June 30-(2 Chronicles 28:1-21) "Obed" God's people have been divided into two separate nations for a very, very long time. Israel is to the north, and Judah is to the south. Like the Hatfield’s and McCoy's, they vigorously fought for years against, not only their pagan enemies, but each other. How sad and embarrassing it is when God's people are fighting with one another. How awful it is when people take pleasure in pounding one another into the ground!! What does God do when His people can't get along? Does He choose a side? Apparently not! For, God expected both Israel and Judah to submit to Him! You see, they have a bigger problem than the conflict they have between each other. Their real problem – their real conflict – is with God. So when Israel attacks Judah and takes thousands of their people to be their slaves, God speaks through a prophet by the name of Obed. Obed explains how ungodly it is for Israel to take people from Judah and make them their slaves. Obed tries to get Israel to see their own sin, instead of the sin of others. What do the people of Israel do? The people of Israel respond by being kind and generous to their captives, and sending them home. Oh, how we need people like Obed today. These are the kinds of people who remind those in conflict to be merciful and kind with one another. What are you doing to make peace between God's people? As you fight with your brother or sister in Christ, does it ever occur to you that you may have as much or more sin in your life than they do? You can try to justify your ungodly response to those who anger you; but it won't work. Today, make your desires and dialogue full of mercy. Let God's forgiveness of you temper the way you treat those who have hurt you. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 29-(Isaiah 7:1-9:21) "Shear-Jashub" Out of the 12 tribes of Israel, only three remain. Judah, Benjamin, and a few Levites make up the Southern Kingdom. God's patience is wearing thin again. This time Judah is beginning to grow indifferent and unfaithful like their brothers and sisters in Israel. The same fate is before them as was with the Northern Kingdom. Isaiah goes to meet with the current king of Judah, Ahaz. It's interesting that Isaiah takes along his son. Why is this interesting? Well, the boy's name is Shear-Jashub. His name literally means "a remnant shall return". His presence offered two messages to Ahaz. It was to warn him of the disaster ahead, and at the same time, give him hope. It didn't work! Ahaz would stubbornly continue to reject God and go his own way. Years later, in 586BC, Jerusalem would fall to the Babylonians! But it's important to remember through all this that God IS good! He promises through the presence of Shear-Jashub that God's people would one day bounce back! A remnant of the people would one day return and resettle in the land. This would begin to happen during the time of Nehemiah. Things like this still happen today. God's people go through setbacks, hardships, and trials. Sometimes whole churches are stopped dead in their tracks. It can look pretty hopeless; but be reassured of this, God will bring back a remnant of faithful people! There's a wave of committed people who are coming to take the kingdom of God forward again. Will you be part of that remnant? Today, decide to be one of the faithful few who will take the gospel to the world! Decide right now as you mix into the world, not to blend in with the world. It's time to be courageous! It's time to be strong! It's time to be a true follower of God! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 28-(2 Kings 17:1-26) "Hoshea" Think about it... Years of complacency has led to this. Hoshea would be the last king of Israel. At the end of his nine year reign, Assyria would come and capture his nation and take his people far away. All that would be left in the land were a few stragglers and some wild animals roaming about. There are a couple of points that can be made from these few verses. 1- You can wear out the patience of God. Israel has been rebellious for generations. Hoshea was no more than a puppet King who served Shalmaneser, King of Assyria. God would use him and the rest of Israel to serve as a warning to Judah of what can happen when you disregard The Lord. He sends King Sargon to begin the destruction of the Northern Kingdom. Sargon would take nearly 30,000 people from the city of Samaria alone! Who is God using as an object lesson to warn you? 2- God will always give you a chance to come back to Him. It's here in Samaria that a people of mixed birth would emerge. Through the brutality and the hardship of God's discipline, a race of people would one day open their hearts to another King—Jesus Christ. You can slip... you may walk away... you can screw it all up; but if you turn back to God, He will take you! Praise God!
