Genesis

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you understand that God is the beginning and center of all things, then you can fully understand and walk in your purpose.”

TB

Precedent

You have the option of centering your life around God or centering it around yourself. While God permits either option, trust me that they offer vastly different outcomes. Because God is love, without Him, you can never truly understand what love is, therefore you set a different precedent that is based on shot-sighted human thinking. But friends reconcile yourselves to hear God as He calls you because we all have the opportunity and choice to live in the Truth. When you choose to accept God’s sovereignty over your life, He gives you the gift of understanding.

Purpose

To live according to yourself is to live without understanding Who made you and how you fit into His plan. Sure, according to man, you can be successful, but truly, a human-driven life stunts the reality and miraculousness that God shares with those who pick up their cross and follow Him. In walking with God, you learn who you are according to Who made you. You begin to understand what unconditional love, mercy, and grace actually mean. Most importantly, you find the joy of following God, not for the perks, but because He is.

Today’s Question

What centers you?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 38

1 About this time, Judah left home and moved to Adullam, where he stayed with a man named Hirah. 2 There he saw a Canaanite woman, the daughter of Shua, and he married her. When he slept with her, 3 she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and he named the boy Er. 4 Then she became pregnant again and gave birth to another son, and she named him Onan. 5 And when she gave birth to a third son, she named him Shelah. At the time of Shelah’s birth, they were living at Kezib. 6 In the course of time, Judah arranged for his firstborn son, Er, to marry a young woman named Tamar. 7 But Er was a wicked man in the LORD ’s sight, so the LORD took his life. 8 Then Judah said to Er’s brother Onan, “Go and marry Tamar, as our law requires of the brother of a man who has died. You must produce an heir for your brother.” 9 But Onan was not willing to have a child who would not be his own heir. So whenever he had intercourse with his brother’s wife, he spilled the semen on the ground. This prevented her from having a child who would belong to his brother. 10 But the LORD considered it evil for Onan to deny a child to his dead brother. So the LORD took Onan’s life, too. 11 Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, “Go back to your parents’ home and remain a widow until my son Shelah is old enough to marry you.” (But Judah didn’t really intend to do this because he was afraid Shelah would also die, like his two brothers.) So Tamar went back to live in her father’s home. 12 Some years later Judah’s wife died. After the time of mourning was over, Judah and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went up to Timnah to supervise the shearing of his sheep. 13 Someone told Tamar, “Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 Tamar was aware that Shelah had grown up, but no arrangements had been made for her to come and marry him. So she changed out of her widow’s clothing and covered herself with a veil to disguise herself. Then she sat beside the road at the entrance to the village of Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. 15 Judah noticed her and thought she was a prostitute, since she had covered her face. 16 So he stopped and propositioned her. “Let me have sex with you,” he said, not realizing that she was his own daughter-in-law. “How much will you pay to have sex with me?” Tamar asked. 17 “I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” Judah promised. “But what will you give me to guarantee that you will send the goat?” she asked. 18 “What kind of guarantee do you want?” he replied. She answered, “Leave me your identification seal and its cord and the walking stick you are carrying.” So Judah gave them to her. Then he had intercourse with her, and she became pregnant. 19 Afterward she went back home, took off her veil, and put on her widow’s clothing as usual. 20 Later Judah asked his friend Hirah the Adullamite to take the young goat to the woman and to pick up the things he had given her as his guarantee. But Hirah couldn’t find her. 21 So he asked the men who lived there, “Where can I find the shrine prostitute who was sitting beside the road at the entrance to Enaim?” “We’ve never had a shrine prostitute here,” they replied. 22 So Hirah returned to Judah and told him, “I couldn’t find her anywhere, and the men of the village claim they’ve never had a shrine prostitute there.” 23 “Then let her keep the things I gave her,” Judah said. “I sent the young goat as we agreed, but you couldn’t find her. We’d be the laughingstock of the village if we went back again to look for her.” 24 About three months later, Judah was told, “Tamar, your daughter-in-law, has acted like a prostitute. And now, because of this, she’s pregnant.” “Bring her out, and let her be burned!” Judah demanded. 25 But as they were taking her out to kill her, she sent this message to her father-in-law: “The man who owns these things made me pregnant. Look closely. Whose seal and cord and walking stick are these?” 26 Judah recognized them immediately and said, “She is more righteous than I am, because I didn’t arrange for her to marry my son Shelah.” And Judah never slept with Tamar again. 27 When the time came for Tamar to give birth, it was discovered that she was carrying twins. 28 While she was in labor, one of the babies reached out his hand. The midwife grabbed it and tied a scarlet string around the child’s wrist, announcing, “This one came out first.” 29 But then he pulled back his hand, and out came his brother! “What!” the midwife exclaimed. “How did you break out first?” So he was named Perez. 30 Then the baby with the scarlet string on his wrist was born, and he was named Zerah.

Gaze

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Keep your eyes on God so that you may not fixate on the deceptions by the opposition.”

TB

Understand

Understand that this world is full of distractions and nonsense to those who do not know any better. To the untrained heart and mind, the opposition will lay traps around you, to entice you to obsess over the unimportant things in your life. Then, what ends up happening is that you begin to involve yourself in situations you could have easily avoided had you consulted God.

