Saturday, December 31, 2011


The last day of the year! This is day 365 of blogging The Spoken Word Bible Reading Plan! Today we have all of Psalm 119. I absolutely LOVE that every verse of Psalm 119 refers in some way to the wonderful Word of God! For a few of the verses you have to search other translations to find it, but searching the Word is a big part of meditation! See if YOU can find the Word in every verse, then pick out your favorites!  I have shared mine on a previous blog, but I will share one here. Verse 2:

2 Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are they who keep His testimonies, and who seek, inquire for and of Him and crave Him with the whole heart.

To me, this verse is a very key verse for the entire Bible! First of all, we don't always realize what it means to be "blessed"!  This is the Hebrew word "`ashre", which means: the state of prosperity or happiness that comes when a superior bestows his favor (blessing) on one. The Amplified Bible does a great job of describing this when it says "(happy, fortunate, to be envied)"! And just who receives that wonderful fullness of blessing? Those who "keep", the Hebrew word "natsar", which means: to guard, protect, obey, observe; His Word! They also "seek", the Hebrew word "darash", which means: to seek, inquire, require, Him with their whole heart, or all of their being! Why do I like this verse? Because I KNOW that IF I pay attention to and obey the Word of God, and desire with all my heart to know Him and spend time in His presence, THEN I will be, of all people, MOST BLESSED! YOU can be, too! IF! Amen!

Philippians 4:4:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!

"Rejoice" is the Greek word "chairo", which means: to be cheerful, calmly happy or well-off; to be glad or full of joy. Why should we rejoice? Nehemiah 8:10b:

10b for the joy of the LORD is your strength and stronghold.

We MUST continually remind ourselves of the promises of the Word of God so that we can maintain our joy, which causes us to remain strong and within the stronghold of God's protection, provision, and safety! Do you see that? Do whatever is necessary for YOU to stir up the joy of the Lord that is IN you; and do it every day! You are much stronger than you even realize! Amen!

We finish the year  with the last two chapters of the last book of the Old Testament! Whenever we think of Malachi 3-4, we usually think of and speak about the tithe! That is NOT what we are looking at today. First we will look ate Malachi 3:16-18:

16 Then those who feared the LORD talked often one to another; and the LORD listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the LORD and who thought on His Name. 17 And they shall be Mine, says the LORD of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure). And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him. 18 Then shall you return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who does not serve Him.

During the approximately 400 years between Malachi and Matthew, we do not have anything recorded that God spoke to the people. But, these verses tell us that HE listens when WE speak! He pays attention to those who pay attention to Him and His Word! It WILL be unto us according to God's Word! It is vitally important that we find out what God says, and then agree with Him! Malachi 4:2 says this:

2 But unto you who revere and worshipfully fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings and His beams, and you shall go forth and gambol like calves [released] from the stall and leap for joy.

What a great picture of joy and freedom! It CAN be yours, IF! Be a DOER of the things you see in the Word of God, then you can be a RECEIVER of all the promised blessings! Amen!  Let's end 2011 with Hillsong's "This Is Our God";

Shalom in Him!

Friday, December 30, 2011


Proverbs 31 opens with the admonition to those in positions of authority to stay away from wine and strong drink. Strong drink refers to "intensely alcoholic liquor" according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. What does that mean to YOU? You will NOT find that answer anywhere except in close, intimate conversation with the One, True, Most High, Living, Almighty God of the Bible! The Word of God gives us general guidance, so obey what you DO see. The Spirit of God will give us more specific, personal guidance as we put the Word first place. The rest of this Proverb is usually directed toward women as a gauge for their growth. I prefer this as my gauge, found in Luke 10:42:

42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.

Martha had complained to Jesus that her sister Mary was not helping her wait on people. What was Mary doing? Sitting at the feet of Jesus hearing the Word of God taught by the greatest Teacher ever!  THAT is the way to truly become a Proverbs 31 woman (or man)! Philippians 3 (in the Bible Reading Plan for today) also gives one of the best possible ways to grow up in the things of God. Philippians 3:10-11:

10 [For my determined purpose is] that i may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection and that I may so share HIS sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] top His death, [in the hope] 11 That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].

THAT is the way to become the very best YOU that you can possibly become this side of Heaven! GO FOR IT! you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by knowing HIM! Amen! Here is Hillsong United with "I Live To Know You More":

We begin Malachi today as we get ready to end this year through the Bible! The people had again slipped back from doing the will of God when Nehemiah was gone. Now Malachi, whose name means "My messenger", was sent to speak of the sins of the people and to call them back to the One, True God! Don't allow yourself to be distracted from following hard after God! Keep the flame of your first love for HIM burning brightly in you! Make it your priority to spend time in praise and worship every day for Who He is, and for all He has done! There is no possibility of backsliding when you do that! Amen!

Shalom in Him!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Proverbs 30:2-5 speaks of the boundless difference between the Word of God and the word of man's wisdom:

2 Surely I am too brutish and stupid to be called a man, and I have not the understanding of a man [for all my secular learning is as nothing]. 3I have not learned skillful and godly Wisdom, that I should have the knowledge or burden of the Holy One. 4 Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, and what is His Son's Name, if you know? 5 Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him.