June 27-(Micah 6:1-8) "The Humble" Thousands of sacrifices are being offered to God. Gallons of olive oil are heaved toward heaven. The annual tithe is now brought every three days. But God is not pleased! Are you kidding? Why not? God wants something else. Yes, God still wants sacrifice; but what good is it if your heart is somewhere else? You see, Israel was sacrificing to make up for their sin. It was like they were striking up a deal with God. They were hoping, when God would see their sacrifices, He would look the other way as they lived in complacency, selfishness, and immorally. Offering their own children wouldn't change the fact that God was not pleased with His people. You can give all the money you can, utter all the prayers you want, sing until your lungs give out, but that won't make any difference if you leave God's presence, and treat people like crap!! So what does God want? Well, He still wants sacrifices, but He wants you to walk with Him every day in humility. Hmmm... Humility... That's when you don't have to have things your way. Humility treats others fairly, with kindness. Humility extends mercy to people who fail you. After all, did He not extend His mercy to you? Today, before you utter a prayer; before you write a check; before you sing a song toward heaven… offer your heart to God. Sacrifice your will for His. For this is what God wants from you more than anything else. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 26-(Micah 3:1-5:15) "The Assyrians" The Assyrian Empire had a reputation for being heartless and cruel. There are historical accounts of the Assyrians slaughtering whole cities and throwing the bodies into a nearby river to block its flow. This sent a terrifying message to those downstream. They were known for cutting off the hands of their victims and nailing them on the city gates to intimidate any who dared to enter. When Israel rejected and rebelled against God, He had to do something drastic. God would use this ruthless nation to break the pride in Israel and take them away into captivity. Sometimes God will use a painful experience to get your attention. He does not do this out of hate, but out of great love for you. Are you going through a trial at this time? If so, could God be trying to get your attention? Today, let God's loving discipline work holiness into your life. Let God's wrath bring about a serious desire to please and honor Him. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 25-(Micah 1-2) "Micah" What is happening to God's people? They no longer resemble the faithful nation that came out of captivity into the Promised Land. They worship the pagan gods and idols of the land. Hmmm... Without realizing it, they are in bondage again! Right? It's easy for this to happen to believers today. Calling oneself a Christian can have a host of different meanings. These can include definitions like: occasionally attending a church; believing there is a God; claiming spirituality based on family heritage; or being good to others. But you can do all these, and not truly be a Christian. Israel did all these, but their hearts were far away from God. Where would you say you are? Are you a Christian in name only, or is being a Christian much more serious for you? This is what Micah is confronting in graphic language that breaks the political correctness of his day. Micah makes it clear that God is fed up with 'religious posers'. God wants more than lip service or liturgical rituals. He wants you!!! All of you!! Does God have all of you, or does He only get parts of you when it's convenient? Do you honestly think He is going to accept this from you? Today, identify and abandon the gods/idols that are dividing your devotion to God. Rededicate yourself to God… and be blessed!
