Thursday, July 31, 2014
Read: 2 Chron. 29:1-30:, Ro. 14:1-23, Ps. 24: 1-10, Pr. 20:12 I pray that God would raise up a Hezekiah in our generation that would cleanse our land of its idols. Hezekiah reinstituted the observance of the Passover feast. Passover celebrated their exodus from Egypt and God’s great deliverance for His people. To us it represents Jesus as our Passover lamb who died for the sins of the whole world - our exodus from our old life. In Romans, Paul expounds heavily on judging others. It is not our job to judge others - whether they fast or not, or any other religious ritual. Everybody has to walk out their own walk and hear the Lord for themselves. The only ingredient we need to please God is faith. If we act in faith believing we are pleasing God, then we are. He is more interested in our hearts than our sacrifices. If our hearts are right then we will want to obey God. Obedience is greater than sacrifice to the Lord. We sometimes like to choose how we are going to bless the Lord or sacrifice to him, but He would rather us obey him. Giving our money just to get it out of our hands is not always the right way. We should ask God where He wants us to spend or give our money. I have been led to hire someone with the highest bid because God wanted to do something in that person’s life that He needed me to do. Money is nothing to God. He can replace any we use for the kingdom and will. When we realize nothing is ours: our money, our time, our possessions, our children, our friends, then we are in the position for God to do wonderful things. Lord, help us not to judge anyone but our selves. We give you all the decisions that we’ll face today. May we obey.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Read: 2 Chron. 26:1-28:27, Ro. 13:1-14, Ps. 23:1-6, Pr. 20:11 Uzziah looks like a promising king. He followed God and everything He told Zechariah. (Every king had their main prophet and Zechariah was Uzziah’s) So he prospered financially, in battle, in industry, and strategy. But…..when he reached the top of his rule he became proud and decided he was worthy of burning incense to the Lord - a job only allocated to priests. He ended up with leprosy till his death. It is so true that the more we have, the more we want. Uzziah had everything except the duty of priest. He coveted this position and it cost him everything. He lost his health, his right to go to the temple to worship, his kingdom responsibilities which had to be given to his son, Jotham and his pride. Jotham ended up being a good king that prepared his ways before the Lord but his people were corrupt. His son, Ahaz was also corrupt. He worshipped other gods so God gave him over to the Syrians who took captives from Judah and gave them to the king of Israel. God dealt with the king of Israel till he clothed and fed the captives and sent them back to Judah. At another time, Ahaz was being attacked by the Syrians. He tried to buy them with treasure from the Temple. When this didn’t bring peace he decided to worship the gods of the Assyrians. This was the ruin of him and the people. They closed the doors of the temple of God and used the holy instruments to worship foreign gods. In Romans we read that to love is to fulfill all the commandments. Lord, may our nation turn back to You and serve You with all our hearts. You are the only one who can deliver us from the financial mess we have gotten ourselves in. You can do it!
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Read: 2 Chron. 24:1-25:28, Ro. 12:1-21, Ps. 22:19-31, Pr. 20:8-10 Joash was a great God-fearing king until Jehoiada, the priest died. Jehoiada had raised him in the law of Moses. Joash repaired the temple and reestablished worship there. But, once Jehoiada died, the people started worshipping Joash instead of God and he let them. God sent his prophets to preach repentance but they wouldn’t listen. Finally, God sent Jehoiada’s own son to prophecy to Joash and he killed him. Joash in turn was killed by his own men for killing the prophet. Joash’s son, Azariah became king. It is said of him that he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart. He had the men who killed his father killed but he let their families live as the law says. Then he turned and brought home the gods of his enemies and started worshipping them. Azariah also foolishly hired Israel to help them and when a prophet told them to send them home, Israel reeked havoc all the way back to Israel. They raided several of Judah’s towns. This lead to a battle between Israel and Judah where Judah lost because they had worshipped other gods. Everything goes back to God. Whatever you sow, you will reap. Joash started out so well to end so badly which was the story of many a king. The way we keep that from happening to us is found in Romans. We are to have our minds transformed through Christ. We are to overcome evil with good! Lord, may we leave a legacy of power and love.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Read: 2 Chron. 21:1-23:21, Ro. 11:13-36, Ps. 22:1-18, Pr. 20:7 Jehoshaphat opened a door by joining Ahab in battle but Jehoram, his son, walked all the way through the door. He married Ahab’s daughter and followed the ways of Ahab instead of his own father. On Saturday, I wrote that Ahab and Jehoshaphat aligned themselves in marriage and I think this was the marriage they were talking about. They promised their children to be married. Terrible choice by Jehoshaphat. Jehoram killed all of his brothers….just in case they might try to usurp his throne. Because he rejected God, God shrunk his influence. The Edomites and the people of Libnah revolted against him and made their own kings. He rebuilt the high places and caused Judah to prostitute themselves with other gods. God sent Elijah to prophesy a plague that would be his punishment for all he had done. God also sent his enemies against him. They stole his wealth and his family from him. Then God sent the plague to his body. He died hated by his own people. When we are going the wrong way, God will send us adversity to get us to turn and be healed. Jehoshaphat never turned and neither did his son. But his grandson was hid in God for six years. He was brought forth in the seventh year, just as Jesus will be brought forth in the 7th millennium and declared king. God always wins in the end. In Romans we read that the Jew will be grafted back in to the vine of God’s family. It is all part of God’s plan. When Jesus cried out on the cross, “my God, why have you forsaken me” he was referring his disciples to this Psalms so they would read it and see it was talking about what he was experiencing at the moment. God NEVER abandoned Jesus on the cross and He will NEVER abandon us. Lord, may we walk with you the rest of our days.