“The enemy will always attack you in your weakest area. The beauty of this is that you know his strategy.”~TB
The devil’s job is to get you off task, off focus, and offline so that you reject the truth and do his bidding. As such, his sneaky underhanded tactics are visceral, jarring, and strategic. He will use any deceptive practice that is the most effective in getting you to stumble. Now, this may seem discouraging. Your weaknesses and footholds will always be where he’ll hit you the hardest. It’s not his job to make your walk with Christ easy, in fact, it’s the total opposite. While you may experience attacks, setbacks, and discouragement, the devil’s unfair play makes it easy to recognize his strategy. Further, if the devil is messing with you so intensely, know it’s because you’re disrupting his plans for discord and destruction. He’ll never go after the lukewarm, so stand firm in Christ and keep moving.
Knowing how the opposition will attack you is like having his playbook to prepare against his moves. Take stock of your weaknesses, vices, and footholds. Knowing your greatest areas of opportunity is the first step in discerning how the opposition is going to attack you. When you experience opposition of any kind, take a step back, calm your feelings, and observe what is going on around you. Remember who made you and that He is available to help you always. Ask God for help in revealing the playing field and the best plan of action to rise above the opposition’s nonsense. Know that the evil one cannot take your salvation and standing with Christ. The best plan of attack is to acknowledge your weak points, ask God for help, and do the work in improving your walk with Christ. Remember, in times of trouble, double down in your faith and not your own understanding. Though you may stumble, God will not let you fall.
Are you using the playbook or are you falling prey to the oppositions dirty tactics?
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1These are more proverbs of Solomon, collected by the advisers of King Hezekiah of Judah.
2It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them.
3No one can comprehend the height of heaven, the depth of the earth, or all that goes on in the king’s mind!
4Remove the impurities from silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith.
5Remove the wicked from the king’s court, and his reign will be made secure by justice.
6Don’t demand an audience with the king or push for a place among the great.
7It’s better to wait for an invitation to the head table than to be sent away in public disgrace. Just because you’ve seen something,
8don’t be in a hurry to go to court. For what will you do in the end if your neighbor deals you a shameful defeat?
9When arguing with your neighbor, don’t betray another person’s secret.
10Others may accuse you of gossip, and you will never regain your good reputation.
11Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.
12To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.
13Trustworthy messengers refresh like snow in summer. They revive the spirit of their employer.
14A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.
15Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones.
16Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!
17Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome.
18Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.
19Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot.
20Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound.
21If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.
22You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the LORD will reward you.
23As surely as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue causes anger!
24It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
25Good news from far away is like cold water to the thirsty.
26If the godly give in to the wicked, it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.
27It’s not good to eat too much honey, and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself.
28A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.
“Set your mind on God to experience His Truth” ~TB
Your mind is a gift or a curse– depending on how you use it. You can choose to fill it with God’s wisdom, live an obedient life, and be kind to your neighbors. Or, you can fill it with filth, walk around mindlessly, preferring destruction over peace. Sure, those seem drastically different, but the Truth is living in or out of God’s Will Isdrastically different. Do not be fooled by the external lives of others. Only God can truly examine one’s heart. Work on your mind and don’t fall prey to the fake minds around you.
When you set your mind, thoughts, and actions of God you rely on His strength and wisdom and not your own. The impossible becomes possible because you understand that you need Him in everything that you are and everything that you do. Allowing God to steer your mind sets you up for the peace and joy He graciously offers. It is a gift like no other and humans are unable to recreate such things. When you set your mind on the things of the flesh, you welcome confusion, stupor, and chaos. Friends, the human mind is incapable of such a Holy Mindset. Rely on Him.
Is your mind set on God or do you have a fleshly mindset?
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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 !
“You are never home alone with God, no matter what part of the world you are working or living in.” ~Jon Barnes
When you study the History of God in the Bible and all of the wonderful stories, you begin to realize that God is walking with you everywhere you go.These stories help to lead and guide your thinking, steps, and future to walk the path to Heaven with your True Father.The Way and Path is your destiny because you trust, believe and obey.
This path that you are guided on is full of adventure, fun, and new things to see. Discover fix, learn, and make changes in your lifestyle as God leads you.Allowing God to guide you is the key to your salvation of love, trust, respect for Jesus Christ.
