This is the Menorah as described in Exodus 37. You will notice the six branches and the tree in the middle. The Menorah light up the Holy of Holies and is why Jesus is called “the Light of the world” (Exodus 27:21 John 8:12)You will notice that the tree supports the branches (Romans 11:18). In Revelations, the seven Menorahs stand for the spirits of the seven churches Asia Minor (Revelations 1:12-16). When Moses came down from the mountain, his face shone with the glory of G_d and in the same way, when Jesus is alive and breathing in us, our face changes, and people will know without a doubt that we serve the Lord (Exodus 34:29-35 Matthew 5:14-16).
Consider thoughtfully, you senseless (stupid ones) among the people;
And you [dull-minded] fools, when will you become wise and understand?
He who made the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?
He who instructs the nations,
Does He not rebuke and punish,
He who teaches man knowledge?
The LORD knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath (vain, empty, futile) (Psalms 94:8-11).
One of the most difficult concepts to grasp about this “G_d of the Universe” is that He is not like mankind. Mankind tends to be “one-sided” that is, “G_d should always meet my needs but I don’t need to change my ways.” The Lord looks beyond the flesh to see what is going on inside our hearts and is not fooled by the words coming out of our mouths. G_d sees what we do and hears what we say when we think “no one has seen my misdeeds or heard my judgmental words”. Because of this, the Cross which stands on the mountain of Calvary that all who run to it are forgiven.
You know our strengths and weaknesses. If we think we are righteous and immune to failure, we delude ourselves. Because we cannot save ourselves, Jesus came at just the right time and the blood he shed on Calvary atoned for this broke down the wall between you and fallen mankind. Help me daily to cling hold of the horns of the altar and may my heart be open to you in all things. I pray for my families, my law enforcement officers, EMT staff, teachers, preachers, military members, my city of Stacy, my state of MN, my USA, and lastly, the ministry of encouragement that you have called me to.
Reading #1 – Exodus 37
Reading #2 – Psalms 69
Reading #3 – Proverbs 7
Reading #4 – Jonah 1
Reading #5 – 2 Corinthians 8
Exodus 37 – Construction Continues. The ark, altar, and carrying poles were made of Acacia wood. The reason is, the Acacia tree was a natural resource in the area where the nation was temporarily living. Acacia wood is a durable material that would withstand the weight of the structures (1-3). Because the people were to be mobile, the ark also had to mobile. Because the ark contained the covenant, it would be entrusted to the priests to carry it so the incident like that which happened in David’s time would not occur (4-5, 1 Chronicles 13:6-10). The reason the ark was covered in gold is that gold was considered G_d’s purest metal (). The lampstand or Menorah would be made out of gold and has six branches; the reason for having six branches is that it resembles mankind’s weakness to sin coupled with the Devil’s traps; the strength of the nation comes from the tree that is between the six branches; I will put up a picture of the Menorah on my web page under “pictures” (17-24). The altar of incense would also be made out of Acacia wood and covered in gold (25-28). The holy anointing oil and incense were made specifically for use in the temple and could not be made for daily use in any way, shape, or form (29, Exodus 30:30-33).
Psalms 69 – A Cry of Distress and Imprecation on Adversaries. When we get ourselves into trouble, like the writer of this Psalm, the Lord helps us to work through the situation and by it dig ourselves out of the pit we are in (1-3). The reason the Lord doesn’t spirit us out of the trouble we caused, is that if He did, He would have to do it again (Proverbs 19:19). When we sin, we will pay a huge price for it and that is the destruction of our integrity. When we repent that is, “turn 180 degrees”, G_d forgives us and the blood of the new covenant covers the iniquity. Although we are forgiven in the courts of the Lord G_d, the world, on the other hand, will heckle us and spread the word “___ the great Christian is a hypocrite because he/she did _____” (6-12, Isaiah 28:1, 29:1-2). When we have confessed our sinful actions, we have peace with our Lord, and that peace shuts out the sound of the hecklers (Mike Krier). It is human nature to pray for retribution from the Lord upon our enemies (19-25). The funny thing about prayer is that it brings us closer to the heart of G_d and causes us to change the tone of our desire from “destroy___ for what they did” to “Lord forgive them for they know not what they do” (33-36, Acts 7:54-60).