Practice

When we practice obedience and deepening our relationship with Christ, the deception of this world begins to look very clear. Through discipline, we learn to hold our tongue, abstaining from fighting with our neighbors. We learn to soften our hearts and not find offense with the people we do life with. These behaviors require a changed heart and a gaze focused on God’s sovereignty. So keep your eyes on Him.

Today’s Question

What’s got your attention?

Enjoy the reading

Habakkuk 3

1 This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk : 2 I have heard all about you, LORD . I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy. 3 I see God moving across the deserts from Edom, the Holy One coming from Mount Paran. His brilliant splendor fills the heavens, and the earth is filled with his praise. 4 His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden. 5 Pestilence marches before him; plague follows close behind. 6 When he stops, the earth shakes. When he looks, the nations tremble. He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills. He is the Eternal One! 7 I see the people of Cushan in distress, and the nation of Midian trembling in terror. 8 Was it in anger, LORD, that you struck the rivers and parted the sea? Were you displeased with them? No, you were sending your chariots of salvation! 9 You brandished your bow and your quiver of arrows. You split open the earth with flowing rivers. 10 The mountains watched and trembled. Onward swept the raging waters. The mighty deep cried out, lifting its hands in submission. 11 The sun and moon stood still in the sky as your brilliant arrows flew and your glittering spear flashed. 12 You marched across the land in anger and trampled the nations in your fury. 13 You went out to rescue your chosen people, to save your anointed ones. You crushed the heads of the wicked and stripped their bones from head to toe. 14 With his own weapons, you destroyed the chief of those who rushed out like a whirlwind, thinking Israel would be easy prey. 15 You trampled the sea with your horses, and the mighty waters piled high. 16 I trembled inside when I heard this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror. I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us. 17 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD ! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. (For the choir director: This prayer is to be accompanied by stringed instruments.) Habakkuk 2Zephaniah 1  Parallel Compare

Final Say

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God always has the final say.”

TB

Sway

Do not be swayed by the foolish and temporal opinions of people. They do not know enough to even glean an inkling of God’s plans. The opposition will craftily use us to deter one another from our callings. For that reason, be quick to listen and slow to speak, because God’s vision and plans supersede our understanding.

Set

Just because you feel unqualified does not mean that God doesn’t lift up His children. Like the people before you, He has a knack for using the least likely. Why? What better way to show might than to exalt the underdog? So whatever your task, whatever your objective, do it with the confidence that God has the final say, not man.

Today’s Question

Are you doing what you’re supposed to or has the influence of fools got you down?

Enjoy the reading

Jonah 3

1 Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.” 3 This time Jonah obeyed the LORD ’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. 4 On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” 5 The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow. 6 When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. 7 Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city: “No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. 8 People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. 9 Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us.” 10 When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.

Fungi

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Evil behaviors and deeds grow best in the darkness and away from the light.”

TB

Darkness

There’s a reason why when we’re doing things we ought not to be doing, we do them secretly. Like a bacteria growing in darkness, sin is best cultivated behind the scenes. There is can grow and infiltrate all aspects of our lives. Soon enough, these misdeeds are impacting our day to day, causing chaos without us fully understanding what is going on.

Light

The only way to defeat the darkness is to bring out your actions into the light. Accountability is vital for us to grow, mature, and avoid the snares of a habitual lifestyle in darkness. If you truly want peace and light ask God to keep you accountable. Read the word and see how those in Bible dealt with darkness and the results of their actions. Sin can’t grow in the light, so turn to Him.

Today’s Question

What’s keeping you in the dark?

Enjoy the reading

Amos 7

1 The Sovereign LORD showed me a vision. I saw him preparing to send a vast swarm of locusts over the land. This was after the king’s share had been harvested from the fields and as the main crop was coming up. 2 In my vision the locusts ate every green plant in sight. Then I said, “O Sovereign LORD, please forgive us or we will not survive, for Israel is so small.” 3 So the LORD relented from this plan. “I will not do it,” he said. 4 Then the Sovereign LORD showed me another vision. I saw him preparing to punish his people with a great fire. The fire had burned up the depths of the sea and was devouring the entire land. 5 Then I said, “O Sovereign LORD, please stop or we will not survive, for Israel is so small.” 6 Then the LORD relented from this plan, too. “I will not do that either,” said the Sovereign LORD . 7 Then he showed me another vision. I saw the Lord standing beside a wall that had been built using a plumb line. He was using a plumb line to see if it was still straight. 8 And the LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” I answered, “A plumb line.” And the Lord replied, “I will test my people with this plumb line. I will no longer ignore all their sins. 9 The pagan shrines of your ancestors will be ruined, and the temples of Israel will be destroyed; I will bring the dynasty of King Jeroboam to a sudden end.” 10 Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent a message to Jeroboam, king of Israel: “Amos is hatching a plot against you right here on your very doorstep! What he is saying is intolerable. 11 He is saying, ‘Jeroboam will soon be killed, and the people of Israel will be sent away into exile.’” 12 Then Amaziah sent orders to Amos: “Get out of here, you prophet! Go on back to the land of Judah, and earn your living by prophesying there! 13 Don’t bother us with your prophecies here in Bethel. This is the king’s sanctuary and the national place of worship!” 14 But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the LORD called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’ 16 Now then, listen to this message from the LORD : “You say, ‘Don’t prophesy against Israel. Stop preaching against my people. ’ 17 But this is what the LORD says: ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in this city, and your sons and daughters will be killed. Your land will be divided up, and you yourself will die in a foreign land. And the people of Israel will certainly become captives in exile, far from their homeland.’”

