“Growing in your relationship with Christ requires constant self-reflection.”
Accepting salvation means that we are consciously declaring that we need God and are taking Him up on Jesus’ sacrifice. Of course, for us to admit the need for help, we have to be able to accurately assess our shortcomings. When we were blind, it was easier to accept our corrupt and flesh-driven behaviors as truth. Even still, there is (and always will be) a nagging feeling that something is missing. When we fail to develop an authentic connection with God, we will always be looking at a stranger in the mirror.
If you’re tired of worshipping false idols, including yourself, take an honest reflection in the mirror. Ask God to reveal the Truth, and humbly look within to see the Truth of the need for salvation. When we look in the mirror to see who we are without Christ, it becomes clear that we must reflect on who He is to have a better understanding. So friends, let’s not get too high and mighty off of our own reflection. Instead, develop the spiritual maturity to embrace God’s reflection. In doing so, you build your relationship in Christ through self-reflection.
Are you too proud of your own image to see how foolish you’ve become?
Enjoy the reading
1 Mobilize! Marshal your troops! The enemy is laying siege to Jerusalem. They will strike Israel’s leader in the face with a rod. 2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf. 3 The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies until the woman in labor gives birth. Then at last his fellow countrymen will return from exile to their own land. 4 And he will stand to lead his flock with the LORD ’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored around the world. 5 And he will be the source of peace. When the Assyrians invade our land and break through our defenses, we will appoint seven rulers to watch over us, eight princes to lead us. 6 They will rule Assyria with drawn swords and enter the gates of the land of Nimrod. He will rescue us from the Assyrians when they pour over the borders to invade our land. 7 Then the remnant left in Israel will take their place among the nations. They will be like dew sent by the LORD or like rain falling on the grass, which no one can hold back and no one can restrain. 8 The remnant left in Israel will take their place among the nations. They will be like a lion among the animals of the forest, like a strong young lion among flocks of sheep and goats, pouncing and tearing as they go with no rescuer in sight. 9 The people of Israel will stand up to their foes, and all their enemies will be wiped out. 10 “In that day,” says the LORD, “I will slaughter your horses and destroy your chariots. 11 I will tear down your walls and demolish your defenses. 12 I will put an end to all witchcraft, and there will be no more fortune-tellers. 13 I will destroy all your idols and sacred pillars, so you will never again worship the work of your own hands. 14 I will abolish your idol shrines with their Asherah poles and destroy your pagan cities. 15 I will pour out my vengeance on all the nations that refuse to obey me.” Micah 4Micah 6 Parallel Compare
“Take up your cross and learn the Truth so that you untangle yourself from the madness of modern society.”
If we look at people and societal standards, its “truth” always changes. What was once in fashion is now lame. What was once immoral is now self expression. What was once wrong is now right. The world will constantly reinvent itself as its goal and its ruler is to distill confusion and corruption among God’s people. The madness of modern society is that the rules are always changing and nothing is ever true. Because of this, those who worship this world will always toil in anguish, confusion, and futility.
The reason why many fail to understand Christ is that their friendship with the world keeps them deaf, blind, and dumb from the Truth. Friends, if you serve money, your flesh, your peers, or even the evil one, you will never know the truth. That is because you cannot serve two masters. God’s word never changes. The teachings of Jesus still apply to this very day. If you desire to know the truth for yourself, you must first understand the honest motives of your heart. Deep down, we all know that culture and modern society corrupts our souls, but it takes humble humility to start asking and seeking the One who can open our eyes.
If your desires align with today’s culture and not with Christ, what are you doing?
