Children’s Bible Activity

Sing along or dance along to the Birth of Jesus Story. Thanks to Life Church and River Valley Network for this.

wood bridge cute sitting

Listen to God calls Samuel

Watch God Calls Samuel

The Story of First Samuel 1- 3.Samuel (CEV)

Samel served the Lord by helping Eli the priest, who was by that time almost blind. In those days, the Lord hardly ever spoke directly to people, and he did not appear to them in dreams very often. But one night, Eli was asleep in his room, and Samuel was sleeping on a mat near the sacred chest in the Lord’s house. They had not been asleep very long[a] when the Lord called out Samuel’s name.

“Here I am!” Samuel answered. Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. What do you want?”

“I didn’t call you,” Eli answered. “Go back to bed.”

Samuel went back.

Again the Lord called out Samuel’s name. Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “What do you want?”

Eli told him, “Son, I didn’t call you. Go back to sleep.”

The Lord had not spoken to Samuel before, and Samuel did not recognize the voice. When the Lord called out his name for the third time, Samuel went to Eli again and said, “Here I am. What do you want?”

Eli finally realized that it was the Lord who was speaking to Samuel. So he said, “Go back and lie down! If someone speaks to you again, answer, ‘I’m listening, Lord. What do you want me to do?’”

Once again Samuel went back and lay down.

10 The Lord then stood beside Samuel and called out as he had done before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

“I’m listening,” Samuel answered. “What do you want me to do?”

11 The Lord said:

Samuel, I am going to do something in Israel that will shock everyone who hears about it! 12 I will punish Eli and his family, just as I promised. 13 He knew that his sons refused to respect me,[b] and he let them get away with it, even though I said I would punish his family forever. 14 I warned Eli that sacrifices or offerings could never make things right! His family has done too many disgusting things.

15 The next morning, Samuel got up and opened the doors to the Lord’s house. He was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had said. 16 But Eli told him, “Samuel, my boy, come here!”

“Here I am,” Samuel answered.

17 Eli said, “What did God say to you? Tell me everything. I pray that God will punish you terribly if you don’t tell me every word he said!”

18 Samuel told Eli everything. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord, and he will do what’s right.”

The Lord Helps Samuel

19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord helped him and made everything Samuel said come true. 20 From the town of Dan in the north to the town of Beersheba in the south, everyone in the country knew that Samuel was truly the Lord’s prophet. 21 The Lord often appeared to Samuel at Shiloh and told him what to say. 

Footnotes

  1. 3.3 They. . . long: The Hebrew text has “The lamp was still burning.” An olive oil lamp would go out after a few hours if the wick was not adjusted.
  2. 3.13 refused. . . me: Or “were insulting everyone.”
five white sheep on farm
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Other Blog Posts to Read

Yes and Amen

Today I’d like to share my testimony. God talks to us through scripture, friends, and circumstances. Recently my girlfriend Cindi sends me the song “Yes and Amen“. It was a good song i thought. It was a song about our trust in Jesus’s promises and I thought not much about the song as I felt …

Continue reading Yes and Amen

Stories from Jesus. Believe in the Lord Jesus and You Will Be Saved!

If you know Jesus, you are a follower of Jesus. He spent his ministry teaching his disciples the importance of finding those who needed to hear about the Kingdom of God. He taught, that those who BELIEVED in him and God’s Kingdom would have everlasting life. Follow Jesus and share your stories about the Father, …

Continue reading Stories from Jesus. Believe in the Lord Jesus and You Will Be Saved!

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Listen or Watch our Speaking God’s Word Series

Yes and Amen

white and black moon with black skies and body of water photography during night time

Today I’d like to share my testimony. God talks to us through scripture, friends, and circumstances. Recently my girlfriend Cindi sends me the song “Yes and Amen“. It was a good song i thought. It was a song about our trust in Jesus’s promises and I thought not much about the song as I felt my trust in God’s promises is already very strong. Little did I know that I would have to have blind faith in these promises. I woke up with to distorted vision in the right eye. I could no longer read any letters at all with this eye. Very worried I make a doctor’s appointment. My husband knew this was serious as he stated “you never go to the doctor”. My tuesday Bible Group, my friend and group Leader focussed on verse mapping the scripture “

“One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach on the scripture ” When I’m Afraid, I put my Trust in You”. How fitting a scripture that She chose with the Holy Spirits guidance. And yes, I am a bit afraid. Not too much because God is always giving me signs that he is with me and that helps me walk confidently in him. Lol, my Father even had a new visitor, Dorothy who joined our zoom Bible Group. It was the first and only blind woman I’ve ever encountered. Yes and Amen to you God because you give miraculous signs to those who love you. We accommodated Dorothy by being more descriptive and she blessed us by closing us our group by singing a glorious short Hymn. I went to a retinal eye specialist and surgeon. I have schlerosis and a bleeding retina. I had to have a needle put in my eye along with a fluid to stop the bleeding. I’ll need to have this done every 6 weeks for a while. My eye is now bloodshot red and inflamed. I’m a bit in mourning, but I confidently feel blessed and will continue to be God’s Light. Our God is Awesome and I put my trust in him. Can I get a “Yes and Amen”?

