Jurisdiction

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you love your brothers and sisters as God loves you, there is no need for you to have jurisdiction over what they do with their lives.”

TB

Cut Short

As we grow closer with God, one of the biggest challenges we must overcome is being puffed up by religious knowledge and foolishly thinking that we have a say in the lives of those we care about. Imagine if God only loved us when we behaved? Surely none of us would make the mark. So, if God doesn’t love you only when you’re on the right path, how can you do the same to your brothers and sisters?

Long Live

Because we only see a fragment of what God sees, there is literally no way for any of us to know how He will use people and situations for the greater good. As such, we cannot play backseat quarterback to those around us. Let’s say you are right about something. So what? There is no special prize for knowing something your peers do not. Instead of condemnation, choose love, and in that way, we can extend grace to each other as God does with us.

Today’s Question

Are you foolish enough to play God?

Enjoy the reading

Habakkuk 2

1 I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint. 2 Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. 3 This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. 4 “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God. 5 Wealth is treacherous, and the arrogant are never at rest. They open their mouths as wide as the grave, and like death, they are never satisfied. In their greed they have gathered up many nations and swallowed many peoples. 6 “But soon their captives will taunt them. They will mock them, saying, ‘What sorrow awaits you thieves! Now you will get what you deserve! You’ve become rich by extortion, but how much longer can this go on?’ 7 Suddenly, your debtors will take action. They will turn on you and take all you have, while you stand trembling and helpless. 8 Because you have plundered many nations, now all the survivors will plunder you. You committed murder throughout the countryside and filled the towns with violence. 9 “What sorrow awaits you who build big houses with money gained dishonestly! You believe your wealth will buy security, putting your family’s nest beyond the reach of danger. 10 But by the murders you committed, you have shamed your name and forfeited your lives. 11 The very stones in the walls cry out against you, and the beams in the ceilings echo the complaint. 12 “What sorrow awaits you who build cities with money gained through murder and corruption! 13 Has not the LORD of Heaven’s Armies promised that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes? They work so hard, but all in vain! 14 For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the LORD . 15 “What sorrow awaits you who make your neighbors drunk! You force your cup on them so you can gloat over their shameful nakedness. 16 But soon it will be your turn to be disgraced. Come, drink and be exposed! Drink from the cup of the LORD ’s judgment, and all your glory will be turned to shame. 17 You cut down the forests of Lebanon. Now you will be cut down. You destroyed the wild animals, so now their terror will be yours. You committed murder throughout the countryside and filled the towns with violence. 18 “What good is an idol carved by man, or a cast image that deceives you? How foolish to trust in your own creation— a god that can’t even talk! 19 What sorrow awaits you who say to wooden idols, ‘Wake up and save us!’ To speechless stone images you say, ‘Rise up and teach us!’ Can an idol tell you what to do? They may be overlaid with gold and silver, but they are lifeless inside. 20 But the LORD is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him.”

Lifelong

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“In order to embark on a lifelong journey with Christ, you have to accept that growth will always be a constant endeavor.”

TB

Lessons

Whether you’ve been walking with God for 3 months or 30 years, there will always be something He can teach you. God’s lessons are infinite and everlasting, which means we will spend our lifetime learning and still not know everything. Fortunately for us, He is patient and kind, tipping the scale for His children.

Stagnate

We stop learning when we begin to (foolishly) believe we know more than everyone else. Friends, that is simply not so. Even the wisest can still be humbled by a child or even a donkey! Of course, pride is human nature, which is why we have to be vigilant in our behaviors, practicing humility by asking God to reveal our next lessons. When you stop to ask Him for new lesson plans, He will bless you with a deeper understanding drawing you closer to Him.