Enjoy the reading
1 Once again a message came to me from the LORD : 2 “Son of man, give your people this message: ‘When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose one of their own to be a watchman. 3 When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. 4 Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. 5 They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. 6 But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.’ 7 “Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. 8 If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 9 But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself. 10 “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ 11 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? 12 “Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. 13 When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. 14 And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right. 15 For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die. 16 None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live. 17 “Your people are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right,’ but it is they who are not doing what’s right. 18 For again I say, when righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and turn to evil, they will die. 19 But if wicked people turn from their wickedness and do what is just and right, they will live. 20 O people of Israel, you are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right.’ But I judge each of you according to your deeds.” 21 On January 8, during the twelfth year of our captivity, a survivor from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has fallen!” 22 The previous evening the LORD had taken hold of me and given me back my voice. So I was able to speak when this man arrived the next morning. 23 Then this message came to me from the LORD : 24 “Son of man, the scattered remnants of Israel living among the ruined cities keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he gained possession of the entire land. We are many; surely the land has been given to us as a possession.’ 25 So tell these people, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: You eat meat with blood in it, you worship idols, and you murder the innocent. Do you really think the land should be yours? 26 Murderers! Idolaters! Adulterers! Should the land belong to you?’ 27 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: As surely as I live, those living in the ruins will die by the sword. And I will send wild animals to eat those living in the open fields. Those hiding in the forts and caves will die of disease. 28 I will completely destroy the land and demolish her pride. Her arrogant power will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate that no one will even travel through them. 29 When I have completely destroyed the land because of their detestable sins, then they will know that I am the LORD .’ 30 “Son of man, your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors. They say to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the LORD is saying!’ 31 So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money. 32 You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it! 33 But when all these terrible things happen to them—as they certainly will—then they will know a prophet has been among them.”
“Treat God and people like you are in heaven right now and you will live with the Lord’s Prayer in your heart, lips, mind, body, soul, and lifestyle.” ~ Jon Barnes
Our Father is in Heaven right now and our job is to practice His Will; which is being done on earth and in Heaven at the same time. God seems pretty quick about building planets, solar systems, galaxies, and things of the unknown and unseen. I would assume that His judgment upon your life is just as swift upon death. In reality, our lives blink like a “Twinkle Little Star Dust” in time, but our souls will live forever.
Heaven and Hell seem to be active so that the Will of God is being done before, during, and after you die. I can’t imagine that God would let the wicked rest idle waiting for judgment because hell is already operational and burning strong. Since eternity is on the other side of death, your destination awaits you as well for the same amount of time eternity is measured. Mathematically speaking, you can’t imagine how long eternity feels like in your mind’s eye.
Since God can do anything and is everywhere, we cannot comprehend His Time reference to eternity or His abilities. It is beyond our scope of comprehension and reality. He gives us ideas, stories, and food for thought from His Bible, but All of God, What He Does, and Will Do cannot be expressed fully with the carnal mind of man. But, when you meditate on the Lord’s Prayer each day, you get a sense of understanding, revelation, and reality from God’s perspective. Repentance is the product of true obedience.
Do you think that God is wasting His Time on You, to burn in hell?
Enjoy the reading
Prologue: Christ, the Eternal Word
1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
6 God sent a man, John the Baptist,7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him.11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”
16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.[f]17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
The Testimony of John the Baptist
19 This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” 20 He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.”
21 “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”
“No,” he replied.
“Are you the Prophet we are expecting?”
22 “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?”
23 John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah:
“I am a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”
24 Then the Pharisees who had been sent25 asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?”
26 John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize.27 Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.”
28 This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
Jesus, the Lamb of God
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him.33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’34 I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”
The First Disciples
35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!”37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.
38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.
They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus.41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).
42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”[n]).
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.”44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.
45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”
48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”
49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.
“Many of you pretend to love God for show, but your deeds expose your heart.”~TB
It’s amazing how lukewarm Christians get when things are comfortable. Hiding behind your decorated walls, it’s easy to judge and turn away those in need. You pray for the helpless, yet offer no help. Of course, this must be done publicly, so that your peers can see how spiritual you are. No amount of superficial acts can clean your blackened heart. Who do you think you are fooling? God knows you better than you know yourself.
God puts tests in front of all of us. Some come in the form of helping others, some in the form of external obstacles, and others an internal struggle. This is why reading and practicing the Words in the Bible is so important. His Word is a direct connection to His Will. When you understand Who you’re connected to, you can lay down your fake worship and fake Christianity. God is evaluating and judging us all. Make sure you’re not failing your tests.
Is your love for God for show?
Enjoy the reading
1These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
4These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young.
5Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance
6by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles.
7Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
8My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
9What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.
10My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them!
