Many Members – One Body

 

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Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 26 – 27 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 21, Psalms 71 – 75; Proverbs 15)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 89:1

Read the “0515 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Among these were the divisions of the porters, even among the chief men, having wards one against another, to minister in the house of the LORD.“ (1 Chronicles 26:12)

In today’s passage we see the list of countless names of people who labored behind the scenes in the temple, and in the kingdom during the reign of David. When we think of the temple, we think of Solomon primarily, because it was he whom God chose to assemble it; or we may think of David, because he was the one who made most of the preparations for it. However, we can see from these passages that there were literally thousands of people laboring behind the scenes that made the ministry that went on in the temple possible, as well as in the rest of the kingdom.

In a local church, we sometimes think that it is primarily the pastor who makes everything happen. While the office of the pastor is an important position, he is just one member of a body made up of many. He may be the most visible, but there are so many other people whose participation is necessary in order to accomplish the work of God. Our church is small in number, but even in a church our size, there are many people laboring, some completely behind the scenes, who are vital parts of the ministry. Think with me for a moment about all of the different duties that must be performed in order for our church to function as it should. There are soul winners who get the message of the gospel to the community; disciplers who mentor and instruct those who have trusted Christ; there are Sunday School teachers, ushers, greeters, audio/vidio people, choir members, song leaders, musicians, bus drivers and workers, maintenance people, and administrators. These people and the work that they do are all important to the cause of Christ.

Romans 12 talks about some of the gifts given to us by the Lord that are to be used by us in His service:

“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:4-8)

1 Corinthians 12 also instructs regarding the different members of the body, though many of the individual gifts spoken of in this chapter were sign gifts that were given to believers during the transitional period in the first century, and are no longer available today:

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

”For the body is not one member, but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:14)

“But now are they many members, yet but one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:20)

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

God has something to do for everyone in the local church. I was recently criticized for preaching too much about what we need to do for the Lord, but as I see it, there is a lot that needs to be done. Yes, it is God which works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure, but we still need to be submissive and obedient to His plan for our life. We often quote from Ephesians 2:8 & 9 regarding the fact that it is solely through the grace of God that we are saved, but the next verse teaches us that we are saved and equipped to work.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Christian, let me encourage you to find out what your unique gifts are, and also admonish you to use those gifts for the glory of the Lord Jesus, in the service of the local church.

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” (Philippians 1:27)

Twitt


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The Hope of the Future

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Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 23 – 25 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 19 – 20; Psalms 66 – 70; Proverbs 14)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 61:1 – 3

Read the “0514 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

In today’s passage (and yesterday’s) we read about David making the preparations for the building of the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the worshipping of God in the temple. If you will recall, David was forbidden of God to actually build the temple himself because God said that he was a man of war; and that he had shed much blood while delivering Israel from the hands of her enemies. God said that Solomon, David’s son, would be the man that would build the temple as he would be a man of peace. However, this did not prevent David from doing all that he could to help gather the materials, and to make the necessary preparations, so that Solomon would have all that he needed to fulfill God’s will for his life.

I have been saved now for many years, and I have learned that God will not allow me to do all of the things that I have dreamed of doing for Him; but that does not stop me from doing all that I can do to help pave the way for those that He will call later to fulfil His will (and some of my dreams). I have a lot of dreams: I dream of seeing multitudes of people saved and serving God here in south Jersey. I dream of seeing hundreds of young men and women being trained here to go forth throughout the world serving God. I dream of planting dozens of churches here in our area. I dream of running dozens of buses all over Atlantic County, picking up boys and girls and bringing them to the house of God. It is in my heart to do all of these things; but God will very likely not allow me to do all that I dream of. But maybe I can help train and prepare the next generation so that they can take what we have started and build upon it. I have to be content with being just a part of the process. I can maybe help give the next generation a strong foundation so that they can continue to do what I could not do.

How about you? What are you doing today to help prepare for the next generation. Sometimes people don’t want to be involved in the process at all if they personally can’t be there for the final product; or if they won’t receive the praise of men for the final product. We need to forget about who gets the credit; do all that God will allow us to do ourselves today; and then give and train and prepare so that the next generation will be able to finish what we have started and even do “greater works than these”.

We need to be concerned about the next generation. I am reminded of Hezekiah who was not at all disturbed when God told him that judgment would come in future generations, as long as things were going well in his day. I believe we have a great responsibility to provide for the next generation. I want to see those who follow behind me succeed, and to build upon the foundation that was laid by the folks who came before them.

One final note – 3 times in chapters 23 – 25, David mentions folks that would be positioned in the temple just to praise the Lord. It seems that David took his worship of God seriously. We need to make ure that the next generaltion of Christians will not be ashamed to lift up the Lord in praise.


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Get Busy

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Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 19 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 17 – 18; Psalms 61 – 65; Proverbs 13)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 55:17

Read the “0513 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “The Place of Sacrifice

“Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the LORD be with thee. … Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 22:16, 19 KJV)

“Busy” is a word that has almost become a bad thing in the day that we are living in. Most of us are already very busy people. The demands of living in the 21st century have caused us to work longer hours in order to just survive; and then we have the needs of our families, and the upkeep of our homes to consider. We are already very busy people, and the thought of becoming busier does not put a smile on our faces.

