Tuesday, August 22, 2017

JUDGMENT COMES



II Chron. 36:15-16  The LORD, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple.  But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words.  They scoffed at the prophets until the LORD’s anger could no longer be restrained and there was no remedy.

Over and over again God sends people out into the world to warn them about the things of God and the consequences of ignoring Him and His Word.  God is relentless in His pursuit of lost souls.  He is not willing that anyone would miss out on saving grace and go to hell.  He makes sure that no one has an excuse.  He reveals Himself to all.  The more a person hears about God, the more responsible he is for what he does with what he knows. 

Yet, people over and over again mock God and His messengers.  They reject God’s message and try to silence those who proclaim it.  They refuse to believe it’s true.  They hate those who proclaim it.  They continue to go deeper and deeper into the life of sin.

God is very patient, but there comes a point in which His patience runs out.  He lets man display his wickedness and defy Him to the point where He no longer can put up with it and comes down on judgment of man.  The final and full day of His wrath has not come yet; yet, I believe it will be here very soon.  In the meantime, God displays His anger on people and nations that He simply cannot continue to deal with any other way.

When God runs out of patience, there is no remedy but judgment.  No amount of praying will stay the hand of God when it’s time for judgment.  There is no last second changing of God’s mind.  God can put up with the sin of man for just so long.

It behooves us to be a people of prayer.  It is not too late to plead with God for repentance.  It is not too late for us to turn back to God.  I don’t know how much time we have left before the patience of God runs out, but do we dare take our chances?  God is gracious and merciful, but He is also holy and all sin will be judged.  We need to pray for ourselves, our families, friends, neighbors, and country.  Are you praying?  Are you listening to the message of God today?  Judgment Day is coming.  Are you ready?

Monday, August 21, 2017

PAY ATTENTION



II Chron. 33:10  The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings.

Some things don’t seem to ever change.  Over and over again God speaks, but people keep ignoring His warnings.  I wonder sometimes why God even bothers.  People are stubborn and do what they want.  They consider God’s warnings to be just words and frivolous.  They scoff at the idea that God really means what He says.  They rebel at the thought that there are consequences for sin, that a loving God would hold them accountable for sinful behavior.

Yet, in order for there to be God, there has to be absolute perfection in all things.  God has to be absolutely trustworthy in everything He says or He cannot be trusted in anything He says.  God cannot be all loving if He is not equally holy.  He cannot be God of grace without being God of justice.  We cannot understand God only through the eyes of His goodness and love.  We also must understand Him to be holy and intolerant of sin.

When we have a high regard for God we will have a high regard for His warnings.  We cannot treat His warnings lightly.  God deals with sin harshly.  He commands our submission to His life.  We must be striving to be holy, even as He is holy.  We will never be as God is, but we can never excuse ourselves and not pursue holiness.  Holiness is a life of separation from sin.  It is a mindset that strives to resist and reject sin.  It forces us to deal with our sin before God when we do sin.  It is feeling guilt and shame for our sins and confessing them to Him so that we might be forgiven.

God does not leave us in the dark.  He warns us over and over again about sin and its consequences.   No one has any excuse.  All will be held accountable before God for sin.  No one will have anyone but themselves to blame when God metes out judgment for sin.  Pay attention to God’s warnings.  He says what He means and means what He says.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!



II Chron. 32:7-8  “Be strong and courageous!  Don’t be afraid of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side!  He may have a great army, but they are just men.  We have the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!”  These words greatly encouraged the people.

Jerusalem was under attack.  King Hezekiah gathered together the officers of his army and gave them a pep talk.  He reminded them of just how powerful they were with the Lord on their side.  He reminded them that it wasn’t the size of their enemy that mattered; it was the size of their God.  With God on their side, there was no army on earth that could defeat them.

Do you know the Lord today as your personal Savior?  Be strong and courageous!  No matter who or what you may be facing in life, with God’s help you can overcome it.  Your circumstances may seem to be way too much for you to handle, and they may very well be.  But, with God’s help, nothing is too much for you.  Believe it!  Let the Lord lead the way.  Let Him have all of you and see what He can do.

Get what you know to be true out of your head and into your heart.  Trust the Lord.  You can do all things through Him who gives you the strength and means to do it.  He will show you the way.  He will provide whatever you need as you deal with life.  He will work everything going on in your life out for your good and His glory.  He loves you and wants to take your burdens off your shoulders and carry them for you.