June 24-(Isaiah 6:1-13) "Isaiah" What are you doing with the mission God has given you? What will you do when The Lord nudges you to action? This is what is happening to Isaiah. God calls Isaiah to speak to others. It doesn't matter that they don't want to listen. It doesn't matter that they are hard-hearted. What matters is that Isaiah is faithful to God's call. That's what God expects of you. It doesn't matter if your coworkers are listening. It doesn't matter if your family is open. What matters is that God wants you to be faithful to His call. Will you be faithful? Will you trust The Lord enough to do His mission? Who knows? Maybe a little boldness on your part can open a door to share the good news. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 23-(Isaiah 1:1-26) "The Screw-up" The book of Isaiah begins with a strong reprimand. Isaiah mentions how animals know their master and place. But the people of God have forgotten both. Like rebellious children, Israel stubbornly lives any way they want to. This gets them into so much trouble it appears hopeless. Have you ever felt like that? You're not going to let anyone tell you how to live your life. After all, you are a grown up. But you discover that your 'freedom' and independence has a high price. Pride and stubbornness mess up your friendships, your health, your finances, and your future! What do you do when you realize you've made a big mess of things? You turn to God! That's what you do! For, God promises that you cannot screw things up so much that He can't help you. He promises that if your sins are like stubborn stains as deep as scarlet, (That's a tough stain!), He can get it out. He can make your life as white as snow. Praise God!! All you have to do is humble out and come to God. Today, bring your screw-ups to God. Let Him help you to change. He can help you clean up your mess. For, He is the God of another chance! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
At first, he doesn't appear that impressive. He admits he used to shepherd
flocks of sheep, and take care of a few trees. But, Amos decides to leave this
nomadic lifestyle and become a prophet of God. Pedigree has nothing to do with whether
God can use you or not. All you have to do is be willing to take the mission he
assigns to you. So be on your toes! God may give you an opportunity to share
His word with others. Today, be daring and take the first opportunity God gives
you to share His love and wisdom with others. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 21-(Amos 5:1-7:9; 8:1-9:15) "The Complacent" Are you prone to sit on your hands when something needs to be done? Do people know that you deeply care? Something sickening is happening in Israel. The people have grown complacent! They don't care!! Israel is more interested in their comfort than comforting others. Now understand... Israel is very 'religious'. They regularly bring their sacrifices and songs to God. But God is not impressed. He's disgusted! He doesn't want to hear any more of their songs. The aroma of their sacrifices is a stench in his nostrils. God is not as interested in how good you sing or how spiritual you may appear. What he wants is you to love others like He does. When you turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to the needs of others, God is disgusted. God would tell Israel that their lounging would soon end. This is the fate of those who are indifferent to the needs of others. What will you do today? Will you step in and love others? Today, ask God to break your heart open so you can see the needs of others… and serve.
June 20-(Amos 1:1-4:13) "Neighbors" You can almost imagine Israel grinning with delight as they hear the condemnation of their arch enemies—Damascus, Moab, Tyre and Edom! And when God starts to condemn Judah... well, they are more excited than ever!! For, they cannot stand to be in the same room with their brothers and sisters to the south. But then God says something that makes Israel's hair stand on end. God starts to condemn them! God lists their sins like he does with everyone else. Israel discovers that they ain't so hot after all. They are just like everyone else. Do you see this fact? Do you realize that the worst sinners you know have something in common with you? Like them, you fall short of God's glory. You are just as much a sinner as anyone else. Today, let these truths humble you and cause you to look at others with greater compassion. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 19-(2 Chronicles 26:6-21) "Uzziah" He had an army of over 1/4 of a million men. He was an inventor and highly successful. So successful, his fame quickly spread. But Uzziah had one huge problem. He had a big head! He started believing everything people were saying about him. His pride eventually destroyed him. Don't let a few successes go to your head too. Give God the credit. For, you know down deep that it is God who is behind your success. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 18-(Hosea 4:1-9:17) "The Unfaithful Priest" Israel is in trouble... BIG TROUBLE! For, since Jeroboam, the priesthood has been corrupt. If you recall, Jeroboam set up a pagan religion that mixed in a little Judaism with some twisted worldly values. He made places of worship for his new religion in two cities, (Dan & Bethel), and allowed some of the lowest people outside of the tribe of the Levites to serve as priests (2 Kings 12:31). They watered everything down and would reject God and His word. This is why Hosea is rebuking Israel. When you take a good look at modern Christianity, you can see the influence of the world. Today, many churches work to compete with the world like a tourist attraction. Many churches have become nothing more than a slick 'mini mall', offering more of what people want rather than what they need. More and more churches are more interested in blending in with the rest of the world than standing up and out for God! These are the types of Christians who refer less and less to the word of God and more to social gimmicks. Whose fault is this? It's the priests’ fault! It's everyone's fault! And God is not pleased! Today, ask yourself if you are part of this problem. Are you allowing and promoting a type of Christianity that consists of a little Jesus and some twisted pagan values? What will you do to make your church more faithful to God? What will you do to raise Godly values in a pagan world? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 17-(Hosea 1:1-3:5) "Hosea" He is married to a prostitute! She is still sleeping around. Yet Hosea loves his wife and continues to be with her. You may wonder why Hosea doesn't leave her. The children she bears are not his!! Why does he stay with her? He stays with her because he loves her... This is the picture of what is going on between God and Israel. For, Israel is like Gomer. Israel is like a prostitute. God loves his people. Like a devoted husband, God provides and protects His wife. But Israel shows their appreciation for God's devotion by sleeping around with other lovers. Other lovers... Hmmm... There are a host of other lovers trying to get your attention. These lovers come in all shapes and sizes. They can be everything from a paycheck to a pleasure. These lovers will entice you away from your Lord. And when this happens, your God stays with you! Yes, He will discipline you; but remember, it's because He is in love with you. He hopes you will come to your senses and come back to Him. Are you secretly sleeping around? What lover is enticing you to be unfaithful to God? Today, admit where you are being unfaithful, and come back into the loving arms of your God.
