Contingent

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“If your faith and peace is contingent on anything else but God, you’re building on quicksand.”

TB

Chaos

Life can seem chaotic when we build our understanding based on our own perspectives. People, places, and things change in every season. Sometimes it’s great. Sometimes it’s hard. Wise people teach. Wise people fail. Good people make bad choices. Houses are built. Houses fall down. So if we put our faith in those things alone, be prepared to live a roller coaster life. We cannot expect peace only when the world feels nice. No, peace comes from a greater relationship– the one you build with God.

Calm

I think many of us at time naively believe that walking with Christ means a perfect existence. Many of us give up our walks because we look at trials as a sign that God isn’t there. But if you look a little closer, those trials reveal that He is indeed there! It’s important to get to know God in all seasons and aspects of your life. When you talk to Him everyday and in every way, you realize that all things work according to him. So don’t limit the easy peasy days to God’s handiwork. He’s with you in the tough stuff too. In order to see that, you must forego the contingencies and cling to Him in all things. When you build your foundation with God, you can trust that it will remain forever.

Today’s Question

Is your peace contingent on your circumstance?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 3

1 The voice said to me, “Son of man, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll. 3 “Fill your stomach with this,” he said. And when I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. 4 Then he said, “Son of man, go to the people of Israel and give them my messages. 5 I am not sending you to a foreign people whose language you cannot understand. 6 No, I am not sending you to people with strange and difficult speech. If I did, they would listen! 7 But the people of Israel won’t listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn. 8 But look, I have made you as obstinate and hard-hearted as they are. 9 I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock! So don’t be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are rebels.” 10 Then he added, “Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. 11 Then go to your people in exile and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says!’ Do this whether they listen to you or not.” 12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the LORD be praised in his place!) 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living beings as they brushed against each other and the rumbling of their wheels beneath them. 14 The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the LORD ’s hold on me was strong. 15 Then I came to the colony of Judean exiles in Tel-abib, beside the Kebar River. I was overwhelmed and sat among them for seven days. 16 After seven days the LORD gave me a message. He said, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. 18 If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me. 20 “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.” 22 Then the LORD took hold of me and said, “Get up and go out into the valley, and I will speak to you there.” 23 So I got up and went, and there I saw the glory of the LORD, just as I had seen in my first vision by the Kebar River. And I fell face down on the ground. 24 Then the Spirit came into me and set me on my feet. He spoke to me and said, “Go to your house and shut yourself in. 25 There, son of man, you will be tied with ropes so you cannot go out among the people. 26 And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be speechless and unable to rebuke them, for they are rebels. 27 But when I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says!’ Those who choose to listen will listen, but those who refuse will refuse, for they are rebels.

Obedience>Perfection

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God never asks for perfection, just obedience.”~TB

Standards

Do you ever sit back and reflect on the standards that Christ has asked of us? Love your neighbor as yourself, don’t covet, forgive others, honor thy mother and father, and so on. These standards in of themselves are not difficult. They do not require a Ph.D. nor a mathematical background to practice. More to the point, even when we do screw those up, all we have to do is repent and turn from our stupidity. Imagine that! So why is it that we as people have come so far astray from those simple commandments and deeds? We’ve adopted our own morbid standards of human perfection (depravity) and have tossed God’s to the wayside. If you don’t believe me consider this: depending on the human audience, the standards change. But, God’s standards, never change no matter the audience or time period.

Practice

So if man’s standards change– as they often do– it can’t come as a massive surprise that we feel the instability and insecurity that is plaguing our society. From social standards, workplace standards, economic standards, it’s all over the place! This means, that instead of trying to perfect any standard, it’s always best to practice obeying the standards of Christ. Because God’s word never fails, deviates, and obscures, all we have is Him — which is all we need. Think about it; when we die, we can’t take any of this with us. What Suzy said about your outfit or the way you made your quiche does not come into play at the Pearly Gates. Jim’s amazing man cave or home gym does not matter one iota. Friends, imagine if we moved in the way that Christ asked of us. It would be interesting to see what we could accomplish and the peace that would ensue. So, instead of looking to be perfect, practice obeying what Christ has written on our hearts.

