— who’s great at seeing through my BS— sent me a compelling email calling me out on my nonsense. At first, my feelings were hurt, but then, I called a former boss and in 3 days, I had a job. Imagine that.
Honor in Telling the Truth
My mom could’ve been “nice” and just let me wallow in my stupidity. After all, that would’ve been the safest route. However, she told me a much needed truth: I needed to get off my rear and make some money to take care of myself. People who truly love you will tell you the truth, no matter the consequence. God is the same way. His Truth never changes and depending on the level of stupidity we’re into, sometimes His Truth doesn’t feel all that nice. But considering His Truth is the only Truth, I for one would rather sacrifice my pride to live in the Truth today rather than feel “nice” and suffer the consequences tomorrow. Truth is, the choice is ours to make.
Are you interested in the Truth?
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1O LORD, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them.
2You turn mighty cities into heaps of ruins. Cities with strong walls are turned to rubble. Beautiful palaces in distant lands disappear and will never be rebuilt.
3Therefore, strong nations will declare your glory; ruthless nations will fear you.
4But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O LORD, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall,
5or like the relentless heat of the desert. But you silence the roar of foreign nations. As the shade of a cloud cools relentless heat, so the boastful songs of ruthless people are stilled.
6In Jerusalem, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will spread a wonderful feast for all the people of the world. It will be a delicious banquet with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.
7There he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.
8He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The LORD has spoken!
9In that day the people will proclaim, “This is our God! We trusted in him, and he saved us! This is the LORD, in whom we trusted. Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!”
10For the LORD ’s hand of blessing will rest on Jerusalem. But Moab will be crushed. It will be like straw trampled down and left to rot.
11God will push down Moab’s people as a swimmer pushes down water with his hands. He will end their pride and all their evil works.
12The high walls of Moab will be demolished. They will be brought down to the ground, down into the dust.
“Cut your losses on sin, but don’t count people out just yet.”~TB
As a prideful nation, people will always be your downfall. Humans have the capacity to hurt, to steal, to kill– whatever the sin– you name it, we’re capable of it. Even still, whatever the offense, it’s best to forgive it and move on. Just to be clear, this is not to say that you must tolerate poor behavior, no, we must hold each other accountable. That said, forgiving one another as God forgives us allows us to grow and develop into people of Christ. Besides, what do you have to lose by letting go of offenses? More to the point, when you are so consumed with what has happened to you, you lose sight of your potential and what you could be doing to better yourself.
As sin-fallen people, we will never be free of sin. That doesn’t mean that we should not make every effort to improve each and every day. The first step in walking closer with God is to till your own soil. When you cut out the monitoring of the shortcomings of your brothers and sisters, you are then able to reflect on yourself and your personal relationship with Christ. In the midst of that silence, He will impart His wisdom on how you can improve and move forward in your destiny. Friends, where He is taking you requires very little baggage, so why not cut your losses and move on?
Are you cutting the chord to old bondages or the chord to Christ
Enjoy the Reading
1From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me. Let all Israel repeat this:
2From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me, but they have never defeated me.
3My back is covered with cuts, as if a farmer had plowed long furrows.
4But the LORD is good; he has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly.
5May all who hate Jerusalem be turned back in shameful defeat.
6May they be as useless as grass on a rooftop, turning yellow when only half grown,
7ignored by the harvester, despised by the binder.
8And may those who pass by refuse to give them this blessing: “The LORD bless you; we bless you in the LORD ’s name.”
“It is important to study and learn the tricks of the enemy so you know exactly who you’re dealing with and how to avoid the traps.”~TB
If you look at any successful professional athlete, one thing is abundantly clear, they study their opponent. They learn how the opposing team plays, their best moves, and most importantly, their weaknesses. Friends, to create a solid defense against the devil, you must understand who you’re dealing with. This isn’t to scare you, but for you to gain confidence in your game of life. Faith grows by trust and action. To get the best defense, study the Word. Evil’s greatest weakness is the Truth, God is on the throne and a fallen angel is powerless to overturn an already won championship. When your defense is Biblically based, you’re able to sidestep the nonsense to shoot the J.
When your defense is based on the Truth, your offense looks bright because you’re shining in the light of salvation. Trust that God’s playbook contains the right offensive plays for you to score in your game of life. If you let Him, He’ll even teach you how to play with others. Armed with the Truth, you can assist your teammates, helping them score their Holy jump shot because you know this is a team effort and that everyone has the talent to give. Playing as a unit, the opposition cannot steal your ball because your plays are Biblically based. The devil cannot even compete and his team is easily swept by God’s Holy unit. How wonderful it is to be on the undefeated team!
Are you playing on the right team or is it time for a trade?
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1O God, whom I praise, don’t stand silent and aloof
2while the wicked slander me and tell lies about me.
3They surround me with hateful words and fight against me for no reason.
4I love them, but they try to destroy me with accusations even as I am praying for them!
5They repay evil for good, and hatred for my love.
