Line of Sight

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God performs miraculous things all of the time, but when you don’t show up, they are not in your line of sight.”

TB

Reversed Faults

Everyone goes through times where they’ve been transgressed on– someone does something you don’t like, or they’ve made decisions you don’t agree with. There are also times where you’re the transgressor. Of course, if we all kept score and exacted our own brand of justice, there would be no room for us to rely on God to change our hearts and minds. With hardened hearts and closed minds, we fail to see how God uses circumstances to draw us closer.

Show Up

In all things, show up. Not because you’re perfect, special, or better than the offender, but for your reverence to Christ. More to the point, when we do put down our ‘I told you so’ scepters, we begin to see the quiet yet amazing revelations that God shares to the humble. Remember that God is in all things and will use even the most dire situation for His and our benefit. But you have to be in the line of sight to see it, so, show up.

Today’s Question

What have you missed because you thought your knew better than God?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 36

1 This is the account of the descendants of Esau (also known as Edom). 2 Esau married two young women from Canaan: Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite; and Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite. 3 He also married his cousin Basemath, who was the daughter of Ishmael and the sister of Nebaioth. 4 Adah gave birth to a son named Eliphaz for Esau. Basemath gave birth to a son named Reuel. 5 Oholibamah gave birth to sons named Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. All these sons were born to Esau in the land of Canaan. 6 Esau took his wives, his children, and his entire household, along with his livestock and cattle—all the wealth he had acquired in the land of Canaan—and moved away from his brother, Jacob. 7 There was not enough land to support them both because of all the livestock and possessions they had acquired. 8 So Esau (also known as Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir. 9 This is the account of Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, who lived in the hill country of Seir. 10 These are the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz, the son of Esau’s wife Adah; and Reuel, the son of Esau’s wife Basemath. 11 The descendants of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. 12 Timna, the concubine of Esau’s son Eliphaz, gave birth to a son named Amalek. These are the descendants of Esau’s wife Adah. 13 The descendants of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These are the descendants of Esau’s wife Basemath. 14 Esau also had sons through Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon. Their names were Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. 15 These are the descendants of Esau who became the leaders of various clans: The descendants of Esau’s oldest son, Eliphaz, became the leaders of the clans of Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, 16 Korah, Gatam, and Amalek. These are the clan leaders in the land of Edom who descended from Eliphaz. All these were descendants of Esau’s wife Adah. 17 The descendants of Esau’s son Reuel became the leaders of the clans of Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These are the clan leaders in the land of Edom who descended from Reuel. All these were descendants of Esau’s wife Basemath. 18 The descendants of Esau and his wife Oholibamah became the leaders of the clans of Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the clan leaders who descended from Esau’s wife Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah. 19 These are the clans descended from Esau (also known as Edom), identified by their clan leaders. 20 These are the names of the tribes that descended from Seir the Horite. They lived in the land of Edom: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 21 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. These were the Horite clan leaders, the descendants of Seir, who lived in the land of Edom. 22 The descendants of Lotan were Hori and Hemam. Lotan’s sister was named Timna. 23 The descendants of Shobal were Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. 24 The descendants of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah. (This is the Anah who discovered the hot springs in the wilderness while he was grazing his father’s donkeys.) 25 The descendants of Anah were his son, Dishon, and his daughter, Oholibamah. 26 The descendants of Dishon were Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Keran. 27 The descendants of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan. 28 The descendants of Dishan were Uz and Aran. 29 So these were the leaders of the Horite clans: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 30 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. The Horite clans are named after their clan leaders, who lived in the land of Seir. 31 These are the kings who ruled in the land of Edom before any king ruled over the Israelites : 32 Bela son of Beor, who ruled in Edom from his city of Dinhabah. 33 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah became king in his place. 34 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites became king in his place. 35 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad became king in his place and ruled from the city of Avith. He was the one who defeated the Midianites in the land of Moab. 36 When Hadad died, Samlah from the city of Masrekah became king in his place. 37 When Samlah died, Shaul from the city of Rehoboth-on-the-River became king in his place. 38 When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Acbor became king in his place. 39 When Baal-hanan son of Acbor died, Hadad became king in his place and ruled from the city of Pau. His wife was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred and granddaughter of Me-zahab. 40 These are the names of the leaders of the clans descended from Esau, who lived in the places named for them: Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 41 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 42 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 43 Magdiel, and Iram. These are the leaders of the clans of Edom, listed according to their settlements in the land they occupied. They all descended from Esau, the ancestor of the Edomites.