Dear friend, take heart.  It is the Lord of life who has promised to fight your battles for you.  It is He who has promised to help you.  Give Him whatever you are up against in life.  He will take care of you.  Look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our salvation.   Let Him take care of you; you will be glad you did.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

RETURN TO THE LORD



II Chron. 30:9  For if you return to the LORD, your relatives and your children will be treated mercifully by their captors, and they will be able to return to this land.  For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful.  If you return to him, he will not continue to turn his face from you.

“The Lord is gracious and merciful; it you return to Him, He will not continue to turn His face from you.”  Dear friend, I don’t know your heart today.  I don’t know if you have wandered away from the Lord or not.  I do suspect that some who read this have.  If you have, I know that you are not very happy today.  You may think you are and yet, deep down inside of you, you know you aren’t.  No matter how hard you may try to convince yourself that things are alright with you, you know better.  You cannot be away from God and have peace in your soul.  You cannot sin against God without it bothering you.  The guilt and shame of sinning plagues you because you know better; you know that it does not please God and keeps Him away from you.

Listen carefully to this word from the Lord; He is gracious and merciful.  If you turn back to Him and repent of your sins, He will not turn His face from you.  The Lord will welcome you back with open arms.  He longs to once again embrace you and help you.  He will forgive you if you confess your sins to Him and accept responsibility for them.  He will wash your soul with the cleansing blood of Christ shed for you at Calvary.  He will purify your stained soul and make it whiter than snow. 

Dear friend, won’t you do it right now?  Won’t you turn back to the Lord and let Him make you whole once again?  Why put it off?  Today is the day of salvation.  Tomorrow may never be for you.  Aren’t you tired of listening to Satan’s lies?  Perhaps you are putting on a good front.  Perhaps you have others buffaloed and they think all is well with your soul.  It is time for you to repent.  It is time for you to return to the Lord.  Do it now, while the Lord is speaking to your heart.  He is waiting for you.

Friday, August 18, 2017

SUCCESS AND PRIDE



II Chron. 26:16  But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall.  He sinned against the LORD his God be entering the sanctuary of the LORD’s temple and personally burning incense on it.

Uzziah became king over Judah when he was 16 and he was a good king.  He led the people of Judah into a spiritual reformation.  He got rid of the many ungodly things that had become a part of the people’s lives.  What he did pleased the Lord.  He became a popular and successful king.

Being in the limelight or being successful in the eyes of man is not all that it’s cracked up to be.  We being who we are, have a hard time handling the glory.  We are prone to think we are the ones who are responsible for our successes and deserve the attention and acclaim.  We tend to take credit for that which we don’t deserve.  We forget that God is the source of all our blessings, whether great or small. 

Success breeds pride unless the heart is well-grounded in Christ.  Pride is the fertile soil in which sin and presumptuous behavior flourishes.  We begin to think we are special and don’t have to follow the rules God has given us.  No one is above God’s laws.  Everyone is responsible to God for his behavior and the attitude of his heart.  Everyone will give an account to God for how he has handled himself in whatever role he has played in life. 

Do we honor the Lord in what we do and how we do it?  Do we honor Him with how we think about ourselves?  Protect your mind and soul.  Never underestimate your need to honor the Lord in all you do and don’t overestimate who you are in the scheme of life.  Honor the Lord by always living humbly before Him.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

YOU IMPACT OTHERS



II Chron. 21:20  Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years.  No one was sorry when he died.  He was buried in the City of David, but not in the royal cemetery.

Jehoram was an evil king.  He had married one of Ahab’s daughters and had become just as bad as King Ahab had been.  Even though he was the son of King Jehoshaphat, a good king in Judah, he rejected his father’s example and chose to live an ungodly life.

All of us affect others in some way or another.  We either leave a good taste in their mouths or a bad taste.  We are either fondly remembered for the good life we live or we are remembered as one who we are glad is no longer a part of the life we live.  How we live matters, whether we think so or not. 

We create the memories people have of us.  What a sad commentary on a life.  No one was sorry when Jehoram died.  His death was a welcome relief to the people he ruled and influenced. Think about it.  Here was a man who chose to live in sin.  He chose to reject God and do what he wanted to do.  He chose to be a bad influence on others.  He chose evil over good.  He chose earthly pleasures over the treasures of heaven.

