Humble Pie

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Just because you know God does not make you God.”

TB

False Sense

There is nothing like spending time with the Lord. Sitting at His feet yields piece and revelation that no other activity in the world can compare to. That said, we’re prone to human behaviors like arrogance, intellectualism, and pride because we’re human. What was once a beautiful connection with Christ becomes a legalistic, superiority match that we then take to our neighbors. So how do we avoid becoming this way? By eating our humble pie and remembering why we need Christ in the first place.

Reflective Humility

Whenever you need to come back down to reality and eat a nice slice of humble pie, reflect on your life. If you’re honest and self-aware, you will remember the not-so-holy moments of your life. Chances are, there are many more than you’d care to admit (I know from experience). The point is, knowing God isn’t about being superior to others, it’s recognizing how much we need Him and how wonderful His grace is to forgive and acknowledge our sin-fallen nature. Thank God that He is greater than us!

Today’s Question

Did you come back from the mountaintop with the right message from God?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 4

1 Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the LORD ’s help, I have produced a man!” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother and named him Abel. When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. 3 When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the LORD . 4 Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. 6 “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” 8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. 9 Afterward the LORD asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?” “I don’t know,” Cain responded. “Am I my brother’s guardian?” 10 But the LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! 11 Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has swallowed your brother’s blood. 12 No longer will the ground yield good crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain replied to the LORD, “My punishment is too great for me to bear! 14 You have banished me from the land and from your presence; you have made me a homeless wanderer. Anyone who finds me will kill me!” 15 The LORD replied, “No, for I will give a sevenfold punishment to anyone who kills you.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who might try to kill him. 16 So Cain left the LORD ’s presence and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 Cain had sexual relations with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Then Cain founded a city, which he named Enoch, after his son. 18 Enoch had a son named Irad. Irad became the father of Mehujael. Mehujael became the father of Methushael. Methushael became the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech married two women. The first was named Adah, and the second was Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the first of those who raise livestock and live in tents. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal, the first of all who play the harp and flute. 22 Lamech’s other wife, Zillah, gave birth to a son named Tubal-cain. He became an expert in forging tools of bronze and iron. Tubal-cain had a sister named Naamah. 23 One day Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; listen to me, you wives of Lamech. I have killed a man who attacked me, a young man who wounded me. 24 If someone who kills Cain is punished seven times, then the one who kills me will be punished seventy-seven times!” 25 Adam had sexual relations with his wife again, and she gave birth to another son. She named him Seth, for she said, “God has granted me another son in place of Abel, whom Cain killed.” 26 When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. At that time people first began to worship the LORD by name.

Distance & Time

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“The path to Christ is the same no matter who you are. What differs is the time you take to get there, and that lies solely on you.”

TB

Length

It will never cease to amaze me that the Israelites took 40 years to make a trip that could have been done in 11 days. But then again, if you’ve ever worked on team projects for a business, it’s not that hard to understand how that could’ve happened. It wasn’t the distance or the lack of technology that hindered them. Fear, disobedience, and rebellion are the things that the Israelites clung to, which ultimately cost them the enjoyment of the Promise land. Now if we reflect on their journey, it won’t be hard to see the similarities of their journey within our own lives.

Speed

Christ gives salvation to anyone who humbly submits and accepts the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. That’s it. The ball is in our court and so is the timeline. You can spend your whole life avoiding God only to realize in the end that you need Him. Some (many) may never find Him. Even still, it takes a lifetime to even begin to truly know the Lord. That’s because God unlocks insight and vision to those who honestly seek Him. In spite of our slow travel times, He’s still with us, pouring into us mercy and grace that we do not deserve. Of course, no one knows when our journey will end, so friends, don’t wander for too long.

Today’s Question

How’s your ETA; will you make the destination?

