“In order to have a real relationship with God, you must first be real with yourself.”~TB
Our society has done a great job getting people to pretend to be something they are not. Many spend time chasing things and people that don’t actually align with who they are, what they value, and the list goes on. So, if you can’t even be real for your sake, how will you maintain a real relationship with God? He knows you, but do you know you?
God calls us for our own unique position and purpose. It takes certain characteristics and personalities to fill specific jobs. We are made according to our purpose. Of course, if I’m being you and you’re being me, how well can we fulfill our roles? Drop the act, stop being who you think you ought to be and be who God made you to be. It’s much easier than putting up a facade. More importantly, it’s how you grow deeper with your connection to Christ.
When you keep it real with God, the shame of what you ‘lack’ lessens because you know where to fill your cup. If you’re looking to the world to replenish your needs, you will always come up short and lacking. Knowing Christ’s identity and His purpose goes a long way in growing your maturity. When you’re young and dumb, the flashy glitter of the world is worth throwing away your authentic self for a pat on the back and a path to Hell. As you spiritually grow, you will value the realness of God and the unique qualities He has bestowed upon you.
Are you keeping it real or are you really faking it?
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1Isaiah son of Amoz received this message concerning the destruction of Babylon:
2“Raise a signal flag on a bare hilltop. Call up an army against Babylon. Wave your hand to encourage them as they march into the palaces of the high and mighty.
3I, the LORD, have dedicated these soldiers for this task. Yes, I have called mighty warriors to express my anger, and they will rejoice when I am exalted.”
4Hear the noise on the mountains! Listen, as the vast armies march! It is the noise and shouting of many nations. The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has called this army together.
5They come from distant countries, from beyond the farthest horizons. They are the LORD ’s weapons to carry out his anger. With them he will destroy the whole land.
6Scream in terror, for the day of the LORD has arrived— the time for the Almighty to destroy.
7Every arm is paralyzed with fear. Every heart melts,
8and people are terrified. Pangs of anguish grip them, like those of a woman in labor. They look helplessly at one another, their faces aflame with fear.
9For see, the day of the LORD is coming— the terrible day of his fury and fierce anger. The land will be made desolate, and all the sinners destroyed with it.
10The heavens will be black above them; the stars will give no light. The sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon will provide no light.
11“I, the LORD, will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their sin. I will crush the arrogance of the proud and humble the pride of the mighty.
12I will make people scarcer than gold— more rare than the fine gold of Ophir.
13For I will shake the heavens. The earth will move from its place when the LORD of Heaven’s Armies displays his wrath in the day of his fierce anger.”
14Everyone in Babylon will run about like a hunted gazelle, like sheep without a shepherd. They will try to find their own people and flee to their own land.
15Anyone who is captured will be cut down— run through with a sword.
16Their little children will be dashed to death before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked, and their wives will be raped.
17“Look, I will stir up the Medes against Babylon. They cannot be tempted by silver or bribed with gold.
18The attacking armies will shoot down the young men with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for children.”
19Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms, the flower of Chaldean pride, will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah when God destroyed them.
20Babylon will never be inhabited again. It will remain empty for generation after generation. Nomads will refuse to camp there, and shepherds will not bed down their sheep.
21Desert animals will move into the ruined city, and the houses will be haunted by howling creatures. Owls will live among the ruins, and wild goats will go there to dance.
22Hyenas will howl in its fortresses, and jackals will make dens in its luxurious palaces. Babylon’s days are numbered; its time of destruction will soon arrive.
“Someone has to be brilliant in your family, so why can’t it be you with Christ shining in your life!” ~ Jon Barnes
God would rather you be hot or cold, good or bad, in or out, but this fake Christianity, false stuff, and man-made religious stuff that God does not respect or honor will not hold up in The Court of Pearly Gates!God would rather you follow Him, honor His ways, commandments, and laws through Jesus.
Interestingly enough, most of us are always following our stuff and we try to sprinkle a little God Dust over us as a cover-up, self-made, man-made tactical approach to damage control, hypocrisy, and lies.God’s Court System is bigger, better, and smarter than any court system in the Universe and beyond.There are no hung juries in Heaven with God as the Supreme Court Justice!
Fortunately, God understands our moves, motives, madness, and He has the best solutions to all of our problems, but will we listen to Him?God is the Chess Master and we are the pieces on the board.According to History, mankind has been evil since the beginning of time and notice how badly we have treated each other. Notice that it is the Goodness of God that sustains humanity and not we ourselves.
Can a stranger see the brilliant light of Christ shining in your life every day and anywhere?
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For the director of music. A maskil of David. When Doeg the Edomite had gone to Saul and told him: “David has gone to the house of Ahimelek.”
1Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero? Why do you boast all day long, you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?
2You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor.
3You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth.
4You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue!
5Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living.
6The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at you, saying,
7“Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!”
8But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
9For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.
