“How you handle your trials shows you where your faith is.”~TB
It’s easy to say you love and trust God. Those words sound beautiful and assured. But words have very little meaning without action. To love and to trust in anything means to behave in a manner that backs up your sentiment. Sure, loving God is super easy when things are going your way. But where do you go when you are challenged? Are you still singing His Praises?
It’s very telling where your faith is when your tests and trials show up. The human life experience is filled with detours, trials, bad days, and the like. No one escapes this reality. God imparts wisdom and strategies to those who seek Him. So even in times of extreme frustration, desperation, and despondency, those who connect to Him regularly can endure and prosper. Friends get to know God on a personal level.
In the bad times, does your love for God still ring true or are those words as hollow as your deeds?
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1We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer.
2People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives.
3Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.
4The LORD has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster.
5The LORD detests the proud; they will surely be punished.
6Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the LORD, people avoid evil.
7When people’s lives please the LORD, even their enemies are at peace with them.
8Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest.
9We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.
10The king speaks with divine wisdom; he must never judge unfairly.
11The LORD demands accurate scales and balances; he sets the standards for fairness.
12A king detests wrongdoing, for his rule is built on justice.
13The king is pleased with words from righteous lips; he loves those who speak honestly.
14The anger of the king is a deadly threat; the wise will try to appease it.
15When the king smiles, there is life; his favor refreshes like a spring rain.
16How much better to get wisdom than gold, and good judgment than silver!
17The path of the virtuous leads away from evil; whoever follows that path is safe.
18Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
19Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.
20Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the LORD will be joyful.
21The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive.
22Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it, but discipline is wasted on fools.
23From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive.
24Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
25There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
26It is good for workers to have an appetite; an empty stomach drives them on.
27Scoundrels create trouble; their words are a destructive blaze.
28A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
29Violent people mislead their companions, leading them down a harmful path.
30With narrowed eyes, people plot evil; with a smirk, they plan their mischief.
31Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life.
32Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
33We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.
“Stay connected with God through the Word so you can detect your misfiring fuses.”~TB
Your mind, body, and spirit are like a machine that needs proper care and maintenance. Routinely caring for them requires a balanced diet. When your diet— especially your spiritual diet— is compromised you will blow a fuse, causing the whole operation to malfunction. When your fuse is blown spiritually, it’s easier for a sinful mindset to take root, blinding you from how far out to pasture you’ve gone. If you find yourself in a constant state of chaos, unrest, anger, fear, or any negative mindset, chances are you’ve blown a fuse.
Blowing a fuse is part of the human experience. God knows this, which is why the Bible and reflection are great diagnostic tools to help you see which fuse is blown. Like a diagnostic tool used on a vehicle, hook up to God to see what’s what under the hood of your mind, body, and spirit. When you walk with God on a regular basis, it’s easier to discern which fuse needs more attention than others or which fuse has completely shorted. Friends, remember, we cannot fix a blown fuse on our own, our Father in Heaven. So, connect to Him to replace your blown fuses so that you may operate on all four cylinders.
Is a blown fuse causing problems in your life?
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1The LORD detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.
2Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
3Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people.
4Riches won’t help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death.
5The godly are directed by honesty; the wicked fall beneath their load of sin.
6The godliness of good people rescues them; the ambition of treacherous people traps them.
7When the wicked die, their hopes die with them, for they rely on their own feeble strength.
8The godly are rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead.
9With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous.
10The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed; they shout for joy when the wicked die.
11Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.
12It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet.
13A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.
14Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.
15There’s danger in putting up security for a stranger’s debt; it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt.
16A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.
17Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.
18Evil people get rich for the moment, but the reward of the godly will last.
19Godly people find life; evil people find death.
20The LORD detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity.
21Evil people will surely be punished, but the children of the godly will go free.
22A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.
23The godly can look forward to a reward, while the wicked can expect only judgment.
24Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.
25The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
26People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in time of need.
27If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you!
28Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.
29Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind. The fool will be a servant to the wise.
30The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends.
31If the righteous are rewarded here on earth, what will happen to wicked sinners?