Crowdsource

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When it comes to knowing God, it’s best not to crowdsource your beliefs.”

TB

Public Opinion

In a world where we have access to all types of information at any given second, it’s not hard to see how we as a society have fallen prey to worshiping what others think and believe; especially when it comes to what others perceive or think about ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with trying to gain understanding. The problem lies in when you stop getting to know God for yourself and begin to crowdsource, your beliefs.

Fickle Nature

Take a step back and observe what happens when the blind lead the blind. Notice the patterns of behaviors and beliefs that come from them. Friends, if you base your knowledge of who God is solely on what you’ve watched, scrolled, or read, then truly you don’t know Him. Even further, you don’t know when you’re believing the word of a charlatan. We all have the ability to access and get to know God on a personal and individual level. All you have to do is ask.

Today’s Question

Are you subscribed to what God is trying to show you or did you crowdsource your relationship from a fallen world?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 35

1 Then God said to Jacob, “Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau.” 2 So Jacob told everyone in his household, “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing. 3 We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.” 4 So they gave Jacob all their pagan idols and earrings, and he buried them under the great tree near Shechem. 5 As they set out, a terror from God spread over the people in all the towns of that area, so no one attacked Jacob’s family. 6 Eventually, Jacob and his household arrived at Luz (also called Bethel) in Canaan. 7 Jacob built an altar there and named the place El-bethel (which means “God of Bethel”), because God had appeared to him there when he was fleeing from his brother, Esau. 8 Soon after this, Rebekah’s old nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried beneath the oak tree in the valley below Bethel. Ever since, the tree has been called Allon-bacuth (which means “oak of weeping”). 9 Now that Jacob had returned from Paddan-aram, God appeared to him again at Bethel. God blessed him, 10 saying, “Your name is Jacob, but you will not be called Jacob any longer. From now on your name will be Israel.” So God renamed him Israel. 11 Then God said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Be fruitful and multiply. You will become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants! 12 And I will give you the land I once gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants after you.” 13 Then God went up from the place where he had spoken to Jacob. 14 Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. Then he poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil. 15 And Jacob named the place Bethel (which means “house of God”), because God had spoken to him there. 16 Leaving Bethel, Jacob and his clan moved on toward Ephrath. But Rachel went into labor while they were still some distance away. Her labor pains were intense. 17 After a very hard delivery, the midwife finally exclaimed, “Don’t be afraid—you have another son!” 18 Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named the baby Ben-oni (which means “son of my sorrow”). The baby’s father, however, called him Benjamin (which means “son of my right hand”). 19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Jacob set up a stone monument over Rachel’s grave, and it can be seen there to this day. 21 Then Jacob traveled on and camped beyond Migdal-eder. 22 While he was living there, Reuben had intercourse with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Jacob soon heard about it. These are the names of the twelve sons of Jacob: 23 The sons of Leah were Reuben (Jacob’s oldest son), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, were Dan and Naphtali. 26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad and Asher. These are the names of the sons who were born to Jacob at Paddan-aram. 27 So Jacob returned to his father, Isaac, in Mamre, which is near Kiriath-arba (now called Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had both lived as foreigners. 28 Isaac lived for 180 years. 29 Then he breathed his last and died at a ripe old age, joining his ancestors in death. And his sons, Esau and Jacob, buried him. 

Don’t Touch It

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Not everything is worth pursuing.”

TB

Exclusively Dumb

It’s human nature to covet what we deem is precious, rare, or exclusive. The opposition exploits this by accusing God of denying us. For some reason, people fall for the lie that God is holding back the goods from us by instructing us to leave it alone. Interestingly enough, when we pursue these agendas we end up causing a whole world of trouble that we plead for God to intercede.

