Martyr

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t block someone’s growth in Christ by bailing them out of their experiences.”

TB

Bailout

When we love people, it’s natural to want to protect them from uncomfortable or unknown situations. The trouble is, when we go throw life’s challenges, those who seek the Lord will learn directly from Him. If you prevent others from lessons, you block them from seeing the hand of God in action. More to the point, you become an unnecessary martyr playing hero. Don’t let your pride interrupt another’s walk with Christ.

Graduation

Walking through the valleys of life is uncomfortable. But there’s a point to those seasons. We gradually graduate in our relationship with Christ when we go to Him for our needs. And those tough seasons show us how mighty and reliable God is. We can never fully understand His ability to work through our lives if we’re constantly running to the resources of others. Friends, let God be your resource. Conversely, step aside so that others may know Him too.

Today’s Question

Are you stagnating someone’s growth in Christ by being a pretend savior on their behalf?

Enjoy the reading

1 Samuel 10

1 Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it over Saul’s head. He kissed Saul and said, “I am doing this because the LORD has appointed you to be the ruler over Israel, his special possession. 2 When you leave me today, you will see two men beside Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah, on the border of Benjamin. They will tell you that the donkeys have been found and that your father has stopped worrying about them and is now worried about you. He is asking, ‘Have you seen my son?’ 3 “When you get to the oak of Tabor, you will see three men coming toward you who are on their way to worship God at Bethel. One will be bringing three young goats, another will have three loaves of bread, and the third will be carrying a wineskin full of wine. 4 They will greet you and offer you two of the loaves, which you are to accept. 5 “When you arrive at Gibeah of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying. 6 At that time the Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person. 7 After these signs take place, do what must be done, for God is with you. 8 Then go down to Gilgal ahead of me. I will join you there to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. You must wait for seven days until I arrive and give you further instructions.” 9 As Saul turned and started to leave, God gave him a new heart, and all Samuel’s signs were fulfilled that day. 10 When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, they saw a group of prophets coming toward them. Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he, too, began to prophesy. 11 When those who knew Saul heard about it, they exclaimed, “What? Is even Saul a prophet? How did the son of Kish become a prophet?” 12 And one of those standing there said, “Can anyone become a prophet, no matter who his father is?” So that is the origin of the saying “Is even Saul a prophet?” 13 When Saul had finished prophesying, he went up to the place of worship. 14 “Where have you been?” Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant. “We were looking for the donkeys,” Saul replied, “but we couldn’t find them. So we went to Samuel to ask him where they were.” 15 “Oh? And what did he say?” his uncle asked. 16 “He told us that the donkeys had already been found,” Saul replied. But Saul didn’t tell his uncle what Samuel said about the kingdom. 17 Later Samuel called all the people of Israel to meet before the LORD at Mizpah. 18 And he said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, has declared: I brought you from Egypt and rescued you from the Egyptians and from all of the nations that were oppressing you. 19 But though I have rescued you from your misery and distress, you have rejected your God today and have said, ‘No, we want a king instead!’ Now, therefore, present yourselves before the LORD by tribes and clans.” 20 So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel before the LORD, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. 21 Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the LORD, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! 22 So they asked the LORD, “Where is he?” And the LORD replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” 23 So they found him and brought him out, and he stood head and shoulders above anyone else. 24 Then Samuel said to all the people, “This is the man the LORD has chosen as your king. No one in all Israel is like him!” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!” 25 Then Samuel told the people what the rights and duties of a king were. He wrote them down on a scroll and placed it before the LORD . Then Samuel sent the people home again. 26 When Saul returned to his home at Gibeah, a group of men whose hearts God had touched went with him. 27 But there were some scoundrels who complained, “How can this man save us?” And they scorned him and refused to bring him gifts. But Saul ignored them. [Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had been grievously oppressing the people of Gad and Reuben who lived east of the Jordan River. He gouged out the right eye of each of the Israelites living there, and he didn’t allow anyone to come and rescue them. In fact, of all the Israelites east of the Jordan, there wasn’t a single one whose right eye Nahash had not gouged out. But there were 7,000 men who had escaped from the Ammonites, and they had settled in Jabesh-gilead.]

Abdicate

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Abdicate your throne so that God may take His rightful place in your heart.”

TB

Thorns

Your throne is made of thorns when your flesh, pride, and ego control your mind, body, and soul. When your agenda is self-worship and the audience of man, it shows. Friends, watch yourselves because though you are fooling man, surely you are not fooling God.

