Influence

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“If you seek an authentic relationship with Christ, be careful with whom you give your eyes and ears.”~TB

Deeds not words

Be wary of influential people who turn your eyes away from the Lord. While we can never truly know a person’s intent, if they prove to be a stumbling block for you, avert your gaze. Anyone can say they love the Lord, but if their actions do not match their deeds, should they really hold your attention? Be diligent in how you spend your time because what may seem like harmless fun is a pathway to foolishness and sin.

Your responsibility 

It is not your job to police the wicked. At the same time, it is your responsibility not to be influenced by them either. You can avoid many pitfalls and traps when you focus your attention on the Word of God. When that is your primary influence, all of a sudden, the beautiful trappings of the world, appear to be detestable and vile. Friends, do the work and uncover the truth for yourselves. Don’t be influenced by frauds who try and sell you on a broken lifestyle. God’s influence is the only real influence, pay attention.

Today’s Question

Are you influenced by righteousness or wickedness?

Enjoy the reading

 

Psalm 96

1 Sing a new song to the LORD ! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD !
2 Sing to the LORD ; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. 
3 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. 
4 Great is the LORD ! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. 
5 The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the LORD made the heavens! 
6 Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary. 
7O nations of the world, recognize the LORD ; recognize that the LORD is glorious and strong. 
8 Give to the LORD the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his courts. 
9 Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him. 
10 Tell all the nations, “The LORD reigns!” The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. He will judge all peoples fairly. 
11 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! 
12 Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy 
13 before the LORD, for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth.

Balance

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Take care to balance your work and rest. Overindulging in one or the other is sure to send you into chaos.”~TB

Work

Every day, work as if God is your employer. That way you will find favor in the Lord. Everyone has worked for a bad employer at some point. But when you’re working for God, He’ll make up the difference. Producing honest and good work is vital in your walk with Christ. Like diligently planting seeds, you honest work produces a relationship with Him that is firm and rooted by the Word. When you’ve done your daily work, then you rest.

Rest

This life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and to progress, we must rest well. While some of us enjoy the work, so much that we overwork, rest is vital so that we can be prepared to work again tomorrow. Friends, take rest as needed, otherwise, your flesh will become unruly, entertaining thoughts and deeds a rested mind knows to ignore. Therefore be disciplined in getting the proper rest so that you can continue the good work that God has asked of you.

Balance

When you seek the Lord, produce honest work, and rest as needed, life is quite simple. No, it is not without its challenges, however, in doing the work and resting after the fact, God’s word reigns supreme in your hearts and minds. Follow the Biblical roadmap to balance your affairs. Conversely, when you rest and do not do the work, you fall prey to the modern-day slave owners, who seek to entrap you. Because you have not done your work, you have to rely on someone else to provide for you. Friends, be a servant to God and not to man. Work, rest, and repeat and you will find peace and contentment in the Lord.

Today’s Question

Are you working and resting in a balanced manner or are you out of balance in your life?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 87

1 On the holy mountain stands the city founded by the LORD . 
2 He loves the city of Jerusalem more than any other city in Israel. 
3 O city of God, what glorious things are said of you! Interlude 
4 I will count Egypt and Babylon among those who know me— also Philistia and Tyre, and even distant Ethiopia. They have all become citizens of Jerusalem! 
5 Regarding Jerusalem it will be said, “Everyone enjoys the rights of citizenship there.” And the Most High will personally bless this city. 
6 When the LORD registers the nations, he will say, “They have all become citizens of Jerusalem.” Interlude 
7 The people will play flutes and sing, “The source of my life springs from Jerusalem!”

Independent Study

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“It takes only 5 minutes to read a chapter of the Bible a day, yet few people actually do it.”~ Jon Barnes

Right Answers

The path to Truth and righteousness is very simple in nature. It requires independent study, on your own time, with your own eyes, in order for you to receive its inheritance.  The Bible espouses wisdom to those who continually seek the Truth. By doing your Biblical homework, reading a chapter and meditating on the Word on a daily basis, you find the correct answers to navigate the many traps and snares in this fallen world. However, many fail to cultivate the discipline and steadfastness required to pass their Biblical tests.

Wrong Answers

When you are lazy and fail to do your Biblical reading, you rely on the wrong answers of false teachers, pastors, prophets, and the like. You fall prey to their fake candor, false leadership, and flattering words. Slowly but surely they turn your hearts from the Lord and onto their agendas. Friends, if your spiritual leaders are pointing towards a “Caesar” for leadership, they are not of God. God does not need politicians or world leaders of any kind to gain access to our hearts and minds. Only a fool who copied false answers instead of studying the Word would fall prey to that. Do you not recall the reign of Saul? Study the Word so that you can receive everlasting life. Or don’t and enjoy the alternative. The choice is ultimately yours.