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Read: 2 Chron. 19:1-20:37, Ro. 10:14-11:12, Ps. 21:1-13, Pro. 20:4-6 Yesterday, we read where Jehoshaphat went to battle with Ahab. Today, Hanani, the seer, meets him on his way home to rebuke him from having anything to do with Ahab. Ahab was married to Jezebel who together hated God. Jehoshaphat went back to Judah and turned them back to the Lord. He set judges and Levites in the land to judge them with the righteousness of God. After a while the great army of the Moabites and the Ammonites came against them. Jehoshaphat had the people meet before the temple to seek the Lord with him. Zechariah prophesied and told them not to be afraid because God was going to fight this battle for them. He told them exactly where the enemy would be and when they would be there. They went there just to observe what the Lord was going to do for them. When they arrived Jehoshaphat had the praise team sing and praise God. They watched as the enemy destroyed each other. Jehoshaphat’s men were left with the pleasure of picking up the spoil which was so abundant it took three days to gather it all. That is what spiritual warfare should look like. We hear the enemy coming. We take the report to God. We leave it there and walk in praise and watch as the Lord battles our enemies. Then we pick up the spoils and return rejoicing. In Romans, we read of the fate of the Jew. Because they did not receive Jesus they have been blinded so they won’t see, but there is always a remnant that is spared and one day they will have the blinders taken off their eyes and they will see. What a blessing the whole world will receive when they come in. This great awakening has already started. Lord, help us to know the times we live in and pray for the spiritual peace of Jerusalem.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Read: 2 Chron. 17:1-18:34, Ro. 9:22-10:13, Ps. 20:1-9, Pr. 20:2-3 Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was a good king. He fortified and protected the cities that were taken in the last generation. He even had the prophets of the day and the priests come and teach the people the ways of God. Their enemies honored them with tribute and Jerusalem was protected with a great army. What a recipe for success. If we honor the battles and victories of those who have gone before us then we can build on their foundation and not have to go back and retake what they have already done. I have a few questions about Jehoshaphat’s next moves. He aligned himself with Ahab through marriage. Then he refused to heed the prophecy of Micaiah and went into war with Ahab. What is happening to Jehosaphat? Micaiah told them that king Ahab would be killed if he went to war. Ahab put Micaiah in prison and both kings went to war. Ahab was killed by a random arrow from a nameless archer. I have to think that that archer was an angel. In Romans we read that there are people that God created vessels of wrath that are were made for eternal spiritual damnation and vessels of honor that were made for eternal spiritual glory. The vessels of honor were to be the glory of God and came from both Jewish and Gentile background. They are the remnant - a few in the midst of thousands. To be a vessels on honor you had to go through the rock of offense which was faith in Jesus. The religious Jews had made the entrance to God a hard path of obeying their rules as the mandate to cross over. Only God is righteous and the ones who call on the name of Jesus and confess him with their mouth. These are the ones who will be saved. Lord, let us be like the beginning of Jehoshaphat’s rule. He fortified and kept what the last generation had won in battle. Let us not lose ground spiritually, but build on what we have been given.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Read: 2 Chron. 14:1-16:14, Ro. 9:1-21, Ps. 19:1-14, Pr. 20:1 Asa was a good example of what God did when Judah obeyed him and what He did when they forgot him. Asa followed the Lord and God gave him victory over the Ethiopians, a people with many more warriors and much mightier than they. During Asa’s rule, the people of Judah experienced so much peace and prosperity that many Israelites were moving to Judah. To stop them the king of Israel, Baasha, started building Ramah. Instead of crying out to the Lord for help, Asa hired the Syrian army to help Judah fight Israel. Judah won and took some of Israel’s cities and stopped the building of Ramah. God was not pleased because Asa didn’t ask Him for help so He sent the prophet Hanani to tell him that his punishment for hiring the Syrians instead of asking Him for help would be continual wars. Asa was so mad at Hanani’s prophesy he put him in jail and began to oppress his own people. Asa died of diseased feet. How appropriate. Asa’s ‘walk’ had become diseased. Asa needed to remember Ps. 19. If you don’t believe in predestination, you might want to read today’s chapter in Romans. God creates some people to be honored in earth and in heaven and some to be cursed. Pharaoh didn’t have a choice. He was created to be hardened so that God could show his power through him in all the plagues. I often wonder if the Pharaoh repented later. Paul goes on to say that God has the right to decide who he chooses to make His children and which he chooses not to. This messes with our carnal understanding of justice, but not with God’s. His thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours and he is always just and true. Lord, Your Word and Your decisions are always perfect, right, pure, clean, true and righteous altogether.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Read: 2 Chronicles 11:1-13:22, Even though we read about all these kings in first and second Kings, Chronicles is a chronicle of their lives. It lets us into some information that wasn’t told in the Kings. The kingdoms were reunited (Judah and Israel) during David’s rule and split back apart with the beginning of Rehoboam’s rule. Rehoboam becomes king of Judah while Jeroboam. Rehoboam gathers an army to fight Jeroboam and reunite the kingdom, but God’s sends a prophet to stop him. Both kings rejected God, but Jeroboam the most. He made his own sons to be priests while Rehoboam left God’s priests in order. Rehoboam repented of turning from God and humbled himself. God turned his anger away when he repented and had mercy. Abijah, Rehoboam’s son became king after him of Judah. Jeroboam was still king of Israel at the time. They met to battle. Jeroboam had twice the soldiers. Abijah stood on the battlefield and proclaimed his loyalty to God. God fought the battle and they won. They killed more of them than they had in their whole army. They even were able to gain three towns. In Romans we see that the earth is in labor pains as it waits on our adoption by God. It is like the earth is pregnant with what God is going to birth in us. When our bodies are glorified, the whole earth will become new also. This is our hope and what we are all waiting for. In the same way the earth has birth pains for us, the spirit has birth pains for us. We are pregnant with God’s plans, but like the earth, we don’t know what they are so we allow the Spirit to roan through us and pray through us His mind. These groans are never in our native tongue. They are sounds that come up from our spirit and speak the language of the Father. We can know this for sure…all God has planned for us is only good! Lord, thank you for you incredible love that we can never be separated from. Through You, we are more than conquerors.