Submit

The world is temporary as is the pleasures it contains. Do not make your inheritance in this world, because it will not serve you in the next. Submit to God, so that you may know true peace and true inheritance. His gifts are more valuable than anything in the world.

Today’s Question

Are you still sitting on your prideful throne?

Enjoy the reading

1 Samuel 4

1 And Samuel’s words went out to all the people of Israel. At that time Israel was at war with the Philistines. The Israelite army was camped near Ebenezer, and the Philistines were at Aphek. 2 The Philistines attacked and defeated the army of Israel, killing 4,000 men. 3 After the battle was over, the troops retreated to their camp, and the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the LORD allow us to be defeated by the Philistines?” Then they said, “Let’s bring the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD from Shiloh. If we carry it into battle with us, it will save us from our enemies.” 4 So they sent men to Shiloh to bring the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, who is enthroned between the cherubim. Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, were also there with the Ark of the Covenant of God. 5 When all the Israelites saw the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD coming into the camp, their shout of joy was so loud it made the ground shake! 6 “What’s going on?” the Philistines asked. “What’s all the shouting about in the Hebrew camp?” When they were told it was because the Ark of the LORD had arrived, 7 they panicked. “The gods have come into their camp!” they cried. “This is a disaster! We have never had to face anything like this before! 8 Help! Who can save us from these mighty gods of Israel? They are the same gods who destroyed the Egyptians with plagues when Israel was in the wilderness. 9 Fight as never before, Philistines! If you don’t, we will become the Hebrews’ slaves just as they have been ours! Stand up like men and fight!” 10 So the Philistines fought desperately, and Israel was defeated again. The slaughter was great; 30,000 Israelite soldiers died that day. The survivors turned and fled to their tents. 11 The Ark of God was captured, and Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were killed. 12 A man from the tribe of Benjamin ran from the battlefield and arrived at Shiloh later that same day. He had torn his clothes and put dust on his head to show his grief. 13 Eli was waiting beside the road to hear the news of the battle, for his heart trembled for the safety of the Ark of God. When the messenger arrived and told what had happened, an outcry resounded throughout the town. 14 “What is all the noise about?” Eli asked. The messenger rushed over to Eli, 15 who was ninety-eight years old and blind. 16 He said to Eli, “I have just come from the battlefield—I was there this very day.” “What happened, my son?” Eli demanded. 17 “Israel has been defeated by the Philistines,” the messenger replied. “The people have been slaughtered, and your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were also killed. And the Ark of God has been captured.” 18 When the messenger mentioned what had happened to the Ark of God, Eli fell backward from his seat beside the gate. He broke his neck and died, for he was old and overweight. He had been Israel’s judge for forty years. 19 Eli’s daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near her time of delivery. When she heard that the Ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth. 20 She died in childbirth, but before she passed away the midwives tried to encourage her. “Don’t be afraid,” they said. “You have a baby boy!” But she did not answer or pay attention to them. 21 She named the child Ichabod (which means “Where is the glory?”), for she said, “Israel’s glory is gone.” She named him this because the Ark of God had been captured and because her father-in-law and husband were dead. 22 Then she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured.”

Flesh Peel

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Kill your flesh so that you may know God.”

TB

Buildup

Our sins are like the collective build-up of dead skin cells, like on the heels of your foot. If you don’t maintain through repentance and turning away from the desires of your flesh, it builds up until it causes significant issues.

Exfoliate

Sin will never be absent in our lives, so we must use the Holy Exfoliant of Christ by repenting and asking for forgiveness. The more you ask God to exfoliate, the less build-up. So turn from your wicked way and walk with Christ.

Today’s Question

Is the build-up of sin in your life becoming too much?