Jesus Teaches

The Beauties 

 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way. “

Teaching about Salt and Light

““You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Matthew 5:13-16 NLT

Stories from Jesus. Believe in the Lord Jesus and You Will Be Saved!

If you know Jesus, you are a follower of Jesus. He spent his ministry teaching his disciples the importance of finding those who needed to hear about the Kingdom of God. He taught, that those who BELIEVED in him and God’s Kingdom would have everlasting life. Follow Jesus and share your stories about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so that lives can be saved. During the Titanic Disaster of 1912, over 1500 lives perished while lifeboats set back and watched others drown for fear of being turned over. Only one life boat returned to help survivors. One of these survivors gave a testimony that he was saved by Jesus. While John held on to a piece of wood from the titanic, he heard Reverend John Harper shouting to others to “Believe in Jesus and you will be saved!” The young man hadn’t known Jesus but finally came to ask Jesus for help. That’s when the one lifeboat came and saved him. Rev. John Harper saved many lives during the disaster even giving his life jacket to another passenger and refusing to get on a life boat with his daughter.

Parable of the Lost Sheep as told by Jesus

The One Lost Sheep.

“” Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them! “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”

Luke 15:1-2, 4-7 NLT

The Lost Coin

““Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.””

Luke 15:8-10 NLT

man talking picture while smiling
The parable of the lost son, told by Jesus in Luke 15

The Lost Young Son

1To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons.  12The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.13“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.  14About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.  15He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs.  16The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.17“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!  18I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you,  19and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

20“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.21His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’22“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.  23And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast,  24for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. Luke 15 11:22

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, thank you for all you do in our lives. We are grateful for your Love, Guidance, and Provision! You provide more than we could ever imagine. Heal our family, friends, and this broken world. We hurt for those we love, who have trials in their life, please comfort us as we pray for them. Forgive our sins and encourage us to be your light instead. We can endure all things through Christ! In Jesus Name, Amen

Battle Belongs to You. Phil Whikam

God wants a humble attitude from us.

unrecognizable men praying in old catholic church

Do you spend more time looking down at others, or looking up to God above you?

I pray this story spoken by Jesus will help you reflect on the importance of approaching life with a humble spirit and understanding the outcome of prideful living. But first let’s look at the definition humble.

Definition of humble

having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.

“he was humble about his stature as one of rock history’s most influential guitarists”.

Similar to respectful.

The story of the Humble Tax-Collector

“Also, to some who were relying on their own righteousness and looking down on everyone else, he told this parable: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Parush and the other a tax-collector. The Parush stood and prayed to himself, ‘O God! I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, immoral, or like this tax-collector! I fast twice a week, I pay tithes on my entire income,… ’ But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God! Have mercy on me, sinner that I am!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home right with God rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.””

Luke (Luk) 18:9-14 CJB

Prayer.

Heavenly Father, thank you for all that you do for us including your provision and family. I pray I hold your scriptures and words hidden in my heart where I can recall your teaching. Forgive me for my sins as I forgive those who make mistakes. In Jesus name Amen.

Happy Friday Today and Everyday.

🌺Happy Friday🌺

Take time to be thankful and Joyful! As a an affirmation you can read each word below to Jesus.


Happy – feeling or showing pleasure or contentment!
cheerful
merry
joyful
jovial
gleeful
carefree
untroubled
delighted
smiling
beaming
grinning
glowing
satisfied
gratified
radiant
sunny
blithe
joyous
blissful
blessed
in high spirits
lighthearted
exuberant
elated
exhilarated
ecstatic
overjoyed
🌺Psalm 105:3
Shine and make your joyful boast in Him, you lovers of God. Let’s be happy and keep rejoicing no matter what.

🌺Psalm 144:15
What bliss we experience when these blessings fall! The people who love and serve our God will be happy indeed!
🌺Psalm 146:5
But those who hope in the Lord will be happy and pleased! Our help comes from the God of Jacob!

