Wednesday, April 25, 2018

God's Formula for Healing Our Land

We all know II Chronicles 7:14. We have heard it quoted and taught many times. The question is: "Are we doing what God says for us to do?" Our country needs the intervention of God every bit as much as Israel needed it in the days that followed Solomon's reign. Sin is rampant. Lives are being shattered. Families are breaking up. Evil is winning all around us every day. When will God's people wake up and begin to pray in this way?

It is really a very simple formula. It is not dependent on anyone else in the country except the believers. If we will humble ourselves before the Lord and pray, so that we seek His face for the solutions to our country's needs, turning from our wicked ways, then He will hear, will forgive, and will heal our land. This is not something we should do one time a year, like the national day of prayer. It should be our prayer posture every day of the year until God responds to intervene in our country. I pray that we will all apply this truth in our praying, so we will see the Lord work signs and wonders in our world.

Tomorrow, I intend to read II Chronicles 8-10.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

As Prescribed

Solomon did the building of the temple, as prescribed by the Lord. This included the vessels and furnishing of the inner sanctuary. (II Chronicles 4:19,20) Each of the items had a special meaning, so it was very important for Solomon to obey every detail, as prescribed by the Lord. If he were to depart from the plan in the least detail, he would be failing to convey the message and the plan of God, which was critical. The same is true for us, as Christians, today.

Solomon made the golden altar where the incense representing prayer was burned each day. He built the tables for the bread of Presence which represented the very Presence of God in that place. Solomon prepared the lampstands and their lamps of pure gold to burn before the inner sanctuary to represent the light of God shining into this dark world. The list goes on, but we can see the meaning. Each piece speaks to a spiritual truth for this world to come to know that God is here, and He has a plan for us.

Each day we should do the prescribed things God has laid out for us. (Ephesians 2:10) In this way we carry out His plan to let others know about Him and come to know Him in a personal way. If we fail to do these things, as prescribed, we fail in our mission, and we miss out on what God wants to do in us and through us. That is why we must start each day with a prayer for God to show us what He has prescribed for us to do that day. Then, we set out to do it in His power and for His glory.

Tomorrow, I intend to read II Chronicles 5-7.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Blessings on Top of Blessings

Solomon became the king at the end of David's life. Then he went to Gibeon to worship the Lord at the place where David had left the tabernacle of meeting. That night God told him to ask for whatever he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom and understanding to govern God's people. This so pleased God that He gave him riches, possessions, and honor, too, so that Solomon had more than any king before him or after him. (II Chronicles 1:7,10,12) This is a great example of how God gives us blessings on top of blessings when He is pleased with us.

God is a loving Father to His children. He so desires for our hearts to be right with Him and for us to desire the best things, not just good things. Therefore, He is so pleased with us when we want to do the right thing in the right way, He pours out His blessings on us, and He even gives us blessings on top of blessings. When we pray for what He knows we need, He is gracious to add to what we asked. That is just how good God is to His own. I pray that all of us will do a heart check. Let's see if our hearts delight in the Lord so much that we want His will, not our will. When we get to that point, and we pray along those lines, it just could be, He will answer with blessing upon blessing.

Tomorrow, I intend to read II Chronicles 2-4.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Counselor and A Companion

Life is hard. It is not wise for us to try to go through life without others to give us counsel and support. If we have a wise counselor, we are very blessed, and if we have a true companion, too, we are doubly blessed. King David had both. (I Chronicles 27:33) David was the most successful king of Israel, so we all can learn from his need for a counselor and a companion.

Who is your counselor? It is so important to have a wise counselor who will be an objective person in our life. We do not need someone to always agree with us. We need someone to be honest, even if it hurts. Of course, this can't just be anyone. A counselor must have God's wisdom to help us go in the right way. If we try to do it all by ourselves,we will find it hard to be objective about ourselves, so our judgment will be distorted, and we may fail to do the right thing.