“God created all things and then said, ‘ Let Us make man in our own image’, and there are almost 7 trillion images of God on His planet for you to wrap your mind around and see God!” ~ Jon Barnes
Notice how badly we can treat God, based on how badly we can treat each other. If we would love each other like we are supposed to love ourselves, then we could treat God with real love and respect to show appreciation for our blessings and take better care of our world. You don’t need me to tell you how true this is since you can see it for yourself. Truth is obvious unless you are a liar.
Notice the order of what God created first before making an image of Himself. The amount of creativity, capacity, and depth of planning and executing flawless ideas onto life-sized movable parts are unimaginable, unfathomable, and unthinkable. Yet, we use His resources as if it’s nothing, like a spoiled child born with a gold spoon. Currently, we still tend to imitate the Israelites from the Old Testament of the Bible. Complaining, dumb sheep all tend to think alike.
Notice out of all the images God has created, few stand out to do the work, faith, and love that God teaches from the studies in the bible. The stories are helpful when you read them and apply the principles on your own. The self-help studies prove your faithfulness and willingness to learn, listen, and execute God’s amazing plans. People who work together, walking with God are able to make the best decisions and reap what they have sown. There are no secrets to God, just obedience.
What is the secret to your disobedience?
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Victory over Og of Bashan
3 “Next we turned and headed for the land of Bashan, where King Og and his entire army attacked us at Edrei.2 But the Lord told me, ‘Do not be afraid of him, for I have given you victory over Og and his entire army, and I will give you all his land. Treat him just as you treated King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon.’
3 “So the Lord our God handed King Og and all his people over to us, and we killed them all. Not a single person survived.4 We conquered all sixty of his towns—the entire Argob region in his kingdom of Bashan. Not a single town escaped our conquest.5 These towns were all fortified with high walls and barred gates. We also took many unwalled villages at the same time.6 We completely destroyed[a] the kingdom of Bashan, just as we had destroyed King Sihon of Heshbon. We destroyed all the people in every town we conquered—men, women, and children alike.7 But we kept all the livestock for ourselves and took plunder from all the towns.
8 “So we took the land of the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River—all the way from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon.9 (Mount Hermon is called Sirion by the Sidonians, and the Amorites call it Senir.)10 We had now conquered all the cities on the plateau and all Gilead and Bashan, as far as the towns of Salecah and Edrei, which were part of Og’s kingdom in Bashan.11 (King Og of Bashan was the last survivor of the giant Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide.[b] It can still be seen in the Ammonite city of Rabbah.)
Land Division East of the Jordan
12 “When we took possession of this land, I gave to the tribes of Reuben and Gad the territory beyond Aroer along the Arnon Gorge, plus half of the hill country of Gilead with its towns.13 Then I gave the rest of Gilead and all of Bashan—Og’s former kingdom—to the half-tribe of Manasseh. (This entire Argob region of Bashan used to be known as the land of the Rephaites.14 Jair, a leader from the tribe of Manasseh, conquered the whole Argob region in Bashan, all the way to the border of the Geshurites and Maacathites. Jair renamed this region after himself, calling it the Towns of Jair,[c] as it is still known today.)15 I gave Gilead to the clan of Makir.16 But I also gave part of Gilead to the tribes of Reuben and Gad. The area I gave them extended from the middle of the Arnon Gorge in the south to the Jabbok River on the Ammonite frontier.17 They also received the Jordan Valley, all the way from the Sea of Galilee down to the Dead Sea,[d] with the Jordan River serving as the western boundary. To the east were the slopes of Pisgah.
18 “At that time I gave this command to the tribes that would live east of the Jordan: ‘Although the Lord your God has given you this land as your property, all your fighting men must cross the Jordan ahead of your Israelite relatives, armed and ready to assist them.19 Your wives, children, and numerous livestock, however, may stay behind in the towns I have given you.20 When the Lord has given security to the rest of the Israelites, as he has to you, and when they occupy the land the Lord your God is giving them across the Jordan River, then you may all return here to the land I have given you.’
Moses Forbidden to Enter the Land
21 “At that time I gave Joshua this charge: ‘You have seen for yourself everything the Lordyour God has done to these two kings. He will do the same to all the kingdoms on the west side of the Jordan.22 Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.’
23 “At that time I pleaded with the Lord and said,24 ‘O Sovereign Lord, you have only begun to show your greatness and the strength of your hand to me, your servant. Is there any god in heaven or on earth who can perform such great and mighty deeds as you do?25 Please let me cross the Jordan to see the wonderful land on the other side, the beautiful hill country and the Lebanon mountains.’
26 “But the Lord was angry with me because of you, and he would not listen to me. ‘That’s enough!’ he declared. ‘Speak of it no more.27 But go up to Pisgah Peak, and look over the land in every direction. Take a good look, but you may not cross the Jordan River.28 Instead, commission Joshua and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead the people across the Jordan. He will give them all the land you now see before you as their possession.’29 So we stayed in the valley near Beth-peor.