Secular learning can be very valuable when it is added to the Word of God in our lives! When secular learning is all that we have, we WILL eventually fail! John 17:17:

17 Sanctify them by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.

Without the Word of God there is no standard for the Truth! Many modern day textbooks are filled with lies or are missing vital truths because the Word of God is no longer "accepted" as Truth. Make sure that if your children attend a public or private school, you are checking their textbooks so that you can counter any untruth found in them! You MUST be a hands-on parent and there is no shortcut!

In Philippians 2 Paul is encouraging the congregation to be a people of unity. Verses 2-4:

2 Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention. 3 Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. 4 Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others.

No one ever humbled themselves to the extent that Jesus of Nazareth did for us! Verses 9-11:

9 Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, 10 That in (at) the Name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Let's allow Jesus to be our "model" for humility and we can't go wrong! Amen!

Nehemiah 12 shows the people returning to praise and worship and singing to the Most High God! But, it only took Nehemiah being gone for everything to fall apart again! I read this in the Bible Exposition Commentary:

General William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army, once said to a group of new officers, "I want you young men always to bear in mind that it is the nature of a fire to go out; you must keep it stirred and fed and the ashes removed."

Nehemiah discovered that the fires of devotion had gone out in Jerusalem. His first term as governor lasted for twelve years (5:14), after which he returned to the palace to report to the king (13:6). He was gone perhaps a year; but when he returned to Jerusalem, he discovered that the situation had deteriorated dramatically, for the people were not living up to the vows they had made (chap. 10). Nehemiah immediately began to act decisively to change the situation.

Without spiritual leadership, God's people are prone to stray like sheep. One successful pastor told me, "If we didn't keep our eyes on this work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, it would be invaded and soon fall apart." Moses was away from the people of Israel only a short time, and they became idolaters (Ex 32). Paul would establish a church and leave it in the hands of the elders, only to have trouble begin soon after his departure. Then he would have to write them a letter or pay them a visit to straighten things out. (No wonder Paul exhorted the Ephesian church leaders as he did in Acts 20:28-32!) After Nehemiah was gone from Jerusalem only a short time, he came home to find the people defiled by compromise.

If you compare this chapter with chapter 10, you will see that the people failed to keep several of the promises that they had made to the Lord. 

Have YOU neglected your First Love? Do you still spend time daily in praise, thanksgiving and worship? Do you spend time daily in the Word of God; in fellowship with Him; in fellowship with like-minded believers? Not doing these things WILL cause us to slide back into apathy where the things of God are concerned. There are NO rewards for that attitude! Check your heart daily to make sure that you stay on fire for the presence of God and the things of God! you will be so glad you did, and so will those around you! Amen!

Shalom in Him!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Another verse that so accurately describes our current times is Proverbs 29:2:

2 When the [uncompromisingly] righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh. 

We have not heard much rejoicing in this nation in the last three years! Groaning, sighing, crying, and very many calls to prayer! I believe that great revival is happening all over this  nation and that God's people who know how to pray are praying as never before! We DO have good news in verse 16:

16 When the wicked are in authority, transgression increases, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall see the fall of the wicked.

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!! Stand strong on the Word of God and be consistent in prayer and we WILL see the One, True God deliver this nation again! 

Philippians 1:6 is a verse that we should be constantly reminding ourselves of! 

6 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 very moment that you received Jesus of Nazareth as Lord and personal Savior, the Spirit of Almighty God came to recreate your dead human spirit into the image of God, and to live IN you forever! He will never leaver you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) and He will continue His good work in you! That should give you great confidence that you can absolutely fulfill all that God has called you to do! Here is "No Not By Might" by Robin Marks:

In Nehemiah 10 we see the people of Israel back up their prayers to God with the commitment to obey the Law and to honor the Covenant. Verse 29:

29 Join now, with their brethren, their nobles, and enter into a curse and an oath to walk in God's Law which was given to Moses the servant of God and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes:

Then they acted out this obedience in Nehemiah 11 by choosing people to move in and inhabit the city of Jerusalem again. Verse 2:

2 And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem. 

I found this interesting from the Bible Exposition Commentary:

Now that the walls and gates of Jerusalem were restored, it was important that the Jews inhabit their capital city and make the population grow. For one thing, people were needed to protect the city; for they never knew when the enemy might decide to attack. It may have been safer for the people to live in the small outlying villages that were no threat to the Gentile society, but somebody had to take the risk and move into the big city.

Also, if the people really loved God and their holy city, they would want to live there, if only as a witness to the skeptical Gentiles around them. After all, why rebuild the city if you don't plan to live there? But most of all, God had brought the remnant back home because He had a special job for them to do; and to abandon the restored city was to obstruct the working out of God's will through Israel.

In other words, God needed people — live bodies — in the holy city. The Jews were asked to heed a call not unlike the one Paul wrote in Rom 12:1: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service" (NKJV).

Never underestimate the importance of simply being physically present in the place where God wants you. You may not be asked to perform some dramatic ministry, but simply being there is a ministry. The men, women, and children who helped to populate the city of Jerusalem were serving God, their nation, and future generations by their step of faith.

We have always said that true prosperity is being where GOD wants you to be, doing what GOD wants you to do! That has not changed and it STILL pleases God! Amen!