Here in this passage, David encourages Solomon and the people of Israel to “get busy” building the temple of God. David had actually already done most of the work: he provided all of the materials, and had done all of the planning and preparations. He also cleared out of the country all of the enemies that had been a threat to them. The people now had nothing else to do, but build the House of God. Everything was prepared; everything was ready. There was nothing that could stop them from fulfilling the will of God.

I believe that we can see a parallel from this passage to the will of God for us today. We are living in a time where God wants us to “be doing” as well. We are commanded to communicate the love of the Saviour through the preaching and teaching of the Truth of the Gospel to a lost and dying world. Everything has been provided for us. The Son of God has already provided His shed blood to atone for the sins of all men. By the way, I did mean it when I said, “all men”:

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9)

He has also given us a complete and perfect copy of His Word, which declares His will to us; and He also has given us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, Who guides us into all truth. (John 16:3) He also has promised to individually equip (gift) each believer in the specific task that he gives us as part of His overall plan.

There is absolutely no reason, no excuse, for not “getting busy”, and abounding in the work of God. Have you found God’s particular plan for your life within His overall commission to all believers? If you haven’t yet, get busy in your local church, studying the Scripture, praying, and winning souls. Those are good places to start. Ask your pastor or Sunday School teacher what you could do to help the cause of Christ within your community. As you yield yourself to these fundamental things, God will begin to mold you and direct you into a specific area of service.

If you do already know what God has specifically called you to do, “get busy”. Re-commit yourself to give the cause of Christ 110% effort on your part.


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Taking Time to Rejoice

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Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 15 – 16; Psalms 56 – 60; Proverbs 12)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 51

Read the “0512 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “Check With God First”

“So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God. And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD. And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine.” (1 Chronicles 16:1-3)

In chapter 15, we read about David bringing the ark of God to the tent in Jerusalem. This is actually the first time the ark had been in Jerusalem, but it would remain there for many more years to come. You will remember that the ark had been taken from Shiloh in Israel by the Philistines after Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, brought it out as a good luck charm in the battle. The ark stayed a very short time in the land of the Philistines (7 months), but because of the judgment of God upon them, they quickly saw the wisdom of returning it to the rightful owners.

The next stop for the ark was to the land of Bethshemesh in Israel, but the men of that place made the fatal mistake of looking into the ark resulting in the death of over fifty thousand of them. (1 Samuel 6:19)

The men of Bethshemesh were too afraid to keep the ark with them so they sent down the road to Kirjathjearim, and it remained there for twenty years. (1 Samuel 7:2)

Saul brought the ark out once during another battle against the Philistines, and apparently it ended up in the land of Gibeah. (1 Samuel 14)

David mad a first attempt to bring the ark out of Gibeah, but they didn’t transport the ark the way that God had told them to back in Moses’ day, and instead put it on a cart. While they were on their way to Jerusalem, the ox stumbled and the cart wobbled, and Uzza reached back to steady the ark, and when he touched it he was instantly struck down dead by God.

In 1 Chronicles 15, we finally have the ark brought to its permanent place in the city of Jerusalem, and this was a great reason to rejoice.

The ark represented the presence of God, and it was a tremendous source of joy to have God’s presence with them in the City of Jerusalem. Later, Solomon would build a permanent structure, the Temple, to house the ark.

This was a big day in the history of Israel, and it was certainly appropriate for the people to take some time out of their schedules to rejoice and praise the Lord for bringing the ark to where it was supposed to be. There is a great lesson to be learned here for Christians today. God has given us many wonderful blessings, and we need to take some time out as well to praise and  thank him for his goodness, and to rejoice. Sometimes we get too busy looking for the next thing that we want God to do that we forget to praise Him for what He has already done. Let’s learn to take time out to rejoice and praise the Lord for His many wonderful blessings.

 


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Obededom – A Doorkeeper for the Lord

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Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 13 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 13 – 14; Psalms 51 – 55; Proverbs 11)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 48:1 & 2

Read the “0511 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “God’s Will – God’s Way”

So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite. And the ark of God remained with the family of Obededom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obededom, and all that he had.” – (1 Chronicles 13:13-14)

And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obededom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.” – (1 Chronicles 15:24)

For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” – (Psalm 84:10)

My thought this morning comes from chapters 13 and 15 from 1 Chronicles. If you have read those chapter you may have noticed the name Obededom, who was a Levite that housed the ark of the Lord for three months. The background to the story is complicated, but basically what had happened was that the ark of God had been taken in previous years by the Philistines in a battle they fought with Israel. The Philistines received the judgment of God because of it, so they returned it to Israel. For years the ark remained in Kirjath-jearim, but when David became king he wanted to bring the ark to Jerusalem. His first attempt to bring the ark back resulted in tragedy. David put the ark on a cart, which was not according to the commandment of God, as the ark was to be transported solely by the Levites, and was to be carried with staves (poles) on their shoulders. On this first attempt trip to bring the ark back on the cart, one of the drivers touched the ark in order to steady it, and the man (Uzza) was immediately struck down by God. Nobody was to touch the ark of God. This is where Obededom comes in. Apparently his home was nearby, and since he was a Levite David brought the ark to his house for storage until he could figure out what went wrong. The ark stayed with Obededom for several months, and God blessed the house of Obededom. When the ark was later moved the right way to Jerusalem, Obededom went with it and became a doorkeeper in the house of God.