Damn Break Prophesy

Dam Break – by Dana Jarvis

I heard the Lord keep saying this morning, “The dam is getting ready to break!” I see a great high dam with the water stacked up behind it. I saw water break through this dam and heard the Lord say, I am bursting forth upon your enemy like the bursting forth of water. As you exalt my name, my hand shall move on your behalf. As you lift me up you are going to see me open doors and make ways you have not known, even things you have not dared to ask me for, but this is the season where my power is moving like a mighty flood all around you. This is the season where I am extending my mercy. You will see a mighty demonstration of my Power descend on your life.

Can you hear the rumble in the spirit? Can you hear the rumble in the ground? For now I am moving on your behalf, I am uprooting the enemy out of your destination. Watch and see me as I move against the snake at your gate, against those things that have come against your family, your health, your finances. You watch and see me move.

I am opening up the prison gates! I am opening up the graves! I am opening up new doors! There is a rumble that has already begun. I am unseating old things. Things that have held you captive for years. I am destroying those yokes and breaking those shackles. I am bringing my people to a place of greater freedom and liberty in me.

I am going to use many of you to take this same rumbling in the spirit that you hear and take it to the workplace, take it to the streets and take it to your homes for there is a shaking that is going on in the earth. I am shaking things loose and that which is not of me will fall by the wayside. Those things which is of me will spring forth speedily in this season. It will spring forth miraculously in this season.

The Lord says, “Mark this day down. Put a stake in the ground this day. For there have been things you have prayed for and it seems like for decades. It’s shifting now! Mark down this day! There have been healings you have been crying out for. God says, Mark down this day. There have been family members you have been crying out for.” God says,”Mark down this day for you will see the manifestation quickly now. I have heard and held your prayers.

However like this dam, they are ready to burst forth. Mark down this day!”

Moving Beyond Virtue Signaling by Using Honor and Integrity.

close up photo of lion

Showing Honor 

How do we move beyond virtue signaling into living out the virtues God calls us to? First, we have to identify some of the virtues that aren’t as common in our culture today—starting with honor. 

It’s easy to honor people when they live honorable lives. But what about dishonorable leaders?

As difficult as it can be, we’re called to show honor before someone lives honorably. In fact, showing honor often helps the person become more honorable in the process. 

Let us Start with an opening prayer: God, You are worthy of all honor and praise. Thank You for who You are. Help me glean a new understanding from this scripture reading.  To take delight in honoring others, even when it’s difficult. Show me any areas where I haven’t been extending honor, and guide me as I seek to live a life that honors You and others. Thank you for provision, heal my family and friends spiritually and physically, help me to forgive and forgive my sins.  In Jesus’ name, amen.   

Scriptures reviewed in this message.

Honor. 1 Samuel 24:1-16

Honer Inspires. 1 Samual 24:17-22

Honor.  1 Samuel 26:7-25

Honesty . Proverbs 11:1-4

Love includes honor. Romans 12 8-19. 

David chooses Honor in the Bible

We see honor throughout Scripture, but it’s particularly evident in David’s story. As a young shepherd, David defeats the giant, Goliath, and is later anointed king of Israel. But it was years before that calling would come to fruition.

God anointed Saul to be Israel’s first king, but over time, Saul became prideful and publicly disobeyed God. He viewed David as competition, and he tried to get David killed several times, even though David had always served him well. 

David was faced with an unjust leader who viewed him as a threat. And at the same time, David knew that God had called him to one day fill Saul’s role. 

Imagine David’s dilemma when he has the opportunity to kill Saul not once, but twice. All of David’s advisors want him to do it. He’s literally been on the run because Saul wants him dead. 

And yet—David shows Saul honor by refusing to harm him.  David knew that someone else’s sins don’t justify yours. Saul was in the wrong, but he was still God’s anointed leader. David was still called to serve, obey, and show honor. And when David showed honor, Saul changed as a result. It didn’t fix every aspect of Saul’s character, but it did show the fruit of David’s.

boy wearing a prince costume

David chose to do what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct.  

“They said to him, “This is your chance! The Lord has told you that he would put your enemy in your power and you could do to him whatever you wanted to.” David crept over and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe without Saul’s knowing it. But then David’s conscience began to hurt, and he said to his men, “May the Lord keep me from doing any harm to my master, whom the Lord chose as king! I must not harm him in the least, because he is the king chosen by the Lord!” So David convinced his men that they should not attack Saul. Saul got up, left the cave, and started away. Then David went out after him and called to him, “Your Majesty!” Saul turned around, and David bowed down to the ground in respect and said, “Why do you listen to people who say that I am trying to harm you? You can see for yourself that just now in the cave the Lord put you in my power. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I felt sorry for you and said that I would not harm you in the least, because you are the one whom the Lord chose to be king. Look, my father, look at the piece of your robe I am holding! I could have killed you, but instead I only cut this off. This should convince you that I have no thought of rebelling against you or of harming you. You are hunting me down to kill me, even though I have not done you any wrong. May the Lord judge which one of us is wrong! May he punish you for your action against me, for I will not harm you in the least. You know the old saying, ‘Evil is done only by evil people.’ And so I will not harm you. Look at what the king of Israel is trying to kill! Look at what he is chasing! A dead dog, a flea! The Lord will judge, and he will decide which one of us is wrong. May he look into the matter, defend me, and save me from you.” When David had finished speaking, Saul said, “Is that really you, David my son?” And he started crying. Then he said to David, “You are right, and I am wrong. You have been so good to me, while I have done such wrong to you! Today you have shown how good you are to me, because you did not kill me, even though the Lord put me in your power.”

