Protection

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“God protects those who are doing His work and He provides opportunities, solutions, and miracles to honest individuals with integrity, character, and love.” ~  Jon Barnes

When

When you pray, ask for direction.  When you speak, pray for peace.  When you moan, ask for protection and love.

You

So don’t be afraid, He will hear every whisper. God knows all of the things you will need.  So trust and believe that He will take care of all of your issues to provide all that you see.

Hear

Hear with your heart, listen with your hand, and work with your mind to see the vision before doing the task.  Then allow God to push your steps forward into success with order and perfection.
Today’s Question
Did you know that God’s protection and plan for your life have been arranged from the beginning of time and your life, job, and work of faith is necessary for you to complete?
Enjoy The Reading

Job 36 

36 Elihu continued speaking:
“Let me go on, and I will show you the truth.
    For I have not finished defending God!
I will present profound arguments
    for the righteousness of my Creator.
I am telling you nothing but the truth,
    for I am a man of great knowledge.
“God is mighty, but he does not despise anyone!
    He is mighty in both power and understanding.
He does not let the wicked live
    but gives justice to the afflicted.
He never takes his eyes off the innocent,
    but he sets them on thrones with kings
    and exalts them forever.
If they are bound in chains
    and caught up in a web of trouble,
he shows them the reason.
    He shows them their sins of pride.
10 He gets their attention
    and commands that they turn from evil.
11 “If they listen and obey God,
    they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives.
    All their years will be pleasant.
12 But if they refuse to listen to him,
    they will cross over the river of death,
    dying from lack of understanding.
13 For the godless are full of resentment.
    Even when he punishes them,
    they refuse to cry out to him for help.
14 They die when they are young,
    after wasting their lives in immoral living.
15 But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer.
    For he gets their attention through adversity.
16 “God is leading you away from danger, Job,
    to a place free from distress.
    He is setting your table with the best food.
17 But you are obsessed with whether the godless will be judged.
    Don’t worry, judgment and justice will be upheld.
18 But watch out, or you may be seduced by wealth.[a]
    Don’t let yourself be bribed into sin.
19 Could all your wealth[b]
    or all your mighty efforts
    keep you from distress?
20 Do not long for the cover of night,
    for that is when people will be destroyed.[c]
21 Be on guard! Turn back from evil,
    for God sent this suffering
    to keep you from a life of evil.

Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Power

22 “Look, God is all-powerful.
    Who is a teacher like him?
23 No one can tell him what to do,
    or say to him, ‘You have done wrong.’
24 Instead, glorify his mighty works,
    singing songs of praise.
25 Everyone has seen these things,
    though only from a distance.
26 “Look, God is greater than we can understand.
    His years cannot be counted.
27 He draws up the water vapor
    and then distills it into rain.
28 The rain pours down from the clouds,
    and everyone benefits.
29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds
    and the thunder that rolls forth from heaven?
30 See how he spreads the lightning around him
    and how it lights up the depths of the sea.
31 By these mighty acts he nourishes[d] the people,
    giving them food in abundance.
32 He fills his hands with lightning bolts
    and hurls each at its target.
33 The thunder announces his presence;
    the storm announces his indignant anger.[e]

Love,

Jonathan

Opinionated

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Challenge yourself to complete each mission that is set for you to accomplish with God and do not follow the opinions of others who are not in a position to understand your true goals and honest motives.” ~ Jon Barnes

Meetings

Once your target is set, you must meet in the location of the target physically.  Too often, our schedules prevent other amazing meetings from ever occurring. The loss of human contact, interaction, and physical connection with people will prevent better solutions from occurring because we are not following and listening to God’s directions. Your presence is required to maximize and understand true love, as you follow the wisdom of God.

Settings

The stage is set each time you arrive at an event, meeting, performance, or rehearsal.  You are always being interviewed, based on what you say, do, look, act, think, and smell. These impressions that come from our God-given senses help us to detect problems, errors, possibilities, and good solutions. We know when we are doing wrong. A computer, voice mail, e-mail, text, book, or document can only give an outline of the real meaning of interaction, love, knowledge, experience, and understanding. Always do good with God’s opinions.