What kind of choices are you making in life?  Are you leaving a good or bad taste in people’s mouths?  Do people speak well of you or evil?  Would you like others to remember you in a good or negative way?  Do you want others to grieve your passing or be glad when you die?  Do you even care what others may think of you?

No one can make your choices for you.  If you choose to live a life surrendered to the Lord, you will bring joy to the hearts of others.  You will inspire others to follow in your footsteps.  You will be remembered fondly as one who lived life well.  Choose today whom you serve.  As for me, I will serve the Lord.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

BELIEVE IN THE LORD



II Chron. 20:20  Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa.  On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem!  Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be able to stand firm.  Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”

The key to all spiritual success is to do simply what Jehoshaphat told his people to do, “Believe in the Lord your God.”  Believing enables us to stand.  God sends us people with His message for our hearts; believe them.  Success is given to those who will but believe.

The issue before us today is belief.  Do we really believe in the Lord our God?  There is a difference between believing about God and believing God.  Believing God means that we accept what God says about himself, all of it.  It means we take seriously what God says.  It means we acknowledge that God is worthy of not only our worship, but our allegiance.  It means that our highest calling in life is to yield to Him.  It means that we don’t pick and choose what we want to live and do from what He says.  Every word that comes from God is true and commands our attention and doing.

Can you honestly say today that you believe God?  Do you really believe that God is to be believed and obeyed?  Are you striving to not sin, to live a holy life?  Are you concerned about sin as you should be?  Are you taking what you believe into the world and striving to be the salt and light He commands us to be? 

Believing enables us to stand.  When we don’t believe as we should, we stumble around and fall.  There is no stability in the lives of those who don’t believe in their heart what the Lord reveals in the head.  Success comes to those who believe without wavering. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

LORD, HELP!



II Chron. 20:12 (17)  “O our God, won’t you stop them?  We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us.  We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”  “But you will not even need to fight.  Take your positions, then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory.  He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem.  Do not be afraid of discouraged.  Go out there tomorrow, for the LORD is with you.”

A huge army had come to engage the nation of Judah in war.  The people were afraid for their lives.  They had gathered together and were crying out to the Lord.  God sent the prophet, Jahaziel to them with today’s message.  They were desperate, but God wasn’t.  They didn’t know what to do, but God did.

Sometimes we run up against situations that are too much for us.  We are overpowered by them and wonder what to do.  We are fearful of what is going to happen next.  How we handle ourselves when we find ourselves in those situations depends on our faith in God.

If we really believe in God and His abilities, we will cry out to Him for help.  We may not have a clue as to what to do, but God does.  When God is in control, all we need to do is get out of the way and let Him work things out.  We may be His hands and feet or someone else may be; it doesn’t matter.  God will work all things out for our good and for His glory.  He will show us what to do and give us the means to do it.

Don’t wilt away from whatever you may face in life.  Trust in God and don’t let fear or discouragement overcome your soul.  Boldly face your difficulties, for the Lord is with you.  He will help you overcome whatever you are facing.  He will never let you deal with life without Him if you put your trust in Him.  There are times in which we need to quit our fighting, take our positions, and watch what the Lord will do for us.  Great is the victory for those who trust in the Lord.

Monday, August 14, 2017

SEEKING THE LORD



II Chron. 20:4  So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the LORD.

Judah was being threatened and would soon be under attack.  Jehosophat, when he heard about it, went into his prayer closet, fasted and prayed.  He issued a decree all across the land that everyone in Judah should fast and pray as well.  The people responded by going to Jerusalem to seek the Lord together.

I love it when people come together to seek the Lord.  I long for the time in which we can set aside our quirks and differences and just seek the Lord together.  What a day it will be when it won’t matter what church we belong to, what social status we may have, what our earthly successes may be, who we may know, or what we may do.  I long for the day in which we don’t get hung up with that which separates us and just turn to the Lord and seek Him together. I long for the day in which we can just worship the Lord together from the heart without critical spirits because we may worship differently.  Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to focus all of our attention on the Lord and not ourselves?   I wonder what kind of a difference it would make in our communities and country if we were to do this.

I long for the day in which we can just worship the Lord together from the heart without critical spirits because we may worship differently.  Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to focus all of our attention on the Lord and not ourselves?