Who is your trusted companion? This word is translated different ways, but it means so much more than a friend. It means a loyal aide who will stick close to us when we need a companion in whom we can confide with confidence. This person could be a counselor, too, but this role is more about support than counsel. When we are in the midst of difficulty and pain, we need someone beside us. We do not need to be alone. Satan's attacks are much more easily repelled when we have a companion who is praying with us and using his strength to help us through.

Tomorrow, I intend to read I Chronicles 28-29 and II Chronicles 1.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Meaningful Worship

King David gave us some great insights into worship in his psalms and from his attitude when he worshiped the Lord. One of them came when David was desperate to appease the wrath of God after he had sinned by doing a census, and God sent a plague on the people. He knew He needed to offer a burnt offering quickly, but he knew it had to be very sincere and meaningful for God to receive it.(I Chronicles 21:24) The sacrifice did calm the wrath of God, so we need to see why David's worship was accepted.

David was going to use the threshing floor of Ornan to offer the sacrifice, but he would not do it, until he paid the full price for the place and the animal to sacrifice. He gave two reasons for this. The first reason was that it had to be a personal act of worship, giving of what was his to God. He could not borrow the sacrifice and have God accept it. It would not be his. When we worship, it must be our personal worship to offer Him our hearts by presenting our praise to Him by our words and actions. It is not enough just to be in a worship service. We must sing and participate with all of our being for God to accept our offering to Him.

The second reason is that we can't offer God something that does not cost us anything and expect Him to take note of it. Worship must cost us our time, energy, and full dedication to honor Him. When we bring our tithes and offerings that is costly worship, too. God gave Himself for us, we have to give our costly things to Him. This is when meaningful worship takes place.

Tomorrow, I intend to read I Chronicles 25-27.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Who am I, O Lord?

No, I am not having an identity crisis. I am reflecting on how good the Lord has been to me and to may family over the years. I can see how far He has brought me, and I wonder, like King David did, why did You choose to bless me so abundantly Lord? (I Chronicles 17:16) I believe David's humble prayer should be an inspiration for all of us to do some reflection.

I can't imagine why God chose to call me into the ministry as a teenager, but I am so glad that He did. He has blessed me through all of the dear brothers and sisters in Christ that I have served alongside of over the years. I did not deserve any of that. God blessed me with the perfect wife as an answer to my prayers and to Chris' prayers, and we have had such a fantastic marriage! God has provided for us, even when things were very tight financially, and I believe He will continue, since He is always faithful. He blessed me with 3 wonderful, Christian children and now 7 grandchildren. That is beyond amazing to me, when I see them loving the Lord and serving Him. It has been my privilege to be the pastor of 5 churches over the last 41+ years. Each one was very unique, and each one is dear to my heart in its own special way. All of this was begun by my parents, who nurtured me and provided a stable, loving home for me, and who have been praying for me all of my days. Like I said to start with, I do not know who I am to have deserved all of these blessings, plus so many more. I could go on and on. I pray that each of us will take some time to consider the goodness of the Lord and how He has brought us thus far. I am going to keep praising Him and loving Him. What about you?

Tomorrow, I intend to read I Chronicles 21-24.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Steadfast Love of the Lord

There are not too many things in life we can count on to be steadfast and eternal. However, there is one that that falls into that category. It is the love of the Lord.(I Chronicles 16:34) David assured us of that in his song of praise to the Lord after the ark was brought up to Jerusalem correctly. It is important for all of us to keep this truth in mind, no matter what happens in our life.

We should always have thanksgiving for the Lord on our tongues, because He is good! In fact, the Lord is so good that even after a great loss or failure, we can know that God is always good, even if we can't understand what has happened to us. Uzzah died because David tried to bring the ark to Jerusalem by a cart, instead of the proper way. David was greatly grieved and confused. He researched what to do, and the next time, He did it correctly by having the Levites carry it by the poles. Once it was in place, David wrote a song of praise. He realized "His steadfast love endures forever." God did not fail to love David when he failed. He loved him then, too. However, God is holy, so He has to uphold His Word at all times, which is what happened when Uzzah died. He loved Uzzah. He loved David. He loves all of us with steadfast love, and we should never doubt that love from our good Father and Lord.

Tomorrow, I intend to read I Chronicles 17-20.