1 Samuel 24:4-18 GNTD

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David regarded Saul with great respect. 

“So that night David and Abishai entered Saul’s camp and found Saul sleeping in the center of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the troops were sleeping around him. Abishai said to David, “God has put your enemy in your power tonight. Now let me plunge his own spear through him and pin him to the ground with just one blow—I won’t have to strike twice!” But David said, “You must not harm him! The Lord will certainly punish whoever harms his chosen king. By the living Lord,” David continued, “I know that the Lord himself will kill Saul, either when his time comes to die a natural death or when he dies in battle. The Lord forbid that I should try to harm the one whom the Lord has made king! Let’s take his spear and his water jar, and go.” So David took the spear and the water jar from right beside Saul’s head, and he and Abishai left. No one saw it or knew what had happened or even woke up—they were all sound asleep, because the Lord had sent a heavy sleep on them all. Then David crossed over to the other side of the valley to the top of the hill, a safe distance away, and shouted to Saul’s troops and to Abner, “Abner! Can you hear me?” “Who is that shouting and waking up the king?” Abner asked. David answered, “Abner, aren’t you the greatest man in Israel? So why aren’t you protecting your master, the king? Just now someone entered the camp to kill your master. You failed in your duty, Abner! I swear by the living Lord that all of you deserve to die, because you have not protected your master, whom the Lord made king. Look! Where is the king’s spear? Where is the water jar that was right by his head?” Saul recognized David’s voice and asked, “David, is that you, my son?” “Yes, Your Majesty,” David answered. And he added, “Why, sir, are you still pursuing me, your servant? What have I done? What crime have I committed? Your Majesty, listen to what I have to say. If it is the Lord who has turned you against me, an offering to him will make him change his mind; but if some people have done it, may the Lord ‘s curse fall on them. For they have driven me out from the Lord ‘s land to a country where I can only worship foreign gods. Don’t let me be killed on foreign soil, away from the Lord. Why should the king of Israel come to kill a flea like me? Why should he hunt me down like a wild bird?” Saul answered, “I have done wrong. Come back, David, my son! I will never harm you again, because you have spared my life tonight. I have been a fool! I have done a terrible thing!” David replied, “Here is your spear, Your Majesty. Let one of your men come over and get it. The Lord rewards those who are faithful and righteous. Today he put you in my power, but I did not harm you, whom the Lord made king. Just as I have spared your life today, may the Lord do the same to me and free me from all troubles!” Saul said to David, “God bless you, my son! You will succeed in everything you do!” So David went on his way, and Saul returned home.”

1 Samuel 26:7-25 GNTD

belief bible book business

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Romans 12:9-18 NIV

https://www.bible.com/111/rom.12.9-18.niv

What is Virtue Signaling?

silhouette image of person praying

Virtue Signanling basically means NOT HAVING the right inward motives WHILE outwardly appearing to follow laws or being helpful.  We will read from the Bible ( Luke 20 and Mathew 23)  this type of Virtue Signaling.  And then, we will read from Mathew 6, which tells us how to help people without being prideful.  

Let’s Pray: Thank you for gathering us together here to read your word.  Bless our time together, bless our family and friends.  God, I recognize there are times where my inner Pride comes to the surface. During our study, reveal to me any wrong motives I have, and give me right motivations instead. Help me fully accept Your grace, mercy, and love, and guide me as I seek to live out the true virtue You call me to. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

cheerful young woman screaming into megaphone

Devotional on Virtue Signaling 

Virtue signaling is a concept that’s grown increasingly popular on social media, in the news, and in casual conversation. But it’s actually not a new phenomenon. So, what is it? Basically, it’s a negative phrase most often used to call out people who seem to be concerned about how they look publicly without having the right motives privately. 

Throughout Scripture, we see common themes of people trying to appear outwardly righteous while being inwardly prideful. In fact, the Pharisees were  virtue signalers. 

Let’s back up. The Pharisees were religious leaders who were strict about observing the Law given in the Old Testament. In fact, they were so strict about not wanting to break any laws, they invented new laws—and they wanted everyone to know it. 