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Read: 2 Chron. 8:11-10:19, Ro. 8:9-21, Ps. 18:16-36, Pr. 19:26 Solomon could not allow his Babylonian wife to live in the city of David that housed the ark of God’s Presence. When Jesus sets up his millennial kingdom, all false gods will be removed. She is a picture of this. Even though Solomon did well by this, he failed in the matter of the queen of Sheba. He let his pride get in the way. He not only allowed her to stay in the city of Jerusalem, but showed her all his secrets. The queen of Sheba brought gifts but left with all she wanted and more. Meanwhile, Solomon continued to build his kingdom. If Solomon failed to use his wisdom it was women. These women drew Solomon’s heart away and he allowed his wives to entice him to participate in the worship of false gods which led to the downfall of his kingdom. Reoboam, his son became king after Solomon. He was an unwise king who listened to the advise of people his own age instead of the wisdom of the older men. The kingdom split during his reign. In Romans we learn another great truth: those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. All creation is waiting for these sons of God to be revealed. We’ll learn more about that tomorrow. Lord, we want to be a son and not a servant. Help us to know the difference and choose intimacy with You instead of works.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Read: 2 Chron. 6:12-8:10, Ro. 7:14-8:8, Ps. 18:1-15, Pr. 19:24-25 Solomon dedicated the temple to the Lord. He had erected a platform in the middle of the courtyard to he could stand above the people and speak to them. On this platform, for all to see, Solomon bowed down and raised his hands toward heaven and praised God and prayed for his nation. His prayer was for mercy and forgiveness for the future generations.. God blessed Solomon’s prayer and answered it by sending fire to consume their offerings. This was all happening during the feast of tabernacles. The last three feasts all happen within the 7th month on the religious calendar and the first month on the civil calendar. One day Jesus will return on a Roshashana which will be Tishri one and the world will be judged throughout Yom Kippor and God will set up his new heaven and new earth on Tabernacles. Solomon’s coronation was the picture of all this. He set up his new kingdom, established the fact that they would worship God and made all his enemies serve him and pay him tribute. This will all happen one day. I know many of you are remembering those scriptures about ‘no man knows the day or hour when the son of man will return.’ If you read them in context you will realize that God is talking about those who are left when the church is taken out. They won’t know the day of judgment. We know that God will fulfill every feast. He has fulfilled the first four and the last three will be in the very end. One of my favorite truths is found in verse 14 of Romans 7. It says that the law is spiritual. If you look ‘spiritual’ up in the Greek it means ‘ethereal, super-natural, regenerating. The law is deeper than just a written law. It is life-giving. Twice in our reading in Romans it tells us to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. Then it tells us how our enemy attacks - in our mind. We have to will to think on things that bring life and godliness and dispel things that lead to death. Lord, hope us to choose life every time.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Read: 2 Chron. 4:1-6:11, Ro. 7:1-13, Ps. 17:1-15, Pr. 19:22-23 Everything in the temple pointed to Jesus and his glory. The altar of brass was the cross where all the animals were sacrificed to atone for the sin of the people. The laver which held 17,500 gallons of water was where the priest would wash. It was to purify them. Separate bowls were placed on the sides to wash their hands after sacrificing. The large laver was a symbol of our baptism which cleanses us once and all from sin. The side lavers were for us to wash off the sins that we still do and need cleansing from. The candlesticks stand for the light the Holy Spirit gives us once we are saved. He leads us into all truth. The tables were for the shewbread. That is the table Jesus invites us to. It is where we sit and eat of His Word. Everything was made of gold or brass. The instruments were made of clay and covered with brass. They were a picture of us - God’s servants. We are made of clay and covered with an earthly glory but one day our brass will be gold. In Romans, we learn that the law is good because it shows us what sin is. We have been redeemed from the law because we have died. We have died to our sin and now live in the spirit. Sounds easy, but the fact that we are still in an earthly body on earth, makes it harder to live out. That is where the Holy Spirit comes in. He enables us to live higher than this earth. Lord, may we walk in your Spirit today.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Read: 2 Chron. 1:1-3:17, Ro. 6:1-23, Ps. 16:1-11, Pr. 19:20-21 Solomon is now king and the ark of the Lord is in a tent in Gibeon. One of the first things Solomon does as king is to go there and offer one thousand burnt offerings. God heard his prayer and came to him to ask what he might want. When Solomon asked for wisdom to rule the people, God was so pleased that he gave him not only wisdom, but honor, riches, long life greater than anyone had ever had before. Solomon immediately went about the task of building God’s temple. He hired 70,000 men just to haul stone from the mountain, 80,000 to carve the stone out of the mountain and 3,600 men to oversee them. I don’t think there was an unemployment problem. There was an abundance of granite for countertops! Everything Solomon did was top-knotch. Gold was in everything. Even the nails were made of gold. Solomon’s temple was to be a picture of the glory of God. In Romans we learn that when we come to Jesus, we should no longer sin. Through the act of baptism we bury our old man and rise out of the water as a new man. Our old man was crucified with Jesus on the cross. To live a sinless life we have to yield our body and be a servant to God. You do not have to sin!!! You can live a life of no regrets! Sounds impossible? It’s not. It is called walking in the spirit. Instead of worrying about sinning, just live loving God then you’ll be walking in righteousness without trying. Lord, if we love You with all our hearts, our bodies will serve you. That is our prayer.