It’s easy to backseat quarterback the lives of others, airily giving advice to a situation you are not actually involved in because you have means. It’s also easy to hide behind words of affirmation and lofty prayer so that it appears that you’re doing some good. But friends, there will be times where God will ask us to put our money where our mouth is.
It’s convenient to pity others when your circumstances are great. It’s obedient to help your brother or sister when there’s nothing in for you. The truth is if God puts you in the position to give, then give. Because though you may think there’s nothing in it for you, you stand to gain a glimpse of understanding the magnitude of what God freely gives to all of us.
Are you being obedient or are you conveniently hoarding all of your stuff?
Enjoy the reading
1 What sorrow awaits you who lounge in luxury in Jerusalem, and you who feel secure in Samaria! You are famous and popular in Israel, and people go to you for help. 2 But go over to Calneh and see what happened there. Then go to the great city of Hamath and down to the Philistine city of Gath. You are no better than they were, and look at how they were destroyed. 3 You push away every thought of coming disaster, but your actions only bring the day of judgment closer. 4 How terrible for you who sprawl on ivory beds and lounge on your couches, eating the meat of tender lambs from the flock and of choice calves fattened in the stall. 5 You sing trivial songs to the sound of the harp and fancy yourselves to be great musicians like David. 6 You drink wine by the bowlful and perfume yourselves with fragrant lotions. You care nothing about the ruin of your nation. 7 Therefore, you will be the first to be led away as captives. Suddenly, all your parties will end. 8 The Sovereign LORD has sworn by his own name, and this is what he, the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, says: “I despise the arrogance of Israel, and I hate their fortresses. I will give this city and everything in it to their enemies.” 9 (If there are ten men left in one house, they will all die. 10 And when a relative who is responsible to dispose of the dead goes into the house to carry out the bodies, he will ask the last survivor, “Is anyone else with you?” When the person begins to swear, “No, by . . . ,” he will interrupt and say, “Stop! Don’t even mention the name of the LORD .”) 11 When the LORD gives the command, homes both great and small will be smashed to pieces. 12 Can horses gallop over boulders? Can oxen be used to plow them? But that’s how foolish you are when you turn justice into poison and the sweet fruit of righteousness into bitterness. 13 And you brag about your conquest of Lo-debar. You boast, “Didn’t we take Karnaim by our own strength?” 14 “O people of Israel, I am about to bring an enemy nation against you,” says the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies. “They will oppress you throughout your land— from Lebo-hamath in the north to the Arabah Valley in the south.”
“God uses detours to take you to the place you were meant to be.”~TB
Don’t be dismayed when your plans are altered, or negative experiences change your destination. God uses those moments to place you where you can be of good use. Though we make plans, God will steer us where we ultimately need to be. So when detours arise, rejoice in where God sends you. Know that His plans are infinitely more Devine and accurate than your own.
Humans a egocentric in that we want what we want, when we want it. Fortunately for us, God knows what we need. A detour may seem inconvenient, but God may be using that moment for you to uplift and encourage a brother or sister in need. Do not forget that we are all part of one body and God will use of to help each other. So when changes arise, you are in the right place, just consult God for the mission. Chances are you’re being called to serve a greater purpose.
Are you in the right place or is everything an inconvenience?
Enjoy the reading
1The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.
2When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.
3A poor person who oppresses the poor is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops.
4To reject the law is to praise the wicked; to obey the law is to fight them.
5Evil people don’t understand justice, but those who follow the LORD understand completely.
6Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich.
7Young people who obey the law are wise; those with wild friends bring shame to their parents.
8Income from charging high interest rates will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor.
9God detests the prayers of a person who ignores the law.
10Those who lead good people along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the honest will inherit good things.
11Rich people may think they are wise, but a poor person with discernment can see right through them.
12When the godly succeed, everyone is glad. When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.
13People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
14Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.
15A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor as a roaring lion or an attacking bear.
16A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people, but one who hates corruption will have a long life.
17A murderer’s tormented conscience will drive him into the grave. Don’t protect him!
18The blameless will be rescued from harm, but the crooked will be suddenly destroyed.
19A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.
20The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.
21Showing partiality is never good, yet some will do wrong for a mere piece of bread.
22Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.
23In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.
24Anyone who steals from his father and mother and says, “What’s wrong with that?” is no better than a murderer.
25Greed causes fighting; trusting the LORD leads to prosperity.
26Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.
27Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.
28When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding. When the wicked meet disaster, the godly flourish.
“Cut your losses on sin, but don’t count people out just yet.”~TB
As a prideful nation, people will always be your downfall. Humans have the capacity to hurt, to steal, to kill– whatever the sin– you name it, we’re capable of it. Even still, whatever the offense, it’s best to forgive it and move on. Just to be clear, this is not to say that you must tolerate poor behavior, no, we must hold each other accountable. That said, forgiving one another as God forgives us allows us to grow and develop into people of Christ. Besides, what do you have to lose by letting go of offenses? More to the point, when you are so consumed with what has happened to you, you lose sight of your potential and what you could be doing to better yourself.