Today’s Question

Do you still think you’re the smartest person in the room?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 48

1 “Here is the list of the tribes of Israel and the territory each is to receive. The territory of Dan is in the extreme north. Its boundary line follows the Hethlon road to Lebo-hamath and then runs on to Hazar-enan on the border of Damascus, with Hamath to the north. Dan’s territory extends all the way across the land of Israel from east to west. 2 “Asher’s territory lies south of Dan’s and also extends from east to west. 3 Naphtali’s land lies south of Asher’s, also extending from east to west. 4 Then comes Manasseh south of Naphtali, and its territory also extends from east to west. 5 South of Manasseh is Ephraim, 6 and then Reuben, 7 and then Judah, all of whose boundaries extend from east to west. 8 “South of Judah is the land set aside for a special purpose. It will be 8 miles wide and will extend as far east and west as the tribal territories, with the Temple at the center. 9 “The area set aside for the LORD ’s Temple will be 8 miles long and 6 miles wide. 10 For the priests there will be a strip of land measuring 8 miles long by 3 miles wide, with the LORD ’s Temple at the center. 11 This area is set aside for the ordained priests, the descendants of Zadok who served me faithfully and did not go astray with the people of Israel and the rest of the Levites. 12 It will be their special portion when the land is distributed, the most sacred land of all. Next to the priests’ territory will lie the land where the other Levites will live. 13 “The land allotted to the Levites will be the same size and shape as that belonging to the priests—8 miles long and 3 miles wide. Together these portions of land will measure 8 miles long by 6 miles wide. 14 None of this special land may ever be sold or traded or used by others, for it belongs to the LORD ; it is set apart as holy. 15 “An additional strip of land 8 miles long by 1 miles wide, south of the sacred Temple area, will be allotted for public use—homes, pasturelands, and common lands, with a city at the center. 16 The city will measure 1 miles on each side—north, south, east, and west. 17 Open lands will surround the city for 150 yards in every direction. 18 Outside the city there will be a farming area that stretches 3 miles to the east and 3 miles to the west along the border of the sacred area. This farmland will produce food for the people working in the city. 19 Those who come from the various tribes to work in the city may farm it. 20 This entire area—including the sacred lands and the city—is a square that measures 8 miles on each side. 21 “The areas that remain, to the east and to the west of the sacred lands and the city, will belong to the prince. Each of these areas will be 8 miles wide, extending in opposite directions to the eastern and western borders of Israel, with the sacred lands and the sanctuary of the Temple in the center. 22 So the prince’s land will include everything between the territories allotted to Judah and Benjamin, except for the areas set aside for the sacred lands and the city. 23 “These are the territories allotted to the rest of the tribes. Benjamin’s territory lies just south of the prince’s lands, and it extends across the entire land of Israel from east to west. 24 South of Benjamin’s territory lies that of Simeon, also extending across the land from east to west. 25 Next is the territory of Issachar with the same eastern and western boundaries. 26 “Then comes the territory of Zebulun, which also extends across the land from east to west. 27 The territory of Gad is just south of Zebulun with the same borders to the east and west. 28 The southern border of Gad runs from Tamar to the waters of Meribah at Kadesh and then follows the Brook of Egypt to the Mediterranean. 29 “These are the allotments that will be set aside for each tribe’s exclusive possession. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken! 30 “These will be the exits to the city: On the north wall, which is 1 miles long, 31 there will be three gates, each one named after a tribe of Israel. The first will be named for Reuben, the second for Judah, and the third for Levi. 32 On the east wall, also 1 miles long, the gates will be named for Joseph, Benjamin, and Dan. 33 The south wall, also 1 miles long, will have gates named for Simeon, Issachar, and Zebulun. 34 And on the west wall, also 1 miles long, the gates will be named for Gad, Asher, and Naphtali. 35 “The distance around the entire city will be 6 miles. And from that day the name of the city will be ‘The LORD Is There.’ ”

Dose

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“It’s better to receive an uncomfortable dose of truth from a friend than to idly walk down the path of destruction as a peer cheers you on.”

