Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - Family

Read: Pr. 17-19
Proverbs has much to say about family. It is better to eat peanut butter sandwiches in peace than to have a full blown Thanksgiving meal with conflict. Nothing is worse than sitting at the table with someone who doesn’t want to understand you or that takes everything you say wrongly. It doesn’t matter if the whole family drove for miles to eat this delicious meal. I would rather eat crackers and laugh with people who love me.
I found this very interesting: “Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children.” I had to think about this for a while but it makes sense. I talk about my grandchildren all the time now but when I was young I talked about my parents. I’m keeping two of my grandkids right now and they love us to pieces but when they hurt themselves they want their momma.
Another place says that a real friend will stick closer than a brother. What if that real friend was your brother. That would be the greater. Our real friend is our brother, our Savior, our Lord. He always has our back.
If we have sons or grandsons, we need to be praying for them to find an understanding wife. If we have daughters and granddaughters we need to teach them to be understanding.
Here’s one to think about: “Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother are an embarrassment and a public disgrace.” We need to teach this to our children when they are young. There is nothing more demeaning than watching a child disrespect their parent when they are old enough to know better.
Lord, help us to be good children, parents and grandparents.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - Building our Homes and Our Bodies

Read: Pr. 14-16
I am reminded of the first verse in Chapter 14: “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. There are so many ways we can tear down our home with our own hands. We can do that with our words of criticism about our children and especially our spouse. We are suppose to be a unit of one but when we work against each other we are causing division and destruction. Another way we can tear down our house is by neglect. We can be so centered around our own lives, ministries, dreams and plans that we neglect our number one ministry which is our home. We can build prosperous businesses, powerful ministries, and strong friendships but if we do that put that same or more energy and passion into our own home, it will perish. It will be like a kingdom that crumbles from within.
We can build our homes by doing just the opposite. We can offer encouragement and kind words. We can ask the Lord how we can minister to each of our family members and pray for them accordingly. We can be available to them and they can know that they are the most important person to us. We can build a foundation of righteousness and the fear of the Lord. Who knows, maybe the dreams we have are to manifest through our children or grandchildren and we will be able to help them.
Since I am a little of a health nut I love the verses that tell us how to be healthy. Building our bodies is like building our personal homes. Having a peaceful heart helps our bodies to be healthy. Being jealous is like cancer to the bones. Good news makes for a good health. We have the good news which is the gospel so it should lead us to healthy living. When we have a happy heart then life is a continual feast. We are suppose to love life; it is a gift from God. It honors God when we honor our bodies and treat them right.
Lord, help us to build our homes with You as the center. And, help us to honor our bodies as unto You.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - Business, Respect, Criticism and Friends

Read: Prov. 11-13
Solomon gives much instruction on business. He knows that being honest and fair is how to have a successful business. God wants his people to prosper and succeed because when we do, it blesses the whole city. When we realize that when a Christian brother or sister prospers in their business it prospers the body of Christ then we are becoming mature Christians. We are all one in Christ so we should be glad when we see our fellow Christians succeed, especially when we are not. Our time will come if we wait upon the Lord, guard our hearts and continue to be honest and fair in our dealings.
Here is a question to ask ourselves: would we rather have respect or wealth? We should want respect because it can’t be measured by gold or silver. You can’t buy respect it has to be earned over time. The good news is that we can have both respect and wealth, we just shouldn’t want wealth without respect. How we run our business reflects who is in our hearts.
Solomon also says much about being able to take criticism. No one likes to be wrong or to be corrected but everyone is wrong and everyone needs correcting sometime in their life so we are all in the same boat. It is better to see it as a learning tool instead of a rebuke. If we learn to listen to correction with the attitude of wanting to learn and better ourselves then the one correcting us will become our teacher instead of our cruel taskmaster. His attitude will reflect ours. Humility is more attractive than rebellion to others and to God.
Another favorite of mine in today’s reading is: “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” Who we choose as our closest friends is so important. We should all be reaching out to sinners, but we will become like the ones we spend the most time with. Our best friend should be Jesus! He is always a good influence.
Lord, thank you for the wise words of Proverbs. Help us to hide the nuggets of wisdom in our hearts.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - The Great Benefits of Wisdom

Read: Prov. 8-10
We pray for wisdom all the time and Proverbs tell us that it is screaming at every turn we make. If we ask for it, we won’t be able to miss it. It will be at every crossroad waiting for us. One thing we can be sure of, God’s wisdom is the best idea. Wisdom holds common sense, success in life, riches, honor, wealth and justice. It is better than silver or gold.
Wisdom is personified as a being that was with God when he created the earth. He describes himself as God’s constant delight. I love his last statement, “How happy I was with the world he created; how I rejoiced with the human family!” Wisdom is our friend that gives us delight in all we do with him. If we listen to him we will be joyful, wise, full of life and everything we do will prosper.
Wisdom tells us to not bother giving out advise to people who don’t want it. We should save our wisdom for people who are already wise. They will listen.
Once again, we are reminded that wisdom comes from fearing the Lord. It gives us a long life, blessings, happy memories, instruction, safety, peace, life-giving words, knowledge, an enhanced life, common sense, hope, pleasure, a lasting foundation, and integrity. Who wants wisdom?
Lord, thank you for wisdom.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - The Wayward Heart

