Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - The Spirit of Power and Greed

Read: 2 Chron. 19-23
Jehoshaphat had a weakness of befriending the wrong kind of person. He was rebuked for aligning with Ahab, an enemy of the Lord. But he was approved of all the good things he had done for the Lord and encouraged to continue following God. When the children of Moab, Ammon and Seir came a against him, he gathered the people to praise the Lord and call out to him. God caused Moab and Ammon to fight the people of Mt. Sir until they all died. Then the people of Judah went out and plundered them and gained great treasure. It was a great victory to win a battle they didn’t even have to fight!
In the end of Jehoshaphat’s reign, he aligned himself with Ahaziah king of Israel who, like Ahab, was wicked. They were going to build ships together. God had already rebuked him for doing this very thing. The ships all broke and it was a failed venture and probably led to his death. He left his oldest son Jehoram to rule in his place. He put his other sons over cities and gave them great gifts. Once Jehoram had established his kingdom, he killed all his brothers so they wouldn’t rise up against him. Jehoram was a wicked king.
Because he rebelled against God, God sent a plague to the people and a digestive illness to him which would cause his bowels to fall out eventually. On top of that, God stirred up the Philistines and the Arabians against him. They came and took his wives, sons, and all this treasures. Only his youngest son, Ahaziah was saved. He was also evil and made friends with Jehoram, Ahab’s son and king of Israel. This led to his death by Jehu, who had come to kill all Israel.
Jehoram’s mother, Athaliah reigned in his place and killed all the king’s son except for Joash who was hid in the house of the Lord for six years. Jehoiada, the elderly priest planned a coop to make Joash king. When the people all yelled, “God save the king.” Athaliah heard it and came running. They surrounded her and took her outside and killed her.
The Kings and Chronicles are full of power-hungry, greedy kings who rebelled against God. Sometimes there would arise a king who follow the Lord. It is such a picture of our world. Power and greed have always been the downfall of mankind. It is the spirit of the anti-christ. Lord, may we, the Church, not fall under this spell of power and greed but stay humble and pure.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - A Living Sacrifice

Read: 1 Kings 22; 2 Chron. 18
Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was the son of Asa and he was a good king. Ahab, king of Israel was a bad king. Ahab bought Jehoshaphat’s friendship with sheep and oxen and persuaded him to go to war against the Syrians to win back Ramoth-gilead. Ahab asked his 400 false prophets if they would win and they all told him what he wanted to hear. Jehoshaphat asked to hear from a prophet of God which meant they would have to ask Micaiah. Micaiah was a true prophet of God who had prophesied against Ahab many times before and Ahab didn’t want to ask him but Jehoshaphat insisted.
They even told Micaiah what he should say. He did just that but he must have said it sarcastically because Ahab saw right through it. He asked for the truth and when Micaiah gave it to him, Ahab threw Micaiah into prison. He prophesied that Israel would not win and that Ahab would fall in battle.
That is exactly what happened and God spared Jehoshaphat.
Prophets in the Old Testament gave the word of God at the expense of their own lives. They loved not their life unto death. It reminds me of what we are suppose to be…a living sacrifice. When we became Christians we gave up our lives and through baptism we were buried with Christ and raised to reign with Him. It is a great privilege to suffer for the kingdom of God because great will be our reward.
Lord, help us to see how temporary our lives are and how glorious it is to live for You. Let our lives be a living sacrifice to

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sun.’s Devo- The War for Our Inheritance

Read: 1 Kings 20-21
Ben-adad came up against Israel and sent a messenger to tell Ahab that he wanted his silver, gold, wives, children, and the best of what he owned. Ahab agreed to this until he talked to his elders. They told him not to agree with Ben-adad. Ben-hadad means “son of a shouter”. That is exactly what Satan is - a shouter. He intimidates with his shouts and wants to steal our inheritance.
God sent his prophet to tell Ahab that He would deliver them through the young men of the princes of the provinces if he would order the battle. Ben-hadad had a host with 32 kings and chariots and Ahab had 232 princes. Ahab obeyed the word of the Lord and sent the princes. They won and sent the king home.
Ben-hadad came back at the end of the year thinking they needed to fight Israel in the plains since they couldn’t win in the hills. God is god of the hills and the plains. Israel went out and slew 27,000 of the Syrians. Ben-hadad begged for his life and made a covenant with Ahab. He would give back the cities he had stolen if they would spare his life. Ahab agreed without asking God. God sent a prophet to him who disguised himself as a wounded warrior. He rebuked Ahab for letting Ben-hadad escape. It would be his life for Ben-hadad’s.
Then we have the story of Naboth’s vineyard. Ahab did the same thing to Naboth as Ben-hadad tried to do to him. He wanted his inheritance. When Naboth refused to give it to him, his wife, Jezebel devised a plan to steal it and kill Naboth. It worked and Ahab was happy till Elijah showed up with the word of the Lord. God was going to show vengeance for Naboth and Ahab would lose everything along with his inheritance. Ahab humbled himself so God postponed his sentence for the next generation.
Lord, you honor our inheritance. Let us fight for what You have given us and promised us and never give it away.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Elijah’s Journey