In Luke 20, we find out that they prayed elaborate prayers in public while cheating widows out of their property in private. Talk about virtue signaling! 

They got so caught up with following the Law that they didn’t see what was right in front of them—a Savior offering both truth and grace.

Jesus was well aware of their religious theater and empty virtue signaling, and He was not pleased with it. In Matthew 23, He doesn’t hold back on His criticism of their behavior: 

Mathew Henry writes. 

The scribes and Pharisees explained the law of Moses, and enforced obedience to it. They are charged with hypocrisy in religion. We can only judge according to outward appearance; but God searches the heart. They made phylacteries. These were scrolls of paper or parchment, wherein were written four paragraphs of the law, to be worn on their foreheads and left arms, Exodus 13:2-10; 13:11-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21. They made these phylacteries broad, that they might be thought more zealous for the law than others. God appointed the Jews to make fringes upon their garments, Numbers 15:38, to remind them of their being a peculiar people; but the Pharisees made them larger than common, as if they were thereby more religious than others. Pride was the darling, reigning sin of the Pharisees, the sin that most easily beset them, and which our Lord Jesus takes all occasions to speak against. For him that is taught in the word to give respect to him that teaches, is commendable; 

Meditations.  

As we read.  Mathew 23 consider your behavior, inner thoughts, your communication, and posts and compare yours to the behavior Jesus wants for his disciples and leaders.  

Readings to help you understand virtue signaling. 

Reading Luke 20 45:47. Be on Guard. 

Reading Mathew 23 1-12. The Warning. 

Reading Mathew 23 13- 15 the fraud 

Reading Mathew 16-22  Promises

Reading Mathew 23- 39 fraud and hopelessness. 

Reading Mathew 6:1-6 

Jesus warns you to be on Guard. 

“As all the people listened to him, Jesus said to his disciples, “Be on your guard against the teachers of the Law, who like to walk around in their long robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplace; who choose the reserved seats in the synagogues and the best places at feasts; who take advantage of widows and rob them of their homes, and then make a show of saying long prayers! Their punishment will be all the worse!””

Luke 20:45-47 GNTD

The Warning to Practice Bible Preaching instead the actions of Preachers. 

“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Matthew 23:1-12 NIV

https://www.bible.com/111/mat.23.1-12.niv

antique bills business cash

Jesus calls out the wrongs of the Pharisees. 

““How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You lock the door to the Kingdom of heaven in people’s faces, but you yourselves don’t go in, nor do you allow in those who are trying to enter!

“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You sail the seas and cross whole countries to win one convert; and when you succeed, you make him twice as deserving of going to hell as you yourselves are!”

Matthew 23:13, 15 GNTD

““How terrible for you, blind guides! You teach, ‘If someone swears by the Temple, he isn’t bound by his vow; but if he swears by the gold in the Temple, he is bound.’ Blind fools! Which is more important, the gold or the Temple which makes the gold holy? You also teach, ‘If someone swears by the altar, he isn’t bound by his vow; but if he swears by the gift on the altar, he is bound.’ How blind you are! Which is the more important, the gift or the altar which makes the gift holy? So then, when a person swears by the altar, he is swearing by it and by all the gifts on it; and when he swears by the Temple, he is swearing by it and by God, who lives there; and when someone swears by heaven, he is swearing by God’s throne and by him who sits on it.”

Matthew 23:16-22 GNTD

Jesus explains the proper way to to act towards religion and prayer. 

““Make certain you do not perform your religious duties in public so that people will see what you do. If you do these things publicly, you will not have any reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give something to a needy person, do not make a big show of it, as the hypocrites do in the houses of worship and on the streets. They do it so that people will praise them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. But when you help a needy person, do it in such a way that even your closest friend will not know about it. Then it will be a private matter. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you. “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites! They love to stand up and pray in the houses of worship and on the street corners, so that everyone will see them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. But when you pray, go to your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.”

Matthew 6:1-6 GNTD

References:   Life Church and Mathew Henry Commentary.  NIV Bible, Luke 20 GNTD.

An Invitation to Receive the Glory of the Lord

waves splashing in stormy ocean near boulders and sandy beach

Today,  you will hear (or Read) 

Isaiah 55. vs 1-13.   This is an invitation to receive the Glory of the Lord.  An invitation to receive blessing and a call to feed your soul with God’s bread.  The call from God will be read in two different Bible Versions.  NIV and Easy Bible.

I’ll first open with prayer.  Thank you God for bringing us together to be blessed and fed by your word.  We glorify your name and ask that you settle our minds to fully receive this scripture.  In Jesus Name Amen.

““Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples. Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.” Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.””