Shalom in Him!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Proverbs 28:2  is what we are looking for in 2012!

2 When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but when the ruler is a man of discernment, understanding, and knowledge, its stability will long continue.

We are believing God to remove the ungodly leaders and promote the godly in very election in 2012 - in the mighty Name of Jesus of Nazareth! AMEN!  Verses 4-5:

4 Those who forsake the law [of God and man] praise the wicked, but those who keep the law [of God and man] contend with them. 5 Evil men do not understand justice, but they who crave and seek the LORD understand it fully.

THAT is the type of leaders we are looking for!  

We spoke a little yesterday about dealing with the enemy and standing! Ephesians 6:11-18 describe the armor of God that we are to clothe ourselves with as we take on our warfare against the forces of darkness:

11 Put on God's whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 

12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. 

Therefore put on God's complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. 
14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, 

15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.  [Isa 52:7.] 

16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. 

17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. 

18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God's consecrated people). 

When we are clothed with God's armor and bearing His weapons, we cannot fail! Here are some encouraging pictures I found concerning this! one for the male men among us, and another for the female men! 

In Nehemiah 8-9 the people turned their focus to the Word of God and to blessing and honoring the One, True, Most High, Living, Almighty God of the Bible! THAT is what is most needed for the United States of America to again be a great and blessed nation! It all begins with God's people praying (2 Chronicles 7:14). Are YOU? Let's DO IT! Amen!

Shalom in Him!

Monday, December 26, 2011


Proverbs 27:12:

12 A prudent man sees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished [with suffering].

"Prudent" here is the Hebrew word "aruwm", which means: shrewd, sensible, skillful and wise. This person will recognize evil because of their study of the Word of God and turn away from it and avoid it altogether! The "simple" is the Hebrew word "pethiy", which means: silly, foolish. This is the person who doesn't pay enough attention to the Word of God to be able to recognize evil and hide! Verse 22:

22 Even though like grain you should pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

"Fool" here is s different Hebrew word that "simple" above. This word is the Hebrew word "`eviyl", which means: to be foolish, one who despised wisdom; who mocked when guilty; who was quarrelsome. This type of foolishness cannot be beaten out of someone! They must choose to WANT to stop being ignorant of the Word; and THEN dig into it AND KNOW IT! Knowledge and understanding of the Word of God is the ONLY "cure" for ignorance and foolishness!

Ephesians 5:1-2:

1 THEREFORE BE imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]. 2 And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.

THIS is how believers in Jesus of Nazareth are to appear to the world! Not by using many high-sounding or super-spiritual words but by a life that speaks without talking of love and light and life! Verses 15-17 gives even more insight into what our lives should look like!

15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), 16 Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.

The more time that we spend meditating on the Word of God and in fellowship with the Lord, the more we will begin to think, speak and act like Jesus did! Then the things of the world will just lose their appeal and the things of Heaven will draw us closer! Then obeying Colossians 3:2 will not be hard at all! Thank You, Jesus!

In Nehemiah 6-7 he and the people had rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. now they needed to restore the gates and strengthen the people to withstand enemy attacks. Sometimes the enemies, both natural and spiritual, attack in devious ways that are hard to combat. This began to happen to Nehemiah. I really liked the way this was covered in the Bible Exposition Commentary, so I'm sharing it here. it is a little long, but very enlightening!

Since Sanballat and his friends had failed miserably in their attempts to stop the people from working, they decided to concentrate their attacks on Nehemiah. If they could eliminate him, or even discredit him, they could mobilize their allies living in Jerusalem (Neh 6:17-18) and take over the city.

The average person doesn't realize the tremendous pressures and testings that people experience day after day in places of leadership. Leaders are often blamed for things they didn't do and criticized for things they tried to do. They are misquoted and misunderstood and rarely given the opportunity to set the record straight. If they act quickly, they are reckless; if they bide their time, they are cowardly or unconcerned. Referring to the pressures of leadership, President Harry Truman wrote in Mr. Citizen, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!"

People in places of spiritual leadership not only have the pressures that all leaders face, but they must also battle an infernal enemy who is a master deceiver and a murderer. Satan comes either as a serpent who deceives or a lion who devours (2 Cor 11:3; 1 Peter 5:8), and Christian leaders must be alert and spiritually equipped to oppose him. It behooves God's people to pray earnestly, not only for those in civil authority (1 Tim 2:1-3), but also for those in places of spiritual authority. If Satan can defeat a Christian leader, he can cripple a whole ministry and discredit the cause of Christ.

The enemy's main purpose was to generate fear in the heart of Nehemiah and his workers (Neh 6:9,13-14,19), knowing that fear destroys faith and paralyzes life. Adolph Hitler wrote, "Mental confusion, contradiction of feeling, indecisiveness, panic; these are our weapons." Both Jesus (Luke 13:31-37) and Paul (Acts 21:10-14) had to face the specter of fear, and both overcame it by faith.

Nehemiah didn't listen to the enemy's lies. He and the people completed the wall and hung the gates in only fifty-two days, much to the chagrin of their adversaries (Neh 6:15-16).