Read: 1 Kings 17-19
Elijah gives his first recorded word to Ahab and it is not an encouraging word. He tells him that it won’t rain till God says it will. Then God told Elijah to run and hide by the brook Cherith which was before the Jordan. He was to drink water from the Cherith and God would send a raven to feed him twice a day. Cherith means “a cutting”. Elijah was to drink of that till it dried up. I think that during this time God was cutting away all the things that Elijah held on to so that God could entrust Elijah with the responsibility and power He was going to put on Elijah.
The next place Elijah was sent was to Zarephath where a widow woman was going to take care of him. Zarephath means “refinement”. He was to put his faith out there and call something that wasn’t into being. The woman didn’t have enough for her and her son and she was to be Elijah’s provision. Since Elijah knew what God had said about her being his bread and water he knew he would have to speak it into being and he did. God came through for him. It was there that Elijah saw the power of God raise the dead to life.
When it was time, God sent Elijah to meet Ahab and all the prophets of Baal. They met on Mt. Carmel and had a showdown of power. Baal didn’t come through but God came down from heaven with fire that consumed the altar, the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust, and what little water they had left. Elijah killed all 850 prophets of Baal (18:19) with the sword then ran when Jezebel threatened his life! Is that why he had to pass his mantle so quickly to Elisha?
Elijah fled to Beersheba which was the place both Abraham and Isaac made oaths with Abimelech of peace and safety. They dug wells there as a sign of their oath. As Elijah is having his pity party and wanting to die, God places a cruse of water at his head and a baked cake on the fire. An angel touched him and told him to eat and drink because he had a great journey ahead. He was told to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria and Jehu, king of Israel and Elisha to take his place.
Elijah went first to Elisha and threw his mantle on him. Elisha knew what it meant so he sacrificed his oxen and followed Elijah. What a story!
Lord, in whatever place we are in on our journey whether it is by the brook Cherith having our flesh cut off, or in Zerepheth being refined or in the battle at Mt. Carmel, or having our pity party in Beersheba, let us always find You. You are our compass and You hold the answers to the future. We trust in You.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - When the Righteous are in Authority…

Read; 1 Kings 15:25-16:34; 2 Chron. 17
Asa, who was a good king reigned in Jerusalem 40 years. His son, Jehoshaphat reigned after him. Jehoshaphat walked with God like David had. He fortified his cities and sent teachers and priests to all the cities to teach them the law. The fear of God fell on the land and on their enemies so that they were protected. His kingdom was blessed with abundance and favor.
In the meantime Israel was not experiencing the same blessings.
After Jeroboam came Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, and Ahab. These all reigned during the time Asa was king of Judah. One of them only reigned 7 days! So, we know that Israel was not having the peace and rest that Judah was experiencing and each king led them farther and farther from the true God and into idolatry until Ahab married Jezabel who brought Baal worship to the kingdom. Ahab was provoking God’s wrath while Jehoshaphat was invoking his favor.
It is so true that a nation is blessed when they follow God and make him their Lord. Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bear rule, the people mourn.”
Father, may our nation once again turn their hearts to you and make you their Lord.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thur.’s Devo - The Clashing of Kingdoms

Read: 1 Kings 15:1-24; 2 Chron. 13-16
Judah and Israel are now enemies. Jerusalem, the temple, the priests and the law was in Judah so Israel had to manufacture their own worship. Jereobam had had 2 golden calves to keep the people in Israel and allowed just about anyone who brought a sacrifice to be a priest. Abijah, king of Judah reminded Jeroboam, king of Israel, all of this when they met on the battle field. Jeroboam had twice the army of Abijah and ended up ambushing them. Abijah cried out to the Lord and God delivered them with a shout. Abijah chased Jeroboam and took several of his cities. God struck Jeroboam and he died.
When Abijah died, his son, Asa ruled. Asa set his heart to worship God and rid his country of idolatry so God gave him rest from his enemies. During that rest he fortified the cities he had and trained a great army. But it was no match for Zerah, the Ethiopian, who came to battle him with a thousand thousand and 300 chariots. Asa went to the Lord and God sent His host and smote the Ethiopians so bad they were not able to recover.
After this, God sent the prophet, Azariah to encourage Asa with a good word which spurred Asa to continue to cleanse his land of idolatry. People were coming from Israel to live in Judah because they knew that God was with Asa. Asa had a big feast with much sacrificing to renew his nation’s covenant with God.
Asa even had his own mother kicked out of the palace because she had an idol. The only thing Asa didn’t do was to remove the high places.
Basaha, king of Israel rose up and built Ramah on the border of Israel and Judah to keep people from being able to leave Israel for Judah. This is where Asa made his mistake. Instead of asking God to take care of the situation and fight Israel…he hired the Syrians to fight for him. The Syrians did the job and more but God was not pleased. After all God had done for Asa this was a grave mistake.
God sent a prophet to Asa to give him God’s rebuke: because he went to Syria for help, he would continue to have wars. Asa got so mad at the prophet he threw him in jail then unleashed his anger on his own people. Asa brought a curse on himself and was diseased in his feet. Instead of going to God he went to the doctors of his day. He died two years later.
Father, truly your eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show yourself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. May we have a perfect heart.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - Rehoboam’s Legacy