Splendidly Simple

The devil never tells the whole truth about, well, anything. This is especially true is he’s trying to convince you to participate in a convoluted scheme. By splitting hairs and getting into ‘gray’ areas, foolish people buy his lies. But friends, it’s far better to live in simplicity by being an obedient follower of Christ than a heathen struggling with the complications of sinful tomfoolery.

Today’s Question

What do you need to put down?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 34

1 One day Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, went to visit some of the young women who lived in the area. 2 But when the local prince, Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, saw Dinah, he seized her and raped her. 3 But then he fell in love with her, and he tried to win her affection with tender words. 4 He said to his father, Hamor, “Get me this young girl. I want to marry her.” 5 Soon Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter, Dinah. But since his sons were out in the fields herding his livestock, he said nothing until they returned. 6 Hamor, Shechem’s father, came to discuss the matter with Jacob. 7 Meanwhile, Jacob’s sons had come in from the field as soon as they heard what had happened. They were shocked and furious that their sister had been raped. Shechem had done a disgraceful thing against Jacob’s family, something that should never be done. 8 Hamor tried to speak with Jacob and his sons. “My son Shechem is truly in love with your daughter,” he said. “Please let him marry her. 9 In fact, let’s arrange other marriages, too. You give us your daughters for our sons, and we will give you our daughters for your sons. 10 And you may live among us; the land is open to you! Settle here and trade with us. And feel free to buy property in the area.” 11 Then Shechem himself spoke to Dinah’s father and brothers. “Please be kind to me, and let me marry her,” he begged. “I will give you whatever you ask. 12 No matter what dowry or gift you demand, I will gladly pay it—just give me the girl as my wife.” 13 But since Shechem had defiled their sister, Dinah, Jacob’s sons responded deceitfully to Shechem and his father, Hamor. 14 They said to them, “We couldn’t possibly allow this, because you’re not circumcised. It would be a disgrace for our sister to marry a man like you! 15 But here is a solution. If every man among you will be circumcised like we are, 16 then we will give you our daughters, and we’ll take your daughters for ourselves. We will live among you and become one people. 17 But if you don’t agree to be circumcised, we will take her and be on our way.” 18 Hamor and his son Shechem agreed to their proposal. 19 Shechem wasted no time in acting on this request, for he wanted Jacob’s daughter desperately. Shechem was a highly respected member of his family, 20 and he went with his father, Hamor, to present this proposal to the leaders at the town gate. 21 “These men are our friends,” they said. “Let’s invite them to live here among us and trade freely. Look, the land is large enough to hold them. We can take their daughters as wives and let them marry ours. 22 But they will consider staying here and becoming one people with us only if all of our men are circumcised, just as they are. 23 But if we do this, all their livestock and possessions will eventually be ours. Come, let’s agree to their terms and let them settle here among us.” 24 So all the men in the town council agreed with Hamor and Shechem, and every male in the town was circumcised. 25 But three days later, when their wounds were still sore, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, who were Dinah’s full brothers, took their swords and entered the town without opposition. Then they slaughtered every male there, 26 including Hamor and his son Shechem. They killed them with their swords, then took Dinah from Shechem’s house and returned to their camp. 27 Meanwhile, the rest of Jacob’s sons arrived. Finding the men slaughtered, they plundered the town because their sister had been defiled there. 28 They seized all the flocks and herds and donkeys—everything they could lay their hands on, both inside the town and outside in the fields. 29 They looted all their wealth and plundered their houses. They also took all their little children and wives and led them away as captives. 30 Afterward Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have ruined me! You’ve made me stink among all the people of this land—among all the Canaanites and Perizzites. We are so few that they will join forces and crush us. I will be ruined, and my entire household will be wiped out!” 31 “But why should we let him treat our sister like a prostitute?” they retorted angrily.

Jackpot

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“You’ve hit the jackpot when you resolve to make your relationship with Christ your highest priority.”