Odededom was a faithful servant of the Lord who was willing to do whatever was necessary in order to serve his Lord. His job as a doorkeeper was certainly not a high visibility position. He wasn’t asked to speak to large crowds of people, and he was not in the spotlight; yet, he faithfully served his Lord. We need more men like Obededom; more doorkeepers. We need men and women who will be willing to serve the Lord, and be content with not receiving the accolades of men, but knowing also that their labor was not in vain as far as God was concerned. I appreciate the en an women at our church that do the things that people tend not to notice, but are very important and necessary for the cause of Christ to move forward.

Note – for more information on the ark of the covenant see Exodus 25 and Numbers 3. For more information on the taking of the ark by the Philistines see 1 Samuel 4 and 5.


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Double Heart

Double Heart

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 11 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 11 – 12; Psalms 46 – 50; Proverbs 10)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 47:1

Read the “0510 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “God Spotted Him First

“Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.” (1 Chronicles 12:33)

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8)

1 Chronicles 11 and 12 tell us about all of the brave and mighty men that recognized the call of God upon David, and followed him as he lead the people of God. In a previous post from this passage, I discussed the fact that it took a long time for the nation of Israel to realize that God’s hand was upon David. It actually took about twenty years from the time that Samuel anointed David to the time that the people anointed him as their king. However, there were some men from all of the tribes of Israel that God raised up to follow David, and these men were known as “David’s Mighty Men”. They were strong, brave, and well trained and equipped for the battles. They were also fiercely loyal to David, because they knew that David was God’s anointed.

1 Chronicles 12:33 contains an interesting description about the men of Zebulun that followed David. It says, “they were not of double heart”. That is a great phrase. It means that these men were not wishy-washy in what they believed and where they stood. They were completely committed to their cause. They loved and served David because they knew that he was the man ordained of God to lead the people, and they were not ashamed of him.

In this passage, David is a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Christians, we serve Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Our loyalties ought not be divided. We need to fully commit and surrender  to the Lord. Let’s not be double-hearted, or double-minded. Let us yield to Him completely, wholly. There are so many things in this world that lure our loyalty away from the Lord. We need to be more like these men of Zebulun, completely devoted to our King.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17)


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Too Big For His Britches

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 9 – 10 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 9 – 10; Psalm 41 – 45; Proverbs 9)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:6

Read the “0509 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “Who are the Nethinims?

“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.” – (1 Chronicles 10:13-14)

“And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?” – (1 Samuel 15:17)

In 1 Chronicles, chapter 10, God tells us about the death of King Saul and his sons. God also tells us here the reasons that He took His hand of protection and blessing from the life of Saul; and when we compare this passage to some of the other passages in 1 Samuel that reveal the events of Saul’s life and reign as king, the picture gets a little bit clearer. Saul simply became “too big for his britches”. You’ve heard that expression before, haven’t you? My grandmother used to say that about me when I was a young boy. It simply means that your opinion of yourself is greater than the reality.

King Saul started out very well. He was always insecure, but in the early days he was a very humble man. When chosen by God to be the king of Israel, Saul’s life was dramatically changed, and though he was head and shoulders above the rest, he did not see himself as anything special. He was right to think that way because he really wasn’t special, and neither are we. However, in these early years of his reign as king, Saul trusted in God. As time went on, however, Saul became concerned with the opinion polls, and he was especially nervous about a young man in his kingdom by the name of David that was gaining popularity. Saul’s insecurity and pride caused him to make a lot of decisions completely independent of God; and he eventually got to the point where he was doing everything he could just to hold on to his power and throne: everything except humble himself before God.

The story of Saul serves as a good example to all of us who are in God’s service. God chooses us to serve Him, not because of anything we have to offer him. We have no intrinsic value, but God chooses to use us for his glory. The danger comes when we start wanting to steal a little bit of that glory for ourselves. We get too big for our britches just like Saul did. It is really a vicious cycle: we start out humbling depending on God to use us; God begins to use us and bless us in tremendous ways; we then begin to subconsciously think that those blessings were due to our own merit; then we begin to openly display our pride; then God has to pull away those blessings; and finally we fall on our faces back to the place of humility again.

Would to God we could just stay humble, realizing ”it is God which worketh in[us] both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – (Philippians 2:13) God is the One who butters our bread, and we had better not forget it. Is God using you? – Praise God! But don’t get cocky, because God can pull away His hand of blessing from your life whenever He chooses.