Read: 2 Chron. 10-12
Today we have the written chronicle of yesterday’s story. I look at the advise of the two groups of men and I see that happening today in cooperate America. The companies that are ran by younger men are driven by fear and competition but companies run by experienced management that are secure are ran more employee friendly. Fear causes power to be misused. Peace causes generosity.
I see a common thread among the kings. Rehoboam wants to build a huge family because he believes it will stabilize his kingdom. He acts very shrewdly by doing this and gives his sons territories to rule and plenty of provision. The only problem is that he has to have many wives to produce that many children. He has 28 sons and 60 daughters! It took 18 wives and 60 concubines to accomplish that big family. The last sentence of the chapter says, “And he desired many wives.”
The first sentence of the next chapter says, “…when he had established the kingdom,…he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him.” It seems like having many wives always led to the king forsaking God as in the lives of Solomon and David. In our lives that would be like loving many things that distract us from God. Our world is so full of things that shine and vie for our devotion. Electronics and sports and fame and our abilities have become our wives which have become our gods. When Israel or Judah turned away, God always raised up an adversary to cause them to need Him again. In this case it was Shishack the king of Egypt. He came and carried away their treasures. Rehoboam ended up humbling himself but he never recovered the things that were stolen from him and his legacy was that he did evil because he didn’t prepare his heart to seek the Lord.
Lord, may our legacy be that we kept our treasure because we prepared our heart to seek You.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - The Kingdom Divides

Read: 1 Kings 12-14
Today we see the kingdom divide just like God had said it would. Solomon’s son Rehoboam was next in line to be king but instead of listening to the counsel of his elders, he caved to peer pressure. It cost him more than half his kingdom. He kept Judah and the rest of Israel went with Jeroboam. Neither were good kings and both kingdoms fell into idolatry.
In the middle of the story we have a tale of a prophet who was given a tremendous prophecy of King Josiah who would cleanse the land of the false priest who worshipped on the high places. Then he performed a great sign. He cried against the altar that they were using wrongly saying it would split and the ashes would be wasted. When King Jeroboam heard about it he went to lay his hand on the prophet and God dried up his hand. The altar rent just like the prophet had said it would and the king had to ask him to pray for God to restore his hand. He did and his hand was restored. When King Jeroboam went to pay the prophet he refused and told him his orders were to give the word and get out of town. Instead he was deceived by another prophet who lied to him and said that God had spoken to him in a dream and told him the prophet was suppose to eat with him. The young prophet went with the old prophet and ate and was killed by a lion. Why did God put this story in the Bible? I think it was to show the people that they needed to fear His word above any other. God had done such miraculous things through the first prophet and then he failed the next test. He didn’t totally obey God. When God moves through a person so miraculously as he did through that prophet then the fear of God needs to permeate him and he cannot disobey. The greater the anointing, the greater the responsibility. If you want to wear the hat of a prophet then you have to be totally sold out. This prophet was a splash in the pan, then he turned his gift off. If he had remained listening, he would have known that this prophet’s word was false. God is not wishy-washy. He doesn’t change his mind at a whim. This is a very sobering story for those of us who want to grow in the Lord. We have to keep our armor sharp and always be in tune to what the Spirit is saying. We can’t let our armor down like he did.
It was also a picture of Israel and how God had done so many wonderful and miraculous things for them but instead of obeying God, they went after the words of the false prophets and in the end they will be devoured by the lion.
Lord, may we honor Your Word above the wisdom of man. May we keep our armor on and our sword sharp.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - The Virtuous Church

Read: Pr. 30-31
Proverbs 30 and 31 are the only chapters in Proverbs that give Solomon another name. Proverbs 30 gives him the name Agur which is a fanciful name for Solomon which means gathered (i.e. received among the sages). He gave this group of Proverbs specifically for two men called Ithiel and Ucal. One of the commentators I read suggested that they could be pupils of Solomon. Another thought they were symbolic people. Ithiel means “God has arrived” and Ucal means “devoured”. When Jesus comes back there are a lot of people who will be devoured because of their sin. This proverb is so different from all the others. It starts like a Psalm and then becomes a prophecy of generations and ends in Solomon’s observation of life.
Proverbs 31 is written to Lemuel and is the words of his mother. Lemuel is symbolic name for Solomon and means “belonging to God”. She schools her son on how to be a king but spends most of the prophecy on describing the wife he should take.
This is a beautiful picture of the Bride of Christ. She will be all of these things. She calls her the virtuous woman. Virtuous means an army full of wealth, virtue, valor, strength; a band of soldiers full of might and power, trained for war. I can’t think of a better way to describe the true Church.
Lord, may we be this virtuous woman who Your heart can safely trust in who is ready and equipped for the days to come.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Solomon’s Weakness