Now the time came for Nehemiah and the people to stand! Do YOU have a plan for obeying Ephesians 6:13 and "...having done all to stand - STAND"? This standing is a very actively aggressive word! We are to be dressed for battle against the unseen forces of darkness and, using every God-given weapon available to us, KEEP THE ENEMY OFF OF OUR PROPERTY! Can you do it? Only if you prepare yourself! DO IT!

Here is an older song by Hillsong called "Stepping Out":

Shalom in Him!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Proverbs 26:6:

6 He who sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off the feet [of satisfactory deliver] and drinks the damage.

What exactly is this saying? I have heard it said that you can teach skills to a faithful person, but you cannot cause a skilled person to be faithful. Faithfulness is a choice! Make sure that you are led by the Spirit of God as to who YOU trust; with delivering a message or anything else of importance to you! It is also vital that YOU choose  to be a faithful person! Can others count on YOU to: be on time; finish what you start; do what you say; keep confidences; tell the Truth; be consistent; pray every day; be in the Word of God every day; be a tither; be a giver; walk in love; stand in faith? BE FAITHFUL and you will be surrounded with faithful people! God will see to it! Amen!

Ephesians 4 is speaking of the unity that is found in the Body of Christ as the individual members do their individual part with the whole in mind! I like this from the Bible Exposition Commentary:

Unity is not uniformity. Unity comes from within and is a spiritual grace, while uniformity is the result of pressure from without. Paul used the human body as a picture of Christian unity (1 Cor 12), and he adapts the same illustration here in this section (Eph 4:13-16). 
Each part of the body is different from the other parts, yet all make up one body and work together.

Many people today attempt to unite Christians in a way that is not biblical. For example, they will say: "We are not interested in doctrines, but in love. Now, let's forget our doctrines and just love one another!" But Paul did not discuss spiritual unity in the first three chapters; he waited until he had laid the doctrinal foundation. While not all Christians agree on some minor matters of Christian doctrine, they all do agree on the foundation truths of the faith. Unity built on anything other than Bible truth is standing on a very shaky foundation. 

Ephesians 4 also shows us God's plan for the maturing and unifying of His church! Verses 11-16:

11 And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave to us] some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers. 12 His intention was the perfecting of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church), 13 [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that[ we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ's own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. 14 So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead. 15 Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things unto Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 16 For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

We CANNOT mature without being involved in a good local church where we are exposed to all of the various ministry gifts; taught the Word of God boldly, confidently, uncompromisingly, precisely and  accurately; and given the opportunity to practice the Word among a church family! THAT is God's plan and it will not work any other way! Here is Hillsong United with "Go", because we really DO want to GO His Way! 

Nehemiah 4-5 tells of the on-going work to rebuild the city walls, with much opposition. The people of God were ridiculed and mocked for believing God and beginning the work. Their enemies even plotted to try and stop the building, but Nehemiah encouraged the people. Nehemiah 4:14-15:

14 I looked [them over] and rose up and said to the nobles and officials and the other people, Do not be afraid of the enemy; [earnestly] remember the LORD and imprint Him [on your minds], great and terrible, and [take from Him courage to] fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your  homes. 15 And when our enemies heard that their plot was known to us and that God had frustrated their purpose, we all returned to the wall, everyone to his work.

Learn to encourage yourself in the Lord in this same way when you are facing tests and trials and you will be able to stand strong on the Word against every attack of the enemy! 

Shalom in Him!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Proverbs 25:2 has always been one of my favorite verses in Proverbs!

2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out a thing.

"Glory" is the Hebrew word "kabowd", which means: glory; honor; abundance; riches; splendor; reputation; reverence; wealth; majesty. "When applied to God this word represents a quality corresponding to Him and by which He is recognized" (according to Vine's Expository Dictionary). This means that it is in God's character to hide His "glory" FOR His people to find out! Then it is all of these good things above happening in our lives when we find AND obey what His Word has to say to us! What a wonderful and abundant promise! If you haven't yet started to dig into God's Word - START! If you have - NEVER QUIT! All that we will ever need to be successful in this life can be found in the Word of God and in intimate fellowship with Him! The choice is ours! Choose wisely!

Ephesians 3:14-21  contains another Scriptural prayer that Paul prayed for his followers and I pray for YOU:

14 For this reason [seeing the greatness of this plan by which you are built together in Christ], I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 For Whom every family in heaven and earth is named [that Father from Whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name]. 16 May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. 17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, 18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God's devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; 19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! 20 Now unto Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super-abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] - 21 To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

What a powerful prayer! We know from 1 John 5 that when we ask for something in line with God's will (His WORD) then He hears us and we have it! This is most definitely a prayer that God will answer! Amen!

Nehemiah 1-3 covers the beginning of the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem 100 years after the captivity in Babylon had ended. Nehemiah had chosen to stay. OR had he been CHOSEN to stay, for such a time as this? God knows! I believe that to be the case, just like Joseph in Egypt! I found this concerning the character of Nehemiah in the Bible Exposition Commentary:

"The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity." George Bernard Shaw put those words into the mouth of the Rev. Anthony Anderson in the second act of his play The Devil's Disciple. The statement certainly summarizes what Jesus taught in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37); and it rebukes all those who told their arms complacently, smile benignly, and say somewhat sarcastically, "Ask me if I care!"

Nehemiah was the kind of person who cared. He cared about the traditions of the past and the needs of the present. He cared about the hopes for the future. He cared about his heritage, his ancestral city, and the glory of his God. 