Enjoy the reading

Deuteronomy 28

1 “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. 2 You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God: 3 Your towns and your fields will be blessed. 4 Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. 5 Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. 6 Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed. 7 “The LORD will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven! 8 “The LORD will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. 9 “If you obey the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways, the LORD will establish you as his holy people as he swore he would do. 10 Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the LORD, and they will stand in awe of you. 11 “The LORD will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops. 12 The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them. 13 If you listen to these commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom. 14 You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them. 15 “But if you refuse to listen to the LORD your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you: 16 Your towns and your fields will be cursed. 17 Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be cursed. 18 Your children and your crops will be cursed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be cursed. 19 Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be cursed. 20 “The LORD himself will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in everything you do, until at last you are completely destroyed for doing evil and abandoning me. 21 The LORD will afflict you with diseases until none of you are left in the land you are about to enter and occupy. 22 The LORD will strike you with wasting diseases, fever, and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, and with blight and mildew. These disasters will pursue you until you die. 23 The skies above will be as unyielding as bronze, and the earth beneath will be as hard as iron. 24 The LORD will change the rain that falls on your land into powder, and dust will pour down from the sky until you are destroyed. 25 “The LORD will cause you to be defeated by your enemies. You will attack your enemies from one direction, but you will scatter from them in seven! You will be an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your corpses will be food for all the scavenging birds and wild animals, and no one will be there to chase them away. 27 “The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, scurvy, and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The LORD will strike you with madness, blindness, and panic. 29 You will grope around in broad daylight like a blind person groping in the darkness, but you will not find your way. You will be oppressed and robbed continually, and no one will come to save you. 30 “You will be engaged to a woman, but another man will sleep with her. You will build a house, but someone else will live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will never enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be butchered before your eyes, but you will not eat a single bite of the meat. Your donkey will be taken from you, never to be returned. Your sheep and goats will be given to your enemies, and no one will be there to help you. 32 You will watch as your sons and daughters are taken away as slaves. Your heart will break for them, but you won’t be able to help them. 33 A foreign nation you have never heard about will eat the crops you worked so hard to grow. You will suffer under constant oppression and harsh treatment. 34 You will go mad because of all the tragedy you see around you. 35 The LORD will cover your knees and legs with incurable boils. In fact, you will be covered from head to foot. 36 “The LORD will exile you and your king to a nation unknown to you and your ancestors. There in exile you will worship gods of wood and stone! 37 You will become an object of horror, ridicule, and mockery among all the nations to which the LORD sends you. 38 “You will plant much but harvest little, for locusts will eat your crops. 39 You will plant vineyards and care for them, but you will not drink the wine or eat the grapes, for worms will destroy the vines. 40 You will grow olive trees throughout your land, but you will never use the olive oil, for the fruit will drop before it ripens. 41 You will have sons and daughters, but you will lose them, for they will be led away into captivity. 42 Swarms of insects will destroy your trees and crops. 43 “The foreigners living among you will become stronger and stronger, while you become weaker and weaker. 44 They will lend money to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, and you will be the tail! 45 “If you refuse to listen to the LORD your God and to obey the commands and decrees he has given you, all these curses will pursue and overtake you until you are destroyed. 46 These horrors will serve as a sign and warning among you and your descendants forever. 47 If you do not serve the LORD your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, 48 you will serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything. The LORD will put an iron yoke on your neck, oppressing you harshly until he has destroyed you. 49 “The LORD will bring a distant nation against you from the end of the earth, and it will swoop down on you like a vulture. It is a nation whose language you do not understand, 50 a fierce and heartless nation that shows no respect for the old and no pity for the young. 51 Its armies will devour your livestock and crops, and you will be destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine, olive oil, calves, or lambs, and you will starve to death. 52 They will attack your cities until all the fortified walls in your land—the walls you trusted to protect you—are knocked down. They will attack all the towns in the land the LORD your God has given you. 53 “The siege and terrible distress of the enemy’s attack will be so severe that you will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters, whom the LORD your God has given you. 54 The most tenderhearted man among you will have no compassion for his own brother, his beloved wife, and his surviving children. 55 He will refuse to share with them the flesh he is devouring—the flesh of one of his own children—because he has nothing else to eat during the siege and terrible distress that your enemy will inflict on all your towns. 56 The most tender and delicate woman among you—so delicate she would not so much as touch the ground with her foot—will be selfish toward the husband she loves and toward her own son or daughter. 57 She will hide from them the afterbirth and the new baby she has borne, so that she herself can secretly eat them. She will have nothing else to eat during the siege and terrible distress that your enemy will inflict on all your towns. 58 “If you refuse to obey all the words of instruction that are written in this book, and if you do not fear the glorious and awesome name of the LORD your God, 59 then the LORD will overwhelm you and your children with indescribable plagues. These plagues will be intense and without relief, making you miserable and unbearably sick. 60 He will afflict you with all the diseases of Egypt that you feared so much, and you will have no relief. 61 The LORD will afflict you with every sickness and plague there is, even those not mentioned in this Book of Instruction, until you are destroyed. 62 Though you become as numerous as the stars in the sky, few of you will be left because you would not listen to the LORD your God. 63 “Just as the LORD has found great pleasure in causing you to prosper and multiply, the LORD will find pleasure in destroying you. You will be torn from the land you are about to enter and occupy. 64 For the LORD will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship foreign gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods made of wood and stone! 65 There among those nations you will find no peace or place to rest. And the LORD will cause your heart to tremble, your eyesight to fail, and your soul to despair. 66 Your life will constantly hang in the balance. You will live night and day in fear, unsure if you will survive. 67 In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were night!’ And in the evening you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’ For you will be terrified by the awful horrors you see around you. 68 Then the LORD will send you back to Egypt in ships, to a destination I promised you would never see again. There you will offer to sell yourselves to your enemies as slaves, but no one will buy you.”