Read: 1 Kings 10-11; 2 Chron. 9
In all Solomon’s wisdom, he still made mistakes. He did the one thing God warned him not to do. He loved many women who turned his heart from God. They enticed Solomon to worship their gods. These were not just simple idols or stone images he worshipped. These gods required sexual orgies in their worship. The worshiping of these gods included lewd acts that were abominable to God. One of the gods was Ashtoreth: the goddess of love and increase. Had not God given him love and more increase than anyone on earth had experienced. Was He not enough? Not only did Solomon participate but he encouraged his nation to join him. He ended up building temples for these gods after he had build the Temple for God. What an insult to God!
When the queen of Sheba came to visit, Solomon showed her everything he had. He let his pride overrule his wisdom. Wisdom would have told him not to reveal his defense and all his secrets but Solomon was proud and loved the honor and praises of man more than the praises of God. We will see that his came back to bite him in the end.
There are things God has told us that are for our ears only. We don’t have to share everything. It cheapens our experiences to share them with just anyone. Sometimes God gives us encounters with Him that are just for us. They are too sacred to share.
Lord, help us to love You above all the praises and accolades of man.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Death and Life

Read: Ecc. 7-12
Ecclesiastes 7 should be read at every funeral. I have been thinking much about death lately because there have been several people who have gone to their eternal home lately. One was older, one midlife and the last one was on her way to college. When I was praying for the family the youngest one God gave me this thought. How sad would it be if the parents of this young girl got mad at God and stayed bitter their whole life. She was lifted out of this world of pain and suffering and given her reward early. When her parents get to heaven they will see that she was the lucky one and their blame of God was in vain. I don’t know the parents so I don’t know their reaction but I pray they can understand how blessed their daughter is and how she wouldn’t want them to be anything but happy for her. We cannot understand death but God does and it doesn’t scare Him so it shouldn’t scare us.
Solomon studied men and came to the conclusion that good and bad happen to both the godly and the wicked. A good man can spend his life doing good things but if he adds a little folly to his life, his reputation will be ruined.
Your position in life is not always the reward of your godliness. There are evil men in high places and godly men among the homeless. But if you invite trouble it will come.
At the end of Solomon’s writings he whittled it down to this one thing: fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man. It is just that simple.
Lord, help us to always come back to the simplicity of loving You and obeying Your Word.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Solomon's Quest for Wisdom

Read: Ecclesiastes 1-6
Ecclesiastes is the progression of Solomon’s search for wisdom. In the first chapter he realizes that everything cycles. Nothing is new but it was all created when God said, “Let there be.”
In the chapter two, Solomon fills his life with everything he can possibly make or have and he is still empty so he set himself to search out meaning to life.
In chaper three he meditates on time and how everything is tied to time. Every man lives in the boundary of time and every generation has their purpose on the earth. He realizes the frailty of man and it humbles him. He concludes that man should be content in his contribution because no man knows the future.
In chapter four, Solomon went out to observe the oppressed and their oppressor. He realized that both had no comforter; no one to pity or avenge them. There was no savior. The only reprieve was death. He concluded that a friend was the closest thing to a savior because then you would have someone to walk with you through the pain of life.
In chapter five Solomon finds that the most important thing to find is the fear of God. Then you will find true meaning and joy.
In chapter six, Solomon concludes that if man works all his life and never enjoys the fruit of his labor his life is in vain.
Lord, thank you for sending us a savior in Jesus. There is nothing that makes sense apart from Him.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo Proverbs for Life

Read: Pr. 27-29
I could write a paragraph about each proverb today so I’ll just pick ones that stood out to me. The verse of the day on the radio was “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” What is it about ourselves that needs to the approval of men so bad? I notice it everywhere and especially in me. We all want to be noticed and validated. I want to be content with the applaud of heaven. Nothing could be more rewarding.
Proverbs 27:5 says, “Open rebuke is better than secret love.” I think this means that our love needs to be loud and not hidden. To hide it is worse than rebuking someone in public.
Proverbs 28:1 is pertinent for today. “The wicked flee when no man pursues; but the righteous are bold as a lion.” There are many predictions of financial collapse and a dismal future but for the righteous, this should not be scary. We are to be bold as a lion and roar in the face of fear and calamity. I think this is the finest hour for the church and the time of great miraculous provision and grace.
There are a few verses in Proverbs 29 that compare the fool with the righteous and I want to just give you what the righteous person does. He rejoices in righteous rule; he makes his father rejoice; he turns the wrath of God from his city; he doesn’t speak everything on his mind. The righteous man’s throne is established forever.
I love the last verse in Proverbs 29. “An unjust man is an abomination to the just; and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.” What a thought. We are as disgusting to the wicked as they are to us. They have no fear of God or desire for righteousness that is why it says of the last days that men will call good ,evil and evil, good.
Lord, help us to have your wisdom in our hearts and live out these proverbs.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - The Curse and the Blessing