We will continue with Nehemiah in the next days! In the meantime, think about this:

Shalom in Him!

Friday, December 23, 2011


Proverbs 24:21-22:

21 My son, [reverently] fear the LORD and the king, and do not associate with those who are given to change [of allegiance, and are revolutionary], 22 For their calamity shall rise suddenly, and who knows the punishment and ruin which both [the LORD and the king] will bring upon [the rebellious]?

These verses are very appropriate for what is going on in the world right now, even in our own nation! There are people who are calling themselves "revolutionaries" who are nothing more than lazy, bored, spoiled, undisciplined and unholy freeloaders! Notice that these are headed for their just rewards from both the LORD AND the government leaders! If you find yourself messing with this group of people, get away from them just as fast as you can! Make sure that you are spending quality fellowship time EVERY DAY, with like-minded believers, who will encourage your faith, support you in prayer and have a vested interest in your well-being! When your fellowship is centered on the Word of God, then you can expect wise counsel from some of those faithful believers. Make sure that YOU are preparing yourself to be someone else's "wise counselor"! Rewards!

Ephesians 2:12-14:

12 [Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God's agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God. 13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near. 14 For He is [Himself] our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us.

That is Paul speaking to the Gentile believers in Jesus of Nazareth! He IS the ultimate UNITER! There is no real unity apart from Him! With Him, there is no division! He says everyone as equal in and through the blood of Jesus! Thank You, Jesus! 

Ezra 9-10 shows Ezra dealing with disobedience among the people again. This time is was men marrying foreign (heathen) wives against specific instructions from the God of the Bible.  We need to always keep in mind that the instructions that God give to us are out of His great love FOR us. he wants us to stay in position to walk in the fullness of His Blessing! Make the adjustments that YOU need to make in  order to have 2012 be the very best year of your life so far!

Here is Hillsong Chapel with "The Time Has Come":

Shalom in Him!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Proverbs 23:4-5:

4 Weary not yourself to be rich cease from your own [human] wisdom. 5 Will you set your eyes upon wealth, when [suddenly] it is gone? For riches certainly make themselves wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.

The word "weary" here is the Hebrew word "yaga`", which means: to be exhausted; to tire; to toil; to labor; to be weary; to faint. There is no doubt for someone who actually KNOWS the Word of God that God wants us to be prosperous in every area! The emphasis of these verses is to warn us NOT to make being rich our priority! Ephesians 4:28 tells us the motivation for having a job!

28 let the thief steal no more, but let him be industrious, making an honest living with his own hands, SO THAT HE MAY BE ABLE TO GIVE TO THOSE IN NEED. 

(Emphasis mine) Now THAT is the proper motivation for working! With that attitude, we will  BE the light we are meant to be wherever we work, and our priorities line up with HIS priorities! Blessings ALWAYS come with obedience to the Word of God! Amen! What SHOULD we be focusing on instead of getting rich at all costs? Verse 12 give us the best answer!

12 Apply your mind to instruction and correction and your ears to words of knowledge.

Be like Paul in Philippians 3 and get to know Jesus more every day! You will NEVER be the same! And then verse 23 goes right along with that!

23 Buy the Truth and sell it not; not only that, but also get discernment and judgment, instruction and understanding.

Wise men aren't born wise! It takes time and diligence to to be a student of the Word; but it is time well spent! 

Ephesians 1:5-6 reveal God's ultimate plan for us:

5 For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent] 6 [So that we might be to the praise and the commendation of his glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

So I will pray this prayer for you now! Verses 16- 23:

 16I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.
    17[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,
    18By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),
    19And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,
    20Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],
    21Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.
    22And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church],(A)
    23Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].

The title for the chapter on Ezra 7-8 in the Bible Exposition Commentary is: The Good Hand Of God. I like this introduction:

But if we had interviewed Ezra and asked him the secret of his successful life, he would have said humbly, "The good hand of the Lord was upon me," a phrase that's found six times in Ezra 7 and 8 (7:6,9,28; 8:18,22,31). Nothing but the blessing of God can explain how an obscure Jewish priest and scholar, born in Babylonian Captivity, could accomplish so much for God and Israel when so much was working against him.

That God's good hand was upon this man doesn't minimize the importance of his personal piety or his great ability as a scholar, nor does it ignore the great help King Artaxerxes gave him. God uses all kinds of people to accomplish His will, but if God's hand isn't at work in us and through us, nothing will be accomplished. It's the principle Jesus taught His disciples, "Without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5, NKJV). What did God do for the people of Israel during those difficult days after the Babylonian Captivity? 

Read these two chapters through and you will see what God did for His people. How much more will He do for the Church now! Hallelujah! here is Hillsong with "Search My Heart" for without Him, we ARE nothing! Thank You, Jesus, that we are NEVER without YOU! 

Shalom in Him!

Proverbs 22:17-19:

Listen (consent and submit) to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge; 18 For it will be pleasant if you keep them in your mind [believing them]; your lips will be accustomed to [confessing] them. 19 So that your trust (belief, reliance, support, and confidence) may be in the LORD, I have made known these things to you today, even to you.