 

Today’s Question

Are you ready to study the right answers or are you comfortable with passing the test to hell?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 80

1 Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock. O God, enthroned above the cherubim, display your radiant glory 
2 to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. Show us your mighty power. Come to rescue us! 
3 Turn us again to yourself, O God. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved. 
4 O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, how long will you be angry with our prayers? 
5 You have fed us with sorrow and made us drink tears by the bucketful. 
6 You have made us the scorn of neighboring nations. Our enemies treat us as a joke. 
7 Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved. 
8 You brought us from Egypt like a grapevine; you drove away the pagan nations and transplanted us into your land. 
9 You cleared the ground for us, and we took root and filled the land. 
10 Our shade covered the mountains; our branches covered the mighty cedars. 
11 We spread our branches west to the Mediterranean Sea; our shoots spread east to the Euphrates River. 
12But now, why have you broken down our walls so that all who pass by may steal our fruit? 
13 The wild boar from the forest devours it, and the wild animals feed on it. 
14 Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies. Look down from heaven and see our plight. Take care of this grapevine 
15 that you yourself have planted, this son you have raised for yourself. 
16 For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies. May they perish at the sight of your frown. 
17 Strengthen the man you love, the son of your choice. 
18 Then we will never abandon you again. Revive us so we can call on your name once more. 
19 Turn us again to yourself, O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.

 

Options

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Hi Peeps,

 

Today’s Quote

“God takes impossible missions and turns them into the best options and plays for His Team.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Option

God has given us life with options to follow.  You only have two options with a 50% chance of getting it right.  Many will fail by making the wrong choice, even when the deck is stacked 100% in their favor, with God’s Universal DNA, fingerprints, and images all over the place.  We are all made in His Image and it is our option to believe and live by God’s design, wisdom, and understanding. Execute your option playbook from the Bible.

Optional

You don’t have to follow the devil because it is optional.  Your choice condemns or sets you free in God, because of your love and interest in pleasing Him.  I am not the person to please. I can only be happy for you in the choice you make, one way or the other. Refuse to live in a state of sadness when others make such bad decisions for their own lives. Pray and let them choose their fate and allow your life to be a testimony of your faith with words, actions, good deeps, and honest integrity from God’s Blessings.  Perhaps they will see the light and respond to God.

Impossible

Nothing is impossible with God, with His Word, in His Plans for those who love and follow His Foot Steps. All options are in your favor because you are doing your part, regardless of the situation.  Believing and doing what God says can only be a great thing in your life since God rewards good people even more for doing the work of faith. Nothing is impossible for God to do, with all of the options in His Hand.  Why gamble on the devil, his evil plans, and wicked ways of old?

Today’s Question

Do you feel empowered by God when you read, study, and love what He says, from doing your homework and studying your personal options in Christ?

Enjoy The Reading

Esther 4 

Mordecai Persuades Esther to Help

When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. But he went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it. In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.
So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.
Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”
12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.
Love,
Jonathan

My Miracles

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Miracles follow you wherever you are when you walk with God in your lifestyle and choices.” ~ Jon Barnes

The Way

The way is already made and the road is paved because of your movements and vibrations of obedience from your heart, mind, lips, thoughts, and actions. Enjoy God’s way and live the life you are given each day, one day at a time. Stop following the negative, evil thoughts of your heart and follow the smile of God’s Spirit of Optimism, freedom, and choice.

Deposit

Directly deposit your faith in God by shaking things up with the truth, light, and love from your heart.  Many of us are often wrong, so repent, let it go, and move on to better things. Laugh so that God heals your body before you get sick from focusing on negative things all of the time. It’s your choice!  Eat, stress, and worry less so that your body can recover from the hard work that you do.

Saved

Save God’s Word in your heart so that you may be saved from the wiles of the devil and live in your miracles.  Only you can stop your miracles from unbelief, strife, envy, pride, materialism, lust, and greed. Be content, happy, and thankful.  The respect you give God and people will dictate the quality of respect you will receive.  Believing and loving God is the beginning of your miracles each day. Expect them.
Today’s Question
Are you amazed at how well the pieces of the puzzle fit together with God’s Help or are you still sabotaging you miracles with self-pity, arrogance, and depression?
Enjoy The Reading
 