TB

Fake

People of this world struggle to define and maintain a relationship with Christ because they’d rather be hypnotized by the songs of the opposition. They excitedly play the destructive tunes of sin because the sound is pleasing to the ear. Those same people find offense to wise council.

Taste

The truth begins when we accept the nutrients that Christ provides. At the start, it’s not as outwardly attractive as the sin-fallen world, but its benefits are everlasting. When wise council provides you with a wholesome dose of truth, be grateful that they loved you enough to share their wisdom with you.

Today’s Question

What’s better a brother who corrects your misdeeds or a brother that encourages your bad behavior?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 45

1 “When you divide the land among the tribes of Israel, you must set aside a section for the LORD as his holy portion. This piece of land will be 8 miles long and 6 miles wide. The entire area will be holy. 2 A section of this land, measuring 875 feet by 875 feet, will be set aside for the Temple. An additional strip of land 87 feet wide is to be left empty all around it. 3 Within the larger sacred area, measure out a portion of land 8 miles long and 3 miles wide. Within it the sanctuary of the Most Holy Place will be located. 4 This area will be holy, set aside for the priests who minister to the LORD in the sanctuary. They will use it for their homes, and my Temple will be located within it. 5 The strip of sacred land next to it, also 8 miles long and 3 miles wide, will be a living area for the Levites who work at the Temple. It will be their possession and a place for their towns. 6 “Adjacent to the larger sacred area will be a section of land 8 miles long and 1 miles wide. This will be set aside for a city where anyone in Israel can live. 7 “Two special sections of land will be set apart for the prince. One section will share a border with the east side of the sacred lands and city, and the second section will share a border on the west side. Then the far eastern and western borders of the prince’s lands will line up with the eastern and western boundaries of the tribal areas. 8 These sections of land will be the prince’s allotment. Then my princes will no longer oppress and rob my people; they will assign the rest of the land to the people, giving an allotment to each tribe. 9 “For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Enough, you princes of Israel! Stop your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Quit robbing and cheating my people out of their land. Stop expelling them from their homes, says the Sovereign LORD . 10 Use only honest weights and scales and honest measures, both dry and liquid. 11 The homer will be your standard unit for measuring volume. The ephah and the bath will each measure one-tenth of a homer. 12 The standard unit for weight will be the silver shekel. One shekel will consist of twenty gerahs, and sixty shekels will be equal to one mina. 13 “You must give this tax to the prince: one bushel of wheat or barley for every 60 you harvest, 14 one percent of your olive oil, 15 and one sheep or goat for every 200 in your flocks in Israel. These will be the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings that will make atonement for the people who bring them, says the Sovereign LORD . 16 All the people of Israel must join in bringing these offerings to the prince. 17 The prince will be required to provide offerings that are given at the religious festivals, the new moon celebrations, the Sabbath days, and all other similar occasions. He will provide the sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, liquid offerings, and peace offerings to purify the people of Israel, making them right with the LORD . 18 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In early spring, on the first day of each new year, sacrifice a young bull with no defects to purify the Temple. 19 The priest will take blood from this sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the Temple, the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar, and the gateposts at the entrance to the inner courtyard. 20 Do this also on the seventh day of the new year for anyone who has sinned through error or ignorance. In this way, you will purify the Temple. 21 “On the fourteenth day of the first month, you must celebrate the Passover. This festival will last for seven days. The bread you eat during that time must be made without yeast. 22 On the day of Passover the prince will provide a young bull as a sin offering for himself and the people of Israel. 23 On each of the seven days of the feast he will prepare a burnt offering to the LORD, consisting of seven young bulls and seven rams without defects. A male goat will also be given each day for a sin offering. 24 The prince will provide a basket of flour as a grain offering and a gallon of olive oil with each young bull and ram. 25 “During the seven days of the Festival of Shelters, which occurs every year in early autumn, the prince will provide these same sacrifices for the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the grain offering, along with the required olive oil.