Read: Proverbs 5-7
If you or anyone else you know is unhappy at home they need to read today’s reading. It should wake them up and set them back on the right path. Movies and TV are full of promiscuous relationships that look normal and okay but the movie always ends before you get to see how it really plays out over time. Sin always leads to death. Even though this topic seems to be addressed to men, women are just as vulnerable as men in this area. It doesn’t tell what happens to the seductress but I would have to say the same result.
For those who have no intention of being a seductress or having an affair lets take this a little deeper. Our real husband is Jesus and we are to keep our hearts pure toward him. We can be just as guilty of looking for things to occupy our time and minds that are against our husband, Jesus. We can run after youth, material things, houses, wealth, glory and fame and be just as guilty of spiritual adultery which is worse.
Lets look at the six things the Lord hates.
1. Haughty eyes. Have we ever thought we were better than someone else or that we deserved to be elevated instead of them?
2. A lying tongue. Have we every told a little white lie to make ourselves look better or so we could get out of trouble?
3. Hands that kill the innocent. Have we ever talked against people we don’t even know because we disagreed with their walk?
4. A heart that plots evil. Have we ever wanted someone to fall because we thought they deserved to?
5. Feet that race to do wrong. Have we ever jumped to conclusions and lashed out in anger?
6. A false witness who pours out lies. Have we ever heard a piece of news without hearing the other side and spread our opinion?
7. A person who sows discord in a family. Have we ever been hurt by someone in our family and tried to get another family member to side with us?
Maybe these are bad examples and maybe we haven’t done all of these but I bet if we are honest there is at least one of them we can fess up to. I have to say that I have done all of them at one time or another. James 2:10 says that if we offend in one point we are guilty of all. The good news is that this is why Jesus came - to cleanse us and forgive us. So we need to do what todays’ reading says and treasure God’s commands, obey them and write them deep within our hearts.
Lord, help us to love wisdom more than ourselves. Help us to give you our whole heart.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - The Reason for Proverbs

Read: Proverbs 1-4
Solomon, who was the wisest person to ever live except Jesus, wrote Proverbs just to teach others his wisdom and discipline. Interesting that discipline is elevated with wisdom. He writes to have a successful life your must be disciplined and do what is right, just and fair. Wisdom gives us discernment to know what is right and what is wrong and when we face gray areas we will know what is best.
The fear of the Lord is the basic foundation of wisdom. If God is not your foundation you will never discern what is best. God places people over us and the first of these is our parents. If we learn to listen to them when they correct us we are on our way to being wise. Then we will be discerning with our friends and know how to pick good friends.
God is wisdom and he is always ready to lead us and guide us but if we refuse to listen then he will allow us to reap the fruit we have planted. If we ask for wisdom, God will give it to us. He gives us common sense to understand what is right, just and fair. Knowledge will us with joy. Wise choices watch over us and understanding keeps you safe.
Solomon warns us to always be loyal and kind because we will find favor with God and people and earn a good reputation. If we trust in God, he will always tell us the right path to take. He also warns us to guard our heart above all else because it determines the course of our lives.
Lord, help us to trust in your wisdom and not stumble over our understanding. We guard our mouths and our heart to think of You first in all we do. Thank you for your wisdom.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - Solomon’s Prayer

Read 1 Kings 4; Ps. 72; Ps. 127
Solomon’s kingdom was a well-oiled machine. He had organization skills like no other. The people who lived in his kingdom were content and had plenty to eat and drink. It was a kingdom of peace and safety. Each family had their own home and garden. There was no poverty. The government had plenty of money and provisions to run properly and efficiently. This is what we have to look forward to.
The prayer the king prayed for his people is the prayer that Jesus prays for us. He prayed that the people would be treated fairly and be prosperous. He prayed for their souls that they would always fear God. He prayed that his rule would be refreshing to his people, that the poor would be rescued when they cried for help and that there would be abundant grain throughout his land. He wanted his people to thrive and be devoted to him as their king.
Solomon knew in all his building that if God wasn’t the one building the house, it would be in vain. Unless God protected his city, it was useless to have the strongest army. And, it is useless to work so hard when God gives rest to his children. Speaking of children…they are a reward from God. I want to interject that children come in all forms and sometimes they are not blood children. Your children include all the people God has placed under your mentorship and influence. You are blessed if your quiver is full of them.
Lord, build your city in our hearts and restore our nation to righteousness. Please give us a man whom you have ordained to be our next president and give us rest.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - The Wealth of Solomon

