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.’”

Check Yourself

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“If God gives you something, the devil cannot take it away, unless you let him.”

TB

Authority

The devil does not have authority over us. He does, however, have permission to pester us, but it is up to us to take the bait or ignore it. For example he may not get you fired, but he can sow seeds of discord and derision between you and your coworkers. If an untamed ego pulls you into the trap, and you make the decision to engage with said coworker, that’s not the devil, that’s you.

Level Up

God has the final say in all things, which is why we should have peace in all seasons of our lives. We find ourselves in trouble when we arrogantly believe we can play God as we deploy our haphazard schemes rather than going to God for the solution. So the next time you see the opposition trying to sabotage your blessings, check yourself, consult God, and all will be well.

Today’s Question

Have you checked yourself or are you being played by a dumb trickster?

Enjoy the reading

Amos 3

1 Listen to this message that the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel—against the entire family I rescued from Egypt: 2 “From among all the families on the earth, I have been intimate with you alone. That is why I must punish you for all your sins.” 3 Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? 4 Does a lion ever roar in a thicket without first finding a victim? Does a young lion growl in its den without first catching its prey? 5 Does a bird ever get caught in a trap that has no bait? Does a trap spring shut when there’s nothing to catch? 6 When the ram’s horn blows a warning, shouldn’t the people be alarmed? Does disaster come to a city unless the LORD has planned it? 7 Indeed, the Sovereign LORD never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets. 8 The lion has roared— so who isn’t frightened? The Sovereign LORD has spoken— so who can refuse to proclaim his message? 9 Announce this to the leaders of Philistia and to the great ones of Egypt: “Take your seats now on the hills around Samaria, and witness the chaos and oppression in Israel.” 10 “My people have forgotten how to do right,” says the LORD . “Their fortresses are filled with wealth taken by theft and violence. 11 Therefore,” says the Sovereign LORD, “an enemy is coming! He will surround them and shatter their defenses. Then he will plunder all their fortresses.” 12 This is what the LORD says: “A shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion’s mouth will recover only two legs or a piece of an ear. So it will be for the Israelites in Samaria lying on luxurious beds, and for the people of Damascus reclining on couches. 13 “Now listen to this, and announce it throughout all Israel, ” says the Lord, the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies. 14 “On the very day I punish Israel for its sins, I will destroy the pagan altars at Bethel. The horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. 15 And I will destroy the beautiful homes of the wealthy— their winter mansions and their summer houses, too— all their palaces filled with ivory,” says the LORD .

Starve

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“In order to be free of what consumes you, you must starve it out.”

TB

Presto

Sin doesn’t just go away by praying to God to remove it from your life. No, you must do the work to actively stop the practice of immoral behavior. More to the point, just because it isn’t easy does not mean God gave you free license to live in a particular sin. Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you ‘tried’ means that you get a pass. Remember that God alone knows the true motives of our hearts.

Root Cause

Sin is a symptom of a greater issue. It’s the external evidence of an internal problem. For this reason, just merely abstaining from the act does not change the real issue. Sure, you may go for some time without the deed, but if the problem is just tamped down, eventually you will fall back into old patterns. So whether you’re struggling from lust, pride, anger, jealousy, or any other affliction, if you’re truly looking for the answer, you must come to God correctly, by asking Him to reveal what ails you.

Holy Solution

Remember that sin is the act of fulfilling a need that only God can. It will never provide you with the peace you’re truly after. Instead of asking God to remove the behavior, humbly submit to Him and ask the honest questions. Ask Him to reveal the true nature of your behavior. Ask Him to show you what ails you. Reflect on the Word to better understand the needs of God’s children. As he reveals to you what these issues are, ask for direction. By doing the deep work, God will honor your resolve by imparting the wisdom necessary to break away from sinful behaviors by strengthening your relationship with Him

Today’s Question

Are you ready to draw closer to God to change your ways?

Enjoy the reading

Hosea 3

1 Then the LORD said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the LORD still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them. ” 2 So I bought her back for fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine. 3 Then I said to her, “You must live in my house for many days and stop your prostitution. During this time, you will not have sexual relations with anyone, not even with me. ” 4 This shows that Israel will go a long time without a king or prince, and without sacrifices, sacred pillars, priests, or even idols! 5 But afterward the people will return and devote themselves to the LORD their God and to David’s descendant, their king. In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the LORD and of his goodness.