Today’s Question

Are you practicing obedience or practicing stupidity?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 14

1 This message came to Jeremiah from the LORD, explaining why he was holding back the rain: 
2 “Judah wilts; commerce at the city gates grinds to a halt. All the people sit on the ground in mourning, and a great cry rises from Jerusalem. 
3 The nobles send servants to get water, but all the wells are dry. The servants return with empty pitchers, confused and desperate, covering their heads in grief. 
4 The ground is parched and cracked for lack of rain. The farmers are deeply troubled; they, too, cover their heads. 
5 Even the doe abandons her newborn fawn because there is no grass in the field. 
6 The wild donkeys stand on the bare hills panting like thirsty jackals. They strain their eyes looking for grass, but there is none to be found.” 
7 The people say, “Our wickedness has caught up with us, LORD, but help us for the sake of your own reputation. We have turned away from you and sinned against you again and again. 
8 O Hope of Israel, our Savior in times of trouble, why are you like a stranger to us? Why are you like a traveler passing through the land, stopping only for the night? 
9 Are you also confused? Is our champion helpless to save us? You are right here among us, LORD . We are known as your people. Please don’t abandon us now!” 
10 So this is what the LORD says to his people: “You love to wander far from me and do not restrain yourselves. Therefore, I will no longer accept you as my people. Now I will remember all your wickedness and will punish you for your sins.” 
11 Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for these people anymore. 
12 When they fast, I will pay no attention. When they present their burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept them. Instead, I will devour them with war, famine, and disease.” 
13 Then I said, “O Sovereign LORD, their prophets are telling them, ‘All is well—no war or famine will come. The LORD will surely send you peace.’” 
14 Then the LORD said, “These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts. 
15 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they themselves will die by war and famine! 
16 As for the people to whom they prophesy—their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and war. There will be no one left to bury them. Husbands, wives, sons, and daughters—all will be gone. For I will pour out their own wickedness on them. 
17 Now, Jeremiah, say this to them: “Night and day my eyes overflow with tears. I cannot stop weeping, for my virgin daughter—my precious people— has been struck down and lies mortally wounded. 
18 If I go out into the fields, I see the bodies of people slaughtered by the enemy. If I walk the city streets, I see people who have died of starvation. The prophets and priests continue with their work, but they don’t know what they’re doing.” 
19 LORD, have you completely rejected Judah? Do you really hate Jerusalem? Why have you wounded us past all hope of healing? We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror. 
20 LORD, we confess our wickedness and that of our ancestors, too. We all have sinned against you. 
21 For the sake of your reputation, LORD, do not abandon us. Do not disgrace your own glorious throne. Please remember us, and do not break your covenant with us. 
22 Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, you are the one, O LORD our God! Only you can do such things. So we will wait for you to help us.

 

Calm

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
 
“Calmly work through your own issues with God so that your personal relationships will thrive, grow, and help others in need.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Excellent

Since you don’t know how much you can help someone in need, maintain a position of excellence to share with others at all times. Don’t worry about the rejection you will receive from some people for being competent,  kind, good, honest, and, fair.  Be prepared to give the best answer, pointing to biblical references so that people can find the resources of truth to study for themselves. Giving these resources of self-help is crucial to calm people in the midst of the storms in life.

Accent

Accent the obedient nature of good people who follow God’s vision and notice the rewards for doing so.  Persecution is not punishment, but the process of excellence.  Winning the war against evil is the goal, not winning your personal battles to do wicked things or to receive ill-gotten gain.  Accent the truth in God at all times. God’s Love in Truth and in Spirit, He will fight the battles for you.  Calmly point to these facts and try to relax.