Proverbs 7 – Wiles of the Prostitute. Prostitution is a very old profession that dates back to ancient Mesopotamia (Gerda Lerner). While the world sees nothing wrong with utilizing this service, the Lord sees the heart of the woman/man and his/her handlers and warns his children “stay away from her/him” because the Devil utilizes this person to trap the unsuspecting (2-3). For the same reason, we tell our children “to stay away from _____” or, “do not do _____”. When the child asks the beloved question “why”, all we can tell them is “trust me”. Regretfully, the child will gravitate towards the place or situation and then find the answer to the question “why” sort of like the young man (22-23). When the child returns home or is calling from the Police station “I am in jail”, it is the greatest test of our parental abilities because we will have to help them navigate the waters to help lead our children to learn from the mistake and take steps to hopefully never return to the sin again (24-27, John 4:13-19).
Jonah 1 – Jonah’s Disobedience. Jonah had been chosen by G_d to speak to the heathen nation Nineveh (1-2). The calling frightened Jonah just like Moses was frightened of facing Egypt after the events that drove him of Egypt (3, Exodus 2:11-13, Exodus 4:10). Jonah did not take into account that no matter how far he ran, there is no place he could go that G_d could not reach him which put Jonah in a peculiar position in which he had to chose “ignore G_d to the detriment of the people on board the ship with him (4-11). When Jonah confessed to being the cause of the storm confronting the ship, he had to make a choice to stay and let the ship sink or be thrown into the raging sea and let the people go to their destination safely (12). Out of fear of the Lord G_d Jonah served, the people tried to row the ship out of trouble which was a fruitless attempt (13). So, with a prayer requesting G_d’s favor with the hopes that they would not be found guilty of shedding innocent blood, they threw him into the sea (14-16). To the crew, the matter was resolved because the storm calmed and the journey towards the destination continued but Jonah’s journey had just started (17).
2 Corinthians 8 – Great Generosity. The churches in Macedonia are being held up before the church at Corinth as an example of what happens when the people excel in generosity (1-4). The first step towards being generous is the giving of themselves to the Lord becoming obedient which led to the people becoming enthusiastic about giving to the point that they did not consider their personal interests (5). As the pastor of the church at Corinth, Titus is being encouraged to build the church at Corinth so that they too can experience G_d’s amazing power among them (6). The practice of “joyful giving” is difficult because, we think “what about the things I need, and/or bills that need to be paid?” Learning to trust the Lord’s judgment by letting go of our wallets is difficult because we don’t see everything that lies ahead. When we start giving, we usually start small and when we see our needs getting met, we open our wallets a little bit more until we give liberally (7-9). The church at Corinth was eager to give when they heard about the needs but then “buyer’s remorse” sets in and they clutched their wallets (10-12). Paul assured the church that they would not be holding the burden of the ministry by themselves but that it be shared with all of the churches and that G_d (13-15). The money that was being raised was for the ministry to line Paul’s pockets and every penny would be accounted for. The final exhortation was that Titus was being sent to encourage and grow the people not to be an “arm twister” (16-24).
He also chose David His servant
And took him from the sheepfolds;
From tending the ewes with nursing young He brought him
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.
So David shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart;
And guided them with his skillful hands (Psalms 78:70-72).
David’s life and ministry stood in stark contrast to Israel’s unfaithfulness in the time of Saul. In the same way, when we walk in unfaithfulness and destruction finds its way to our doorstep, it may look like “the worst thing ever” and it proves out to be that way. The problem is, that just as surely as destruction wreaks havoc in our lives, it is also just the 1st act and a new act is about to begin. When Jesus came to this earth through Mary, the nation was standing on the edge of a cliff and about to jump. The Devil, our ardent enemy, stood ready to push them over the cliff and be done with them but then, the act ends a new one begins. When David became king over the combined nation, it was a new day and a new King and that is how it is with us His children.
There is no greater sign of love than for one person to lay down his/her life for his/her friends. When I walked in the counsel of the enemy, I did foolish things not considering who you are and what you stand for. Help me to walk in the counsel of G_dly and to stand in your judgment, not the world. I pray for my Law Enforcement Officers, EMT staff, Teachers, Preachers, military, my city of Stacy, my state of MN, and MY USA.