He not Me

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“In order to honestly pursue Christ, change your focus to ‘He’ from ‘me'”

TB

Born Again

When we are born again, we gain the Holy Spirit, our connection with Christ. And through Him we have the ability to learn and live with Christ. Should you choose to accept that responsibility, it is up to you, the individual, to build your relationship with our Father in Heaven. In the process, expect to experience trials, tribulations, and loss. It is not to punish you, but to ultimately allow you to see that is Christ’s identity that we are after and not our own.

Not Again

It’s human nature to be self-centered. As such, one of the biggest struggles is to leave our past existence behind to pursue a Christ-filled life. One of the reasons people fail to finish that race is because they become trapped with the desire to pursue their own agenda rather than Christ’s. We want to be exalted based on our ‘unique’ attributes rather than exalting our Maker. The ironic part is that none of us are truly as individualistic or as interesting as we think we are. Spend time listening to people describe themselves and you will realize our life experiences aren’t that different haha!

Then Again

Once you reconcile your place in Christ’s plan for your life, you can then again pick up the Cross and run your race. After time, you’ll realize that it becomes easier to get out of your own way because God gives you your daily revelations. By talking with Him and walking with Him, your vision aligns with His, allowing you to spot real from fake, good from evil. Then, you realize– joyfully, I might add– that pursuing Christ is a lifelong endeavor that requires focus and righteous decisions. To make this happen, we first have to kill our egos, fight the daily battle of flesh to pursue what is right, and follow Christ with all of our heart and mind.

Today’s Question

Who is in the driver’s seat; you or God?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 36

1 During the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king in Judah, the LORD gave this message to Jeremiah: 2 “Get a scroll, and write down all my messages against Israel, Judah, and the other nations. Begin with the first message back in the days of Josiah, and write down every message, right up to the present time. 3 Perhaps the people of Judah will repent when they hear again all the terrible things I have planned for them. Then I will be able to forgive their sins and wrongdoings.” 4 So Jeremiah sent for Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated all the prophecies that the LORD had given him, Baruch wrote them on a scroll. 5 Then Jeremiah said to Baruch, “I am a prisoner here and unable to go to the Temple. 6 So you go to the Temple on the next day of fasting, and read the messages from the LORD that I have had you write on this scroll. Read them so the people who are there from all over Judah will hear them. 7 Perhaps even yet they will turn from their evil ways and ask the LORD ’s forgiveness before it is too late. For the LORD has threatened them with his terrible anger.” 8 Baruch did as Jeremiah told him and read these messages from the LORD to the people at the Temple. 9 He did this on a day of sacred fasting held in late autumn, during the fifth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah. People from all over Judah had come to Jerusalem to attend the services at the Temple on that day. 10 Baruch read Jeremiah’s words on the scroll to all the people. He stood in front of the Temple room of Gemariah, son of Shaphan the secretary. This room was just off the upper courtyard of the Temple, near the New Gate entrance. 11 When Micaiah son of Gemariah and grandson of Shaphan heard the messages from the LORD, 12 he went down to the secretary’s room in the palace where the administrative officials were meeting. Elishama the secretary was there, along with Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Acbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials. 13 When Micaiah told them about the messages Baruch was reading to the people, 14 the officials sent Jehudi son of Nethaniah, grandson of Shelemiah and great-grandson of Cushi, to ask Baruch to come and read the messages to them, too. So Baruch took the scroll and went to them. 15 “Sit down and read the scroll to us,” the officials said, and Baruch did as they requested. 16 When they heard all the messages, they looked at one another in alarm. “We must tell the king what we have heard,” they said to Baruch. 17 “But first, tell us how you got these messages. Did they come directly from Jeremiah?” 18 So Baruch explained, “Jeremiah dictated them, and I wrote them down in ink, word for word, on this scroll.” 19 “You and Jeremiah should both hide,” the officials told Baruch. “Don’t tell anyone where you are!” 20 Then the officials left the scroll for safekeeping in the room of Elishama the secretary and went to tell the king what had happened. 21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought it from Elishama’s room and read it to the king as all his officials stood by. 22 It was late autumn, and the king was in a winterized part of the palace, sitting in front of a fire to keep warm. 23 Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up. 24 Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard. 25 Even when Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll, he wouldn’t listen. 26 Then the king commanded his son Jerahmeel, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah. But the LORD had hidden them. 27 After the king had burned the scroll on which Baruch had written Jeremiah’s words, the LORD gave Jeremiah another message. He said, 28 “Get another scroll, and write everything again just as you did on the scroll King Jehoiakim burned. 29 Then say to the king, ‘This is what the LORD says: You burned the scroll because it said the king of Babylon would destroy this land and empty it of people and animals. 30 Now this is what the LORD says about King Jehoiakim of Judah: He will have no heirs to sit on the throne of David. His dead body will be thrown out to lie unburied—exposed to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. 31 I will punish him and his family and his attendants for their sins. I will pour out on them and on all the people of Jerusalem and Judah all the disasters I promised, for they would not listen to my warnings.’” 32 So Jeremiah took another scroll and dictated again to his secretary, Baruch. He wrote everything that had been on the scroll King Jehoiakim had burned in the fire. Only this time he added much more!