Wise Counsel

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Keep wise God-fearing counsel around you as they will steer you in the right direction.”

TB

Experience

In this world, there is a spectrum of behaviors we can exhibit. We can do good, bad, and everything in between. Because we are human and imperfect spending time with wise people– those who have years of admirable life experience– to help us on our way. Their years of experience allows them to guide the young to smarter pastures. More to the point, their mistakes can help to avoid similar fates.

Better Sight

The eyes of the wise are clear and sharp thanks to their time with God and years on this earth. Those who have fought the good fight and live on to tell the tale have great stories full of insight. You can tell by the fact that God is within the very fabric of their lives– as He is in all of ours. Friends we live in a world with very many paths and detours. Yet there are two directions. So whoever you spend your time with, make sure their counsel leads you back to the source, in the direction of Christ

Today’s Question

Who do you listen to and which direction are they pointing you to?

Enjoy the reading

Lamentations 4

1 How the gold has lost its luster! Even the finest gold has become dull. The sacred gemstones lie scattered in the streets! 2 See how the precious children of Jerusalem, worth their weight in fine gold, are now treated like pots of clay made by a common potter. 3 Even the jackals feed their young, but not my people Israel. They ignore their children’s cries, like ostriches in the desert. 4 The parched tongues of their little ones stick to the roofs of their mouths in thirst. The children cry for bread, but no one has any to give them. 5 The people who once ate the richest foods now beg in the streets for anything they can get. Those who once wore the finest clothes now search the garbage dumps for food. 6 The guilt of my people is greater than that of Sodom, where utter disaster struck in a moment and no hand offered help. 7 Our princes once glowed with health— brighter than snow, whiter than milk. Their faces were as ruddy as rubies, their appearance like fine jewels. 8 But now their faces are blacker than soot. No one recognizes them in the streets. Their skin sticks to their bones; it is as dry and hard as wood. 9 Those killed by the sword are better off than those who die of hunger. Starving, they waste away for lack of food from the fields. 10 Tenderhearted women have cooked their own children. They have eaten them to survive the siege. 11 But now the anger of the LORD is satisfied. His fierce anger has been poured out. He started a fire in Jerusalem that burned the city to its foundations. 12 Not a king in all the earth— no one in all the world— would have believed that an enemy could march through the gates of Jerusalem. 13 Yet it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the sins of her priests, who defiled the city by shedding innocent blood. 14 They wandered blindly through the streets, so defiled by blood that no one dared touch them. 15 “Get away!” the people shouted at them. “You’re defiled! Don’t touch us!” So they fled to distant lands and wandered among foreign nations, but none would let them stay. 16 The LORD himself has scattered them, and he no longer helps them. People show no respect for the priests and no longer honor the leaders. 17 We looked in vain for our allies to come and save us, but we were looking to nations that could not help us. 18 We couldn’t go into the streets without danger to our lives. Our end was near; our days were numbered. We were doomed! 19 Our enemies were swifter than eagles in flight. If we fled to the mountains, they found us. If we hid in the wilderness, they were waiting for us there. 20 Our king—the LORD ’s anointed, the very life of our nation— was caught in their snares. We had thought that his shadow would protect us against any nation on earth! 21 Are you rejoicing in the land of Uz, O people of Edom? But you, too, must drink from the cup of the LORD ’s anger. You, too, will be stripped naked in your drunkenness. 22 O beautiful Jerusalem, your punishment will end; you will soon return from exile. But Edom, your punishment is just beginning; soon your many sins will be exposed.