As sin-fallen people, we will never be free of sin. That doesn’t mean that we should not make every effort to improve each and every day. The first step in walking closer with God is to till your own soil. When you cut out the monitoring of the shortcomings of your brothers and sisters, you are then able to reflect on yourself and your personal relationship with Christ. In the midst of that silence, He will impart His wisdom on how you can improve and move forward in your destiny. Friends, where He is taking you requires very little baggage, so why not cut your losses and move on?
Are you cutting the chord to old bondages or the chord to Christ
Enjoy the Reading
1From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me. Let all Israel repeat this:
2From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me, but they have never defeated me.
3My back is covered with cuts, as if a farmer had plowed long furrows.
4But the LORD is good; he has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly.
5May all who hate Jerusalem be turned back in shameful defeat.
6May they be as useless as grass on a rooftop, turning yellow when only half grown,
7ignored by the harvester, despised by the binder.
8And may those who pass by refuse to give them this blessing: “The LORD bless you; we bless you in the LORD ’s name.”
“When all hope seems lost and the odds appear to be stacked against you, rejoice anyway” ~Taryn Barnes
Living in Las Vegas, it’s safe to say that today has been a somber, reflective day. Evil, senseless, acts occur, which can cause us to question our purpose and our faith. As sad and tragic as life can be, we must remember to band together in faith and in love, lifting up our fallen brothers and sisters.
The actions of the person responsible were evil, unconscionable, and just plain without any sense or logic. Though tragedy singes the air, the sense of community, teamwork, and faith envelop this city, with its light drowning the darkness of evil. As the city continues to rebound from this atrocity, I’m hopeful that we will continue to lift up and encourage all those affected.
Question of the day
In the darkness, do you shine your light?
Enjoy today’s reading
Numbers 16 NIV
Korah, Dathan and Abiram
1Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent
2and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council.
3They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD’s assembly?”
4When Moses heard this, he fell facedown.
5Then he said to Korah and all his followers: “In the morning the LORD will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him.
6You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: Take censers
7and tomorrow put burning coals and incense in them before the LORD. The man the LORD chooses will be the one who is holy. You Levites have gone too far!”
8Moses also said to Korah, “Now listen, you Levites!
9Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the LORD’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them?
10He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too.
11It is against the LORD that you and all your followers have banded together. Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him?”
12Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab. But they said, “We will not come!
13Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? And now you also want to lord it over us!
14Moreover, you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Do you want to treat these men like slaves ? No, we will not come!”
15Then Moses became very angry and said to the LORD, “Do not accept their offering. I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, nor have I wronged any of them.”
16Moses said to Korah, “You and all your followers are to appear before the LORD tomorrow—you and they and Aaron.
17Each man is to take his censer and put incense in it—250 censers in all—and present it before the LORD. You and Aaron are to present your censers also.”
18So each of them took his censer, put burning coals and incense in it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
19When Korah had gathered all his followers in opposition to them at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the glory of the LORD appeared to the entire assembly.
20The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,
21“Separate yourselves from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.”
22But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, “O God, the God who gives breath to all living things, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?”
23Then the LORD said to Moses,
24“Say to the assembly, ‘Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’ ”
25Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him.
26He warned the assembly, “Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins.”
27So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents.
28Then Moses said, “This is how you will know that the LORD has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea:
29If these men die a natural death and suffer the fate of all mankind, then the LORD has not sent me.
30But if the LORD brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the realm of the dead, then you will know that these men have treated the LORD with contempt.”
31As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart
32and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions.
33They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community.
34At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!”
35And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.
36The LORD said to Moses,
37“Tell Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, to remove the censers from the charred remains and scatter the coals some distance away, for the censers are holy—
38the censers of the men who sinned at the cost of their lives. Hammer the censers into sheets to overlay the altar, for they were presented before the LORD and have become holy. Let them be a sign to the Israelites.”
39So Eleazar the priest collected the bronze censers brought by those who had been burned to death, and he had them hammered out to overlay the altar,
40as the LORD directed him through Moses. This was to remind the Israelites that no one except a descendant of Aaron should come to burn incense before the LORD, or he would become like Korah and his followers.
41The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. “You have killed the LORD’s people,” they said.
42But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the tent of meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD appeared.
43Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the tent of meeting,
44and the LORD said to Moses,
45“Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.” And they fell facedown.
46Then Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put incense in it, along with burning coals from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the LORD; the plague has started.”
47So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them.
48He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped.
49But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah.
50Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance to the tent of meeting, for the plague had stopped.