Obedience>Perfection

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

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

Standards

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

Practice

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

Today’s Question

Are you practicing obedience or practicing stupidity?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 14

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

 

Reflect

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Keep tabs on your ego and pride because an overabundance of both can cause you to lose your blessings.”~TB

Pride

When you’ve walked with God long enough to see the many spectacular things He’s done in you and around you, if you’re not careful, you can begin to think too highly of yourself. Pride blinds us from connecting to our brothers and sisters in Christ. An unchecked ego foolishly hones in on the sins of others, without recognizing or dealing with our own. When you’re really out of sorts, you can become your own deity, thinking you know all. Friends, check your pride and make sure you’re not on team arrogance.

Humility

It takes honest humility and repentance to get off or your high horse. Fortunately for us, when we find ourselves on the wrong team, God will gently laugh and will lovingly take us back. In those moments, reflect on His mercy and His immediate acceptance of you. God doesn’t scoff, He doesn’t even say ‘I told you so’. Like a parent missing a child who has been gone for a long time, He welcomes you with open arms. Friends, mirror His ways! Don’t think too highly of yourselves and give your peers the mercy and grace that God gives us each and every day. When you keep your feelings in check and love like God loves us, everyone wins.

Today’s Question

Are you practicing His ways or is your pride driving your behavior?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 138

1 I give you thanks, O LORD, with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods. 
2 I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. 
3 As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength. 
4 Every king in all the earth will thank you, LORD, for all of them will hear your words. 
5 Yes, they will sing about the LORD ’s ways, for the glory of the LORD is very great. 
6Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud. 
7 Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. 
8 The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

Arise

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“When a problem occurs, get up, look at yourself, and examine the many different ways you could have prepared, prevented or avoided the situation and give yourself time to learn, reflect, and absorb the best solutions, before giving your opinions, solutions, and advice.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Advice 

Advise yourself to work in your expertise and learn from other experts to improve your quality of work, ethics, and faith in God.  You will notice the positive impact that you have on the lives of people because you are a follower of Jesus Christ and His Advice, not your own advice.  Your personal improvements will become noticeable and obvious to everyone.

Stop

Stop giving advice and live what God is teaching you.  Your lifestyle in God will reflect, teach, and encourage others to advise themselves, with God’s information.  We all have to make up our own minds, do the work, use the measure of faith, and account for all of our actions.  There is no time for me to account for your actions. I’m too busy keeping maintenance schedules, oil, and gas in my own car.

Reflect

Look at your life’s reflection as you muse and reflect upon your relationship with God, along with your spiritual connectivity, walk, path, and direction.  Notice how the Hand of God touches your life and others because you have learned not to give your opinions.  Instead, give biblical facts and stories for people to muse and reflect upon, as they make their own choices in life while reading the bible for themselves.
Today’s Question
Do you live your life in a way that people can see how to rise up and follow Christ in a loving, natural, honest manner?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Psalm 45 

1 Beautiful words stir my heart. I will recite a lovely poem about the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet. 
2 You are the most handsome of all. Gracious words stream from your lips. God himself has blessed you forever. 
3 Put on your sword, O mighty warrior! You are so glorious, so majestic! 
4 In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice. Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds! 
5 Your arrows are sharp, piercing your enemies’ hearts. The nations fall beneath your feet. 
6 Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. 
7 You love justice and hate evil. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else. 
8 Myrrh, aloes, and cassia perfume your robes. In ivory palaces, the music of strings entertains you. 
9 Kings’ daughters are among your noble women. At your right side stands the queen, wearing jewelry of finest gold from Ophir! 
10 Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say. Forget your people and your family far away. 
11 For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. 
12 The princess of Tyre will shower you with gifts. The wealthy will beg your favor.
13 The bride, a princess, looks glorious in her golden gown. 
14 In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids.
15 What a joyful and enthusiastic procession as they enter the king’s palace! 
16 Your sons will become kings like their father. You will make them rulers over many lands. 
17 I will bring honor to your name in every generation. Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever.
Love,
Jonathan