Weighted

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Pride is like having cylinder blocks on your feet in the water; it will only help you drown.”

TB

Ask

Ask God to understand what you don’t know so that you do not run the risk of having your pride write checks that it can’t cash. Our lives contain many lessons of which we need wise counsel to learn. Friends, don’t be too proud to ask God for help.

Give

When you do learn answers, give an honest effort to implement them in your life. We can learn from the past by reading the Word. We can learn in the present by consulting the Holy Spirit. These resources are available to us all, so ditch the pride and lean on Christ.

Today’s Question

Is your pride drowning out the resources and help that God freely provides to you?

Enjoy the reading

Exodus 34

1 Then the LORD told Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed. 2 Be ready in the morning to climb up Mount Sinai and present yourself to me on the top of the mountain. 3 No one else may come with you. In fact, no one is to appear anywhere on the mountain. Do not even let the flocks or herds graze near the mountain.” 4 So Moses chiseled out two tablets of stone like the first ones. Early in the morning he climbed Mount Sinai as the LORD had commanded him, and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5 Then the LORD came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. 6 The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The LORD ! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. 7 I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected— even children in the third and fourth generations.” 8 Moses immediately threw himself to the ground and worshiped. 9 And he said, “O Lord, if it is true that I have found favor with you, then please travel with us. Yes, this is a stubborn and rebellious people, but please forgive our iniquity and our sins. Claim us as your own special possession.” 10 The LORD replied, “Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will perform miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the LORD —the awesome power I will display for you. 11 But listen carefully to everything I command you today. Then I will go ahead of you and drive out the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 12 “Be very careful never to make a treaty with the people who live in the land where you are going. If you do, you will follow their evil ways and be trapped. 13 Instead, you must break down their pagan altars, smash their sacred pillars, and cut down their Asherah poles. 14 You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. 15 “You must not make a treaty of any kind with the people living in the land. They lust after their gods, offering sacrifices to them. They will invite you to join them in their sacrificial meals, and you will go with them. 16 Then you will accept their daughters, who sacrifice to other gods, as wives for your sons. And they will seduce your sons to commit adultery against me by worshiping other gods. 17 You must not make any gods of molten metal for yourselves. 18 “You must celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast, just as I commanded you. Celebrate this festival annually at the appointed time in early spring, in the month of Abib, for that is the anniversary of your departure from Egypt. 19 “The firstborn of every animal belongs to me, including the firstborn males from your herds of cattle and your flocks of sheep and goats. 20 A firstborn donkey may be bought back from the LORD by presenting a lamb or young goat in its place. But if you do not buy it back, you must break its neck. However, you must buy back every firstborn son. “No one may appear before me without an offering. 21 “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest. 22 “You must celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first crop of the wheat harvest, and celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the harvest season. 23 Three times each year every man in Israel must appear before the Sovereign, the LORD, the God of Israel. 24 I will drive out the other nations ahead of you and expand your territory, so no one will covet and conquer your land while you appear before the LORD your God three times each year. 25 “You must not offer the blood of my sacrificial offerings together with any baked goods containing yeast. And none of the meat of the Passover sacrifice may be kept over until the next morning. 26 “As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the LORD your God. “You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.” 27 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write down all these instructions, for they represent the terms of the covenant I am making with you and with Israel.” 28 Moses remained there on the mountain with the LORD forty days and forty nights. In all that time he ate no bread and drank no water. And the LORD wrote the terms of the covenant—the Ten Commandments —on the stone tablets. 29 When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the LORD . 30 So when Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses’ face, they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called out to them and asked Aaron and all the leaders of the community to come over, and he talked with them. 32 Then all the people of Israel approached him, and Moses gave them all the instructions the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses finished speaking with them, he covered his face with a veil. 34 But whenever he went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the LORD, he would remove the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the LORD had given him, 35 and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. So he would put the veil over his face until he returned to speak with the LORD.