Reading #1 – Exodus 36
Reading #2 – Psalms 68
Reading #3 – Proverbs 6
Reading #4 – Obadiah 1
Reading #5 – 2 Corinthians 7
Exodus 36 – The Tabernacle Underwritten. Bezalel and Ohliab were gifted artisans who were called by G_d to build the Tabernacle and train others in the process. What struck me the most was how these two men compared to Solomon. These men put their talents to use and not just talk about their skillsets. Solomon, on the other hand, asked for wisdom and knowledge on how to lead the people but didn’t employ it in his life as you’ll see in the chapters about his life (1-2, 1 Chronicles 2:9-10). The Tabernacle was to be constructed according to the Lord’s design. When the people were invited to support the construction by donating the supplies and time, people gave more than was needed and would have gladly continued. At one point, though, the workers had to ask Moses to request the people “to stop giving because they had more than enough” (3-7). Everything in the temple was built for functionality that is, it had a purpose and use. The construction was a community project so everyone in the community had a play in it.
Psalms 68 – G_d of Sinai and of the Sanctuary. When the Lord G_d is “G_d” over the sanctuary of our heart, the weapons used against us, the enemy that opposes us, and fears that gripped our life will fall away and that which was forged against us will lose strength (1-2, Psalms 110:1, Isaiah 54:16-17). But what does the Lord want from us in return? He wants to serve Him with a grateful heart, by allowing the direction of His heart to lead us in the pathway, and to honor Him with our whole heart (3-4, Micah 6:6-8). What the Lord G_d becomes Lord not just of our church but of our life, family, and community, we will not be ashamed of allowing Him into our life (5-9, Psalms 126:4-6, Romans 10:11). When we try to tell the world all about this Jesus character without him being Lord of our life, we will struggle immensely and this spills out in our battle against the Devil. Similarly, when our life is not in submission to the Lord with our sins covered in the blood, they will be found out primarily because the Devil will tell you when you least expect it (10-14, Acts 19:14-16). The Lord is a Mighty G_d who has, can, and always will lead His children in victory in any and all battles he/she may face (15-18). Whatever trouble that may confront our lives, if we can but trust Him through the process, He will lead us through storms though we may not see it (19-23). Because we have not been around for all of the years of mankind’s walk on earth, we have the Word of the Lord that depicts in short form the rise and fall of mankind, how men/women who have gone before us have tripped over the “cornerstone”, and how even a foolish man like David was still loved despite his failings (24-27). The only power we are given is “control over our life, passions, and temptations”. The world will not like what we do but cannot argue over results (28-30). We may not understand what the Lord is doing in our life so we need to praise Him and trust Him even if the world appears to be collapsing around us (31-35).
Proverbs 6 – Parental Counsel. One of the most important things about mankind (both male and female) is that they are prone to getting into trouble (Job 14:1). It is for this reason, I believe, that we have stories about David’s epic failure, Solomon’s pride and arrogance, and the rise and fall of kingdoms so that we can see what happens when a person takes an innocuous right/left turn. It is also for this reason that Teacher Solomon is advising his sons to take active steps to get out of trouble and to do so without delay (1-5). Remember, our enemy the Devil never stops working against you until the day you go home to the Lord for that reason, we need to always be on our toes, to be faithful to the Lord, and maintain humility (1 Peter 5:8).
Obadiah 1 – Edom Will Be Humbled. There is an important part of the G_d we serve and that is, “no one gets away with sin” (1-2). Edom was laughing at Israel’s demise not knowing the hour of their judgment. Although they had homes in the clefts of the mountain which should have provided protection from attack, the kingdom was eventually decimated in the 6th century BC by the Babylonian armies (3-6). Although Edom had many allies, they would all abandon her in her hour of need just like that which happened to Israel/Judah (7-9). Edom’s 1st king was Esau the firstborn son of Isaac and Rebecca. When Jacob and Rebecca caused problems for Esau without apologizing for their actions and making it right with Esau, a lifetime battle was started between the two boys; this was most likely the impetus for Solomon to warn his sons about taking immediate steps to rectify a wrong that the young man might commit (Proverbs 6:1-5). Despite what Jacob had done to Esau, the destruction of Edom was the result of the sinful practices of the nation (10-14). Herod the Great and Herod Agrippa were direct descendants of Esau (Acts 12:19). In the second half of Obadiah, we read about “the Day of the Lord” or the time of the Messianic Kingdom (15-21).