June 16-(Jonah 1:1-4:11; 2 Kings 13:5; 14:25-27; 13:6) "Jonah" What a stubborn guy! Why is Jonah fighting what God wants him to do? Jonah stands as a classic example of how pride and rebellion lead to disaster. For, the more Jonah resisted God, the worse his life got. Down and down he goes... down to Joppa... down into the cabin of the boat... down into the sea... down the throat of a great fish... down to the 'root of the mountains'. But God gives Jonah another chance. God gives Jonah an opportunity to turn to Him. When Jonah calls out to God, He raises him back up once again. How is life going for you? Are you sinking? Do you feel like you've been losing ground? Decide you are no longer going to resist your Lord. Trust God! Turn to Him, and watch God turn things around. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 15-(2 Kings 14:1-6; 13:22-25; 2 Chronicles 25:5-24; 2 Kings 14:15-16; 23-24) "Amaziah" Failure may test your faith, but success will test your character. This is exactly what happens to Amaziah. After God blesses him with a great victory, his success goes to his head. The teachable heart that once brought him such success, is eventually replaced with such pride and arrogance that he no longer will seriously consider God's counsel. Amaziah's prideful blindspot brings him down!! How about you? Are you allowing a little success to go to your head? Have you forgotten the true source of your success? Are you in tune with your weaknesses? Don't let your blessings go to your head! Today, count your blessings with a humble heart.
June 14-(2 Chronicles 24:1-3; 2 Kings 12:4-5; 2 Chronicles 24:4-5; 2 Kings 10:32-35; 13:1-2; 12:6-16; 2 Chronicles 24:6-22) "Jehoiada" The last thing you would expect a seven year old to be doing would be ruling a nation. But this is exactly what Joash is doing. By the way, he does a great job as King for most of his life. What is his secret? Joash did what was right in the sight of God as long as Jehoiada was at his side. Jehoiada gave Joash his spiritual edge. This redemptive relationship provided much needed direction and support for the young King. But as soon as Jehoiada is out of the picture, Joash's life begins to crumble. The young king would turn away from God and fall prey to the idol worship of his day. Who is helping you stay on track? Who is giving you a spiritual edge through their love and guidance? Today, appreciate the redemptive relationships God has given you. Let these 'Jehoiadas' help you follow your Lord.