Enthusiastic

I am always excited about the new things God will show me and I am always willing to share these new experiences with everyone. Remaining calm is not always easy for me to do.  Betrayal, deception, and fake news is all around us. Nevertheless, it is my prayer that people share the love of God in a way that is honest, helpful, hopeful, and full of love so that the next generation become better fathers and mothers of the future.  Being persecuted for doing good work is a good thing!
Today’s Question
Will your children become better parents based on your example?

Enjoy The Reading

John 9 

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. 7 He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!
8 His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!”
But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!”
10 They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?”
11 He told them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So I went and washed, and now I can see!”
12 “Where is he now?” they asked.
“I don’t know,” he replied.
13 Then they took the man who had been blind to the Pharisees, 14 because it was on the Sabbath that Jesus had made the mud and healed him. 15 The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, “He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.” Others said, “But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?” So there was a deep division of opinion among them.
17 Then the Pharisees again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, “What’s your opinion about this man who healed you?”
The man replied, “I think he must be a prophet.”
18 The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. 19 They asked them, “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?”
20 His parents replied, “We know this is our son and that he was born blind, 21 but we don’t know how he can see or who healed him. Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”
24 So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.”
25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”
26 “But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?”
27 “Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?”
28 Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! 29 We know God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.”
30 “Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. 32 Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.”
34 “You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue.

Spiritual Blindness

35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”
37 “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”
38 “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.
39 Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?”
41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.

Heaven

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Treat God and people like you are in heaven right now and you will live with the Lord’s Prayer in your heart, lips, mind, body, soul, and lifestyle.” ~  Jon Barnes

Our

Our Father is in Heaven right now and our job is to practice His Will; which is being done on earth and in Heaven at the same time.  God seems pretty quick about building planets, solar systems, galaxies, and things of the unknown and unseen. I would assume that His judgment upon your life is just as swift upon death.  In reality, our lives blink like a “Twinkle Little Star Dust” in time, but our souls will live forever.

Father

Heaven and Hell seem to be active so that the Will of God is being done before, during, and after you die.  I can’t imagine that God would let the wicked rest idle waiting for judgment because hell is already operational and burning strong. Since eternity is on the other side of death, your destination awaits you as well for the same amount of time eternity is measured. Mathematically speaking, you can’t imagine how long eternity feels like in your mind’s eye.

In

Since God can do anything and is everywhere, we cannot comprehend His Time reference to eternity or His abilities.  It is beyond our scope of comprehension and reality. He gives us ideas, stories, and food for thought from His Bible, but All of God, What He Does, and Will Do cannot be expressed fully with the carnal mind of man. But, when you meditate on the Lord’s Prayer each day, you get a sense of understanding, revelation, and reality from God’s perspective.  Repentance is the product of true obedience.
Today’s Question
Do you think that God is wasting His Time on You, to burn in hell?   
Enjoy the reading

John 1 

Prologue: Christ, the Eternal Word

1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”
16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.[f] 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

The Testimony of John the Baptist

19 This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” 20 He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.”
21 “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”
“No,” he replied.
“Are you the Prophet we are expecting?”
“No.”
22 “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?”
23 John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah:
“I am a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”
24 Then the Pharisees who had been sent 25 asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?”
26 John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. 27 Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.”
28 This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.

Jesus, the Lamb of God

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”

The First Disciples

35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.
38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.
They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).
42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”[n]).
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.
45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”
48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”
49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” 51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.

Take

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“The opposition can take things from you, but he cannot take your salvation.”~TB

Thief

Like a thief lying in wait for the opportune moment, he will try and steal your peace and joy by any means necessary. His main goal is to get you to feel as though God isn’t with you. Friends, don’t turn your back away from God when you are going through tough times. Remain calm and learn all you can in your trials so that you grow from the experience.

Temporary

When you experience setbacks that come from the evil one, rest assured that these attacks are temporary and they will pass. In times of great trial, lean on the word for comfort. The Bible is filled with stories of men and women who have endured trying times and great opposition. What comfort it is to know that our experiences are no different from those before us!

