April 30, 2010

Today’s reading: I Chronicles 14, 15, 16; Psalm 30, 60, 90, 120, 150; Proverbs 30

I Chronicles 15:29, “And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.”

I have attended a lot of Churches in my life. Some of them have been traditional so to speak and others were far from traditional. It is interesting to see the differences in each one. They all have their own personality so to speak.

I have been in Churches where the men would shout a hearty “Amen!” I have been in some Churches that nobody but the Preacher said anything. I was the guy that broke the silence and let out a hearty “Amen!” That was kind of funny really.

There are times in life that you have to go against the grain so to speak. I am not saying that you are to disobey Scriptural principles. I am not saying to go against the clear teaching of the Word of God.

What I am saying is sometimes you just have to dance alone. David in our Scripture for today was at a place just like that. He danced in praise to God. I will assure you it was not the garbage that is called dancing today. I remember my wife and I attended a Messianic Jewish Church one time several years ago. They sang, clapped and a group of people even danced. Yes, they danced. It was very worshipful and honoring to the Lord. They were all dressed in white robes and you could tell the focus of the dance was praise to the Lord. When I was watching this I thought of this event in Scripture. I thought how David danced before the Lord and how his own wife despised him in her heart because of it. How sad. Sometimes you just have to dance alone. Psalm 30:11, “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;”

How are you doing? Do you have your dancing shoes on? I hope so.

April 29, 2010

Today’s reading: I Chronicles 11, 12, 13; Psalm 29, 59, 89, 149; Proverbs 29

I Chronicles 11:18-19, “And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the LORD, And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.”

As I am writing this today there is an apartment building on fire on the northeast side of the city. The news broke in on everyone’s favorite TV shows to report this tragedy. As the firefighters work so hard to save life and property the wind is blowing at about fourteen (14) miles per hour. This makes it hard to fight the fire because the wind spreads it furiously. No matter what they will not give up. They have called for a second alarm to get more equipment and more firefighters to help. These men and women are fighting their hardest to push back the fire and extinguish it.

I bet you are wondering why I am musing on this today. You see, these men and women are putting their lives on the line to protect the people and property involved. I wonder what would happen if you and I as God’s people would do God’s will for our lives with the fervor that these men and women are fighting this fire. I would imagine that we would make such a radical difference that the world would not know what hit them.

We need to be ready at any moment for God to call upon us to do His will. I like the words of I Chronicles 12:2, “They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul’s brethren of Benjamin.” Notice that these men could use either their right hand or their left hand. I am so jealous. No matter what came their way they were able to adjust and keep fighting. There are far too many people that just fold up and quit when adversity comes. Let me encourage you to keep going, keep fighting and do not give up. There is someone, somewhere that is counting on you to stand fast in the fight of faith.

So friend, how are you doing?

April 28, 2010

Today’s reading: I Chronicles 8, 9, 10; Psalm 28, 58, 88, 118, 148; Proverbs 28

I Chronicles 10:13-14, “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.”

So many people today think they can just live their lives with no consequences. This could not be further from the truth. Life is like a lake that is smooth. When you throw a rock into it you disrupt the smoothness of the water and ripples occur. They might be small or large depending upon the size of object that you throw into the water. One of my favorite pictures that I have taken over the years is a picture of a fishing (bobber)float in the water. I had been fishing the afternoon prior and my line had gotten caught on something. I did not dive into the water to see what I was caught on. I pulled and pulled but the line broke and there sat my bobber, bobbing up and down but not going anywhere. The next morning I went out to the same spot to try again. There it was. Yes, the bobber was still floating right where I had left it. The bobber stop had prevented it from floating away and it was still hooked on whatever had held it there the evening before. I took a few pictures of it and then got a heavier rod with heavier line. I threw it out just past the trapped bobber and began to reel in. I caught the line and began to reel. Sure enough I was able to bring it in: hook, line and sinker.

The point of my rambling today? No matter what we do it will have an effect of some kind. In our day it has become a big thing to “pay it forward”. You know, do something nice for someone who will do something nice for someone who will do something nice for someone, etc…

Saul met death at this particular time in his life the Bible tells us because of his disobedience. Numbers 32:23 says, “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.” Obedience could be a life saver.