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Haggai 2

1 Then on October 17 of that same year, the LORD sent another message through the prophet Haggai. 2 “Say this to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of God’s people there in the land: 3 ‘Does anyone remember this house—this Temple—in its former splendor? How, in comparison, does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all! 4 But now the LORD says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 5 My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.’ 6 “For this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: In just a little while I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the dry land. 7 I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 9 The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. And in this place I will bring peace. I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!” 10 On December 18 of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the LORD sent this message to the prophet Haggai: 11 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says. Ask the priests this question about the law: 12 ‘If one of you is carrying some meat from a holy sacrifice in his robes and his robe happens to brush against some bread or stew, wine or olive oil, or any other kind of food, will it also become holy?’” The priests replied, “No.” 13 Then Haggai asked, “If someone becomes ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person and then touches any of these foods, will the food be defiled?” And the priests answered, “Yes.” 14 Then Haggai responded, “That is how it is with this people and this nation, says the LORD . Everything they do and everything they offer is defiled by their sin. 15 Look at what was happening to you before you began to lay the foundation of the LORD ’s Temple. 16 When you hoped for a twenty-bushel crop, you harvested only ten. When you expected to draw fifty gallons from the winepress, you found only twenty. 17 I sent blight and mildew and hail to destroy everything you worked so hard to produce. Even so, you refused to return to me, says the LORD . 18 “Think about this eighteenth day of December, the day when the foundation of the LORD ’s Temple was laid. Think carefully. 19 I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.” 20 On that same day, December 18, the LORD sent this second message to Haggai: 21 “Tell Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, that I am about to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overthrow royal thrones and destroy the power of foreign kingdoms. I will overturn their chariots and riders. The horses will fall, and their riders will kill each other. 23 “But when this happens, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, I will honor you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant. I will make you like a signet ring on my finger, says the LORD, for I have chosen you. I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”

Gaze

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

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

TB

Understand

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

Practice

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

Today’s Question

What’s got your attention?

Enjoy the reading

Habakkuk 3

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

Chasing Tails

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“To proclaim love for the Lord but to desire worldly pursuits is like a dog chasing its tail.”

TB

Duplicitous

When we know God, we also know what is wrong and what is right. But an untamed heart, mind, and flesh will always crave the things of this world. When pride and ego are your only friends, words of wisdom sound foolish, and foolish words seem wise. In this flesh-driven thinking, you’ll find yourself repeating the same mistakes over and over, like a distracted animal.

Intentional

So, how is it that we still chase after the things that are not of God? That’s because the flesh will always lead us into temptation, but if we strengthen our resolve to follow Christ first, we can minimize our sinful nature. This occurs when we limit worldly influence, cling to the Word of Christ, and spend time with those who eagerly seek Him as well.

Today’s Question

Are you done running around in circles chasing your tail?

Enjoy the reading

Nahum 3

1 What sorrow awaits Nineveh, the city of murder and lies! She is crammed with wealth and is never without victims. 2 Hear the crack of whips, the rumble of wheels! Horses’ hooves pound, and chariots clatter wildly. 3 See the flashing swords and glittering spears as the charioteers charge past! There are countless casualties, heaps of bodies— so many bodies that people stumble over them. 4 All this because Nineveh, the beautiful and faithless city, mistress of deadly charms, enticed the nations with her beauty. She taught them all her magic, enchanting people everywhere. 5 “I am your enemy!” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “And now I will lift your skirts and show all the earth your nakedness and shame. 6 I will cover you with filth and show the world how vile you really are. 7 All who see you will shrink back and say, ‘Nineveh lies in ruins. Where are the mourners?’ Does anyone regret your destruction?” 8 Are you any better than the city of Thebes, situated on the Nile River, surrounded by water? She was protected by the river on all sides, walled in by water. 9 Ethiopia and the land of Egypt gave unlimited assistance. The nations of Put and Libya were among her allies. 10 Yet Thebes fell, and her people were led away as captives. Her babies were dashed to death against the stones of the streets. Soldiers threw dice to get Egyptian officers as servants. All their leaders were bound in chains. 11 And you, Nineveh, will also stagger like a drunkard. You will hide for fear of the attacking enemy. 12 All your fortresses will fall. They will be devoured like the ripe figs that fall into the mouths of those who shake the trees. 13 Your troops will be as weak and helpless as women. The gates of your land will be opened wide to the enemy and set on fire and burned. 14 Get ready for the siege! Store up water! Strengthen the defenses! Go into the pits to trample clay, and pack it into molds, making bricks to repair the walls. 15 But the fire will devour you; the sword will cut you down. The enemy will consume you like locusts, devouring everything they see. There will be no escape, even if you multiply like swarming locusts. 16 Your merchants have multiplied until they outnumber the stars. But like a swarm of locusts, they strip the land and fly away. 17 Your guards and officials are also like swarming locusts that crowd together in the hedges on a cold day. But like locusts that fly away when the sun comes up, all of them will fly away and disappear. 18 Your shepherds are asleep, O Assyrian king; your princes lie dead in the dust. Your people are scattered across the mountains with no one to gather them together. 19 There is no healing for your wound; your injury is fatal. All who hear of your destruction will clap their hands for joy. Where can anyone be found who has not suffered from your continual cruelty?