Goaltending

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Examine the motives and the desires of your heart so that you don’t block blessings from God.”

TB

Foul

Foolish pride is a very dumb catalyst. If you’re not careful, your pride can cost you the very things God set aside for you! Like a sheep to the slaughter, your dumb pride will convince you to throw away what is good for the sake of your ego. Like a basketball player blocking a shot that was going in, your pride will get you fouled out. Friends, don’t let your pride lead you into enslavement.

Free Throw

Understand that God is merciful and when you repent, He will go to the free-throw line and make your shots. When you know the God is sovereign and that His love is unyielding, you learn how to not block your blessings. More to the point, you begin to enact His plays for your life. Salvation is just the beginning. Build your relationship with God so that you may know and use the entire playbook.

Today’s Question

Are you willing to goaltend on the life that God has for you?

Enjoy the reading

Exodus 26

1 “Make the Tabernacle from ten curtains of finely woven linen. Decorate the curtains with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim. 2 These ten curtains must all be exactly the same size—42 feet long and 6 feet wide. 3 Join five of these curtains together to make one long curtain, then join the other five into a second long curtain. 4 Put loops of blue yarn along the edge of the last curtain in each set. 5 The fifty loops along the edge of one curtain are to match the fifty loops along the edge of the other curtain. 6 Then make fifty gold clasps and fasten the long curtains together with the clasps. In this way, the Tabernacle will be made of one continuous piece. 7 “Make eleven curtains of goat-hair cloth to serve as a tent covering for the Tabernacle. 8 These eleven curtains must all be exactly the same size—45 feet long and 6 feet wide. 9 Join five of these curtains together to make one long curtain, and join the other six into a second long curtain. Allow 3 feet of material from the second set of curtains to hang over the front of the sacred tent. 10 Make fifty loops for one edge of each large curtain. 11 Then make fifty bronze clasps, and fasten the loops of the long curtains with the clasps. In this way, the tent covering will be made of one continuous piece. 12 The remaining 3 feet of this tent covering will be left to hang over the back of the Tabernacle. 13 Allow 18 inches of remaining material to hang down over each side, so the Tabernacle is completely covered. 14 Complete the tent covering with a protective layer of tanned ram skins and a layer of fine goatskin leather. 15 “For the framework of the Tabernacle, construct frames of acacia wood. 16 Each frame must be 15 feet high and 27 inches wide, 17 with two pegs under each frame. Make all the frames identical. 18 Make twenty of these frames to support the curtains on the south side of the Tabernacle. 19 Also make forty silver bases—two bases under each frame, with the pegs fitting securely into the bases. 20 For the north side of the Tabernacle, make another twenty frames, 21 with their forty silver bases, two bases under each frame. 22 Make six frames for the rear—the west side of the Tabernacle— 23 along with two additional frames to reinforce the rear corners of the Tabernacle. 24 These corner frames will be matched at the bottom and firmly attached at the top with a single ring, forming a single corner unit. Make both of these corner units the same way. 25 So there will be eight frames at the rear of the Tabernacle, set in sixteen silver bases—two bases under each frame. 26 “Make crossbars of acacia wood to link the frames, five crossbars for the north side of the Tabernacle 27 and five for the south side. Also make five crossbars for the rear of the Tabernacle, which will face west. 28 The middle crossbar, attached halfway up the frames, will run all the way from one end of the Tabernacle to the other. 29 Overlay the frames with gold, and make gold rings to hold the crossbars. Overlay the crossbars with gold as well. 30 “Set up this Tabernacle according to the pattern you were shown on the mountain. 31 “For the inside of the Tabernacle, make a special curtain of finely woven linen. Decorate it with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim. 32 Hang this curtain on gold hooks attached to four posts of acacia wood. Overlay the posts with gold, and set them in four silver bases. 33 Hang the inner curtain from clasps, and put the Ark of the Covenant in the room behind it. This curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. 34 “Then put the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—on top of the Ark of the Covenant inside the Most Holy Place. 35 Place the table outside the inner curtain on the north side of the Tabernacle, and place the lampstand across the room on the south side. 36 “Make another curtain for the entrance to the sacred tent. Make it of finely woven linen and embroider it with exquisite designs, using blue, purple, and scarlet thread. 37 Craft five posts from acacia wood. Overlay them with gold, and hang the curtain from them with gold hooks. Cast five bronze bases for the posts.

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.