Read: Pr. 25-26
I quote Proverbs 25:2 often because I love it. God hides things in mystery so that those who are hungry and want to know will seek it out. That is the intrigue of the Old Testament. It is signs and pictures and types and shadows of things to come. It takes searching out to understand the good stuff.
The last verse of Proverbs 25 says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. To have no self-control is to have no boundaries so anyone or any spirit can come through your gates and sabotage you. Our walls are salvation (Is. 60:18). That is why God put it on Nehemiah’s heart to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem before he rebuilt the city.
Proverbs 26:2 is an interesting verse, “ As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.” Birds wander and swallows fly to find food or materials to build their nest; they always have a reason. It is the same for the curse. It will not come on a person without a cause. Curses are the result of sin. It could be the sin of someone in your family that was passed down. Adam’s curse has passed down to all men. We must work to produce. The serpent was cursed and still slithers on his belly. The woman was cursed and still has pain in childbirth. We are to be redeemed from the curse but we have to appropriate our redemption. We have to claim it and act on it to activate our blessing. We are free from the curse of sin and death yet we will still die till God frees us from that last curse of death. In the blessings we can love working and experience God’s free provisions and have painless childbirth but the serpent will keep his curse till the end!
If you feel you are under a curse you can ask God where it came from so you can close that door and be set free. We should have no curses in our lives as born-again believers because the blood of Jesus set us from from the curse of the law.
Lord, deliver us from any curses we may be operating under and let us walk in Your blessings so we can spread these blessings to others.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Solomon's Reign

Read 1 Kings 9; 2 Chron. 8
Solomon has established his kingdom and built his house and the house for the Lord. God once again promised to continue His favor to David’s posterity as long as the people remain true to God. This covenant was conditional and they eventually broke it and suffered the consequences.
Solomon took his wife, daughter of Pharaoh, and moved her from the city of David to her house. His wife is a type of the Bride. She will be Gentile and come out of Satan’s kingdom into God’s. We are called out of darkness and sin and brought into God’s marvelous light.
Since Solomon’s reign is a type of the millennial reign we see that we will once again observe God’s feasts as a people.
The ones who had to pay tribute were the unregenerate people who are still alive. There will be non-Christians on the earth during the last millennium. They will be subject to Christ and his rules. God’s people will be tax-exempt!
Lord, give us eyes to see that the future is not in this realm or in this time but in eternity. Let us live today with eternity in our hearts.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - The Praises of Our God

Read Ps. 134: 146-150
These psalms were probably the songs sung at the ceremony where the ark was put in place. God’s presence was placed in his house. These psalms describe God and who he is. Psalms 146:9 differentiates the unsaved from the wicked. The stranger, fatherless and widow are all pictures of the person who is unsaved. The unsaved is a stranger- not part of the family; fatherless - God is not his father; widow - not married to Jesus. But the wicked is a person who knowingly chooses to be an enemy of Christ. This person actively fights against the cause of Christ. This person will be turned upside down which means he overthrows his kingdom.
Psalm 147 says that God numbers the stars and calls them by their names. That is pretty impressive!
Psalm 149 says that we should praise God with our mouths and have a sword in our hand to execute vengeance on the heathen and punishment upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written because this is the honor of the saints. This has to do with intercession. It is our priviledge to break the power of the devil over our land and our leaders and pray our God’s Word as He instructs us. The Word is our sword and our praise is our entrance. We enter into God’s courts with praise and once we are in then we do God’s bidding whatever that is.
The last Psalm was the Alleluia Chorus of the day. The other psalms built up to this last praise to God. All creation praises the Lord.
Lord, we praise you for all that you are and all you have done. You are beautiful beyond description!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - God’s Answer

Read: 2 Chron. 6-7; Ps. 136
Today we have a recap of yesterday’s reading with God’s response to Solomon’s prayer. God said that if he did shut up heaven to punish them for their sins then they could humble themselves and pray and seek his face and turn from sin and God would hear them and forgive their sins and heal their land.
God answered Solomon’s other prayer about his children and their place as heirs to the throne. As long as they followed God, they would have their place on the throne. If they chose to rebel, then God would pluck them up and cast them out and give their land to others. This is exactly what happened until 1948 when Israel became a nation once again and God’s people started coming home.
Psalms 136 must have been Solomon’s song he sang during that celebration. Solomon wanted to remind the people where they came from and all God had done for them because his mercy endures for ever.
We will give thanks to the God of heavens for Your mercy endures for ever.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Placing the Ark in the Temple

Read: 1 Kings 8; 2 Chron. 5
The month Ethanim was called Tishri after the exile. The feast they were celebrating is the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Tabernacles. They are feasts that celebrate the kingship and the fact that God wants to tabernacle with us. Jesus will fulfill the feast of trumpets on the day he comes back. The trumpet will sound and Jesus will appear for all to see. The feast of tabernacle will be the fulfillment of God setting up his kingdom in the new earth.
In today’s reading the placing of the ark into the Holy of Holies in the new temple was a picture of God’s presence coming to dwell among men. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit where God places His spirit and overshadows us with the wings of angels. The weightiness of God’s presence or cloud was so heavy the priests couldn’t even stand to do their job. Solomon was so right when he said that the heavens cannot contain God but somehow He chooses to walk with us and give us his presence. It is truly a mystery.
Solomon instructed the people in his prayer that whatever state they find themselves in, they can always turn back to God and he will hear them.
Lord, we beseech you for our nation and the nation of Israel that you would deliver us from evil and turn our hearts back to You and heal our land.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Building for the Kingdom