Read: 2 Chron. 8-9; 1 Kings 10; 14-29; 2 Chron. 1:14-17
I want to go back to the end of yesterday’s reading where Solomon gave Hiram twenty towns in the land of Galilee and Hiram was not pleased with them. He called them worthless. These were the very towns that Jesus would spend his whole ministry in. He didn’t think they were worthless. In today’s reading we read about some towns that Hiram had given Solomon. They didn’t sound too great either, but look at what Solomon did to them instead of labeling them worthless. He rebuilt them and planted his people in them. Some of them he had to conquer first. He rebuilt their walls and installed gates. He used them for supply centers and made them useful. Solomon didn’t waste anything.
Solomon kept account of everything that went on in his kingdom and was fair and honest. The wealth and splendor of Solomon’s kingdom has never been matched but we will see this even greater in Jesus’ kingdom. This is just a foretaste of what is ahead for those who love Jesus and put their trust in God.
Even the queen of Sheba came all the way from Ethiopia to see the greatness of Solomon’s kingdom. What impressed her the most was his wisdom. We are suppose to be like Solomon’s kingdom which the world just has to come and see. Only God can give wisdom; the world has knowledge. Wisdom is like gold and Solomon had plenty of that! The more he had, the more was given to him. That is a Biblical principal.
Lord, help us to shine your glory in a way that the world will know it comes from You.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - God Draws Near

Read: 1 Kings 8:549:14; 2 Chron. 7:1-10
When worship is involved, God draws near. When hundreds of people worship in the same place, his presence is multiplied. On this day it was so strong the priests couldn’t even enter the Temple.
I have actually experienced what they did in a much smaller way. about twelve years ago. I had been playing tennis and entered the back door of my house. The presence of the Lord was so strong in the living room that I could barely squeeze in the door. I sat down right by the door and cried. The air was so thick I could hardly breathe. I decided that maybe I was suppose to ask something of God like Solomon did. I had no idea what to ask for - temporary things seemed so trivial so I said a quick prayer and told God I was going to open my mouth and start praying and I wanted him to fill it with what I was to ask for. I opened my mouth and prayed, “Lord, I pray that I would teach your Word and rightly divide the Word of Truth.” Then I just sat there and waited until the heaviness left and I was able to go take a shower. I floated through the rest of the day and got a call from a friend about a speaker who was from Israel speaking at a small country church. I decided, because of what had happened that I should go. It was a hallmark meeting. The speaker prophesied over me and said, “you are a teacher and you will teach my Word and rightly divide the Word of Truth.” What a confirmation! Other things happened that night that I won’t go into here but it was a day I will never forget.
God appeared to Solomon again and told him that if they find themselves in sin and the consequences of sin they could call on his name, humble themselves, seek his face and turn from their wicked ways. Then, God would hear their prayers, forgive them and restore their land. That is our prayer for America.
Lord, thank your for your presence that is always with us.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - Bringing the Ark into the Temple

Read: 1 Kings 8; 2 Chron. 5:1-14; 6:12-42
It was time to bring the ark into the temple of God. Solomon brought the presence of God into the Temple on the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles is the feast where they were to build temporary booths where they would live for seven days. The booths were made of four different species of plants and was constructed in such a way that when they lay down at night they could see the sky and the stars. They were reminded that this earth was their temporary home and their real home was with God. How appropriate that Solomon would set up the Ark on this feast. It was a picture of how God’s presence was going to live in this beautiful place for a specified time. But the real home was not on this earth. As beautiful and precious life seems to us, it is a token of what eternal life is going to be. This is not our home. Our home is so much more splendid and glorious.
God instructs us also that he lives in thick darkness. This reminds me of that period of three hours while Jesus hung on the cross. His father came down in that thick darkness and comforted his son.
Solomon bowed in the presence of all the people and prayed a powerful prayer explaining the importance of the temple and Jerusalem. But, most importantly, he spoke of the power of prayer. We may not live in Jerusalem or even have a temple to pray in, but we have the temple of God inside us and we can access that temple anytime. God hears the humble and earnest requests from anyone who calls on his name. If someone wrongs another person, if we are being defeated by our enemies, If we are going through a drought or a famine or a plague, we can pray and God will hear us. God will listen to the prayer of a non-Christian who is hungry and in need of Him. Forgiveness and redemption are ours through prayer from a sincere heart.
Lord, we rest in your unfailing love and goodness. Thank you for bringing your presence into the temple of our hearts.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - The Buildings of Solomon

Read: 1 Kings 7; 2 Chronicles 3:15-4:22
It took Solomon 7 years to build the temple and 13 to build his palace. This provided work for many laborers. Both structures proclaimed the glory of God. One of his buildings was called the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. It was a wondrous display of cedar. I wonder if this represented the people. Another building was called the Hall of Pillars. It was not as large as the first building and I wonder if this represents the saints - the pillars of faith. The next building we read that is named is the Hall of Justice. This was where the throne sat and legal matters where settled. This had to represent the throne of God’s judgement. The last building mentioned was the living quarters for Pharoah’s daughter - his bride. This bride was a Gentile bride from Egypt the place of slavery. Is this not a picture of the bride of Christ? She will be a foreigner that Jesus bought with the price of his blood and drew out of slavery and set her free. Jesus will be her kinsman redeemer like Boaz was for Ruth.
Solomon took a man whose mother is from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father is from Tyre and used his gifts to decorate these buildings with his talents. Naphtali means “my wrestling” and Tyre means “distress”. His name was Huram-abi which means “father of paleness”. I wonder if he wasn’t albino. This is a beautiful picture of how God chooses the least likely, most undesirable, humble people to hide his talents in. The work he did was unbelievably ornate and breathtaking. I marvel as I read the description of it. The enormity of the task would have made me distressed! But Huram was made for the challenge and he did it.
Many of us have talents that seem hidden and passed over but there will come a time when we will be called on to use our talent and it will be used for God’s glory. In the mean time, we delight in the Lord and hone our gifts.
Lord, help us to make every moment count, knowing that some of those moments are just still moments with you.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - Solomon’s Kingdom of Peace