First Person

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“In order to build an authentic relationship with God, you must live a first person life.”~TB

Unreliable

I recently purchased a patio set that required some work to put it together. To give myself an understanding of what to expect, I read the reviews of people who had purchased the set. To my dismay, most said the process was hard, arduous, and not worth the effect. This made me avoid the project, dreading the idea of taking on such a difficult task. Yesterday, I finally got down to business, and not only did it take me about an hour, it was pretty straightforward and easy! Even more ironic, I enjoy putting things together, so why I allowed the opinions of others impede on my task is beyond me. As I sat on my newly built furniture, I laughed at myself because it had taken me an extra week to finish an easy and enjoyable project. I couldn’t help but see the correlation between how we pursue or don’t pursue a relationship with Christ based on the opinions of others.

In Real Time

When we live our lives based on the opinions and experiences of others, we fall prey to not truly living at all! The same can be said about knowing God. Just because you perceive that your buddy Joe is a Christian, that doesn’t mean he has all of the answers about God’s will for your life. That’s between you and God, not Joe. More to the point, most of us rely on faulty stories from other people that discourage us from knowing Him, only to find out that building that vital relationship was nothing like the bill of goods you were sold! Friends, walking with God is a first-person adventure. Your mother, brother, sister, daughter, son, pastor, teacher, or preacher cannot walk that walk for you. Even the wisest person is still unreliable in terms of perfectly exemplifying the behavior of Christ. So you must get to know him, otherwise you can fall prey to the false testimony of those who do now know Him.

Today’s Question

Are you actively walking with God, or are you getting advice from an unreliable source?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 37

1 Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim as the king of Judah. He was appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. 2 But neither King Zedekiah nor his attendants nor the people who were left in the land listened to what the LORD said through Jeremiah. 3 Nevertheless, King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the priest, son of Maaseiah, to ask Jeremiah, “Please pray to the LORD our God for us.” 4 Jeremiah had not yet been imprisoned, so he could come and go among the people as he pleased. 5 At this time the army of Pharaoh Hophra of Egypt appeared at the southern border of Judah. When the Babylonian army heard about it, they withdrew from their siege of Jerusalem. 6 Then the LORD gave this message to Jeremiah: 7 “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: The king of Judah sent you to ask me what is going to happen. Tell him, ‘Pharaoh’s army is about to return to Egypt, though he came here to help you. 8 Then the Babylonians will come back and capture this city and burn it to the ground.’ 9 “This is what the LORD says: Do not fool yourselves into thinking that the Babylonians are gone for good. They aren’t! 10 Even if you were to destroy the entire Babylonian army, leaving only a handful of wounded survivors, they would still stagger from their tents and burn this city to the ground!” 11 When the Babylonian army left Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s approaching army, 12 Jeremiah started to leave the city on his way to the territory of Benjamin, to claim his share of the property among his relatives there. 13 But as he was walking through the Benjamin Gate, a sentry arrested him and said, “You are defecting to the Babylonians!” The sentry making the arrest was Irijah son of Shelemiah, grandson of Hananiah. 14 “That’s not true!” Jeremiah protested. “I had no intention of doing any such thing.” But Irijah wouldn’t listen, and he took Jeremiah before the officials. 15 They were furious with Jeremiah and had him flogged and imprisoned in the house of Jonathan the secretary. Jonathan’s house had been converted into a prison. 16 Jeremiah was put into a dungeon cell, where he remained for many days. 17 Later King Zedekiah secretly requested that Jeremiah come to the palace, where the king asked him, “Do you have any messages from the LORD ?” “Yes, I do!” said Jeremiah. “You will be defeated by the king of Babylon.” 18 Then Jeremiah asked the king, “What crime have I committed? What have I done against you, your attendants, or the people that I should be imprisoned like this? 19 Where are your prophets now who told you the king of Babylon would not attack you or this land? 20 Listen, my lord the king, I beg you. Don’t send me back to the dungeon in the house of Jonathan the secretary, for I will die there.” 21 So King Zedekiah commanded that Jeremiah not be returned to the dungeon. Instead, he was imprisoned in the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace. The king also commanded that Jeremiah be given a loaf of fresh bread every day as long as there was any left in the city. So Jeremiah was put in the palace prison.