11They may say, “Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent!
12Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death.
13Think of the great things we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take.
14Come, throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot.”
15My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths.
16They rush to commit evil deeds. They hurry to commit murder.
17If a bird sees a trap being set, it knows to stay away.
18But these people set an ambush for themselves; they are trying to get themselves killed.
19Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.
20Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square.
21She calls to the crowds along the main street, to those gathered in front of the city gate:
22“How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge?
23Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.
24“I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.
25You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered.
26So I will laugh when you are in trouble! I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—
27when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone, and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
28“When they cry for help, I will not answer. Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.
29For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the LORD.
30They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them.
31Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their own schemes.
32For simpletons turn away from me—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.
33But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.”
“God isn’t interested in your formalities, your buildings, your ornaments, your performances, or your pandering. He’s interested in the motives of your heart.”~TB
Keep your religious spirit, your virtue-signaling goodness, and moral superiority to yourself. God wants none of it. You cry when religious buildings are destroyed, but you care not for the people He placed in your charge! What good is a building if the people are wicked? Friends, the church is not merely a place, it is within your heart. As He dwells within us, our actions, hearts, and minds must exude His presence. Putting on your Sunday best and turning up your nose at the “heathens” is not Biblical. Well, it is in the Bible, but those people paved the road to Hell.
It’s amazing how quickly the religious mobilize when their image is at stake. Let’s not worry about the exceedingly poor living conditions or the slave wages people are forced to accept. Why do you perform such blasphemous self-promoting acts in the name of God? How impactful is a mission if your actual neighbor is suffering? Truly, you must understand that your deeds are not for Him, they are for yourself. Every formality and hypocritical act performed is a mockery to God. Friends, the state of the world is in disarray! Because the nation has abandoned Him, He will abandon the nation. So cling tightly to your possessions and your neatly adorned items. They are all you have left and soon they too will abandon you.
What are the true motives in your heart?
Enjoy the reading
1O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying,
2for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—
3stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us.
4We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about his power and his mighty wonders.
5For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children,
6so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children.
7So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.
8Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.
9The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned their backs and fled on the day of battle.
10They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his instructions.
11They forgot what he had done— the great wonders he had shown them,
12the miracles he did for their ancestors on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt.
13For he divided the sea and led them through, making the water stand up like walls!
14In the daytime he led them by a cloud, and all night by a pillar of fire.
15He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them water, as from a gushing spring.
16He made streams pour from the rock, making the waters flow down like a river!
17Yet they kept on sinning against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved.
19They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness.
20Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.”
21When the LORD heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel,
22for they did not believe God or trust him to care for them.
23But he commanded the skies to open; he opened the doors of heaven.
24He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven.
25They ate the food of angels! God gave them all they could hold.
26He released the east wind in the heavens and guided the south wind by his mighty power.
27He rained down meat as thick as dust— birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore!
28He caused the birds to fall within their camp and all around their tents.
29The people ate their fill. He gave them what they craved.
30But before they satisfied their craving, while the meat was yet in their mouths,
31the anger of God rose against them, and he killed their strongest men. He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men.
32But in spite of this, the people kept sinning. Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him.
33So he ended their lives in failure, their years in terror.
34When God began killing them, they finally sought him. They repented and took God seriously.
35Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High was their redeemer.
36But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues.
37Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant.
38Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and did not destroy them all. Many times he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury!
39For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns.
40Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland.
41Again and again they tested God’s patience and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42They did not remember his power and how he rescued them from their enemies.
43They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders on the plain of Zoan.
44For he turned their rivers into blood, so no one could drink from the streams.
45He sent vast swarms of flies to consume them and hordes of frogs to ruin them.
46He gave their crops to caterpillars; their harvest was consumed by locusts.
47He destroyed their grapevines with hail and shattered their sycamore-figs with sleet.
48He abandoned their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning.
49He loosed on them his fierce anger— all his fury, rage, and hostility. He dispatched against them a band of destroying angels.
50He turned his anger against them; he did not spare the Egyptians’ lives but ravaged them with the plague.
51He killed the oldest son in each Egyptian family, the flower of youth throughout the land of Egypt.