TB

Finite

We’re conditioned to desire the finite riches of this world as if they hold a candle to who God is. Many will spend their whole entire lives chasing after foolish pursuits and desires. But friends, true wealth is not of this world.

Everlasting

True wealth is knowing who our Father in Heaven is. When you walk with God, you learn what is temporary and what is everlasting. Share in God’s wealth by accepting the gift of salvation and see how His riches eclipse all else.

Today’s Question

Does the wealth you chase extend after you die?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 33

1 Then Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and his two servant wives. 2 He put the servant wives and their children at the front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. 3 Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. 4 Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept. 5 Then Esau looked at the women and children and asked, “Who are these people with you?” “These are the children God has graciously given to me, your servant,” Jacob replied. 6 Then the servant wives came forward with their children and bowed before him. 7 Next came Leah with her children, and they bowed before him. Finally, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed before him. 8 “And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?” Esau asked. Jacob replied, “They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship.” 9 “My brother, I have plenty,” Esau answered. “Keep what you have for yourself.” 10 But Jacob insisted, “No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God! 11 Please take this gift I have brought you, for God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau finally accepted the gift. 12 “Well,” Esau said, “let’s be going. I will lead the way.” 13 But Jacob replied, “You can see, my lord, that some of the children are very young, and the flocks and herds have their young, too. If they are driven too hard, even for one day, all the animals could die. 14 Please, my lord, go ahead of your servant. We will follow slowly, at a pace that is comfortable for the livestock and the children. I will meet you at Seir.” 15 “All right,” Esau said, “but at least let me assign some of my men to guide and protect you.” Jacob responded, “That’s not necessary. It’s enough that you’ve received me warmly, my lord!” 16 So Esau turned around and started back to Seir that same day. 17 Jacob, on the other hand, traveled on to Succoth. There he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was named Succoth (which means “shelters”). 18 Later, having traveled all the way from Paddan-aram, Jacob arrived safely at the town of Shechem, in the land of Canaan. There he set up camp outside the town. 19 Jacob bought the plot of land where he camped from the family of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of silver. 20 And there he built an altar and named it El-Elohe-Israel.

There It Is

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Whatever takes your attention away from Christ, there is your idol.”

TB

Glorifried

We tend to think of idols as some ancient, mystic thing those old testament folks did. But really, idolatry is simply a person, place, thing– anything– that you place above developing an authentic relationship with God. It could be placing your status in this world above Him. Placing substances above Him. Virtually anything that you value above God and all else is an idol. Friends, don’t glorify false idols. Instead, check yourself and recalibrate.

Humbled Honesty

Like it or not, we’ve all placed things above God. In fact, it will always be a constant opportunity because we are tempted by our flesh. Perfection isn’t attainable, however, with some humbled honesty, you can throw out your idols and turn to Christ. When we place God above all else, He helps us to discover the Truth and how we can live in peace with it. Because we must actively live in peace, we must first toss the idols that detract from our ability to do so.

Today’s Question

Are you being honest with where you are?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 31