Invest

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Investing in a relationship with Christ pays out infinite dividends.”

TB

Finite

Everything in this world will perish, and yet, many of us are imprisoned by the need for approval from a dying world. Be careful in who and what you invest in. There’s only one thing that will pay off in eternity.

Infinite

With God, resources are made infinitely abundant and He will never short His stock. You don’t have to be a savvy numbers person, you just have to know and accept salvation. Throw out your junk stock and invest in His.

Today’s Question

Are you making a wise eternal investment?

Enjoy the reading

Hosea 9

1 O people of Israel, do not rejoice as other nations do. For you have been unfaithful to your God, hiring yourselves out like prostitutes, worshiping other gods on every threshing floor. 2 So now your harvests will be too small to feed you. There will be no grapes for making new wine. 3 You may no longer stay here in the LORD ’s land. Instead, you will return to Egypt, and in Assyria you will eat food that is ceremonially unclean. 4 There you will make no offerings of wine to the LORD . None of your sacrifices there will please him. They will be unclean, like food touched by a person in mourning. All who present such sacrifices will be defiled. They may eat this food themselves, but they may not offer it to the LORD . 5 What then will you do on festival days? How will you observe the LORD ’s festivals? 6 Even if you escape destruction from Assyria, Egypt will conquer you, and Memphis will bury you. Nettles will take over your treasures of silver; thistles will invade your ruined homes. 7 The time of Israel’s punishment has come; the day of payment is here. Soon Israel will know this all too well. Because of your great sin and hostility, you say, “The prophets are crazy and the inspired men are fools!” 8 The prophet is a watchman over Israel for my God, yet traps are laid for him wherever he goes. He faces hostility even in the house of God. 9 The things my people do are as depraved as what they did in Gibeah long ago. God will not forget. He will surely punish them for their sins. 10 The LORD says, “O Israel, when I first found you, it was like finding fresh grapes in the desert. When I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season. But then they deserted me for Baal-peor, giving themselves to that shameful idol. Soon they became vile, as vile as the god they worshiped. 11 The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will not be born or grow in the womb or even be conceived. 12 Even if you do have children who grow up, I will take them from you. It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone. 13 I have watched Israel become as beautiful as Tyre. But now Israel will bring out her children for slaughter.” 14 O LORD, what should I request for your people? I will ask for wombs that don’t give birth and breasts that give no milk. 15 The LORD says, “All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions. I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels. 16 The people of Israel are struck down. Their roots are dried up, and they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children.” 17 My God will reject the people of Israel because they will not listen or obey. They will be wanderers, homeless among the nations.

Places, Everyone

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“In order to understand God and His will, you must first know your place.”

TB

Stage

I (we all were) was created by God, which means that I’m on His stage, not my own. My role– just like everyone else’s– was created by Him in a play of which He wrote. Now, we can all be divas, flipping the script and creating our own plays, but friends our plays will never make the main stage.

Director

God is the director, writer, and creator of the Main Play. The roles He gives are pre-destined and He chose us according to His script. If we choose to forfeit our lines, rest assured He has capable ‘understudies’ who will do a better job than you. Don’t be upstaged by your own ego. The encore is not one you’ll want to miss.

Role

Each role provides support for the play, no matter how big or small. What prevents us from participating in God’s play is that we forget who the director actually is. Yes, we have the choice to show up to the rehearsals for the main event. But if we don’t participate, the show will still go on. If you’ve misplaced your script, be humble, and ask God for another copy, He’ll be glad to have you on His stage.

Today’s Question

Are your pride and flesh-driven ways keeping you from playing your role in God’s play?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 32