52But he led his own people like a flock of sheep, guiding them safely through the wilderness.
53He kept them safe so they were not afraid; but the sea covered their enemies.
54He brought them to the border of his holy land, to this land of hills he had won for them.
55He drove out the nations before them; he gave them their inheritance by lot. He settled the tribes of Israel into their homes.
56But they kept testing and rebelling against God Most High. They did not obey his laws.
57They turned back and were as faithless as their parents. They were as undependable as a crooked bow.
58They angered God by building shrines to other gods; they made him jealous with their idols.
59When God heard them, he was very angry, and he completely rejected Israel.
60Then he abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh, the Tabernacle where he had lived among the people.
61He allowed the Ark of his might to be captured; he surrendered his glory into enemy hands.
62He gave his people over to be butchered by the sword, because he was so angry with his own people—his special possession.
63Their young men were killed by fire; their young women died before singing their wedding songs.
64Their priests were slaughtered, and their widows could not mourn their deaths.
65Then the Lord rose up as though waking from sleep, like a warrior aroused from a drunken stupor.
66He routed his enemies and sent them to eternal shame.
67But he rejected Joseph’s descendants; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.
68He chose instead the tribe of Judah, and Mount Zion, which he loved.
69There he built his sanctuary as high as the heavens, as solid and enduring as the earth.
70He chose his servant David, calling him from the sheep pens.
71He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants— God’s own people, Israel.
72He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.
“The facts of God are clear, just obey them!”~ Jon Barnes
Since God is our Father and He created all things, it is natural for us to Love, Respect, and Admire the Author and Finisher of our Faith, life, and being. Visiting new cultures and seeing new faces can only increase the magnitude of pure worship for God and His Amazing efforts and variety of creation.
I pray that you can see God’s Hand and Face on all that He is and does.Try not to take for granted the movement of air, wind, water, and Spirit, which is given by God freely to all of His Children.Avoid becoming a disobedient child, full of hate, anger, and confusion, because it is not worth the effort.
As a representative of love, justice, kindness, and honor, walk with God’s truth to daily enjoy the Facts of Life, Love, and Liberty with our Creator.Recognize your beauty and richness in talent to give, share, and shine with others, who are on this daily Love Journey to Heaven.
Which Trip will you choose to vacation in spirit forever?
Enjoy The Reading
Ezra’s Prayer concerning Intermarriage
9 When these things had been done, the Jewish leaders came to me and said, “Many of the people of Israel, and even some of the priests and Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the other peoples living in the land. They have taken up the detestable practices of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites.2 For the men of Israel have married women from these people and have taken them as wives for their sons. So the holy race has become polluted by these mixed marriages. Worse yet, the leaders and officials have led the way in this outrage.”
3 When I heard this, I tore my cloak and my shirt, pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down utterly shocked.4 Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel came and sat with me because of this outrage committed by the returned exiles. And I sat there utterly appalled until the time of the evening sacrifice.
5 At the time of the sacrifice, I stood up from where I had sat in mourning with my clothes torn. I fell to my knees and lifted my hands to the Lord my God.6 I prayed,
“O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens.7 From the days of our ancestors until now, we have been steeped in sin. That is why we and our kings and our priests have been at the mercy of the pagan kings of the land. We have been killed, captured, robbed, and disgraced, just as we are today.
8 “But now we have been given a brief moment of grace, for the Lord our God has allowed a few of us to survive as a remnant. He has given us security in this holy place. Our God has brightened our eyes and granted us some relief from our slavery.9 For we were slaves, but in his unfailing love our God did not abandon us in our slavery. Instead, he caused the kings of Persia to treat us favorably. He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God and repair its ruins. He has given us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem.
10 “And now, O our God, what can we say after all of this? For once again we have abandoned your commands!11 Your servants the prophets warned us when they said, ‘The land you are entering to possess is totally defiled by the detestable practices of the people living there. From one end to the other, the land is filled with corruption.12 Don’t let your daughters marry their sons! Don’t take their daughters as wives for your sons. Don’t ever promote the peace and prosperity of those nations. If you follow these instructions, you will be strong and will enjoy the good things the land produces, and you will leave this prosperity to your children forever.’