On the positive side of this look at Proverbs 28:27, “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.” We see that obedience is rewarded. The choice is up to us as to whether we obey or disobey. I wish I always chose to obey. My life would be so much better if I would just be obedient to what I know to be right. How about you? I bet we are the same in that area.

So how is your obedience?

April 27, 2010

Today’s reading: I Chronicles 5, 6, 7; Psalm 27, 57, 87, 117, 147; Proverbs 27

Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

Our Scripture for today brings back many good memories. At a Church where we were once members they had a men’s group called “Iron Man”. It is based upon this verse of Scripture. I loved it. The group was basically an accountability group for the men. The entire group would meet once a month and have some type of activity like a cookout or go to a local pizza place.

Every week on an appointed day smaller groups of about four or five would meet at a location decided upon by it’s members. The smaller groups is where the rubber would meet the road so to speak. The leader would go around the group and ask each man a list of five or seven different questions designed to cause each man to evaluate where he was in his walk with Christ. I loved it. Some men did not like it so much.

This was a good time for men to grow in the Lord. If you were not keeping up on reading your Bible daily then others would make loving suggestions to try to help each member succeed.

I liked the name “Iron Man”. It reminded me of someone sharpening an axe. I have only done that once in my life; but, I have seen it done many times over. This memory would come back to mind often.

It still applies today. That is a major reason that I write this blog. I want to “sharpen” people if the Lord will use me to just that. That is my goal. This is not just an outlet to blow off steam to me. I hope that every time someone reads my offerings here they are challenged to draw nearer to God than they ever have before.

So friend, how are you doing?

April 26, 2010

Today’s reading: I Chronicles 2, 3, 4; Psalm 26, 56, 86, 116, 146; Proverbs 26

I Chronicles 4:9-10, “And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.”

Many of you have probably read the book, “The Prayer of Jabez”. I know that I enjoyed reading the book. I hope that we have not read the book like the health, wealth and prosperity movement. There are those who think that they can command God and He will do as they say like some genie in a bottle. This is a gross error.

I wonder how many of us have spent time earnestly praying for some need recently. I know that I do not pray like I should. You would think that a guy who is unemployed would be like the Apostle John and be called “Camel Knees”. No such adjectives here to my shame. Oh, if a relative were dying or some serious event had taken place we might get on our knees and throw up a prayer or two on behalf of the one in need. This ought not to be. We need to be fervent in prayer.

I like the rhetorical question in Psalm 116:12-14, “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.” The reason that I like this so much is there follows a laundry list so to speak of what we can do. These apply so well.

One thing we do not think about is to die to self. The Apostle Paul said that he died daily. Wow! I believe if we die to self then when we pray we will be in a right relationship with Jesus and our prayers can be answered. Look at Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” I think this might have been a key in Jabez getting his prayer answered. He was walking with God in a right relationship with no known sin in his life and God mightily answered his prayer.

If I called you with a dire need could you get your prayers answered? Are you sure?

April 25, 2010

Today’s reading: II Kings 24, 25; I Chronicles 1; Psalm 25, 55, 85, 115, 145; Proverbs 25

Psalm 55:3, “Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.”

Psalm 55:12-14, “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.”

As I was reading our text for today many thoughts came to my mind. Many were remembrances of negative things in my past. There were far too many times in my life that I disappointed someone. I hate to say it; but, there were times that I even changed my opinion of someone and I turned on them. You see, I am no better than anyone else. We are all made of the same sinful flesh. The bad thing is that we yield to it and nothing good comes from a life yielded to the flesh.

I remember reading these very passages of Scripture several years ago. A short time later a co-worker came to me and related how he felt as if the top boss was doing him wrong. Immediately I thought about these verses. I shared them with him and he received comfort from them.

I guess we put our trust in our friends that they will be just that; friends, and not turn on us and become enemies. Unfortunately this happens and there is probably nothing we can do about it except pray for them and let God work on them. He is able.

So, how are you doing?

April 24, 2010

Today’s reading: II Kings 21, 22, 23; Psalm 24, 54, 84, 114, 144; Proverbs 24

II Kings 21:1, “Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah.”

The name Hephzibah is defined in Strongs Hebrew dictionary #02657 – “my delight (is) in her;”. I thought this was interesting. Many years ago we attended a Church that supported a ministry called “Hephzibah House”. It was a home for troubled girls. The girls were brought there in order for God to work in their lives and for them to be transformed into the young women He designed them to be. It is a great ministry. We were treated very well as we toured the facilities.