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Read: 1 Chron. 28:1-29:30, Ro. 5:6-21, Ps. 15:1-5, Pr. 19:18-19 David is turning his kingdom over to Solomon. David had prepared everything Solomon would need to build the temple for God to dwell. David prayed that Solomon would have a perfect heart and keep all God’s commandments. David was a type of Jesus who fights for us in our struggle with Satan. Solomon is a type of the triumphant Jesus that will reign during the Millennium - the time of peace. Solomon’s reign was a time of property and all Israel obeyed him. Solomon was magnified by God with royal majesty in the eyes of all the people. When Jesus comes back to set up his kingdom, he will come with majesty and great glory. All the earth will bow down to him. In Romans, we see that Adam was a type of Jesus. He brought death to earth when he chose to eat the fruit. Death came to every man even before Moses gave us the law. Death entered through the first “Adam” and exited through the second “Adam”. Jesus conquered death when he rose from the grave. The law came to show us we were sinners, so that when Jesus came we would know we needed a savior. We are made righteous through Jesus’ blood - it’s called grace. Our Psalms today reminds us that we can dwell in Solomon’s reign - in God’s tabernacle even though our bodies are reigning in David’s reign. Walking in the spirit is to walk in peace and prosperity. Lord may we dwell in your Holy Place today.
Friday, July 18, 2014
Read: 1 Chron. 26:12-27:34, Romans 4:13-5:5, Ps. 14:1-7, Pr. 19:17 The gatekeepers watched over the king’s treasury rooms. In the treasury rooms were all the spoils of war. The gatekeepers were taken from the tribe of Levite. Other Levites were great warriors who became rulers over the tribes or Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh. It took twenty-four thousand workers to run the kingdom so every tribe took a month of service. In the first month, Jashobeam, from the tribe of Judah was in charge and it progressed from there. In Romans, Paul is explaining the fact that Abraham was righteous before the law according to his faith. Abraham believed things he had never seen because God said them. He believed the impossible and saw it become possible. His faith made him righteous. We should be joyful in out tribulations because they produce patience in us. Tribulations cause us to have to wait on God and relinquish our rights to control and give God that job. This patience is a teaching experience where we get to learn to trust in God. The experience gives us hope the next time we go through a trial because we remember how God came through for us the last time. God honors hope. Lord, thank you for all the times You have made a way where there didn’t seem to be one and how You met all our needs according to Your riches in heaven.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Read: 1 Chron. 24:1-26:11, Ro. 4:1-12, Ps. 13:1-6, Pr. 19:15-16 Today we read the divisions of Aaron - the priestly tribe. The direct descendants of Aaron took turns being the priests. There were twenty-four of them. The rest of the Levites were appointed other duties. Some of them were to prophesy with background music to help them enter God’s presence. Could you imagine that being your job? Some of them were to just praise and thank the Lord. Some were just to lift the king up with the promises of God in song. Next were the gatekeepers. One of the gatekeepers was from the house of Merari which means “my bitterness”. The father’s name was Hosah which means “hopeful and trusting”. He passed over his firstborn and gave the firstborn rights to Simri whose name means “my keeper; watchful”. From that, I get that bitterness can be turned to hope and trust. When we do that we become more aware of our heart. We become bitter when we don’t get what we think we should. It stems from lack of trust in God. To overcome bitterness, we have to begin to trust God again in that area. Then we need to be watchful that we don’t fall back into the same rut. In Romans, we learn that Abraham’s faith made him righteous before there was a written law. Righteousness has nothing to do with whether you are circumcised or not, a Jew or a Gentile. Circumcism was the seal of the faith Abraham had in his heart. It was like God’s stamp that this one was His. That seal to us is the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Lord, may we be sealed unto You.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Read: 1 Chron. 22:1-23:32, Ro. 3:9-31, Ps. 12:1-8. Pr. 19:13-14 I love that David understood that God’s house should be exceeding magnifical, so grand that all would hear of it. It was to be a representation of God’s house in heaven. It is also to be a picture of us as Christians. We should look valuable to the world. We should shine forth the glory of God. We are the temple of the Holy Sprit. David had stored up gold and silver from the spoils of his enemies to use to build God’s house. When we fight the enemy and win, we get spiritual gold and silver. On earth, the gold looks like wisdom and the silver looks like knowledge. Solomon’s reign was to be a reign of rest and peace. David’s reign was a reign of battles against the enemy and victory. We live in David’s reign in this world; we are at war with the Devil,. But we are invited to live in Solomon’s reign. David and Solomon are both types of Jesus. Victorious Christian living is living in rest in the midst of war. The Christian who can do this is the overcomer. In Romans, Paul is explaining that the Jews who chose to stay under the law were not justified by their works. Righteousness can only be obtains outside the law by faith in Jesus. Only faith in the blood of Jesus can give us freedom for sin. One of the most important things we read today is that the law is not void because of Jesus, it is established in Jesus. Jesus was the law that became flesh. It has always been about faith. “By faith, Abraham…” Lord, thank you for Your blood that washes us and makes us white as snow. May we take back from the Devil all that has been stolen from us.