Hear my prayer O’ Lord…

As we look around us today it would seem that our country is going to hell in a handbasket.

Whereas graft and corruption have always existed in our government, the fact is they don’t even try to hide it anymore. It’s obvious and it’s all up in our face.

As believers, how should we respond to this?

The article I’m posting below, I think, should give us some direction in that regard.

Listen to Daniel’s lament as he prayed before the Lord for forgiveness, for his sins and for the sins of the nation:

Daniel 9:1-11
New Living Translation

Daniel’s Prayer for His People
9 It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians.

2 During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the Lord, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years.

3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes.

4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:

“O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.

5 But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations.

6 We have refused to listen to your servants the prophets, who spoke on your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land.

7 “Lord, you are in the right; but as you see, our faces are covered with shame. This is true of all of us, including the people of Judah and Jerusalem and all Israel, scattered near and far, wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you.

8 O Lord, we and our kings, princes, and ancestors are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.

9 But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.

10 We have not obeyed the Lord our God, for we have not followed the instructions he gave us through his servants the prophets.

11 All Israel has disobeyed your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to your voice.

“So now the solemn curses and judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured down on us because of our sin.

Let us each take our cue from Daniel, and let us truly lament before the Lord and be sorry and repent for our sins, as individuals and also as a nation, for all of us have missed the mark and have sinned against the Lord.

Let us do as God tells us to do and 2 Chronicles 7:14,

“That if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray; turn from their wicked ways and seek my face, then I will hear their prayers in heaven and I will heal their land’

True repentance is a slow ongoing process, dealing with each sin in our life as God reveals them to us.

Total and utter destruction of each sin is what is required.

This means that we must truly be sorry for our sins (we must repent, which means change the way we think) in order to obtain God’s forgiveness.

What sorrows have you known?

Have you experienced the death of a loved one, a ruined life, or regrettable mistakes?

If your heart is grieving, turn to God for comfort and assurance. He hears your cries, tears, and disappointments.

The Book of Lamentations was read publicly each year to remind the Jews that their sin had caused the destruction of Jerusalem.

Lamentations also recorded both the faithfulness of God and the repentance of His people.

Sin brings punishment. But sorrow, confession, and repentance bring healing and wholeness.

The Book of Lamentations, though unfortunately not one of the most popular or often-read books, conveys one great truth.

History belongs to the forces of righteousness, not those of iniquity.

Many truths emerge from a serious study of this book.

Notice several of them.

A society or nation that “sells out” will deteriorate and eventually perish. The roll call of great people and great civilizations affirms this truth.

Popular speakers and writers refer often to Rome, but this great empire was only one of many to flourish and then fizzle.

One who reads history sees this recur with regularity.

Another truth assures us that all is not hopeless.

Those who anchor themselves by faith to God and his purposes have resources to meet any crisis.

A third message from this great book comes directly from the life of Jeremiah.

When the crisis comes, wise people listen to God’s messengers.

Jerusalem could have escaped the heartbreaking misery she experienced if the king and people had been willing to heed Jeremiah’s advice.

Thur, December 30


by Michael D. Guinan

We have such structures and models available to us in the prayer of our Scriptures.

The loss of lament has been costly; we have much to gain by recovering it.

“At a certain time, a country was under attack by an assortment of Middle Eastern peoples. The crisis was acute and its leader called all the people to prayer.

This general description sounds painfully similar to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but, in fact, the time in question was about 850 B.C.

The country was the biblical kingdom of Judah. The enemies were from Ammon, Moab and Edom (today all part of Jordan).

The leader was the Davidic king, Jehoshaphat, and the prayer he called the people to was a lamentation prayer.

”We are powerless before this vast multitude that comes against us. We are at a loss what to do, hence our eyes are turned toward you”
(2 Chronicles 20:12)

Lamentation is a prayer for help coming out of pain, and it is very common in the Bible.

Over one third (50 or so) of the psalms are laments.

Lament frequently occurs in the Book of Job:

“Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?” (Job 3:11).

The prophets likewise cry out to God, such as Jeremiah does:

“Why is my pain continuous, my wound incurable…?” (15:18) and

Habakkuk: “…my legs tremble beneath me. I await the day of distress that will come upon the people who attack us” (3:16).

One whole book, Lamentations, expresses the confusion and suffering felt after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.

We find something similar in the New Testament as well. People who are afflicted cry out to Jesus for help. Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, shouts out, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” (Mark 10:47).

Jesus himself laments to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane,

“Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me…” (Mark 14:36).

In his agony on the cross, Jesus makes his own the words of Psalm 22,

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me…?”

Despite its wide-ranging presence in the Bible, we Christians have by and large lost touch with this dimension of prayer. It is something we need to recover.


When we feel blessed in life, when we experience goodness and wholeness, we turn to God in praise and thanksgiving.

But what happens when we experience just the opposite?

What happens when we are overcome by the presence of chaos, brokenness, suffering and death, or by a sudden sense of our human vulnerability, as in the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania?

When we hurt physically, we cry out in pain; when we hurt religiously, we cry out in lament.

Lamentation can be described as a loud, religious “Ouch!”

To begin with, the laments we find in Scripture are addressed directly to God:

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice!” (Psalm 130:1)

and “My soul, too, is utterly terrified; but you, O Lord, how long…?” (Psalm 6:4).

In more modern terms we might say,

“I call to you, O Lord, and all I get is your answering machine!”

We take our cries directly to the top. God, however, seems very far away,

“O my God, I cry out by day, and you answer not; by night, and there is no relief for me” (Psalm 22:3).

We ask heartfelt questions:

“How long, O Lord? Will you utterly forget me?” (Psalm 13:2),

which implies: I am at the end of my rope, and I cannot hold on much longer; and,

“Why, O Lord, do you stand aloof? Why hide in times of distress?” (Psalm 10:1),

which implies: “I do not understand what is going on; this makes no sense.

How long? Why?” These are not requests for information, but cries of pain.

The afflictions of the speaker(s) are described in broad, stereotyped ways with which all sufferers can identify:

sickness —

”…heal me, O Lord, for my body is in terror” (Psalm 6:3);

loneliness and alienation —

”My friends and my companions stand back because of my affliction…” (Psalm 38:12);

danger and mistreatment by others —

”O Lord,… save me from all my pursuers” (Psalm 7:2) and

even aging —

”Cast me not off in my old age…” (Psalm 71:9).

Finally, the ultimate affliction is physical death —

”For my soul is surfeited with troubles and my life draws near to the nether world” (Psalm 88:4).

All of these are manifestations of the realm of chaos and of brokenness invading and pulling our lives apart.


Lamentations often speak of enemies. At times these are enemies from outside the community, also known as “foreigners” or “the nations”:

“O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple” (Psalm 79:1).

At other times, it is an enemy from within who schemes and plots against the psalmist:

“I hear the whispers of the crowd…as they consult together against me” (Psalm 31:14).