2 Corinthians 7 – Paul Reveals His Heart. When it comes to our response to G_d’s correction, it should be our goal to make things right by clearing away the contamination of our life. While Paul’s letters to Corinth may seem rather harsh judgmental, he had a purpose for striking the tone because sin destroys every good thing in our life (1). Paul had invested a tremendous part of his time to plant and develop the church at Corinth and was not willing to stand idly by and see it implode. These people at Corinth were Paul’s students and children who dearly loved and would gladly die for them (2-4). As parents when we have to discipline our children, it isn’t easy because our actions and words may come across as “I hate you” when it could be the furthest thing from our minds. When Titus came to meet with Paul to talk about the good work being done in the church and how Paul’s letter was the medicine the church desperately needed, it was the encouragement that Paul needed at that time (5-11). The letter was a form of love just like a sincere conversation to your children by not pulling any punches (12-13). In scripture, there is a verse “wisdom is proved right by her actions” (Matthew 11:19) and this is particularly true in Paul’s dealing with Corinth because the outcome justified the means (14-16).
Notes from part 3 of Dr. Rex Allen’s Teaching
An Unstoppable Future in Christ Jesus.
Anything good comes from the Lord (James 1:17). To claim your unstoppable future, anointing, speak to the promises in Christ, you must first accept him into your life. If you don’t invite Jesus into your life, you won’t receive the blessings unless you repent and ask for forgiveness. His will must dominate your life. Christ cannot do anything through you until he has done something in you and owns you. You didn’t sign a contract when you come to Christ. The contract you work for him, he doesn’t work for you. He is there when you fall, hold you in his arms when you are hurting, broken, and have needs. For anything to work for you, his blood must flow through your life. We are called to be “co-laborers” in all things, he must be in control (1 Cor 3:9). The exact same promises, destinies, and direction spoken through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are spoken to us. The more the people grow in the Lord, the more they grow in faith and strengthened through the storms. G_d is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). The trick is that you must live your life in such a way as to please the Lord. By seeking his will, His promises gravitate towards us and the G_d, and you will see the G_d of the “Suddenlies” (James 4:7-8).
Before you were ever a physical breathing entity, you were thought and direction in the eyes of G_d (Jeremiah 1:5). We are a full product after being done in the Spiritual realm. This will be the generation that sees the coming of the Lord? We have the ability to no other generation has had and that is to be able to reach the loss. If you are struggling within your spirit with who you are, what you are doing in Christ Jesus. Isaiah 45:11 – sons and daughters of G_d. G_d never gets the glory for anything unless it was foretold or prophesied. “I want my people to live under a covenant blessing, a covenant of healing, and a covenant of wholeness” (Matthew 11:28). There is no place Jesus cannot get to heal you if you draw close to him instead of running away (Amos 3:3). You will live an unfulfilled life if you do not release the things that bind you and seek the Lord with all of your heart (). Through the triad, a connection is made and He answers the call. If He calls and you do not answer Him, you will miss it and not know the extent of it (Revelations 3:20-21, John 4:9-14). When we have a conversation with the Lord, it is almost always about a need in our life that supersedes physical needs. Personal add to that note: when we begin praying about the physical need, hurt, or pain in our life, it will be a springboard into the spiritual need. For example, if I am praying about the mean individual who is threatening my life, Jesus will turn that around so the prayer will be effective consider the case of Paul in light of the events that occurred at Stephen’s kangaroo court (Acts 8).
We treat the Lord like he is a vending machine that spits out the requested item after the coins have been rendered. A vending machine does not care how much you purchase from the machine and nor does it care how much weight is gained. For example, buying a diet coke after eating three fruit pies, Unfortunately, is only an illusion and a trap to get people to walk away from the Lord. If you are where you need to be in Jesus, then you should not be thirsting for the things of this life. Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are those whose hunger and thirst shall be filled. The word thirst means “people who want righteousness in their life will be filled”.