”All things work as God intended, so till your soil, chill out, and be cool.”~TB
Each day presents new opportunities and challenges. You have a finite amount of resources to till the soil and plant the seeds of your future harvest. The devil’s job is to get you off task and he doesn’t play fair or nice. In those moments, you have two options: be cool and plant Godly seeds, or give in to the chaos and plant seeds of discord. While the opposition will lead you to a poisoned well, you make the choice to drink the poisoned water. No matter which path you choose, the results will show your deeds.
You can only fake your results for so long. Don’t forget that wheat and tares grow together and cannot be distinguished until harvest time, so don’t be fulled by growth. Come harvest time, God will show you whether you’ve been cool or not. Just because you have not yet reaped your harvest— good or bad— does not mean that God is not watching. If you’re cool, He will reward you. If you’re not, well, you reap what you’ve sown. Perhaps if you repent and let God work in you, He’ll hook you up in the next season. So be cool, honor God, and do your work.
Are you being cool yet?
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1Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns.
2She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table.
3She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city.
4“Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says,
5“Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed.
6Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.”
7Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
8So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you.
9Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.
10Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
11Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life.
12If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.
13The woman named Folly is brash. She is ignorant and doesn’t know it.
14She sits in her doorway on the heights overlooking the city.
15She calls out to men going by who are minding their own business.
16“Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says,
17“Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!”
18But little do they know that the dead are there. Her guests are in the depths of the grave.
“Rejoice in the fact that we get to serve a loving and merciful God.”~TB
A “have to” mindset is where you look at life’s tasks with a tedious and duty-bound attitude. In your mind, things just happen to you and you simply react. This lens makes the viewer see things in such a twisted light, it’s no wonder why people struggle to build a relationship with God! Spending time with God is not a chore nor an obligation. Friends, no one is holding a gun to your head. If something in your life sucks, change it. If you cannot see the joy in choosing to follow Christ, check your mindset, or quit pretending. No joy can come from a forced relationship. If you don’t want to know God, then don’t. Just stop pretending like you’re doing Him a favor with your bogus actions.
When you understand all that our Father in Heaven has done, is doing, and will do in your life, you can’t help but have a change in perspective. You’re “have to” mindset shifts into a “get to” viewpoint because you know the price that was paid for you. What once seemed like a chain weighing you down is now a joyous and love-filled activity. Know that God loves you and seeks to have a restorative and everlasting relationship with you. His love is unfailing and unyielding, so be glad you get to experience it. Take the time to cultivate an honest and personal relationship. His wisdom brings joy, peace, and contentment. How wonderful it is to get to know Him!
Are you leading a “get to” or “have to” kind of life?
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1Listen as Wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice!
2On the hilltop along the road, she takes her stand at the crossroads.
3By the gates at the entrance to the town, on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
4“I call to you, to all of you! I raise my voice to all people.
5You simple people, use good judgment. You foolish people, show some understanding.
6Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you. Everything I say is right,
7for I speak the truth and detest every kind of deception.
8My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
9My words are plain to anyone with understanding, clear to those with knowledge.
10Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.
12“I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
13All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.
14Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine.
15Because of me, kings reign, and rulers make just decrees.
16Rulers lead with my help, and nobles make righteous judgments.
17“I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me.
18I have riches and honor, as well as enduring wealth and justice.
19My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver!
20I walk in righteousness, in paths of justice.
21Those who love me inherit wealth. I will fill their treasuries.
22“The LORD formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else.
23I was appointed in ages past, at the very first, before the earth began.
24I was born before the oceans were created, before the springs bubbled forth their waters.
25Before the mountains were formed, before the hills, I was born—
26before he had made the earth and fields and the first handfuls of soil.
27I was there when he established the heavens, when he drew the horizon on the oceans.
28I was there when he set the clouds above, when he established springs deep in the earth.
29I was there when he set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries. And when he marked off the earth’s foundations,
30I was the architect at his side. I was his constant delight, rejoicing always in his presence.
31And how happy I was with the world he created; how I rejoiced with the human family!
32“And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful.
33Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it.
34Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home!
35For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD .
36But those who miss me injure themselves. All who hate me love death.”
“Do not put your brothers and sisters on a pedastal, as they require the same mercy and grace from God as you.”~TB
Even the wisest most disciplined follower of Christ does not compare to the perfection that is God. As such, do not place them in the same category. Each person who has been chosen to share the Lord’s wisdom is still a mere mortal. They bleed, feel, fail, achieve, in the same manner as anyone else. When they fail, as they will, you must give them the same space and grace as God gives to you.