There are no wiser words in all of the world than the precious Word of God found in the Bible! Pay attention to the Holy Spirit Who lives in you as He teaches you what this Word means to you personally! Then make sure that you become a DOER of that Word! Good and Godly results await! 

Galatians 6:7-9:

7 Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and only that is what he will reap. 8 For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

No outward "show" of righteousness or religion has ever pulled any weight with the One, True, Most High, Living, Almighty God of the Bible! He has given us His Word so that we can learn of Him; recognize sin and avoid it; build ourselves up in faith; speak His Word and get the same result that Jesus got when He spoke the Word during His ministry on earth! When we sow the seeds of God's Word into our own lives and into the lives of the people we are responsible for, we can fully expect to see the results that His Word promises! Set your face to never, ever, give up or quit and you WILL have a great harvest; here in this life and in the next! Thank You, Jesus!

Esther 9-10 show the total reversal of the predicament that the Jewish people had faced! Now they were the ones with the advantage over those who hated them and they even had the help of the king's people! Esther 9:2-4:

2 The Jews gathered together  in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on such as sought their hurt; and no man could withstand them, for the fear of them had fallen upon all the peoples. 3 And all the princes of the provinces and the chief rulers and the governors and they who attended to the king's business helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them. 4 For Mordecai was great in the king's palace; and his fame went forth throughout all the provinces , for the man Mordecai became more and more powerful.

Mordecai was blessed, honored and elevated in stature in this godless nation because both Mordecai and Esther obeyed the One, True God! The extent of the honor given to Mordecai is revealed in chapter 10. We, who have a better Covenant, based on better promises (Hebrews 8:6), can expect even greater favor as we continue to stand strong and obedient on the Living Word of God! But remember "due season" and refuse to quit! God's timing is ALWAYS perfect! Amen! here is Hillsong with "God Is Able":

Shalom in Him!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Proverbs 21:1 says this:

1 THE KING'S heart is in the hand of the LORD, as are the watercourses; He turns it whichever way He wills. 

It is very important for us, as believers who pray, to know this verse, especially if we are dealing with ungodly leaders! Romans 13:1-2 tells us that earthly authority comes from God! When we pray, God can get involved and change their hearts and minds to agree with HIS will in the situation! Now, more than ever before, we NEED to count on this Truth! 

I also really like this from verse 5:

5 The thoughts of the [steadily] diligent tend only to plenteousness, but everyone who is impatient and hasty hastens only to want.

This reinforces the Truth that God desires for us to take one step at a time, trusting Him to lead, guide and direct our every move. Remember, HE wants you to prosper, succeed, and do well, even more than you want those things for yourself (3 John 2)! HE gets glory from our success!        

In Galatians 5 Paul continues speaking about the True Gospel and exposing the false doctrine of works for salvation. Galatians 5:1 says this:

1 IN [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].

Jesus paid the ultimate price for our freedom! Don't treat it lightly and take it for granted by  thinking that ANY thing we could ever do in the natural is even close to HIS sacrifice! Jesus does NOT want our "works". He wants to see and hear our faith talking! He can work with faith-filled words! Amen! Here is the song "In Your Freedom" by Hillsong:

Just by His very presence the Holy Spirit makes a real change in the lives of the people. Look at verses 22-23:

22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring  charge]. 

ALL of these "fruit of the spirit" are already IN you! Don't "try" so hard to get them! We simply must cultivate them so that they are operating in our lives. THAT will really get people to think about their own lives and whether or not they are actually saved!  Be on top of your game at all times now! Let's have NO wasted time - buy up every opportunity to spread the Good news!                  

Esther 7-8 is all about the vengeance of the LORD on the evil Haman! I like this from the Bible Exposition Commentary:

God's long-suffering led Haman into thinking he was safe. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil" (Eccl 8:11, NKJV). God's long-suffering today is an opportunity for people to repent (2 Peter 3:9), but our sinful world thinks it means God won't judge sinners at all. "For when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape" (1 Thess 5:3, NKJV). 

Remember Romans 12:19:

19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God's] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord.

Allow God the time to take care of your enemies while you continue to pray for their salvation! That takes any judgment out of your hands and leaves you clean before God! It also give the enemies more time to repent and get right with God! If they don't, eternity is plenty long enough for the suffering that comes from rejecting HIM! 

Shalom in Him!                                                                                 

Monday, December 19, 2011


We know by now that the Proverbs are filled with nuggets of Wisdom that will benefit every person who puts them into practice! Here is a vital one for you in Proverbs 20:19:

19 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore associate not with him who talks too freely.

This is such a good Word of warning! Why would we ever think that a person who will so freely gossip about or "bad-mouth" someone else, will only speak highly of us or keep our confidences? A good rule to have for your life is to NOT share anything with someone not qualified to help you! That would definitely include anyone who is not a like-minded believer! This decision will save a lot of hurt and heartache later! Thank You, Jesus, for WISDOM!

Galatians 4:4-7 is the Good News of the Gospel!

4 But when the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born subject to [the regulations of] the Law, 5 To purchase the freedom of (to ransom, to redeem, to atone for) those who were subject to the Law, that we might be adopted and have sonship conferred upon us [and be recognized as God's sons]. 6 And because you [really] are [His] sons, God has sent the [Holy] Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba (Father)! Father! 7 Therefore, you are no longer a slave (bond servant) but a son; and if a son, then [it follows that you are] an heir by the aid of God, through Christ.

We ARE, by His Grace and plan and purpose, HIS sons, and there is nothing in this world that we could ever do to make ourselves "better"! Dare to believe what the Word of God says about who you are and then LIVE IT! Amen!

Esther 5-6 reveals the step-by-step plan that the One, True God used to expose Haman and reward Mordecai! I LOVE God's perfect timing in every situation! It may seem like things are taking too long, but God's timing is ALWAYS the very best timing! We'll see the results tomorrow! 

Shalom in Him!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Proverbs 19:20:

20 Hear counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction that you may be wise in the time to come.

It is our responsibility as born again believers to get ourselves to a good local church where they teach the Word of God. Then we need to spend time in the Word daily, studying the Word (2 Timothy 2:15); obeying the Word, praying the Word, and sharing the Word with others. This will make us wiser every day! Soon we will be able to ALWAYS be fed the meat of the Word of God and not have to be spoon-fed the milk of the Word like a newborn baby again! Then when we act on Proverbs 19:23, we will see those results also!

23 The reverent, worshipful fear of the LORD leads to life, and he who has it rests satisfied; he cannot be visited with [actual] evil.

That is the divine protection, provision, and safety that come from God Himself! Evil may appear in our lives and try to gain access to our lives, but this Word says that we will be protected from lasting effects of evil! Hallelujah!

In Galatians 3 Paul was continuing to speak about the false doctrine of works that had crept into the Church there. Verse 18 sums it up pretty well:

18 For it the inheritance [of the promise depends on observing] the Law [as these false teachers would like you to believe], it no longer [depends] on the promise; however, God gave it to Abraham [as a free gift solely] by virtue of His promise.

Our eternal salvation, though it came at GREAT cost to God Himself, cost us nothing except our decision to receive! How prideful to think that we could possibly add a single thing to the finished work that Jesus accomplished on the cross! Do NOT be trapped into believing something that is contrary to the Word of God! KNOW the Word and you will NOT be easily fooled! God the Holy Spirit, Who lives IN you, will continue to teach you all good things from the Word of God as you continue IN it! Be knowledgeable of the Word, for KNOWING the Word is what will set you free and keep you free (John 8:31-32), as long as you continue in it! Amen! here is Hillsong with "We The Redeemed":

Esther 3-4 deal with Haman and his evil plans to annihilate the Jewish people. In order to understand his hatred for the Jewish people, you have to realize that Haman was most probably a descendant of the Amalekites who were enemies of the Jewish people. He was also a very hate-filled man. I read this in the Bible Exposition Commentary:

Everything about Haman is hateful; you can't find one thing about this man worth praising. In fact, everything about Haman, God hated! "These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren" (Prov 6:16-19, NKJV). Keep these seven evil characteristics in mind as you read the Book of Esther, for you will see them depicted in this depraved man.

Mordecai calls on Esther to use her influence to help her people when Haman tricks the king into allowing him to set up the murder of all the Jewish people. The lines we most remember are found in Esther 4:13-14:

13 Then Mordecai told them to return this answer to Esther, Do not flatter yourself that you shall escape in the  king's palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion?

Don't ever trust in the world to deliver you or protect you! Seek the only real shelter for the born again believer by being ever in the presence of the Almighty Living God! Many of the Jewish people in Germany prior to WWII actually thought that their wealth and riches and education and position in society would protect them from the Nazi aggression. NOT SO! Who knows how many more may have been saved if they had only heeded all of the early warning signs and acted on them! Be wise and pay attention! Move when God says to move, speak when He says speak, act when He says to act, and then stand back and watch the total salvation of your life by the one, True, Most High, Living, Almighty God of the Bible! Amen!

Shalom in Him!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Proverbs 18:1:

1 HE WHO willfully separates  and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment.

We are told in Hebrews 10:25 that we are NOT to separate ourselves from other believers and that this is most important as we get closer to the time of His appearing for the Church. The verse above tells us that the person who does separate themselves in this way is not only selfish, but will also come out against Godly Wisdom! Our fellowship with like-minded believers, when we are meditating daily on the Word and spending time in His presence, helps to confirm and solidify the Wisdom and knowledge we are getting from the Word of God. Then they run the risk of becoming verse 2:

2 A [self-confident] fool has no delight in understanding but only in revealing his personal opinions and himself.

Verses 6-7 show us more of the results of being a fool! Then we see in verses 20-21 how very important are the words of our mouth!

20 A man's self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequences of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].

When we know that we can have what we say (Mark 11:23), it is imperative that we say ONLY what we really want! Amen!

In Galatians 2 Paul is dealing with the false doctrine that had crept into the Church that was forcing Gentile believers to follow Jewish laws and rituals. He ends with this in verse 21:

21 [Therefore, I do not treat God's gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous.]

There is nothing that mankind can possibly do to gain eternal salvation on our own merits! Jesus of Nazareth was the only One Who could ever fill that role! As 100% God and 100% PERFECT Man, He was the only One qualified to bridge the gap! To think that anyone would have the audacity to try to add anything to what Jesus has already done! What it really reveals is how very much the devil desires to separate us from fellowship with the One, True, Most High, Living, Almighty God of the Bible! Trust the Word of God to be the TRUTH, and you will not be so easily tricked by the enemy! 