1 On March 3, during the twelfth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the LORD : 2 “Son of man, mourn for Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and give him this message: “You think of yourself as a strong young lion among the nations, but you are really just a sea monster, heaving around in your own rivers, stirring up mud with your feet. 3 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will send many people to catch you in my net and haul you out of the water. 4 I will leave you stranded on the land to die. All the birds of the heavens will land on you, and the wild animals of the whole earth will gorge themselves on you. 5 I will scatter your flesh on the hills and fill the valleys with your bones. 6 I will drench the earth with your gushing blood all the way to the mountains, filling the ravines to the brim. 7 When I blot you out, I will veil the heavens and darken the stars. I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give you its light. 8 I will darken the bright stars overhead and cover your land in darkness. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken! 9 “I will disturb many hearts when I bring news of your downfall to distant nations you have never seen. 10 Yes, I will shock many lands, and their kings will be terrified at your fate. They will shudder in fear for their lives as I brandish my sword before them on the day of your fall. 11 For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “The sword of the king of Babylon will come against you. 12 I will destroy your hordes with the swords of mighty warriors— the terror of the nations. They will shatter the pride of Egypt, and all its hordes will be destroyed. 13 I will destroy all your flocks and herds that graze beside the streams. Never again will people or animals muddy those waters with their feet. 14 Then I will let the waters of Egypt become calm again, and they will flow as smoothly as olive oil, says the Sovereign LORD . 15 And when I destroy Egypt and strip you of everything you own and strike down all your people, then you will know that I am the LORD . 16 Yes, this is the funeral song they will sing for Egypt. Let all the nations mourn. Let them mourn for Egypt and its hordes. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!” 17 On March 17, during the twelfth year, another message came to me from the LORD : 18 “Son of man, weep for the hordes of Egypt and for the other mighty nations. For I will send them down to the world below in company with those who descend to the pit. 19 Say to them, ‘O Egypt, are you lovelier than the other nations? No! So go down to the pit and lie there among the outcasts. ’ 20 The Egyptians will fall with the many who have died by the sword, for the sword is drawn against them. Egypt and its hordes will be dragged away to their judgment. 21 Down in the grave mighty leaders will mockingly welcome Egypt and its allies, saying, ‘They have come down; they lie among the outcasts, hordes slaughtered by the sword.’ 22 “Assyria lies there surrounded by the graves of its army, those who were slaughtered by the sword. 23 Their graves are in the depths of the pit, and they are surrounded by their allies. They struck terror in the hearts of people everywhere, but now they have been slaughtered by the sword. 24 “Elam lies there surrounded by the graves of all its hordes, those who were slaughtered by the sword. They struck terror in the hearts of people everywhere, but now they have descended as outcasts to the world below. Now they lie in the pit and share the shame of those who have gone before them. 25 They have a resting place among the slaughtered, surrounded by the graves of all their hordes. Yes, they terrorized the nations while they lived, but now they lie in shame with others in the pit, all of them outcasts, slaughtered by the sword. 26 “Meshech and Tubal are there, surrounded by the graves of all their hordes. They once struck terror in the hearts of people everywhere. But now they are outcasts, all slaughtered by the sword. 27 They are not buried in honor like their fallen heroes, who went down to the grave with their weapons—their shields covering their bodies and their swords beneath their heads. Their guilt rests upon them because they brought terror to everyone while they were still alive. 28 “You too, Egypt, will lie crushed and broken among the outcasts, all slaughtered by the sword. 29 “Edom is there with its kings and princes. Mighty as they were, they also lie among those slaughtered by the sword, with the outcasts who have gone down to the pit. 30 “All the princes of the north and the Sidonians are there with others who have died. Once a terror, they have been put to shame. They lie there as outcasts with others who were slaughtered by the sword. They share the shame of all who have descended to the pit. 31 “When Pharaoh and his entire army arrive, he will take comfort that he is not alone in having his hordes killed, says the Sovereign LORD . 32 Although I have caused his terror to fall upon all the living, Pharaoh and his hordes will lie there among the outcasts who were slaughtered by the sword. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”

Fundamentals

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“If you take time to learn the fundamentals of Christ and His teaches, the wisdom He bestows to you for your efforts will guide you throw the highs and lows of life.”

TB

Practice and Purpose

The Bible is the ultimate playbook for you to use in this game called life. Think about sports like basketball. Elite ballplayers spend a significant amount of time studying the film of their opponents. They also spend time practicing their shots, ball handling, defense, and everything in between. Take NBA players. These guys have been playing basketball for years and years.

You would think will all of the time and practice they put in, there would be no need to watch game tape or practice. So why do they do it? Because practice and reviewing the film is the type of tool that defeats your opponent. The Bible and applying its wisdom prepares us to understand the devil’s games and how to win. Practice also helps us against the enemy when we’re tired

Foundational Strength

The devil works hard to throw us off in several areas in our lives. He’ll attack when we’re tired, when we’re distracted, when we’re stepping up in our walk with Christ, and especially when we’re successful. But don’t worry, the opposition messes greatly with the first string because he knows how influential they are in spreading the good news.

Fortunately for us, this is why we practice reading the Bible. When we’re tired, distracted, encouraging others about Christ, or stepping in our calling, this is when we must really hunker down and rely on the fundamentals. This is because God’s Truth supersedes our truths. So, when our neighbor offends us, we practice what we learned in the Bible, which is forgiveness so that it doesn’t become a foothold. When we have bills to pay, we pay them instead of buying stuff for ourselves.

Fundamentals are Key

Just like elite basketball players, we can get tired and weary, which is where the devil and temptation will rear its ugly head. When we rely on our flesh, we fail because we’re not built to weather storms such as these. Instead we have to rely on the teachings and the fundamentals of the word.

The Bible is literally the game tape of how God defeats the devil. What better resource to help us in our walks with Christ! By studying the playbook–Bible– we have foundational strength and behaviors that allow us to have victory over our trials and temptations. We gain the spiritual muscle memory to shoot the ball, scoring even when physically we can’t go on. If you want to be on the championship team, study God’s playbook, the Bible.

Today’s Question

Are you studying how to defeat the opposition?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 23