If you view those in power as better than yourself, you run the risk of judging them harshly when they misstep. Yes, those who are placed in positions of leadership, teaching, and the like, must be held to a higher standard. However, this does not mean perfection. Human nature dictates that no one will live a perfect life. The judgment of their shortcomings is not for you or me. God is the ultimate judge and will always rule in a perfect manner.
One of the reasons why people are so willing to idolize those they consider to be wise is because it’s a great excuse to not do the work. Friends, the wise are not a substitute for our Father in Heaven. They are mouthpieces at best and examples of what not to do at worst. When you rely on someone else’s relationship/connection to Christ, it’s easy to fall into complacency, thinking that listening to them abdicates the need for you to go to God. Don’t lean on them as they are human. Instead, tap into the direct connection with God so that you know where to place your faith.
Are you avoiding Christ by putting humans on an unrealistic pedestal?
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1My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2Then you will show discernment, and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
3For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.
6For she cares nothing about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
7So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say:
8Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!
9If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
10Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
11In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.
12You will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
13Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
14I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.”
15Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife.
16Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone?
17You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers.
18Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.
20Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman, or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?
21For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.
22An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him.
23He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.
“Sometimes tough situations are a sign that it’s time for you to get moving in the direction that God wants you to.”~TB
When you don’t have a relationship with God, it is difficult to understand His plan for your life. When you face trials and tribulations, there is always a lesson or direction attached. Sometimes difficult situations teach you patience or faith. Other times it’s God’s way of telling you to move in a different direction or to move faster towards the task He’s led you to accomplish. Friends, grow close with God so that you may have the discernment to understand His will for you.
If God has given you a vision, a purpose, or a dream, hop to it! Just because you may not understand the end goal does not lessen the need for you to be obedient. We all have a choice to either spend our lives in the wilderness or, answer the call from our Father in Heaven, fulfilling our purpose as He intended. Let’s not be like the Israelites, who took 40 years for an 11-day journey. Contrary to what this sin-fallen world tells you, God did not create you for you to live in misery or enslaved by companies, brands, or whatever holds your heart. Move in the direction that God is leading, so that you may come into the Promiseland.
Are you on the move or are you stuck in fear and disbelief?
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1Praise the LORD ! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting!
2The LORD is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel.
3He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
4He counts the stars and calls them all by name.
5How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!
6The LORD supports the humble, but he brings the wicked down into the dust.
7Sing out your thanks to the LORD ; sing praises to our God with a harp.
8He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures.
9He gives food to the wild animals and feeds the young ravens when they cry.
10He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might.
11No, the LORD ’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
12Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!
13For he has strengthened the bars of your gates and blessed your children within your walls.
14He sends peace across your nation and satisfies your hunger with the finest wheat.
15He sends his orders to the world— how swiftly his word flies!
16He sends the snow like white wool; he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes.
17He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold?
18Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws.
19He has revealed his words to Jacob, his decrees and regulations to Israel.
20He has not done this for any other nation; they do not know his regulations. Praise the LORD !
“There will always be times where you will lack the inspiration or desire to pursue Christ. Do the work anyway.”~TB
Everyone experiences a feeling of stagnation or plateau when developing their relationship with God. More often than not it’s due to us disconnecting from Him because we’re off trying to accomplish our own agendas. Friends, remember His will and plan for your life. I can guarantee you that when you allow God to lead, His plan will always bring a better outcome than any plan you could imagine. When you start to feel bored or uninspired, that’s when you need to speak to Him the most.
Have a talk with God
Prayer is like a casual conversation with the wisest being in existence. You don’t have to be ceremonial or ritualistic about it. Come to Him as you are and He will delight in your humility. There are times where I just say, “God, what gives?” and will air out my grievances honestly and openly. When I’m done ranting, I then listen and am inspired by the response! Friends, you can only get answers from God when you communicate with Him regularly. Don’t get too bold in your own thinking, trust that God’s answers are better than yours and you’ll find an infinite well of inspiration in your Heavenly Father.
Are you talking to God or are you only listening to yourself?
