Luke 12 Part 3–Do not Sweat the Small Stuff (It’s all Small Stuff)

Jesus knew it was time to focus His chosen on the important things in life.  So many of us have hearts that long to be like Christ. Unfortunately, we are distracted by the things and worries of this world.  Especially when one has others that depend upon them–families, employees, parishioners, patients, students all draw upon our energy and wisdom to make their daily journey.  Jesus pulled the apostles aside and reminded them that God knows their concerns and has prepared to address them.  Luke 12:31 matches Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and God will give you everything you need!”  

Sometimes we are simply distracted from this universal truth.  We seek all the things of the world–money, power, security, favor, love, and peace.  Sadly, the world will never give any of those things.  Oh, it will promise them all but, in the end, like the flowers in the field it will wilt and die.

  God, on the other hand, grants the fruit of the spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.  Ask what you will, but that is what makes our lives complete.  That is why Jesus said time and again–Seek God, He will give you the stuff you need to live and what is more He will give you the peace to be full and complete on the journey. 

Paul sums it up quite nicely in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving bring your requests to God.  Then the peace of God that passes all human comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!”

God Bless You


Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

2 Corinthians 12:9–Thanks Jeff JonesBut he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Isaiah 62–A Prophet’s Prayer

It is difficult to be gifted with the gift of prophecy.  Prophecy has two parts: foretelling the future and forthtelling the truth.  In part, many admire and are amazed at the accuracy of Isaiah’s prophecies about Jesus and about Israel.  Remember, at the time of these prophecies, Jerusalem, was prosperous and proud.  They were very sacrosanct and holy–they were just ignoring God.  They were checking boxes like mad, but had no heart for their Creator, Savior, and Provider.

Israel, like most still loved themselves more than God.  They did not mind making God a part of their lives as long as He did not interfere.  That is why much of Isaiah’s prophecy is simply calling them out for their sins of commission and omission. Here in chapter 62, We are blessed to see this prophet’s love for God and God’s chosen.  He personally prayed for their restoration.  for the return of their name and dignity.  The normally blunt and harsh prophet is now bearing his broken heart for these people, God’s Chosen.

We are also His chosen.  Isaiah wants us to also enjoy the blessing and restoration that is due God’s people.  When we trust the Lord as our savior, He will bring us into His family and, like Israel, will gather us and care for us.  This world is not our home.  We are being prepared for an eternal life in God’s presence.  Here there will be no fear, no darkness, no tears, and no regrets.  We will be new creations in the Heavenlies, in God’s loving family.  Like the Israel described in this passage, we will be restored and renewed in the image of our Lord.  What an amazing promise and gift.

God Bless You


Because I love Zion,
    I will not keep still.
Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem,
    I cannot remain silent.
I will not stop praying for her
    until her righteousness shines like the dawn,
    and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.
The nations will see your righteousness.
    World leaders will be blinded by your glory.
And you will be given a new name
    by the Lord’s own mouth.
The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see—
    a splendid crown in the hand of God.
Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City”[a]
    or “The Desolate Land.”[b]
Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight”[c]
    and “The Bride of God,”[d]
for the Lord delights in you
    and will claim you as his bride.
Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem,
    just as a young man commits himself to his bride.
Then God will rejoice over you
    as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.

O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls;
    they will pray day and night, continually.
    Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord.
Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work,
    until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.
The Lord has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength:
    “I will never again hand you over to your enemies.
Never again will foreign warriors come
    and take away your grain and new wine.
You raised the grain, and you will eat it,
    praising the Lord.
Within the courtyards of the Temple,
    you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed.”

10 Go out through the gates!
    Prepare the highway for my people to return!
Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders;
    raise a flag for all the nations to see.
11 The Lord has sent this message to every land:
    “Tell the people of Israel,[e]
‘Look, your Savior is coming.
    See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.’”
12 They will be called “The Holy People”
    and “The People Redeemed by the Lord.”
And Jerusalem will be known as “The Desirable Place”
    and “The City No Longer Forsaken.”

Isaiah 41 Part 2–The Chosen Need Not Fear!

Isaiah is clear, God WILL uphold Israel.  No matter which enemy, no matter which age–Israel is still, and will always be, God’s chosen people.  Additionally, those who are in relationship with God through faith in Christ are also God’s chosen.  Isaiah makes the pronouncement that the chosen of God need not fear–He will uphold and defend them and their name until the end of time.