The unmet physical needs almost always are at the root of the things we do. It is the nature of our carnality to feel needed, cared for, physical needs met. When you pervert those needs, you have brought a great curse upon your life. It is sin that addresses the needs and desires of our hearts from a perverted standpoint. When sin takes over, you lose control and that is by design (Matthew 6:24). The flesh must be crucified and it must be given to Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:24, Romans 8:13-14). The more you give to Jesus the more you will want to live for him and the things of this world will hold no control over you. To thirst after righteousness means, you desire to live for Him and is will. Our spiritual condition will always be reflected in our physical actions. The worst the spiritual and the most tragic your life will be. Personal note: The G_d of the Universe will never lay out the plan of our life in its entirety so when we walk away from the Lord, we forfeit the blessings that would have been ours if we had kept the faith. The struggles we face indeed have a purpose and if we can just hold on one more day, one more hour, and not lose faith in our Lord, He will light the way for us. In Paul’s closing letter to Pastor Timothy, Paul has spoken fervently, wholeheartedly about the struggles he was facing not to boast about his prowess for dealing with pain but to remind them that the same G_d who called them will be the same G_d who hold them (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
My prayer for encouragement
May your grace surround my brothers and sisters especially Rex, Ron, and many others who are enduring severe medical issues. I know that we are not immune from medical issues nor having our work ripped up but, if we can just hold on for one more day, one more hour, and one more minute, we will see G_d’s plan unfold for our life’s mission. You have amazing plans for our lives and you give us all that we need so that we can effectively and efficiently minister to others. Thank you for everything that you do in our life.
The [empty-headed] fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt and evil, and have committed repulsive injustice;
There is no one who does good.
God has looked down from heaven upon the children of men
To see if there is anyone who understands,
Who seeks after God [who requires Him, who longs for Him as essential to life].
Every one of them has turned aside and fallen away;
Together they have become filthy and corrupt;
There is no one who does good, no, not even one (Psalms 53:1-3).
While this Psalm appears to be talking to the world, I want you to consider that this is written to G_d’s children and the nation in particular. This Psalm is challenging the nation to take a hard look at his/her life to see if there is any way in them that is wrong and take steps towards reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5). We may never say, “there is no G_d” but will act and talk like it. Of course, mankind will listen with one ear and flush the information out the other and then wonder why their world has collapsed around them. I encourage you today to take a hard look at your life, to see if there is an area that is in disagreement with the Word of G_d.
One of your greatest desires for your children is that they would be happy and content. Sin is a seed that causes discontent, anger, frustration, and leads to war. The Devil knows this and all he needs is a small crack in a door or window to get into even the strongest of Christians. Please check my life to see if there is an area that is not surrendered to you and help me to bring you glory and honor in all that I do. Please be with my law enforcement officers, EMT staff, teachers, preachers, and military. Lord, we pray for rain upon our land.
Reading #1 – Exodus 35
Reading #2 – Psalms 67
Reading #3 – Proverbs 5
Reading #4 – Amos 9
Reading #5 – 2 Corinthians 6
Exodus 35 – The Sabbath and the Temple. The Sabbath or “day of rest” was a time set aside for the people to rest that is, “no work was to be done” (2-3). The offering that was directed by the Lord asked “anybody whose heart is moved” so, it was not compulsory (20-29). The articles requested were for the Holy place and the Holy of Holies. Everything that was requested would be put to use and nothing would be wasted (4-9). Everybody who had a skill or talent was invited to work on the project. Two men were pointed out specifically because of the unique gifts they possessed and these men would train others sort of like an apprenticeship (30-35).
Psalms 67 – The Nations Exhorted to Praise G_d. When we are obedient to our Lord King’s call upon our life, our hearts will overflow in willingness to serve, and kindhearted to bless (1-2). For “all people to praise the Lord” and “for every knee to bow”, it all begins in the confines of G_d’s people (3-6, Romans 14:11). For the earth to yield its harvest, peace must be on the earth not as the world gives it but as the Lord approves it (6-7, John 14:27).