Wisdumb

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Be careful when proclaiming to be wise, because eventually you will have to walk your talk.”~TB

In Theory

It’s easy to learn and comprehend theory. There is no skin in the game. ‘Wise’ people sit around and pontificate meaningless thoughts and ideas, as if it means anything. Wisdumb is the art of over complicating simple truths to appear more intelligent while fooling the naive. Friends, those who are truly wise understand that wisdom comes from failure, practice, obedience, endurance, and a pure love and pursuit of God. Even then, the wise discover what it is to actually be wise, which is no prize at all.

In Practice

Wisdom can be found in the trenches where God is. It is not an easy endeavor, nor will it bring the contentment most believe it yields. God is the only truth that matters, because all human understanding leads to disappointment and despair. Wisdom is knowing how dumb we are in comparison to our Father in Heaven! So be wise and rejoice that He loves us and takes us back no matter stupid or fallen we’ve become. In practice, the wise learn how foolish they really are!

Today’s Question

Have you ‘wised’ up yet?

Enjoy the reading

Ecclesiastes 1

1 These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem.
2“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”
3 What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?
4Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again.
6 The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles.
7 Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea.
8Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
9 History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.
10 Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.
11 We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.
12 I, the Teacher, was king of Israel, and I lived in Jerusalem.
13 I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done under heaven. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race.
14 I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.
15 What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.
16 I said to myself, “Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them.”
17 So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.
18The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.

 

Help > Hinder

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“So you’re spiritually mature, great! Now, step aside and let others pass theirs instead of trying to do the work for them.”~TB

God’s Concepts

The longer you spend with God, the more you understand how complex yet simple His love and teachings are. Like a game of chess, it takes a lifetime to study God’s ways. Even still, the wisest of us all will never truly and fully understand the miraculousness that is God. Depending on where you are on the spectrum, God will use you for His purpose, but friends, do your job and nothing more, as we all learn at a different pace.

 

Learning Curve

Everyone goes through trials and tests at their own pace. Some learn faster than others. And some need to retake certain tests before they ace the exam. No person’s journey is superior to another’s, no matter how quickly they learn. If you are a quick learner, be a help and not a hindrance.

Help

Helping others is part of the journey that is being a Christ-follower. This means encouraging the downtrodden, aiding those enduring hard times, and giving mercy to one another. It’s great to help, but when helping turns into servitude, you’re doing too much.

Hinder

Yes, it’s natural to want to step in so that loved ones do not endure pain. However, everyone needs to go through their own tests so that they can learn the lessons and grow closer to God in the process. When you overstep in “helping” you’re actually hinder the person’s growth and maturity. Assist when necessary and let others develop accordingly.

Today’s Question

Is your help a hindrance?

Enjoy the reading

Proverbs 24

1 Don’t envy evil people or desire their company. 
2 For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble. 
3 A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. 
4 Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables. 
5 The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger. 
6 So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers. 
7 Wisdom is too lofty for fools. Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say. 
8 A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker. 
9 The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone detests a mocker. 
10 If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. 
11 Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. 
12 Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve. 
13 My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste. 
14 In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.
15 Don’t wait in ambush at the home of the godly, and don’t raid the house where the godly live. 
16 The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked. 
17 Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble. 
18 For the LORD will be displeased with you and will turn his anger away from them. 
19 Don’t fret because of evildoers; don’t envy the wicked. 
20 For evil people have no future; the light of the wicked will be snuffed out. 
21My child, fear the LORD and the king. Don’t associate with rebels, 
22 for disaster will hit them suddenly. Who knows what punishment will come from the LORD and the king? 
23 Here are some further sayings of the wise: It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment. 
24 A judge who says to the wicked, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations. 
25 But it will go well for those who convict the guilty; rich blessings will be showered on them. 
26 An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship. 
27 Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. 
28 Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause; don’t lie about them. 
29 And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for what they’ve done to me! I’ll get even with them!” 
30 I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. 
31 I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. 
32 Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: 
33 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 
34 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

 

Pedastal

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Do not put your brothers and sisters on a pedastal, as they require the same mercy and grace from God as you.”~TB

Imperfect

Even the wisest most disciplined follower of Christ does not compare to the perfection that is God. As such, do not place them in the same category. Each person who has been chosen to share the Lord’s wisdom is still a mere mortal. They bleed, feel, fail, achieve, in the same manner as anyone else. When they fail, as they will, you must give them the same space and grace as God gives to you.