1 But Jacob soon learned that Laban’s sons were grumbling about him. “Jacob has robbed our father of everything!” they said. “He has gained all his wealth at our father’s expense.” 2 And Jacob began to notice a change in Laban’s attitude toward him. 3 Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your father and grandfather and to your relatives there, and I will be with you.” 4 So Jacob called Rachel and Leah out to the field where he was watching his flock. 5 He said to them, “I have noticed that your father’s attitude toward me has changed. But the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know how hard I have worked for your father, 7 but he has cheated me, changing my wages ten times. But God has not allowed him to do me any harm. 8 For if he said, ‘The speckled animals will be your wages,’ the whole flock began to produce speckled young. And when he changed his mind and said, ‘The striped animals will be your wages,’ then the whole flock produced striped young. 9 In this way, God has taken your father’s animals and given them to me. 10 “One time during the mating season, I had a dream and saw that the male goats mating with the females were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 11 Then in my dream, the angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ And I replied, ‘Yes, here I am.’ 12 “The angel said, ‘Look up, and you will see that only the streaked, speckled, and spotted males are mating with the females of your flock. For I have seen how Laban has treated you. 13 I am the God who appeared to you at Bethel, the place where you anointed the pillar of stone and made your vow to me. Now get ready and leave this country and return to the land of your birth.’” 14 Rachel and Leah responded, “That’s fine with us! We won’t inherit any of our father’s wealth anyway. 15 He has reduced our rights to those of foreign women. And after he sold us, he wasted the money you paid him for us. 16 All the wealth God has given you from our father legally belongs to us and our children. So go ahead and do whatever God has told you.” 17 So Jacob put his wives and children on camels, 18 and he drove all his livestock in front of him. He packed all the belongings he had acquired in Paddan-aram and set out for the land of Canaan, where his father, Isaac, lived. 19 At the time they left, Laban was some distance away, shearing his sheep. Rachel stole her father’s household idols and took them with her. 20 Jacob outwitted Laban the Aramean, for they set out secretly and never told Laban they were leaving. 21 So Jacob took all his possessions with him and crossed the Euphrates River, heading for the hill country of Gilead. 22 Three days later, Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23 So he gathered a group of his relatives and set out in hot pursuit. He caught up with Jacob seven days later in the hill country of Gilead. 24 But the previous night God had appeared to Laban the Aramean in a dream and told him, “I’m warning you—leave Jacob alone!” 25 Laban caught up with Jacob as he was camped in the hill country of Gilead, and he set up his camp not far from Jacob’s. 26 “What do you mean by deceiving me like this?” Laban demanded. “How dare you drag my daughters away like prisoners of war? 27 Why did you slip away secretly? Why did you deceive me? And why didn’t you say you wanted to leave? I would have given you a farewell feast, with singing and music, accompanied by tambourines and harps. 28 Why didn’t you let me kiss my daughters and grandchildren and tell them good-bye? You have acted very foolishly! 29 I could destroy you, but the God of your father appeared to me last night and warned me, ‘Leave Jacob alone!’ 30 I can understand your feeling that you must go, and your intense longing for your father’s home. But why have you stolen my gods?” 31 “I rushed away because I was afraid,” Jacob answered. “I thought you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 But as for your gods, see if you can find them, and let the person who has taken them die! And if you find anything else that belongs to you, identify it before all these relatives of ours, and I will give it back!” But Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the household idols. 33 Laban went first into Jacob’s tent to search there, then into Leah’s, and then the tents of the two servant wives—but he found nothing. Finally, he went into Rachel’s tent. 34 But Rachel had taken the household idols and hidden them in her camel saddle, and now she was sitting on them. When Laban had thoroughly searched her tent without finding them, 35 she said to her father, “Please, sir, forgive me if I don’t get up for you. I’m having my monthly period.” So Laban continued his search, but he could not find the household idols. 36 Then Jacob became very angry, and he challenged Laban. “What’s my crime?” he demanded. “What have I done wrong to make you chase after me as though I were a criminal? 37 You have rummaged through everything I own. Now show me what you found that belongs to you! Set it out here in front of us, before our relatives, for all to see. Let them judge between us! 38 “For twenty years I have been with you, caring for your flocks. In all that time your sheep and goats never miscarried. In all those years I never used a single ram of yours for food. 39 If any were attacked and killed by wild animals, I never showed you the carcass and asked you to reduce the count of your flock. No, I took the loss myself! You made me pay for every stolen animal, whether it was taken in broad daylight or in the dark of night. 40 “I worked for you through the scorching heat of the day and through cold and sleepless nights. 41 Yes, for twenty years I slaved in your house! I worked for fourteen years earning your two daughters, and then six more years for your flock. And you changed my wages ten times! 42 In fact, if the God of my father had not been on my side—the God of Abraham and the fearsome God of Isaac —you would have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen your abuse and my hard work. That is why he appeared to you last night and rebuked you!” 43 Then Laban replied to Jacob, “These women are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren, and these flocks are my flocks—in fact, everything you see is mine. But what can I do now about my daughters and their children? 44 So come, let’s make a covenant, you and I, and it will be a witness to our commitment.” 45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a monument. 46 Then he told his family members, “Gather some stones.” So they gathered stones and piled them in a heap. Then Jacob and Laban sat down beside the pile of stones to eat a covenant meal. 47 To commemorate the event, Laban called the place Jegar-sahadutha (which means “witness pile” in Aramaic), and Jacob called it Galeed (which means “witness pile” in Hebrew). 48 Then Laban declared, “This pile of stones will stand as a witness to remind us of the covenant we have made today.” This explains why it was called Galeed—“Witness Pile.” 49 But it was also called Mizpah (which means “watchtower”), for Laban said, “May the LORD keep watch between us to make sure that we keep this covenant when we are out of each other’s sight. 50 If you mistreat my daughters or if you marry other wives, God will see it even if no one else does. He is a witness to this covenant between us. 51 “See this pile of stones,” Laban continued, “and see this monument I have set between us. 52 They stand between us as witnesses of our vows. I will never pass this pile of stones to harm you, and you must never pass these stones or this monument to harm me. 53 I call on the God of our ancestors—the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of my grandfather Nahor—to serve as a judge between us.” So Jacob took an oath before the fearsome God of his father, Isaac, to respect the boundary line. 54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice to God there on the mountain and invited everyone to a covenant feast. After they had eaten, they spent the night on the mountain. 55 Laban got up early the next morning, and he kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.