On more than one occasion, the psalmist suggests to God things to do to these enemies, which are known as the so-called “cursing psalms”:

“So now, deliver their children to famine, do away with them by the sword….May cries be heard from their homes” (Jeremiah 18:21-22);

“All my enemies shall be put to shame in utter terror” (Psalm 6:11);

“Happy the man who shall repay you the evil you have done us! Happy the man who shall seize and smash your little ones against the rock!” (Psalm 137:8-9).

It is fairly obvious that as Christians we are not all that comfortable in speaking our pains, our doubts and our anger before God.

Lament leaves us more than a little uneasy.

Unlike the Jewish community (think of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, speaking his pain and confusion to God), we have lost a certain sense of lamentation, and this has been, in the words of one scholar, “a costly loss.”

What might we gain from a recovery of lamentation?


First, we feel, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and we might think, “I should not feel this way! I am losing my faith!”

Lament corrects a false, naïve and overly rationalistic view of faith.

In the Scriptures, faith is not simply an intellectual assent to some statement about God.

It is the trusting of our entire selves to God.

At times, we do experience God’s absence; we do feel alone and confused, and we doubt.

Doubt is not opposed to faith; despair is.

We see this in the case of the father who brought his son to Jesus for healing.

When Jesus encouraged the father to have faith, he replied,

“I do believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).

Even St. Paul tells us he was “perplexed, but not driven to despair” (2 Corinthians 4:8).

In despair we give up on our relationship with God.

Doubt, on the other hand, is a sign that our faith is alive and kicking; it is part of the rhythm of faith itself.

Lament is not a failure of faith, but an act of faith.

We cry out directly to God because deep down we know that our relationship with God counts; it counts to us and it counts to God.

Even if we do not experience the closeness, we believe that God does care.

Even if God seems not to hear, we believe that God is always within shouting distance.

In the Scriptures, God does not say, “Do not fear, I will take away all the pain and struggle.”

Rather, we hear, “You have no need to fear, since I am with you” (e.g., to Isaac, frightened of the Philistine king—Genesis 26:24;

to the anxious Moses being sent to confront Pharaoh—Exodus 3:11-12;

to the disciples when they see Jesus walking on the sea—Matthew 14:27) and together we will make it.

What Was Lost: Seeking Refuge in the Psalms
We will survive, yes, even death itself. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, our security can be shaken, and our faith as well. Perhaps it is not lamenting, but the failure to lament that expresses a lack of faith.

Secondly, in lamenting we cry to God, “Why, O Lord?” Our suffering is so big; it does not make any sense; it lacks meaning. The desire to find meaning is a strong one.

After the attacks on the World Trade Center, a photo made the rounds on the Internet showing what seemed to be a face (or a skull) visible in the smoke pouring out of the towers. Could this be a sign that this was the work of the devil? Others appealed to the predictions of Nostradamus and some of the superficial religious explanations of prominent media preachers to make sense of what had happened.

In our search for meaning, we can be tempted to look for cheap and easy answers. Lament teaches us that there are indeed things we do not understand; in fact, we cannot understand. God does not say, “Do not fear; you will understand everything and have all the answers.” Our human mind can take us only so far. At times we can do no more than speak our confusion to God, and lament tells us that we should do no less.

Thirdly, we feel against people who hurt us, personally or as a nation, “Happy the man who shall seize and smash your little ones against the rock” (Psalm 137:9), and we think, “I should not feel this way; it is against charity.”

Lament counters a false, naïve and overly romantic view of charity. Charity does not mean that everything is lovely, that we never get upset, that we sit around holding hands and saying how wonderful everything is. This is unreal.

Negativity, injustice, hatred, brokenness are part of our lives and part of our world. In the face of this, we can have an instinctive feeling for retaliation in kind, for returning hatred with hatred. I do feel pain, hurt and anger, but these are not a good basis on which to act. The fact that I feel a certain way does not give me permission to go out and dump my negativity wherever and on whomever I want. Lament suggests that it is all right to express our uncensored feelings before God.


In this light, the “cursing psalms” make sense. They have often been a particular stumbling block. We need to recognize, first, that they are clearly spoken out of great pain and distress. The feelings are really in the psalms, and at times they are really in us.

But, second, the psalmist does not say, “I am going to go out and smash his little ones against the rock!” We do not, as it were, take things into our own hands. We say rather, “God, this is the way I feel; I leave it to you.” And God has never been known to rush out and do everything we ask when we are angry. We let God deal with it, and in the process, we get the feelings out of us; we can begin to respond more reflectively, more constructively.

It is true that Jesus’ example teaches us to pray, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)—an attitude found also in some parts of the Old Testament, such as Exodus 23:4-5 and Job 31:29-30. This is indeed the direction in which we hope to move, the direction we want our actions to reflect. But our feelings may not always be there—at least at first.

Again, the feelings are real and will not go away, and if we do not recognize them and deal with them constructively, they will go underground and pop up later in destructive ways. Lament is a constructive way to deal with them.

It is often noted that almost all of the lament psalms (Psalm 88 is an exception) end on a sudden turn to praise (e.g., 6:9-11; 22:23-32). Scholars have offered various explanations for this, but from the viewpoint of prayer, the meaning seems clear. It is only after we lament, after we face and express the pain and negativity and get it all out, that healing can begin. In more theological terms, we can say that it is only by facing and going through death that we can come to new life, to resurrection.

The structure of lament tells us that it is possible to praise too soon. The psalmist takes the time to let all the pain and anger out before the praise can set in. Perhaps it is not lamenting, but the failure to lament that expresses a lack of charity.


It is true that we have lost a healthy sense of lament in our personal prayer life. We have lost it as well in our communal, liturgical life. Almost the only remaining context in which lament is formally acknowledged is the funeral liturgy, but here too it is possible to give lament short shrift.

Some years back, after the changes in the rite of funerals, a family I knew lost a child in a boating accident. A lot of pressure was brought to bear to “celebrate the Mass of the Resurrection, to rejoice in his birth to new life.”

About a year later, their suppressed grief almost tore the family apart. Again, we must not deny honest pain, nor jump too quickly from loss to acceptance and skip over the lamenting process. Christian faith does proclaim a message of hope, but death and grief are still real.

Perhaps other situations exist in which some form of communal liturgical or paraliturgical lament would be appropriate: after a painful experience of divorce; in a religious community after dear members choose to leave; when missionaries depart for home after years of service in a foreign country; for victims of clergy abuse on the path of healing; in a neighborhood taken over by drug dealers; in a community hard hit by HIV and AIDS; in a community devastated by natural disaster (fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane); for people after the experience of rape. Or when terrorists attack a country and many lives are lost.

Perhaps we are discovering that, as a nation, we have been more traumatized than we initially thought; there may still be lamentation work to do.

How helpful it would be if we had some structures and models to allow us to express and acknowledge our grief, our pain, our confusion and our anger; to offer each other strength and support in difficult times; to help us, individually and communally, move forward with the task and challenge of life and to help us discern what is a good and proper response to any situation.

We have such structures and models available to us in the prayer of our Scriptures. The loss of lament has been costly; we have much to gain by recovering it.

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We each have to choose, whether to live for God and follow His plan for our lives (thereby fulfilling our destiny), or to live for ourselves, without consideration of what God’s plan and purpose is…

God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives…

God leaves it up to us to choose, according to our own free will and volition, whether we are going to spend our lives on Him (following Him) or on ourselves, following after our own personal desires and ambitions, with no regard for His plan and purpose for our life?