Higher Standard

If you view those in power as better than yourself, you run the risk of judging them harshly when they misstep. Yes, those who are placed in positions of leadership, teaching, and the like, must be held to a higher standard. However, this does not mean perfection. Human nature dictates that no one will live a perfect life. The judgment of their shortcomings is not for you or me. God is the ultimate judge and will always rule in a perfect manner.

Direct Connection

One of the reasons why people are so willing to idolize those they consider to be wise is because it’s a great excuse to not do the work. Friends, the wise are not a substitute for our Father in Heaven. They are mouthpieces at best and examples of what not to do at worst. When you rely on someone else’s relationship/connection to Christ, it’s easy to fall into complacency, thinking that listening to them abdicates the need for you to go to God. Don’t lean on them as they are human. Instead, tap into the direct connection with God so that you know where to place your faith.

Today’s Question

Are you avoiding Christ by putting humans on an unrealistic pedestal?

Enjoy the reading

Proverbs 5

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2 Then you will show discernment, and your lips will express what you’ve learned. 
3 For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. 
4 But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword. 
5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. 
6 For she cares nothing about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it. 
7 So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say: 
8 Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house! 
9 If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
10 Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor. 
11 In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body. 
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings! 
13 Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors? 
14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.” 
15 Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife. 
16 Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? 
17 You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers. 
18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. 
19 She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. 
20 Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman, or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman? 
21 For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.
22 An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. 
23 He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.

Rooted

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t root your faith in man, because the roots will not take hold. For a firmly rooted foundation, look to God.”~TB

Weak Roots

When you base your faith solely on the actions of your brothers and sisters in Christ, you will be disappointed time and time again. Humans are imperfect, prone to sin, and fundamentally flawed. Even the wisest will fall prey to their wickedness. So what happens when the wise fall? All of a sudden you begin to question your Creator over the misdeeds of your leaders. How foolish! It is arrogant and naive to hold God accountable for the actions of man. Free will gives us the choice to obey or disobey. When your faith is rooted in man, what you thought was firmly planted gets ripped away by the gentlest breeze. Plant your seeds accordingly.

Holy Roots

When you place your faith in God and God alone, He opens your eyes to the Truth, planting you firmly in His Holy Garden where you are permanently rooted. With that Truth, you begin to crave discipline and obedience. Forgiveness becomes easier and you give it as freely as He freely forgives you. When the wise fall, as they do, you understand that it happens and that the transgression is between them and God. You begin to experience the joy of minding your own relationship with God rather than rationalizing your shortcomings because “other people are doing it too”. Tend to your Holy roots by reading the Word and walking close to the Lord. Watch how it changes your world view.

Today’s Question

Are your roots planted in the Holy Garden or are they shallowly rooted in foolishness?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 89