Perspective

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Thank God for the unknown situations He spares us from on a daily basis.”

TB

On the Surface

Because we only see our world from our viewpoints, it’s easy to believe that we know what’s best for us. It’s also easy to forget that out of all of the things that can happen to us, God miraculously blesses us with another day.

Behind the Scenes

God is a faithful father to His children in that He provides what we need on any given day. Are there situations and moments that we would like to get out of sooner than later? Yes. However, everything we encounter is a moment we can draw closer to Him.

Today’s Question

Are you keeping things in perspective?

Enjoy the reading

Amos 8

1 Then the Sovereign LORD showed me another vision. In it I saw a basket filled with ripe fruit. 2 “What do you see, Amos?” he asked. I replied, “A basket full of ripe fruit.” Then the LORD said, “Like this fruit, Israel is ripe for punishment! I will not delay their punishment again. 3 In that day the singing in the Temple will turn to wailing. Dead bodies will be scattered everywhere. They will be carried out of the city in silence. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!” 4 Listen to this, you who rob the poor and trample down the needy! 5 You can’t wait for the Sabbath day to be over and the religious festivals to end so you can get back to cheating the helpless. You measure out grain with dishonest measures and cheat the buyer with dishonest scales. 6 And you mix the grain you sell with chaff swept from the floor. Then you enslave poor people for one piece of silver or a pair of sandals. 7 Now the LORD has sworn this oath by his own name, the Pride of Israel : “I will never forget the wicked things you have done! 8 The earth will tremble for your deeds, and everyone will mourn. The ground will rise like the Nile River at floodtime; it will heave up, then sink again. 9 “In that day,” says the Sovereign LORD, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth while it is still day. 10 I will turn your celebrations into times of mourning and your singing into weeping. You will wear funeral clothes and shave your heads to show your sorrow— as if your only son had died. How very bitter that day will be! 11 “The time is surely coming,” says the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the LORD . 12 People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from border to border searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it. 13 Beautiful girls and strong young men will grow faint in that day, thirsting for the LORD ’s word. 14 And those who swear by the shameful idols of Samaria— who take oaths in the name of the god of Dan and make vows in the name of the god of Beersheba — they will all fall down, never to rise again.”

Convenience

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Convenience and obedience rarely go together.”

TB

Say

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.

Do

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.

Today’s Question

Are you being obedient or are you conveniently hoarding all of your stuff?

Enjoy the reading

Amos 6

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.”

Go Fish

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“While you can share the Good News with your peers, it is important that they go fish on their own.”

TB

To Know

God does not forge a relationship with you through someone else. Sure, He may have someone tap you on the shoulder, however, the relationship itself is one you must cultivate on your own. That’s because to know God is to spend time with Him of your own volition. A ‘holy’ person cannot create something that only you and God can build.

Invest

When you know God well, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting others to know Him too. The reality is, every single person must do the work to build the relationship. Getting to know Christ is an investment that pays infinite dividends. That said, those dividends must be from each individual person. So, if you truly desire to know God, you must go fishing on your own.

Today’s Question

Do you know God or are you reading the cliff notes of someone else’s experience?

Enjoy the reading.