2 Chronicles 17 

17 And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel.
And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken.
And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim;
But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.
Therefore the Lord stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance.
And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.
Also in the third year of his reign he sent to his princes, even to Benhail, and to Obadiah, and to Zechariah, and to Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah.
And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, priests.
And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the Lord with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people.
10 And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.
11 Also some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and tribute silver; and the Arabians brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred he goats.
12 And Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly; and he built in Judah castles, and cities of store.
13 And he had much business in the cities of Judah: and the men of war, mighty men of valour, were in Jerusalem.
14 And these are the numbers of them according to the house of their fathers: Of Judah, the captains of thousands; Adnah the chief, and with him mighty men of valour three hundred thousand.
15 And next to him was Jehohanan the captain, and with him two hundred and fourscore thousand.
16 And next him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the Lord; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valour.
17 And of Benjamin; Eliada a mighty man of valour, and with him armed men with bow and shield two hundred thousand.
18 And next him was Jehozabad, and with him an hundred and fourscore thousand ready prepared for the war.
19 These waited on the king, beside those whom the king put in the fenced cities throughout all Judah.
Love,
Jonathan

Appreciation

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“You can see the appreciation people have for God, based on their lifestyle of love, sharing, and caring about the gospel of Jesus.” ~ Jon Barnes

Ashamed

I use to be ashamed of how I was raised while learning all this stuff in church.  As a kid, all I wanted to do was run up and down the streets with my friends, play ball, and kick up some dirt. Now, getting older, life seemed colder, when friends began to die. Questions raced through my head and I began to pray instead to ask for reasons why?  Then I remembered all the prayers from my grandmother asking protection for her family, with tears running down her face as she cried. Those prayers were answered.

For You

Someone prayed for you. So, what are you going to do? I use to take this for granted, the prayers, The Word, God, and the semantics.  But, now it’s time to run the race.  I’ve been silent for oh too long, how could I’ve been so wrong and now I’ve found my place.  Traveling all around the world, touring, signing books, married, and having fun with my girl! It’s my turn to pray for my family too. My cognitive structure for the love of God has matured indeed.

Appreciate

I can now appreciate all the things my family has done for me and now I can relate and pass it along the family tree.  Bless God that I was listening and paid close attention to the memo.  Many will not get a second chance to figure things out as you go.  Take the time to get it right, with all the time you can. Tomorrow was not promised to every boy, girl, woman, or man.  I appreciate my praying family! Focus on the appreciation of prayer and you will learn to pray yourself.
Today’s Question
Have you started prying yet?
Enjoy The Reading
 

2 Kings 11 

Queen Athaliah Rules in Judah

11 When Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah, learned that her son was dead, she began to destroy the rest of the royal family. But Ahaziah’s sister Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram,[a] took Ahaziah’s infant son, Joash, and stole him away from among the rest of the king’s children, who were about to be killed. She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom, and they hid him from Athaliah, so the child was not murdered. Joash remained hidden in the Temple of the Lord for six years while Athaliah ruled over the land.

Revolt against Athaliah

In the seventh year of Athaliah’s reign, Jehoiada the priest summoned the commanders, the Carite mercenaries, and the palace guards to come to the Temple of the Lord. He made a solemn pact with them and made them swear an oath of loyalty there in the Lord’s Temple; then he showed them the king’s son.
Jehoiada told them, “This is what you must do. A third of you who are on duty on the Sabbath are to guard the royal palace itself. Another third of you are to stand guard at the Sur Gate. And the final third must stand guard behind the palace guard. These three groups will all guard the palace. The other two units who are off duty on the Sabbath must stand guard for the king at the Lord’s Temple. Form a bodyguard around the king and keep your weapons in hand. Kill anyone who tries to break through. Stay with the king wherever he goes.”
So the commanders did everything as Jehoiada the priest ordered. The commanders took charge of the men reporting for duty that Sabbath, as well as those who were going off duty. They brought them all to Jehoiada the priest, 10 and he supplied them with the spears and small shields that had once belonged to King David and were stored in the Temple of the Lord. 11 The palace guards stationed themselves around the king, with their weapons ready. They formed a line from the south side of the Temple around to the north side and all around the altar.
12 Then Jehoiada brought out Joash, the king’s son, placed the crown on his head, and presented him with a copy of God’s laws.[b] They anointed him and proclaimed him king, and everyone clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!”

The Death of Athaliah

13 When Athaliah heard the noise made by the palace guards and the people, she hurried to the Lord’s Temple to see what was happening. 14 When she arrived, she saw the newly crowned king standing in his place of authority by the pillar, as was the custom at times of coronation. The commanders and trumpeters were surrounding him, and people from all over the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. When Athaliah saw all this, she tore her clothes in despair and shouted, “Treason! Treason!”
15 Then Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders who were in charge of the troops, “Take her to the soldiers in front of the Temple,[c] and kill anyone who tries to rescue her.” For the priest had said, “She must not be killed in the Temple of the Lord.” 16 So they seized her and led her out to the gate where horses enter the palace grounds, and she was killed there.