Word Choices

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Your Word Choices are full of understanding, which pushes your life into the direction that God wants you to go or they push you over a cliff into the pit of hell, at the end of your life.” ~ Jon Barnes

Results

Your words and thoughts come from your heart as your mind processes who you are and your actions are an end result of your faith/fate. Following God is full of Word Choices of Good Works from the Spirit of God, because of your connection to Him and you understand, believe, and see your destination in heaven. Walking after evil word choices, thoughts, and actions are full of hate, lies, greed, lust, and other prideful ventures that will net you the bottomless fire pit as well.

Sustained

Your life is sustained in one direction or the other. Your word choices are quite clear to the ears of God and your destination will be eternally clear upon death.  Your word choices will reflect a clear choice from your heart to the ears of God, even before you speak a word.  God Knows! I don’t know or even care what your choice is, because, I can’t help you make that choice, no more than God can. Your choice is your choice and you/We sustain our choices until the end.

Accountable 

Become accountable for the fullness of life to work out your issues, understanding, studies, assignments, and plans that God has for your life. I cannot be accountable for you and you cannot be accountable for me. It is up to God, who can accept your word choices and actions of accountability with your repentance and acceptance of faith.
Today’s Question
Will you enjoy the results of your foolish Word Choices to God?

Enjoy The Reading

Judges 21 

Wives for the Benjamites

21 The men of Israel had taken an oath at Mizpah: “Not one of us will give his daughter in marriage to a Benjamite.”
The people went to Bethel,[a] where they sat before God until evening, raising their voices and weeping bitterly. Lord, God of Israel,” they cried, “why has this happened to Israel? Why should one tribe be missing from Israel today?”
Early the next day the people built an altar and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.
Then the Israelites asked, “Who from all the tribes of Israel has failed to assemble before the Lord?” For they had taken a solemn oath that anyone who failed to assemble before the Lord at Mizpah was to be put to death.
Now the Israelites grieved for the tribe of Benjamin, their fellow Israelites. “Today one tribe is cut off from Israel,” they said. “How can we provide wives for those who are left, since we have taken an oath by the Lord not to give them any of our daughters in marriage?” Then they asked, “Which one of the tribes of Israel failed to assemble before the Lord at Mizpah?” They discovered that no one from Jabesh Gilead had come to the camp for the assembly. For when they counted the people, they found that none of the people of Jabesh Gilead were there.
10 So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children. 11 “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin.” 12 They found among the people living in Jabesh Gilead four hundred young women who had never slept with a man, and they took them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan.
13 Then the whole assembly sent an offer of peace to the Benjamites at the rock of Rimmon. 14 So the Benjamites returned at that time and were given the women of Jabesh Gilead who had been spared. But there were not enough for all of them.
15 The people grieved for Benjamin, because the Lord had made a gap in the tribes of Israel. 16 And the elders of the assembly said, “With the women of Benjamin destroyed, how shall we provide wives for the men who are left? 17 The Benjamite survivors must have heirs,” they said, “so that a tribe of Israel will not be wiped out. 18 We can’t give them our daughters as wives, since we Israelites have taken this oath: ‘Cursed be anyone who gives a wife to a Benjamite.’ 19 But look, there is the annual festival of the Lord in Shiloh, which lies north of Bethel, east of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah.”
20 So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, “Go and hide in the vineyards 21 and watch. When the young women of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, rush from the vineyards and each of you seize one of them to be your wife. Then return to the land of Benjamin. 22 When their fathers or brothers complain to us, we will say to them, ‘Do us the favor of helping them, because we did not get wives for them during the war. You will not be guilty of breaking your oath because you did not give your daughters to them.’”
23 So that is what the Benjamites did. While the young women were dancing, each man caught one and carried her off to be his wife. Then they returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the towns and settled in them.
24 At that time the Israelites left that place and went home to their tribes and clans, each to his own inheritance.
25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
Love,
Jonathan