Yet it is that very nature and attitude (which all of us have, which we have inherited from Adam) that is the very nature of what sin is, that we choose to do our will with no regard to God’s plan and purpose for our life.

Isaiah 53:6
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.

Ephesians 1:7-11
The Voice

7 Visualize this: His blood freely flowing down the cross, setting us free!

We are forgiven for our sinful ways by the richness of His grace, 8 which He has poured all over us.

With all wisdom and insight, 9 He has enlightened us to the great mystery at the center of His will.

With immense pleasure, He laid out His intentions through Jesus, 10 a plan that will climax when the time is right as He returns to create order and unity—both in heaven and on earth—when all things are brought together under the Anointed’s royal rule.

In Him 11 we stand to inherit even more.

As His heirs, we are PREDESTINED to play a key role in His unfolding purpose that is energizing everything to conform to His will.

Matthew 16:24-27

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

1 John 2:1-6
The Voice

[The word “sin” has virtually disappeared from modern conversation. Afraid of sounding judgmental, we call sin something else—a mistake, an addiction, a tendency, a bad decision—and ignore it as normal and natural behavior. But John is calling the church to a radical holiness where those in the church will regularly remember their sins and seek God’s forgiveness. Each sin, small and large, injures us or someone else; it imprints on our soul, makes us imperfect, and separates us from the perfect God. If we confess our sins to God each day, then He will purify our hearts and draw us closer to Him.]

1 You are my little children, so I am writing these things to help you avoid sin.

If, however, any believer does sin, we have a high-powered defense lawyer—Jesus the Anointed, the righteous—arguing on our behalf before the Father.

2 It was through His sacrificial death that our sins were atoned. But He did not stop there—He died for the sins of the whole world.

[John is affectionately addressing this letter to his “little children,” and he is writing to help them avoid sin and the pain and guilt that come with it.

The glamour of decadent lifestyles devoid of God is often advertised as the epitome of joy and freedom.

But what are often conveniently left out of these portrayals are the agonizing consequences of such destructive lifestyles.

Meaningful pleasure comes not when we are enslaved by the empty promises of the world, but when we are living in loving obedience to God.]

3 We know we have joined Him in an intimate relationship because we live out His commands.

4 If someone claims, “I am in an intimate relationship with Him,” but this big talker doesn’t live out His commands, then this individual is a liar and a stranger to the truth.

5 But if someone responds to and obeys His word, then God’s love has truly taken root and filled him.

This is how we know we are in an intimate relationship with Him:

6 anyone who says, “I live in intimacy with Him,” should walk the path Jesus walked.

by Greg Burdine

The story has it that Mark Twain loved to go fishing, but he hated to catch fish.

The problem was he went fishing to relax, and catching fish ruined his relaxation, since he had to take the fish off the hook and do something with it.

When he wanted to relax by doing nothing, people thought he was lazy, but if he went fishing he could relax all he wanted.

People would see him sitting by the river bank and they would say, “Look, he’s fishing, don’t bother him.”

So Mark Twain had the perfect solution: he would take a fishing pole, line, and a bobber, but he wouldn’t put a hook on the end.

He would cast the bobber in the water and lay back on the bank. That way he could relax all he wanted and he would be bothered neither by man nor fish.

Mark Twain is like a lot of Christians I know. They have their pole in the water, but there is no hook on the end. They are not fishing; they are relaxing.

Jesus called men who were great fishermen to follow Him.

He said, “Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17).

From this invitation, we uncover a simple truth that I will expand on.

Jesus calls people to Himself so they can influence others.

Jesus is not asking for volunteers. He has made a command. This is not a question.

It is in the imperative tense. And notice that this is not a command to a work but to a Person.

He calls them to a continuous walk with Him rather than to a single act toward Him.

To follow Jesus means you leave everything else.

They left everything they’ve known – all the security, family, and business- to follow Jesus.

It is interesting to note when they obeyed, one pair left their occupation, the others left their father.

A person must leave all behind to follow Jesus.

A radical message with a radical call resulted in radical obedience.

This seems negative, but it actually is a positive teaching, that the power of Jesus’ Word overcomes the power of even family ties and financial stability.

God may not ask us to leave our jobs or families, but we must be willing to abandon everything to follow Him.

They left what they were doing and embraced what God was doing wholeheartedly.

When they heard what Jesus wanted them to do they immediately obeyed and acted with faith.

They put their futures and the livelihood of their families in His hands.

To follow Jesus shows you trust Him with your future.

Jesus said He would make them ‘fishers of men.’

He promised a lifelong learning and growth process.

Jesus chooses teachable people. It is no accident that He chose unsophisticated, unlearned fishermen. What an unlikely start for world conquest.

Men or Fish?

We were created with a desire to influence others.

We want to make a mark. We sometimes worry about the ambition that burns within us.

We want to be somebody and do things, but it is not always easy to sort out how much of this is selfish and how much is Christian.

Jesus addresses each of us and our ambition:

‘Do you want to make something of your life, to have a life that is useful? Follow me!’

In light of this, think about the following questions:

What does Christ expect me to leave behind to follow Him?

What sacrifice of personal achievement, wealth, or position does Christ ask me to make?

What prevents me from following Jesus immediately and wholeheartedly?

What must I do to eliminate these hindrances in my life?

This episode in the life of Jesus is a shortened version of what happened.

It is actually the conclusion of a day-long experience.

Luke 5 tells the miracle leading up to this moment.

Luke 5:1-11

Four Fishermen Called as Disciples
5 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.

4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.

7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.

And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”

11 So when they had brought their boats to land, THEY FORSOOK ALL AND FOLLOWED HIM.


Clarence Darrow was a very successful U.S. lawyer. He was not a Christian, but had among his friends a young minister.

One day Darrow asked his minister friend, ‘Would you like to know my favorite Bible verse?’

His friend said, ‘Indeed I would.’ Mr. Darrow said, ‘You will find it in Luke 5:5.

‘We’ve toiled all the night and have taken nothing.’

He added, ‘In spite of my success that verse seems to sum up the way I feel about life.’

No matter what one does in life, no matter what position he may obtain, no matter what he might come to own, if he leaves God out, the time will come when life itself will rise up and mock him with the word nothing… nothing!

Sun, December 26
Daily Devotionals
by Inspiration Ministries


“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.”
– Matthew 2:1 NIV

Imagine deciding to follow the star. It was one thing to study that star, to search ancient records and speculate about its path and purpose.

But to these Magi, that was not enough.

They felt compelled to leave their home in “the east” and travel hundreds of miles westward to follow the star and prove their theories were correct.

It was a massive commitment.

Following their studies after months of travel, they arrived in Jerusalem.

Then, insights provided by Herod’s scholars pointed them toward Bethlehem where they saw Jesus along with his parents.

Overwhelmed, “they bowed down and worshiped,” and presented Him with treasures they had brought (v. 11).

It had been the journey of a lifetime, but they were rewarded with a life-changing encounter.

These Magi joined men and women throughout the ages who had left everything behind to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:21-22).