6They say, “Get an evil person to turn against him. Send an accuser to bring him to trial.
7When his case comes up for judgment, let him be pronounced guilty. Count his prayers as sins.
8Let his years be few; let someone else take his position.
9May his children become fatherless, and his wife a widow.
10May his children wander as beggars and be driven from their ruined homes.
11May creditors seize his entire estate, and strangers take all he has earned.
12Let no one be kind to him; let no one pity his fatherless children.
13May all his offspring die. May his family name be blotted out in the next generation.
14May the LORD never forget the sins of his fathers; may his mother’s sins never be erased from the record.
15May the LORD always remember these sins, and may his name disappear from human memory.
16For he refused all kindness to others; he persecuted the poor and needy, and he hounded the brokenhearted to death.
17He loved to curse others; now you curse him. He never blessed others; now don’t you bless him.
18Cursing is as natural to him as his clothing, or the water he drinks, or the rich food he eats.
19Now may his curses return and cling to him like clothing; may they be tied around him like a belt.”
20May those curses become the LORD ’s punishment for my accusers who speak evil of me.
21But deal well with me, O Sovereign LORD, for the sake of your own reputation! Rescue me because you are so faithful and good.
22For I am poor and needy, and my heart is full of pain.
23I am fading like a shadow at dusk; I am brushed off like a locust.
24My knees are weak from fasting, and I am skin and bones.
25I am a joke to people everywhere; when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn.
26Help me, O LORD my God! Save me because of your unfailing love.
27Let them see that this is your doing, that you yourself have done it, LORD .
28Then let them curse me if they like, but you will bless me! When they attack me, they will be disgraced! But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing!
29May my accusers be clothed with disgrace; may their humiliation cover them like a cloak.
30But I will give repeated thanks to the LORD, praising him to everyone.
31For he stands beside the needy, ready to save them from those who condemn them.
“In an effort to derail your walk with Christ, the devil will often try and throw a Hail mary as a last ditch effort. Don’t be deterred by the distraction as it is in fact an indication that you’re on the path of righteousness” ~Taryn Barnes
Don’t allow the evil one to intercept what God has planned for your life. In times of progress and breakthroughs, there will always be some form of opposition. Keep a watchful eye to see that you don’t get caught in the trap.
A good offense is a strong defense. Arm yourself with the Word, which will remind you that God is the ultimate quarterback who has already led us to victory. After a while, you’ll begin to identify the devil’s traps and snares and will laugh at how foolish his efforts truly are.
We don’t have to wonder if we’ll make it to the end zone. Jesus already ensured that we’d have the touchdown. Whether you get there on the 1st or 4th down, through Christ, we’ve already won the game.
Question of the day
Are you reading God’s winning playbook to block evil’s, Hail Mary?
Enjoy today’s reading
Numbers 12 NIV
Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses
1Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2“Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this. 3(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.) 4At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. 5Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, 6he said, “Listen to my words: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.7But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. 8With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” 9The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them. 10When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous —it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, 11and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 12Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.” 13So Moses cried out to the LORD, “Please, God, heal her!” 14The LORD replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” 15So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back. 16After that, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Desert of Paran.
Words are cheap and meaningless, when love and faith are not attached to them with your actions.” ~ Jon Barnes
Your good words and works are offensive to God, when they are wrapped in lies, deceit, evil agendas. Truth does not have a double meaning, yet it works as a double edge sword for the righteous laborer in the fields for God. Your best defense begins with thanksgiving, love, and obedience to the Word of God. Darkness does not comprehend God’s Word and Ways.
As you build and maintain your core foundation and fundamental values upon the Rock of God, every cell in your body fights off evil attacks to protect vital organs and systems of operation to rise above temptation, evil plots, tests, trials, and tribulations. Great Joy and happiness steps with every movement you take, leaning on God’s wisdom and understanding, because you trust the rock upon which you stand, which does not come from man.
The devil can only fight himself in his losing battle of the past, present, and future tense. In each case, the devil has loser stamped on his forehead, as he is the author of meaningless words, deception, confusion, and darkness. Sin cannot mix with God’s love in your heart, which is constantly exposed with repentance, thanksgiving, service, love, and understanding of truth in the Spirit of God. Avoid lying to yourself, like the devil.
Does your love lack the offensive and defensive corrupts the value, strategy and meaning from God to build and support the hedge of protection around your good work and life or are you just occupying empty, dark, meaningless space, like the devil?
Enjoy Today’s Reading
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
12 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.3 Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.[b]”6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.8 You will always have the poor among you,[c] but you will not always have me.”
9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well,11 for on account of himmany of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[e]
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:
15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”[f]
16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorifieddid they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.
17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word.18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him.19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
Jesus Predicts His Death
20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival.21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.”22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.My Father will honor the one who serves me.
27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.28 Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.32 And I, when I am lifted up[g] from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
34 The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going.36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
Belief and Unbelief Among the Jews
37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”[h]
39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.”[i]
41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.
42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue;43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.
44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
47 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”