Ezekiel 47

1 In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side. 2 The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the water flowing out through the south side of the east gateway. 3 Measuring as he went, he took me along the stream for 1,750 feet and then led me across. The water was up to my ankles. 4 He measured off another 1,750 feet and led me across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. 5 Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to walk across. It was deep enough to swim in, but too deep to walk through. 6 He asked me, “Have you been watching, son of man?” Then he led me back along the riverbank. 7 When I returned, I was surprised by the sight of many trees growing on both sides of the river. 8 Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure. 9 There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shores of the Dead Sea. All the way from En-gedi to En-eglaim, the shores will be covered with nets drying in the sun. Fish of every kind will fill the Dead Sea, just as they fill the Mediterranean. 11 But the marshes and swamps will not be purified; they will still be salty. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.” 13 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Divide the land in this way for the twelve tribes of Israel: The descendants of Joseph will be given two shares of land. 14 Otherwise each tribe will receive an equal share. I took a solemn oath and swore that I would give this land to your ancestors, and it will now come to you as your possession. 15 “These are the boundaries of the land: The northern border will run from the Mediterranean toward Hethlon, then on through Lebo-hamath to Zedad; 16 then it will run to Berothah and Sibraim, which are on the border between Damascus and Hamath, and finally to Hazer-hatticon, on the border of Hauran. 17 So the northern border will run from the Mediterranean to Hazar-enan, on the border between Hamath to the north and Damascus to the south. 18 “The eastern border starts at a point between Hauran and Damascus and runs south along the Jordan River between Israel and Gilead, past the Dead Sea and as far south as Tamar. This will be the eastern border. 19 “The southern border will go west from Tamar to the waters of Meribah at Kadesh and then follow the course of the Brook of Egypt to the Mediterranean. This will be the southern border. 20 “On the west side, the Mediterranean itself will be your border from the southern border to the point where the northern border begins, opposite Lebo-hamath. 21 “Divide the land within these boundaries among the tribes of Israel. 22 Distribute the land as an allotment for yourselves and for the foreigners who have joined you and are raising their families among you. They will be like native-born Israelites to you and will receive an allotment among the tribes. 23 These foreigners are to be given land within the territory of the tribe with whom they now live. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!

Nearness

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God will be as near or far as you want Him to be.”

TB

Choice

God gave each of us the free will to make the decisions for our lives. Some may choose to have a relationship with Him and some may deny His sovereignty, but the Truth remains, it’s our choice to seek God. If you want a life without God, He will allow it. If you desire to walk with Him, He will allow that also.

Distance

No matter your choice, God is true to His word. If you come before Him with a humble heart, He will welcome you into His flock. Even if you’ve wandered out into the wilderness, if you call out, He will answer. Even in the seasons where you can’t seem to find Him, He’s right there. That’s because God never leaves, we do. We leave when we follow our fleshly desires. We leave when we put ourselves above Christ. Fortunately for us, God is only one repentant call away.

Today’s Question

Did you know God’s place in your life is your choice?