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Valiant Men

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Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 7 – 8 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 7 – 8; Psalms 36 – 40; Proverbs 8)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:1 – 4

Read the “0508 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And the sons of Tola; Uzzi, and Rephaiah, and Jeriel, and Jahmai, and Jibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their father’s house, to wit, of Tola: they were valiant men of might in their generations; whose number was in the days of David two and twenty thousand and six hundred.” – (1 Chronicles 7:2)

1 Chronicles 7 contains the genealogies of several of the tribes of Israel, and lists many of the heads of the families that were alive when the Israelites were moving into the Promised Land during and after the time of Joshua. As you will recall, this land was full of the enemies of God’s people, and they all had to be removed from the land. In addition to the above verse, four times in this passage of Scripture the phrase “men of valour” is used to describe these men. I looked up the word “valour” in the dictionary, and it defines it as great courage in the face of danger. Some of the synonyms listed in the thesaurus for the word “valour” are bravery, courage, pluck, nerve, and fearlessness. I admire men who rise to the challenge and are willing to risk their lives for a greater cause than their own personal safety. God raised up these “men of valour” in Israel at a time when the people of God were facing incredible obstacles while claiming the inheritance that God had given them.

I remember the daring assault by the US Navy Seals in Pakistan which resulted in the removal of Usama bin Laden. These Seals are incredibly brave men, who are often asked to put their lives in great danger for the cause of liberty. I am very thankful for men who will lay their own safety on the line so that my family is kept safe. In a few weeks we will be observing Memorial Day. For many years this holiday meant little to me. For the most part it was a day for hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad; and a time to have barbecues or picnics with friends and family. But as I get older, and I look at my children and the opportunities they have here in this great nation, my mind is forced to think about the brave men and women who made it all possible for us. I would like to thank all of you who might be reading this thought this morning, who may have served our nation in the armed forces. You are truly men and women of valour.

As I was reflecting on my admiration of the men from this passage, and my appreciation for the men and women in America who keep us free, I was also challenged to consider what my contributions have been to make our country a better place. What sacrifices have I been willing to make so that life could be better for my family and neighbors? I want my life to make a difference as well. I don’t think that I will ever be called upon to go into a physical battle against some opposing army, but perhaps I can do some spiritual battle with the forces of darkness. I can also sacrifice some of my time, talent, and treasures to help people in a tangible way. Maybe there is something that you can do as well.


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The Levites – God’s Ministers

The Levites

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 5 – 6; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 25

Read the “0507 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Now these are their dwelling places throughout their castles in their coasts, of the sons of Aaron, of the families of the Kohathites: for theirs was the lot. And they gave them Hebron in the land of Judah, and the suburbs thereof round about it.” – (1 Chronicles 6:54-55)

In 1 Chronicles, chapter six, we have the genealogy, and the land distribution of the families of the Levites. Remember, the Levites were the folks ordained by God to minister for Him in the Tabernacle, and they were not given their own portion of land like the rest of the 11 tribes were. According to this chapter the Levitical families were given cities within the borders of each of the other tribes. This was no small number of cities either: they were given literally dozens of cities to live in. I often wondered why God didn’t just give them a region surrounding the place where the tabernacle (and later the temple) would rest. It would seem that it would be more convenient to live near where they primarily ministered. Perhaps the reason God set it up this way was because that the needs of the Levites were to be met by the other tribes. The other tribes supplied them with their food and other needs, and it was certainly more convenient for them to have some of the Levites nearby. Apparently the families of the Levites did not all have to report to the tabernacle every day, because the distance that some of them would have to travel would render that impossible. They must have taken turns travelling to the tabernacle to serve the Lord. It is also evident that the tabernacle was not in Jerusalem early on. The tabernacle started out in Gilgal, then was moved to Shiloh, and then to Nob. It was finally placed in Jerusalem by David; and then was replaced by Solomon’s Temple.

This portion of Scripture gives us a more accurate picture of what reality was for these servants of God. I always thought that the entire ministry team for the tabernacle was perhaps a few dozen people who all lived right outside the entrance. I never realized that it was a huge number of people (perhaps several hundred thousand). Think of the logistics of organizing this team of workers. Think of the planning required to make sure that all of their physical needs were met.

As our church grows in number, we will also have to expand our ability to administrate all of the people and logistics required to facilitate that growth. God will have to give us wisdom as to how to best accomplish this. However, we must be prepared to change the way we do things. Growth is a natural part of life. We are expected to grow; but along with numerical growth will also have to be an expansion of ability and administration so that the needs of the increasing numbers of people can be met. You can help, by asking God what he would have you do to help in this awesome task. I believe the reason that many churches stop growing is not because they are off in doctrine; not because they don’t love the Lord, or His people; but simply because they never expand their abilities in order to administrate a larger work. They are trying to run a large church in the same way they did when the church was small. Don’t misunderstand, many things should stay exactly the same; but unfortunately many things will by necessity have to change.


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His Name Is “Mudd”

His Name Is Mudd

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 1 – 2 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 1 – 2; Psalms 21 – 25; Proverbs 5)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

Read the “0505 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And the sons of Carmi; Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the thing accursed.” (1 Chronicles 2:7 )

I must be completely honest with you and tell you that it was a little bit challenging finding a thought to write about from today’s portion of Scripture. The first few chapters of 1 Chronicles contain some very necessary information regarding the genealogical record of Israel. Though this information is important, it can also be very tedious to wade through; but we must not skip over passages of Scripture such as these. If you are searching for a nugget of truth, God will always get one to you, even in passages like this. So hang in there. By the way, eventually 1 Chronicles will become a very exciting book to read.