God’s wisdom was displayed through Solomon in the decision about who was the mother of the baby. All Israel marveled at Solomon’s decision. It also showed us that Solomon was a personal king who sincerely cared about his people. Most kings wouldn’t have cared about the fate of the baby of a prostitute, but Solomon took the women’s concerns serious. Solomon is a type of Jesus in the Millennium when he sets up his earthly kingdom.
Solomon was a king of peace. He recognized the friendship of Hiram and his father and knew that Hiram had something he would need for his temple, and that was cedar. Solomon had something that Hiram needed for his people and that was food. He made a trade that was fair and made both men pleased. Hiram sent a craftsman named Huram-abi who was extremely talented in working with metals and fabric. We will still be using our talents during the millennium.
The temple was built on Mt. Moriah at the exact place where David saw the plague stop. He bought the land from Araunah. This was the same place that Jesus died on the cross stopping the plague of sin. Araunah means to shout for joy! We will do that when we see the temple rebuilt on that very spot.
I wish I could see a picture of the two angels that were in the fashioned for the Most Holy Place. They were placed side by side making their wing spans 30 feet wide. The room was only 30 feet so they touched both sides. They completely filled the room with their presence which is what the presence of the Lord does.
Lord, let you presence fill our rooms and our hearts.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thur.’s Devo - Getting His House In Order

Solomon was finally the king, but there were some loose ends that needed to be tied. Much like Asaph’s prayer, justice needed to be carried out. The first loose end was Adonijah. He was the next in line for the kingdom though he was overlooked for Solomon. David’s choice to give Solomon the kingdom had to be part of his making things right with Bathsheba. It was also God’s justice for her.
Adonijah tried to use Bathsheba to gain a foothold to the throne. He asked Bathsheba if she would ask Solomon for Abishag’s hand in marriage. It sounded innocent to Bathsheba but when she asked Solomon, he saw right through the plot. If you remember, Abishag was the beautiful young girl they found to sleep beside David and keep him warm at night. He married her but never had sex with her. This maneuver cost Adonijah his life.
The next loose end Solomon had was Abiathar, the priest who had plotted with Adonijah. He was stripped of his priestly office and sent home.
The third loose end was Joab who had also sided with Adonijah. When he heard of what happened to Abiathar, he went and took hold of the horns of the altar begging for mercy. David had him killed right there by the altar. Joab finally paid for the murders of Abner and Amasa.
The last loose end was Shimei. He was the man who had cursed David when he was fleeing from Absalom. He put him on house arrest and could never leave Jerusalem. If he did, he would be killed. Three years later, two of his slaves ran away and he ran after them to another city to brought them home. Solomon was told about it and now had a right to kill him.
Now, Solomon’s kingdom was secure and he had a huge celebration and sacrificed so many offerings to the Lord it got his attention. He came down and visited Solomon in a dream to ask him what he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom to lead the people and discernment to know what was good and bad. God was pleased with his request and promised him wealth and fame.
Lord, we pray with Solomon for wisdom to know how to lead those you put under us and discernment to know what is good and what is evil.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - Restore Our Nation

Read: Ps. 79-82
Asaph mourns the fall of his nation much like we have mourned the spiritual fall of ours. One of his prayers was to not hold them guilty for the sins of their ancestors. Instead he prayed for God’s compassion to quickly meet their needs. He sees the big picture, that what the enemy has done to Jerusalem is a personal thing. It is really an attack against God. For the honor and glory of God’s name, Asaph prays for deliverance.
It makes me think of America and how we were founded on Godly principles. We were to be a city set on a hill that all the world could come to and find God. We sent missionaries all over the world, and now, for the first time in history, other nations are sending missionaries to the United States.
I join Asaph in praying, “Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies. Look down from heaven and see our plight. Take care of this grapevine that you yourself have planted… revive us so we can call on your name once more. Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.”
Listen to what God says he will do to those who put their trust in him. He will take the load from our shoulders and set us free. He tells us to open our mouths wide, and He will fill it with good things. He will subdue our enemies. He will feed us with the finest wheat and satisfy us with wild honey from the rock.
Lord, we pray for our nation, our next leaders, the harvest and our part in bringing your kingdom down to earth. Awaken our spirits to hear your voice. Strengthen us with Your joy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - Remember and Pass it On