Facts

Physically challenge yourself by going to the meeting place, talking face to face with God to understand His purpose for your actions and not the opinions of others. Your face to the bible is face to Face with God! Once you have done your reading and homework for the day, observe God’s presence in all the things you do, see, hear, last, and smell.  There is always a meeting opportunity to help, serve, learn, grow, empower, listen, and act. Physical facts and successful experiences from life’s meetings and relationships are targets and missions of faith in action. Your best work is always required, not your opinion.
Today’s Question
Are you asking the right questions face to face with God or are you hiding from completing your work?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Samuel 17 

17 Now Ahithophel urged Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 men to start out after David tonight. I will catch up with him while he is weary and discouraged. He and his troops will panic, and everyone will run away. Then I will kill only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride returns to her husband. After all, it is only one man’s life that you seek.[a] Then you will be at peace with all the people.” This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.

Hushai Counters Ahithophel’s Advice

But then Absalom said, “Bring in Hushai the Arkite. Let’s see what he thinks about this.”When Hushai arrived, Absalom told him what Ahithophel had said. Then he asked, “What is your opinion? Should we follow Ahithophel’s advice? If not, what do you suggest?”
“Well,” Hushai replied to Absalom, “this time Ahithophel has made a mistake. You know your father and his men; they are mighty warriors. Right now they are as enraged as a mother bear who has been robbed of her cubs. And remember that your father is an experienced man of war. He won’t be spending the night among the troops. He has probably already hidden in some pit or cave. And when he comes out and attacks and a few of your men fall, there will be panic among your troops, and the word will spread that Absalom’s men are being slaughtered. 10 Then even the bravest soldiers, though they have the heart of a lion, will be paralyzed with fear. For all Israel knows what a mighty warrior your father is and how courageous his men are.
11 “I recommend that you mobilize the entire army of Israel, bringing them from as far away as Dan in the north and Beersheba in the south. That way you will have an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore. And I advise that you personally lead the troops. 12 When we find David, we’ll fall on him like dew that falls on the ground. Then neither he nor any of his men will be left alive. 13 And if David were to escape into some town, you will have all Israel there at your command. Then we can take ropes and drag the walls of the town into the nearest valley until every stone is torn down.”
14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “Hushai’s advice is better than Ahithophel’s.” For the Lord had determined to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, which really was the better plan, so that he could bring disaster on Absalom!

Hushai Warns David to Escape

15 Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, what Ahithophel had said to Absalom and the elders of Israel and what he himself had advised instead. 16 “Quick!” he told them. “Find David and urge him not to stay at the shallows of the Jordan River[b] tonight. He must go across at once into the wilderness beyond. Otherwise he will die and his entire army with him.”
17 Jonathan and Ahimaaz had been staying at En-rogel so as not to be seen entering and leaving the city. Arrangements had been made for a servant girl to bring them the message they were to take to King David. 18 But a boy spotted them at En-rogel, and he told Absalom about it. So they quickly escaped to Bahurim, where a man hid them down inside a well in his courtyard. 19 The man’s wife put a cloth over the top of the well and scattered grain on it to dry in the sun; so no one suspected they were there.
20 When Absalom’s men arrived, they asked her, “Have you seen Ahimaaz and Jonathan?”
The woman replied, “They were here, but they crossed over the brook.” Absalom’s men looked for them without success and returned to Jerusalem.
21 Then the two men crawled out of the well and hurried on to King David. “Quick!” they told him, “cross the Jordan tonight!” And they told him how Ahithophel had advised that he be captured and killed. 22 So David and all the people with him went across the Jordan River during the night, and they were all on the other bank before dawn.
23 When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself. He died there and was buried in the family tomb.
24 David soon arrived at Mahanaim. By now, Absalom had mobilized the entire army of Israel and was leading his troops across the Jordan River. 25 Absalom had appointed Amasa as commander of his army, replacing Joab, who had been commander under David. (Amasa was Joab’s cousin. His father was Jether,[c] an Ishmaelite.[d] His mother, Abigail daughter of Nahash, was the sister of Joab’s mother, Zeruiah.) 26 Absalom and the Israelite army set up camp in the land of Gilead.
27 When David arrived at Mahanaim, he was warmly greeted by Shobi son of Nahash, who came from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and by Makir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and by Barzillai of Gilead from Rogelim. 28 They brought sleeping mats, cooking pots, serving bowls, wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans, lentils, 29 honey, butter, sheep, goats, and cheese for David and those who were with him. For they said, “You must all be very hungry and tired and thirsty after your long march through the wilderness.”
Love,
Jonathan