The reason I liked this ministry so much was because they were teaching the young women a proper view of God and how He viewed them. Imagine being named “My delight is in her”. What a privilege.

Actually, as I am writing and thinking about this I realized something. Everyone of us who name the name of Christ can be called Hephzibah. If we are in a right relationship with the Lord then He will delight in us. What a powerful thought!

Today as you go about your daily routine think about how God delights in you if you are one of His children. If you are not one of His children, please become one today before it is too late.

So what does God think of you?

April 23, 2010

Today’s reading: II Kings 18, 19, 20; Psalm 23, 53, 83, 113, 143; Proverbs 23

II Kings 19:1, “And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.”

I was thinking about the day that we learned that we were going to be parents. It was an emotional day to say the least. I remember being scared to death and also excited at the same time. How would I… or What would I… My mind raced in a million directions.

It was at this point that I had a decision to make. I had to decide whether I would do things on my own. Did I want to do thing my way or would there be a better way? Should I get the advice of other or just go and do my own thing my own way?

I remember a big part of my reaction was to pray a lot. I prayed for everything concerning our child and the pregnancy. I made one vital mistake. By praying so specifically I had to pray for every little detail.

I did not think that if I missed one detail that it might make a huge difference. The one thing I did not pray for was that our child would talk. Our son was born autistic and non-verbal.

Once we came to grips with the fact that there was a problem our response was much like that of King Hezekiah in II Kings 19:14, “And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.” This was our only hope. Today, we still depend upon the Lord and we seek His face.

How do you respond? Sure about that?

April 22, 2010

Today’s reading: II Kings 15, 16, 17; Psalm 22, 52, 82, 112, 142; Proverbs 22

II Kings 15:16, “Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: because they opened not to him, therefore he smote it; and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.”

We live in a day that is capitalized by the utter disregard for human life. It is horrible. There is no sanctity in life. I never thought I would see such in my lifetime. Unfortunately, it is here. As I was reading our Scripture for today I could not help but think of all the lives that are being wasted in the name of convenience. It is not a child but a choice. Hogwash! Some go so far as to relegate the child to a bundle of tissue. Wrong! This is a child with a soul that Jesus Christ died for. This little person is a precious gift to those who receive it.

Some day we will all stand before God and we will all give account for our lives. I cannot imagine giving account for having done as Menahem and as the Scripture says, “and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.” There was no regard for human life whatsoever. We need to wake up and see what is happening. What man calls convenience, God calls murder.

I think that the people did not understand that Jesus Christ was who He said He was in His day and they still don’t. Look at Psalm 22:8, “He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.” These people did not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God just like today. If you will not acknowledge who He is then you will not obey Him.

God help us!

April 21, 2010

Today’s reading: II Kings 12, 13, 14; Psalm 21, 51, 81, 111, 141; Proverbs 21

II Kings 12:11-12, “And they gave the money, being told, into the hands of them that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of the LORD: and they laid it out to the carpenters and builders, that wrought upon the house of the LORD, And to masons, and hewers of stone, and to buy timber and hewed stone to repair the breaches of the house of the LORD, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it.”

The past (2) two days I have been attending some training aimed at teaching firefighters how to remove people from cars after they have been involved in a crash. I learned so much that I could not even begin to tell you about it all.

As I was standing next to this car that had been put in place for us then the top smashed down like it had rolled over I began to feel a little bit intimidated. I was encouraged by the fact of knowing that, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13.

I remember standing next to the car and my officer giving me instructions on how to make the cut. I have known this guy since before I started to legally drive a car. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought he and I would ever work together like that. It was so awsome.

I put the cutter in place around the “A” post, which is by the windshield of the car and I pulled on the lever that started the blades moving. The adrenaline ran so high I think I could have snapped it in half by hand. Not really. When the blades made contact with the post I was told to let the tool move and do the work and not to fight against it. Then came the “bang!” and we were through the post. I shouted. Success!

I can only imagine how those we have read about today felt at the completion of the rebuilding of the temple. They had been provided everything they needed and the work just went on until it was finished.

So how are you doing? Are you letting the tool do the work or are you trying to fight against it and do it your way? Yield yourself to the Lord and let Him work through you today. I know He wants to. How about it?