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Read: 1 Chron. 19:1-21:30, Ro. 2:25-3:8, Ps. 11:1-7, Pr. 19:10-12 Have you ever reached out to do something nice to someone and they took it wrong. What you meant as a blessing became an offense that caused you trouble. That is exactly what happened to David. He wanted to honor his old friend, Nahash, king of the Ammonites by sending gifts to his son. The son saw it as a ploy to spy out his land and it ended in a battle. David won, but it all seemed meaningless. Chapter twenty starts with the line, “at the time when kings go off to war”. For David that was an omen for bad things to come. David didn’t go to war so he sat around thinking about his kingdom and decided he wanted to know how many men were in his army. Pride had settled it. (We were made to be warriors. When we aren’t fighting, we get complacent, like David, which leads to sin.) Even though his commander, Joab, thought it was a bad idea, David overruled his advice. God didn’t like what was happening to David’s heart so he gave him three options for his foolish counting. David chose to fall under God’s hand and a plague came across the land that killed seventy thousand men. God’s angel finally stopped it at the very place the temple would one day stand - the threshing floor of Araunah. In Romans, Paul uses circumcision as an example of the things we do to be righteous before God. He explains that if we do good things but our heart is not right then our works are in vain. Our good works should spring from our hearts to please God, not our obligations or need to impress. David said he could not offer a sacrifice to God that didn’t cost him something. David’s heart was right. Lord, may our hearts be tender toward You and our works spring from our love for You.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Read: 1 Chron. 16:37-18:17, Ro. 2:1-24, Ps. 10:16-18, Pr. 19:8-9 David had to secure his kingdom so he had to rid the land of his enemies. We live in David’s reign when we become a Christian. Our goal to move into Solomon’s reign where God tabernacles with us in a place of rest and peace. David could not build the temple for God because he was a man of war. David was to cleanse the land and prepare the place and the provisions for Solomon. He taught the people how to worship God. David’s first battle was against the Philistines. Philistines means “wallowing” they stood for self-pity. David had dwelt with them during his time of fleeing from Saul. It was time to shed his self-pity and be strong. Next he smote Moab which means “which father”. David had to establish that he was God’s son. God was his father and the father of his nation. The next enemy was Hadarezer which means the “helper of honor”. Men have done much harm for the sake of honor. It is the same thing as entitlement if used wrongly. The Syrians were next which stood for “exalted” (another name for pride). David took the spoils of these nations and stored them in Jerusalem for Solomon. Romans teaches us that the law of God is written in the hearts of all men, even the ungodly. To follow your heart would be to follow God. To follow your mind and lust would be to fall away from God. Lord, help us to know and love your Word. May we, like David, store up needed treasures for the next generation.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Read: 1 Chron. 15:1-16:36, Romans 1:18-32, Ps. 10:1-15, Pr. 19:6-7 After the last disaster of trying to bring the ark to Jerusalem, David decided to read the manual. This time he did it according to God’s plan. David appointed sanctified priests to carry the ark upon their shoulders. He brought it back with much pomp and circumstance; he sang his first psalm to the people. In his song he praised God and admonished the people to seek the Lord and obey his Word. Michal, the daughter or Saul watched from her window and despised David for making such a big deal about God and His ark. We could quote Romans 1:18 over her: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Romans goes on to explain that every person is without excuse because God has revealed the godhead to every man through His nature. Because man distorted the truth about God and worshipped things of this earth above Him, He gave them over to the lusts of their flesh. They hated all of God’s laws, even natural laws of nature, like the relationship between a man and a woman. This is where homosexuality is rooted - in rebellion to God. It was a seed that has spread through bloodlines and is rampant in our world today. It is like a cancer and yes, you can be born with it. But, you can also be delivered of it. We are born with certain disease-carrying DNA that has been passed down from our ancestors. The propensity to certain sins or curses are passed down too. But, we can be redeemed from these curses with a simple proclamation and prayer of repentance for ourselves and ancestors. We can have God’s DNA if we choose. Lord, thank you that You are in us and You are stronger than any curse or sin. Deliver us and make us clean.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Read: 1 Chron. 12:19-14:17, Romans 1:1-17, Ps. 9:13-20, Pr. 19:4-5 In the story of David, David is a type of Jesus coming to his kingdom. Saul is a type of Satan who was once with God but he turned and fell from his power in heaven to torment those of us on earth. Saul had once walked with God, but chose to rebel against God. Today, David is moving to take Israel back and rule it as their king. Many are deflecting to David’s side which is the picture of revival. This is the building of the army of God like it mentions in 1 Chron. 12:22. Every tribe has their field of expertise just as all Christians have their spiritual gifts. For example the men of Judah carried the shield of faith and the spear. Spears are weapons that are thrown and kill. This describes people who know the right word or verse that , when spoken into the atmosphere, will kill the enemy. This describes those with the gift of discerning spirits. The Benjamins are the new Christians who stayed with Saul till the end but switched over when Saul was killed. This is the group that will come into the kingdom in the last generation and be full of new life and vigor. They will energize the whole body with their new-found joy. Every tribe has their own personality and purpose. We all belong to one of the tribes spiritually. I encourage people to ask God what tribe they are a part of and find out their own ministry in the Body. It is important that we know why we are here at this time of life. We all have an important role to play. We are starting to read Romans today. Romans was written by Paul on his way to Rome. He was writing it to prepare them for his arrival and his message. He explains to them that he has been praying for them in advance so that they would be ready to receive his message. He is coming to bring them a spiritual gift which will help establish their faith. Lord, show us our part in the Body and surround us with fellow tribesmen.