Read: Ps. 75-78
Each generation has to decide for itself if it will follow God. It is the responsibility of the parents to pass down the teachings of God to their children and grand children so that they will set their hope anew on God. He is a personal God. That is why the story of Israel’s deliverance is told so many times in the Bible. It was so that they would remember what God had done for them and believe God and trust him.
The children of Israel would witness God do a mighty miracle like water gushing out of a rock when they had no water, but they couldn’t believe the next time they had a need. They couldn’t believe that God could actually feed them. God sent food from heaven to prove to them how He would provide their every need. It is easy to look at the children of Israel and point the finger but I find myself doing the same thing sometimes. God will do an awesome thing for me and I know it is a miracle but the next trouble I come to makes me stumble. I don’t want to be like the children of Israel who refused to trust the Lord. That is why it is good to remember what God has done.
Yesterday, Dave and I were talking about all the things that had happened since our 40-day fast. All Dave saw was the obstacles that we had had to face. I reminded him of the blessings that had come also and he thanked me. He needed to be reminded. I needed to remind myself. God does care for us with a true heart and leads us with skillful hands. He knows just what is needed and has already provided it.
Lord, remind us of your goodness and all the things you have done for us. We choose to trust you.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - From Judgment to Praise

Read: Ps. 50; 73; 74
Psalm 50 is a picture of judgment. God is calling all humanity to come before him and be judged for their lives. God calls on heaven and earth to help him in his judgment.
Then God addresses Israel. He tells them that he sees their sacrifices but it is not their sacrifices that he wants. He wants their thankfulness and their heart. He wants them to call on him when they are in trouble so he can rescue them and show his glory to the earth. It does us no good to recite God’s Word when we don’t believe what it says.
In Psalm 73, Asaph knows that God is good to those who walk with him, but he stumbles over the fact that he sees the wicked prospering with little consequences. He asks “Does God even know what’s happening?” He wonders if he kept his heart pure for nothing since he is facing trouble and pain. He got his answer when he went into the sanctuary. In God’s presence he could see the truth. He repented of his bitterness and humbled himself to the Lord. He is able to pray, “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.”
Asaph is lamenting the fall of his nation in Ps. 74. As he walks through the ruins of Jerusalem, he cries out for the Lord to remember them. He recalls all the wonderful and mighty things the Lord has done in the past and is encouraged. We need to do this same thing when we are discouraged. There is always something we can think of to praise God for. He is so honored when we praise him when everything is going bad. That is how we gain strength.
Lord, we praise you in the midst of our trials. We will bring to mind all the things you have done for us in the past. You will do it again.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - Standing on the Promises

Read: Ps. 144; 145; 88; 89
I found so many promises to pray over my children and my grandchildren. God trains their hands for war and gives them skill for battle. God is their loving ally, their fortress, tower of safety, rescuer, shield,and refuge. He will make the male flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. Our girls will be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. Each generation will tell the next of your mighty acts and power.
David stands on the fact that God always keeps his promises. In Psalm 89 he was facing rejection from his kingdom, public disgrace, fear, and uselessness. But, David remembers what God promised and that is what he stands on. God raised David up to be a warrior. David was the youngest of seven and made him God’s firstborn son. He took him from the common life and made him a king and anointed him to destroy his enemies. He told David that he would be the mightiest king, that he would love him and be kind to him forever and his covenant with him would never end. Those promises are what got David through his tough time.
God did fulfill his promises to David. He did give him back his kingdom and his honor. His bloodline brought us the King of Kings whose kingdom will never end. God has promised us the same thing. We can be that warrior and that king if we put our trust in God and hold on to His promises. The goodness of God can continue to prosper down our bloodline and we can rest in peace.
Praise the Lord forever! Amen and amen!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sat.’s Devo- We Are Precious to the Lord

Read: Ps. 131; 138-141;143
Psalm 139 has to be one of my favorites. When I feel insignificant and small, I will turn to this Psalm and read it. It is like a healing balm. God really does know each and every one of us. He saw us before we were born and knit us together in our mother’s womb. How valuable and prized are God’s thoughts about us.
I can relate to Psalm 141 especially the line that says, “Please hurry!” David prays that the Lord would take hold of what he says and guard his lips. I need to pray that more! He also prays that God would keep him from taking part in acts of sin or sharing in the pleasantries of sin. That is a humble prayer from a king who had it in his power to do anything he wanted. He even told the Lord that he wouldn’t mind correction from his enemy. He would receive it as medicine. That is true humility.
When you feel you are losing hope, Psalm 143 is a great encouragement.
Lord, help us to be humble and ready for correction even if it comes from someone we don’t respect. Keep us from the attacks the enemy sets for us. Let the devil be caught in his own trap.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - From a Curse to a Blessing

Read: Ps. 103; 108; 109; 110; 122; 124
Psalm 103 is such an explosive praise song. It make me want to stand and sing it. But when I got to Ps. 109, it was a totally different feeling. I had a hard time reading all the curses David prayed on his enemies. I had to remind myself that a curse is the opposite of a blessing so I read it like it was a blessing. Here are some of our blessings:
May our years be many and may we maintain our position. May our children be blessed with godly mates and many children. May our children be stable and prosperous. May they be blessed with godly friends and colleagues. May they have favor and may their names be great; and their reputations spotless. May the Lord forget the sins of their fathers and mothers. May they bless the poor and needy and give abundantly to them. May they bless others and be blessed. May the blessings they give out be returned to them and may they be tied around them like a belt.
Lord, bless them and rescue them because you are so faithful and good.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - Words of Encouragement

