LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; Lord you love the sinner and the lost, Show them the way. Care for the caregivers and heal the sick of heart. Lord You are the Way the Truth and the Life. may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen MEDITATION “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 niv “We know you deserve an easy life and we are ready to make your life more easier.” E-commerce website https://www.ideserveaperfectlife.com/- website for motivational speaker I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY- “Inspirational” poster Directions to Easy Street: Living the Lifestyle You Deserve- Financial E-book Deserve Wealth, Easy life, Respect, Luck-Youtube playlist Do you get the feeling there is a pretty consistent message out there? That life should be easy, happiness and success are the same thing, and that you deserve it. Yet this entitlement myth is an oddly strange false message and I’ll tell you why… When has life EVER been easy? For anyone? No matter how talented or wealthy a person is, these do not alleviate the barriers and obstacles of everyday existence. “Imposter syndrome” is a real psychological condition that causes even the most talented to feel they are faking it. The super wealthy may not have to struggle to survive financially but based on suicide rates and issues of addiction it seems “having it all” leaves something to be desired. Biblically we see the greatest “heroes” experience loss, humiliation, and trouble. Think about Moses, Joseph, David, and Jeremiah. Often in the Psalms and Proverbs wealth and success seem to be good things that are the result of being good people but there is no guarantee. In fact, the Book of Job dispels any false ideas that being good will result in a stream of unending blessings. So why does the lie that “life should be easy” persist? Perhaps because we live in a broken world and we have an enemy that is happy to lie to us because dissatisfaction, frustration and envy are VERY destructive. They corrode our soul and directly undermine any sense of peace or gratitude we might experience. What if we started each day expecting things to be challenging, knowing that every goal will be blocked, every rope knotted, every phone line busy, every driver in front of us distracted or impaired? BUT that did not in any way diminish God’s love for us, His presence with, us and His desire that we would shine for Him. Isaiah 43:2 says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze”. Not “if”… when. DAILY SCRIPTURE READING Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/jeremiah/ for an overview of Jeremiah and https://bibleproject.com/explore/philippians/ for an overview of Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Jeremiah 2:31-4:9 Chapter 2 wraps up with an image of God’s frustration. What is he frustrated with? (v 32) What clue do we see in verse 36 that leads to this conclusion? The metaphor that we see being used in Jeremiah, is that of prostitution and adultery. The nations of Israel and Judah have been turning to other nations as well as “stone and wood” for help instead of God. And yet, in spite of everything they have done, what will God say? (v 3:12-13) God will say this over and over and over throughout chapter 3 and into chapter 4. I am amazed just how willing God is to forgive. He longs for us to repent and return, even after all we have done. That is the example He sets before us! Philippians 2:12-30 Philippians 2:12 & 13 are these great verses. What do they say? Who is the one working? (it's a trick question, or maybe more accurately a complex question) Consider once again what Paul has been experiencing, and even so, verse 14 says what? Didn’t Paul have a good reason to complain and argue? What do we complain about? There is an interesting note in this section about Epaphroditus. It seems he became ill and almost died. What catches my attention is that Paul had performed many miracles, including raising the dead. And yet, Paul gives thanks that Epaphroditus did not die. Paul had no expectation that God would have healed him, even though God had used him to heal others. Why do you think that is? (this is a big question, without necessarily an answer) Now I imagine Paul prayed for him. Like we see the early church doing for Peter and for others when they were in trouble. I think the answer is all about expectation. Name it and Claim it, seems to be a false truth. I mean if Paul didn't name it and claim it, then should we? We can pray in confidence that God is loving, and in control. Psalm 115:12-18 After establishing that God is unlike idols, the psalmist goes on to ask for God’s blessing. Can we ask for God’s blessing in our lives and the lives of those around us?