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Read: 1 Chron. 11:1-12:18, Acts 28:1-31, Ps. 9:1-12, Pr. 19:1-3 David is finally moving into his destiny of king. He goes from the enemy to the leader in one day. But first he must take Jerusalem from the Jebusites. He announced that whoever went first against them would be the leader. Joab took off first and became the leader. That is a great lesson. If you want a great leader, see who is willing to lay down his life for it. If you want to be a great leader, then start leading. Start doing the work. Notice it didn’t say start commanding other people to do the fighting. A leader goes first into battle and shows by his example. He’s not just a boss with a lot of rhetoric and good ideas. We also have the account of David’s three mighty men. To me, they stand for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then we have the credits of all David’s great men. Like David, Paul gets bit by a snake and goes from accused murderer to confirmed god in one day. While on that island he has the opportunity to pray and heal the leader of the island. This opens opportunities to heal many more people. Jesus used the same technique to show the people the love of God. He healed people. We do the opposite. We try to save people first and then think they may deserve God to heal them. Jesus and Paul healed them first, then they knew God loved them. When Paul got to Rome he started his teaching ministry. First to the Jews, then to the Gentiles. God gave him a house and freedom to have as many visitors as he wanted. Lord, looking at these two men: David and Paul, I realize how many hardships they went through, but also the great adventure they had in following you. It is truly fulfilling to walk with You.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Read: 1 Chronicles 9:1-10:14, Acts 27:21-44, Ps. 8:1-9, Pr. 18:23-24 Today we are reading about the first people to return to Jerusalem after being taken captive to Babylon. The first to claim their land were the priests, the Levites and the Nethinims (temple servants). Their sin had caused them to be taken. It is the same for us. When we turn to a lifestyle of sin and godlessness, then we are taken captive by our sins and led to confusion (Babylon). What will bring us out of it is true worship and consecrated service to God (the Levites). One of the first things they put in place was the gate keepers. One of the first things we have to put in place after leaving bondage is boundaries and spiritual gatekeepers. For example: if we are coming out of the bondage of alcohol. Then we need boundaries set that will keep us from falling back into that sin. We might need to change our route home so we don’t pass our favorite bar, change our friends, get an accountability partner, replace old habits with good ones. These are all gatekeepers that guard our hearts and bodies from falling back into bondage. In Acts we see Paul, a prisoner in a boat in the midst of a storm. Paul had warned them this would happen but they refused to listen. God told Paul that every man would be spared, so when it looked fatal, they could rest in what God told him. He even told the men would all be spared. Now they were listening to Paul since he had been right about the storm. They even abandoned their plans to take the lifeboats. Paul was in control and had them sit and eat their last meal on the boat. Because of Paul’s concern for the life of his captors, they spared his life and the lives of all the other prisoners. Lord, thank you that You are control of every situation.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Read: 1 Chronicles 7:1-8:40, Acts 27:1-20, Ps. 7:1-17, Pr. 18:22 Benjamin has an interesting family. It is full of family riffs. They deported some of their own family out of the land and one guy divorced two of his wives. Benjamin also had some mighty men of valor in his line. I’ve always thought that Benjamin was a type of the Gentile church since he was the brother that wasn’t there to kill Joseph just like the Gentiles didn’t kill Jesus, the Jews did. So I guess that sounds about right…we have divisions, divorces, and mighty warriors in the church today. In Acts, we have the account of Paul’s trip to Rome. There are some people who don’t believe or are afraid of, or don’t understand the prophetic. Paul happened to be on a ship with a person like this. God showed Paul what would happen if they set out to sail, but the centurion believed the master of the ship more. The owner of the ship would naturally know more about storms and sailing than Paul since Paul was a tent maker by trade, not a sailor. Paul wasn’t reading the signs of the weather, he was reading God’s mind. A tempest on the water comes up with no warning so only by the help of the Holy Spirit, could anyone predict a tempest. I wonder what the centurion thought after hours of fighting the storm. Paul stood up and told them no one was going to die and the centurion believed Paul this time. We all have gifts and sometimes they have to be proven before people honor them, but God knows just how to do that. Lord, You are our refuge and our deliverer. You search the minds and hearts of every man. May ours be pure.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Read: 1 Chronicles 5:18-6:81, Acts 26:1-32, Ps. 6:1-10, Pr. 18:2-21 Need a boy name? How about Ebiasaph or Malkijah? All kidding aside, at the beginning the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh cried out to God in battle. God heard, and answered because they trusted in Him. Then they started trusting in their own strength and became unfaithful to God so God stirred up their enemies to defeat them. This seems to be the theme in the Old Testament…and is still a theme in many Christian’s lives. We call out to God only when we are in trouble but when the trouble dies down we think we can take it from here. No way! We are totally dependent on God for our very breath. In Acts we see where the law of the land protected Paul from being killed by his own people. God can use the enemy to defend us and in this case, that is exactly what happened. The Roman system of law gave Paul a trial and protected his life. They were the means of getting Paul where God wanted him to be…in Rome. When we trust in God’s ways he makes even our enemies to be at peace with us. Lord, may we be steadfast, always leaning on You. May our enemies serve You.