My thought this morning comes from chapter 2 and verse 7. In the middle of the genealogical record, there is a comment made about one of the listed men, Achar. He is called here “the troubler of Israel”. The story behind this man can be found in Johsua 7. He is called Achan there; and we find that he is the man that stole some gold and silver and a “goodly Babylonish garment” from the city of Jericho during Israel’s invasion of that city. The problem was that God told the Israelites that they were not supposed to touch anything in that city, but Achan could not resist. As a result, God’s judgment fell upon the whole nation of Israel, and they lost the next military battle with many innocent men being killed in the battle. Later, when Achan’s sin was discovered, he and his family were all put to death. The bottom line to this whole story is that Achan was probably a good man who yielded to a temptation, and the result was death and sorrow for a lot of people, and a reputation that will follow him for all eternity. His name will forever be “Mud”.

I want to challenge all of us to consider for a moment our own reputation, and the affect that our reputation will have on our family members. I understand that none of us is without sin, and I am not trying to rub salt on old wounds; but I am trying to get us to carefully consider the affect that some future sin will have on our reputations. When people here your name in the future what will they say about you? Will they say that you were a moral, honest, hard-working individual; or will their be negative thoughts that surround your reputation? By the way, if your reputation is less than perfect today, you still have time to change it.

Interesting side note on the expression “his name is mud”. It seems to have become popular as a result of a doctor named Samuel Mudd (pictured above) who treated and helped John Wilkes Booth after he broke his leg jumping down from the balcony in the Ford’s Theater, after his assassination of President Lincoln. Mudd was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, though he was later parolled by President Andrew Johnson.


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They Cried to God in the Battle

They Cried To God In The Battle

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 3 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 3 – 4; Psalms 26 – 30; Proverbs 6)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 19

Read the “0506 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “The Prayer of Jabez

“And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him.” (1 Chronicles 5:20)

The beginning section of 1 Chronicles is the largest genealogical portion of Scripture in the Bible. As was stated yesterday, these genealogies are very important, albeit at times, they are not the most exciting passages to read. There are many nuggets of truth, however, nestled in the midst of these genealogies. In a previous post, we discussed the prayer of Jabez from 1 Chronicles 4:9 – 10. This morning I would like to focus on 1 Chronicles 5:18 – 22, which discusses the acquisition of land on the east side of the Jordan River by the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

Verse 18 tells us that these 44,000 men were brave and very skillful in their military ability; but apparently their numbers and their expertise were not enough to conquer the enemy. They needed God’s help. Notice in verse 20, the Bible tells that they were helped by God, because they put their trust in Him. We also know that it was God’s will for them to go to war against the Hagarites because “the war was of God” (v. 22).

I believe we can learn some things from this passage as we fight the Lord’s battles today”

First, we must be sure that we are fighting God’s battle (doing His will). If we are just working for ourselves, we cannot expect success.

Secondly, we must trust in the Lord to bring us the victory. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

Finally, I believe that we should work at sharpening our skills. These men of Israel were well equipped, and highly trained for the task, and I think that God’s people need to be equipped and trained today in order to serve the Lord effectively. Someone once said that we ought to work like it all depends on us, but we ought also to pray like it all depends on God.

These three tribes were able to drive out the wicked inhabitants of the land, and possess their dwellings all because they trusted in the Lord; and they remained there until the time of the captivity. Why did they eventually lose their land to the Assyrian army? Because they stopped trusting in God. We receive all of the blessings of life because of our dependence upon Him. Let’s not lose them by deciding to live life trusting in the flesh.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)


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What Have They Done?

tough-decisions-ahead

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 19 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

Second Milers also read – John 17 – 18; Psalms 61 – 65; Proverbs 13

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:6

Read the “0513 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from today’s passage in 1 Chronicles – “Get Busy” and “The Threshingfloor of Ornan

“And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it…. And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.” (1 Chronicles 21:1 – 2. 7)

“Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee: Either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.” (1 Chronicles 21:10 – 13)

“And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.” (1 Chronicles 21:17)

In our reading passage today from 1 Chronicles 21, we see that David made a very bad leadership decision to number the people of Israel. His purpose for doing this was to determine the strength of his army. God was very displeased with this decision because David was not supposed to trust in the strength of his numbers and the size of his military force; he was supposed to trust in God. David should have known better. He had already seen many miraculous victories wrought by God even when Israel was facing substantially superior forces. David should have known that it didn’t matter how many people he had on his side, because if God was with him, he had all that he needed.

David’s decision resulted in the deaths of 70,000 people. My thought from this is that the decisions made by leaders affect many people and therefore ought to be taken very seriously. David was even warned by Joab not to number the people, but he did it anyway. He yielded to Satan (v. 1), instead of listening to wise counsel and submitting to God. People who are given a position of leadership must not take their responsibility lightly. They need to make sure that every decision they make is according to the will of God. It would do leaders well to stop and pray before making any major decisions, and wait until they are sure that they have the mind of God.