1 I will sing of the LORD ’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness. 
2 Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens. 
3 The LORD said, “I have made a covenant with David, my chosen servant. I have sworn this oath to him: 
4‘I will establish your descendants as kings forever; they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.’” Interlude 
5 All heaven will praise your great wonders, LORD ; myriads of angels will praise you for your faithfulness. 
6 For who in all of heaven can compare with the LORD ? What mightiest angel is anything like the LORD ? 
7 The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God. He is far more awesome than all who surround his throne. 
8 O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O LORD ? You are entirely faithful. 
9 You rule the oceans. You subdue their storm-tossed waves. 
10 You crushed the great sea monster. You scattered your enemies with your mighty arm. 
11 The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours—you created it all. 
12 You created north and south. Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon praise your name. 
13 Powerful is your arm! Strong is your hand! Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength. 
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants. 
15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, LORD . 
16 They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation. They exult in your righteousness.
17 You are their glorious strength. It pleases you to make us strong. 
18Yes, our protection comes from the LORD, and he, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king. 
19 Long ago you spoke in a vision to your faithful people. You said, “I have raised up a warrior. I have selected him from the common people to be king. 
20 I have found my servant David. I have anointed him with my holy oil. 
21 I will steady him with my hand; with my powerful arm I will make him strong. 
22 His enemies will not defeat him, nor will the wicked overpower him. 
23 I will beat down his adversaries before him and destroy those who hate him. 
24 My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him, and by my authority he will grow in power.
25 I will extend his rule over the sea, his dominion over the rivers. 
26And he will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’ 
27 I will make him my firstborn son, the mightiest king on earth.
28 I will love him and be kind to him forever; my covenant with him will never end. 
29 I will preserve an heir for him; his throne will be as endless as the days of heaven. 
30 But if his descendants forsake my instructions and fail to obey my regulations, 
31 if they do not obey my decrees and fail to keep my commands, 
32 then I will punish their sin with the rod, and their disobedience with beating. 
33 But I will never stop loving him nor fail to keep my promise to him. 
34 No, I will not break my covenant; I will not take back a single word I said. 
35 I have sworn an oath to David, and in my holiness I cannot lie: 
36 His dynasty will go on forever; his kingdom will endure as the sun. 
37 It will be as eternal as the moon, my faithful witness in the sky!” Interlude 
38 But now you have rejected him and cast him off. You are angry with your anointed king. 
39 You have renounced your covenant with him; you have thrown his crown in the dust. 
40 You have broken down the walls protecting him and ruined every fort defending him.
41 Everyone who comes along has robbed him, and he has become a joke to his neighbors. 
42 You have strengthened his enemies and made them all rejoice. 
43 You have made his sword useless and refused to help him in battle. 
44 You have ended his splendor and overturned his throne.
45 You have made him old before his time and publicly disgraced him. Interlude 
46 O LORD, how long will this go on? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your anger burn like fire? 
47 Remember how short my life is, how empty and futile this human existence! 
48 No one can live forever; all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave. Interlude
49 Lord, where is your unfailing love? You promised it to David with a faithful pledge. 
50 Consider, Lord, how your servants are disgraced! I carry in my heart the insults of so many people. 
51 Your enemies have mocked me, O LORD ; they mock your anointed king wherever he goes.
52 Praise the LORD forever! Amen and amen!

 

Serve

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“It is the highest honor to serve God’s people. Jesus did so even in His last breath.”~TB

Weak

To the foolish, turning the other cheek, and helping others are seen as weak and pointless. Oh, but what a joy it is to serve the Lord! It is better to suffer the opinions of the dumb and be a delight to God. Or do you not remember what Jesus did for His disciples before the Last Supper?

Strong

The wise understand that submission and service are the pearls of God.  Friends, it takes discipline to be obedient. It is not for the faint of heart. So be joyful in your labor for the Lord as you know where your true reward lies. The foolish have their own reward, so do not copy them.

Today’s Question

Are you willing to rise to the occasion of serving the Lord and His people?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 82

1 God presides over heaven’s court; he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings: 
2 “How long will you hand down unjust decisions by favoring the wicked? Interlude 
3 “Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. 
4 Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. 
5 But these oppressors know nothing; they are so ignorant! They wander about in darkness, while the whole world is shaken to the core. 
6 I say, ‘You are gods; you are all children of the Most High. 
7 But you will die like mere mortals and fall like every other ruler.’” 
8 Rise up, O God, and judge the earth, for all the nations belong to you.