 

Redeem

Whatever the opposition attempts to steal, God will redeem and then some. Christ is the ultimate defender and protector, so when evil comes against you, there’s no need to fight. Be still and know that your Creator is in control. Our own defense or vindication does not hold a candle to what Christ can do for us. So when evil tries to take, remember who redeems and what He was decided cannot be changed.

Today’s Question

Are you remaining still and allowing God to work in your life?

Enjoy the reading

Proverbs 27

1 Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.
2 Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth— a stranger, not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.
4 Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.
5 An open rebuke is better than hidden love!
6 Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
7 A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.
8 A person who strays from home is like a bird that strays from its nest.
9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
10 Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.
11 Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad. Then I will be able to answer my critics.
12 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
13 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.
14 A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!
15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.
16Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands.
17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
18 As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit, so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.
19 As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.
20 Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.
21 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.
22 You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.
23 Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds,
24 for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.
25 After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears and the mountain grasses are gathered in,
26 your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will provide the price of a field.
27 And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself, your family, and your servant girls.

 

Process

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t create a massive process to process forgiveness, love, and acceptance.”~TB

Quickly

When you regularly walk with God, you will notice how quickly He is to forgive us when we screw up. He doesn’t read a list of past offenses, He simply acknowledges your repentance and moves on. We know this, yet we still hold the offenses of our peers to a higher standard. How arrogant and how foolish! God doesn’t beat us up because He knows that in order for you to grow, you must be given the space and grace to do so. When you look at a person, in the same way, failing to acknowledge their growth or change, well, that says more about you than the other person.

Move On

I admit, there are times where I get annoyed with my dad when he advises me to move on from offenses. In my frustration, I’d rather wallow in my “rightness” rather than extend the same space and grace that God gives me on a daily basis. I humbly laugh at my misguided nature and continually ask God to improve my resilience in that area. I’ve come to realize that my dad is not trying to diminish/erase my experience, but rather, he’s encouraging me to love people as God loves me. I share this with you to say, whatever the offense, whatever the reason, right or wrong, move on. God gives credit where credit is due, and we all reap what we sow, good or bad. So let God do the judging.

Today’s Question

Are you letting a convoluted process hinder your walk with Christ?

Enjoy the reading

Proverbs 21

1 The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD ; he guides it wherever he pleases. 
2 People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart. 
3 The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices. 
4 Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin. 
5 Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. 
6 Wealth created by a lying tongue is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap. 
7 The violence of the wicked sweeps them away, because they refuse to do what is just. 
8 The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road. 
9 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. 
10 Evil people desire evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them. 
11 If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise; if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser. 
12 The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them. 
13 Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need. 
14 A secret gift calms anger; a bribe under the table pacifies fury. 
15 Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers. 
16 The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead. 
17 Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
18 The wicked are punished in place of the godly, and traitors in place of the honest. 
19 It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife. 
20 The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get. 
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor. 
22 The wise conquer the city of the strong and level the fortress in which they trust. 
23 Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble. 
24Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance. 
25Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work. 
26 Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give! 
27 The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable, especially when it is offered with wrong motives. 
28 A false witness will be cut off, but a credible witness will be allowed to speak. 
29 The wicked bluff their way through, but the virtuous think before they act. 
30 No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD . 
31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD .

The Difference

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“As you grow in Christ it’s important to discern the difference between conviction and condemnation.”~TB

Conviction

Each step you take, following Christ, you will see that your old misdeeds of yesterday no longer bring you the same pleasure as they once did. Even still, as you mess up, you will feel the Holy Spirit correct you in your wrongdoing. Conviction is the tug from the Holy Spirit letting you know that you’re doing wrong. It brings you closer to God. Friends, take joy in the correction of conviction. This means that your flesh is being tamed day by day. While we will always fall short of perfection, the conviction of your sin and the condemnation that may occur after are two separate things.