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1I cry out to the LORD ; I plead for the LORD ’s mercy.
2I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.
3When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me.
4I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me.
5Then I pray to you, O LORD . I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.
6Hear my cry, for I am very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.
7Bring me out of prison so I can thank you. The godly will crowd around me, for you are good to me.”
“When you’re focused on the right things, it’s amazing to see how God works.”~TB
God has given you a unique purpose that only you can fulfill. He will gently call you, and if you listen and answer, He will reveal His plans for you. Living a purposed-fill life in Christ can be challenging yet exciting. Walking with God requires you to put down the unclean things that once held your attention. At first, it will seem like a hard sacrifice. In time, however, you will come to realize that the things He is trying to give to you are more precious than anything you will find on this earth. Stay focused and on task.
If you’re not careful, the world will distract you, turning your focus from your personal Biblical development to a secular superficial lifestyle. While God wants balance and peace for you, if you are asleep at the wheel and not staying in the Word, the opposition will sneak in to try and get you off of your path. Be vigilant as getting off track is subtle and almost seemingly harmless. But after a time, you will see the chaos that distractions cause. Stay focused to run and finish your personal race.
Are you focused on your purpose or are you purposefully distracted?
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1I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there?
2My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!
3He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
5The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.
6The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.
7The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.
8The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
“When you fail to cultivate a relationship and understanding with God, you are hedging your bets, placing your faith in a fallen world”~TB
People do not want to take responsibility for learning the Truth, so they split hairs to justify their laziness. Willfully blind people will cherry pick lines from the Bible to “refute” the Truth. Instead of reading to understand, they read to criticize, judge, and condemn. Friends, the Bible cannot be understood by the blind, so why do you listen to them? When you fail to read the Bible for yourself, you fall prey to their wicked defiance because you lack the context, understanding, and sight to recognize the Truth. Stop allowing half-truths to dictate your life. If you cannot speak or see things plainly, you are operating out of confusion.
Following all religions is like trying to play it safe without putting in the honest effort. There is only one road to salvation, everything else is shoddy imitations, pretending to mirror the real thing. If you cherry pick from multiple theologies to justify your salvation, truly you have none. What’s sad about those who try and conform to all “gods” is that they fail to know who they are worshipping. How can you believe or follow something that you have not learned or practiced? More to the point, how can you follow God without reading the Word or forming a relationship with Him? The point is, without the Truth, all else is a lie. Do not wait until the end to throw a hail mary for your salvation. While you have the ability to be saved, God recognizes your heart, not just your words.
Are you gambling with the Truth and placing your bets in Hell?
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1Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
2Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
3For he has gathered the exiles from many lands, from east and west, from north and south.
4Some wandered in the wilderness, lost and homeless.
5Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died.
6“ LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he rescued them from their distress.
7He led them straight to safety, to a city where they could live.
8Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
9For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
10Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
11They rebelled against the words of God, scorning the counsel of the Most High.
12That is why he broke them with hard labor; they fell, and no one was there to help them.
13“ LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
14He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains.
15Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
16For he broke down their prison gates of bronze; he cut apart their bars of iron.
17Some were fools; they rebelled and suffered for their sins.
18They couldn’t stand the thought of food, and they were knocking on death’s door.
19“ LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
20He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.
21Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
22Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.
23Some went off to sea in ships, plying the trade routes of the world.
24They, too, observed the LORD ’s power in action, his impressive works on the deepest seas.
25He spoke, and the winds rose, stirring up the waves.
26Their ships were tossed to the heavens and plunged again to the depths; the sailors cringed in terror.
27They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end.
28“ LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
29He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves.
30What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor!
31Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
32Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation and before the leaders of the nation.
33He changes rivers into deserts, and springs of water into dry, thirsty land.
34He turns the fruitful land into salty wastelands, because of the wickedness of those who live there.
35But he also turns deserts into pools of water, the dry land into springs of water.
36He brings the hungry to settle there and to build their cities.
37They sow their fields, plant their vineyards, and harvest their bumper crops.
38How he blesses them! They raise large families there, and their herds of livestock increase.
39When they decrease in number and become impoverished through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
40the LORD pours contempt on their princes, causing them to wander in trackless wastelands.