June 13-(Joel 1-3) "Joel" Joel sees a vast army on the march. They move methodically through the cities and mountain range never breaking ranks. The destruction they leave behind is overwhelming. Is this another nation? Could this be Egypt? Could this army be the Assyrians? Who is this army? Who is leading this army? The Army is a horde of locusts, and God is leading the charge. Joel connects this natural disaster to God's response to Israel's sin. Not all disasters are connected to God's wrath. Some natural disasters simply remind you of the sovereignty and might of God. Some can drive you to your knees before the Lord. But make no mistake about this locus plague. For, this humbled God's people. This army of grasshoppers reminds Israel of how helpless and vulnerable they really are. And so it is today. Violent thunderstorms, tornadoes, earthquakes, droughts, heatwaves, and blizzards remind you that you're not as tough as you assume. You are not in charge as much as you think you are. Today, let these natural disasters remind you of how helpless you are and how much your need your Lord. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 12-(2 Chronicles 22:10-23:21; 2 Kings 10:18-12:3) "Jehosheba" Mentioned only briefly in the Bible, Jehosheba's contribution to God's plan of redemption is priceless. The half-sister of Athaliah (The ambitious and evil daughter of Jezebel) secretly worked out a plot to save a male heir (Jehosheba's nephew) to the throne of David. This courageous and selfless act, would prevent the end of David's bloodline and make it possible for The Messiah to come to earth. Think about it: No one can thwart the will of God!! What are you doing to preserve the Kingdom of God? What will you do with people younger than you to secure God's plan of redemption for future generations? Your acts of courage and faith don't have to be as daring as Jehosheba's. You can offer your home to the teen ministry. You can volunteer to help in a children's ministry or local school. Why not volunteer to help with church camp? You can also provide a godly role model for the next generation. God needs more believers like Jehosheba in His kingdom. Will you be one of them? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 11-(2 Kings 8:7-10:17; 2 Chronicles 22:1-9) "Jehu" It's a dark time for Israel... Through corruption and murder, the family of Ahab has wrestled their way to the top and led Israel astray. The whole nation is corrupt with idol worship because of this family. God's people are no longer zealous to follow Him. This leads God to appoint a new king to confront the evil in Israel. He appoints a zealous man by the name of Jehu to rid this evil family from the face of the earth. Now, you may find the actions of Jehu a bit radical and extreme, but something drastic had to be done to end the evil influence of this family. There is a lesson here: You cannot mess around with sin! You cannot take a light approach when it comes to your sin. For, when you begin to compromise with your sin, it will overcome and defeat you. You have to get serious and radical with it; there's no other way. What sins are you struggling with now? Today, let your zeal for God give you a radical approach to your sin. Ask God to give you the courage to put to death whatever is sinful in your life (Col 3:10). (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 10-(2 Kings 6:8-23) "God's Army" They are surrounded by a great and powerful army! You may be assuming that this juggernaut is from Aram, but it's not. For, a strike force of fiery chariots too numerous to calculate surround Elisha, his servant, AND Aram's soldiers too. 16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
You may find this hard to believe, but if God could open your eyes, you would see an awesome army surrounding you! For those who are with you are from the throne of God. They have been there since you made your commitment to God. They are more powerful than the problem you are now facing. They will never retreat!! So press on! Keep trusting the Lord of hosts. For God will surely protect you and ultimately give you victory!!
June 9-(Obadiah 1-21) "Edomites" They are the arch rivals of Israel. The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, Jacob's twin brother. This explains why, for generations, Edom's bitter hatred for Israel, (Jacob's descendants), would last until the Edomites and the Israelites are utterly destroyed by Rome in 70AD. Yet in the book of Obadiah, God gives a stern warning about gloating over your brother's hardships. Read what God says...
12 You should not gloat over your
brother in the day of his misfortune,
nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction,
nor boast so much in the day of their trouble.
13 You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster,
nor gloat over them in their calamity in the day of their disaster,
nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster.
14 You should not wait at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives,
nor hand over their survivors in the day of their trouble.
15 “The day of the Lord is
near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you;
your deeds will return upon your own head.