Others would leave everything in other ways.

The shepherds would need to leave their flocks to see the baby Jesus.

For some, following Jesus would involve a life of surrender and sacrifice.

For many, it means leaving personal comforts to go to faraway places and laying aside their plans and personal desires.

Following Jesus means leaving everything else behind – your past and future.

Make Him your highest priority. Trust Him to provide meaning to your life and meet your needs and guide you. Follow Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus, I am Your disciple. You are my Lord. I will leave all to follow You. In Your name, amen.

Extended Reading:

Matthew 2:1-23
Click on link below:


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The Bible tells us to, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31)…

So God promises that when we are saved, our house (family) will follow…

Let us hang our faith on this promise!

Here’s the backstory to what happened prior to Acts 16, verse 31:

Acts 16:25-34
New Living Translation

The Philippian Jailer Saved
25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.

26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations.

All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!

27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself.

28 But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.

30 Then he brought them out and asked,

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied,

“Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”

32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household.

33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds.

Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized.

34 He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.


Paul and Silas’s answer to the Philippian jailer’s question is the essence of salvation;

“Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”

This verse raises two questions:

1. What does it mean to believe, and

2. What does it mean to be saved?

Belief includes but is MUCH MORE than just an intellectual assent!

Belief includes the idea of TOTAL reliance, trust, dependence, and submission of oneself to Christ, as both LORD (King, Master) and SAVIOR of their life.



We are delivered from the very presence of sin and evil (Satan and hell) and will be delivered into the very presence of God (Christ and heaven).

“…to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”
– 2 Corinthians 5:8

“I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may KNOW you have eternal life.”
— 1 John 5:13

So the way we receive this new life is by faith — believing that we are sinful, that Jesus died for our sins, that His death was in our place, and that His payment for sin is fully acceptable in God’s sight.

Faith can be summarized in the following acrostic:

F. A. I. T. H. =
Forsaking All I Take Him

And in verse 31b, the promise goes on to say that “your entire household will be saved.”

Your Family’s Salvation
So the jailer was the first to be saved; and then by him assuming spiritual leadership of his family, by being the first to repent and to humble himself before God; and then by him being the first to ask for forgiveness and a change of life, he set the pattern for the rest of his family.

And so by his example, the rest of his family was also won to Christ.

In the same way, every believing father has the responsibility to set the example of spiritual commitment, and to teach his family all he knows of following Christ.

Mon, December 20
The Spirit Filled Believer
Written by Dick Mills


“They shall come back from the land of the enemy…your children shall come back to their own border.”
— Jeremiah 31:16-17

One of the most encouraging words from the Lord we have been hearing throughout the length and breadth of this land is:

“All the children are coming home; those who have been away in the land of the enemy are going to return to their own border.”

It is hard to describe the gladness, joy, and peace this God-breathed message of assurance brings to distraught parents.


When the ark was finally all in readiness, just before the great flood descended, the Lord spoke these words to Noah:

“…Come into the ark, you and all your household…” (Genesis 7:1)

We are hearing these same words today:

“A flood of tribulation and persecution is coming. Get your family together and bring them in.”

When Israel was alerted to get ready to move out of Egypt, each family was instructed to sacrifice a lamb to cover their household.

Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb whose blood is sufficient to cover our entire family.

One of the features of the last-day move of the Spirit of God is family salvation, family restoration, and family unity.

If your children are away from home, you can take comfort from this passage in Jeremiah 31:16-17 which assures you that they will return.

In the parable, the prodigal son came home. The modern-day prodigals are going to do the same.

Just as chickens come home to roost and cows come back to the barn at the close of the day, so our children will return to us before the final darkness descends.

We are hearing this word all over the world. Believe it and be encouraged!

Source: The Spirit-Filled Believer’s Daily Devotional by Dick Mills

Come join the Adventure!

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The Magi and Jesus…

Who Were the “Three Wise Men?”…

Well to begin with, contrary to popular Christmas tradition, the Bible does not use the terms “three wise men” or “three kings” to describe the travelers who went to see Jesus after his birth (see Matthew 2:1).

NOTE: The term “Wise Men” in Greek is magos, and can be translated “Oriental Scientist,” most likely having been influenced by the teaching of the prophet Daniel.

Because of Daniel’s great wisdom, and because he had successfully pleaded for the lives of the wise men who had failed to interpret the king’s dream (Dan. 2:24), Daniel came to be highly regarded among the magi (saving many of their lives!), so we’d certainly expect that the magi learned much from the Prophet Daniel about the one true God, and because so many Jews remained behind in Babylon after the Exile, refusing to go back to Jerusalem, they intermarried with the people of the east.

This makes it all the more likely that Jewish messianic influence remained strong in that region, even into New Testament times.

The Bible says that the Magi brought three kinds of gifts:

Gold (a gift for a king/royalty);
Frankincense (prayers);
and the Myrrh was used as an embalming oil).

Matthew 2:10-11

Speaking of the wise men: “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.

And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

There may have been several kings or wise men in the group (which is likely), and this must have required a caravan of up to 60 camels or more (soldiers, servants, supplies, gifts).

In God’s sovereignty, these gifts probably proved useful in Joseph and Mary’s flight to Egypt, paying for their expenses, and this escape was made necessary because Herod ordered the execution of all male children, two and under in or near Bethlehem.

King Nebuchadnezzar sought the cream of the crop for his own private council (Dan 1:3-4), and “Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah” (Dan 1:6).

Daniel’s title was “Rab Mag” or “Chief of the Magi” (Dan 5:11), so he must have left some historical records of his writings for the Babylonians, and remember, they were also historians.

One such writing may have been Daniel chapter 9, where Daniel refers to the appearance of the Messiah, and goes into very specific detail about the timing of the Anointed One’s appearance (Dan 9:21-26).

We know from Scripture that Daniel was a man of prayer, and he naturally wanted to know when things would be restored, so Gabriel answered Daniel’s prayer (2 weeks later) and told Daniel not only where and when the Messiah would come, but when He would be killed (Dan. 9:25-26).

The magi or wise men recognized the fact that Daniel’s point of reference was not Babylon but Jerusalem (Dan 9:16), so for the wise men, it was not a guessing game.

They had to have accurate information to go on or they’d have missed Him.

And then there is the oral tradition or story (that was given before Noah’s flood) that we can read in the Stars (something Satan took and corrupted into astrology).

God is the one who originated this message in the stars, which every ancient civilization has a record of.

This message or story in the Stars tells of how God would send the “Seed” of the woman (Messiah) to judge and conquer evil; starting with Virgo (a virgin who gives birth to a child), who then judges and conquers evil in the world and comes back as Leo (the lion of Judah).

The fact that these constellations, in the sky (and the message or story they contained) were created by God is evident in the fact of how God speaks of them in the Book of Job.

Job 38:31-32
New Living Translation

31 “Can you direct the movement of the stars—
binding the cluster of the Pleiades
or loosening the cords of Orion?

32 Can you direct the constellations through the seasons

or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens?

The fact that God created these constellations and their corresponding message is evident in the fact that God named them, as He also authored the story or message that can be seen in them.