I love it when people come together and serve the Lord.  We could get a whole lot more done for the Lord if we could just set aside our differences and work together for the Lord.  Instead of competing with each other for people, we would just go out into the lost world and harvest souls for the Lord.  Instead of being concerned about what church fellowship people may go to, we just rejoice that they go to church.  We really hinder the work of the Lord to reach the lost when we fail to come together and do what we can to make a difference for Christ in the world.

We are all a part of the family of God.  I believe it’s time we really acted like it.  Sure we have our differences, but as long as Christ is not compromised as Savior and Lord, we should be able to unite for the glory of Christ instead of our own.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

TRUTH AT ALL TIMES



II Chron. 18:13  But Micaiah replied, “As surely as the LORD lives, I will say only what my God tells me to say.”

Micaiah was told to agree with what the other prophets were saying to King Ahab.  Ahab and Jehosophat were about to go to war and Ahab’s prophets were predicting a great victory.  They summoned Micaiah because he was known as a true prophet of God. 

Micaiah would not bend; he would not compromise the truth for anyone, even if it was for someone as powerful and important as the king.  I wonder how many of us have the same mindset as Micaiah.  Are we committed to telling the truth regardless of who we are with, or do we compromise it when it’s in our best interest to do so?

In order to speak the truth at all times, we need to actually believe at all times what we profess to believe.  God’s Word is not situational.  It is true all the time, not just when it’s convenient for us.  The truth sometimes is confrontational.  Sometimes it is divisive.  Sometimes it puts us in uncomfortable positions.  Sometimes it is not received well at all.  However, if we really believe the truth, we have no choice but to stand on it and speak it whenever we need to.

God’s Word stands on its own merit.  We don’t have to add to it or take anything away from it.  We dare not.  When God gives us something to say, we must say it.  We don’t accommodate our message for our audience.  We let God handle how the Word is received.  It is not our responsibility.   Don’t let fear of what others may think or do hinder you.  God will take care of you.  He will not leave you hanging.  He will not leave or forsake you.  He will help you deal with whatever you have to deal with.   Tell others what you know God is telling you and you will be blest.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

WHAT DOES GOD SAY?



II Chron. 18:4  Then Jehoshaphat added, “But first let’s find out what the LORD says.”

Ahab and Jehoshaphat were joining forces to go to war.  Ahab had sought the counsel of those who wanted to please him.  They had a track record of always saying what Ahab wanted to hear instead of what he needed to hear.  Since Ahab was not living in faith, it worked well for him. On the other hand, Jehoshaphat was a man who lived in faith.  He sought to know God’s ways and do them.  So, before he joined forces with Ahab in war, he wanted to first seek the mind of God.

Are we like Ahab or Jehoshaphat?  Do we first seek the Lord’s guidance before we act, or do we do what it pleases us to do?  It is not okay to act and then ask the Lord to bless our actions.  If the Lord does not bless our actions before we do them, He cannot be expected to bless them when we do them.  Things may very well work out okay for us, but it will be not because the Lord was in it.  It is arrogance to think that we know the will of God without first waiting before Him and letting Him reveal it to us.

We do it a lot, don’t we?  We plow ahead in our lives and assume that the Lord is pleased with us.  We assume that because we are His children that we have His blessings on all we do.  We often try to justify ourselves by imposing our will on God’s will.  We expect the Lord to honor us with little real regard for whether or not it is okay with Him.  We spend little time in prayer and meditation before God to get His direction for our lives.

We need to be careful in this.  Let us first strive to find out what the Lord has to say about our plans.  Let us wait before Him and not jump into things unless we have peace that it is permissible for us to act.  If the Lord gives us the okay, then fine.  But if He says no, let us change our plans.  The Lord knows what is best for us.  Following His lead will spare us from a lot of unnecessary foolishness, grief and pain.

Friday, August 11, 2017

THE LORD ON THE LOOKOUT



II Chron. 16:9  The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

Don’t you just love this truth?  The Lord is not idle; He is searching the whole earth so that He may help those who are fully committed to Him.  The Lord does not want us to struggle.  He does not want us to fall prey to sin because we are weak.  He wants us to be strong enough to stand up to Satan and just say no to sin.  He wants us to be able to stand up and overcome all the fiery darts Satan hurls our way.

Are you going through a rough time in your life right now?  Is your faith strained from all that is going on?  Do you wonder where the Lord’s help is at?  Or, is Satan messing with your mind and you are questioning whether or not what God says is really true?  If you are going through tough times and your faith is weak, let today’s verse sink deep into your heart.