Read: Ps. 68-70; 86; 101
No matter what you are going through, you can always find a Psalm that fits it. The first seven verses of Psalm 86 are what did it for me today. It ends with: “I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me.”
David was always calling himself to remembrance of what God had done for him in the past. This was his launching pad for the present and the future. If God did it once, he could do it again.
David was also a great encourager. I love what he said in Psalm 69: “The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. For the Lord hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people.” These imprisoned people could be describing people imprisoned in drugs, pornography, lies, bingeing etc. If we are imprisoned by some addiction we can cry out to God and he will hear us and help us. Sometimes that help comes in the form of other people who are experienced in that subject. We were not meant to do life by ourselves.
Psalm 101 has some great scriptures to stand on: ‘I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil. I will search for faithful people to be my companions.”
Lord, help us to be examples to ourselves and our family of your goodness and love.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Weds.’s Devo - Our Place Of Refuge

Read: Ps. 61, 62, 64-67
I needed to read these today. I woke up in the middle of the night and felt overwhelmed over things I can’t control. I got up and read today’s verses and was reminded all the things I already knew but needed to hear again. I read: “I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.”
God has given us an inheritance of salvation, provision, abundant life that extends to our children and our children’s children on down the line.
David learned to wait quietly before the Lord and allow the victory to come. Our hope is only found in the Lord. In God’s fortress, we will not be shaken. In his refuge, no enemy can reach us. God says that the powerful people are not what they appear to be. If we put all the powerful people on a scales they wouldn’t amount to anything. That is great comfort in light of what is going on in the world and our nation right now. God is weighty and he has chosen us to put his weighty Spirit in. Because of that we are not lighter than air; we are substantial and powerful. God promises to shoot down the lies of the enemy. They will self-destruct. The only thing to fear is the Lord and He is on our side!
We can have joy because God draws us near to him. We live in God’s holy courts. God’s blessings and festivities await us inside his holy Temple. God faithfully answers our prayers with awesome deeds. So when we are overwhelmed, we can shout joyful praises to God and sing about the glory of his name. This makes the enemy cringe.
We have all gone through fiery trials and testings but God brings us to a place of great abundance. God never ignores our prayers and never withdraws his unfailing love from us.
Lord, we praise you for being our Creator and the finisher of our faith. It is your love that carries us through this life into eternity. May your praise always be on our lips.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - David’s Struggles

Read: Ps. 39-41; 53; 55; 58
I can relate to David’s anger in Ps. 39. He was trying to hold back from losing his temper and it wasn’t working. He reminded himself how short his life was and how futile his busyness was. He identified it as rebellion and repented. He also recognized it as God’s hand of discipline.
We have two enemies: Satan and our sin nature and it is sometimes hard to discern which one we are fighting. We are fighting Satan when we are being attacked in our innocence. We are fighting our sin nature when we are guilty and being attacked as a result of our actions. In that case, we need to repent and cry out to God for help. When we do that we get the blessings of Ps. 40. Then, God will hear us and lift us out of the pit we are in. He will put us back on a firm foundation and fill us with praise.
David’s response to his sin, attacks from his enemies and anything he doesn’t understand was always to cry out to the Lord. That is always the best response. In Ps. 55, David was about to have a panic attack. His heart was pounding in his chest. He was trembling in fear and looking desperately for an escape. Instead of reaching for a pill, he called on God knowing He would rescue him. He gives us this promise: “Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”
Lord, we do cry out to you for ourselves and our nation. We pray for godly people to lead us. In our fears, we trust in You to save us.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mon.’s Devo -God is a River of Delight

Read: Ps. 35-38
David prays much about warfare because so much of his life was spent on the battlefield. He tells God to put on his armor and take up His shield and fight for him. He expects the Lord to go into battle with him. That is a great picture to think about when we are in the midst of a battle. God suits up for us and fights.
David knew what it was like to have people accuse him of things he didn’t even know about and people repaid him evil for good. He saw people he travailed and cared for turn against him and be glad he was going through trouble. He was attacked by people he didn’t even know and called names and mocked. That is the life of a leader. That was the life of Jesus. David called out to the Lord to deliver him.
Psalm 36 gives us insight into the world of demons and how they work in people’s lives. Sin whispers to their hearts like the Holy Spirit does to ours. Their love for themselves makes them blind to their sin and who they really are. All their conversations are evil and deceitful and they refuse to be wise or to do good. They spend their every moment devising evil plans.
In contrast, God’s love is ever-reaching. God is a shelter for all humanity. He feeds us from his own house and lets us drink from his river of delight. He is the fountain of life.
God reminds us not to worry about the wicked because they will fade away. When we delight in the Lord, he will give us our heart’s desires. If we commit those desires to the Lord, and trust Him, and He will help us. He also reminds us to be generous givers and to give generous loans to others.
God delights in every detail of our lives!
Lord, thank you for your promises!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - Our Peace is in You

Read: Ps. 27-32
David wrote much about being attacked by his enemies who were flesh and blood. Our enemies are not flesh and blood but they are just as threatening. David found his peace in living in the house of the Lord and meditation on the Lord’s perfections. He pours himself into worship and God is his place of refuge. We have that same privilege. We can escape from the taunts in our minds by choosing to meditate on the Lord and putting our lives in his hands. Sometimes this is a minute by minute prayer. But this is where we find confidence to hold our heads high and know that the victory is in Jesus’s hand. He is the only one capable of changing the hearts of those around us or in our families. God can awaken dead spirits and put wisdom in them. God is the God of the supernatural. His nature is to restore. Like David, we can know that God is our only hope.
I love what Ps. 29 ends with: “The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.”
Thank you Lord for your peace! You refuse to let our enemies triumph over us. You turn our mourning into dancing.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - The Heart of God