Monday, July 7, 2014
Read: 1 Chronicles 4:5-5:17, Acts 25:1-27, Ps. 5:1-12, Pr. 18:19 I remember reading the book of Jabez that came out years ago. Amazing that someone would stumble over one man’s two sentence prayer and write a whole book on it and we would start praying his prayer. God has so many nuggets of gold hidden away in this book. When He is ready to reveal one, He does it for the whole body to enjoy. Interesting to note, Jabez’s name means “mire swept away”. He was named that because he was so hard to deliver. To read it in the King James leads you to believe that he was her hardest delivery yet. But as soon as his mother saw him she forgot the trouble it took to get him there. That pain had been swept away. Jabez did not want pain to be his legacy so he prayed against it. It’s still a great prayer to pray. I love the next verse: “And God granted his request.” In Acts, Paul is appealing to Caesar over his own brothers. He knows he doesn’t stand a chance with Jews. The Romans had a just system of trials which allowed the accuser a chance to defend himself. That was all Paul wanted to do; he wanted to defend the gospel. He was not concerned about what would happened to him. God was actually orchestrating Paul to be able to witness to more people. Lord, help us to trust your orchestration in our lives when we don’t understand our circumstances.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Read: 1 Chronicles 2:1-18-4:4, Acts 24:1-27,Ps. 4:1-8, Pr. 18:16-18 Today, we read the genealogy of Caleb, son of Hezron. This is not the same Caleb that went with Joshua to spy out the land of Caanan. Hezron was from the tribe of Rueben. This is the genealogy of the kings. It randomly mentions some of the wives. David who was a type of Jesus reigned seven and a half years in Hebron which means “communion”. Then he reigns thirty-three and a half years in Jerusalem which means “dual peace shall be taught”. I wonder if the seven and a half has to do with the time of man on the earth. We will dwell on this earth over 7,000 years before it will be over and destroyed to be rebuilt in the Millennium. We are invited to have communion with God during this dispensation. The thirty-three and a half years have to do with Jesus earthly ministry. Jesus came and taught us about peace. He was the Prince of Peace. In Acts, Paul defends the lies the Jews have brought against him to the governor, Felix. Then he tells the governor what he believes about God and Jesus. Felix has heard all about the worship of Jesus, but keeps Paul in prison. He visits with him often hearing Paul’s teachings, hoping Paul will offer him a bribe. Paul doesn’t, so he stays there till the next governor comes to power. He leaves Paul in prison to win the favor of the Jews. I thought it was interesting that Paul talked to Felix about righteousness, self-control, and judgment. I wonder if Felix squirmed when he spoke of these things. Lord, may we be as devoted and strong as Paul under persecution.
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Read: 1 Chronicles 1:1-2:17, Acts 23:11-35, Ps. 3:1-8, Pr. 18:1-4-15 I love to read the genealogies; I always learn something new. Methuselah’s name means “when he dies, it will come”. He was the longest living man because when he died, the flood was coming. When he died, Noah went into the ark and the rains came. When it comes to Noah’s sons these verses focus on Ham’s line. Ham was Noah’s son who was cursed for looking on his father’s naked body and making fun of him. From his sons we get the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hittites…just to name a few. These were all nations that God would later tell Joshua to destroy. Peleg’s name means “earthquake” and during his days there was a great earthquake that divided the earth. In Acts the devil’s scheme to kill Paul was discovered and thwarted. Jewish men had bound themselves with a curse to kill him. But, because Paul was a Roman, the centurion was trying to make up to Paul for mistaking him as a Jew and binding him. He ordered Paul to be accompanied to Rome with 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen, and 200 spearmen! That is what I call protection. God had planned this very day years ago when He had Paul born a Roman. God knows just what is in store for our lives and has planned everything… to the very parents we have. It is all part of His plan. Lord, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your master plan. We are honored to offer our lives for Your service.