1 This message came to me from the LORD : 2 “Son of man, once there were two sisters who were daughters of the same mother. 3 They became prostitutes in Egypt. Even as young girls, they allowed men to fondle their breasts. 4 The older girl was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. I married them, and they bore me sons and daughters. I am speaking of Samaria and Jerusalem, for Oholah is Samaria and Oholibah is Jerusalem. 5 “Then Oholah lusted after other lovers instead of me, and she gave her love to the Assyrian officers. 6 They were all attractive young men, captains and commanders dressed in handsome blue, charioteers driving their horses. 7 And so she prostituted herself with the most desirable men of Assyria, worshiping their idols and defiling herself. 8 For when she left Egypt, she did not leave her spirit of prostitution behind. She was still as lewd as in her youth, when the Egyptians slept with her, fondled her breasts, and used her as a prostitute. 9 “And so I handed her over to her Assyrian lovers, whom she desired so much. 10 They stripped her, took away her children as their slaves, and then killed her. After she received her punishment, her reputation was known to every woman in the land. 11 “Yet even though Oholibah saw what had happened to Oholah, her sister, she followed right in her footsteps. And she was even more depraved, abandoning herself to her lust and prostitution. 12 She fawned over all the Assyrian officers—those captains and commanders in handsome uniforms, those charioteers driving their horses—all of them attractive young men. 13 I saw the way she was going, defiling herself just like her older sister. 14 “Then she carried her prostitution even further. She fell in love with pictures that were painted on a wall—pictures of Babylonian military officers, outfitted in striking red uniforms. 15 Handsome belts encircled their waists, and flowing turbans crowned their heads. They were dressed like chariot officers from the land of Babylonia. 16 When she saw these paintings, she longed to give herself to them, so she sent messengers to Babylonia to invite them to come to her. 17 So they came and committed adultery with her, defiling her in the bed of love. After being defiled, however, she rejected them in disgust. 18 “In the same way, I became disgusted with Oholibah and rejected her, just as I had rejected her sister, because she flaunted herself before them and gave herself to satisfy their lusts. 19 Yet she turned to even greater prostitution, remembering her youth when she was a prostitute in Egypt. 20 She lusted after lovers with genitals as large as a donkey’s and emissions like those of a horse. 21 And so, Oholibah, you relived your former days as a young girl in Egypt, when you first allowed your breasts to be fondled. 22 “Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will send your lovers against you from every direction—those very nations from which you turned away in disgust. 23 For the Babylonians will come with all the Chaldeans from Pekod and Shoa and Koa. And all the Assyrians will come with them—handsome young captains, commanders, chariot officers, and other high-ranking officers, all riding their horses. 24 They will all come against you from the north with chariots, wagons, and a great army prepared for attack. They will take up positions on every side, surrounding you with men armed with shields and helmets. And I will hand you over to them for punishment so they can do with you as they please. 25 I will turn my jealous anger against you, and they will deal harshly with you. They will cut off your nose and ears, and any survivors will then be slaughtered by the sword. Your children will be taken away as captives, and everything that is left will be burned. 26 They will strip you of your beautiful clothes and jewels. 27 In this way, I will put a stop to the lewdness and prostitution you brought from Egypt. You will never again cast longing eyes on those things or fondly remember your time in Egypt. 28 “For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will surely hand you over to your enemies, to those you loathe, those you rejected. 29 They will treat you with hatred and rob you of all you own, leaving you stark naked. The shame of your prostitution will be exposed to all the world. 30 You brought all this on yourself by prostituting yourself to other nations, defiling yourself with all their idols. 31 Because you have followed in your sister’s footsteps, I will force you to drink the same cup of terror she drank. 32 “Yes, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “You will drink from your sister’s cup of terror, a cup that is large and deep. It is filled to the brim with scorn and derision. 33 Drunkenness and anguish will fill you, for your cup is filled to the brim with distress and desolation, the same cup your sister Samaria drank. 34 You will drain that cup of terror to the very bottom. Then you will smash it to pieces and beat your breast in anguish. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken! 35 “And because you have forgotten me and turned your back on me, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: You must bear the consequences of all your lewdness and prostitution.” 36 The LORD said to me, “Son of man, you must accuse Oholah and Oholibah of all their detestable sins. 37 They have committed both adultery and murder—adultery by worshiping idols and murder by burning as sacrifices the children they bore to me. 38 Furthermore, they have defiled my Temple and violated my Sabbath day! 39 On the very day that they sacrificed their children to their idols, they boldly came into my Temple to worship! They came in and defiled my house. 40 “You sisters sent messengers to distant lands to get men. Then when they arrived, you bathed yourselves, painted your eyelids, and put on your finest jewels for them. 41 You sat with them on a beautifully embroidered couch and put my incense and my special oil on a table that was spread before you. 42 From your room came the sound of many men carousing. They were lustful men and drunkards from the wilderness, who put bracelets on your wrists and beautiful crowns on your heads. 43 Then I said, ‘If they really want to have sex with old worn-out prostitutes like these, let them!’ 44 And that is what they did. They had sex with Oholah and Oholibah, these shameless prostitutes. 45 But righteous people will judge these sister cities for what they really are—adulterers and murderers. 46 “Now this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Bring an army against them and hand them over to be terrorized and plundered. 47 For their enemies will stone them and kill them with swords. They will butcher their sons and daughters and burn their homes. 48 In this way, I will put an end to lewdness and idolatry in the land, and my judgment will be a warning to all women not to follow your wicked example. 49 You will be fully repaid for all your prostitution—your worship of idols. Yes, you will suffer the full penalty. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD .”

Flow

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Go with God’s flow.”

TB

Multi-purpose

God uses any and everything and all of His creations have multiple purposes for varying situations. Take water, for example. It sustains human life, it can be entertaining, calm, peaceful, healing, etc. Water can also be deadly, powerful, and crushing. People are the same way. When God directs your steps, you learn about peace, mercy, grace, forgiveness. When we’re stuck in our flesh, we too can be deadly, cruel, and dangerous.