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Ezekiel 21

1 Then this message came to me from the LORD : 2 “Son of man, turn and face Jerusalem and prophesy against Israel and her sanctuaries. 3 Tell her, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am your enemy, O Israel, and I am about to unsheath my sword to destroy your people—the righteous and the wicked alike. 4 Yes, I will cut off both the righteous and the wicked! I will draw my sword against everyone in the land from south to north. 5 Everyone in the world will know that I am the LORD . My sword is in my hand, and it will not return to its sheath until its work is finished.’ 6 “Son of man, groan before the people! Groan before them with bitter anguish and a broken heart. 7 When they ask why you are groaning, tell them, ‘I groan because of the terrifying news I have heard. When it comes true, the boldest heart will melt with fear; all strength will disappear. Every spirit will faint; strong knees will become as weak as water. And the Sovereign LORD says: It is coming! It’s on its way!’” 8 Then the LORD said to me, 9 “Son of man, give the people this message from the Lord: “A sword, a sword is being sharpened and polished. 10 It is sharpened for terrible slaughter and polished to flash like lightning! Now will you laugh? Those far stronger than you have fallen beneath its power! 11 Yes, the sword is now being sharpened and polished; it is being prepared for the executioner. 12 “Son of man, cry out and wail; pound your thighs in anguish, for that sword will slaughter my people and their leaders— everyone will die! 13 It will put them all to the test. What chance do they have? says the Sovereign LORD . 14 “Son of man, prophesy to them and clap your hands. Then take the sword and brandish it twice, even three times, to symbolize the great massacre, the great massacre facing them on every side. 15 Let their hearts melt with terror, for the sword glitters at every gate. It flashes like lightning and is polished for slaughter! 16 O sword, slash to the right, then slash to the left, wherever you will, wherever you want. 17 I, too, will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury. I, the LORD, have spoken!” 18 Then this message came to me from the LORD : 19 “Son of man, make a map and trace two routes on it for the sword of Babylon’s king to follow. Put a signpost on the road that comes out of Babylon where the road forks into two— 20 one road going to Ammon and its capital, Rabbah, and the other to Judah and fortified Jerusalem. 21 The king of Babylon now stands at the fork, uncertain whether to attack Jerusalem or Rabbah. He calls his magicians to look for omens. They cast lots by shaking arrows from the quiver. They inspect the livers of animal sacrifices. 22 The omen in his right hand says, ‘Jerusalem!’ With battering rams his soldiers will go against the gates, shouting for the kill. They will put up siege towers and build ramps against the walls. 23 The people of Jerusalem will think it is a false omen, because of their treaty with the Babylonians. But the king of Babylon will remind the people of their rebellion. Then he will attack and capture them. 24 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Again and again you remind me of your sin and your guilt. You don’t even try to hide it! In everything you do, your sins are obvious for all to see. So now the time of your punishment has come! 25 “O you corrupt and wicked prince of Israel, your final day of reckoning is here! 26 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Take off your jeweled crown, for the old order changes. Now the lowly will be exalted, and the mighty will be brought down. 27 Destruction! Destruction! I will surely destroy the kingdom. And it will not be restored until the one appears who has the right to judge it. Then I will hand it over to him. 28 “And now, son of man, prophesy concerning the Ammonites and their mockery. Give them this message from the Sovereign LORD : “A sword, a sword is drawn for your slaughter. It is polished to destroy, flashing like lightning! 29 Your prophets have given false visions, and your fortune-tellers have told lies. The sword will fall on the necks of the wicked for whom the day of final reckoning has come. 30 “Now return the sword to its sheath, for in your own country, the land of your birth, I will pass judgment upon you. 31 I will pour out my fury on you and blow on you with the fire of my anger. I will hand you over to cruel men who are skilled in destruction. 32 You will be fuel for the fire, and your blood will be spilled in your own land. You will be utterly wiped out, your memory lost to history, for I, the LORD, have spoken!”

Aged

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Wisdom from Christ comes from application and time.”

TB

Old

Today I helped my dad stain his fence. We were using an experimental method of which he was casually staining the fence. And by casual, I mean it was less than perfect. When I asked him why, he said it was ‘good enough’ and when the fence dries, it’ll look great. And, a second coat would fix it in the end. Now, as a child, my father instilled within me the importance of great work and doing the job well. So to see him change his stance was surprising to, say the least. Perplexed, I picked up the brush and began working. After a while, I realized that the evolution of my dad’s method reminded me of the old testament and new.

New

In the beginning, we had laws and rigid practices. Just like perfect behavior, it was unattainable. When Jesus came onto the scene and died for our sins, God gave us our second chance. Now, we are required to accept salvation. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to show up. What a profound gift! Christ gets us to the finish line, not our deeds. As I worked on the fence, I had to laugh at myself and the strange behaviors of man. We tend to get stuck in performative actions, trying to achieve perfection, whether it’s in our jobs, our looks, our family, etc. The truth is, perfection is impossible. I’ve observed that if you walk with God as you age, you begin to see His wisdom at work, allowing you to lighten up and accept his gift. When you allow God to give you the ‘second coat’ of salvation, your efforts become more humble, honest, and intentional.

Today’s Question

Are you aged in Christ-like wisdom or in man-driven pride?

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Ezekiel 15

1 Then this message came to me from the LORD : 2 “Son of man, how does a grapevine compare to a tree? Is a vine’s wood as useful as the wood of a tree? 3 Can its wood be used for making things, like pegs to hang up pots and pans? 4 No, it can only be used for fuel, and even as fuel, it burns too quickly. 5 Vines are useless both before and after being put into the fire! 6 “And this is what the Sovereign LORD says: The people of Jerusalem are like grapevines growing among the trees of the forest. Since they are useless, I have thrown them on the fire to be burned. 7 And I will see to it that if they escape from one fire, they will fall into another. When I turn against them, you will know that I am the LORD . 8 And I will make the land desolate because my people have been unfaithful to me. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”

IRL

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Spend time with God on your own, so that you can share His Word with your brothers and sisters in real life.”