Isaiah 55:1-13 NIV

https://www.bible.com/111/isa.55.1-13.niv

photo of child reading holy bible
faceless barefoot female traveler on embankment against sea
Photo by jasmin chew on Pexels.com

“‘Listen! All of you who are thirsty, come here for water to drink! You may have no money, but come here and buy food to eat! Come and buy wine and milk! You do not need to pay any money. It is free! Do not spend money on anything that is not real food. You work hard for your money, so do not spend it on things which do not help you. Listen carefully to me. Eat something that will make you strong! Enjoy the best food! Come to me and listen carefully. If you accept my teaching, you will have real life! Then I will make a covenant with you, to be my people. My promise will continue for ever, like the promise that I made to King David. So look! I chose David to show my power to other people. I made him a leader to rule the people of the nations. Now you will call other nations to come to you. They will be nations that you did not know before. Nations that did not know you before will now run quickly to you. They will come to you, because they see that you are great. The Lord your God, Israel’s Holy God, will make people honour you.’ Come to serve the Lord now, while he lets you find him. Call out to him for help, while he is near you. Wicked people need to change the way that they live. Evil people must stop thinking their evil thoughts. They must turn back to the Lord our God, because he will be kind to them. Yes, God will completely forgive them, if they turn back to him. The Lord says, ‘Remember! My thoughts are not the same as your thoughts. The way that you do things is not the same as the way that I do things. The sky is far higher than the earth. In the same way, I do things in a much better way than you do. Also, my thoughts are much higher than your thoughts. The rain and the snow come down from the sky, and they do not immediately return there. Instead, they give water to the earth, so that crops will grow there. Then the farmer has seeds to plant, and people have food to eat. It is the same when I give my word to people. It will not return to me without any result. No! My word does what I want it to do. What I promise to do will certainly happen.’ You will leave that foreign land with joy! You will travel home with peace in your minds. The mountains and the hills will sing with joy as you travel past. The trees in the fields will clap their hands together! Where thorn bushes have been growing, pine trees will grow instead. Myrtle bushes will grow where there are weeds now. Those things will show everyone that the Lord is great. It will be a sign to people for ever.”

Isaiah 55:1-13 EASY

https://www.bible.com/2079/isa.55.1-13.easy

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Easter

Jesus Sacrificed his Life to Save our Life
Kids Video about Easter and how Jesus Gave it All. Download a coloring page of Jesus at this Link.

Easter Story Message of Jesus

This message has been adapted from Life Church and Fresh Life Church.

Reference: (Fresh Life Church | The Show Must Go On | Pastor Levi Lusko | Easter People, pt. 1)

In God’s Providence, I had, we had, been planning to spend the weeks between now and Easter really getting our hearts ready for all that God wants to do in our lives. As we remember and look back on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and to spend weeks in a series that is essentially a collection of talks built on people involved in the

Easter story, people involved in the Easter story. There were people involved in the Easter story.  And we’re going to be looking at a bunch of the different stories. I invite you to make sure you don’t miss a week, as each

installment will build and show us different angles and perspective. And it’s going to be amazing. Easter people will bring us through Easter. Who knows? Maybe we’ll go weeks past it. It’s fantastic. But we’re going to start in Mark’s gospel, chapter 16. There’s something really, really special that God has shown me. I was actually on an airplane with my wife when this came to me. And this is unlike me. The flight landed. I

didn’t even notice. I had my laptop out. I don’t know if the flight attendant didn’t notice.

But I was still working. And this is how I work. This is how I write my sermons. Now you guys know. I don’t have my fingers involved at all. Just all wrist. But the flight lands. People are getting off. And Cindi is like, um. like I’m normally like totally switched on a flight. But this time, I’m just like, just in it. Just, like headphones on. Just like oh my gosh. This is so powerful. And she’s like, we need to get off this airplane. And so I just grab all my things, and my phone. And like I’m dragging my laptop cord down the aisle. And she’s like, you’re a mess. It was– I was like, God showed me something so special. I can’t wait to show church. I really, I’m really excited. I hope, I hope you are 5% as excited as I am. At least you’re here, baby. All right. So the title is The Show Must Go On. The Show Must Go On. That’s a phrase that originated in the circus. And oftentimes, people would get hurt. Of course, circus is dangerous, y’all, right? I mean, you’ve got trapeze. And you’ve got people walking across a volcano singing worship songs. I mean, you’ve

got– anybody much that? That was awesome. And when someone would get hurt, there was a spirit amongst the performers that we’re not going to allow a setback keep us from doing what we showed up to do. We’re going to keep going. If I have to be the ringmaster tonight, and I was blessed be the lion tamer, if I have to do that, like no matter what happens, we’re going to give the people who came out what they’re here for. The show must go on. And that sort of spirit of never say quit, never, never say die– we have to adapt, we adapt. We need to adapt. Adapt or die, right? But we’re going to figure out a way to do what we came here to do. And that spread to the hotel business and restaurant business. And really, I think any business with a drive and a mission has that sort of up in their tank a little bit. Show must go on. We’ll figure this out. Let’s not easily walk away. Let’s not get discouraged. Let’s not, let’s not get jaded. Let’s stay sweet. Let’s stay, let’s stay spunky. Let’s stay hungry. Let’s foolish. Like, the show– come on. The show must go on. Could you tell two or three people around you– without touching them– the show must go on? The show must go

on. 