Psalm 19:1-4

1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.

2 Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.

3 They speak without a sound or word;
their voice is never heard.

4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world.

God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.

And in Romans we read the following:

Romans 1:18

God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness”

SAT, December 18
The Winning Walk
by Dr Ed Young


“And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way.”
-Matthew 2:12

We know very little about the Magi, those Wise Men who saw the star in the East.

Thousands of other people could have seen that star, but these must have been visionary individuals who did not want to miss the moment.

They scanned the heavens when most of us only see our feet; they focused on the extraordinary instead of the commonplace.

And not only did they see the star, they acted upon what they saw, making the arduous journey from Persia to Jerusalem.

They were indeed wise. And I believe the epitome of their wisdom is seen in the last two words of our verse:

“they went back ‘ANOTHER way.’”

In other words, they met Jesus and they worshiped Him, they gave Him gifts, and they went home by a different route.

A true encounter with Jesus will do that.

It will change everything about you.

When you worship Him and surrender to Him, you will leave the presence of Jesus by a new – and different – way.

Come join the Adventure!

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The necessity of our having our absolute trust and reliance upon Jesus, as the Foundation and Anchor of our faith…

Our absolute trust and reliance upon Jesus is the Solid Rock upon which we build the foundation of our faith…

I touched on this the other day in how Jesus is both the Aleph and Tav in the Old Testament, and the Alpha and Omega in the New Testament, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

In my morning devotions the other day, I ran across this scripture, where God says to Moses:

Exodus 23:20-21

The Angel and the Promises

20 “Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.

21 Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him.

(NOTE: it is very significant that He says “My NAME is in Him,” as it relates to our praying in Jesus’ name in the New Testament)

The reason why the word Angel is capitalized is because this is Yeshua that is being spoken of.

There are several times in the Old Testament where the Living Word appears and it is called a Theophany.

The apostle John emphasizes this when he begins his gospel account.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (John 1:1-3)

The apostle Paul also affirms this truth in the book of Colossians.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible….And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:15-17)

The Lord Jesus Christ was present at the beginning of creation—He was and is our Creator.

His pre-existence is further affirmed by His many appearances documented throughout the Old Testament.

Theophany is a theological term that refers to an encounter with God prior to Christ’s incarnation.

What particularly got my attention was
the statement “My Name (authority) is in Him” (v. 21), which shows that this messenger, this Angel of the Lord, is none other than “the Living Word” Himself; and with the promise of His presence and protection comes the warning “obey His voice,” for the Lord is a holy God who cannot dwell in the presence of sin.

Obedience is the evidence of reality of the covenant relationship.

The Angel of the Lord “encamps around those who fear Him” (Ps 34:7).

The reason why I’m bringing this up is because when Jesus tells us (in the New Testament) to pray in His Name,
He’s not talking about some hocus pocus magic, like click your heels three times and you get what you want.

When Jesus was speaking to His disciples about His departure, after the resurrection, He said the following:

John 16:22-23

22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.

23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, WHATEVER YOU ASK THE FATHER IN MY NAME He will give you.’

Praying in Jesus’ name is praying for things that will honor and glorify Jesus.

Saying “in Jesus’ name” at the end of a prayer is definitely not a magic formula.

It means that, as ambassadors (God’s representatives here in the Earth) for Christ, that we are standing in obedience to Him and in His authority, in order to facilitate God’s will being done here in the Earth as it is in heaven.

If what we ask for or say in prayer is not for God’s glory and according to His will, then saying “in Jesus’ name” is meaningless.

Genuinely praying in Jesus’ name and for His glory is what is important, not attaching certain words to the end of a prayer.

It is not the words in the prayer that matter, but the purpose behind the prayer.

Praying for things that are in agreement with God’s will is the essence of praying in Jesus’ name.

As God’s occupational Force, here in the Earth, we are to complete the mission that Jesus started, and we are to do it in the way that He demonstrated.

When the Bible says that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father, the scriptures are letting us know that Jesus’ work is FINISHED (at Calvary’s cross), in that having offered up propitiation for our sins, He has prepared the way and has done EVERYTHING necessary for us to go out and complete the work that He began.

And so as God’s occupational force in the Earth, this has to be our daily confession:

Galatians 2:20
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live BY FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Jesus is the Rock on which our faith is built, and faith in God (our willingness to take risks and step out in obedience to His Word) is the means by which we are to navigate through the storms of our life, here on Earth; and without that Faith the Bible says it is impossible for us to please Him (Heb 11:6).

So once again this gets us back to our original point, that Jesus is both the Author and Finisher of our faith; and He is both the Foundation and Anchor that allows us to weather any storm!

In his book, Six Hours One Friday, Max Lucado tells the story of how he and his boat survived a hurricane.

An old sea man gave Max the advice to take his boat to deep water, drop four anchors off each corner of the boat, and pray that the anchors held.

Max survived that storm, but he says that he learned an important lesson, all of us need an anchor that will hold during the storms of life.

That anchor is our faith. What have you put your faith in?

How important is it to have faith?

Where do we find a faith strong enough to make it through the storms of life?

Peter knows how important faith is and he gives us a great picture of faith, a faith that we can anchor deep with, and a faith which will hold us during the storms of life.

1 Peter 1:3-12
The Message

A New Life
3-5 What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus!

Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now!

God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.

6-7 I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime.

Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.

When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

8-9 You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing.

Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.

10-12 The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing.

The Messiah’s Spirit let them in on some of it—that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory.

They clamored to know who and when.

All they were told was that they were serving you, you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled.

Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this!

When Peter wrote his letter, things were changing.

In the beginning of the first century church, the government remained unconcerned about this new religious sect, and as the church grew, the constrictions of the government increased.

Peter is writing to a people who are finding it increasingly difficult to live their faith.

Even today it is not easy being a Christian, but we must find a way to live our faith without compromise.

Sooner or later the storms of life will begin to blow and then the question becomes will the anchor of faith hold.

If our faith is set upon the things of this world, then our faith will perish.

Countless kingdoms have come and fallen, economies have been built and destroyed, and nations have been established and vanished.

All that is left of some of those kingdoms are the ruins you can see in a museum.

Only the kingdom of God has remained constant in the past two thousand years.

Our faith is to be set in heaven, and not on the things of this world. That is the only way that we know our faith is imperishable.

Jesus is our example in all things related to life and ministry. . .

“So let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Fri, December 17
Worthy Brief


“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
— Romans 10:17

I could tell you about countless difficult and drawn-out circumstances over which we have tried to stand firmly in faith until they finally came to pass.

Sometimes we made it and sometimes we were weak and began to doubt.

But God mercifully came through for us on most of these things, despite our lack of strength to stay faith-ful.

There are some things in our lives that take a lot of prayer and a lot of faith to overcome. But why is it so hard sometimes to stand in faith for those things?

D.L. Moody spent many hours praying for faith.

He once said, “If all the time I have spent praying for faith was put together, it would be months.

I thought that someday faith was going to come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not come.

Then one day I read in the 10th chapter of Romans,

“So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”

I now opened my Bible and began to read God’s Word and faith has been growing ever since.”