Friday, July 4, 2014
Read: 2 Kings 23:31-25:30, Acts 22:17-23:10, Ps. 2:1-12, Pr. 18:13 It is time for all the prophesies about Judah to manifest. God’s anger has reached its end. Jerusalem is taken over by the king of Babylon and king Jehoiachin is taken prisoner to Babylon. Zedekiah was appointed king by the king of Babylon and decided to rebel against the king of Babylon. Jerusalem was besieged and Zedekiah was caught trying to escape. The last thing he witnessed before they gouged his eyes out were his sons being killed. He was bound and taken to Babylon. The temple was burned and every ounce of metal was stripped off and all but the very poor were marched off to Babylon. The very poor were left to take care of the land. Babylon got a new king who brought Jehoiachin out from prison. He had been there over seven years. He exalted him to the net highest position in Babylon. So Jehoachin went from prisoner to a throne in one day. This just reminds me how quickly God can change our circumstances. We were all brought from the prison of sin to the throne of God. Praise God! I love Paul. He intimidates the centurion in charge of him by proclaiming that he was born a Roman. He insults the high priest calling him a white-washed wall. And he stirs up the Sadducees and the Pharisees over the resurrection of the dead. One thing about Paul, he was not afraid of man. Paul knew who he was and what he believed in and was willing to die for it. Lord, Your hand is powerful to deliver. Help us to be fearless against the devil because we trust in You.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Read 2 Kings 22:3-23:30, Acts 21:37-22:16, Ps. 1:1-6, Pr. 18:11-12 Josiah brought about the greatest reform of all the kings. He even tore down Jeroboam’s altar. His reign is a picture of what Jesus will do when he returns. When Jesus comes the second time he will be on a white horse and he will cleanse the land of idolatry. He will fight the battle of Armageddon in the same field that Josiah fought his last battle - the valley of Megiddo which is another name for Armageddon. In Acts, Paul is being carried to prison and asks the guard if he could address the people. When the guard realizes that Paul is a Jew, he lets him speak. Paul speaks to them in Hebrew to get their attention. He then begins by telling them his testimony. Our testimony is something no one can take from us. It is how we overcome…with the blood of the lamb and the word or our testimony. That is what the devil wants to steal. He can’t have our soul, but he can steal our testimony or weaken it by enticing us into sin. How many God-fearing pastors and spiritual leaders have been snared away by a temptation that totally stole their testimony. Too many to count. If we could keep that in mind, we would be aware of the devil’s tactics and not fall to the brief moment of pleasure or the lure of money. We need to do what Psalms 1 tells us today: to not get our counsel from ungodly people and not hang around them or join in their sins. And if we would meditate - really study and consider- God’s Word then we’ll be stable and a refreshment to others. Lord, help us to be like Josiah and Paul and the godly man the Psalms talks about. Let our testimony be blameless and powerful for You.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Read: 2 Kings 20:1-22:2, Acts 21:17-36, Ps. 150:1-6, Pr. 18:9-10 Hezekiah was one of the only kings that removed the high places. He turned immediately to the Lord when things went bad and God always blessed him for that. God even turned back time for him. When Hezekiah got sick the king of Babylon sent presents. The king from Babylon’s name meant ‘god is Baal’. Hezekiah let his pride get in the way of wisdom and he showed the men from Babylon all of his wealth. This misjudgment cost the nation their wealth. Hezekiah seemed more interested in the comfort of the present than the welfare of the future generations. We can see this and learn. One day, someone may read our history. Our legacy is what we leave behind for the next generation. We want to leave our world a better place because we were here. Hezekiah’s son was part of his legacy. Manasseh was one of the most evil kings. He was right up there with Ahab in his idolatry and rebellion against God. Manasseh was followed by Amon who wasn’t much better. But Josiah came next and he was another story. We’ll read about him tomorrow. Josiah is a type of Jesus and it makes me think of how evil the world has become and will become even worse before Jesus comes back. In Acts, Paul is fighting vicious rumors about his teachings. The devil is always ready to stir up problems when revival hits. True to the prophecy, Paul is bound in chains and taken to prison in the midst of a mob. God stirs us up through persecution and trials. This is the place He teaches us and trains our hands for battle. That is why James could tell us to think of tests and trials joyfully when they come…because they will come. Lord, truly Your name is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Read: 2 Kings 18:13-19:37, Acts 21:1-16, Ps. 149:1-9, Pr. 18:8 Fear and intimidation are two of the devil’s most effective weapons against the body of Christ. We see him use these weapons against Hezekiah. Rab-shekeh was the spokesman for the king of Assyria. He kept reminding Hezekiah of all the other nations they had taken and how there was no way Jerusalem would win against him. Hezekiah was afraid, but he kept turning to God for his answers and God continued to assure him that He would protect their nation. God did just that, exactly like Isaiah said he would. Thank God for the prophetic gift. I listened to a message from a modern-day prophet the other day who has the ear of important men in Washington D.C. When God tells him what is in store for America, they listen because he has always been right. That is encouraging to me to know that God has men in Washington that are eager to know what God is saying through His prophets. In Acts we see the ministry of the prophet as well. Paul stays with an evangelist whose four daughters all prophesy. (We can all prophesy. 1 Co. 13:41) Then a prophet named Agabus prophesies that Paul will be bound once he goes to Jerusalem. No amount of persuasion will keep Paul from going. Paul does not fear what men can do to him even if it means being put in prison for the Lord. He knows that following Jesus is sometimes not comfortable or convenient, but always worth it. Though the prophesy came true, and Paul was bound with chains, he was free in his soul and God was able to use him mightily in prison. Many books we now have in the New Testament were written while he was in prison. Lord, may we heed the voice of the prophets of our day and desire to prophesy.