Endless

Life possesses many possibilities. You could be rich or poor. You could be universally loved or universally hated. You could be healthy or sick. You could have everything or nothing. And, even in the best circumstances, without God’s flow, His love, and Truth, it all means nothing. In spite of our flesh, we are designed to be in tune with God’s flow. This means that any manmade attempt at satisfying the flesh is temporary and fruitless. In God’s flow, He instills His well of love, teaching us a level of contentment and joy inconceivable anywhere else.

Today’s Questions

Are you going with God’s flow or with your flesh?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 16

1 Then another message came to me from the LORD : 2 “Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her detestable sins. 3 Give her this message from the Sovereign LORD : You are nothing but a Canaanite! Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 On the day you were born, no one cared about you. Your umbilical cord was not cut, and you were never washed, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in cloth. 5 No one had the slightest interest in you; no one pitied you or cared for you. On the day you were born, you were unwanted, dumped in a field and left to die. 6 “But I came by and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood. As you lay there, I said, ‘Live!’ 7 And I helped you to thrive like a plant in the field. You grew up and became a beautiful jewel. Your breasts became full, and your body hair grew, but you were still naked. 8 And when I passed by again, I saw that you were old enough for love. So I wrapped my cloak around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant with you, says the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine. 9 “Then I bathed you and washed off your blood, and I rubbed fragrant oils into your skin. 10 I gave you expensive clothing of fine linen and silk, beautifully embroidered, and sandals made of fine goatskin leather. 11 I gave you lovely jewelry, bracelets, beautiful necklaces, 12 a ring for your nose, earrings for your ears, and a lovely crown for your head. 13 And so you were adorned with gold and silver. Your clothes were made of fine linen and costly fabric and were beautifully embroidered. You ate the finest foods—choice flour, honey, and olive oil—and became more beautiful than ever. You looked like a queen, and so you were! 14 Your fame soon spread throughout the world because of your beauty. I dressed you in my splendor and perfected your beauty, says the Sovereign LORD . 15 “But you thought your fame and beauty were your own. So you gave yourself as a prostitute to every man who came along. Your beauty was theirs for the asking. 16 You used the lovely things I gave you to make shrines for idols, where you played the prostitute. Unbelievable! How could such a thing ever happen? 17 You took the very jewels and gold and silver ornaments I had given you and made statues of men and worshiped them. This is adultery against me! 18 You used the beautifully embroidered clothes I gave you to dress your idols. Then you used my special oil and my incense to worship them. 19 Imagine it! You set before them as a sacrifice the choice flour, olive oil, and honey I had given you, says the Sovereign LORD . 20 “Then you took your sons and daughters—the children you had borne to me—and sacrificed them to your gods. Was your prostitution not enough? 21 Must you also slaughter my children by sacrificing them to idols? 22 In all your years of adultery and detestable sin, you have not once remembered the days long ago when you lay naked in a field, kicking about in your own blood. 23 “What sorrow awaits you, says the Sovereign LORD . In addition to all your other wickedness, 24 you built a pagan shrine and put altars to idols in every town square. 25 On every street corner you defiled your beauty, offering your body to every passerby in an endless stream of prostitution. 26 Then you added lustful Egypt to your lovers, provoking my anger with your increasing promiscuity. 27 That is why I struck you with my fist and reduced your boundaries. I handed you over to your enemies, the Philistines, and even they were shocked by your lewd conduct. 28 You have prostituted yourself with the Assyrians, too. It seems you can never find enough new lovers! And after your prostitution there, you still were not satisfied. 29 You added to your lovers by embracing Babylonia, the land of merchants, but you still weren’t satisfied. 30 “What a sick heart you have, says the Sovereign LORD, to do such things as these, acting like a shameless prostitute. 31 You build your pagan shrines on every street corner and your altars to idols in every square. In fact, you have been worse than a prostitute, so eager for sin that you have not even demanded payment. 32 Yes, you are an adulterous wife who takes in strangers instead of her own husband. 33 Prostitutes charge for their services—but not you! You give gifts to your lovers, bribing them to come and have sex with you. 34 So you are the opposite of other prostitutes. You pay your lovers instead of their paying you! 35 “Therefore, you prostitute, listen to this message from the LORD ! 36 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because you have poured out your lust and exposed yourself in prostitution to all your lovers, and because you have worshiped detestable idols, and because you have slaughtered your children as sacrifices to your gods, 37 this is what I am going to do. I will gather together all your allies—the lovers with whom you have sinned, both those you loved and those you hated—and I will strip you naked in front of them so they can stare at you. 38 I will punish you for your murder and adultery. I will cover you with blood in my jealous fury. 39 Then I will give you to these many nations who are your lovers, and they will destroy you. They will knock down your pagan shrines and the altars to your idols. They will strip you and take your beautiful jewels, leaving you stark naked. 40 They will band together in a mob to stone you and cut you up with swords. 41 They will burn your homes and punish you in front of many women. I will stop your prostitution and end your payments to your many lovers. 42 “Then at last my fury against you will be spent, and my jealous anger will subside. I will be calm and will not be angry with you anymore. 43 But first, because you have not remembered your youth but have angered me by doing all these evil things, I will fully repay you for all of your sins, says the Sovereign LORD . For you have added lewd acts to all your detestable sins. 44 Everyone who makes up proverbs will say of you, ‘Like mother, like daughter.’ 45 For your mother loathed her husband and her children, and so do you. And you are exactly like your sisters, for they despised their husbands and their children. Truly your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 “Your older sister was Samaria, who lived with her daughters in the north. Your younger sister was Sodom, who lived with her daughters in the south. 47 But you have not merely sinned as they did. You quickly surpassed them in corruption. 48 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, Sodom and her daughters were never as wicked as you and your daughters. 49 Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. 50 She was proud and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen. 51 “Even Samaria did not commit half your sins. You have done far more detestable things than your sisters ever did. They seem righteous compared to you. 52 Shame on you! Your sins are so terrible that you make your sisters seem righteous, even virtuous. 53 “But someday I will restore the fortunes of Sodom and Samaria, and I will restore you, too. 54 Then you will be truly ashamed of everything you have done, for your sins make them feel good in comparison. 55 Yes, your sisters, Sodom and Samaria, and all their people will be restored, and at that time you also will be restored. 56 In your proud days you held Sodom in contempt. 57 But now your greater wickedness has been exposed to all the world, and you are the one who is scorned—by Edom and all her neighbors and by Philistia. 58 This is your punishment for all your lewdness and detestable sins, says the LORD . 59 “Now this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will give you what you deserve, for you have taken your solemn vows lightly by breaking your covenant. 60 Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were young, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. 61 Then you will remember with shame all the evil you have done. I will make your sisters, Samaria and Sodom, to be your daughters, even though they are not part of our covenant. 62 And I will reaffirm my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the LORD . 63 You will remember your sins and cover your mouth in silent shame when I forgive you of all that you have done. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”