Proverbs 5 – Pitfalls of Immorality. One of the hardest things to get through our hard heads is that G_d’s commands and precepts boil down to two key factors: obedience and faithfulness. There are things we are admonished to do that would seem to be non-sensical. The prostitute mentioned (1-6) is setting a trap that most people will not catch onto until it is too late. The Lord’s goal is not to make us “perfect examples” but to get us to see the trap for what it is and not step into it. The prostitute’s weapons are a smile and an enticing body for which many see as “she or he loves me” and will miss her/his diabolical plan for your life, your home, and your community. The thing is, we too have weapons and one of them happens to be a smile and an open hand that will lead that person from his/her pathway to the eternal pathway; kindness is the key to unlocking a hardened heart.
Amos 9 – G_d’s Judgment Unavoidable. The nation Israel was being hurdled towards a time of great calamity and there was no safe place to go to (). The disobedience of the nation had become a stench in G_d’s nostrils. The Lord had rescued them from Egypt’s whip”, provided for them along their journey, and gave them lands they did not work for (). The thing is, just like it is the present-day world, not everybody in the nation was given to pagan worship nor had they bowed a knee to Baal (7-8, 1 Kings 19:18). Israel because of their sinful ways caused nations that once supported them to become part of the insurgency. The same Lord who leads the nation of Egypt would be the same G_d who would command its destruction and the reason is, He’d rather destroy than give his people over to the Devil (9-10).
2 Corinthians 6 – Their Ministry Commended. Paul is speaking about the problems the church at Corinth was experiencing. Receiving G_d’s grace and not changing the course of your life makes His promises null and void or “receiving it in vain” (). To G_d, the present-time is His time of favor and the best time to get things right before Him (2). Because Paul was a faithful servant, made it his life’s mission to minister the word of G_d without obstructions, pitfalls, and/or skeletons in the closet (3-10); because he ordered his life this way, he demanded it of his preachers, teachers, and the people within the church (11-13). The notion to be “unequally bound” implies connecting two different animals and making them work together; no matter how fast or tall the one animal is, the team will always be negatively affected by the slowest animal. In the same way, when two people forge a friendship if one is a born-again Bible-believing Christian and the other is not, they will be unable to minister to each other or lift each other up (14-16). While this sounds like I am saying “avoid the world at all costs”, you can minister to the world but do not let the world impact your life negatively. When we walk in obedience to the Lord, He walks with us, ministers to our needs, opens doors that we never thought possible, and brings great joy into our life. The world will always have its “community fairs” to entice us but it is our responsibility to always be obedient and faithful in all things (17-18).
Reading #1 – Exodus 34
Reading #2 – Psalms 66
Reading #3 – Proverbs 4
Reading #4 – Amos 8
Reading #5 – 2 Corinthians 5
Exodus 34 – The Two Stone Tablets Replaced. Moses had broken the original tablets in anger over the rebellion that had occurred. Moses is told to chisel out two more stone tablets and bring them up on the mountain to meet with G_d and he was to go up alone (). Early in the morning, Moses went up on the mountain with the two stone tablets he had chiseled out of rock. When he got to the meeting place the Lord appeared to him and declared “the Name of the Lord” (6-7). Before the Covenant was renewed, Moses requested favor for the people knowing that the Lord could have rejected his pleas but the air would be cleared between Moses and the Lord (8-9). Because the Lord owned Israel after saving them from the pit they were in and taking them by the arm to the mountain and then to the new land, he had absolute right to establish the laws of the covenant. The nation owed it to the Lord to absolutely obey the covenant (10-11). This covenant was being established before the people stepped one foot in the new land. Everything the land that was to be destroyed no matter how much you can find a use for the object. The reason is, leaving the object would be an enticement to worship the idol (12-17). The articles of worship laid in G_d’s laws, commands, and precepts would become the rule of life for G_d’s people regardless of the world’s modus operandi (18-27). When Moses came down from the mountain, his face shone from the light of G_d it was an outward expression of an inward confession (29-35).