You and I are all leaders in some respect. I lead a church, and a family. Nearly everybody will be called upon to lead others in some capacity. We need to be very careful about the decisions that we make. I have already made many bad decisions in my ministry that have hurt people, but I don’t want to hurt anybody else. I need to heed my own advice here and take very seriously my position, and very prayerfully make decisions that will be a blessing to the people I love and minister to.

By the way. If the decisions of our leaders are so important, and can affect our lives in such tangible ways, it would certainly be good for us to pray for our leaders, and encourage them to follow God in everything they do. We have many people that lead us in all areas of our lives. There are leaders in the family, in the church, and in our government. These folks will decide things that will either help us or hinder us, so we had better help them by praying for them, and supporting them as they follow the Lord.


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Who Were The Nethinims?

 

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 9 – 10 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 9 – 10; Psalms 41 – 45; Proverbs 9)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:6

Read the “0509 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read another post from this passage – “Too Big for His Britches

 “Now the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities were, the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims.” (1Chronicles 9:2)

I decided to do a little study on these people and I discovered that the Nethinims were a group of people that were actually slaves or servants to the Israelites. The Gibeonites were such a people (see Joshua 9). Apparently these folks were assigned to serve the Levites in the temple. These folks are mentioned by name several times; but only in two other books of the Bible: Ezra, and Nehemiah. It is apparent that the books of the Chronicles were actually written after the captivity years, and may have actually been written by Ezra. Nevertheless, it appears that these Nethenims existed as bondservants before the captivity, early in Israel’s history; and then chose to retain their position as servants in the temple when the Israelites returned to the land from Persia.

These Nethenims must have been a dedicated people to willingly be slaves to the God of Israel and servants to the Levites in His temple. I would like to be that kind of a servant. Not the guy with the robes on that is always in front of the people; but the guy who just loves and humbly serves the Lord; the Lord’s House; and the Lord’s people. Would to God we had more Nethenims today in our churches who are willing to work behind the scenes; people who are willing to quietly serve the Lord without the applause and honor of men.

 


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We Thank Thee, and Praise Thy Glorious Name

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 28 – 29 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 1 – 3Psalms 76 – 80Proverbs 16)

Scripture Memorization for May – Romans 10

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 92:1

Read a great article by Pastor Cary Schmidt – “Unbelieving Believers

Read the “0516 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “Preparing for the Next Generation

“Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.” (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)

“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. … O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.” (1 Chronicles 29:14, 16)

In our reading today, we see King David making all of the final preparations for the building of the temple and for the transition of power to his son, Solomon. David wanted to build the temple himself, but because of the blood that he had shed through the many battles he fought for Israel, God would not permit it. It was God’s will for Solomon to build the House of God. However, this did not stop David from doing everything he could to prepare for the construction. David prepared for it, planned it, and provided all of the materials and manpower that would be necessary for Solomon to finish it.

Notice, however, in the verses above, David’s prayer to God. Though David had been very busy doing the work necessary for the preparation of the Temple, he still gave all of the glory to the Lord, and did not attempt to steal any of the praise that was due to the Lord. David was willing and faithful to obey and serve the Lord, but in the end it was God who worked through David. Notice that David said that all of the materials that were given to build the temple had been given to them in the first place by the Lord.

Everything we have, we were given by the Lord. Everything we do, we do because the Lord has equipped us, and enabled us to do it. Everything we are, we are because of the Lord. He deserves all of the praise, honor, and glory. I often tell our church, when we mess up it’s our fault; but when we get things right, it is simply because we got out of God’s way, and let Him work through us.

“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” (Psalms 29:2)

“Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.” (Psalms 66:2)

“I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” (Isaiah 42:8)


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Many Members, Working Together as One Body

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 26 – 27 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 21,  Psalm 71 – 75Proverbs 15)

Scripture Memorization for May – Romans 10

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 89:1

Read a great article by Pastor Cary Schmidt – “Unbelieving Believers

Read the “0515 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Among these were the divisions of the porters, even among the chief men, having wards one against another, to minister in the house of the LORD. (1 Chronicles 26:12)

In today’s passage we see the list of countless names of people who labored behind the scenes in the temple, and in the kingdom during the reign of David. When we think of the temple, we think of Solomon primarily, because it was he whom God chose to assemble it; or we may think of David, because he was the one who made most of the preparations for it. However, we can see from these passages that there were literally thousands of people laboring behind the scenes that made the ministry that went on in the temple possible, as well as in the rest of the kingdom.

In a local church, we sometimes think that it is primarily the pastor who makes everything happen. While the office of the pastor is an important position, he is just one member of a body made up of many. He may be the most visible, but there are so many other people whose participation is necessary in order to accomplish the work of God. Our church is small in number, but even in a church our size, there are many people laboring, some completely behind the scenes, who are vital parts of the ministry. Think with me for a moment about all of the different duties that must be performed in order for our church to function as it should. There are soul winners who get the message of the gospel to the community; disciplers who mentor and instruct those who have trusted Christ; there are Sunday School teachers, ushers, greeters, audio/vidio people, choir members, song leaders, musicians, bus drivers and workers, maintenance people, and administrators. These people and the work that they do are all important to the cause of Christ.