TB

Real

God is real and desires for us to know Him. However, we must allocate real time to forge that relationship. Like getting to know your spouse, friend, and family, time and active participation is necessary to walk with God. Unlike humans, He is patient, forgiving and perfect, so no need to worry about Him letting you down. One of the best things we can do with the time we spend with God is to share the lessons learned with our brothers and sisters.

Life

When we make a point of spending time with God, it becomes easier and natural to find Him in all areas of our lives. This world is topsy turvy, which is why as children of Christ, we must encourage one another with the Word. Last week I was talking with my sister about life’s happenings and as we caught up with one another, our conversation led to God, the Word, and how it applies in both of our lives. After our chat, we were both encouraged and learned from one another. That’s because as the body of Christ, God uses us to demonstrate His sovereignty. Walk with Him daily and see how He leads you in real time.

Today’s Question

Are you seeking Christ in real time?

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Ezekiel 13

1 Then this message came to me from the LORD : 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the false prophets of Israel who are inventing their own prophecies. Say to them, ‘Listen to the word of the LORD . 3 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: What sorrow awaits the false prophets who are following their own imaginations and have seen nothing at all!’ 4 “O people of Israel, these prophets of yours are like jackals digging in the ruins. 5 They have done nothing to repair the breaks in the walls around the nation. They have not helped it to stand firm in battle on the day of the LORD . 6 Instead, they have told lies and made false predictions. They say, ‘This message is from the LORD,’ even though the LORD never sent them. And yet they expect him to fulfill their prophecies! 7 Can your visions be anything but false if you claim, ‘This message is from the LORD,’ when I have not even spoken to you? 8 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because what you say is false and your visions are a lie, I will stand against you, says the Sovereign LORD . 9 I will raise my fist against all the prophets who see false visions and make lying predictions, and they will be banished from the community of Israel. I will blot their names from Israel’s record books, and they will never again set foot in their own land. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD . 10 “This will happen because these evil prophets deceive my people by saying, ‘All is peaceful’ when there is no peace at all! It’s as if the people have built a flimsy wall, and these prophets are trying to reinforce it by covering it with whitewash! 11 Tell these whitewashers that their wall will soon fall down. A heavy rainstorm will undermine it; great hailstones and mighty winds will knock it down. 12 And when the wall falls, the people will cry out, ‘What happened to your whitewash?’ 13 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will sweep away your whitewashed wall with a storm of indignation, with a great flood of anger, and with hailstones of fury. 14 I will break down your wall right to its foundation, and when it falls, it will crush you. Then you will know that I am the LORD . 15 At last my anger against the wall and those who covered it with whitewash will be satisfied. Then I will say to you: ‘The wall and those who whitewashed it are both gone. 16 They were lying prophets who claimed peace would come to Jerusalem when there was no peace. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!’ 17 “Now, son of man, speak out against the women who prophesy from their own imaginations. 18 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: What sorrow awaits you women who are ensnaring the souls of my people, young and old alike. You tie magic charms on their wrists and furnish them with magic veils. Do you think you can trap others without bringing destruction on yourselves? 19 You bring shame on me among my people for a few handfuls of barley or a piece of bread. By lying to my people who love to listen to lies, you kill those who should not die, and you promise life to those who should not live. 20 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against all your magic charms, which you use to ensnare my people like birds. I will tear them from your arms, setting my people free like birds set free from a cage. 21 I will tear off the magic veils and save my people from your grasp. They will no longer be your victims. Then you will know that I am the LORD . 22 You have discouraged the righteous with your lies, but I didn’t want them to be sad. And you have encouraged the wicked by promising them life, even though they continue in their sins. 23 Because of all this, you will no longer talk of seeing visions that you never saw, nor will you make predictions. For I will rescue my people from your grasp. Then you will know that I am the LORD .”