“If you expect nothing for your quality work than you will not do the quality job, because you didn’t expect anything for your quality labor from God.” ~ Jon Barnes
You become what you think you are, within God’s plan. Your choice to engage with rigor is directly proportionate to your passion and drive to do Good Work. God gives us the honesty it takes to achieve, if we believe in the truth.
What you have learned and earned is what you now know. Seeing and reading experiences are not the same as participating in your own experiences. You must get the good work done and practice your skills of faith to gain hands on wisdom from God through practice and labor!
You will see the results from the quality of work that you express from your love for God and you will do Good Work, as a result. There is no secret to obeying God’s ways, words, and commandments. Yes or No are your options!
Are you prepared to expect better of yourself so God can bless you more?
Enjoy Today’s Reading.
1 Thessalonians 3
3 So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens.2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.5 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.
Timothy’s Encouraging Report
6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you.12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
“Your mind has been hijacked, and you are now told how to think, how to color your face, body, hair what to lift, tuck, love, add, or subtract; when to laugh, or cry, where to sit– immobile on the job or at home, and why you cannot change from today’s modern enslaved thinking; Your natural face has been erased!” ~ Jon Barnes
Now that we look like modern people with bald heads, fake colored hair, lipo”suck”-tioned, silicone implanted, genetically altered animals, foods, chemicals, and nanotechnology, we think we have outsmarted God to reshape or undo our own image.
There is no need to idolize flesh, bones, people, modern lifestyles, and modern lies!
The computer age has exploded atomic bombs in all of our minds and we now lay in waste, refusing God’s Help. Modern Thinking says, we are in control and I can be and buy what I need. Choose to imitate the living God of Creation and Creativity, not just man-made dead technology pretending to be godlike, to clone modern people.
We have become living dead bones to the digital age. Dead Bones all look like Dead Bones, and if God can put them back together, singing praises of thanksgiving, how much more should we thank God for the flesh and bone, heart and mind, or body and soul that was gifted to us by HIM? May God help us to breathe in the biblical content needed to pray for peace, restoration, and a reality check that will result in our proper modifications needed to manage our technology properly with God’s Commandments and lifestyle.
Your personal matrix is self absorbed by sublime media ads and casual infomercials from people and other electronic devices that rings like the evening news, full of propaganda and hate, which controls our thoughts and prevent us from doing real physical work of equality and fairness. How do we handle the manslaughter and influx of digital infusion, which shoots at us like a semiautomatic weapon from the window of a drive by psycho? Pray that God gives us a mind to balance reality from fiction, always doing good and not evil.
Are you the real deal, the real thing, or have you been hacked by your own digital divisiveness, looking and acting like a the perfect image of a digitally downloaded clown faced dummy?
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.
Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians’ Faith
2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
4 For we know, brothers and sisters[b] loved by God, that he has chosen you,5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
“Your actions and acts of kindness, of integrity from the Holy Spirit of God, are integrated into your heart, mind, body and soul, so that everyone is fully aware of your intentions, identifying your input and involvement in the Kingdom of God.” ~ Jon Barnes
Your Love Acts
Your love is not a mystery and why you love is very simple. God loved us first and it is our nature to love Him in return. It is the devil’s nature to get you to love him so that sin can rule your life to capture your eternal soul. If you refuse to love God, then He knows whose love actions are Good or evil. Love doesn’t come from a script, movie, play or Sister Act 5 episode. Your Love Acts are expressed copies of how God wants you to normally Act, in Spirit and in Truth.
Identify True Love
Identify true love by allowing God to teach you his way of loving, giving, and caring for the people around you each day. Find a way to help, developing good solutions to problems. Find others who love the same way as God does. Then you’ll find or help your mate and people working for God in the Kingdom. Sometimes you have to love when no one is loving you back. Notice the people who love without needing to be asked to love. They just love unconditionally and all of the time. It is authentic love from God.
Active love requires activities that express lovely thoughts and actions with fruit to distribute. We can talk about love all day long and still not know or serve God with your acts of active love. The simple difference is that many people ACT like ACTORS on stage and the minute they are alone to themselves, you will see the wolf come out of the sheep’s clothing. They kill sheep and use the wool to put the wool over everyone’s eyes. Some really look like sheep, but their love is fake, false, like a sleeping active volcano ready to erupt at any second. Take time to catch the actors in the very act.
Did you know that God will Act, Respond, and Reward your True Character in your Actions and Activities?
Enjoy The Reading.
Acts 2New International Version (NIV)
The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b]10 Phrygia and Pamphylia,Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Peter Addresses the Crowd
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[c]
22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross.24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.25 David said about him:
“‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, 27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’[e]
29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay.32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’[f]
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
The Fellowship of the Believers
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.