Ouch!

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Imagine how clearly we could hear God if we let the wounds of yesterday heal.”

TB

One Time

Think back to a time when something painful occurred in your life. It could be a cruel thing a peer or family member said. It could be a life event that changed your worldview. It could be a financial situation that altered how your perceived money. Whatever it is, think about it for a moment. Think about how it changed your view of the world, your view of yourself, and most importantly, your behavior. Now, think about how many times that moment (or several) actually happened over the course of your life. If you sum up the total painful moments and measured them against the years of your life, chances are, it’s quite short in comparison.

So, why am I talking about this? Well, I came to the realization that we (myself totally included) allow a fraction of our life and experiences dictate our whole journey. Meaning, when don’t allow God to reconcile our trials, we don’t heal. Further, when we don’t heal, we are not capable of seeing how God truly sees us, how He sees the world, and how He’s planned amazing things for all of our lives . And, when we don’t have the right sight, we are play toys for the devil. That last line sounds hyperbolic, I know, but hear me out.

Running Scared

The devil has done a phenomenal job of getting us to stew in our fears. Think about it. How we go about our days. How we go about our jobs. How we go about raising the next generation. Everything! Unchecked painful moments get us to take our eyes off of God and then we start looking to ourselves for protection, resources, fake love, you name it. We start creating bogus rules, bogus leaders, bogus laws, bogus love, bogus families, bogus everything.

The problem is because God is the source, the creator, when we don’t consult Him, we consult ourselves and our neighbors. Friends, we don’t see far enough, know enough, love enough, forgive enough to be in charge of really anything. But do you know who benefits when we toil in our unbelief and flesh-driven ways? The devil. Friends, God does not want us fearful, down and out, enslaved, or miserable. But the only way we can know what His plans are for our lives is that we must first come to Him.

Healing Foundation

You may have been through traumatic, painful, and challenging moments in your life, but God does not want you to stay there. We are not able to withstand life and this world on our own. We have to give everything to Christ so that He can show us the way. We do this by allowing Him into our hearts, our minds, and our souls.

Accepting Christ means that you also accept His guidance, love, and wisdom and trust me, it’s way easier to navigate the world with God at the helm. When you give God your burdens, He cleans your wounds, making you a new work in His image. That is something that on our own, we simply cannot do. At best we have cheap generic band aids that require constant maintenance. God’s solution is far better. If you truly desire to leave the fear-based existence behind, give it all to God and watch Him awaken a new sight within you.

Today’s Question

Are you living in fear or are you living in the freedom of Christ?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 5

 “Son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a razor to shave your head and beard. Use a scale to weigh the hair into three equal parts. 2 Place a third of it at the center of your map of Jerusalem. After acting out the siege, burn it there. Scatter another third across your map and chop it with a sword. Scatter the last third to the wind, for I will scatter my people with the sword. 3 Keep just a bit of the hair and tie it up in your robe. 4 Then take some of these hairs out and throw them into the fire, burning them up. A fire will then spread from this remnant and destroy all of Israel. 5 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: This is an illustration of what will happen to Jerusalem. I placed her at the center of the nations, 6 but she has rebelled against my regulations and decrees and has been even more wicked than the surrounding nations. She has refused to obey the regulations and decrees I gave her to follow. 7 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: You people have behaved worse than your neighbors and have refused to obey my decrees and regulations. You have not even lived up to the standards of the nations around you. 8 Therefore, I myself, the Sovereign LORD, am now your enemy. I will punish you publicly while all the nations watch. 9 Because of your detestable idols, I will punish you like I have never punished anyone before or ever will again. 10 Parents will eat their own children, and children will eat their parents. I will punish you and scatter to the winds the few who survive. 11 “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I will cut you off completely. I will show you no pity at all because you have defiled my Temple with your vile images and detestable sins. 12 A third of your people will die in the city from disease and famine. A third of them will be slaughtered by the enemy outside the city walls. And I will scatter a third to the winds, chasing them with my sword. 13 Then at last my anger will be spent, and I will be satisfied. And when my fury against them has subsided, all Israel will know that I, the LORD, have spoken to them in my jealous anger. 14 “So I will turn you into a ruin, a mockery in the eyes of the surrounding nations and to all who pass by. 15 You will become an object of mockery and taunting and horror. You will be a warning to all the nations around you. They will see what happens when the LORD punishes a nation in anger and rebukes it, says the LORD . 16 “I will shower you with the deadly arrows of famine to destroy you. The famine will become more and more severe until every crumb of food is gone. 17 And along with the famine, wild animals will attack you and rob you of your children. Disease and war will stalk your land, and I will bring the sword of the enemy against you. I, the LORD, have spoken!”