Romans 12 talks about some of the gifts given to us by the Lord that are to be used by us in His service:

“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:4-8)

1 Corinthians 12 also instructs regarding the different members of the body, though many of the individual gifts spoken of in this chapter were sign gifts that were given to believers during the transitional period in the first century, and are no longer available today:

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

” For the body is not one member, but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:14)

“But now are they many members, yet but one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:20)

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

God has something to do for everyone in the local church. I was recently criticized for preaching too much about what we need to do for the Lord, but as I see it, there is a lot that needs to be done. Yes, it is God which works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure, but we still need to be submissive and obedient to His plan for our life. We often quote from Ephesians 2:8 & 9 regarding the fact that it is solely through the grace of God that we are saved, but the next verse teaches us that we are saved and equipped to work.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Christian, let me encourage you to find out what your unique gifts are, and also admonish you to use those gifts for the glory of the Lord Jesus, in the service of the local church.

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” (Philippians 1:27)


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Check With God First

Today’s Reading –  1 Chronicles 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 15 – 16;Psalms 56 – 60; Proverbs 12)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 51

Read the “0512 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains. Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee. And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,” – (1 Chronicles 17:1-3)

In our text this morning, in chapter 17, we read about King David’s desire to build a permanent temple for the Lord in Jerusalem. Up until this point the ark of the Lord, and the corporate worship of God by the nation of Israel took place in a tabernacle, which was basically a tent. The tabernacle was built during the time of the wilderness wanderings of Israel after God brought them out of Egypt. The tabernacle dwelt in Shiloh for a while, and then it was eventually moved to Jerusalem. David’s desire was to build the temple, and this was a good desire. His heart was right; he wanted to do something to please the Lord. He inquired with Nathan the prophet in order to find out if it was the will of God. Nathan thought that building the temple was a good idea too, so he told David to “Do all that is in thine heart”. However, we see that God had a different plan.

My thought this morning is that we ought to check with God first before we make big decisions. In our story Nathan gives David the green light for building without having asked God about it. Nathan never would have done this if what David was asking was a bad thing or even a questionable thing, but because it was a good thing, he didn’t feel the need to go to God. What happens? God has to go to him, and tell him to go back to David and tell him that he will not be building a temple for him. God did want a temple built eventually, but he didn’t want David to do it. Solomon, his son, would be the one to build the temple for the Lord.

The bottom line to my thought this morning is to challenge us to ask before we act. If you have a decision to make, and the thing that you want to do is not against the revealed will of God (the Bible), check with Him before you do it, just to be sure it is His perfect will. If after you ask Him He doesn’t stop you, then you can go ahead with your plan; but be willing to let Him close the door whenever He wishes. It has been my experience here at Jersey Shore Baptist Church, that I have gotten myself into more trouble because I have done “good” things that were not God’s perfect will.


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Valiant Men

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 7 – 8 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 7 – 8Psalms 36 – 40Proverbs 8)

Scripture Memorization for May – Romans 10

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 34

Read a great article by Pastor Pastor Cary Schmidt – “Stop Worrying

Read the “0508 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And the sons of Tola; Uzzi, and Rephaiah, and Jeriel, and Jahmai, and Jibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their father’s house, to wit, of Tola: they were valiant men of might in their generations; whose number was in the days of David two and twenty thousand and six hundred.” – (1 Chronicles 7:2)

1 Chronicles 7 contains the genealogies of several of the tribes of Israel, and lists many of the heads of the families that were alive when the Israelites were moving into the Promised Land during and after the time of Joshua. As you will recall, this land was full of the enemies of God’s people, and they all had to be removed from the land. In addition to the above verse, four times in this passage of Scripture the phrase “men of valour” is used to describe these men. I looked up the word “valour” in the dictionary, and it defines it as great courage in the face of danger. Some of the synonyms listed in the thesaurus for the word “valour” are bravery, courage, pluck, nerve, and fearlessness. I admire men who rise to the challenge and are willing to risk their lives for a greater cause than their own personal safety. God raised up these “men of valour” in Israel at a time when the people of God were facing incredible obstacles while claiming the inheritance that God had given them.

I remember the daring assault by the US Navy Seals in Pakistan which resulted in the removal of Usama bin Laden. These Seals are incredibly brave men, who are often asked to put their lives in great danger for the cause of liberty. I am very thankful for men who will lay their own safety on the line so that my family is kept safe. In a few weeks we will be observing Memorial Day. For many years this holiday meant little to me. For the most part it was a day for hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad; and a time to have barbecues or picnics with friends and family. But as I get older, and I look at my children and the opportunities they have here in this great nation, my mind is forced to think about the brave men and women who made it all possible for us. I would like to thank all of you who might be reading this thought this morning, who may have served our nation in the armed forces. You are truly men and women of valour.

As I was reflecting on my admiration of the men from this passage, and my appreciation for the men and women in America who keep us free, I was also challenged to consider what my contributions have been to make our country a better place. What sacrifices have I been willing to make so that life could be better for my family and neighbors? I want my life to make a difference as well. I don’t think that I will ever be called upon to go into a physical battle against some opposing army, but perhaps I can do some spiritual battle with the forces of darkness. I can also sacrifice some of my time, talent, and treasures to help people in a tangible way. Maybe there is something that you can do as well.