There have been so many cultures and people groups that have sought to eradicate God and His chosen from the face of the earth.  They have persecuted, martyred, and sought to destroy all evidence of God’s existence and impact on men’s lives.  Yet, as of 2020, they have failed repeatedly.  Oh, make no mistake, every resource has been leveraged.  Every attempt has been made. Armies, legislatures, congresses, parliamentary bodies, judicial bodies, evil empires, and tyrannical regimes have, in succession done their part to wipe the planet clean of God and His people.

The Great news is they have all failed–because, as Isaiah so articulately explains, God has committed to our protection and provision.  God can raise and destroy empires in an instant–Ask the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines…Still, God calls His people to pray without ceasing.  He calls us to walk humbly and live holy lives.  He accepts us for who we are; but, calls us to become like Jesus.  In that process, though, He never abandons His beloved.  We must trust Him at His word. Walk as one that is bought with a price.

The world can continue to spew its hate and attempt to take God out of the picture, but, as has always been the case–the world will fail.  The created will never outsmart the creator. He has always been, is and will always be.  Conversely, those that would defeat the Lord are here for an instant and then disappear into obscurity.  We,God’s chosen, need to cling to His promise and walk in His way to enjoy the peace, protection, and provision He longs for us to enjoy.

God Bless You


But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
    and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant,
    I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
10 fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 Behold, all who are incensed against you
    shall be put to shame and confounded;
those who strive against you
    shall be as nothing and shall perish.
12 You shall seek those who contend with you,
    but you shall not find them;
those who war against you
    shall be as nothing at all.
13 For I, the Lord your God,
    hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
    I am the one who helps you.”

14 Fear not, you worm Jacob,
    you men of Israel!
I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord;
    your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15 Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge,
    new, sharp, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
    and you shall make the hills like chaff;
16 you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away,
    and the tempest shall scatter them.
And you shall rejoice in the Lord;
    in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

Isaiah 26–Trusting God Brings All We Could Imagine

Prophets not only speak to what lies ahead, they also simply speak the truth.  Isaiah is simply speaking the truth when he says following the Lord brings peace. He looks to a time when Judah is following the Lord and what God shows him is peace. People that know God will long for His presence.  They will trust in His provision; they will rest in the Lord’s protection.  He will be the walls.  He will be the watchmen.

Conversely, those that fail to follow God, even when God grants them favor, will not recognize it.  They won’t notice His protection; they will fail to appreciate God’s provision.  They will ascribe his protection to their own skill and craftiness.  They will hoard any blessing as their own and fail to benefit anyone–except themselves.  Sadly, their attempts to hoard and be the center of attention is the very things that will keep them from enjoying the benefits they long for, peace and security.

The word is filled with the promise of peace by simply submitting to God’s lead. Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your path straight,” Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things (peace, provision, and protection) will be added to you.” Philippians 4:19, “My God is faithful to supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Our job is simple, know our Lord. Trust and follow him daily. Then watch Him make your lives great.

God Bless You


In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

“We have a strong city;
    he sets up salvation
    as walls and bulwarks.
Open the gates,
    that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
For he has humbled
    the inhabitants of the height,
    the lofty city.
He lays it low, lays it low to the ground,
    casts it to the dust.
The foot tramples it,
    the feet of the poor,
    the steps of the needy.”

The path of the righteous is level;
    you make level the way of the righteous.
In the path of your judgments,
    O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and remembrance
    are the desire of our soul.
My soul yearns for you in the night;
    my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
For when your judgments are in the earth,
    the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
10 If favor is shown to the wicked,
    he does not learn righteousness;
in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly
    and does not see the majesty of the Lord.
11 O Lord, your hand is lifted up,
    but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed.
    Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.
12 O Lord, you will ordain peace for us,
    for you have indeed done for us all our works.
13 O Lord our God,
    other lords besides you have ruled over us,
    but your name alone we bring to remembrance.
14 They are dead, they will not live;
    they are shades, they will not arise;
to that end you have visited them with destruction
    and wiped out all remembrance of them.
15 But you have increased the nation, O Lord,
    you have increased the nation; you are glorified;
    you have enlarged all the borders of the land.