Job

pliers-1031982_1920.jpg

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t do the devil’s job for him.”~Jon Barnes

Enemy

Have you ever noticed that many people shoot for the minimum or enough to get by? It’s interesting how we as a society have conditioned ourselves to accept mediocrity, corruption, and the like as if bondage and enslavement are normal living conditions. We are more prone to believe in the negative things and scoff at the amazing possibilities . and potential that comes with following Christ.  Self-sabotage is a behavior that keeps us from actualizing the promises that God gives to each and every one of us. In short, when we participate in these defeating practices, we’re giving the devil much unnecessary help that we could be using ourselves to answer the call of Christ.

Ally

Friends do not be scared, intimated, or in denial of the great dreams and potential that God has stored in each and every one of you. He has done a great work in all of us. The worst thing we can do is to trade a miraculous truth for comfortable lies. Yes,  God’s plan requires faith, work, and humility, but the pay off is so much more satisfying and everlasting than not working to your potential. Look to God as the ultimate ally and guide for your life.  When you read the Bible and see all of the people and works documented, the extraordinary seems more possible, because all things are possible through Him!  Don’t do the enemy any favors by beating yourself up and living in condemnation. Instead, till the soil and see what it is that God has tasked you to do. It will be a life well-lived and full of adventure, no doubt.

Today’s Question

Who are you working for; God of the devil?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 13

1 This is what the LORD said to me: “Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it on, but do not wash it.” 
2 So I bought the loincloth as the LORD directed me, and I put it on. 
3 Then the LORD gave me another message: 
4 “Take the linen loincloth you are wearing, and go to the Euphrates River. Hide it there in a hole in the rocks.” 
5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates as the LORD had instructed me. 
6 A long time afterward the LORD said to me, “Go back to the Euphrates and get the loincloth I told you to hide there.” 
7 So I went to the Euphrates and dug it out of the hole where I had hidden it. But now it was rotting and falling apart. The loincloth was good for nothing. 
8 Then I received this message from the LORD : 
9 “This is what the LORD says: This shows how I will rot away the pride of Judah and Jerusalem. 
10 These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They stubbornly follow their own desires and worship other gods. Therefore, they will become like this loincloth—good for nothing! 
11 As a loincloth clings to a man’s waist, so I created Judah and Israel to cling to me, says the LORD . They were to be my people, my pride, my glory—an honor to my name. But they would not listen to me. 
12 “So tell them, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: May all your jars be filled with wine.’ And they will reply, ‘Of course! Jars are made to be filled with wine!’ 
13 “Then tell them, ‘No, this is what the LORD means: I will fill everyone in this land with drunkenness—from the king sitting on David’s throne to the priests and the prophets, right down to the common people of Jerusalem. 
14 I will smash them against each other, even parents against children, says the LORD . I will not let my pity or mercy or compassion keep me from destroying them.’” 
15 Listen and pay attention! Do not be arrogant, for the LORD has spoken. 
16 Give glory to the LORD your God before it is too late. Acknowledge him before he brings darkness upon you, causing you to stumble and fall on the darkening mountains. For then, when you look for light, you will find only terrible darkness and gloom. 
17 And if you still refuse to listen, I will weep alone because of your pride. My eyes will overflow with tears, because the LORD ’s flock will be led away into exile. 
18 Say to the king and his mother, “Come down from your thrones and sit in the dust, for your glorious crowns will soon be snatched from your heads.” 
19 The towns of the Negev will close their gates, and no one will be able to open them. The people of Judah will be taken away as captives. All will be carried into exile. 
20 Open up your eyes and see the armies marching down from the north! Where is your flock— your beautiful flock— that he gave you to care for? 
21 What will you say when the LORD takes the allies you have cultivated and appoints them as your rulers? Pangs of anguish will grip you, like those of a woman in labor! 
22 You may ask yourself, “Why is all this happening to me?” It is because of your many sins! That is why you have been stripped and raped by invading armies. 
23 Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard take away its spots? Neither can you start doing good, for you have always done evil. 
24 “I will scatter you like chaff that is blown away by the desert winds. 
25 This is your allotment, the portion I have assigned to you,” says the LORD, “for you have forgotten me, putting your trust in false gods. 
26 I myself will strip you and expose you to shame. 
27 I have seen your adultery and lust, and your disgusting idol worship out in the fields and on the hills. What sorrow awaits you, Jerusalem! How long before you are pure?”