Judgment

oldtimer-2125168_1920.jpg
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Judge your own actions so that they may align up with God’s purpose and continue in the faith of love or be destroyed.”~ Jon Barnes

Destruction

Don’t let your childish, inconsiderate, selfish behavior ruin your life by not following God’s message. God’s judgment will be upon your head and your family with the pride of your heart.  Humble yourselves with the truth to break your spirit of confusion, entitlement, and delusional disorders about God’s Words, Laws, and Commandments.

Restoration

Restore these Commandments and Ways back into your mind and heart so that your soul will not be lost.  Take this time right now to clean your own house, teach your children, and study the bible stories to practice what you should be preaching, teaching, and doing every day.

Preparation

You will never be prepared for God’s Wrath, being apart from the connection of God’s Spirit.  Your motives, tricks, greed, lust, selfishness, and lack of true love will haunt you in hell with fire, brimstone, and gnashing of teeth.
Today’s Question
Ask your parents for the help that you need, learn from their mistakes, before God Almighty smites your family with the curse you brought onto them, by not following God’s Plan!
Enjoy The Reading

Jeremiah 29

1 Jeremiah wrote a letter from Jerusalem to the elders, priests, prophets, and all the people who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. 
2 This was after King Jehoiachin, the queen mother, the court officials, the other officials of Judah, and all the craftsmen and artisans had been deported from Jerusalem. 
3 He sent the letter with Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah when they went to Babylon as King Zedekiah’s ambassadors to Nebuchadnezzar. This is what Jeremiah’s letter said: 
4 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: 
5 “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. 
6 Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! 
7 And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” 
8 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, 
9 because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the LORD . 
10 This is what the LORD says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD . “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 
12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 
13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 
14 I will be found by you,” says the LORD . “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” 
15 You claim that the LORD has raised up prophets for you in Babylon. 
16 But this is what the LORD says about the king who sits on David’s throne and all those still living here in Jerusalem—your relatives who were not exiled to Babylon. 
17 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “I will send war, famine, and disease upon them and make them like bad figs, too rotten to eat. 
18 Yes, I will pursue them with war, famine, and disease, and I will scatter them around the world. In every nation where I send them, I will make them an object of damnation, horror, contempt, and mockery. 
19 For they refuse to listen to me, though I have spoken to them repeatedly through the prophets I sent. And you who are in exile have not listened either,” says the LORD . 
20 Therefore, listen to this message from the LORD, all you captives there in Babylon. 
21 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says about your prophets—Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah—who are telling you lies in my name: “I will turn them over to Nebuchadnezzar for execution before your eyes. 
22 Their terrible fate will become proverbial, so that the Judean exiles will curse someone by saying, ‘May the LORD make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned alive!’ 
23 For these men have done terrible things among my people. They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have lied in my name, saying things I did not command. I am a witness to this. I, the LORD, have spoken.” 
24 The LORD sent this message to Shemaiah the Nehelamite in Babylon: 
25 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: You wrote a letter on your own authority to Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, the priest, and you sent copies to the other priests and people in Jerusalem. You wrote to Zephaniah, 
26 “The LORD has appointed you to replace Jehoiada as the priest in charge of the house of the LORD . You are responsible to put into stocks and neck irons any crazy man who claims to be a prophet. 
27 So why have you done nothing to stop Jeremiah from Anathoth, who pretends to be a prophet among you? 
28 Jeremiah sent a letter here to Babylon, predicting that our captivity will be a long one. He said, ‘Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce.’” 
29 But when Zephaniah the priest received Shemaiah’s letter, he took it to Jeremiah and read it to him. 
30 Then the LORD gave this message to Jeremiah: 
31 “Send an open letter to all the exiles in Babylon. Tell them, ‘This is what the LORD says concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Since he has prophesied to you when I did not send him and has tricked you into believing his lies, 
32 I will punish him and his family. None of his descendants will see the good things I will do for my people, for he has incited you to rebel against me. I, the LORD, have spoken!’”