Psalms 66 – Praise for G_d’s Mighty Deeds and for His Answer to Prayer. Singing praise to the Lord is not a song, a hymn, nor a poem, it is an outward expression of an inward conviction (Mike Krier). We make “Praise Glorious” when it is spoken in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). When the Lord begins to bless a church community, family, and/or individual’s life, the world will come to be part of it because, it benefits them; some will stay, others will wane, and still others will turn around and leave a sort of like what happened in Jesus’ time. The thing is, no matter what anybody else does, it doesn’t mean we have to change our opinion (1-4, Matthew 13:1-9). The word of G_d calls his children to be faithful no matter what happens (5-10). Walking with the Lord doesn’t mean that we will never see bad times nor does it mean trouble will never find its way to our tents but if we can just hold onto the hand of G_d just one more day (11-12). Part of being faithful is honoring our promises even if it hurts and never offer excuses for what comes out of our mouth (13-15). The most powerful weapon in our arsenal is our “testimony” that is, “what the Lord has done for us (16-20).
Proverbs 4 – The key element to obedience is “listening to G_d” and acting on what He tells us to do. We know part of G_d’s desire for our life because we have seen how what He does in the lives of His children. Equally, we know what does not please Him because we have seen His children take a right or left-hand turn and get off-kilter. The father in this chapter is telling his sons to “listen to my instruction” and pay attention so that they can gain understanding and discernment. Of course, the father had reasons for his instructions mostly because of the failures of his life that precipitated this proverb (1-2).
Amos 8 – Basket of Fruit and Israel’s Captivity. Since the time of Moses, the people had been warned and dire prophecies had been uttered but the people refused to listen. The over-ripe fruit in the basket was evident proof of the workmanship of the prophets who tried to warn the people. The destruction that would befall both houses of Israel was not G_d’s best for the nation but it was a plan that was precipitated by the leadership and the followership (1-3). The people adhered to the festivities but their heart was far from the Lord in the same way when we celebrate Christmas by buying presents but are bitter, envious, and backstabbing (4-7). The problem is, the captivity would not be just for 70 years but until the day of the crucifixion when the people would look on Him who they had pierced (8-10, Zechariah 12:10). The hunger for the word of the Lord or the 400 years of silence would precipitate the coming of the Messiah (11-14). The problem is, when there is silence from G_d’s throne, the enemy steps into the void and spews his worst so that people would know without a doubt the difference between serving the Lord and the world (Malachi 3:16-18).
2 Corinthians 5 – The Temporal and Eternal. We live in a “Temporary” world in that it is subject to change and it does so regularly. In light of this, the struggles that we face are also “temporary” because they too come and go often when we are not paying attention. What we do with this temporary existence will either credit or discredit us (1-4). While we walk in this world, we are given the Spirit of the Lord to guide us, direct us, and help us to look beyond the current struggles (5). While pain is not good nor does is it helpful, it can build us up depending on our point of view (6-8). It should always be our goal in life to do that which pleases the Lord even if we are in pain (9). Everything we do even while we are in pain we will be held accountable for and that includes the time we spend, and the resources we are given (10). We can either fear the world and do nothing with our lives or walk in obedience to G_d. While we can always come up with a clever excuse for fearing the world when we have the mandate to fear the Lord and think “G_d knows my heart and He’ll forgive me” but when we are judged at the end of our life, we will be judged for what we did in the light of those we leave behind (11-15). When we judge others for how they live their “temporary life”, we don’t have a whole lot to stand on because, if the same spotlight was shined on our life, we’d be seen for who we are (16-19). Our calling in life is to be “an ambassador” not a moral compass. When people look at our life, it should be the sweet flavor that compels them to see the difference and wants to be part of it (20-21).
O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic and glorious and excellent is Your name in all the earth!
You have displayed Your splendor above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babes, You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
That You might silence the enemy and make the revengeful cease (Psalms 8:1-2).
One of the hardest things to comprehend, for me at least, is that the simplest things evade us. How is it possible that one little baby by his birth alone, which was prophecied over 200 years earlier, was missed by Israel’s teachers? The saving message of the cross has been around for over 2000 years and because of it several millions of people from every walk of life have come to accept Jesus as their personal savior. The reason G_d does not speak to the super-spiritual, the super-strong, and/or the super-educated is that He would have to get through their ego first.
May I be available to you today. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you. I pray for my law enforcement officers, EMT staff, Teachers, Preachers, military City of Stacy, State of MN, and my USA. I pray specifically for those in a need for a special touch from you today