13 “Now we are being punished because of our wickedness and our great guilt. But we have actually been punished far less than we deserve, for you, our God, have allowed some of us to survive as a remnant.14 But even so, we are again breaking your commands and intermarrying with people who do these detestable things. Won’t your anger be enough to destroy us, so that even this little remnant no longer survives?15 O Lord, God of Israel, you are just. We come before you in our guilt as nothing but an escaped remnant, though in such a condition none of us can stand in your presence.”
“My children act like my grandparents because I continue to train them in the ways my grandparents trained me, with God’s Speed.”
Quickly, we repent and look for guidance and ways to practice doing the good work of growing in God, so that we look and act just like God. My son looks at me the other day and said, WoW DaD, you look and act just like me! I quickly agreed with God’s Speed, since I still look as good as he does. LOL Copy God and your children will Copy You and God too, as you train them to do so, with God’s Speed!
What measure of faith are you using to accomplish this goal of training your children to worship God, love God, Act like God, and resist the temptations of the devil? My personal goal is to write, communicate, and transport this information around the world so that it reaches my children each day to let them know that I read, think, eat, sleep, work, and play with the tools God has given me from His Bible every day.
My daily exercises with God moves through my soul, body, and mind, at the Speed of light in order to get a look at myself, as I see God’s image in my personal mirror. My reflection looks like my Dad and Heavenly Father, just as your reflection should, as a child or an adult. I know that I am made in the image of God and I teach that we should all act like God and His light of Love that operates in our lives. This work of faith is your image in God, as His Children.
Are you copying the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is the physical copy of God and Child of God, who died for our sins and created a way for us to reconnect with God’s Image?
Enjoy The Reading
The Sabbath Year
25 While Moses was on Mount Sinai, the Lord said to him, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you have entered the land I am giving you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath rest before the Lord every seventh year. 3 For six years you may plant your fields and prune your vineyards and harvest your crops, 4 but during the seventh year the land must have a Sabbath year of complete rest. It is the Lord’s Sabbath. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards during that year. 5 And don’t store away the crops that grow on their own or gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. The land must have a year of complete rest. 6 But you may eat whatever the land produces on its own during its Sabbath. This applies to you, your male and female servants, your hired workers, and the temporary residents who live with you. 7 Your livestock and the wild animals in your land will also be allowed to eat what the land produces.
The Year of Jubilee
8 “In addition, you must count off seven Sabbath years, seven sets of seven years, adding up to forty-nine years in all. 9 Then on the Day of Atonement in the fiftieth year,[a] blow the ram’s horn loud and long throughout the land. 10 Set this year apart as holy, a time to proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors and return to your own clan. 11 This fiftieth year will be a jubilee for you. During that year you must not plant your fields or store away any of the crops that grow on their own, and don’t gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. 12 It will be a jubilee year for you, and you must keep it holy. But you may eat whatever the land produces on its own. 13 In the Year of Jubilee each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors.
14 “When you make an agreement with your neighbor to buy or sell property, you must not take advantage of each other. 15 When you buy land from your neighbor, the price you pay must be based on the number of years since the last jubilee. The seller must set the price by taking into account the number of years remaining until the next Year of Jubilee. 16 The more years until the next jubilee, the higher the price; the fewer years, the lower the price. After all, the person selling the land is actually selling you a certain number of harvests. 17 Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I am the Lord your God.
18 “If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations. 19 Then the land will yield large crops, and you will eat your fill and live securely in it. 20 But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?’ 21 Be assured that I will send my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years. 22 When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the large crop of the sixth year. In fact, you will still be eating from that large crop when the new crop is harvested in the ninth year.
Redemption of Property
23 “The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me.
24 “With every purchase of land you must grant the seller the right to buy it back.25 If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and is forced to sell some family land, then a close relative should buy it back for him. 26 If there is no close relative to buy the land, but the person who sold it gets enough money to buy it back,27 he then has the right to redeem it from the one who bought it. The price of the land will be discounted according to the number of years until the next Year of Jubilee. In this way the original owner can then return to the land. 28 But if the original owner cannot afford to buy back the land, it will remain with the new owner until the next Year of Jubilee. In the jubilee year, the land must be returned to the original owners so they can return to their family land.