And I want to show you that it is that spirit that’s at the heart of what happened on the day Jesus rose, specifically as we look at Easter person number one– Mary Magdalene.

Verse 1, chapter 16, Mark’s gospel, it says, now when the Sabbath was passed, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and the Italian Salome– brought spices, because it’s a spicy salami– that they might come and anoint him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

And they said among themselves, who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us? But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe, sitting on the right side. And they were alarmed. But he

said to them, do not be alarmed. You see Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen. And the church said? I just talked about Jesus rising from the dead. I said, and the church said? He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you, This is the greatest show. With apologies to the circus, there has never been a greater show than this one. This is the resurrection from the dead. This is the linchpin of our salvation. This is the cornerstone of our faith. This is the hope that we will go to the grave with. This is what will bring us through the valley of the shadow of death. This is

our victory. The greatest show. I don’t know how you react to like me calling the resurrection of Jesus a show. You’re like, I don’t know. A show is fake. A show– No, no, no. If you look in the dictionary under the word show, you’ll see a display, or you’ll see one of my favorite words– a spectacle. a spectacle. Paul literally said that when Christ rose, there was a spectacle that took place– not only on earth, but in heaven, and in the corridors of eternity. And it, for sure, reverberated through the quarters of hell, too.

In fact, Paul put it this way. Speaking about the spectacle of the resurrection, he said that on the day that Christ died and rose, he took away the weapons of the powers of the authorities. He made a public show of them. Talk about an end zone dance? The devil thought that he had defeated Jesus when he nailed him to the cross. Turned

out, he pounded those three nails into his own coffin. I’m telling you, when Christ rose from the dead, he stripped demon powers. He stripped the devil of authority and honor. And he drag them naked and bound. It was a victory parade.

This is the greatest show, that Christ rose from the dead– a display of power, a spectacle of the enemy, who thought he could take us into the grave, who thought he could drag us into hell with him. But Christ grabbed us from the jaws of death. He grabbed just from our sin. He nursed us back to health. He gave us his life. The resurrection of Christ from the dead is our hope. Without it, we are in vain. Without it we believe in vain. Without it we gather in vain. Without it we trust God in vain.

It’s Christ’s victory over death that can give us hope no matter what we face in this life. And guess what? For this great show, Mary had a front row seat. Mary Magdalene, she had a front row seat. A front row seat in our house is code for– Cindi and I were making out. It all started when we were smooching. And Lauren walked around thecorner, and caught us, caught us kissing. And it’s OK. We’re married. And she’s like ugh. And we’re like uh. And she goes, front row seat. She didn’t like it. She didn’t like it. She did not like it. And so now anytime my kids sense PDA, they just go front row seat? And they’re just like, doing it over avert our eyes? And it’s Cindi’s fault. She’s so fine, I’ll tell you what right now. From row seat. Mary had a front row seat to the greatest show, which is, she was, She, was the first in line to see it. She got to be a part of it. Mark goes on. We’re not going to read his account any further. But he does go on to

actually detail her bumping into Jesus. He just, in a few versus, kind of gives the essence of it. But she got to have a front row seat. And what I want to do is talk about why. I want to talk about how. Because if we’re not careful, it could seem that itwas just a lucky coincidence for her. Man, lucky Mary. Magdalene and her friend Salome, they got to see Jesus rise from the dead. Man, it almost seems like they were just in the right place at the right time. And there’s sort of this fluke thing. Could have been any of the other disciples, but she just got to be the one.

And I want to show you that is not the case, that it was, in fact, the result of a faithful life that led to this climactic victory. And it’s important we talk about that. Why? Because one of the greatest mistakes that a leader can make

is to only analyze their failures, and to sort of assume that the victories will just continue, right? I, for sure, know as a leader, that I do, I do forensic analysis of a failure. Almost like that sink the ships spirit, you know, in a Titanic disaster? Sink the ship. and exhaust everything to understand the failure. Now it is known, in a Titanic disaster. Revist the sight until the true failure is known. Now it isimportant to try and assess why you failed in an endeavor, what you did wrong in a business, how you mentally broke and why your team failed to do what they were there to do. We need to look into our failures. But one of the greatest things you can do as a leader is also do an autopsy on a success. And the mistake that you can make is to coast because something went right, and it really dig in when something went wrong. But sometimes that can be fruitless. But the better question is, how did we do what we did

right, so that we can do more of what we did right? You don’t get to automatically repeat a victory unless you

understand what it was that you did right.