Condemnation

Once you’ve confessed your transgressions to God and have turned away from your wayward behavior, that’s it. Notice how God does not harp on you about who you were yesterday, let alone a decade ago. If you feel the weight of sins that you’ve confessed and fled from creep into your life, that is not of God. Condemnation is the recurring guilt of old behaviors you left behind. Condemnation brings guilt and shame, making you feel stuck, ultimately leading you away from God. The opposition will use this to get you off your walk Consult God daily to understand what is conviction and what is condemnation.

Today’s Quote

Have you spent time with God and the Word to know the difference?

Enjoy the reading

Proverbs 20

1 Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise. 
2 The king’s fury is like a lion’s roar; to rouse his anger is to risk your life. 
3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling. 
4 Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest. 
5 Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out. 
6 Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable? 
7 The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them. 
8 When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good.
9 Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin”?
10 False weights and unequal measures — the LORD detests double standards of every kind. 
11 Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right. 
12 Ears to hear and eyes to see— both are gifts from the LORD . 
13 If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat! 
14The buyer haggles over the price, saying, “It’s worthless,” then brags about getting a bargain! 
15 Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies. 
16 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners. 
17 Stolen bread tastes sweet, but it turns to gravel in the mouth. 
18 Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice. 
19 A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers. 
20 If you insult your father or mother, your light will be snuffed out in total darkness. 
21 An inheritance obtained too early in life is not a blessing in the end. 
22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the LORD to handle the matter.
23 The LORD detests double standards; he is not pleased by dishonest scales. 
24 The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? 
25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost. 
26 A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat, then runs his threshing wheel over them. 
27 The LORD ’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.
28 Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king; his throne is made secure through love. 
29 The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old. 
30 Physical punishment cleanses away evil; such discipline purifies the heart.

Set Aside

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Set aside your old foolish ways that you can live well in Christ.”~TB

As You Are

God will always love you in every stage of your life. Be that as it may, a life full of misdeeds will dampen the Truth and Joy God wants to share with you. Sinning does not revoke your salvation. It does, however, disrupt your connection to Christ. God doesn’t let go of you when you sin, you let go of Him when you do. Stop chasing fleshly pleasures as they lead you astray. Do not desire a life of power because the pursuit of your own status will cause you to forget whose power actually matters. Though this world can offer things that satisfy immediate fleshly desires, the human lifespan is a millisecond compared to eternity. Invest wisely.

Throw Off

If you’re tired of the obstacles and mayhem that comes with secular life, look to God. Throw off your vices, devices, and sinful behaviors to experience the Truth, joy, and contentment that can only come from our Father in Heaven. Cultivate the discipline and perseverance required to lead an honorable life. This means abandoning the ways of the world and adopting the teachings of Christ. When you apply the Godly wisdom that can be found in the Bible, notice how your life changes. The Truth will open your eyes, and suddenly what you once craved is detestable. If you allow God to write the Truth on your hearts, the world has less influence on your behavior. Follow Him to set aside junk so that you can possess your inheritance.

Today’s Question

Did you set aside your old life or is it throwing you off?

Enjoy the reading

Proverbs 6

1 My child, if you have put up security for a friend’s debt or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger— 
2 if you have trapped yourself by your agreement and are caught by what you said— 
3 follow my advice and save yourself, for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy. Now swallow your pride; go and beg to have your name erased. 
4 Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do. 
5 Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter, like a bird fleeing from a net. 
6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! 
7Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, 
8they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. 
9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? 
10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 
11then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. 
12 What are worthless and wicked people like? They are constant liars, 
13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye, a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers. 
14 Their perverted hearts plot evil, and they constantly stir up trouble. 
15 But they will be destroyed suddenly, broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing. 
16 There are six things the LORD hates— no, seven things he detests: 
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, 
18 a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, 
19 a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. 
20 My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. 
21 Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. 
22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. 
23 For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life. 
24 It will keep you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman. 
25Don’t lust for her beauty. Don’t let her coy glances seduce you. 
26 For a prostitute will bring you to poverty, but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life. 
27 Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire? 
28 Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet? 
29 So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife. He who embraces her will not go unpunished. 
30 Excuses might be found for a thief who steals because he is starving. 
31 But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole, even if he has to sell everything in his house. 
32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself. 
33 He will be wounded and disgraced. His shame will never be erased. 
34 For the woman’s jealous husband will be furious, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. 
35 He will accept no compensation, nor be satisfied with a payoff of any size.