41But he rescues the poor from trouble and increases their families like flocks of sheep.
42The godly will see these things and be glad, while the wicked are struck silent.
43Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the LORD .
“When you’re focused on building and maintaining your relationship with God, all other affairs become boring and meaningless”~TB
This world is designed for you to become preoccupied and obsessed with the dealings of your neighbor. Instead of cultivating your talents, your faith, your life, you’d rather open up a screen and see how everyone else is failing. What you fail to realize is that growing with God requires your focus. You cannot serve two masters. Quit being nosey and make something of yourself.
In being nosey, your mindset and focus become noisy, blocking out God and His wisdom. When you can’t hear the Lord, you then lean on your own foolish understanding of the world. You blindly follow the dumb practices of a flesh-driven world, filling your decorative prisons with things that temporarily bring you happiness. By participating in the noise, you abdicate your inheritance as you excitedly embrace your golden handcuffs.
When you obsess over your neighbor, fail to do your Biblical homework, and desire what everyone else has, you are now a prisoner in the worldly system. You can’t blame anyone but yourself, which is difficult to bear, so you become a numb cog in the wheel drudging along. Of course, this is when you cling to your “christian” titles and your judgments of others to make yourself feel better for your complacent lives. Stop looking at your neighbor, block out the noise to avoid a numb lifestyle. Ask God and He will show you what you refuse to see.
Are you a nosey neighbor focused on the noise, numbing your relationship with God?
1Praise the LORD ! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
2Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD ? Who can ever praise him enough?
3There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right.
4Remember me, LORD, when you show favor to your people; come near and rescue me.
5Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones. Let me rejoice in the joy of your people; let me praise you with those who are your heritage.
6Like our ancestors, we have sinned. We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly!
7Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the LORD ’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.
8Even so, he saved them— to defend the honor of his name and to demonstrate his mighty power.
9He commanded the Red Sea to dry up. He led Israel across the sea as if it were a desert.
10So he rescued them from their enemies and redeemed them from their foes.
11Then the water returned and covered their enemies; not one of them survived.
12Then his people believed his promises. Then they sang his praise.
13Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done! They wouldn’t wait for his counsel!
14In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland.
15So he gave them what they asked for, but he sent a plague along with it.
16The people in the camp were jealous of Moses and envious of Aaron, the LORD ’s holy priest.
17Because of this, the earth opened up; it swallowed Dathan and buried Abiram and the other rebels.
18Fire fell upon their followers; a flame consumed the wicked.
19The people made a calf at Mount Sinai ; they bowed before an image made of gold.
20They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull.
21They forgot God, their savior, who had done such great things in Egypt—
22such wonderful things in the land of Ham, such awesome deeds at the Red Sea.
23So he declared he would destroy them. But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the LORD and the people. He begged him to turn from his anger and not destroy them.
24The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.
25Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD .
26Therefore, he solemnly swore that he would kill them in the wilderness,
27that he would scatter their descendants among the nations, exiling them to distant lands.
28Then our ancestors joined in the worship of Baal at Peor; they even ate sacrifices offered to the dead!
29They angered the LORD with all these things, so a plague broke out among them.
30But Phinehas had the courage to intervene, and the plague was stopped.
31So he has been regarded as a righteous man ever since that time.
32At Meribah, too, they angered the LORD, causing Moses serious trouble.
33They made Moses angry, and he spoke foolishly.
34Israel failed to destroy the nations in the land, as the LORD had commanded them.
35Instead, they mingled among the pagans and adopted their evil customs.
36They worshiped their idols, which led to their downfall.
37They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons.
38They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters. By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan, they polluted the land with murder.
39They defiled themselves by their evil deeds, and their love of idols was adultery in the LORD ’s sight.
40That is why the LORD ’s anger burned against his people, and he abhorred his own special possession.
41He handed them over to pagan nations, and they were ruled by those who hated them.
42Their enemies crushed them and brought them under their cruel power.
43Again and again he rescued them, but they chose to rebel against him, and they were finally destroyed by their sin.
44Even so, he pitied them in their distress and listened to their cries.
45He remembered his covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love.
46He even caused their captors to treat them with kindness.
47Save us, O LORD our God! Gather us back from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.
48Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD !