Decoy

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Study and know the Word so that decoys become obvious.”

TB

Fixate

It’s easy to become fixated on the things outside of our control—unruly coworkers, disconnected spouses, competitive siblings, and so on. There is so much for you and me to become obsessed with, and eventually, those obsessions become problems that weren’t actually problems to begin with! So, why does this happen? We lost sight of the truth and grabbed onto the decoy.

Participation

The decoy only works if we participate. When you engage in a throwaway comment from someone rather than ignoring it, you’ve picked up the decoy. When you reply to an inappropriate message that obstructs your marriage vows, you’ve picked up the decoy. When you’re seeking out images and substances you know you need to put down, you’ve picked up the decoy. Friends, we’ve all fallen for the deceptive decoy, but the great news is that we have God on our side. So, the next time you’re tempted to pick up the decoy, pick up the Word and tune into God instead.

Today’s Question

What decoy are you not leaving alone?

Enjoy the reading

Zechariah 11

1 Open your doors, Lebanon, so that fire may devour your cedar forests. 2 Weep, you cypress trees, for all the ruined cedars; the most majestic ones have fallen. Weep, you oaks of Bashan, for the thick forests have been cut down. 3 Listen to the wailing of the shepherds, for their rich pastures are destroyed. Hear the young lions roaring, for their thickets in the Jordan Valley are ruined. 4 This is what the LORD my God says: “Go and care for the flock that is intended for slaughter. 5 The buyers slaughter their sheep without remorse. The sellers say, ‘Praise the LORD ! Now I’m rich!’ Even the shepherds have no compassion for them. 6 Likewise, I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” says the LORD . “I will let them fall into each other’s hands and into the hands of their king. They will turn the land into a wilderness, and I will not rescue them.” 7 So I cared for the flock intended for slaughter—the flock that was oppressed. Then I took two shepherd’s staffs and named one Favor and the other Union. 8 I got rid of their three evil shepherds in a single month. But I became impatient with these sheep, and they hated me, too. 9 So I told them, “I won’t be your shepherd any longer. If you die, you die. If you are killed, you are killed. And let those who remain devour each other!” 10 Then I took my staff called Favor and cut it in two, showing that I had revoked the covenant I had made with all the nations. 11 That was the end of my covenant with them. The suffering flock was watching me, and they knew that the LORD was speaking through my actions. 12 And I said to them, “If you like, give me my wages, whatever I am worth; but only if you want to.” So they counted out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter ”—this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potter in the Temple of the LORD . 14 Then I took my other staff, Union, and cut it in two, showing that the bond of unity between Judah and Israel was broken. 15 Then the LORD said to me, “Go again and play the part of a worthless shepherd. 16 This illustrates how I will give this nation a shepherd who will not care for those who are dying, nor look after the young, nor heal the injured, nor feed the healthy. Instead, this shepherd will eat the meat of the fattest sheep and tear off their hooves. 17 “What sorrow awaits this worthless shepherd who abandons the flock! The sword will cut his arm and pierce his right eye. His arm will become useless, and his right eye completely blind.”

Consume

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“It’s foolish to believe that you’ll know God if your life is consumed with ungodly pursuits.”

TB

Ingest

We are what we consume– spiritually, physically, mentally, and all of the above. If you’re consumed with ingesting the poison that is pumped through our sin-fallen world, that is what you become. If you’re consumed with building a foundational relationship with Christ, that is what you find. But friends, don’t kid yourself by saying you’re trying to ‘find God’ while participating in activities and events where God is absent. You’re only fooling yourself. God knows His children and they know Him. If you don’t know Him, then He doesn’t know you. There is no in-between.

Congest

A fallen lifestyle brings a congestion of issues, clogging up your spiritual arteries because you’ve spent a lifetime ingesting sinful behaviors. A polluted spirit cannot discern real from the fake, Christ from evil. If you examine your life, you can tell the difference. God is not the author of confusion and those who are His do not suffer from clogged spiritual arteries. If you suffer from the congestion of the opposition, it’s time to ask God for a spiritual operation. Fortunately for us, the only thing we need to do is repent, turn from our wicked ways, and ask for salvation.