June 8-(2 Kings 8:16-17; 2 Chronicles 21:2-4; 2 Kings 3:6-27; 2 Chronicles 20:34, 21:1, 21:6-20) "Jehoram" He is the son of Jehoshaphat. But he was nothing like his father. He married the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel! Crazy, huh? His wife was a carbon copy of her mother. This foolish arrangement corrupted Jehoram and almost destroyed the house of David. Jehoram is an example of one who marries poorly. Ask any couple that is 'unequally yoked' and they will tell you that rushing into a marriage with an unbeliever or a lukewarm believer is begging for trouble down the road. Jehoram wasted his life! When he died, no one would mourn for him, and his wife would quickly be forgotten. Only by God's kindness did the house of David survive such a vile and wicked couple. Are you married? What kind of impact will you make in God's Kingdom? Are you single? Choose wisely who you partner with. Make a decision that your marriage will make a positive impact in God's Kingdom. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 7-(2 Kings 2:1-25; 4:1-44; 8:1-2; 6:1-7) "Elisha" One by one they come up to Elisha. They say to him, "Do you know that your master will be taken today?" Elisha always replies, "Yes, I know." Elisha recalls the day Elijah placed his cloak on his shoulders as he plowed in his field. This was Elijah's symbolic gesture of selecting Elisha to one day replace him. Then, in the blink of an eye, it's time! Elijah is taken up into heaven and is never seen again by his disciple. This is the endless cycle in the Kingdom of God. One generation of disciples replaces another. The willing carry on the will of God on earth. God's kingdom on earth depends on this process! Do you know that your mentors will one day be taken? One day, it will be you that God uses to carry his will into the future. In fact, it's already happening! Today, it's your turn to take up the mission. God isn't waiting for you to have things 'just right' before you start. Your mission doesn't begin after you secure a career, raise your kids, or pay off the house. No... It’s now!! Right now!!!! God is depending on you right now!!! So.... Can He depend on you? Will you accept His mission today? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 6-(1 Kings 22:29-36; 2 Chronicles 19:1-3; 1 Kings 22:37-40; 22:52-53; 2 Kings 3:4-5; 2 Chronicles 19:4-11, 20:1-30, 35-37; 1 Kings 22:48-49; 2 Kings 1:2-18; 3:1-3) "Jehoshaphat" He was a pretty good King but had a few weaknesses. You see, Jehoshaphat loved the Lord... but he had a blind spot; it had to do with the kind of company he kept. To be honest, some of the friendships Jehoshaphat had were with... well... some pretty shady characters. Sure, God wants you to love all people; after all, He does. But He doesn't want you partnering with worldly folks who can bring you all kinds of trouble that you don't need. This seems to be Jehoshaphat's problem. For example, his relationship with Ahab nearly gets him killed! What about you? Do you have a blind spot when it comes to your friendships? Do you have a few friends who are a bad influence on you? Today, do an honest inventory of the friendships you keep. Are there any on the list you need to address? Today, have the courage to radically adjust the bad relationships you have, and develop the kinds of friendships that will bring you closer to God.
June 5-(1 Kings 20:1-43, 22:1, 21:1-24, 21:27-29, 22:51, 22:2-6, 10-12, 7-9, 13-28; 2 Chronicles 18:2-3) "Ahab" Someone once said, "If God is not allowed to rule over us, then our enemies shall command us. A rebel to God is a slave to everything else." How true... This is Ahab! His total disregard for God's sovereignty leads him to blunder after blunder. He knew Baal could not help him and that God would not help him. He would rather compromise and cave as a beggar to save his life rather than have the guts to be a King and save God's people! Now before you shake your head in disgust over Ahab, take a good look at how you are operating on this planet. Is God really in charge? What or better yet, who is calling the shots in your life? When facing a decision, how much is God's will in the picture? Remember: A rebel to God is a slave to everything else. Ahab would finally depend on God, and his small army of 7000 would rout the 130,000 of Ben-Hadad. Today, recognize the sovereignty of God. Make it clear to your family and friends that God is in charge of your life. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 4-(1 Kings 17:1-19:21) "Elijah" The exploits of Elijah rival few in scripture. Through this troublemaker, God raises the dead, brings fire from heaven, and makes it rain after 7 years of drought! Yet Elijah was like anyone else (James 5). He has a lot in common with you. Elijah would often encounter moments of fear, confusion, suffering, and discouragement as he followed the Lord. Sound familiar? Being a believer didn't make him super human. Trusting God didn't keep him from danger either. He suffered through times of drought and danger. You cannot read about what happened at Mt Carmel and miss this. Elijah gives you a superb model of how to trust God in difficult times. Are you going through the ringer right now? Are you suffering through difficulty as you follow the Lord? If so, don't give up. Don't quit! Keep calling on God's help. He will get you through whatever you are facing. He's determined to change you and use you to accomplish His purpose. It may look bleak at times, but your God will come through for you. Today, be assured that God loves you and will reward your faith in Him.