Read: Ps. 22-32
David had a gift of saying what we feel and want to say but can’t come up with adequate words.
Psalm 22 is the verse Jesus was referring his disciples to on the cross when he said the first line of it. The whole Psalm is his cry from the cross. God never forsake Jesus on the cross. God created evil so to think that he couldn’t look at sin is not accurate. God looks at sinners everyday and extends his love and forgiveness. David’s life mirrored the Lord’s so he could pray what Jesus would pray.
Psalm 23 is an all time favorite. Even non-Christians have this one partly memorized. What a wonderful shepherd we have in the Lord. He will let us rest in green meadows and he will lead us beside peaceful streams if we let him. He does this when we turn away from the chaos of this world and are still enough to hear his voice and seek his face. That is where the peace and healing can happen. God’s goodness and unfailing love pursues us our whole life. All we have to do is acknowledge it and rest in it.
All of these songs are great prayers to pray. Reading them renews our minds and gives us a heavenly perspective. We are reminded that God is in control over all the earth and defeats our enemies for us.
Lord, you are our light and our salvation - so why should we be afraid?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - David’s Heart in Song

Read: Ps. 12-17; 19-21
We can relate to David as he see’s the wickedness in his kingdom. People justify their lies and are arrogant and proud. But, David trusts in God’s unfailing love and reminisces over what God has done for him in the past. David sees the big picture. He knows that God does too and that evil will one day be judged rightly and the righteous will be rewarded.
He describes the man who God welcomes into his presence: he lives a blameless life and does what is right. He speaks the truth from a heart that is sincere. He refuses to gossip or harm his neighbor with his words. He keeps his promise even when it hurts him. He lends money without interest and cannot be bribed to slander the innocent. This is the man who will stand firm forever. This is the person that David calls the true hero.
David knows that to follow anyone but God is harmful to yourself. God is the true inheritance so to chase after other things is pointless and empty. God shows us the way of life and gives us the joy of being in his presence.
David determined not to sin with his mouth. He trusted in God’s protection and help. I love this line: “By the power of your hand, O Lord, destroy those who look to this world for their reward. But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones. May their children have plenty, leaving an inheritance for their descendants.”
Psalm 19 is one of my favorites. I put it to memory years ago and still quote it spontaneously when I see a beautiful sunrise or cloud formation. The heavens declare God’s glory and speak of God’s character.
This is my prayer for you: “May God grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed.”

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - David’s Last Words

Read: 1 Kings 2:1-12; 2 Sam. 23:1-7; 1 Chron. 29:26-30; Ps. 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 & 11
David’s days are coming to an end and in his last instructions to Solomon he encourages him to have courage, be a man, and follow God’s commands and His ways. Then he and all who follow God’s words will be successful. Then David gave him some specific instructions. He asked Solomon to punish Joab by death for killing Abner and Amasa. He also told him to kill Shimei, the man who cursed him when he fled from Absalom. But in the middle of those death wishes he told Solomon to be kind to Barzillai of Gilead because of the kindness he showed to David in his time of flight.
David died having reigned over Israel for 40 years: 7 in Hebron and 33 in Jerusalem. Forty is the number of a generation. Seven is the expanse of God’s week which we are now in the last day. And, 33 is the number of years Christ lived on earth. David was a picture of God’s dealing on earth. Solomon is a picture of Jesus in millennium. It says of Solomon’s reign that his kingdom was firmly established. I can’t wait for that.
We see the heart of David and the heart of God in the Psalms David wrote. We see that in his weakness he always cries out to the Lord.
We join with David in saying, “O Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - Coming into Our Destiny

Read: 1 Chron. 29; 1 Kings 1
David told his leaders that Solomon would be his successor and that the job of building the temple would be enormous. David had seen the blueprints and knew the wealth it would take to build it. He set the bar and gave all his own treasury to build it, then he asked his leaders to give offerings also. David led by example.
They all gave and had a huge celebration where Solomon was crowned king and Zadok was anointed the priest. Be sure that if God is promoting you, the devil will be right behind him trying to steal that promotion. Adonijah was Satan’s man for Solomon. He was his younger brother who thought he should be king. He self-appointed himself as king and stole some of David’s officers for himself. He was found out and told to David so David had to step in and assure Solomon’s kingship.
David did it right. He took Solomon to Gihon Springs where the kings were anointed and anointed him king in front of all the people. They celebrated and sounded the shofar and announced that Solomon was king. Adonijah heard the sound and ran. He deserved death but Solomon was a king of peace so he sent him home.
This is our next lesson to learn in being exalted to our destiny. The devil will try to take it from us. We have to know who we are and what God said. Bathsheba and Zadok went to the king on Solomon’s behalf and their own. Their lives were at stake also. Us getting to our destiny affects the whole kingdom and especially those around us.
Lord, let us not lose heart when oppositions come because we know we are on the brink of a breakthrough. Help us to persevere.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - The Blueprint