Read: 1 Kings 7; 2 Chron. 4
It is fascinating to me to hear of the opulence and detail the Bible gives us of all Solomon built. Everything he was told to build was to express the glory of God. There is nothing on earth that can compare to God’s glory, but Solomon built an expression of it. Everything he put in the building of the temple had meaning. He even named the pillars in the porch. So every time a person walked into the temple, he passed between these two pillars. Jachin means “God will establish” and Boaz means “in God’s strength”. So everything God establishes will be done by His strength and not ours.
The laver where the priests were to wash in was supported by twelve oxen that faced north, south, east and west. These were the burden bearers that bore the sins of the people every time the priest washed in the water of forgiveness. They carried their sins as far as the east is from the west. Jesus did this once and for all on the cross.
Solomon’s temple was laden with gold and silver and it all came from Solomon’s storehouse. Solomon is a type of Jesus and we can live under his rule if we trust God to meet all our needs according to his riches in heaven and not according to our bank account. The key is doing only what God has called you to do and not what you lust for. God’s provisions never run out and if you walk with him and give him everything, you will never be in need either. God will trust you with his abundance and your life will reveal the glory of God.
Lord, may we learn to walk in Solomon’s anointing and build for your kingdom.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - I Know the Plans I Have For You

Read: 1 Kings 5-6: 2 Chronicales 2-3
Today I understood something for the first time. David couldn’t build the temple because he was a man of war. I always though that was a rebuke but today I saw it in a totally different light. In 1 Kings 5:3, Solomon is explaining this to Hiram, one of David’s friends. He explained that David could not build the temple because it was his job to establish the kingdom and get rid of all of Israel’s enemies so Solomon could build the temple. In our own lives we have to get rid of our enemies or insecurity, fear, doubt, etc, before we can establish any lasting ministry.
Even Solomon had to finish killing David’s enemies before he could establish peace and begin building. It was now time to build the temple and God provided Solomon the manpower, the money and the gifting to do everything He had put in David’s heart to do. David had drawn up the plans and all Solomon had to do was to execute them. God has drawn up the plans of our lives and he has defeated our enemies before us so all we have to do is walk in obedience. Everything we need for success is ours. Peace will be our companion as it was with Solomon.
Lord, thank you that we can rest in knowing You have planned out our lives and our future. Let us walk boldly before you in your plan.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - Training Your Children

Read: Proverbs 22-24
Today’s proverbs have several things to say about raising children. The first one is to train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it. “Train up” means to discipline your child in the right way so they won’t forget it when they become an old man. Sometimes waiting till they become an old man is exhausting but be encouraged that they will return.
The next verse about raising children is found in 22:15, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” The rod of instruction means a stick that has been taken off the tree to properly chastise, reprove, warn or instruct. Properly is the key word. To spank or reprove in anger is abuse. To wait until you are calm and can think clearly is the best time to discipline but there are times when discipline needs to be right then. Pray first then discipline and afterwards pray with the child. This is a great way to teach them repentance because we don’t just sin against their brother or sister or mommy but against the Lord first.
Proverbs 23:13-14 says it best: “Withhold not correction from the child; for it your beat him with the rod, he shall not die; You shall beat him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from hell.” This one should give parents a sigh of relief if they were afraid spanking was too harsh. Who doesn’t want to deliver their children from hell!
Lord, thank you that you discipline us with your rod of reproof. Never give up on us.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Living in the Millennium

Read 1 Kings 9; 2 Chron. 8
Solomon has established his kingdom and built his house and the house for the Lord. God once again promised to continue His favor to David’s posterity as long as the people remain true to God. This covenant was conditional and they eventually broke it and suffered the consequences.
Solomon took his wife, daughter of Pharaoh, and moved her from the city of David to her house. His wife is a type of the Bride. She will be Gentile and come out of Satan’s kingdom into God’s. We are called out of darkness and sin and brought into God’s marvelous light.
Since Solomon’s reign is a type of the millennial reign we see that we will once again observe God’s feasts as a people.
The ones who had to pay tribute were the unregenerate people who are still alive. There will be non-Christians on the earth during the last millennium. They will be subject to Christ and his rules. God’s people will be tax-exempt!
Lord, give us eyes to see that the future is not in this realm or in this time but in eternity. Let us live today with eternity in our hearts.