Maturity Matters

Maturity
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“When you allow God’s Will and purpose for your life to override your own personal feelings of selfishness and entitlements of choice, blessings will flow from you to others you meet, especially your family.” ~ Jon Barnes

Fruitful Few

God’s love flows through you and what you do for others is a spiritual blessing that can last for eternity. The fruitful few that will be allowed into Heaven will do the Will of God by following the instructions and commandments of Love. Understanding is made clear each time you step into God’s presence of love, peace, and joy. 

Biblical Battle

The spiritual battle of the heart, body, and soul supernaturally regulates and rules the physical steps in our lives.The hand of God is guiding you at every turn and you count all of your experiences as joy, because of God’s hand, not your own hand. Count your obedience as joy, because God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek His ways, wisdom, and works of faith to implement into their daily lives.

Self-Deception

It is better to die standing up with God in your faith than to stand against God in your foolishness and lies.  Many people will believe their own lies and not the Word of God, allowing their self-deception to take them to hell. The truth of love is simple, direct, truthful, and honest when we live by faith and not by sight.
Today’s Question
Can others see and follow the flow of God’s hand on your mature lifestyle of obedience and simplicity in God?
Enjoy The Reading
 

1 Samuel 27 

David among the Philistines

27 But David kept thinking to himself, “Someday Saul is going to get me. The best thing I can do is escape to the Philistines. Then Saul will stop hunting for me in Israelite territory, and I will finally be safe.”
So David took his 600 men and went over and joined Achish son of Maoch, the king of Gath. David and his men and their families settled there with Achish at Gath. David brought his two wives along with him—Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, Nabal’s widow from Carmel. Word soon reached Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he stopped hunting for him.
One day David said to Achish, “If it is all right with you, we would rather live in one of the country towns instead of here in the royal city.”
So Achish gave him the town of Ziklag (which still belongs to the kings of Judah to this day),and they lived there among the Philistines for a year and four months.
David and his men spent their time raiding the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites—people who had lived near Shur, toward the land of Egypt, since ancient times. David did not leave one person alive in the villages he attacked. He took the sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothing before returning home to see King Achish.
10 “Where did you make your raid today?” Achish would ask.
And David would reply, “Against the south of Judah, the Jerahmeelites, and the Kenites.”
11 No one was left alive to come to Gath and tell where he had really been. This happened again and again while he was living among the Philistines. 12 Achish believed David and thought to himself, “By now the people of Israel must hate him bitterly. Now he will have to stay here and serve me forever!”
Love,
Jonathan

Active

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Actively use what you have and don’t waste it, along with the precious amount of time you have to live.” ~ Jon Barnes

Ingredients

Some active ingredients in your life should be love, patience, kindness, long-suffering, honesty, integrity, and hard work to mix in with your faith in God. These ingredients will help you to enjoy your family, spouse, job, vacation, service, church, and other activities.  Be the light and salt in the world and shine the taste of happiness onto others.

Activate

Learn to inspire and activate creativity in others with your quality of love, flexibility, understanding, and wisdom from God. It is fun to help develop talent in the people around you. accept the help that God sends you so that you can improve and develop your faith with new work.