So what one example of this is, your kid brings home the report cards. And you see Ds and a C and a B. And where do you go as a parent? To the Ds. What’s wrong here? Why is this not working? Why, well, tell me about the Ds. And we just want to understand, why are you not doing good in these areas? Why do you have these Cs? We focus and harp on the Ds. You’re missing the point. There’s a B. So they’re capable of success. So what about that B? Talk about the B. Dissect the B. Figure out what’s happening in the B, and how do we spread what’s happening in the B to the D, instead of trying to bring the D up to the B? You see, you’ve got to do the autopsy on the successes, and not just

the failures. So Mary here, I think you’ll agree with me, is having a success story. It’s a great moment. She’s getting to see the empty tomb. She’s getting a– she’s having an angel encounter. This is an angel encounter. Angel– someone say angel encounter

That’s a big deal, an angel encounter. Epic moment. But how did she get there? Oh, for that, we got to go back to Luke chapter 8. You see, it’s her origin story. Every great hero– and Mary Magdalene has been called one of the examples of pure devotion in the entire Bible, by the way. So that’s an epic moment. She’s flexing her superhero

powers.

But the origin story– well, her roots were humble. In Luke chapter 8, we’re told, now it came to pass– and this is, by the way, very early on in Jesus’ ministry– afterward, that he went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God. How did that work? Well, the 12 were with him. When we think of Jesus’ support squad, our minds, many of us, automatically go to his 12 disciples. Because the teamwork makes the dream work. And if Jesus is preaching the

gospel to every city and getting this message in this news out to every place, we know he can’t do that alone. The great hallmark of a courageous leader is their ability to empower, see greatness in other people, watch their vision be multiplied through lots of different talented individuals. And we think, well, Jesus is doing an amazing thing.

Well, he had to have a team. Absolutely, he had a team. And the 12 were just the beginning. So how did it work that he went everywhere, doing all that he was able to do? How is it that the 12 were able to go everywhere and do all they were called to do? For that, we have to keep reading, where it says, and certain women– that’s how Jesus did what he did. Y’all, certain women– where are my God honoring women at? How was Jesus able to do what he called to do? Certain women. What was their story? Who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities. Well what about the disciples? Were still hoping they would get healed of their evil spirits and infirmities. But these women had been healed and been touched. And they were serving Jesus in a powerful way.

What did it look like? Well, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons— now I don’t care how you count. That’s a lot of demons, right? The way I reckon, anything over three is a bunch, you know? Seven demons. This girl was an unholy Holiday Inn. You know what I’m saying? And it says, verse 3, she wasn’t alone. Mary also had Joanna the wife of Chuza– I don’t know who that is. Oh, it’s

Herod’s steward. Ah. And Susanna– do not forget Susanna. But they weren’t alone either. Because it says of these women, and there were many others who provided for him from their substance. We tend to focus on, when we think of what Jesus did, the actual boots on the ground– his hand on them, raising the widow of [ Nathan’s ] son, doing this work in this place, doing this in that place. But Luke, who’s been called

the Gospel of womanhood, because he so often brings to our attention the amazing cast of rocking biblical women who served God in powerful ways, he tells us yeah, Jesus did all this. And his disciples helped him out. But don’t you dare forget about Susanna and Mary and all these rocking women, the mother of Salome, the mother of James, the mother of– these women were the ones who said, hey, listen, we’ll serve so that you can go. We’ll be here doing what’s needed, so you can do the ministry that you’re called to do, Jesus. So for Mary, it wasn’t just this fluke thing that caused her to be able to see Jesus rise from the dead and get to be a part of this most important, greatest story ever told. For her, it was a way of life, beginning when she started out at rock bottom, and Jesus touched her. So now, with that in mind, that she was regularly doing what she did, and that’s how she got to be a part of that day, we come to John chapter 20, where we’re going to circle back on Mary and read the same story we read a minute ago. But we’re going to see it from a different point of view. 

Bookmark this page to read the account of Mary and Jesus from Luke’s part of view in your next post.

It’s about His Finished Work not Your Works.

Bible Scripture Reading Mark 16. “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. [The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20.] When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”

Mark 16:1-20 NIV

https://www.bible.com/111/mrk.16.1-20.niv