Resources

wallet-1013789_1920.jpg

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Resources are meant to be used to grow with Christ, not to replace Him.”~TB

Just Stuff

A major balancing act in the Christian walk is utilizing and appreciating the resources that God gives us without allowing them to take on a god-like persona. If we’re honest, I’m sure we all have had moments where we want God’s ‘stuff’ more than we want Him. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a tough pill to swallow because the truth of the matter, money, cars, fame, notoriety are really just stuff. More to the point, wanting stuff more than we want God is quite sad and a major indictment on what we value as a collective. As someone who has experience with first-world niceties, I can say for certain, the best manmade things do not hold a candle to being in the presence of the Lord.

Remain in Him

These days, everything I have is a resource to remain in Christ. My money, time, love, etc. are poured into building my relationships with my family, spending time with God, sharing His Truth with others, and things of the like. That’s not to say I’m perfect, oh, I’m far from it. Over time, I’ve come to learn to hang out with God more, glean His insights, which helps me to make better decisions.  He has shown and taught me how wonderful it is to walk with Him and the resources He gives me are to grow stronger in Him. Friends, we have to evaluate how we look at things. Most of the time, we want ‘stuff’ just to impress others. The things of this world are temporary. We cannot take them with us when we go. But, the relationship we forge with Christ is everlasting, so enjoy the resources, but make sure they point back to Him.

Today’s Question

Do you want God’s resources or God Himself?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 22

1 This is what the LORD said to me: “Go over and speak directly to the king of Judah. Say to him, 
2 ‘Listen to this message from the LORD, you king of Judah, sitting on David’s throne. Let your attendants and your people listen, too. 
3 This is what the LORD says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent! 
4 If you obey me, there will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem. The king will ride through the palace gates in chariots and on horses, with his parade of attendants and subjects. 
5 But if you refuse to pay attention to this warning, I swear by my own name, says the LORD, that this palace will become a pile of rubble.’” 
6 Now this is what the LORD says concerning Judah’s royal palace: “I love you as much as fruitful Gilead and the green forests of Lebanon. But I will turn you into a desert, with no one living within your walls. 
7 I will call for wreckers, who will bring out their tools to dismantle you. They will tear out all your fine cedar beams and throw them on the fire. 
8 “People from many nations will pass by the ruins of this city and say to one another, ‘Why did the LORD destroy such a great city?’ 
9 And the answer will be, ‘Because they violated their covenant with the LORD their God by worshiping other gods.’” 
10 Do not weep for the dead king or mourn his loss. Instead, weep for the captive king being led away! For he will never return to see his native land again. 
11 For this is what the LORD says about Jehoahaz, who succeeded his father, King Josiah, and was taken away as a captive: “He will never return. 
12 He will die in a distant land and will never again see his own country.” 
13 And the LORD says, “What sorrow awaits Jehoiakim, who builds his palace with forced labor. He builds injustice into its walls, for he makes his neighbors work for nothing. He does not pay them for their labor. 
14 He says, ‘I will build a magnificent palace with huge rooms and many windows. I will panel it throughout with fragrant cedar and paint it a lovely red.’ 
15 But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king! Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. 
16 He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know me?” says the LORD . 
17 “But you! You have eyes only for greed and dishonesty! You murder the innocent, oppress the poor, and reign ruthlessly.” 
18 Therefore, this is what the LORD says about Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah: “The people will not mourn for him, crying to one another, ‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’ His subjects will not mourn for him, crying, ‘Alas, our master is dead! Alas, his splendor is gone!’ 
19 He will be buried like a dead donkey— dragged out of Jerusalem and dumped outside the gates! 
20 Weep for your allies in Lebanon. Shout for them in Bashan. Search for them in the regions east of the river. See, they are all destroyed. Not one is left to help you. 
21 I warned you when you were prosperous, but you replied, ‘Don’t bother me.’ You have been that way since childhood— you simply will not obey me! 
22 And now the wind will blow away your allies. All your friends will be taken away as captives. Surely then you will see your wickedness and be ashamed. 
23 It may be nice to live in a beautiful palace paneled with wood from the cedars of Lebanon, but soon you will groan with pangs of anguish— anguish like that of a woman in labor. 
24 “As surely as I live,” says the LORD, “I will abandon you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. Even if you were the signet ring on my right hand, I would pull you off. 
25 I will hand you over to those who seek to kill you, those you so desperately fear—to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the mighty Babylonian army. 
26 I will expel you and your mother from this land, and you will die in a foreign country, not in your native land. 
27 You will never again return to the land you yearn for. 
28 “Why is this man Jehoiachin like a discarded, broken jar? Why are he and his children to be exiled to a foreign land? 
29 O earth, earth, earth! Listen to this message from the LORD ! 
30 This is what the LORD says: ‘Let the record show that this man Jehoiachin was childless. He is a failure, for none of his children will succeed him on the throne of David to rule over Judah.’