Read: 1 Chron. 26-28
Levites were in charge of the gates and the treasuries which held all the spoils of the battles they had fought. Their shifts rotated throughout the year.
Twenty-four thousand different men served in the army every year. Every month the crew changed and a new one came in.
Every tribe had their own leaders. When David had counted the people, he didn’t count the people younger than 20 because he knew they were to be uncountable. So, why did God get so upset with David for counting them? For one thing, every time an Israelite was counted he was to offer a sacrifice and if they didn’t a plague would come which is exactly what happened. I couldn’t find the verse that tells that so you’ll have to look for it and tell me, but I know it’s there. David’s total was never recorded since the Lord did not approve.
There were men assigned to watch over the palace treasuries, work the king’s fields, tend his vineyards, supply the king his wine, tend his olive and fig trees, the olive oil, his donkeys, sheep and goats, and oversee his property. It was just like Samuel said it would be. The king also had counselors who advised the king. Men were assigned to home school the king’s sons and command his army (I don’t know which would have been harder).
David assembled all his leaders and recounted to them his history and what God had told him to do concerning building the temple. He handed the blueprints, written by God, to Solomon and told him to be strong and courageous, and to do the work. He told him not to be afraid or to get discouraged because the Lord would be with him. The Lord would make sure the work was completed correctly and He would send the men with the skills he needed to accomplish the huge feat. They would volunteer and the entire nation will be at your command. What a promise!
God has given us the same thing. He has written a blueprint of our destiny and handed it to us. He is the one who will surround us with the people who have the necessary skills we need to help us accomplish God’s plan. Our destiny right now might be to raise our family up in the fear of Him. It might be to be his witness at work, or it might be to start a new ministry doing something we have never done before. God tells us what he told Solomon: do not be afraid because God is with us and he will help us accomplish our destiny. Don’t be afraid or get discouraged because God is with us.
Lord, thank you for this reminder. You have written our destiny with your own hand and you will see us through.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mon’s Devo - The Tabernacle of David

Read: 1 Chon. 23-25
Friday, we read about David’s last battle and how he almost got killed. His first battle was with the giant, Goliath and his last battle was with the giant, Ishbibenob. This time, David needed the help of Zeruian to rescue him from the giant. From this time on, they wouldn’t let David go back into battle. He spent his time preparing for Solomon to build the temple. Then, he set Solomon as king and was able to watch how he governed. What a blessing to be able to see your children step into their destiny.
Today we see David setting up the priestly order. This new way of worship was different than they had ever seen. He appointed the three clans of Levite to do different jobs in the tabernacle. The clans were Gershom, Kohath, and Merari. Twenty-four thousand were to supervise the work at the Temple, 6,000 were to serve as officials and judges, 4,000 were to work as gatekeepers, and 4,000 were to praise the Lord with musical instruments. When they served was all decided by lot so that no one group was favored over the others. Every office was important and as a result, praise filled the temple 24/7. God has been restoring this kind of worship in our lifetime. Prayer houses are springing up across our nation and the world where there is 24/7 live praise and worship. It is organized but free to let the Holy Spirit speak. It is very refreshing to walk into one of these houses of prayer and bask in the presence of God.
Today we read many names which are easy to skip over. It reminds me of a large high school graduation. The names aren’t important unless you know one of them or you are one of them and then that name is extremely important.
Lord, help us to find our place in your temple worship and may we worship and praise you 24/7! May your praises continually be in our mouth.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - A Place for the Temple

Read: 2 Sam. 24; 1 Chron. 21:18-end of chapter 22
Satan tempted David to number the people so he would have an account of how large his kingdom was. Did not God tell Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the sands of the sea and stars of the sky…that they would be uncountable? So God was not happy with David’s pride. Joab was sent to do the undesirable deed. He had to obey orders but he didn’t finish the job because he knew it was wrong and was disgusted with David. He found that David had 1,570,000 men who could fight.
Afterwards, David felt convicted and God was there to dole out his punishment. He gave him three choices in which David chose the one where God would be the adversary since he knew the great mercy of the Lord. So God sent a three-day plague. It swept the nation and when it got to Jerusalem, they could actually see it coming. God stopped it right at Araunah’s field where he was threshing wheat. David must have been following the plague because he saw the plague stop and heard the Lord say that this mountain was the ground he had chosen to place his temple. David bought it from Araunah for 600 pieces of gold. David offered a sacrifice and God answered in fire. An angel with a sword watched over the land which scared David so much he didn’t return to worship God there.
Instead, David went about preparing for Solomon to build his temple. He started storing up stone, nails, wood, gold silver, iron and bronze. He lined up the stonecutters, carpenters ad craftsmen. He gave Solomon instructions and wisdom in how to build and lead the nation.
David prepared for the next generation; he did not just live for himself. We can do the same thing, not only in our finances but most importantly in our prayers. We can pray for our grandchildren and their spouses. We can help train them in righteousness.
Lately, I have seen 4:44 on the clock so many times it is comical. I found a scripture for it. Isaiah 44:3-4 “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.”
Lord, may you dwell in our temple today.