The path that God has established for us is an amazing story of hope, love, and action of faith through Jesus Christ to be saved for the remission of our sins.Our work of faith, love, and actions of obedience is our testimony.These three things will help you to stay on track because you are never alone.
When you are feeling alone, do you cry out to God for help, encouragement, and understanding?
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Continued Opposition to Rebuilding
6 Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gaps remained—though we had not yet set up the doors in the gates.2 So Sanballat and Geshem sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages[a] in the plain of Ono.
But I realized they were plotting to harm me,3 so I replied by sending this message to them: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?”
4 Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply.5 The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand,6 and this is what it said:
“There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem[b] tells me it is true, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king.7 He also reports that you have appointed prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim about you, ‘Look! There is a king in Judah!’
“You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest that you come and talk it over with me.”
8 I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.”
9 They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.[c]
10 Later I went to visit Shemaiah son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home. He said, “Let us meet together inside the Temple of God and bolt the doors shut. Your enemies are coming to kill you tonight.”
11 But I replied, “Should someone in my position run from danger? Should someone in my position enter the Temple to save his life? No, I won’t do it!”12 I realized that God had not spoken to him, but that he had uttered this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.13 They were hoping to intimidate me and make me sin. Then they would be able to accuse and discredit me.
14 Remember, O my God, all the evil things that Tobiah and Sanballat have done. And remember Noadiah the prophet and all the prophets like her who have tried to intimidate me.
The Builders Complete the Wall
15 So on October 2[d] the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun.16 When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God.
17 During those fifty-two days, many letters went back and forth between Tobiah and the nobles of Judah.18 For many in Judah had sworn allegiance to him because his father-in-law was Shecaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan was married to the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah.19 They kept telling me about Tobiah’s good deeds, and then they told him everything I said. And Tobiah kept sending threatening letters to intimidate me.
“As a lifelong learner, you begin to see the calculations from the Hand of God on your life to follow the trail and path He sets for you.”~ Jon Barnes
As a foreigner in your own country and world, your home with God is in a different space, place, and time focus. The cares of this world are not the same as the focus and calculations of true love.God teaches you how to focus new habits onto love matters that will shape and map out positions in your day to connect, help, and share with others for personal growth and proof that God really works in your life.Do the math and add up all the calculations that miraculously work in your favor.
Many of us exchanged the truth for a lie that was told to us by wicked people of power, greed, lust, and the likes, who took our trust for a weakness to deceive us.We gave them our God-given calculations of love, hope, mercy, compassion, comprehension, ethics, morals, and values, to embrace, alcohol, drugs, pornography, violence, gambling, slavery, and other unfair practices of the day.Misguided trust in people is not a calculation from God, so only put your trust in God and do not substitute this calculation.
You are either a student of love from God or a student of hate from the devil.Pick one and stop lying to yourself.The team you choose will use the same playbook as a reference guide for instruction, growth, examples, and calculations of universal standards created by God alone.All other playbooks are counterfeit to distract and promote fake news.As a student of the human race, our time is very limited with a one time offer of choice.Do your homework, reading, and praying to check your own calculations with God Himself, who is your instructor.
Did you know that I am not your instructor, but God is your guide and personal trainer to calculate and adjust your future?
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2 Kings 19
Hezekiah Seeks the Lord’s Help
19 When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes and put on burlap and went into the Temple of the Lord.2 And he sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, all dressed in burlap, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.3 They told him, “This is what King Hezekiah says: Today is a day of trouble, insults, and disgrace. It is like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver the baby.4 But perhaps the Lord your God has heard the Assyrian chief of staff,[a] sent by the king to defy the living God, and will punish him for his words. Oh, pray for those of us who are left!”
5 After King Hezekiah’s officials delivered the king’s message to Isaiah,6 the prophet replied, “Say to your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers.7 Listen! I myself will move against him,[b] and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land, where I will have him killed with a sword.’”
8 Meanwhile, the Assyrian chief of staff left Jerusalem and went to consult the king of Assyria, who had left Lachish and was attacking Libnah.