Today’s Question

What are you consuming?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 39

1 “Son of man, prophesy against Gog. Give him this message from the Sovereign LORD : I am your enemy, O Gog, ruler of the nations of Meshech and Tubal. 2 I will turn you around and drive you toward the mountains of Israel, bringing you from the distant north. 3 I will knock the bow from your left hand and the arrows from your right hand, and I will leave you helpless. 4 You and your army and your allies will all die on the mountains. I will feed you to the vultures and wild animals. 5 You will fall in the open fields, for I have spoken, says the Sovereign LORD . 6 And I will rain down fire on Magog and on all your allies who live safely on the coasts. Then they will know that I am the LORD . 7 “In this way, I will make known my holy name among my people of Israel. I will not let anyone bring shame on it. And the nations, too, will know that I am the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. 8 That day of judgment will come, says the Sovereign LORD . Everything will happen just as I have declared it. 9 “Then the people in the towns of Israel will go out and pick up your small and large shields, bows and arrows, javelins and spears, and they will use them for fuel. There will be enough to last them seven years! 10 They won’t need to cut wood from the fields or forests, for these weapons will give them all the fuel they need. They will plunder those who planned to plunder them, and they will rob those who planned to rob them, says the Sovereign LORD . 11 “And I will make a vast graveyard for Gog and his hordes in the Valley of the Travelers, east of the Dead Sea. It will block the way of those who travel there, and they will change the name of the place to the Valley of Gog’s Hordes. 12 It will take seven months for the people of Israel to bury the bodies and cleanse the land. 13 Everyone in Israel will help, for it will be a glorious victory for Israel when I demonstrate my glory on that day, says the Sovereign LORD . 14 “After seven months, teams of men will be appointed to search the land for skeletons to bury, so the land will be made clean again. 15 Whenever bones are found, a marker will be set up so the burial crews will take them to be buried in the Valley of Gog’s Hordes. 16 (There will be a town there named Hamonah, which means ‘horde.’) And so the land will finally be cleansed. 17 “And now, son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Call all the birds and wild animals. Say to them: Gather together for my great sacrificial feast. Come from far and near to the mountains of Israel, and there eat flesh and drink blood! 18 Eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of princes as though they were rams, lambs, goats, and bulls—all fattened animals from Bashan! 19 Gorge yourselves with flesh until you are glutted; drink blood until you are drunk. This is the sacrificial feast I have prepared for you. 20 Feast at my banquet table—feast on horses and charioteers, on mighty men and all kinds of valiant warriors, says the Sovereign LORD . 21 “In this way, I will demonstrate my glory to the nations. Everyone will see the punishment I have inflicted on them and the power of my fist when I strike. 22 And from that time on the people of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God. 23 The nations will then know why Israel was sent away to exile—it was punishment for sin, for they were unfaithful to their God. Therefore, I turned away from them and let their enemies destroy them. 24 I turned my face away and punished them because of their defilement and their sins. 25 “So now, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will end the captivity of my people ; I will have mercy on all Israel, for I jealously guard my holy reputation! 26 They will accept responsibility for their past shame and unfaithfulness after they come home to live in peace in their own land, with no one to bother them. 27 When I bring them home from the lands of their enemies, I will display my holiness among them for all the nations to see. 28 Then my people will know that I am the LORD their God, because I sent them away to exile and brought them home again. I will leave none of my people behind. 29 And I will never again turn my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit upon the people of Israel. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”

Stepping

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Take one step closer to what God wants you to do and notice how doors began to open up in your life.” ~ Jon Barnes

More

Each little step adds up to a mile of good work that flows in the direction of success with what you are doing by faith.  Your faith is strengthened by a group of these little good steps of obedience. Eventually, you will complete the goal and inspire others to move by faith, with little steps, as you move more and more with God.

Into

Flowing with good, small, consistent steps will move you into your direction of faith because you believe that God is guiding your steps of joy.  Teaching others will help you to learn more about what you are giving. Allowing others to participate in the learning process will guide you into a future of obedience and contentment. Look into what you are stepping on and you will see the connections appear.

Connections

More connections are made by like-minded people stepping in the same direction and creating energy and synergy that is required to build the next bridge.  People should work together, but most of the time, you must do your own homework to complete your own bridge and goal that connects to God. Personal help is developed in your personal, secret, prayer closet.
Today’s Question
Did you count your steps with God Today?

Enjoy The Reading

1 Samuel 1 

The Birth of Samuel

There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite[a] from the hill country of Ephraim,whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord.Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portionbecause he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”
Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10 In her deep anguishHannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
18 She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.
19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her.20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel,[b] saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”

Hannah Dedicates Samuel

21 When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vow, 22 Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.”[c]
23 “Do what seems best to you,” her husband Elkanah told her. “Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his[d] word.” So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.
24 After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull,[e] an ephah[f] of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. 25 When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, 26 and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
Love,
Jonathan