The Lord is on your side.  He knows your weaknesses and wants to give you renewed strength.  He wants to help you through your tough times.  Will you let Him?  Don’t let your feelings keep you away from asking Him for help.  By faith, turn away from your troubles for a moment and ask the Lord for strength to keep on trusting and believing.  He wants to do it for you, but He won’t do it without your permission.  So, just ask Him to draw near.  He will do it, I promise.  Do not let up.  Keep on asking until you know that the Lord is near and has done what He has promised to do for you.

The Lord works best in us when we are fully committed to Him.  He demands the total allegiance of our hearts.  He demands that we love Him with the very best of our hearts, minds, and souls.  Stay fully committed to the Lord and He will always be near to help you in your times of need.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

LIFE WITHOUT GOD



II Chron. 15:3-4  “For a long time, Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach them, and without God’s laws.  But whenever you were in distress and turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him out, you found him.”

The prophet Azariah continued his discourse with King Asa and here he simply told it like it is.  Israel had gone a long time without God in her life.  The people had gotten cozy with the gods of the pagan people around them.  They had bought into the lies that these gods could do anything for them and were worthy of being worshiped.  They had forsaken the Lord.  It got to the point where the very voices of the priests were silent.  No one had risen to the task of being spokesmen for God. 

Yet, in spite of their rebellious and stubborn hearts, whenever tough times came upon them and they cried out to the Lord for help, they found Him.  It is so sad that so many wait until they are in desperate need and have nowhere else to turn to before they turn to the Lord.  Why would God even listen to such cries?  Why would He care about a people who give Him only lip service until they are in trouble?

God is a god of great compassion.  He longs to help those who turn to Him.  He tolerates our rebellion and stubbornness in the hope that we will turn to Him.  Even though we forsake Him, He does not forsake us.  He knows the heart of man and understands the affect sin has on us.  He knows that the darkness of the soul keeps us away from Him.  Yet, He forever shines His light on the earth.  He always hears the heart cry of those who call out for Him.  He forgives us of our sins and softens our hardened hearts.  He does not hide himself from those who seek Him.

Give thanks and praise today for God’s love, mercy and grace.  Thank Him that He is full of compassion and forgives all who seek Him out for the forgiveness of their sins.  Thank Him for this great salvation we are privileged to live in, though we don’t deserve one ounce of it.  Thank Him for He never lets us get away with sin but keeps calling us back to Him.  Thank Him for He never leaves or forsakes those who love Him. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

ABANDONMENT



II Chron. 15:1-2  Then the Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Obed, and he went out to meet King Asa as he was returning from the battle.  “Listen to me, Asa!” he shouted.  “Listen, all you people of Judah and Benjamin!  The LORD will stay with you as long as you stay with him!  Whenever you seek him, you will find him.  But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.”

King Asa and his army had just come back from a great victory over the Ethiopians. God had intervened on their behalf and delivered them, even though the Ethiopian army was a million strong.  Asa was a godly king and had prayed and asked the Lord for help.

God sent Azariah to Asa and his army to forewarn them.  They had just seen the miraculous power of God at work right before their eyes and now they dared not forget that it was the Lord who did it.  God insisted that they know that in order for Him to continue to shine His favor upon them, they had to stay in fellowship with Him.  There was no mistaking the message.  God would always be with those who stayed with Him.  He would always be found by those who would seek Him.  But, if anyone would walk away from God and abandon Him, He would no longer be with them to watch over and bless them.

We need to not forget this message.  There are those who proclaim because we are under God’s grace we cannot lose God’s favor once we put our trust in Him.  Yet, God has not changed.  He is holy and holiness cannot co-exist with sin.  Sin drives God away from us.  If we choose to abandon God, how can we expect God to hang around with us?  If God can overlook sin because He loves us, then He would cease to be holy.  His holiness is not negated by His love.  If there were no repercussions for forsaking God, then how can we declare Him just?  How is it possible for us to live in sin and still think that we can be acceptable to God?  We need to carefully consider these thoughts.

I do believe that those who are in Christ are eternally secure in Him.  The issue is what it mean to be in Christ.  Is it not living a holy life?  Is it not letting the Spirit of Christ change us and teach us the way of holiness?  Is it not striving to please the Lord and not ourselves?  Is it not choosing to resist sin and when we do sin, dealing with it before Christ? 