By Grace

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When we’re slow to speak and quick to listen, then we can begin to unpack the nuance of grace.”

TB

Hear Well

If you respond to situations with a legalistic approach, your ears and hearts become clogged by the law, dulling your senses grace and mercy. In order to hear well, you must listen with an open heart.

Grace Abound

Grace is not given because it’s earned. No, from human to human we ought to give grace because it’s the very thing that God gives to us. So instead of blowing up at your neighbor, respond with grace.

Today’s Question

Are you full of grace or something else?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 29

1 Then Jacob hurried on, finally arriving in the land of the east. 2 He saw a well in the distance. Three flocks of sheep and goats lay in an open field beside it, waiting to be watered. But a heavy stone covered the mouth of the well. 3 It was the custom there to wait for all the flocks to arrive before removing the stone and watering the animals. Afterward the stone would be placed back over the mouth of the well. 4 Jacob went over to the shepherds and asked, “Where are you from, my friends?” “We are from Haran,” they answered. 5 “Do you know a man there named Laban, the grandson of Nahor?” he asked. “Yes, we do,” they replied. 6 “Is he doing well?” Jacob asked. “Yes, he’s well,” they answered. “Look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the flock now.” 7 Jacob said, “Look, it’s still broad daylight—too early to round up the animals. Why don’t you water the sheep and goats so they can get back out to pasture?” 8 “We can’t water the animals until all the flocks have arrived,” they replied. “Then the shepherds move the stone from the mouth of the well, and we water all the sheep and goats.” 9 Jacob was still talking with them when Rachel arrived with her father’s flock, for she was a shepherd. 10 And because Rachel was his cousin—the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother—and because the sheep and goats belonged to his uncle Laban, Jacob went over to the well and moved the stone from its mouth and watered his uncle’s flock. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and he wept aloud. 12 He explained to Rachel that he was her cousin on her father’s side—the son of her aunt Rebekah. So Rachel quickly ran and told her father, Laban. 13 As soon as Laban heard that his nephew Jacob had arrived, he ran out to meet him. He embraced and kissed him and brought him home. When Jacob had told him his story, 14 Laban exclaimed, “You really are my own flesh and blood!” Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel After Jacob had stayed with Laban for about a month, 15 Laban said to him, “You shouldn’t work for me without pay just because we are relatives. Tell me how much your wages should be.” 16 Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. 17 There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. 18 Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.” 19 “Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.” 20 So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days. 21 Finally, the time came for him to marry her. “I have fulfilled my agreement,” Jacob said to Laban. “Now give me my wife so I can sleep with her.” 22 So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. 23 But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 (Laban had given Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.) 25 But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?” 26 “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. 27 “But wait until the bridal week is over; then we’ll give you Rachel, too—provided you promise to work another seven years for me.” 28 So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too. 29 (Laban gave Rachel a servant, Bilhah, to be her maid.) 30 So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years. 31 When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. 32 So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The LORD has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.” 33 She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, “The LORD heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.” 34 Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!” 35 Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the LORD !” And then she stopped having children.