Much of what we believers describe as ‘faith’ has nothing to do with Biblical faith.

Our faith must not be based on emotion, or want, and not on the latest exciting conference or revival.

But it must be centered on God’s Word, on Yeshua (Jesus), His death and resurrection, His salvation.

The Living Word is the eternal, everlasting love of God that has been poured out upon our lives.

Let’s read, hear, apply and live the Word today, and we will grow strong in faith!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Pahrump, Nevada

Come join the Adventure!

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Paying attention to the prophetic times and seasons (given in the Bible) indicating Jesus’ return…

Are we paying attention to the signs of the times that Jesus warned us about that would mark His return?…

Jesus said very clearly that no man knows the exact day nor the hour of His return, and that only His Father in Heaven knew this; but He also emphatically said that we should recognize the prophetic times and season of His return, which are given to us in the scriptures.

In Matthew 24:32-35, Jesus warned His disciples,

“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.

So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!

Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”

I just recently ran across this article and found it interesting.

by Gabriel Ansley

Parable of Budding Fig Tree Confirms Christ’s Return AD 2028
Click on link below:

“The days of our lives are 70 years;
And if by reason of strength they are 80 YEARS, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is SOON CUT OFF, and WE FLY AWAY” (Psalms 90:10)

One day the disciples asked Jesus:

“What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).

In answer to this question, Jesus spoke a parable of the Fig Tree, which combined with Psalm 90 and the rebirth of Israel in AD 1948, now gives us the YEAR of Christ’s return – AD 2028.


After Jesus resurrected from the dead, he met with his disciples and explained to them:

“These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that ALL THINGS MUST BE FULFILLED, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and IN THE PSALMS, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:44-45).

Do you see Jesus confirmed there were prophecies in the PSALMS concerning his First Coming?

Well, make no mistake about it, there are OTHER prophecies in the Psalms, unfulfilled, concerning his Second Coming! And Psalm 90 is a HUGE one, which you will soon see!

So here now is Jesus’ parable of the Fig Tree in answer to the disciples asking him when the “end of the world” would arrive:

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when its branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24:32-34)

What?!?! What is this about?

What “generation” shall not pass away before Christ returns?

The answer is in the parable!

It’s the generation that sees the FIG TREE put forth its leaves!

Listen, in a parable things always represent other things.

For example, in Jesus’ parable of the sower, the “seed” represented the “Word of God” (Mark 4:14), and in his parable of the tares, the “tares” represented the “children of the wicked one” (Matthew 13:38).


So what does the “Fig Tree” represent in the parable of the Fig Tree?

It’s the nation of Israel!

How do we know?

The Bible clearly tells us:

“I (God) found ISRAEL like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the Fig Tree.” (Hosea 9:10)

Therefore, Jesus was saying in his parable of the fig tree (and I’m paraphrasing) …

“The generation that is born the year the nation of Israel comes back on the map again will not all pass away (die) before my Second Coming occurs!”

What’s fascinating about this parable is the fact that when Jesus uttered it, Israel was still a nation!

They were just under Rome’s control. In other words, through this parable, Jesus was actually prophesying the destruction of the nation of Israel!

And sure enough, around AD 70, that happened — Rome destroyed Jerusalem.

So WHEN did the nation of Israel STUNNINGLY and AMAZINGLY come back on the map again?

AD 1948!!!

So the people born in the year AD 1948 are the final generation! They will not all die before Jesus Christ returns!

Ok, so all we need to know is the Biblical length (years) of a generation of people, and we can add that number to AD 1948 and this will be the OUTSIDE DATE for Christ’s Second Coming.

So is this in the Bible?

Well, remember me saying there are prophecies in the Psalms, concerning Christ’s Second Coming? Well, here it is:

“The days of our lives are 70 years; and if by reason of strength they are 80 YEARS, yet is their strength labor and sorrow, for it is soon CUT OFF, and we FLY AWAY” (Psalms 90:10).

This verse tells us 80 years is the average age of a generation of people.

Therefore, the outside date for Christ’s return is AD 1948 + 80 = AD 2028!

What’s even more fascinating is that Moses wrote Psalm 90 over 3,000 years ago, and even though he lived to be 120 years old, today, 80 years is the average life expectancy of human beings worldwide!

Oh, but there’s more! Did you notice the “soon cut off” and “we fly away” words written in the Psalms 90:10 verse above, after the 80 year generation was mentioned?

The Bible tells us the Antichrist’s time will be “cut short” or “cut off” at Christ’s return — 42 months.

And during Christ’s return, a small righteous remnant of saints will “fly away” up into the air to meet him in the clouds to escape the global firestorm of God’s Wrath.

Friend, these words in the Psalm 90:10 are almost certainly prophesying of the “flying away” that will happen to the saints (elect) at the end of the Antichrist’s Great Tribulation reign, when his time will be “cut off” at 3.5 years, 80 years after AD 1948 — 2028 END!

So there you have it … Christ’s parable of the Fig Tree in Matthew 24, along with the length of a generation in Psalms 90 go hand in hand in confirming Jesus Christ’s rapturous return “immediately AFTER the Great Tribulation” in the year AD 2028!

Now listen to this interview with Ken Johnson, a biblical scholar and expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Apocalypse of the ESSENES! Dead Sea Scrolls 2025, 2032, 2068 PREDICTIONS | Dr. Ken Johnson

(Pay particular attention to 53:15, where they talk about the final Year of Jubilee before Christ returns and the possible significance of the Year 2025)

Click on link below:

The years 2025 – 2028 are just around the corner, and obviously I think we’re in the ballpark here, in terms of prophetic indicators that we should probably be looking at.

And finally this is God’s invitation to all of those who are seekers of Truth in these last days. . .

Isaiah 55:1-7
New Living Translation

Invitation to the Lord’s Salvation
1 “Is anyone thirsty?
Come and drink—
even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk—
it’s all free!

2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?
Why pay for food that does you no good?
Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.
You will enjoy the finest food.

3 “Come to me with your ears wide open.
Listen, and you will find life.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you.
I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.

4 See how I used him to display my power among the peoples.
I made him a leader among the nations.

5 You also will command nations you do not know,
and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey,
because I, the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”

6 Seek the Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near.

7 Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong.

Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.

Tue, December 14
Worthy Brief


“Before the decree is issued, Or the day passes like chaff, Before the Lord’s fierce anger comes upon you, Before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you! Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.”
— Zephaniah 2:2-3

Mount Semeru erupted last week killing dozens of people in Indonesia, and this reminded me of a story that happened in the late 1800’s when witnesses of a volcanic eruption believed the end of the world had come.

It was 1883, Captain Sampson of the British navy witnessed one of the greatest volcanic eruptions in history which took place in Indonesia.

The eruption was so powerful that its shock waves traveled around the world seven times.

The volcano shot miles of debris into the atmosphere which fell to earth as far away as Madagascar – over 2000 miles distance.

Captain Sampson wrote in the ship’s log:

“I am writing this blind in pitch darkness. We are under continual rain of pumice-stone and dust. So violent are the explosions that the ear-drums of over half my crew have been shattered … I am convinced that the Day of Judgment has come.”