Joshua 5 Part 2–The Adventure Begins

It must have been odd to see the world change before them.  Joshua had marched behind a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night for 40 years.  Now that they had crossed the Jordan and sat outside of Jericho, things were changing very quickly.

First, Israel celebrated their first Passover meal in the new land.  The people gathered what they needed from this land that flowed with milk and honey–that must have been fun.  The meal was so amazing–but, then, the manna simply ceased.  All at once, Israel was able to provide for itself and from then on, this free people no longer had to rely upon God for daily provision. (Well, truth be told they still had to rely upon God, it just was not as obvious.)

Next, Joshua looks out and sees a man with a sword and he approaches the man.  He asks a fair question–“Are you friend or foe?” The man responds–“NO! I am the commander of the Army of the Lord!” God came and was ready to do battle; and Joshua got to be a part! Joshua asked what he should do…The Angel of the Lord replied, “Take off your shoes; you are standing on holy ground!” Joshua, God’s leader for Israel, was given the same message that his mentor Moses received at the beginning of the adventure. It was a new beginning for God’s people, and the excitement was just beginning. 

In our lives, we can pinpoint God’s hand most often when we experience change.  While change is usually difficult, if we look, we can often see God’s plan being played out for our benefit and according to His will.  Like Joshua, we simply need to be ready to listen and to respond to God’s call–no matter what the circumstances hold for us. Usually, change in our lives will lead to a closer walk with God and a much better perspective.

As His people, we simply must respond by faith, and humbly continue to seek the Lord with all our hearts. Our response and perspective should be as one who is safe in God’s shadow. Paul said it well in Colossians 3:4, “For, you have died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, you will also appear with Him in Glory!”

God Bless You


While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho. 11 And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes, and parched grain. 12 And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

The Commander of the Lord’s Army

13 When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14 And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped[c] and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” 15 And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

Numbers 23-24–It’s Not About Location

As God’s chosen, today, we too live under His provision, preparation and protection. It often feels as though the world has the upper hand; but, truth be known, nothing happens without God’s permission.

The Moabite king was convinced that he could curse Israel.  So, he summoned a local mystic–Balaam, to come and do the job.  Balaam asked God if he could take the job, and God said no. The King’s men came back and got Balaam to come–Balaam told them he would not do it, they urged him to come anyway.  God said fine, go, but only say what I tell you to say.  So, for the next several days, Balak, King of Moab, ushered the mystic from place to place. In each place, alters would be built, sacrifices made, and then–Balaam would bless Israel.

The King became furious–but, the prophet  would simply respond, I can only say what God has told me to say–and again the prophet would bless Israel. In the end, the King knew he had been stupid, his nation, and the allies of his nation were put on notice–Israel is and will be blessed by God–do not expect to defeat them.  In addition, your peoples will be destroyed, Have a nice day.

The bottom line is that the natural man does not understand the things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:14+ says it well, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 

People think that they control their destinies. They simply do not.  There is a God who created and controls everything. The world simply thinks that because God allows evil to exist; that He must not be in control. SO Wrong! God has a plan and He will execute it to the letter. Israel was marching through the desert–awaiting the day they could enter the Promised Land. While they waited, they still were being prepared by God, provided for by God and were living under God’s protection.

As God’s chosen, today, we too live under His provision, preparation and protection.  It often feels as though the world has the upper hand; but, truth be known, nothing happens without God’s permission. That is why the promises of Roman 8:18, 28 and 34 are so significant. No matter how difficult our struggles–they cannot compare to the blessings that lie ahead. Further, all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Finally, there is nothing in this world that can separate us from our God. Israel saw that daily. Paul wrote about it as a testimony to an amazing journey; and, we can live it–if we will simply trust and follow God!

God Bless You

Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not resort to divination as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness. When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him and he spoke his message:

“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
    the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,
the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,
    who sees a vision from the Almighty,[a]
    who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:

“How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,
    your dwelling places, Israel!

“Like valleys they spread out,
    like gardens beside a river,
like aloes planted by the Lord,
    like cedars beside the waters.
Water will flow from their buckets;
    their seed will have abundant water.

“Their king will be greater than Agag;
    their kingdom will be exalted.

“God brought them out of Egypt;
    they have the strength of a wild ox.
They devour hostile nations
    and break their bones in pieces;
    with their arrows they pierce them.
Like a lion they crouch and lie down,
    like a lioness—who dares to rouse them?