9 Soon afterward King Sennacherib received word that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia[c] was leading an army to fight against him. Before leaving to meet the attack, he sent messengers back to Hezekiah in Jerusalem with this message:
10 “This message is for King Hezekiah of Judah. Don’t let your God, in whom you trust, deceive you with promises that Jerusalem will not be captured by the king of Assyria.11 You know perfectly well what the kings of Assyria have done wherever they have gone. They have completely destroyed everyone who stood in their way! Why should you be any different?12 Have the gods of other nations rescued them—such nations as Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Tel-assar? My predecessors destroyed them all!13 What happened to the king of Hamath and the king of Arpad? What happened to the kings of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?”
14 After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord.15 And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord: “O Lord, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth.16 Bend down, O Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God.
17 “It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations.18 And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands.19 Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God.”
Isaiah Predicts Judah’s Deliverance
20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer about King Sennacherib of Assyria.21 And the Lord has spoken this word against him:
“The virgin daughter of Zion despises you and laughs at you. The daughter of Jerusalem shakes her head in derision as you flee.
22 “Whom have you been defying and ridiculing? Against whom did you raise your voice? At whom did you look with such haughty eyes? It was the Holy One of Israel! 23 By your messengers you have defied the Lord. You have said, ‘With my many chariots I have conquered the highest mountains— yes, the remotest peaks of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars and its finest cypress trees. I have reached its farthest corners and explored its deepest forests. 24 I have dug wells in many foreign lands and refreshed myself with their water. With the sole of my foot I stopped up all the rivers of Egypt!’
25 “But have you not heard? I decided this long ago. Long ago I planned it, and now I am making it happen. I planned for you to crush fortified cities into heaps of rubble. 26 That is why their people have so little power and are so frightened and confused. They are as weak as grass, as easily trampled as tender green shoots. They are like grass sprouting on a housetop, scorched before it can grow lush and tall.
27 “But I know you well— where you stay and when you come and go. I know the way you have raged against me. 28 And because of your raging against me and your arrogance, which I have heard for myself, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth. I will make you return by the same road on which you came.”
29 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Here is the proof that what I say is true:
“This year you will eat only what grows up by itself, and next year you will eat what springs up from that. But in the third year you will plant crops and harvest them; you will tend vineyards and eat their fruit. 30 And you who are left in Judah, who have escaped the ravages of the siege, will put roots down in your own soil and will grow up and flourish. 31 For a remnant of my people will spread out from Jerusalem, a group of survivors from Mount Zion. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies[d] will make this happen!
32 “And this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
“His armies will not enter Jerusalem. They will not even shoot an arrow at it. They will not march outside its gates with their shields nor build banks of earth against its walls. 33 The king will return to his own country by the same road on which he came. He will not enter this city, says the Lord. 34 For my own honor and for the sake of my servant David, I will defend this city and protect it.”
35 That night the angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the surviving Assyrians[e] woke up the next morning, they found corpses everywhere.36 Then King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and returned to his own land. He went home to his capital of Nineveh and stayed there.
37 One day while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons[f] Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with their swords. They then escaped to the land of Ararat, and another son, Esarhaddon, became the next king of Assyria.
“The things that you do and say should be relevant to the heart of God and obviously stated inside the actions of your lifestyle.”~ Jon Barnes
The balance of time that you spend working, playing, praying, thinking, and speaking should reflect the quality of person you are to God with its benefits.Your clean room, car, garage, office, workspace, body, and stuff should relatively be in good shape as if God is coming over to visit for tea.The simplicity of how you manage, buy, sell, learn, give, share, and grow reflects upon the maturity of God in your life.
Maintain and finish your goals, plans, and activities with God so that people can see your real fruit from your work.Stay interested in the game that is right in front of you and don’t quit.Stop playing other people’s games by going along with anything that is not good from God. Focus and work on your own life, without comparing it to others. Pay attention to how God wants you to relate to Him and move in that direction.The discussions you have with Him will become more relevant as you trust and obey Biblical Principles.
Being right in your own mind is not the goal.You must be right in the sight of God, not man.Stop looking at logic to locate God’s Truth.Look to Jesus, pray, and find His Truth in your life, language, love, and lifestyle with an obedient heart.Being with God is more than just saying it.Actively discuss, practice, and do the daily work of following Christ and not your own stuff.Your stuff and clutter become your idol and stumbling block, which can prevent you from moving to the next level. Discuss this with God.