Office Hours

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“To gain understanding, make sure you sign up for God’s office hours.”

TB

In Session

God is miraculous in that He makes time for each and every one of us to ask questions that help us to grow and improve our relationship with Him. Like a dedicated professor, He graciously extends His office hours, 24/7 available for anyone who seeks Him. Be sure to stop by to learn the formulas for your tests.

Ditch

When you make the decision to ditch office hours, you fail to learn the lessons that enable you to grow closer to Christ. Instead, you become like a disengaged student who shows up at the final only to flunk because they were unprepared. Friends, don’t show up until it’s too late. Stop by the Holy Office for your 1:1 tutoring today.

Today’s Question

Did you go to God’s office hours or are you determined to fail the final?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 27

1 One day when Isaac was old and turning blind, he called for Esau, his older son, and said, “My son.” “Yes, Father?” Esau replied. 2 “I am an old man now,” Isaac said, “and I don’t know when I may die. 3 Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4 Prepare my favorite dish, and bring it here for me to eat. Then I will pronounce the blessing that belongs to you, my firstborn son, before I die.” 5 But Rebekah overheard what Isaac had said to his son Esau. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game, 6 she said to her son Jacob, “Listen. I overheard your father say to Esau, 7 ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare me a delicious meal. Then I will bless you in the LORD ’s presence before I die.’ 8 Now, my son, listen to me. Do exactly as I tell you. 9 Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. I’ll use them to prepare your father’s favorite dish. 10 Then take the food to your father so he can eat it and bless you before he dies.” 11 “But look,” Jacob replied to Rebekah, “my brother, Esau, is a hairy man, and my skin is smooth. 12 What if my father touches me? He’ll see that I’m trying to trick him, and then he’ll curse me instead of blessing me.” 13 But his mother replied, “Then let the curse fall on me, my son! Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats for me!” 14 So Jacob went out and got the young goats for his mother. Rebekah took them and prepared a delicious meal, just the way Isaac liked it. 15 Then she took Esau’s favorite clothes, which were there in the house, and gave them to her younger son, Jacob. 16 She covered his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skin of the young goats. 17 Then she gave Jacob the delicious meal, including freshly baked bread. 18 So Jacob took the food to his father. “My father?” he said. “Yes, my son,” Isaac answered. “Who are you—Esau or Jacob?” 19 Jacob replied, “It’s Esau, your firstborn son. I’ve done as you told me. Here is the wild game. Now sit up and eat it so you can give me your blessing.” 20 Isaac asked, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?” “The LORD your God put it in my path!” Jacob replied. 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so I can touch you and make sure that you really are Esau.” 22 So Jacob went closer to his father, and Isaac touched him. “The voice is Jacob’s, but the hands are Esau’s,” Isaac said. 23 But he did not recognize Jacob, because Jacob’s hands felt hairy just like Esau’s. So Isaac prepared to bless Jacob. 24 “But are you really my son Esau?” he asked. “Yes, I am,” Jacob replied. 25 Then Isaac said, “Now, my son, bring me the wild game. Let me eat it, and then I will give you my blessing.” So Jacob took the food to his father, and Isaac ate it. He also drank the wine that Jacob served him. 26 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come a little closer and kiss me, my son.” 27 So Jacob went over and kissed him. And when Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he was finally convinced, and he blessed his son. He said, “Ah! The smell of my son is like the smell of the outdoors, which the LORD has blessed! 28 “From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine. 29 May many nations become your servants, and may they bow down to you. May you be the master over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. All who curse you will be cursed, and all who bless you will be blessed.” 30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and almost before Jacob had left his father, Esau returned from his hunt. 31 Esau prepared a delicious meal and brought it to his father. Then he said, “Sit up, my father, and eat my wild game so you can give me your blessing.” 32 But Isaac asked him, “Who are you?” Esau replied, “It’s your son, your firstborn son, Esau.” 33 Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably and said, “Then who just served me wild game? I have already eaten it, and I blessed him just before you came. And yes, that blessing must stand!” 34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he let out a loud and bitter cry. “Oh my father, what about me? Bless me, too!” he begged. 35 But Isaac said, “Your brother was here, and he tricked me. He has taken away your blessing.” 36 Esau exclaimed, “No wonder his name is Jacob, for now he has cheated me twice. First he took my rights as the firstborn, and now he has stolen my blessing. Oh, haven’t you saved even one blessing for me?” 37 Isaac said to Esau, “I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine—what is left for me to give you, my son?” 38 Esau pleaded, “But do you have only one blessing? Oh my father, bless me, too!” Then Esau broke down and wept. 39 Finally, his father, Isaac, said to him, “You will live away from the richness of the earth, and away from the dew of the heaven above. 40 You will live by your sword, and you will serve your brother. But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck.” 41 From that time on, Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing. And Esau began to scheme: “I will soon be mourning my father’s death. Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.” 42 But Rebekah heard about Esau’s plans. So she sent for Jacob and told him, “Listen, Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you. 43 So listen carefully, my son. Get ready and flee to my brother, Laban, in Haran. 44 Stay there with him until your brother cools off. 45 When he calms down and forgets what you have done to him, I will send for you to come back. Why should I lose both of you in one day?” 46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m sick and tired of these local Hittite women! I would rather die than see Jacob marry one of them.”