Peace

Let your music bring peace and love into the room when you sing and play for others. Play skillfully and practice your craft to share your talent.  Help others to balance their time and assets will bring joy and happiness into the lives of others, who are learning new skill sets. Giving and receiving blessing operates like a balanced scale from Heaven.
Today’s Question
Are you actively seeking God in all that you do with a balanced heart full of love?
Enjoy The Reading

1 Samuel 18 

Saul Becomes Jealous of David

18 After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.
Whatever Saul asked David to do, David did it successfully. So Saul made him a commander over the men of war, an appointment that was welcomed by the people and Saul’s officers alike.
When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals.[a] This was their song:
“Saul has killed his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands!”
This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
10 The very next day a tormenting spirit[b] from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.
12 Saul was then afraid of David, for the Lord was with David and had turned away from Saul.13 Finally, Saul sent him away and appointed him commander over 1,000 men, and David faithfully led his troops into battle.
14 David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul recognized this, he became even more afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David because he was so successful at leading his troops into battle.

David Marries Saul’s Daughter

17 One day Saul said to David, “I am ready to give you my older daughter, Merab, as your wife. But first you must prove yourself to be a real warrior by fighting the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “I’ll send him out against the Philistines and let them kill him rather than doing it myself.”
18 “Who am I, and what is my family in Israel that I should be the king’s son-in-law?” David exclaimed. “My father’s family is nothing!” 19 So[c] when the time came for Saul to give his daughter Merab in marriage to David, he gave her instead to Adriel, a man from Meholah.
20 In the meantime, Saul’s daughter Michal had fallen in love with David, and Saul was delighted when he heard about it. 21 “Here’s another chance to see him killed by the Philistines!” Saul said to himself. But to David he said, “Today you have a second chance to become my son-in-law!”
22 Then Saul told his men to say to David, “The king really likes you, and so do we. Why don’t you accept the king’s offer and become his son-in-law?”
23 When Saul’s men said these things to David, he replied, “How can a poor man from a humble family afford the bride price for the daughter of a king?”
24 When Saul’s men reported this back to the king, 25 he told them, “Tell David that all I want for the bride price is 100 Philistine foreskins! Vengeance on my enemies is all I really want.” But what Saul had in mind was that David would be killed in the fight.
26 David was delighted to accept the offer. Before the time limit expired, 27 he and his men went out and killed 200 Philistines. Then David fulfilled the king’s requirement by presenting all their foreskins to him. So Saul gave his daughter Michal to David to be his wife.
28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and how much his daughter Michal loved him, 29 Saul became even more afraid of him, and he remained David’s enemy for the rest of his life.
30 Every time the commanders of the Philistines attacked, David was more successful against them than all the rest of Saul’s officers. So David’s name became very famous.
Love,
Jonathan

Expectations

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“When your heart is full of expectations towards blessing God for the day, your soul constantly looks for ways to connect to the Spirit of God’s Love.”

Constantly 

Searching for ways to give, serve, share, laugh, work, and love is loaded with infinite possibilities. So I look for and choose the most honest best approach to get my point across. I don’t expect people to understand or like my motive, but God sees the heart and understands us clearly. I expect Him to understand my motives for blessing others, with faith and works of love.

Spirit

The language of God’s Spirit is always blessing people with the reality of Truth. God’s truth needs no explanation because His Children understand, study, and know His commandments, ways, and lifestyle.  Studying God’s language is just like studying any other language. You must live, speak, write, learn, and work in the environment of where God’s message resides, which is in your heart from the Bible, His Word!

Connect

Staying connected to the Spirit of God requires the constant practice of love and expecting nothing in return. In your secret closet of love you expect to pray, work, learn, and love so that your heart is ready to beat and function properly and spiritually in the open.  You love from God connects to people without you knowing it as you flow from one place to the next. Expect God to bless people wherever you go, because you will love them first!
Today’s Question
Are you in love or are you full of hate?
Enjoy The Reading

Judges 20 

The Israelites Punish the Benjamites

20 Then all Israel from Dan to Beersheba and from the land of Gilead came together as one and assembled before the Lord in Mizpah. The leaders of all the people of the tribes of Israel took their places in the assembly of God’s people, four hundred thousand men armed with swords. (The Benjamites heard that the Israelites had gone up to Mizpah.) Then the Israelites said, “Tell us how this awful thing happened.”
So the Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, said, “I and my concubine came to Gibeah in Benjamin to spend the night. During the night the men of Gibeah came after me and surrounded the house, intending to kill me. They raped my concubine, and she died. I took my concubine, cut her into pieces and sent one piece to each region of Israel’s inheritance, because they committed this lewd and outrageous act in Israel. Now, all you Israelites, speak up and tell me what you have decided to do.”
All the men rose up together as one, saying, “None of us will go home. No, not one of us will return to his house. But now this is what we’ll do to Gibeah: We’ll go up against it in the order decided by casting lots. 10 We’ll take ten men out of every hundred from all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred from a thousand, and a thousand from ten thousand, to get provisions for the army. Then, when the army arrives at Gibeah[a] in Benjamin, it can give them what they deserve for this outrageous act done in Israel.” 11 So all the Israelites got together and united as one against the city.
12 The tribes of Israel sent messengers throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What about this awful crime that was committed among you? 13 Now turn those wicked men of Gibeah over to us so that we may put them to death and purge the evil from Israel.”
But the Benjamites would not listen to their fellow Israelites. 14 From their towns they came together at Gibeah to fight against the Israelites. 15 At once the Benjamites mobilized twenty-six thousand swordsmen from their towns, in addition to seven hundred able young men from those living in Gibeah. 16 Among all these soldiers there were seven hundred select troops who were left-handed,each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.
17 Israel, apart from Benjamin, mustered four hundred thousand swordsmen, all of them fit for battle.
18 The Israelites went up to Bethel[b] and inquired of God. They said, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Benjamites?”
The Lord replied, “Judah shall go first.”
19 The next morning the Israelites got up and pitched camp near Gibeah. 20 The Israelites went out to fight the Benjamites and took up battle positions against them at Gibeah. 21 The Benjamites came out of Gibeah and cut down twenty-two thousand Israelites on the battlefield that day. 22 But the Israelites encouraged one another and again took up their positions where they had stationed themselves the first day. 23 The Israelites went up and wept before the Lord until evening, and they inquired of the Lord. They said, “Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjamites, our fellow Israelites?”
The Lord answered, “Go up against them.”
24 Then the Israelites drew near to Benjamin the second day. 25 This time, when the Benjamites came out from Gibeah to oppose them, they cut down another eighteen thousand Israelites, all of them armed with swords.
26 Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the Lord. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. 27 And the Israelites inquired of the Lord. (In those days the ark of the covenant of God was there, 28 with Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, ministering before it.) They asked, “Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjamites, our fellow Israelites, or not?”
The Lord responded, “Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.”
29 Then Israel set an ambush around Gibeah. 30 They went up against the Benjamites on the third day and took up positions against Gibeah as they had done before. 31 The Benjamites came out to meet them and were drawn awayfrom the city. They began to inflict casualties on the Israelites as before, so that about thirty men fell in the open field and on the roads—the one leading to Betheland the other to Gibeah. 32 While the Benjamites were saying, “We are defeating them as before,” the Israelites were saying, “Let’s retreat and draw them away from the city to the roads.”
33 All the men of Israel moved from their places and took up positions at Baal Tamar, and the Israelite ambush charged out of its place on the west[c] of Gibeah.[d]34 Then ten thousand of Israel’s able young men made a frontal attack on Gibeah. The fighting was so heavy that the Benjamites did not realize how near disaster was. 35 The Lord defeated Benjamin before Israel, and on that day the Israelites struck down 25,100 Benjamites, all armed with swords. 36 Then the Benjamites saw that they were beaten.
Now the men of Israel had given way before Benjamin, because they relied on the ambush they had set near Gibeah. 37 Those who had been in ambush made a sudden dash into Gibeah, spread out and put the whole city to the sword. 38 The Israelites had arranged with the ambush that they should send up a great cloud of smoke from the city, 39 and then the Israelites would counterattack.
The Benjamites had begun to inflict casualties on the Israelites (about thirty), and they said, “We are defeating them as in the first battle.” 40 But when the column of smoke began to rise from the city, the Benjamites turned and saw the whole city going up in smoke. 41 Then the Israelites counterattacked, and the Benjamites were terrified, because they realized that disaster had come on them. 42 So they fled before the Israelites in the direction of the wilderness, but they could not escape the battle. And the Israelites who came out of the towns cut them down there. 43 They surrounded the Benjamites, chased them and easily[e] overran them in the vicinity of Gibeah on the east. 44 Eighteen thousand Benjamites fell, all of them valiant fighters. 45 As they turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, the Israelites cut down five thousand men along the roads. They kept pressing after the Benjamites as far as Gidom and struck down two thousand more.
46 On that day twenty-five thousand Benjamite swordsmen fell, all of them valiant fighters. 47 But six hundred of them turned and fled into the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, where they stayed four months. 48 The men of Israel went back to Benjamin and put all the towns to the sword, including the animals and everything else they found. All the towns they came across they set on fire.
 
Love,
Jonathan

Bullying

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Why do you let evil people bully you around especially when God fights your battle and will take care of you?” ~ Jon Barnes

Shadow

Stop being scared of your shadow, keep doing your good work, and enjoy God’s company. Be confident in what you will reap from God because you quietly sow good seed onto fertile ground. Stand up, walk your path in the sun and cast a shadow on ignorance, stupidity, and wickedness.

Attention

Keep your attention on God, by reading and doing the good work and enjoy how things come together because you get the big picture from the BIG BOOK, the Bible. People who don’t read the Bible have less peace than those who have read the entire book and believe its contents.

Practice

Those who practice the ways of God will be rewarded and no bully or evil person can take away your joy, love, and hope. Honest believers of God will know Jesus Christ as their savior and will live a wonderful lifestyle of hope, charity, thanksgiving, and personal progress in Love. When you are disobedient, you are bullying yourself with wickedness.
Today’s Question
Are you practicing what you preach or do you enjoy bullying yourself?
Enjoy The Reading

Judges 10

Tola

10 After the time of Abimelek, a man of Issachar named Tola son of Puah, the son of Dodo, rose to save Israel. He lived in Shamir, in the hill country of Ephraim.He led[a] Israel twenty-three years; then he died, and was buried in Shamir.

Jair

He was followed by Jair of Gilead, who led Israel twenty-two years. He had thirty sons, who rode thirty donkeys. They controlled thirty towns in Gilead, which to this day are called Havvoth Jair.[b] When Jair died, he was buried in Kamon.

Jephthah

Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines. And because the Israelites forsook the Lord and no longer served him, he became angry with them. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites, who that year shattered and crushed them. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites on the east side of the Jordan in Gilead, the land of the Amorites. The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim; Israel was in great distress. 10 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, “We have sinned against you, forsaking our God and serving the Baals.”
11 The Lord replied, “When the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites[c] oppressed you and you cried to me for help, did I not save you from their hands? 13 But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. 14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!”
15 But the Israelites said to the Lord, “We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.” 16 Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the Lord. And he could bear Israel’s misery no longer.
17 When the Ammonites were called to arms and camped in Gilead, the Israelites assembled and camped at Mizpah. 18 The leaders of the people of Gilead said to each other, “Whoever will take the lead in attacking the Ammonites will be headover all who live in Gilead.”
Love,
Jonathan

Testing 1…2…3…

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Whatever you struggle with, don’t be surprised if it’s your test to get to the next level” ~Taryn Barnes

I haven’t been on this Earth very long, but I can say without a doubt that God has a very funny sense of humor. Yesterday, I talked about forgiveness and that it was something I was working on. Sure enough, only hours later, I was placed in a situation where my forgiveness levels were put to the test.

God put me smack dab in the room with the person I was struggling to forgive! At first, I was very upset at the situation. I didn’t want to be there and I didn’t want to deal with it. That said, in a very glaring way, I realized that I was being tested on how I’d react in the situation. I’m glad to say that I didn’t and I kept my cool. However, the night did leave a bad taste in my mouth, leaving me to struggle with it this very morning.