Have you had this discussion with God and yourself yet?
2 Kings 12
Joash Repairs the Temple
12 [a]Joash[b] began to rule over Judah in the seventh year of King Jehu’s reign in Israel. He reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother was Zibiah from Beersheba.2 All his life Joash did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight because Jehoiada the priest instructed him.3 Yet even so, he did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there.
4 One day King Joash said to the priests, “Collect all the money brought as a sacred offering to the Lord’s Temple, whether it is a regular assessment, a payment of vows, or a voluntary gift.5 Let the priests take some of that money to pay for whatever repairs are needed at the Temple.”
6 But by the twenty-third year of Joash’s reign, the priests still had not repaired the Temple.7 So King Joash called for Jehoiada and the other priests and asked them, “Why haven’t you repaired the Temple? Don’t use any more money for your own needs. From now on, it must all be spent on Temple repairs.”8 So the priests agreed not to accept any more money from the people, and they also agreed to let others take responsibility for repairing the Temple.
9 Then Jehoiada the priest bored a hole in the lid of a large chest and set it on the right-hand side of the altar at the entrance of the Temple of the Lord. The priests guarding the entrance put all of the people’s contributions into the chest.10 Whenever the chest became full, the court secretary and the high priest counted the money that had been brought to the Lord’s Temple and put it into bags.11 Then they gave the money to the construction supervisors, who used it to pay the people working on the Lord’s Temple—the carpenters, the builders,12 the masons, and the stonecutters. They also used the money to buy the timber and the finished stone needed for repairing the Lord’s Temple, and they paid any other expenses related to the Temple’s restoration.
13 The money brought to the Temple was not used for making silver bowls, lamp snuffers, basins, trumpets, or other articles of gold or silver for the Temple of the Lord.14 It was paid to the workmen, who used it for the Temple repairs.15 No accounting of this money was required from the construction supervisors, because they were honest and trustworthy men.16 However, the money that was contributed for guilt offerings and sin offerings was not brought into the Lord’s Temple. It was given to the priests for their own use.
The End of Joash’s Reign
17 About this time King Hazael of Aram went to war against Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem.18 King Joash collected all the sacred objects that Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah, the previous kings of Judah, had dedicated, along with what he himself had dedicated. He sent them all to Hazael, along with all the gold in the treasuries of the Lord’s Temple and the royal palace. So Hazael called off his attack on Jerusalem.
19 The rest of the events in Joash’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.
20 Joash’s officers plotted against him and assassinated him at Beth-millo on the road to Silla.21 The assassins were Jozacar[c] son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer—both trusted advisers. Joash was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Amaziah became the next king.
“I’m slowly learning how to adjust my lens and settings on my camera of life as things change like seasonsso that I can clearly see the different colors, texture, shapes, and sizes to live God’s wonderful lifestyle on this Green Earth.”~ Jon Barnes
Occasionally, you’ll see a rainbow on a wonderfully clear day and enjoy the contrast before, during, and after the storm. The real challenge is to enjoy all aspects of the lesson God is teaching you through each cycle and test. Smile and be pleasant through your daily struggles and always try to be kind in your challenging moments.Each day you will be challenged, so expect this and meet your challenges with the angelic staff of God in your hands, the Bible in your heart, Scriptures on your tongue and Holy Spirit chapters scrolling in your mind at all times, with prayer and thanksgiving to God.
The rain does not activate or deactivate your fervent prayers, mindset, heart set, or bridled tongue during the stormy or sunny days of the week. Challenges adjust to God and His plans as they will adjust to you, as you follow God in His Plans. Miraculous, unexpected changes will be made right before your eyes. The problem stems from putting your plans ahead of God and not recognizing the main stage of events. The smaller stages are off to the side and must be completed after you tend to the main event and execute God’s Plan. God’s Plans are never rained out or canceled due to bad weather, as each activity has a test to pass or you’ll be stuck in the same activities.
The sun can shine through the storm at any minute, as God sees fit, and you will enjoy the rainbow at all stages of your life when you are kind while walking with God. Your loving smile and face should always look like Jesus is taking care of it all and by faith, weather conditions are an asset, not a threat. There is no need to fear wickedness when God is with you.Keep your spiritual settings adjusted to God’s lens so that you can always see His Rainbow wherever you may go and share that spirit of hope and love with each step you take. Bless God!