Lifelong Learner

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Discipline yourself to become a lifelong learner as it takes a lifetime to even begin to appreciate and know God.”

TB

Lessons

When we place God at the center of our lives, we begin to see the infinite lessons He has to teach us. This is especially true in the fact that we must contend with a fallen world. So, focus your attention on Christ to root out the distractions of this world. As you humbly accept the fact that there are many lessons, they become easier for you to learn.

Learn

To learn from God requires us to give Him the rightful respect and attention He deserves. God will never force you to pay attention to learn, which is why many fail from the start. The great thing about learning from God is that it never stops. He will never run out of things to teach us. As our spiritual maturity increases, so does the desire to hear from God.

Today’s Question

Are you a lifelong learner or has your pride hindered your ability to listen?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 26

1 A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived. 2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. 3 Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. 4 I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 5 I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.” 6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar. 7 When the men who lived there asked Isaac about his wife, Rebekah, he said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “They will kill me to get her, because she is so beautiful.” 8 But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah. 9 Immediately, Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, “She is obviously your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” “Because I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me,” Isaac replied. 10 “How could you do this to us?” Abimelech exclaimed. “One of my people might easily have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin.” 11 Then Abimelech issued a public proclamation: “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death!” 12 When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the LORD blessed him. 13 He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. 14 He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15 So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham. 16 Finally, Abimelech ordered Isaac to leave the country. “Go somewhere else,” he said, “for you have become too powerful for us.” 17 So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and settled down. 18 He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them. 19 Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. 20 But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). 21 Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). 22 Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the LORD has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.” 23 From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, 24 where the LORD appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.” 25 Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the LORD . He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well. 26 One day King Abimelech came from Gerar with his adviser, Ahuzzath, and also Phicol, his army commander. 27 “Why have you come here?” Isaac asked. “You obviously hate me, since you kicked me off your land.” 28 They replied, “We can plainly see that the LORD is with you. So we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant. 29 Swear that you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how the LORD has blessed you!” 30 So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, and they ate and drank together. 31 Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and they left him in peace. 32 That very day Isaac’s servants came and told him about a new well they had dug. “We’ve found water!” they exclaimed. 33 So Isaac named the well Shibah (which means “oath”). And to this day the town that grew up there is called Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”). 34 At the age of forty, Esau married two Hittite wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon. 35 But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah.