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Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

The coronavirus  COVID-19 pandemic has swept the world swiftly and caused much upheaval of what many of us were once used to in our daily lives.  Given the sheer impact of this pandemic on our daily lives, I made the conscious decision to back away from the Jeremiah Journey and focus on both a more informative and inspirational posting strategy to provide greater life application for readers.  The Jeremiah Journey continues and will emerge again in another format on another platform that we will share later through Inbox Inspirations e-newsletter and social media postings.

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With stay at home orders and social distancing in place, things just seem so different. A lot of folks seem to forget that such orders are in place because of the public health epidemic known as coronavirus (COVID-19). They most probably are the same folks who are pushing for an ease or lift of these orders to get back to normal some time soon.

But despite the chaos of the COVID-19 crisis, an opportunity exists to get better. Stay-at-home order do not mean that you are to stay at your current status. You can emerge  from this with more skills and more knowledge than you had before.

How do we end up better off than before?

You have so much more potential than just binge watching Netflix.  Use some of this time to build up your skills and increase your knowledge.  Take a few hours per day to become better than before.

Knowledge through Reading

Use this time to expand your devotion and Bible study.  Focus on a study of a topic or theme like salvation.  Yes, Acts and the Gospels give us the story of Jesus Christ and the acts of the Apostles, but take the deep dive into the epistles that explain salvation.  Start with Romans and Galatians.  Get an understanding for the major tenets of salvation and what it means to be saved, redeemed and justified in Christ.

You can also use this time to gain some basic book knowledge.  Check out Goodreads and see what others are reading.  Expand your knowledge base.  You can get this in beyond print books.  Try e-books or Kindle.  You can even listen to a book via Audible while you work out.  Whether it be fiction, poetry or nonfiction, find some good books to occupy your spare time and fill your mind with different thoughts.

Skills through E-Courses

Now is a good time to get in some screen time with e-courses.  Sites like Class Central and Courseraare offering specials due to the COVID-19 crisis.  Take advantage of these offers while you are at home.  Also, look at other e-course programs such as Teachable and Skillshare.

There are an abundance of free offerings that can help you level up your skills and improve your marketability.  Or, you could just want to engage in a new hobby to keep from suffering from cabin fever.  No matter what drives you there, get into and get better.

Fitness While Staying at Home

These days people are working remotely and spending a lot of time on their laptops and smartphones with Slack, Skype and Zoom like never before.  You can get caught up in workloads that have you staring at screens for extended periods of time and tapping on the keyboard excessively.

Get up and get your body moving.  You may not be in a position to participate in a Peloton Challenge, but there’s plenty that you can do remotely.  Even if it is just with a digital workout on TV or YouTube, you do something to get moving and add some physical activity to your daily life.

In the end, we should consider time as a commodity.  It comes and goes, and then we do not even have any idea of what we did with it at times.  Do not let that be the case when we emerge from COVID-19 closure and stay-at-home orders.  If nothing else, let yourself become better.  Become better off than you were before this even became an issue.

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And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.- Luke 2:7 (KJV)

What we know about Joseph and Mary is that they went way out of their way to bring Jesus into this world.  Other couples may not have gone to such lengths.  Long distance travel would have been enough of a problem in and of itself.  Yet, these folks took everything in stride, even the pregnant woman after the long trip on a donkey.

I can imagine how some of would reach for our AAA card or hit up Expedia or Travelocity.  The earthly parents of Jesus accepted his birth in a manger.  Most of us would have a problem if it had been at a HoJo’s or IHOP.

Let’s  consider the trouble that they went through for this to occur as we celebrate.  Joseph could have said let’s turn back.  Mary could have said this just won’t do.  They never balked or flipped out.  Let’s celebrate His coming and how His coming came about.

Merry Christmas!

I need a new t-shirt design, but for the meantime check out what I have done on Zazzle in the past.

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“You shall have no other gods before Me.- Exodus 20:3 NKJV

GOD wants more out of us.

I know what you are probably saying or thinking but He does.  He wants more and He deserves more.

Who are we to eek out a meager or mediocre existence when we are divinely directed to have dominion over the things if the earth and to serve as stewards over His majestic masterpiece as His “dear children?”

He wants us delivered by Him.

He wants us dedicated to Him.

He wants us developed in Him.

We are not all that we can or could be, or even what we should be. God not only wants to have us, but He also wants to help us and handle us as His own.

He has once we have accepted His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. That is the Savior’s work.

He helps us as He works in us and on us, so that He can work through us. That is the Spirit’s work.

He handles us by setting us straight and sharing His purpose and intentions with us. In other words, He makes His will known to us. That is the Scriptures’ work.

He does all of this for us with the expectation of getting more out of us. Therefore, we must confront our own complacency. We must shun our sullen slumps and dives into depression. We must relinquish routine and regulated religious acts done in a spirit of the status quo. We must answer to God for not going beyond the norm and not exceeding the epitome of earthly expectations.

Shame on us when appreciate the acceptance offered by human accolades and applause while heaven rendered silent because we have not preached Christ or His gospel. God have mercy on us when have neglected our first calling, quenching the Spirit and its unction for us to speak peace, love, mercy, grace and forgiveness into the lives of others and share the abundance of what the Lord truly offers us all and expects of every believer in His name.

Let us do better by ever going more to be better as we follow His perfect and humble example foe us.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV

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for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23

We all have sinned.

The Bible does not mince words when it comes to that. It speaks clearly on that fact, especially where Paul is concerned. We come to know that we never truly measure up to God’s standard.

Thank God for salvation.

Thank God that grace covers our sins. Praise be to God for the blood of Jesus that covers us so completely that we are not viewed by our sins but by His miraculous works.

Sin caused us to need the Savior, but it was not poweerful enough to keep us out of His family. He loves us as dear children, considering us both heirs and sons of God. He assures us that nothing and no one can pluck us from His hand.

We are still sinners, but God’s love for us ushered in salvation. Therefore, much akin to how Paul stated it to the Romans: we were saved as sinners.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

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Hear this, you elders, And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything  like this happened in your days, Or even in the days of your fathers?

Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation.
– Joel 1:2-3

When things happen- whether they be good or bad- we tend to talk them up with others. We broadcast the news. We share the latest happenings. We make a lot of noise about what we have going on.

Pass on the Good News. Let other generations to come hear about it
Let them read about it. Let our poetry, songs and other writings speak about it.

Publish it among all of the people so that it will continue to speak generation after generation.

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14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 
16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

-Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)


God is available to us.  We do not have to await a mediator in the form of a priest or anyone else.  Jesus serves as our “great high priest” who “did not sin.” He is our mediator, seated at the right hand of the throne of God and advocating for us before God.  

Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 
– Mark 15:38 (NKJV)


He makes our access to God available to us.  The work of Jesus upon the cross brought about the torn veil that led to the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctuary of the temple where access to God was limited to those of the priestly order.  That was destroyed and torn in two by the sacrifice of Jesus.  We, as believers through His shed blood, now have access to God.

Take some time and spend it with God, meditating on the sacrifice of Jesus.

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 For ever, O LORD,
thy word is settled in heaven.
– Psalm 119:89

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart

that I might not sin against you.

-Psalm 119:9-11(NIV)

Look at the Word of God.  Look into and seek the things that God wants to share with you.  Oddly enough, the Word tends to strike us right where we are in our lives.  Whether we are up or down, happy or sad, it touches us and it speaks to us through the Spirit of God.
Start keeping track of your daily inspirations from God and His Word.  Jot down in a journal or notebook how God speaks to you daily.  Keep track of it.  Refer to it on your down days or just during your down time. 
Write openly and freely about what the Lord says to you with the Word.  Keep your journal as your own private sanctuary for you coming before the presence of God with the burdens of your heart and soul.  Let loose and see what God does with your thoughts, expressions and feelings.

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Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.” – Exodus 24:8 (NIV)

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. – Matthew 26:28 (NIV)

When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people.  He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” – Hebrews 9:19-20 (NIV)

Blood dripped down from the cross.  Droplets of shed blood hit the soil.  Many had bled there before.  Countless slain criminals had hung above the earth and died there, soaking the ground with blood.  However, something appeared different that day. 

The man hanging among the thieves was innocent.  He had been tried in a religious court that had refused to accept His message.  He had put up little defense against their accusations.  Even when they handed Him over to the Romans, He stood in silence as He faced His inevitable death sentence.  He said little as He endured the cruel beatings from the Roman soldiers.  He had offered no resistance when they forced Him to march with His cross through the streets.  Even as He hung upon the cross, the few words that He offered were mumbled as he neared death.

He had been called Rabbi.  John the Baptist had called Him the Lamb of God.  Some had said that He was the Christ (the Anointed One).  He was even called the Messiah by others.  Yet, some mistook Him for one of the prophets like Elijah or Jeremiah.

No matter what He was called.  He hung high above the ground and shed His blood for the salvation of the world.  Nothing would ever be the same once His blood was shed.  No one who called on His name and believed His message would not have the new covenant presented through His shed blood and slain body.

And that day was the preparation,
and the sabbath drew on.
– Luke 23:54 (KJV)

What Moses had offered in the wilderness was hardly anything close to what Jesus offered on Calvary’s cross.  Jesus bore all of our grief and sorrow for our sake.  Jesus offered a covenant that Moses could only imitate at that point.  Moses could only offer a ceremonial sprinkling of the blood for the covenant.  Jesus offered a prophetic and redemptive covenant that showed the power of God through His shed blood.  Souls are saved continually through what Jesus offered as a supreme sacrifice on that day.

Do not believe the naysayers.  Do not accept the lies and the misunderstandings.  The blood of Jesus still saves.  The blood of the Lord paid the price for our sins for our salvation.  He stood in and paid the penalty for our wrongdoing, for our transgressions and infirmities.

Let the covering of the blood continue to work on you.  Let the blood remind you of His sacrificial love.  Never forget that the blood of the slain Savior who suffered for sakes soak into your soul like it once soaked into the soil of Golgotha.  Let the image of that blood settle into your spirit and keep you close to Him in this new covenant.  Hold dear to Him as your Lord and savior, for His blood still has power.

For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer
sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh:
how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit
offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead
works to serve the living God?
– Hebrews 9:13 (NASB)

But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of God.
– Hebrews 10:12 (NIV)

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5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
– Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)

If we are to become like Jesus, we will have to start to do like Jesus.


That sounds simple enough.  It sounds almost like a formula. Doing like Jesus = being like Jesus.

Really?

We can get wrapped up in a whole lot of theological theory or biblical-sounding babble that sounds good but does us no earthly (or, even eternal) good.  In the end, talk remains just as cheap in Christendom as it did in any secular sense.  At some point, we have to do more of Christianity than simply study about it and show up for church, Sunday school or prayer meeting.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
-Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

We need to do Jesus by doing like Jesus. That’s not as simple as it sounds.  Look at what Jesus went through, too.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. – Hebrews 12:3 (ESV)
And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. – Mark 6:5 (NLT)
27 Again they entered Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking through the Temple area, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. 28 They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right to do them?” – Mark 11:27-28 (NLT)
No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God. – John 5:44 (NLT)
2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? – Matthew 11:2-3 (KJV)

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
– John 6:66 (NIV)
For even his own brothers did not believe in him. – John 7:5 (NIV)

Jesus went through a lot.  He went through a lot with many of the people who should have had His back.  He withstood unbelief and doubt, even an outright walk-out by some of His own disciples.  Even John the Baptist, in his last days in prison, sent two of his own disciples to find out if Jesus was really the Messiah or not.  Jesus had to deal with all of that.

The question is whether we can do like Jesus and endure the abandonment of family and friends. 

Can we withstand those who will walk out or walk away and never walk with us again? Can we endure the doubters and their disbelief?
Can we stand firm when we have to stand alone?

No, the Lord never forsakes us.  He is with us, but we have to understand that the Lord’s work can become lonely work in human terms.  We have to accept the fact that some folks just won’t stick with us or stick by us as we continue on a journey with Jesus.

If you aim to do like Jesus, just expect to be done like Jesus, too.  Let us not forget that it was Jesus who humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  It was Jesus who took on the penalty of sin upon the cross for the sake of mankind’s salvation.   If that’s how people treated the Anointed One who healed the sick and performed miracle upon miracle, how do you think they’ll do you?
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself. . .

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18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
-John 15:18-25 (NKJV)

The words of Jesus seem to have been spoken with both simplicity and significance.

What He said to His closest followers on that final night before His death seemed to come off as touching as Lou Gehrig’s farewell in Yankee Stadium delivered by Gary Cooper in “The Pride of the Yankees.” He spoke specifically of the things to come and how His disciples should face them with the inevitable assurance of the coming of the Helper.  He spoke directly, openly and candidly with these men about His departure.  Yet, He spoke plainly about what these men would face without Him physically present with them.

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

He kept it plain.  He said it with simplicity.  He said that they would be hated by the world since Jesus had been hated by the world.  He said it in real simple terms.  He did not want it misunderstood or misinterpreted by them.  He kept it simple, hoping them to take His words in and remember them when the time came.

If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. 

He said it with significance.  Persecution, in whatever form that it would show up, would surely come to the followers of Jesus.  Jesus said it to them while He was still with them.  That was significant.  He did not want them caught off guard by the ill treatment of the world.  He did not want them to be shocked or stunned by how cruel the world could be towards Him or His followers.

He had already shared the indication of the world’s past.  He had already spoken of Israel’s ill treatment of the prophets.  He had already shared words that had perplexed and confused in His famed Sermon on the Mount, referencing the prophets being treated to persecution prior to His coming

Why say it in such a way? Why keep it simple and plain?
Soon, after the meal had been shared and the wine had been sipped, they would see one of their own hand the Master over to His persecutors.  Once they had supped, they would be confused among themselves regarding much of what He had said.  They would question their own motives.  They would run and hide, doing no better than those disciples who “turned back and no longer followed him.” 
He said it simple and plain.  He said it with significance.  He said it so the disciples would recall it when they needed to remember it the most.  After all, we read it today and recognize that our own mistreatment is not without reason.  We follow Jesus.  We walk in His footsteps.  We get the hatred of the world that hates Him because we not of the world since He chose us out of the world and caused us to walk with Him.

Those who hate me without a cause


Are more than the hairs of my head;

They are mighty who would destroy me,

Being my enemies wrongfully;

Though I have stolen nothing,
I still must restore it.

-Psalm 69:4 (NKJV)

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