Did you adjust your lens to see God and His Rainbow permanently in your repentance, faith, work, walk, talk, thinking, praying, fasting, and thanksgiving?
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11 “You must love the Lord your God and always obey his requirements, decrees, regulations, and commands.2 Keep in mind that I am not talking now to your children, who have never experienced the discipline of the Lord your God or seen his greatness and his strong hand and powerful arm.3 They didn’t see the miraculous signs and wonders he performed in Egypt against Pharaoh and all his land.4 They didn’t see what the Lord did to the armies of Egypt and to their horses and chariots—how he drowned them in the Red Sea[a] as they were chasing you. He destroyed them, and they have not recovered to this very day!
5 “Your children didn’t see how the Lord cared for you in the wilderness until you arrived here.6 They didn’t see what he did to Dathan and Abiram (the sons of Eliab, a descendant of Reuben) when the earth opened its mouth in the Israelite camp and swallowed them, along with their households and tents and every living thing that belonged to them.7 But you have seen the Lord perform all these mighty deeds with your own eyes!
The Blessings of Obedience
8 “Therefore, be careful to obey every command I am giving you today, so you may have strength to go in and take over the land you are about to enter.9 If you obey, you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors and to you, their descendants—a land flowing with milk and honey!10 For the land you are about to enter and take over is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you planted your seed and made irrigation ditches with your foot as in a vegetable garden.11 Rather, the land you will soon take over is a land of hills and valleys with plenty of rain—12 a land that the Lord your God cares for. He watches over it through each season of the year!
13 “If you carefully obey the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul,14 then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil.15 He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat.
16 “But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord and serve and worship other gods.17 If you do, the Lord’s anger will burn against you. He will shut up the sky and hold back the rain, and the ground will fail to produce its harvests. Then you will quickly die in that good land the Lord is giving you.
18 “So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.19 Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,21 so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.
22 “Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lordyour God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him.23 Then the Lord will drive out all the nations ahead of you, though they are much greater and stronger than you, and you will take over their land.24 Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours. Your frontiers will stretch from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.[b]25 No one will be able to stand against you, for the Lord your God will cause the people to fear and dread you, as he promised, wherever you go in the whole land.
26 “Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse!27 You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today.28 But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the Lord your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before.
29 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land and helps you take possession of it, you must pronounce the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal.30 (These two mountains are west of the Jordan River in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Jordan Valley,[c] near the town of Gilgal, not far from the oaks of Moreh.)31 For you are about to cross the Jordan River to take over the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you take that land and are living in it,32 you must be careful to obey all the decrees and regulations I am giving you today.
“We get pulled out of our comfort zone to help shed our lukewarm nature, eventually trusting God in all of our circumstances”~Taryn Barnes
Illusion of Safety
Sometimes God allows the rug to be pulled from underneath us, putting us in situations beyond our control. The world likes to appeal to our ego, giving us the false sense of security by telling us we ultimately have control over our lives. If you’re not lukewarm, expect to be put to the test as God will refine us.
Press through the discomfort of being out of your comfort zone so that you can level up in your walk with God. When we are comfortable, we lack the conviction to grow, opting to continue in an unsuspecting lull. Fulfill the call that God has in your life by pushing past the deceitful trappings of this world. Remember that God’s treasures are infinitely better than that of this world.
Question of the day
Are you willing to push past your discomfort to grow in Christ?
Enjoy today’s reading
Numbers 14 NIV
The People Rebel
1That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” 5Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. 6Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” 10But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.” 13Moses said to the LORD, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. 14And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, LORD, are with these people and that you, LORD, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.15If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, 16‘The LORD was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’17“Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 18‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ 19In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.” 20The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, 22not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. 25Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea. ” 26The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: 27“How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites.28So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: 29In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.30Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.32But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. 33Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness. 34For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ 35I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.” 36So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— 37these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD.
Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.39When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. 40Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the LORD promised. Surely we have sinned!” 41But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the LORD’s command? This will not succeed! 42Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, 43for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.” 44Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD’s covenant moved from the camp. 45Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.