Pedastal

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Do not put your brothers and sisters on a pedastal, as they require the same mercy and grace from God as you.”~TB

Imperfect

Even the wisest most disciplined follower of Christ does not compare to the perfection that is God. As such, do not place them in the same category. Each person who has been chosen to share the Lord’s wisdom is still a mere mortal. They bleed, feel, fail, achieve, in the same manner as anyone else. When they fail, as they will, you must give them the same space and grace as God gives to you.

Higher Standard

If you view those in power as better than yourself, you run the risk of judging them harshly when they misstep. Yes, those who are placed in positions of leadership, teaching, and the like, must be held to a higher standard. However, this does not mean perfection. Human nature dictates that no one will live a perfect life. The judgment of their shortcomings is not for you or me. God is the ultimate judge and will always rule in a perfect manner.

Direct Connection

One of the reasons why people are so willing to idolize those they consider to be wise is because it’s a great excuse to not do the work. Friends, the wise are not a substitute for our Father in Heaven. They are mouthpieces at best and examples of what not to do at worst. When you rely on someone else’s relationship/connection to Christ, it’s easy to fall into complacency, thinking that listening to them abdicates the need for you to go to God. Don’t lean on them as they are human. Instead, tap into the direct connection with God so that you know where to place your faith.

Today’s Question

Are you avoiding Christ by putting humans on an unrealistic pedestal?

Enjoy the reading

Proverbs 5

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2 Then you will show discernment, and your lips will express what you’ve learned. 
3 For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. 
4 But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword. 
5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. 
6 For she cares nothing about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it. 
7 So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say: 
8 Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house! 
9 If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
10 Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor. 
11 In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body. 
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings! 
13 Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors? 
14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.” 
15 Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife. 
16 Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? 
17 You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers. 
18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. 
19 She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. 
20 Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman, or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman? 
21 For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.
22 An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. 
23 He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.

For Show

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Many of you pretend to love God for show, but your deeds expose your heart.”~TB

Performance

It’s amazing how lukewarm Christians get when things are comfortable. Hiding behind your decorated walls, it’s easy to judge and turn away those in need. You pray for the helpless, yet offer no help. Of course, this must be done publicly, so that your peers can see how spiritual you are. No amount of superficial acts can clean your blackened heart. Who do you think you are fooling? God knows you better than you know yourself.

Evaluation

God puts tests in front of all of us. Some come in the form of helping others, some in the form of external obstacles, and others an internal struggle. This is why reading and practicing the Words in the Bible is so important. His Word is a direct connection to His Will. When you understand Who you’re connected to, you can lay down your fake worship and fake Christianity. God is evaluating and judging us all. Make sure you’re not failing your tests.

Today’s Question

Is your love for God for show?

Enjoy the reading

Proverbs 1

1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. 
Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. 
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. 
4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. 
5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance 
6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. 
7 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. 
8 My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. 
9 What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck. 
10 My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! 
11They may say, “Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent! 
12 Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death. 
13Think of the great things we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take. 
14 Come, throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot.” 
15 My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths. 
16 They rush to commit evil deeds. They hurry to commit murder. 
17 If a bird sees a trap being set, it knows to stay away. 
18 But these people set an ambush for themselves; they are trying to get themselves killed. 
19 Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life. 
20 Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square. 
21 She calls to the crowds along the main street, to those gathered in front of the city gate:
22 “How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge? 
23 Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise. 
24 “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention. 
25 You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered. 
26 So I will laugh when you are in trouble! I will mock you when disaster overtakes you— 
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone, and anguish and distress overwhelm you. 
28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer. Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me. 
29 For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the LORD. 
30 They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them. 
31 Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their own schemes. 
32 For simpletons turn away from me—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency. 
33 But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.”