June 3-(2 Chronicles 14:1b-17:19; 1 Kings 15:8-16:34, 21:25-26, 22:41-47) "Asa" He rules as King of Judah for 41 years. That's a long time! Asa serves as an example of what can happen when you continually seek the Lord. As long as Asa sought the Lord, life was good. But when he drifted, he got himself in trouble. Now before you start to wonder if this is true, something needs to be clarified. Seeking God doesn't guarantee that everything will be rosy and peachy keen; but a life devoted to God will give you stability and security in times of trouble. Asa wasn't insulated from hardship or trouble simply because he prayed all the time, and neither will you. Seeking God is not some kind of good luck charm that's designed to fend off temptations, trouble, or turmoil. But when you walk with God, you can be sure that He will be at your side to help you. So keep seeking the Lord. Today, face your troubles with God, and find security and peace. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
June 2-(1 Kings 13:33-14:18; 2 Chronicles 11:5-12, 18-23; 1 Kings 14:22-15:5; 2 Chronicles 12:1-14:1a) "Abijah" It's a bitter time in the history of God's people. Israel is divided into two nations. Nine nations (Israel) make up the north, while only three (Judah) form the south. By the way, they don't get along... they don't get along at all. While Jeroboam rules Israel. Abijah, son of Rehoboam, reigns as king of Judah for only 3 years. But during his reign, he dedicates himself to God. This has a profound impact on the rest of the people. For while Jeroboam plans an aggressive assault on Judah, King Abijah calls on his God. Jeroboam is routed by the army of Judah and loses half a million men on the battlefield! What can you learn from Abijah? 1- You may only be in a place of influence for a short time, so make it count! Whether you are a parent, an older sibling, a school teacher or a co-worker, God is giving you an opportunity to make a difference. DO IT!!! 2- Your strength comes from the Lord! Over your lifetime you may accumulate some power, position, or popularity. Don't let this go to your head! Remember, these aren't the source of your true strength. Your strength comes from how close you are to God. Get as close as you can!! 3- Leave a legacy that can inspire your family and friends to love The Lord. Build a reputation of being a man/woman of God.
Kings 12:1-33; 2 Chronicles 11:13-14, 16-17; 1 Kings 13:1-32) "Rehoboam"
With Solomon dead, there's a hiccup as his son takes the throne.
Rehoboam has a chance to win the people over, but he refuses to listen to
wise advice. Instead of lightening the load of his subjects, he increases it.
This tears the kingdom apart, and Rehoboam would quickly be known as the last
king to rule a united Israel. Look... it's one thing to seek advice from
others. Anyone can seek and hear good advice. But to listen and take good advice, that requires humility
and courage. Unfortunately, pride prevents one from heeding good advice.
Therefore, the stubborn pay a terrible price for their lack of humility. But
those who listen to wise counsel avoid a lot of stupid choices that bring the
prideful down. How are you doing with seeking and heeding good advice? Would
your Christian friends say you have a reputation of asking for advice before a
major purchase, a change in employment, a family matter, or a moral dilemma? Do
you bounce off others what you are thinking of doing before you do it? Listen...
LISTEN!!! Seeking advice is not a sign of weakness. It's a sign
Today, before you do something major, why not ask a few trusted friends what
they would do? Ask them what they think God's word may say. Let others weigh-in…
and be blessed by their experience and wisdom. (CLICK to share your
thoughts with me!)