“Follow the little dots and steps in life that will lead you to and through the guided tour of God’s Glory, Mercy, and Honor and do not be afraid of the truth about yourself; learn and change from your wicked ways.” ~ Jon Barnes
Take your time to dot your i(s) and cross your t(s) with the mix of discovering life’s journey and don’t be offended by the sloppiness from yourself, of others, and their choice to live like pigs. Enjoy your path by connecting your order of dots, activities, studies, practice habits, and entertainment that is wholesome, helpful, enjoyable, lovable, friendly, and kind, which should be exemplary of God’s lifestyle. Otherwise, your soul will become a Hot Blot in Hell if you don’t accept God’s Dots to Heaven!
There is no need to follow the foot steps and dots of bad people, fake promises, and false stories. Why copy a broken plan, failed actions, and wicked plans of old that never worked. We have seen, heard, and read the same basic stories of good and evil, yet many choose to ignore the good dots and follow the bad dots like iDiots! Love is King! Try using the dots God has laid in front of you, work the good plan, and stop being lazy by trying to find your own simple easy route and way out. Your dots and gifts are from God, so use them like the stars, sun, moon, and earth does! They are dots just like you and me.
My dots are not your dots so ask God for your own set of dots to plan a successful destiny with your Creator. Since you didn’t make yourself and the planet you are living on, it only makes sense to get direction, wisdom, and understanding from the true source and Master of All Dots. I don’t use other fake sources of knowledge and their fake dots down the rabbit hole of greed, lust, power, wickedness, and destruction. I am content with the dots God has given me and I believe His Plan and iDot Matrix System. Balance your system with God’s System.
Did you notice how much better your life is when you learn to study the Bible and the many dots of wisdom so that you can avoid the destruction of your own eternal soul, one dot, and chapter at a time?
Enjoy The Reading
36 “The Lord has gifted Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other skilled craftsmen with wisdom and ability to perform any task involved in building the sanctuary. Let them construct and furnish the Tabernacle, just as the Lord has commanded.”
2 So Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and all the others who were specially gifted by the Lord and were eager to get to work.3 Moses gave them the materials donated by the people of Israel as sacred offerings for the completion of the sanctuary. But the people continued to bring additional gifts each morning.4 Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work.5 They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!”
6 So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings.7 Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.
Building the Tabernacle
8 The skilled craftsmen made ten curtains of finely woven linen for the Tabernacle. Then Bezalel[a] decorated the curtains with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim.9 All ten curtains were exactly the same size—42 feet long and 6 feet wide.[b]10 Five of these curtains were joined together to make one long curtain, and the other five were joined to make a second long curtain.11 He made fifty loops of blue yarn and put them along the edge of the last curtain in each set.12 The fifty loops along the edge of one curtain matched the fifty loops along the edge of the other curtain.13 Then he made fifty gold clasps and fastened the long curtains together with the clasps. In this way, the Tabernacle was made of one continuous piece.
14 He made eleven curtains of goat-hair cloth to serve as a tent covering for the Tabernacle.15 These eleven curtains were all exactly the same size—45 feet long and 6 feet wide.[c]16 Bezalel joined five of these curtains together to make one long curtain, and the other six were joined to make a second long curtain.17 He made fifty loops for the edge of each large curtain.18 He also made fifty bronze clasps to fasten the long curtains together. In this way, the tent covering was made of one continuous piece.19 He completed the tent covering with a layer of tanned ram skins and a layer of fine goatskin leather.
20 For the framework of the Tabernacle, Bezalel constructed frames of acacia wood.21 Each frame was 15 feet high and 27 inches wide,[d]22 with two pegs under each frame. All the frames were identical.23 He made twenty of these frames to support the curtains on the south side of the Tabernacle.24 He also made forty silver bases—two bases under each frame, with the pegs fitting securely into the bases.25 For the north side of the Tabernacle, he made another twenty frames,26 with their forty silver bases, two bases under each frame.27 He made six frames for the rear—the west side of the Tabernacle—28 along with two additional frames to reinforce the rear corners of the Tabernacle.29 These corner frames were matched at the bottom and firmly attached at the top with a single ring, forming a single corner unit. Both of these corner units were made the same way.30 So there were eight frames at the rear of the Tabernacle, set in sixteen silver bases—two bases under each frame.