Tues.’ Devo God is in Control

Read: Pr. 19-21
Proverbs 21:1 is good for us to understand in today’s circumstances. The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord and he turns it however he wills. Our president may think he is in control but God is in control. He is the pawn. We can affect our country by how we live and how we pray. It is our job to stand for righteousness and not bow to the world’s standards but God is ultimately in control. He is moved by his people and their prayers so if we want our president to change we have to be praying and repenting for our nation. Moses was such a good leader because he always interceded for the people even when they were totally in sin and he had done no wrong. God is looking for Moses’s.
Verse 30 of Proverbs 21 is a comforting verse. “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.” Nothing can stand against what God has ordained will happen. God has planned this world out to the very end of time and his plans will succeed. They will succeed for you and your family also. The next verse reminds us that we are safe in the Lord.
Lord, thank you for your plans and your sovereignty. You are all-powerful and all-good!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - God Created Evil

Read: Pr. 16-18
We could spend a day on each proverb but I want to highlight only a few. Proverbs 16:2 says, “all the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weighs the spirits.” I means that our journey may seem pure in our eyes but the Lord weighs and tests us on our expressions, functions, anger, courage and by what we think in the midst of a storm. All those words are the meaning of spirit in the Hebrew. It is easy to do the right thing when you aren’t being tempted or when everything is going your way but how we react in unexpected trials is what God measures us with. The next verse tells us how we can triumph in a storm: “commit your works to the Lord and your thought will be established.” “Works” in that verse has to do with what you do as an occupation, how you do it and what you possess. Our occupation is not just a job. It is the tool God has picked to refine us and conform us to his image. It is important how we honor it and our attitude.
The next verse, 4, is hard for us to comprehend. “God made all things for himself, even the wicked for the day of evil.” When I quote this verse, well-seasoned Christians look at me like I’m crazy. God created evil. Isaiah 45:7 says, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” So God created evil and the wicked. They are pawns in his hand just as Satan is to bring about judgment on the earth and to sharpen our resolves. If it wasn’t for the evil in the world we would not appreciate light and righteousness. One day the evil one will be thrown into the lake of fire.
Lord, thank you for choosing us to know you and be drawn to righteousness.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sun.’s Devo- A Tree of Life

Read: Pr. 13-15
I’ve heard “hope deferred makes the heart sick” all my life but few people finish the proverb. The punch line is, “but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” The ending is the promise and the best part. It says to me that if you are hopping for something and it doesn’t seem to come when you think it will then keep holding on because in the end it will be so good it will bring endless life.
This year, 2015, is suppose to be the “turn around year” and the year of blessing. I have seen signs of this in some of the things I have been praying for for a long time, but there are still some biggies out there that are not turning as fast as I would hope. Even though we are half the way through the year, it seems that God doesn’t really work till the end. It’s like he holds the best present for the last grand finale. So if you are one of those who have not seen your mountain dissolve into the sea yet…hold on. It will come. In 14:27 it says that the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life. So let’s continue fearing God with faith that He will finish what He started because He always does. He it totally faithful. In 15:4 it says that a wholesome tongue is a tree of life. “Wholesome” means healing. So let our words be healing to those around us, filled with hope.
Lord, thank you for all the times you have answered our prayers and for all the times in the future when you will show yourself strong on our behalf.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Our Lips

Read Pr. 10-12
Chapter ten has much to say about our lips. In the Hebrew “lips” means a natural boundary; bank; edge which is so true. On one side of the boundary our words are just thoughts held in our head and on the other side of our lips they are powerful words hitting the atmosphere provoking an action. Our lips are the boundary they have to cross and so many times shouldn’t. Our words can be full of wisdom or be foolish and bring us pain. Verse 14 says that wise men lay up knowledge. In other words, they hide by covering over, reserve and protect it. They don’t have to always be giving it out and showing everyone how smart they are.
In verse 21 it says that the lips of the righteous feed many. People want to be around people who are wise because their words are bread to the soul. In verse 32 it says that the lips of the righteous know what is acceptable and bring pleasure instead of strife and negativity.
Chapter eleven has to do with balance. When things are in balance then the righteous prosper and the wicked are punished.
Verse 24 is a great reminder. When you give out and scatter your seed you reap a harvest and you are never without. But when you hoard and hold back in fear, it only makes you poorer. If God can feed the sparrows, he can take care of us.
Chapter twelve is a comparison of the wicked and the righteous. It can be summed up in verse 15. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; but he that listens to counsel is wise.
Lord, help us to be humble and righteous in all we do. Help us to watch over the words that we allow to cross our lips and may they bring life and not death.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Cry Out!