We must be careful about our relationship with God.  As His children, we must live like it.  We mock God and the work of Christ at Calvary when we minimize the seriousness of sin in our lives.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

IS JESUS YOUR LORD?



II Chron. 12:14  But he was an evil king, for he did not seek the LORD with all his heart.

King Rehoboam was one of the sons of Solomon and became the king of Judah when the nation of Israel split apart when Solomon died.  Rehoboam was in his early 40’s when he began his rule, so his way of life was pretty much set by this time.  I am sure he picked up a lot of Solomon’s ways of living in the latter stages of his life.  He was exposed to the ways of the Lord, but chose not to seek Him with all his heart. 

I am impressed with the thought that perhaps we too might be thought of as evil when we fail to seek the Lord with all our hearts.  I don’t think that we can make too strong of a point here, but I do think it ought to give us a cause to stop and think about it.  God is holy.  His standards and character are perfect.  There is no flaw whatsoever in God.  He commands us to rise up to His standards.  He commands all of our heart.  When we fail to deliver, in God’s eyes we are sinners.  We fail to live up to the life He came to give us.  We are evil to the core.

If it were not for Jesus, who does for us what we can’t do, none of us would have any hope of seeing God.  Jesus makes that which is wrong with us right before God.  We dare not ever let Jesus become an afterthought in our minds and hearts.  We dare not neglect Him.

Jesus is more than our Savior, He is Lord as well.  You cannot accept and live for Christ without letting Him be your Lord.  God’s promises and blessings are unleashed when we let Him have all of our heart, mind and soul.  There is no joy in the salvation of those who won’t let Jesus be their Lord.  In fact, I am convinced that no one can live the life of faith without Jesus being Lord.  Seek the Lord with all your heart.  Let go of all that keeps Him at bay in your life.  If He is not Lord of all of your heart, He is not Lord at all.  You cannot have it your way and His way at the same time.  Surrender your heart to the Lord and let Him change your will so that His will becomes your will. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

KEY TO REVIVAL



II Chron. 7:14  Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.   

Most of us are familiar with this verse.  However, I don’t think most of us take it to heart.  We moan and complain about how bad things are in our world and churches today, but very little changes.  Why?  Could it be that we, the church, fail to humble ourselves and pray over our nation and churches?  Could it be that we don’t seek the Lord like we should be doing?  Could it be that we are reluctant to turn away from sin and follow the Lord?  I believe that it is true, that we are guilty on all counts.

We like our Savior, but we don’t like as well our Lord.  We want to be saved from our sins, but we don’t want to forsake our sins.  We become proud of who we are in Christ.  We don’t make prayer an essential part of who we are in Christ.  We don’t take the time to genuinely seek the Lord as we need to.

The promise is true.  The Lord will do what He has promised to do.  Individually, collectively as a church, and as a nation, we will be forgiven and healed if we do our part.  The Lord will never turn a deaf ear to the heart sincerely crying out for forgiveness and mercy. 

Sincere forgiveness results in serious change.  We stop doing what we have been doing and let Jesus be Lord of our lives.  Our thought lives are changed, the desires of our hearts change, and how we live changes.  Anything less is making a mockery of our salvation.

Let us be a people who live by the Word of God.  Let us be the beginning of a fresh revival that sweeps over our churches and nations.  If we don’t do it, who will?  Who will stand in the gap before God if we don’t?  Who will pray for your church, if you don’t?  Who will pray for your neighbors if you don’t?

May the Lord drive us to our knees in humility and brokenness.  May we seek His face and turn from our wicked ways that we may be forgiven and healed.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

BLESSED BY GOD



I Chron. 29:14  “But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you?  Everything we have has come from you, and we give only what you have already given us!”

We would do well to understand this truth as well.  No one deserves God’s blessings.  And God’s blessings aren’t given to be hidden, hoarded, our used selfishly.  Passing on God’s blessings to others ought to be a joy, not a burden.  If it is a burden for you to bless others with what God has blessed you with, you need to pause right now and return to your first love.  You are not in love with the Lord as you need to be if you are reluctant to give of yourself or your resources to help those whom the Lord brings into your life.