Check, Please

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“To grow farther in your walk with Christ, become open to receiving correction and feedback from wise counsel.”

TB

Holy Fiber

In one way or another, we’re all full of it. The best way to combat the BS we feed ourselves is by following it with a dose of Holy Fiber. God will always be honest with us. And, when we don’t hear Him loud and clear, He sends someone along to give you the recommended dose. Holy Fiber, also known as the Truth, enables us to listen, learn, and loves as our Father in Heaven instructs. Without it, we’d all be backed up and bloated by our foolish nature. More to the point, we become prone to foolishness and poor choices that ultimately we beg God to relieve us from.

Recommended Dose

Because the Truth is optional, it is up to you to cleanse your palate. Pride and arrogance push the Truth and those who bring it away. But friends, practice humility and discipline to take the spoonful as recommended. This happens when you listen to God and the people He sends your way to help you remain on the straight and narrow. Of course, feedback and correction at first are hard supplements to swallow. But ask yourselves this, if God is loving enough to tell us the Truth, and send folks to reinforce it, perhaps we ought to ask for the check.

Today’s Question

Are you taking your recommended dose of Holy Fiber or are you full of it?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 24

1 Abraham was now a very old man, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. 2 One day Abraham said to his oldest servant, the man in charge of his household, “Take an oath by putting your hand under my thigh. 3 Swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. 4 Go instead to my homeland, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.” 5 The servant asked, “But what if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to travel so far from home? Should I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives in the land you came from?” 6 “No!” Abraham responded. “Be careful never to take my son there. 7 For the LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and my native land, solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants. He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife there for my son. 8 If she is unwilling to come back with you, then you are free from this oath of mine. But under no circumstances are you to take my son there.” 9 So the servant took an oath by putting his hand under the thigh of his master, Abraham. He swore to follow Abraham’s instructions. 10 Then he loaded ten of Abraham’s camels with all kinds of expensive gifts from his master, and he traveled to distant Aram-naharaim. There he went to the town where Abraham’s brother Nahor had settled. 11 He made the camels kneel beside a well just outside the town. It was evening, and the women were coming out to draw water. 12 “O LORD, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. 13 See, I am standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming out to draw water. 14 This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.” 15 Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah. 16 Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again. 17 Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.” 18 “Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink. 19 When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw water for all his camels. 21 The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not the LORD had given him success in his mission. 22 Then at last, when the camels had finished drinking, he took out a gold ring for her nose and two large gold bracelets for her wrists. 23 “Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “And please tell me, would your father have any room to put us up for the night?” 24 “I am the daughter of Bethuel,” she replied. “My grandparents are Nahor and Milcah. 25 Yes, we have plenty of straw and feed for the camels, and we have room for guests.” 26 The man bowed low and worshiped the LORD . 27 “Praise the LORD, the God of my master, Abraham,” he said. “The LORD has shown unfailing love and faithfulness to my master, for he has led me straight to my master’s relatives.” 28 The young woman ran home to tell her family everything that had happened. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, who ran out to meet the man at the spring. 30 He had seen the nose-ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man had said. So he rushed out to the spring, where the man was still standing beside his camels. 31 Laban said to him, “Come and stay with us, you who are blessed by the LORD ! Why are you standing here outside the town when I have a room all ready for you and a place prepared for the camels?” 32 So the man went home with Laban, and Laban unloaded the camels, gave him straw for their bedding, fed them, and provided water for the man and the camel drivers to wash their feet. 33 Then food was served. But Abraham’s servant said, “I don’t want to eat until I have told you why I have come.” “All right,” Laban said, “tell us.” 34 “I am Abraham’s servant,” he explained. 35 “And the LORD has greatly blessed my master; he has become a wealthy man. The LORD has given him flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, a fortune in silver and gold, and many male and female servants and camels and donkeys. 36 “When Sarah, my master’s wife, was very old, she gave birth to my master’s son, and my master has given him everything he owns. 37 And my master made me take an oath. He said, ‘Do not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. 38 Go instead to my father’s house, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son.’ 39 “But I said to my master, ‘What if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to go back with me?’ 40 He responded, ‘The LORD, in whose presence I have lived, will send his angel with you and will make your mission successful. Yes, you must find a wife for my son from among my relatives, from my father’s family. 41 Then you will have fulfilled your obligation. But if you go to my relatives and they refuse to let her go with you, you will be free from my oath.’ 42 “So today when I came to the spring, I prayed this prayer: ‘O LORD, God of my master, Abraham, please give me success on this mission. 43 See, I am standing here beside this spring. This is my request. When a young woman comes to draw water, I will say to her, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.” 44 If she says, “Yes, have a drink, and I will draw water for your camels, too,” let her be the one you have selected to be the wife of my master’s son.’ 45 “Before I had finished praying in my heart, I saw Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46 She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’ So I drank, and then she watered the camels. 47 “Then I asked, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel, and my grandparents are Nahor and Milcah.’ So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her wrists. 48 “Then I bowed low and worshiped the LORD . I praised the LORD, the God of my master, Abraham, because he had led me straight to my master’s niece to be his son’s wife. 49 So tell me—will you or won’t you show unfailing love and faithfulness to my master? Please tell me yes or no, and then I’ll know what to do next.” 50 Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “The LORD has obviously brought you here, so there is nothing we can say. 51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go. Yes, let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has directed.” 52 When Abraham’s servant heard their answer, he bowed down to the ground and worshiped the LORD . 53 Then he brought out silver and gold jewelry and clothing and presented them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive presents to her brother and mother. 54 Then they ate their meal, and the servant and the men with him stayed there overnight. But early the next morning, Abraham’s servant said, “Send me back to my master.” 55 “But we want Rebekah to stay with us at least ten days,” her brother and mother said. “Then she can go.” 56 But he said, “Don’t delay me. The LORD has made my mission successful; now send me back so I can return to my master.” 57 “Well,” they said, “we’ll call Rebekah and ask her what she thinks.” 58 So they called Rebekah. “Are you willing to go with this man?” they asked her. And she replied, “Yes, I will go.” 59 So they said good-bye to Rebekah and sent her away with Abraham’s servant and his men. The woman who had been Rebekah’s childhood nurse went along with her. 60 They gave her this blessing as she parted: “Our sister, may you become the mother of many millions! May your descendants be strong and conquer the cities of their enemies.” 61 Then Rebekah and her servant girls mounted the camels and followed the man. So Abraham’s servant took Rebekah and went on his way. 62 Meanwhile, Isaac, whose home was in the Negev, had returned from Beer-lahai-roi. 63 One evening as he was walking and meditating in the fields, he looked up and saw the camels coming. 64 When Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac, she quickly dismounted from her camel. 65 “Who is that man walking through the fields to meet us?” she asked the servant. And he replied, “It is my master.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil. 66 Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done. 67 And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother.