I had to admit that I was being legalistic about forgiveness. You see, just because you may be “right” in the eyes of man doesn’t mean that you’re “right” in the eyes of God. I could sit and be angry, or I can have peace and let God deal with the matters at hand. So I say, whatever turmoil, anguish, or problems you’re dealing with– whether situationally or relationally– let them go. It’s not about the other person or the problem. The truth is, the longer we dwell on the situation, the longer we rob ourselves of our joy, ultimately deterring our blessing for passing the test.

Lastly, when it comes to forgiving someone, it’s never about them. You choose to forgive because it’s the right thing to do. That other person/party involved does not have to be on board or even acknowledge their transgressions, you just forgive and move on anyway. It’s not always a walk in the park, but the peace and the close relationship you build with God is all the more worth it.

Question of the day

Are you deterring blessings by holding on to unforgiveness?

Enjoy today’s reading

Duties of Priests and Levites

1 The LORD said to Aaron, “You, your sons and your family are to bear the responsibility for offenses connected with the sanctuary, and you and your sons alone are to bear the responsibility for offenses connected with the priesthood. 2 Bring your fellow Levites from your ancestral tribe to join you and assist you when you and your sons minister before the tent of the covenant law. 3 They are to be responsible to you and are to perform all the duties of the tent, but they must not go near the furnishings of the sanctuary or the altar. Otherwise both they and you will die. 4 They are to join you and be responsible for the care of the tent of meeting—all the work at the tent—and no one else may come near where you are. 5 “You are to be responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the altar, so that my wrath will not fall on the Israelites again. 6 I myself have selected your fellow Levites from among the Israelites as a gift to you, dedicated to the LORD to do the work at the tent of meeting. 7 But only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary is to be put to death.”

Offerings for Priests and Levites

8 Then the LORD said to Aaron, “I myself have put you in charge of the offerings presented to me; all the holy offerings the Israelites give me I give to you and your sons as your portion, your perpetual share. 9 You are to have the part of the most holy offerings that is kept from the fire. From all the gifts they bring me as most holy offerings, whether grain or sin or guilt offerings, that part belongs to you and your sons. 10 Eat it as something most holy; every male shall eat it. You must regard it as holy. 11 “This also is yours: whatever is set aside from the gifts of all the wave offerings of the Israelites. I give this to you and your sons and daughters as your perpetual share. Everyone in your household who is ceremonially clean may eat it. 12 “I give you all the finest olive oil and all the finest new wine and grain they give the LORD as the firstfruits of their harvest. 13 All the land’s firstfruits that they bring to the LORD will be yours. Everyone in your household who is ceremonially clean may eat it. 14 “Everything in Israel that is devoted to the LORD is yours. 15 The first offspring of every womb, both human and animal, that is offered to the LORD is yours. But you must redeem every firstborn son and every firstborn male of unclean animals. 16 When they are a month old, you must redeem them at the redemption price set at five shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. 17 “But you must not redeem the firstborn of a cow, a sheep or a goat; they are holy. Splash their blood against the altar and burn their fat as a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 18 Their meat is to be yours, just as the breast of the wave offering and the right thigh are yours. 19 Whatever is set aside from the holy offerings the Israelites present to the LORD I give to you and your sons and daughters as your perpetual share. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the LORD for both you and your offspring.” 20 The LORD said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.21 “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.22 From now on the Israelites must not go near the tent of meeting, or they will bear the consequences of their sin and will die. 23 It is the Levites who are to do the work at the tent of meeting and bear the responsibility for any offenses they commit against it. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites. 24 Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the LORD. That is why I said concerning them: ‘They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.’ ” 25The LORD said to Moses, 26 “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD’s offering. 27 Your offering will be reckoned to you as grain from the threshing floor or juice from the winepress. 28 In this way you also will present an offering to the LORD from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the LORD’s portion to Aaron the priest. 29 You must present as the LORD’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.’ 30 “Say to the Levites: ‘When you present the best part, it will be reckoned to you as the product of the threshing floor or the winepress. 31 You and your households may eat the rest of it anywhere, for it is your wages for your work at the tent of meeting.32 By presenting the best part of it you will not be guilty in this matter; then you will not defile the holy offerings of the Israelites, and you will not die.’ ”