Jehoiada’s Religious Reforms

17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people that they would be the Lord’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people.18 And all the people of the land went over to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They demolished the altars and smashed the idols to pieces, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.
Jehoiada the priest stationed guards at the Temple of the Lord. 19 Then the commanders, the Carite mercenaries, the palace guards, and all the people of the land escorted the king from the Temple of the Lord. They went through the gate of the guards and into the palace, and the king took his seat on the royal throne. 20 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was peaceful because Athaliah had been killed at the king’s palace.
21 [d]Joash[e] was seven years old when he became king.
Love,
Jonathan

Abandonment

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“When you abandon God and His principles in your life, you leave a big hole in your heart and life, without true love for eternity.” ~ Jon Barnes

Regulations

If Solomon in all of his wisdom still disobeyed God, how smart do you think you are in comparison?  This is why we need the Holy Spirit to fight evil and wickedness that may come your way. You cannot fight on your own.  Harsh labor and heavy taxation on the backs of regular people will never go well for any culture.  Good people will rule with loving kindness and not with an abandonment of God’s commandments.

Instructed

It is better to abandon the ideas of man and follow the ways of God so that you don’t fall into evil traps of temptation. Regulate your thinking and activities to focus on God’s lifestyle for your family. Each day will be more productive and full of joy.  Sorrow will not stay at your dwelling place. You will laugh at the silliness of the devil since you know God is in control and loves His Children.  Justice will be served, because of your honor and honest heart for God.

Promotional

Many people will think that your work for God is of no real value because they don’t value God, His Universe or resources. Don’t abandon your work for God. Many people will dismiss your tokens of love, kindness, and helps as a weakness. Don’t let this bother you.  Continue in the faith of love and God will simply bless you accordingly.  Your promotional efforts are not being wasted at all.  The next set of doors will appear and open up for you, because of your faithfulness and promotional love quest. Exhibit who you are in Christ or you will act and live like an abandoned child of the devil.
Today’s Question
Did you abandon your first love for God, because of greed, lust, power, fame, idols, addiction, substance abuse, or your self-made false gods?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Kings 7 

Elisha replied, “Listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, six quarts of choice flour will cost only one piece of silver,[a] and twelve quarts of barley grain will cost only one piece of silver.[b]
The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!”
But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!”

Outcasts Visit the Enemy Camp

Now there were four men with leprosy[c] sitting at the entrance of the city gates. “Why should we sit here waiting to die?” they asked each other. “We will starve if we stay here, but with the famine in the city, we will starve if we go back there. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.”
So at twilight they set out for the camp of the Arameans. But when they came to the edge of the camp, no one was there! For the Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the clatter of speeding chariots and the galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. “The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptians[d] to attack us!” they cried to one another. So they panicked and ran into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else, as they fled for their lives.
When the men with leprosy arrived at the edge of the camp, they went into one tent after another, eating and drinking wine; and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and hid it.Finally, they said to each other, “This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.”
10 So they went back to the city and told the gatekeepers what had happened. “We went out to the Aramean camp,” they said, “and no one was there! The horses and donkeys were tethered and the tents were all in order, but there wasn’t a single person around!” 11 Then the gatekeepers shouted the news to the people in the palace.

Israel Plunders the Camp

12 The king got out of bed in the middle of the night and told his officers, “I know what has happened. The Arameans know we are starving, so they have left their camp and have hidden in the fields. They are expecting us to leave the city, and then they will take us alive and capture the city.”
13 One of his officers replied, “We had better send out scouts to check into this. Let them take five of the remaining horses. If something happens to them, it will be no worse than if they stay here and die with the rest of us.”
14 So two chariots with horses were prepared, and the king sent scouts to see what had happened to the Aramean army. 15 They went all the way to the Jordan River, following a trail of clothing and equipment that the Arameans had thrown away in their mad rush to escape. The scouts returned and told the king about it. 16 Then the people of Samaria rushed out and plundered the Aramean camp. So it was true that six quarts of choice flour were sold that day for one piece of silver, and twelve quarts of barley grain were sold for one piece of silver, just as the Lord had promised. 17 The king appointed his officer to control the traffic at the gate, but he was knocked down and trampled to death as the people rushed out.
So everything happened exactly as the man of God had predicted when the king came to his house. 18 The man of God had said to the king, “By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, six quarts of choice flour will cost one piece of silver, and twelve quarts of barley grain will cost one piece of silver.”
19 The king’s officer had replied, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!” And the man of God had said, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!” 20 And so it was, for the people trampled him to death at the gate!
Love,
Jonathan