In Name Only

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Make sure you don’t know Christ in name only.”

TB

Superficial

Christianity is not some club of superiority in spite of the fact that many use a superficial association to judge others from their pedestal. When you know God in name only, it shows in your actions and minds. Like the Sadducees and Pharisees, they knew the theology but could not recognize Christ when He was among them!

Profound

To know God is to have reverence and humility towards the simply complex love that He administers to us daily. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the legalistic bindings of rules. But to forgive mercifully and endlessly as Christ does, well, that is a lifelong endeavor. Friends, when we live by Christ, we go on to know Him well.

Today’s Question

Are you comfortable knowing God only in name when it’s time for Him to call yours?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 9

1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth. 2 All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. 3 I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables. 4 But you must never eat any meat that still has the lifeblood in it. 5 “And I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s life. If a wild animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders a fellow human must die. 6 If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in his own image. 7 Now be fruitful and multiply, and repopulate the earth.” 8 Then God told Noah and his sons, 9 “I hereby confirm my covenant with you and your descendants, 10 and with all the animals that were on the boat with you—the birds, the livestock, and all the wild animals—every living creature on earth. 11 Yes, I am confirming my covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth.” 12 Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. 13 I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. 14 When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, 15 and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. 16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.” 17 Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.” 18 The sons of Noah who came out of the boat with their father were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham is the father of Canaan.) 19 From these three sons of Noah came all the people who now populate the earth. 20 After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard. 21 One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this, they looked the other way so they would not see him naked. 24 When Noah woke up from his stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done. 25 Then he cursed Canaan, the son of Ham: “May Canaan be cursed! May he be the lowest of servants to his relatives.” 26 Then Noah said, “May the LORD, the God of Shem, be blessed, and may Canaan be his servant! 27 May God expand the territory of Japheth! May Japheth share the prosperity of Shem, and may Canaan be his servant.” 28 Noah lived another 350 years after the great flood. 29 He lived 950 years, and then he died.

Humble Pie

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Just because you know God does not make you God.”