These men witnessed something extraordinary, and it caused them to ponder the inevitable question — Is this the end?

What was the crew thinking and feeling as they were deafened by the massive explosions, and blinded by the clouds of smoke and ash?

To them, it must have been as if the sun had become like sackcloth!

Did this experience change their lives? Were they now powerfully aware of how fragile life is?

Did they suddenly begin to examine what their lives had consisted of up to that moment?

Imagine yourself in that boat as these events are taking place. Now picture yourself at the present moment … are you thinking about what your life has been about, or what it is now?

Are you thinking about what it could be??

Wake up. Recognize that eruptions are already taking place, and these are the Lord’s warnings to this sleeping world; warnings that His return is NEAR!

We are privileged to be witnesses and participants in the most extraordinary times as the end of the age draws near.

But God is looking for people who are awake, who are wise, who understand the signs of the times, and who know Him … so they can do exploits and can shine like stars in a darkening world– will you be one of them?

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Pahrump, Nevada

Come join the Adventure, while you still can!

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Contending for our breakthrough…

In order for us to contend and then receive our breakthrough, we must learn to be more like David…

To gain our breakthrough we must learn to persevere, meaning we stand firm on the promises of God, standing in faith against any and all odds; we must also repent of our “stinking thinking” (often the result of old injuries and wounds from our past) – we do this by using the shield of faith, in our spiritual armor – in order to block the fiery darts that the devil is forever aiming at our minds, causing us to doubt and to fear; and we must also put on the mind of Christ daily (Php 2:6). . .

“Pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God; and bringing EVERY thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ!” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Listen to what Paul said to the Ephesians church, in how we should ALL respond to those struggles we are facing in our lives; and let us make this prayer our own:

Ephesians 1:17-21
Living Bible

16-17 Paul speaking: I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you wisdom to see clearly and really understand who Christ is and all that He has done for you.

18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future he has called you to share (read Jer 29:11).

I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ’s have been given to him!

19 I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great His power is to help those who believe Him.

It is that same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in heaven, 21 far, far above any other king or ruler or dictator or leader.

Yes, His honor is far more glorious than that of anyone else either in this world or in the world to come.

First of all, let us remember that the Battle belongs to the Lord (whatever it is we’re facing – and anything that’s coming at us must first go through Him) because He alone is our Good Shepherd, the Aleph and the Tav of our faith.

What does that mean?

Aleph/Tav = את (in Hebrew)

The first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, an aleph on the right (an ‘A’) and a tav on the left (this would be like a ‘Z’ in English.)

Aleph א – Tav ת
Is found in Genesis 1:1

Remember that Hebrew reads from right to left.

Notice the circled letters in Genesis 1:1.

Behold – an aleph-tav!

And there’s another one two words later.

This is Jesus, the Messiah, hiding in plain sight in the first verse of the Bible!

So what does this tell us?

Here is an amazing point that we need to understand.

In classic (ancient) Paleo-Hebrew, every letter is a picture.

THE ALEPH was an ox, indicating strength, and is one of the silent Hebrew letters.

It’s kind of a breath. It can also represent God since He is number one, first and strong.

THE TAV was a slanted ‘t’. It looked like an ‘x’, or a cross. The letters aleph-tav picture the silent strength of the cross and the God of the cross.

IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, those same letters would be an alpha and omega, the beginning and end of the Greek alphabet.

That would mean if Jesus is in the Old Testament like He is in the New, He is also the Aleph and Tav, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which also corresponds to the first and last of the Greek.

In Revelation 1:8 He is called the Alpha and Omega

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

The 1st letter in the Greek (New Testament written in Greek) Alpha α & the last letter is the Omega Ω.

Could that mean that the Aleph and Tav (in the Old Testament) and the Alpha and Omega (in the New Testament) both represent Jesus – Savior and Messiah?

The answer to that question is yes!

This is the same Jesus that in the New Testament promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5b) and also He promises to complete the work that He has begun in each one of our lives (Php 1:6)!

Daily Devotionals
by Inspiration Ministries


“’God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like the breakthrough of waters.’ Therefore they named that place Baal-perazim.”
— 1 Chronicles 14:11

David had been anointed king, and the Philistines were concerned. They knew he had defeated their champion, Goliath, and led Israel’s armies to other victories.

They were determined to search for him and silence him.

David was ready to confront these enemies. But before taking any action, he sought God’s direction.

God responded, “Go up, for I will hand them over to you” (v. 10).

When Israel followed God’s lead, they won a great victory.

David realized that this had been a “breakthrough.” He had broken through his enemies like water rushing through a blockage, “like a bursting flood.”

David was aware that they had faced a massive problem, but God delivered them. He knew that God shattered the walls that stood before him.

He tore open a hole in the enemy line that led to great victory.

It was such a powerful moment that he changed the name of the place where the battle had been fought.

It became “Baal-perazim,” the “possessor of breaches.”

David wanted everyone to remember that God had given him this breakthrough.

He could give them breakthroughs, too.

We face many types of problems. We can feel overwhelmed and outnumbered, afraid and discouraged.

We can be filled with doubt and worry.

Remember what David learned:

“God is the God of breakthroughs.”

He can give you victory in any situation, even when defeat seems inevitable.

Believe Him for your breakthrough today!

Father, I commit these problems to You: _______.

I believe You can provide breakthroughs. Thank You for Your blessing.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Do You Want to Be a Mushroom or an Oak Tree?…

It all is determined by what sort of soil we are…

So let us come to the Living Water that nurtures our spiritual life.

“Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24)

We all go through dry seasons in our life, those wilderness periods that we read about in the Bible.

Nevertheless God has given us His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us; and that He will complete the work that He has begun in our lives.

Hebrews 13:5b
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

God Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

Philippians 1:6
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

The Holy Spirit will make changes in your life far beyond anything you thought was possible, but they’re not going to happen overnight.

God the Father’s ultimate purpose in all of this is that we be conformed into the image of His Son.

Romans 8:29-30
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

29 For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.

30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself).

And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].

So the question is would you rather be an oak tree or a mushroom?

An oak tree takes about 60 years for it to mature, whereas a mushroom will mature in just a few hours.

It’s during the dry seasons of that oak tree’s development that it must stretch its roots down deeper into the soil, to where the water table is; and it’s in that process that the oak tree gets stronger.

The same is true of us who are Christians, in that during the dry seasons of our life we also have to stretch the roots of our faith down deeper into the soil of our life, in order to get to the Living Water which nurtures our spiritual life.

Jesus gave us the parable of the sower which describes this situation,

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places . . . Other seed fell among thorns . . . Still other seed fell on good soil.” (Matthew 13:3–8)

Although this is often known as the parable of the sower and the seed, it can also be said this is a parable about the soil.

All four types of soil are essentially the same dirt but are in different conditions and respond in different ways to cultivation.

What made one soil more responsive and the other less?

When the New Testament was written, communities were agriculturally based.

A family would be appointed a section of land to farm, and every farmer’s plot was adjacent to their neighbor’s.

In order to get to the fields, the farmers would walk along the boundaries bordering each field to avoid stepping on the growing plants.

The “path” was held in common by all the farmers and over time, the soil on the path would compact.