31 Then he made crossbars of acacia wood to link the frames, five crossbars for the north side of the Tabernacle32 and five for the south side. He also made five crossbars for the rear of the Tabernacle, which faced west.33 He made the middle crossbar to attach halfway up the frames; it ran all the way from one end of the Tabernacle to the other.34 He overlaid the frames with gold and made gold rings to hold the crossbars. Then he overlaid the crossbars with gold as well.
35 For the inside of the Tabernacle, Bezalel made a special curtain of finely woven linen. He decorated it with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim.36 For the curtain, he made four posts of acacia wood and four gold hooks. He overlaid the posts with gold and set them in four silver bases.
37 Then he made another curtain for the entrance to the sacred tent. He made it of finely woven linen and embroidered it with exquisite designs using blue, purple, and scarlet thread.38 This curtain was hung on gold hooks attached to five posts. The posts with their decorated tops and hooks were overlaid with gold, and the five bases were cast from bronze.
“In God We Trust that money, greed, power, lust, and laziness will not make our leaders and family members slaves, and servants to the devil and his evil plot to make mankind miserable.” ~ Jon Barnes
I will assume that you are not a slave or devil worshiper because you are reading this letter. This is good. I will also assume that we share the values and lifestyle of love that Jesus paid for with His Blood, so that we can live by and obey His emergency evacuation plan from hell, death, and destruction. I will further assume that you are honestly becoming more aware of your personal responsibility to not cheat, steal, lie just to get what you want, like the devil does.
When you don’t believe and obey God’s simple lifestyle about earthly things, how are you going to keep a clean house, in this case, a big mansion clean, based on how you are living now? I struggle with this balance of work, cleaning, reading, studying, exercising, eating, and living right for God Too! But, my balanced work without faith is dead. So, I’m learning to let go of the old ways to become more efficient with better tools, as I apply God’s wisdom and common Christian sense.
Common christians tend to fall asleep in the race before crossing the finish line, when we ignore how to love our brothers and sister in our own families. We don’t call, talk, write, speak to each other much at all and we wonder why we are not successfully strong, working together. You are stopping you from picking up the phone, driving by, sending a text or an email of love to your sisters or brother. These things should not be. If you don’t show love and respect to your family, than you don’t show love and respect to God. Stop loving the devil’s ways of unforgiveness and start loving God’s ways of repentance, meekness, kindness, long suffering, mercy, peace, and forgiveness! Or continue to be a slave to the devil, wearing a Costume of a Common Christian.
Can you please burn and give up your Common Christian Costume and rid yourself of your daily Halloween tradition and practice of unforgiveness, pretending to love everyone but your sisters and brothers?
Enjoy Today’s Reading –
It is an example of how we tend to lie to God each day, with a smile.
Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
4 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John—2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria.5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
The Disciples Rejoin Jesus
27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
Many Samaritans Believe
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
Jesus Heals an Official’s Son
43 After the two days he left for Galilee.44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.)45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.
46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine.And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum.47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”
The man took Jesus at his word and departed.51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”
53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.
54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.
” A Trusted Friend or leader does not lie, cheat, and steal from people, just like the devil did with God!” ~ Jon Barnes
God will test you to see if you are a valued true friend, who stays focused on the work and not the money! Be a faithful helper and God will see to it that you get your reward and provisions. Focus your energy on the job and God will work the miracles, right before everyone’s eyes, leaving you in the leadership position across the finish line of life. The devil has already lost, so why are you following him, the loser?
Do not reject your education and training you need to defeat the devil, standing on your own, with God at your side. You are a student of God, getting in shape, going to His Gym, and practicing daily exercises of Heavenly Value and Mystery. In God We Trust, should be written on your heart, burned into your mind, wrapped around your body, and absorbed into your SOUL to successfully train with God.
The plan is to stay ready for work and battle all of the time, helping, giving, loving, mentoring, and achieving the objectives from your training sessions. Get into the ring, look into the mirror and start shadow boxing at yourself. You are your biggest enemy and God must teach you how to defeat yourself and your evil will, so that the Will of God may Grow into your life. Your soil must be cleaned and washed in the Blood of Christ and it’s time for your training to go the the next level of loyalty!
Can God trust you with a free lifetime membership at His GYM or will you be the fake friend to flake out and not show up?
Enjoy Today’s Reading
5 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Instructions for Christian Households
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word,27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c]32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.