“May those who bless you be blessed
    and those who curse you be cursed!”

A New Direction–Exodus 2 Continued

Moses’ life took a big turn. From prince to fugitive, he had to recreate himself. He escaped to Midian, where  he immediately saved some ladies in distress. Humble, heroic and unique, he was quickly adopted by the local priest and married his daughter. 

This would never have been how he would have scripted his own journey, but, now the prince and chosen one of Israel was safe, provided for, and free from the threats of Egypt. 

It is easy to allow course corrections in our lives to embitter, discourage and nullify our walk with God. When we become entrapped by the circumstances, we miss the many underlying blessings that accompany the change. 

God asks us to simply trust his plan and follow him. When we do, especially with a humble and grateful heart, he can mold us into his image and use us to accomplish great things. Otherwise, we find our lives spin horribly downward and we miss the joy set before us. Thank you, Lord for setting out the journey and blessing me along the way. 

God Bless You 

Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.

When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”

They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

“And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”

Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.

God Provides–Genesis 24 part 3

Make me successful today, what a great prayer. So often when we are following the Lord, we are not sure what his plan is. But, as in the hunt for a wife for Isaac, God has a plan in place. As we seek him, often we may not know the details but we know his direction. We pray accordingly, and he works to answer the prayers and accomplish his plan.

If we look back over time, and begin to see how many specific prayers he answers, then we will be better able to trust him for all the big and small needs in our lives. Our prayer life becomes amazing and we look forward to each and every chance we have to trust and follow him. That is the epitome of faith.

God Bless You

Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.

See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water.

May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor.

God Does Provide. Genesis 22 Part 2

<It is rarely easy, it is often challenging but, it is always rewarding to trust God. Big or small, walking by faith is always the right answer. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son…but God was not. God had provision ready. He allowed Abraham and history to see that faith is always correct.

Abraham’s faith showed his son and the world that God loves us and will not ignore our needs or our willingness to follow him. In our lives, we have opportunities daily to trust him. The more we do the easier it becomes to follow him any and everywhere.

As we follow, like Abraham, we impact those we know and those to come. We can never know how great his impact will be on our lives and the lives we touch. That is why each day we must continue to trust and serve him.

God Bless You

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.&It is rarely easy, it is often challenging but, it is always rewarding to trust God. Big or small, walking by faith is always the right answer. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son…but God was not. God had provision ready. He allowed Abraham and history to see that faith is always correct.

Abraham’s faith showed his son and the world that God loves us and will not ignore our needs or our willingness to follow him. In our lives, we have opportunities daily to trust him. The more we do the easier it becomes to follow him any and everywhere.

As we follow, like Abraham, we impact those we know and those to come. We can never know how great his impact will be on our lives and the lives we touch. That is why each day we must continue to trust and serve him.

God Bless You

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.;It is rarely easy, it is often challenging but, it is always rewarding to trust God. Big or small, walking by faith is always the right answer. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son…but God was not. God had provision ready. He allowed Abraham and history to see that faith is always correct.

Abraham’s faith showed his son and the world that God loves us and will not ignore our needs or our willingness to follow him. In our lives, we have opportunities daily to trust him. The more we do the easier it becomes to follow him any and everywhere.

As we follow, like Abraham, we impact those we know and those to come. We can never know how great his impact will be on our lives and the lives we touch. That is why each day we must continue to trust and serve him.

God Bless You

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.

Praying to a Loving Father–1 John 5 Final

Pray according to his will…it is what every Father wants.  He wants to give us the desires of our heart.  He wants us, however, to know him.  He wants us to know what not to ask him about.  In his eyes, there are no small requests.  But, he does not want us to ask for things that go against his very nature.

God is not a stick in the mud.  He created the world and its beauty.  He wants us, however, to follow him so that we can experience it in freedom.  Don’t ask God to let you run the show…he loves you too much.  Don’t ask him to make you great at your sin or dependencies.  Do not ask him to put you in harm’s way.  No child would ask these things of their dad.  It is OK , however to ask him to promote you, protect you and provide for your needs–that is his sweet spot.  He is not only good at it; but, he loves to do it.  He truly wants your desires to be eternal–so he can give them to you all day–every day!!!

God Bless You

 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. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.