We need to understand that we are only stewards of what the Lord gives.  No one deserves what they have in life.  Regardless of how industrious or resourceful you may be, you don’t deserve to be blessed with the abilities and opportunities in life you enjoy.  You don’t deserve to live your life out where you do.  You don’t deserve to even be alive today.  We are indebted to the Lord for everything we are able to do and accomplish in life.   

We show our gratitude to the Lord for our lives in the ways that we honor Him with our resources.  We do not take for granted our resources, but instead use them to the best of our abilities for our good and the goodness of others.  We understand that what life is about is a relationship with God and a good steward does with what he has to enhance that relationship. 

Give back to the Lord what He has given to you: your time, talents, resources, opportunities in life, friendships, etc.  Surrender it all to the Lord and let Him have His way in you with what is already His and you will be blest.  Give it all to the Lord with thanksgiving and a heart full of love. 

“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, praise His holy name.”  “Lord, I praise you for all that I am and all that I have.  Thank you, Lord, for your goodness to me.”

Saturday, August 5, 2017

PRAISE IN THE CHURCH



I Chron. 29:10-11  Then David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, “O LORD, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever!  Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty.  Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom.  We adore you as the one who is over all things.”

When was the last time you praised the Lord in the presence of the church?  When I grew up, it was normal for a time of testimony be given in church.  Even though I did not value those things then as I do now, I believe we do the church a great disservice when we do away with public testimony time.  We need to know what the Lord is doing amongst us.  We need to hear the praises of people serving the Lord.  We need to share our testimonies as we recall the workings of the Lord in our lives.  The Lord wants to hear our praises.  In fact, He makes it clear that if we don’t acknowledge Him before men, He won’t acknowledge us before our Father.  If we can’t give our testimony to the church, how can we expect to give our testimony to the world?

It is good for the church to give praise and thanks to the Lord.  It is a necessary part of our spiritual growth.  Real faith is never self-contained.  It grows and glows in us and flows from us.  It blesses those who may be struggling in their faith and inspires them to remain faithful.  It blesses the body as they learn that God is still on the throne and actively is involved amongst the living.  If you cannot bear witness of what the Lord means to you and is doing in you, you will never be the person God created you to be and wants you to be. 

Praise and thanksgiving deepens one’s love for the Lord as we recall His love for us.  How can we not love Him more when we feast on the wondrous presence of God in us and in our living?  The thing that set David apart from all the rest was his awareness of God’s goodness, mercies, and love.  He was a man after God’s own heart and praise and thanksgiving were as natural to him as the air he breathed.

In all things and at all times, give praise and thanks to the Lord.

Friday, August 4, 2017

PRAISE THE LORD



I Chron. 29:10  Then David praised the LORD in the presence of the assembly, “O LORD, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever!  Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty.  Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours.  O LORD, and this is your kingdom.  We adore you as the one who is over all things.”

It is good to praise the Lord.  It is good to not be ashamed to declare the glory of our God.  It is good to recognize the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty that is our God’s.  It is good to acknowledge that our Lord is over all things and that they belong to Him.  It is good to express our adoration for our God.

Reread the above statement.  Pause and reflect on these things.  Let your heart this day dwell in the presence of our God.  Praise the Lord, our God; He alone is worthy of our praise.

Notice that David praised the Lord in the presence of the assembly.  It is good to praise the Lord from the heart before others.  We praise Him in song and in our testimonies.  It is good to declare to others how the Lord impacts our lives.  We should declare our praises in worship.  We should praise Him in our fellowship times.  We should be so in awe of our Lord that we cannot contain our praises. 

It is always an appropriate time to praise the Lord.  Praise should not be found just in the church.  We should praise Him in our homes, on our jobs, amongst our friends, wherever we may be.  Praise is the expression of our adoration, love and respect for the Lord.  It honors Him when we declare His praises.  Praise comes forth from a heart that is right with God.

Praise supersedes circumstances and feelings.  Praise the Lord always, for He is worthy.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

GIVING FROM THE HEART



I Chron. 29:9  The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the LORD, and King David was filled with joy.

When was the last time that you were in church and the people there got excited because of the offerings gathered?  Or, when was the last time you were excited and joyful because you were able to give an offering to the Lord?  If you are like most people, you aren’t necessarily thrilled when it comes to offering time.  You may tithe, but it’s more out of duty than a longing of the heart.  The Israelites gave their offerings to the Lord.  They gave because they wanted to give, and not because they felt they had to give.  They gave and there was more than enough to do the work the Lord had given them to do.