29 “Anyone who sells a house inside a walled town has the right to buy it back for a full year after its sale. During that year, the seller retains the right to buy it back.30 But if it is not bought back within a year, the sale of the house within the walled town cannot be reversed. It will become the permanent property of the buyer. It will not be returned to the original owner in the Year of Jubilee. 31 But a house in a village—a settlement without fortified walls—will be treated like property in the countryside. Such a house may be bought back at any time, and it must be returned to the original owner in the Year of Jubilee.
32 “The Levites always have the right to buy back a house they have sold within the towns allotted to them. 33 And any property that is sold by the Levites—all houses within the Levitical towns—must be returned in the Year of Jubilee. After all, the houses in the towns reserved for the Levites are the only property they own in all Israel. 34 The open pastureland around the Levitical towns may never be sold. It is their permanent possession.
Redemption of the Poor and Enslaved
35 “If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and cannot support himself, support him as you would a foreigner or a temporary resident and allow him to live with you. 36 Do not charge interest or make a profit at his expense. Instead, show your fear of God by letting him live with you as your relative. 37 Remember, do not charge interest on money you lend him or make a profit on food you sell him. 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.
39 “If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and is forced to sell himself to you, do not treat him as a slave. 40 Treat him instead as a hired worker or as a temporary resident who lives with you, and he will serve you only until the Year of Jubilee. 41 At that time he and his children will no longer be obligated to you, and they will return to their clans and go back to the land originally allotted to their ancestors. 42 The people of Israel are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt, so they must never be sold as slaves. 43 Show your fear of God by not treating them harshly.
44 “However, you may purchase male and female slaves from among the nations around you. 45 You may also purchase the children of temporary residents who live among you, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, 46 passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat them as slaves, but you must never treat your fellow Israelites this way.
47 “Suppose a foreigner or temporary resident becomes rich while living among you. If any of your fellow Israelites fall into poverty and are forced to sell themselves to such a foreigner or to a member of his family, 48 they still retain the right to be bought back, even after they have been purchased. They may be bought back by a brother, 49 an uncle, or a cousin. In fact, anyone from the extended family may buy them back. They may also redeem themselves if they have prospered. 50 They will negotiate the price of their freedom with the person who bought them. The price will be based on the number of years from the time they were sold until the next Year of Jubilee—whatever it would cost to hire a worker for that period of time. 51 If many years still remain until the jubilee, they will repay the proper proportion of what they received when they sold themselves. 52 If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, they will repay a small amount for their redemption. 53 The foreigner must treat them as workers hired on a yearly basis. You must not allow a foreigner to treat any of your fellow Israelites harshly.54 If any Israelites have not been bought back by the time the Year of Jubilee arrives, they and their children must be set free at that time. 55 For the people of Israel belong to me. They are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
“When God walks with you, all of your prayers, worship, praise, service, and offerings are accepted unto Him and are counted as the good works of ThanksGiving and right standing with Him.” ~ Jon Barnes
Praying is like talking to God with your thoughts, actions, soul, and being throughout the day. Your connection is true and centered on communication with God continually, because you value God’s integrity, as there is so much to learn and do. This allows for you to avoid the devilish traps from the enemy of evil, by mobilizing your winning offense of faith into action, from your personal closet.
Worship and praise are actions of thanksgiving that further activates fervent, continuous prayer that cycles throughout the day and night, even while you sleep! Your love and connection to God is all of the time, as you see the hand of God in your life, helping others and doing the good work. Naturally, the light of God is always on in your life and it is an example that God really exists.
Service and offerings of thanksgiving are given to God because you love Him, like a Father, and you would like to show your appreciation with the wonderful relationship you have with your dad! Obeying God’s instructions of wisdom and understanding comes with an inheritance of eternal value of everlasting proportions and portions. Give God your all and He will Give All to You.
Are you Giving your all to God or are you hiding your best in your closet?
Enjoy Today’s Reading
Abraham’s Faith Tested
22 Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called.
“Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.”
2 “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”
3 The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about.4 On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.5 “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”
6 So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together,7 Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?”