TB

False Sense

There is nothing like spending time with the Lord. Sitting at His feet yields piece and revelation that no other activity in the world can compare to. That said, we’re prone to human behaviors like arrogance, intellectualism, and pride because we’re human. What was once a beautiful connection with Christ becomes a legalistic, superiority match that we then take to our neighbors. So how do we avoid becoming this way? By eating our humble pie and remembering why we need Christ in the first place.

Reflective Humility

Whenever you need to come back down to reality and eat a nice slice of humble pie, reflect on your life. If you’re honest and self-aware, you will remember the not-so-holy moments of your life. Chances are, there are many more than you’d care to admit (I know from experience). The point is, knowing God isn’t about being superior to others, it’s recognizing how much we need Him and how wonderful His grace is to forgive and acknowledge our sin-fallen nature. Thank God that He is greater than us!

Today’s Question

Did you come back from the mountaintop with the right message from God?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 4

1 Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the LORD ’s help, I have produced a man!” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother and named him Abel. When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. 3 When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the LORD . 4 Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. 6 “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” 8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. 9 Afterward the LORD asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?” “I don’t know,” Cain responded. “Am I my brother’s guardian?” 10 But the LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! 11 Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has swallowed your brother’s blood. 12 No longer will the ground yield good crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain replied to the LORD, “My punishment is too great for me to bear! 14 You have banished me from the land and from your presence; you have made me a homeless wanderer. Anyone who finds me will kill me!” 15 The LORD replied, “No, for I will give a sevenfold punishment to anyone who kills you.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who might try to kill him. 16 So Cain left the LORD ’s presence and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 Cain had sexual relations with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Then Cain founded a city, which he named Enoch, after his son. 18 Enoch had a son named Irad. Irad became the father of Mehujael. Mehujael became the father of Methushael. Methushael became the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech married two women. The first was named Adah, and the second was Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the first of those who raise livestock and live in tents. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal, the first of all who play the harp and flute. 22 Lamech’s other wife, Zillah, gave birth to a son named Tubal-cain. He became an expert in forging tools of bronze and iron. Tubal-cain had a sister named Naamah. 23 One day Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; listen to me, you wives of Lamech. I have killed a man who attacked me, a young man who wounded me. 24 If someone who kills Cain is punished seven times, then the one who kills me will be punished seventy-seven times!” 25 Adam had sexual relations with his wife again, and she gave birth to another son. She named him Seth, for she said, “God has granted me another son in place of Abel, whom Cain killed.” 26 When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. At that time people first began to worship the LORD by name.

Thorn

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t let the thorn in your side rule you, instead allow it to bring glory to the fact that you desperately need God.”

TB

Everyone

As human beings, there will be things we continually struggle with. What I mean by that is we all have certain pitfalls and snares that trip us up. The apostle Paul had a thorn, I have a thorn, you have a thorn, we all have a thorn in our side that nags at us. Each and every day, we must dictate how much of an annoyance that thorn is going to be. Can we remove it? No. But the truth of the matter is that thorn highlights why God is so necessary for our lives.

Distinction

We all know that God created us and the world we encompass. He also gave us free will. So it goes without saying that we’ve all used that free will to do something dumb because we are motivated by flesh-driven desires. This could be pride, lust, contempt, unbridled rivalry, anger, jealousy, simply put, it looks different from person-to-person, but the root remains the same. The point is, by recognizing and honoring the distinct authority that God has in and over our lives, we can look as those thorns rise above their existence to honor God and His sovereignty.

Today’s Question

Are you giving the thorn in your side more attention than you’re giving God?

Enjoy the reading

Zechariah 13

1 “On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and impurity. 2 “And on that day,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will erase idol worship throughout the land, so that even the names of the idols will be forgotten. I will remove from the land both the false prophets and the spirit of impurity that came with them. 3 If anyone continues to prophesy, his own father and mother will tell him, ‘You must die, for you have prophesied lies in the name of the LORD .’ And as he prophesies, his own father and mother will stab him. 4 “On that day people will be ashamed to claim the prophetic gift. No one will pretend to be a prophet by wearing prophet’s clothes. 5 He will say, ‘I’m no prophet; I’m a farmer. I began working for a farmer as a boy.’ 6 And if someone asks, ‘Then what about those wounds on your chest? ’ he will say, ‘I was wounded at my friends’ house!’ 7 “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, the man who is my partner,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Strike down the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn against the lambs. 8 Two-thirds of the people in the land will be cut off and die,” says the LORD . “But one-third will be left in the land. 9 I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’”