Read: Pr. 7-9
The “apple of the eye” is referring to the pupil of the eye. It is what we see everything out of so verse 2 of chapter 7 is saying that we should see everything through the lens of the Word.
The “strange woman” (verse 5) has to do figuratively with foreign doctrine. To follow other gods is to commit spiritual adultery. Following the way of sin is alluring and intoxicating but the end leads to death and hell. The goodman in the story is Jesus who has left us bodily but he will return.
In Chapter 8, Solomon has personified wisdom. We know wisdom to be Jesus since He is the spirit of wisdom according to Isaiah 11:2. So Solomon is giving us a pre-picture of Jesus. He pictures Jesus experiencing the creation process in Genesis.
In Chapter 9, wisdom is calling to the foolish to come and be saved from their sins. The Hebrew meaning of “simple” and “foolish” are both the same. They mean silly and seductive. So they are not only hurting themselves but anyone else they can con into their lifestyle. Sinners love company. They are great evangelists to their cause and are in every spectrum of society. They think they are wise but are really stupid and deceived…on their way to hell.
Lord, open our eyes to the voices we hear around us and may we be those who cry out and invite people to wisdom.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - Understanding

Read: Pr. 4-6
God’s doctrine is His instruction and teaching. To receive it brings great blessings to us. Solomon learned from his father, David how to love the Lord and obey him. Wisdom comes through experience and understanding comes through observation. The path of God leads to a life of grace and glory. To go our own way causes us to stumble. The path of the wicked leads to sleepless nights and mischief. In the Hebrew, mischief means to spoil by breaking in pieces; to be good for nothing; morally bad; to break down; do harm. We have all experienced these symptoms of going our own way but the wicked lives in this state continually. The path of the just - the man who lives according to God’s Word is as the shining light that gets brighter and brighter each day. Salvation and sanctification are a process.
I have always loved the verse: “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” In the Hebrew it means to guard your feelings like a prison guard would watch over his prisoners because what you allow your heart to love is what will issue out of it. If you love violence or being famous or noticed then everything you do will be formed out of those emotions. Mentally weigh the path you take in your walk through life.
In Proverbs five, Solomon instructs the young man to stay devoted to his wife and not be tempted to stray to another man’s wife. Solomon had 600 wives but I don’t think he stole any of them from another man. He learned from his father’s sin. Remember, Solomon was Bathsheba’s son.
In Proverbs six, Solomon gives us instructions about how to right a wrong we have done. If we promise something we can’t deliver then we should go to that person and ask to be set free from the promise instead of just not returning their calls. He reminds us to observe the ant. It takes responsibility for his own well-being and doesn’t expect someone else to do his work. No welfare in the ant hill!
Solomon gives us the things God hates and it all has to do with deception. No wonder…Satan is the father of lies.
Lord, help us to bind your words to our heart.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - Wisdom

Read: Prov. 1-3
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived wrote the book of Proverbs to help us know how to live. His quest was to know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment and balance. He wrote these words to help the simple be wise and to teach the young men knowledge and discretion. He loved riddles, puzzles and the hard questions. He was not afraid to ask them. He understood the wisdom of listening to people in authority over him like his parents. He also understood the foolishness of walking with sinners.
God’s wisdom is everywhere you go if you can have eyes to see. God is always talking and guiding us if we will just look at the signs he gives us. When we do we walk in the Lord’s safety.
Solomon was a great believer in knowing the Word and hiding it in his heart. He bound mercy and truth about his neck as a necklace and wrote them on his heart.
He learned to trust in the Lord with all his heart not his head and to humble himself before the Lord. He honored God with his wealth and gave God his first fruits. He welcomed God’s discipline and correction. His love for wisdom and knowledge brought him riches and long life. He understood that everything made was made from the wisdom of God. It all points to God’s great glory.
Lord, give us a love for your wisdom and help us to seek it and enjoy its fruits even when we don’t understand.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tues.’ Devo - The Song of Songs

Read Song of Solomon 1-8
Song of Solomon is one of the most versitile book of the Bible.
It has been used to teach about marriage, God’s love for Israel and the love between Jesus and the Bride which is my favorite. Jesus’ love is better than wine and his name is as ointment poured forth. Our prayer is to be drawn into his chambers and experience His love. He says to us, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Song of Solomon is a call to intimacy with God and the bridegroom. Solomon was a picture of the bridegroom in all his beauty and splendor. Jesus is not coming for his bride as the suffering poor servant but as the decorated king. Somehow in our weakness we have ravished the heart of our bridegroom and he is overtaken with love for us. The bride will one day say that Jesus is altogether lovely and our beloved.
Lord, may we be ravished in your love today.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - David’s Last Psalms

Read Ps. 119: 89-176
Lamed speaks of the eternal promises of God. He is forever faithful. I can attest to what Mem (97-104) says. When I started reading my Bible faithfully my grades greatly improved and my desire to learn was dramatically improved. Something was unlocked in my brain so that I could understand what I was reading and learn. David found that also. In Nun (105-112) we find a favorite: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” In Samech (113-120) we see David’s fear of the Lord. In Ain (121-128) David trusts in the Lord to deliver him from sin. In Pe (129-136) we see David’s love for the Word and his intercession for the sinner. In Tzaddi (137-144) David is consumed with God’s Word. In Koph (145-152) it seems that David knows his life is nearing the end and cries out for God’s salvation. In Resh (153-160) David asks the Lord to “quicken” him three times. Quicken means to revive and give live to. I think David was feeling his body slowly dying and was praying to live on and to be resurrected. In Shin (161-168) David reminds the Lord of his faithfulness to love His laws. In Tau (169-176) David prays that his soul may live and praise the Lord forever.
Lord, may our love for you be like David’s.