I wonder what would happen if we were to start offering to the Lord what we give from the longings of love in our hearts.  What if we were to give because of our love and gratitude for what He has done and continues to do in our lives?  I wonder what the Lord would do if we were to offer Him our money, time, and talents from the bottom of our hearts. 

Love is expressed through the generosity of our hearts.  How much do you really love the Lord?  You cannot love someone and withhold from them yourself.  You cannot love someone and withhold from them what you are able to give to help them when they are in need.  Does the Lord need us or our offerings?  No, but we need to give to Him for our sake, because a love that is not expressed through giving cannot grow or flourish.  

You may not be able to give much, but little is much when God has it.  Give from your heart cheerfully what you can and the Lord will bless it richly.  You will have all you need for your daily living and there will be more than enough in the storehouse of God to do the work He has given the church to do.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

DO THE WORK



I Chron. 28:20  Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work.  Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the LORD God, my God, is with you.  He will not fail or forsake you.  He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly.

Do the work the Lord has given you to do.  Don’t be afraid of what others may think.  Don’t let the uncertainty of what may happen faze you.  Don’t let the size of the task bother you.  Don’t let the improbability of your ability to do the task bother you.  Don’t let the slowness of progress discourage you.  Don’t look at the task, look at the Lord, who gave you the task to do.

If you don’t know what work the Lord has for you to do, work anyways.  Do something.  No labor for the Lord is done in vain.  The Lord will make it clear to you if there is something that you need to be doing that you aren’t doing.  He may, or He may not, assign you to a specific task.  The Lord is with us no matter what we do if we do what we do for His glory and honor. 

Focus on Him.  Be strong and courageous and just get to work.  Let your heart feast on His power, majesty, and glory.  Feast on the knowledge that the Lord is with you.  The Lord will never leave you hanging.  He will never let you work on your own.  He will never leave you or forsake you.  There are no menial tasks in the Kingdom of God.  Do the very best you know how and the Lord will bless your work.

The Lord will make sure that the job He gives you to do will be finished correctly.  If you are a willing partner with Him, He guarantees your success.  The Lord never calls us to failure.  He will help us to do whatever it is He wants us to do, if we will do our part.  We are His hands and feet.  We are His channels of blessing to the world.  He has chosen YOU to not only serve Him, but to do it successfully.  You cannot fail if you are co-operating with the Lord.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

GET TO KNOW GOD



I Chron. 28:9-10  And Solomon, my son, get to know the God of your ancestors.  Worship and serve him with your whole heart and with a willing mind.  For the LORD sees every heart and understands and knows every plan and thought.  If you seek him, you will find him.  But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.  So take this seriously.  The LORD has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary.  Be strong and do the work.

Dear friend, get to know the Lord your God.  Don’t just know about Him, know Him personally.  Be sure you are living in a relationship with Him.  Know Him in His love, power, holiness, and glory.  Know Him so well that you are driven to your knees in worship of Him.  Know Him so well that the desires of your heart will be to serve Him.  The Lord doesn’t want your half-hearted attempts to worship and serve Him.  He doesn’t want you to respond to Him out of duty but out of your willing heart because you love Him.

The Lord sees and knows your heart.  He knows what is behind your words and actions.  He knows whether you are living in His love or not.  He knows your every plan and thought.  He knows whether He has your whole heart or just a part of it.

Be assured of this, if you sincerely seek Him, you will find Him.  If you don’t, chances are that you won’t.  If you forsake Him, watch out!  The Lord rejects those who forsake Him.  To forsake is to abandon, to walk away from with intent.  There is no hope for those who forsake the Lord.

The Lord has chosen you to be a temple for Him to dwell in.  You are His temple.  He has chosen to live in YOU.  So, be strong and do the work.  In order to be strong, you must make Jesus not only your Savior, but your Lord.

You must work out your salvation.  It takes effort to be a dwelling place for the Lord.  You cannot do nothing and expect to grow spiritually.  You must put time and energy into your spiritual life.  You must seek the Lord, be in His Word, be in your prayer closet, be actively involved in His church, and be a witness for Him.  A strong and vibrant life in Christ requires sacrifice, dedication, work and self-denial.

You value and appreciate most that which you work for.  Salvation is free, but living in Christ is work.  Dear friend, be strong and do the work!