It was never plowed and never fertilized.

In the parable, the seed that is sown on the path is not able to penetrate the ground because of the constant use.

The condition of the first soil is hard and impermeable.

The second type of soil mentioned in the parable is the “rocky” places” or the shallow soil where the plow didn’t cut deeply enough to break up the shale or hard ground just below the surface.

This soil produced only plants with weak, shallow roots.

The third type of soil mentioned is the thorny soil, most likely found in the corners of the field where the plow couldn’t reach; here, weeds overtook what was planted.

All the types of soils mentioned here are actually in the same plot of ground with one major difference:

Only one area was fully yielded to cultivation, to being changed and prepared for planting. That area was called the good soil.

The greatest amount of fruit produced was not determined by how rich the soil was, but how yielded to the plow it was.

The soil in each condition received seed, but not all produced quality fruit.

As Christians, everyone of us receives seed, which is the Word of God; and everyone of us has the potential for a great harvest, in living a fruitful life, but the ones who will produce the most fruit will be the ones most yielded to cultivation.

The Bible tells us to, “Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24 NLT).

The ground first has to be prepared in order to receive the seeds that are sown in it.

And in order for those seeds to be fruitful the Bible tells us that we must be attached to God’s root system.

Jesus put it like this:

John 15:1-8

The True Vine
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

The goal is that we be conformed into the image of Christ. . .

And the apostle Paul says, “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him”
(2 Corinthians 3:18 TLB).

Fri, December 10
God Calling
by Two Listeners


“My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
— Song of Solomon 2:10

There may be many times when I reveal nothing, command nothing, give no guidance.

But your path is clear, and your task, to grow daily more and more into the knowledge of Me. That this quiet time with Me will enable you to do.

I may ask you to sit silent before Me, and I may speak no word that you could write.

All the same that waiting with Me will bring comfort and Peace. Only friends who understand and love each other can wait silent in each other’s presence.

And it may be that I shall prove our friendship by asking you to wait in silence while I rest with you, assured of your Love and understanding. So wait, so love, so joy.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
— Jude 1:24-25

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Keep your lamps trimmed and the fire of your faith burning…

“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8b)

It is our persistent faith, the ability to persevere under adverse and contradictory feelings and circumstances that necessitates our being filled and refilled each day with the OIL of the Holy Spirit, because we are such leaky vessels.

Romans 10:17
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

“So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).”

You can’t have faith without the truth of God’s Word holding final authority in your life.

Faith is based on the truth and authority of the Scriptures.

The end of your faith is when you begin doubting the Word of God, and it stops carrying authority in your life.

The end of your faith is when you no longer live by the Word of God.

Multitudes of professing Christians in the church system today have departed from the real faith. Many no longer even believe the Scriptures are inspired of God.

In Luke 18:8, Jesus gives us the Parable of the Persistent Widow.

Apparently, there were some issues in her life that this woman wanted addressed, where she had been wronged and she wanted justice to be executed by this unrighteous judge.

I maintain that it is her persistence and not quitting and not giving up, in the face of all kinds of opposition (including petitioning before an unjust earthly judge, who could care less about her or her problems, that is the point here; and the way she maintains her faith, in the face of all types of obstacles, is by her keeping her relationship with the Source of her faith, who is Jesus living and vibrant, by keeping the fire of her faith burning, by being filled and refilled with the oil of the Holy Spirit everyday.

And so she is determined, offering her supplication (her legal petition) in the courtroom of Heaven until she gets her breakthrough.

Jesus ends this parable by saying that He will avenge all that is wrong in this world and that everyone will be held accountable for what they’ve done in their lifetime, including everything they’ve said (Rom. 14:10-12; Matt. 12:36).

Jesus is asking the rhetorical question, “Will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night?

Will he delay long over them” (Luke 18:7)?

The obvious answer is, of course, He will, and there will be no long delay when He returns.

The Bible is emphatic on this point, ”I tell you, Jesus will give justice to them speedily,” but this promise is to them who persevere and don’t give up!

And so the question is posed, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Mon, December 6, 2021
Worthy Brief


“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’

Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’

But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
— Matthew 25:1-13

As we conclude the final day of Chanukah, I want to focus on this parable.

This parable in Matthew 25 is a warning to the entire body — be ready with your oil!

Each of these virgins was anticipating the Lord’s return; none were atheists, or non-believers.

They were all virgins who claimed to be awaiting the Bridegroom’s arrival. But notice carefully that only half of them were truly ready.

In the ancient Temple era the Aaronic priests were in charge of lighting the lamp of God and keeping it burning.

Their main responsibilities included trimming the wicks, refilling the lamp constantly with fresh oil, and making sure it never burned out.

A clear parallel can be drawn between the Aaronic priesthood and the New Covenant priesthood of Melchizedek and Yeshua (Jesus). Both are responsible to keep the lamps burning!

Are you feeling burned out this Chanukah season? Then trim your wick by getting rid of the useless things in your life and diving deeper into His Word.

Are you feeling spiritually drained? Then wait on the Lord and ask Him for a fresh anointing.

Bearing the light of God is the responsibility of all true believers; you are the bearer of that light; so be reignited today and keep your lamps burning bright for Him. Let’s be wise virgins, anxiously awaiting His return!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Pahrump, Nevada

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Seek first the Kingdom of God…

Whatever you give to God He will multiply back to you…

There are dividends that accrue to those who take the time to wait upon the Lord; to discipline themselves, to prioritize and make room for God in their daily lives, that they may immerse themselves in His Word and in the Spirit, through our prayers and our meditation in His Word.

Matthew 6:31-34
The Message

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?

What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.

People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions (in other words, “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness – His way of doing things”).

Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.

God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Thu, Dec 02
The Spirit Filled Believer
Written by Dick Mills


“Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors”
— Proverbs 8:34

Life is a learning process. Every day that goes by can add enrichment to it.

One of the requisites for the adding of spiritual knowledge is a teachable spirit. This verse encourages that kind of attitude.

Here wisdom is speaking to us. It is to our best advantage to be alert to hear what she has to say and to be receptive to her message.

We can find happiness by listening to wisdom’s pronouncements. We can also be blessed by being constantly on the lookout, watching daily for her.

This verse suggests an attentiveness that comes from total concentration on wisdom and her words.

In His multi-faceted wisdom (Eph. 3:10), God has so many things to reveal, unveil and unfold to those who wait upon Him faithfully and attentively.

It is as we seek Him, serve Him, and wait upon Him in daily prayer and meditation that He discloses to us ever new facets and perspectives of His limitless wisdom and knowledge.

Eternity will be a marvel to us. In the other world to which we are bound, you and I will be witnesses to a continuous display of God’s attributes, purposes and nature.

Instead of waiting till we all get to heaven to behold the majestic greatness of our God, we are invited to begin now.

A quest for knowledge is all we need to get started.

A teachable spirit will keep us going. A daily discipline of Bible reading and prayer communication sets us right at the portals of wisdom.

All this takes time, but the advantages of receiving God’s wisdom makes it all well worth the sacrifice.

Source: The Spirit-Filled Believer’s Daily Devotional by Dick Mills

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