8 “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.
9 When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice.11 At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”
12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”
13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15 Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven.16 “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that17 I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants[a] beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies.18 And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”
19 Then they returned to the servants and traveled back to Beersheba, where Abraham continued to live.
20 Soon after this, Abraham heard that Milcah, his brother Nahor’s wife, had borne Nahor eight sons.21 The oldest was named Uz, the next oldest was Buz, followed by Kemuel (the ancestor of the Arameans),22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.23 (Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) In addition to these eight sons from Milcah,24 Nahor had four other children from his concubine Reumah. Their names were Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
“After years of learning, reading, studying, practicing, growing, and loving, you are now ready to inspire and do the Good Work yourself, which is to love God with all of your heart, mind, body, and soul, along with loving your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Jon Barnes
Few will pass the test of reading, studying, learning, following, and doing the simple instructions of practicing their faith in God. Many will reject the preaching, teaching, examples, miracles, and commandments of God, by creating fake news, fakes gods, fake religions, fake laws, and fake lifestyles to satisfy and worship greed, lust, things, power, and other evil spirits doomed for The Fire Pit.
When you reject God’s love and lifestyle from entering into your heart, you close the narrow door into heaven, because you refuse to repent, change, and follow God’s suggestions. You cannot get into heaven unless you follow Christ, who will certify that you completed assignments, quizzes, test, lectures, projects, or relevant work that was necessary to fulfill the requirements and credits. You cannot buy your certification.
Jesus obeyed His Father and follow the program of instructions that was given to Him. He chose to get the Doctorate Certification, being the first and only to graduate with Magna Cum Laude sacrificial lamb skinned degree, with the shedding of His Blood on the cross, for our sins on Calvary. The blood of Christ washes away our sins as we repent, learn, comply, and apply the commandments and lifestyle set before us.
Are you following your own lifestyle to hell or are you connected to the Blood of the Lamb to certify your graduation credentials and lifestyle of God’s ways and order?
Enjoy Today’s Reading
The Vine and the Branches
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command.15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.17 This is my command: Love each other.
The World Hates the Disciples
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[b] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well.24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’[c]
The Work of the Holy Spirit
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
“I always knew that I would be a writer, because I wanted to write about the Truth, God’s Truth.”
~ Jon Barnes
Long Time Coming
I would sit in my Grandfather’s church and listen to his sermons and respected his efforts to work for God. I would sit in my Grandmother’s lap, as a small boy, rocking away to the songs she moaned and sung. Both their work ethics were enormously rich, full of hope, dreams, and passion for God. They helped a lot of people and someone needed to write about these amazing people. My grandparents chiseled the message into my heart, provoking me into becoming excellent!
If you are not provoked by the memory of your parents or grandparents to become better, by doing the good work, then your life will suck, since you know better and refuse to read, listen, learn, and change from your wicked ways. Your clay will be broken into millions of tiny pieces by God, because you are of no Good Use to Him in His Kingdom. Why are you so evil, hard headed, and stiff necked. Why don’t you live out your true purpose? Why did you give your life and soul to the devil, father of lies? Don’t be wicked, sorry, and lazy, fight! Now Get to Work!
God created an organic outcome in Christ Jesus from the Cross to repent, change, and move forward in His Spirit, as true believers fighting the Good Fight of Love. We all know the story and have made our beds in heaven or hell. My love for you all is still pure, organic, and honest, whether you make you home with God or enslaved with the devil. Organically, your soul will be fuel for the fire, with gnashing of teeth in Permanent Perpetual Torment or with God, seeing and knowing all things as He alone does. I choose the Organic Option of Opulence, which is my Ongoing, Oval, Observation of God’s Obvious love for us. know that your choice has been placed in the books and God knows your fate, right now!
Since you know your fate, why are you living a lie?
Enjoy today’s reading
Mark 11New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples,2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”
4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it,5 some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]
10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts
12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’[c]? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’[d]”
18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples[e] went out of the city.
20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.23 “Truly[f] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” [g]
The Authority of Jesus Questioned
27 They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him.28 “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”
29 Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.30 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”
31 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)
33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”