We begin Esther today and I have to say that most contemporary writings and movies concerning this story are untrue. This was NOT romance novel material! In chapter 1 we see the king of Persia becoming so drunk that he calls for his wife to come and parade herself before the men at his banquet as a matter of pride. This was no shining example of manhood! Many scholars believe that Vashti was pregnant at the time because of the timing of the birth of her son. She had many reasons to refuse such a request, but the king was too drunk and filled with pride to understand! I read this in the Bible Exposition Commentary concerning the drunkenness:

The best way to avoid drunkenness is not to drink at all. A Japanese proverb warns, "First the man takes a drink, then the drink takes a drink, and then the drink takes the man." And King Lemuel's mother taught him, "It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink" (Prov 31:4, KJV).

Then this concerning his pride:

Vashti was right, and Ahasuerus was wrong; and his anger was only further proof that he was wrong. Anger has a way of blinding our eyes and deadening our hearts to that which is good and noble. The Italian poet Pietro Aletino (1492-1557) wrote to a friend, "Angry men are blind and foolish, for reason at such a time takes flight and, in her absence, wrath plunders all the riches of the intellect, while the judgment remains the prisoner of its own pride." If anybody was a prisoner of pride, it was the exalted king of the Persian Empire!

In chapter 2 we see Esther among the many virgins brought into the king's harem to be prepared to be presented to the king for his enjoyment and for him to choose one to be his new queen. These women were chosen for their looks, fed certain food, prepared with cosmetics and such for 12 months and then presented one by one to the king. Not anywhere is it noted that they conversed with the king or shared interests with him or even spent any time with him other than the night they were brought to him. When Esther spoke to Mordecai about approaching the king for help, he had not even seen her for 30 days! The only REAL love in this story is God's love for His people that was providing for their deliverance. That IS the most important message in all of the Word of God and it is present in every book of the Bible! He loves YOU! Don't ever doubt it! 

Shalom in Him!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Proverbs 17:5:

5 Whoever mocks the poor reproaches his Maker, and he who is glad at calamity shall not be held innocent or go unpunished.

"Mocks" is the Hebrew word "la`ag", which means: to have in derision; to scorn; to ridicule. "Reproaches" is the Hebrew word "charaph", which means: to taunt; to blaspheme; to scorn. What this is really saying is that when someone mocks , ridicules, makes fun of the poor, they are actually scorning the One, True, Most High, Living, Almighty God of the Bible! This is especially true when the poor one being mocked is a born again believer! The Father and I are ONE! Everything you do or say to me, you are also doing or saying to HIM! Then we see that we are NOT supposed to rejoice at the problems and tests and trials of others; not even of our enemies! Our attitude as born again believers is to be LOVE! Pray for and bless those who do good to you AND those who do not! God will get involved and our harvest will be ONLY good! Thank You, Jesus!

Verse 15 sounds like some people we know in politics and the media:

15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both an abomination [exceedingly disgusting and hateful] to the LORD!

That is the world we are living in right now! They call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). God's Word has never changed, though! It is still TRUTH; the ONLY Truth! Make what YOU believe line up with the Word of God and you can't go wrong! Amen!

Galatians 1:1:

1 PAUL, AN apostle -- [special messenger  appointed and commissioned and sent out] not from [any body of] men nor by or through any man, but by and through Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and God the father, Who raised Him from among the dead

No person, church board or denomination EVER called ANYONE! The One, True God does the calling, anointing, separating, and sending out of His ministers! Paul was making the point here that his authority to speak to them came from God Himself! I like verse 12:

12 For indeed, I did not receive it (the Gospel) from man, nor was I taught it, but [it came to to me] through a [direct] revelation [given] by Jesus Christ the Messiah).

Paul had spent three years of his life separated from everyone he knew and in presence of the Holy Spirit alone (verses 17-18)! THAT is why some of his letters were hard to understand by some who were not real students of the Word! When we spend enough time in His presence and meditating on His Word, then people will say of us what they said of Paul in verse 24:

24 And they glorified God [as the Author and Source of what had taken place] in me.

Let's make that OUR goal! Here is an older song from Hillsong called "What The Lord Has Done In Me":

Ezra 5-6 is all about the faithfulness of God in order to encourage the people who had returned from captivity as they began to rebuild the temple! I saw this in the Bible Exposition Commentary:

"Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God" (Deut 7:9, NKJV). Moses said that to the new generation of Israelites before they entered Canaan, a truth they would need as they faced the enemy and claimed their inheritance. New generations and old generations both need to be reminded that God is faithful.

And this:

The Jewish remnant that returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple was depending on God's faithfulness to see them through. If God wasn't faithful to His covenant and His promises, then there was no hope. But the God who called them would be faithful to help them finish His work (Phil 1:6), as long as they trusted Him and obeyed His Word. 
In these chapters, we see how God was faithful to His people in every stage of their work for Him. 

This same God is faithful to perform His Word in the lives of believers today who will dare to stand on His Word without wavering, knowing that God's Word IS Truth (John 17:17)! Amen!

Shalom in Him!