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His name is “Mudd”

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 1 – 2 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 1 – 2Psalms 21 – 25Proverbs 5)

Scripture Memorization for May – Romans 10

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 18:3 & 46

Read a great article by Pastor Pastor Cary Schmidt – “Stop Worrying

Read the “0505 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

I must be completely honest with you and tell you that it was a little bit challenging finding a thought to write about from today’s portion of Scripture. The first few chapters of 1 Chronicles contain some very necessary information regarding the genealogical record of Israel. Though this information is important, it can also be very tedious to wade through; but we must not skip over passages of Scripture such as these. If you are searching for a nugget of truth, God will always get one to you, even in passages like this. So hang in there. By the way, eventually 1 Chronicles will become a very exciting book to read.

My thought this morning comes from chapter 2 and verse 7. In the middle of the genealogical record, there is a comment made about one of the listed men, Achar. He is called here “the troubler of Israel”. The story behind this man can be found in Johsua 7. He is called Achan there; and we find that he is the man that stole some gold and silver and a “goodly Babylonish garment” from the city of Jericho during Israel’s invasion of that city. The problem was that God told the Israelites that they were not supposed to touch anything in that city, but Achan could not resist. As a result, God’s judgment fell upon the whole nation of Israel, and they lost the next military battle with many innocent men being killed in the battle. Later, when Achan’s sin was discovered, he and his family were all put to death. The bottom line to this whole story is that Achan was probably a good man who yielded to a temptation, and the result was death and sorrow for a lot of people, and a reputation that will follow him for all eternity. His name will forever be “Mud”.

I want to challenge all of us to consider for a moment our own reputation, and the affect that our reputation will have on our family members. I understand that none of us is without sin, and I am not trying to rub salt on old wounds; but I am trying to get us to carefully consider the affect that some future sin will have on our reputations. When people here your name in the future what will they say about you? Will they say that you were a moral, honest, hard-working individual; or will their be negative thoughts that surround your reputation? By the way, if your reputation is less than perfect today, you still have time to change it.

Interesting side note on the expression “his name is mud”. It seems to have become popular as a result of a doctor named Samuel Mudd (pictured above) who treated and helped John Wilkes Booth after he broke his leg jumping down from the balcony in the Ford’s Theater, after his assassination of President Lincoln. Mudd was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, though he was later parolled by President Andrew Johnson.


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Preparing for the Next Generation

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 28 – 29

Second Milers also read – Acts 1 – 3; Psalms 76 – 80; Proverbs 16

Scripture Memory for May – Psalm 51

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 51

“Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:” – (1 Chronicles 28:2)

In today’s passage in, 1 Chronicles, we see David making all of the preparations for the building of the temple in Jerusalem. David would not be the one who would assemble all of the pieces together and produce the final product, as that job would be given to his son, Solomon. But David did everything else. When Solomon took over as king he had everything that he needed in order to complete the project.

In these two chapters we have seen that David did the following in order to prepare for the building of the Temple:

1  He planned it. David supervised over the drawing of the blueprints for the Temple

“Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things: Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD.” – (1 Chronicles 28:11-13)

2  He provided for it.

David provided for all of the gold, silver, brass, wood, and other materials. Everything that was needed to build the temple was provided for by David. Solomon did not have to gather any of the building materials, they were all ready to go.

3  He prayed for it.

Notice David’s prayer for Solomon and the temple in 1 Chronicle 29:10 – 19.

I think the temple should be called David’s temple. He did all of the hard work. Solomon really had the easy part. Why should he get all of the credit?

I see in this passage a picture of what God wants us to do for future generations. We are to plan, provide, and pray for the generation that is following behind us. When they arrive, they can then build upon the foundation that we have laid. Too bad Solomon didn’t continue building after he built the temple. If you study Solomon’s life you will see that he will eventually start squandering all of the things that were handed to him. He will forsake many of the things his father fought and worked for to provide for him. What a shame. We need to remember to take the things that others have built for us, and preserve them; and then build upon them so that we can deliver them to the next generation.


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Working Behind the Scenes

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 26 – 27

Second Milers also read – John 21, Acts 1; Psalm 71 – 75; Proverbs 15

Scripture Memory for May – Psalm 51

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 48:1 & 2

In today’s passage we see the list of countless names of people who labored behind the scenes in the temple, and in the kingdom during the reign of David. When we think of the temple, we think of Solomon primarily, because it was he whom God chose to assemble it; or we may think of David, because he was the one who made most of the preparations for it. However, we can see from these passages that there were literally thousands of people laboring behind the scenes that made the ministry that went on in the temple possible, as well as in the rest of the kingdom.

The picture above is of my wife Cindy. She was working the visitor center during the “Are You Happy?” campaign last year. Her labor helped make that big day possible. There were many other people who labored that day as well. There people who greeted, and there were ushers. There were people who worked the sound booth, and people who controlled the screens in the front of the church. There were people who sang in the choir, and peple who played the instruments of music. There were people who passed out invitations all over town, and people who invited their friends and neighbors. There were people who cleaned the building, and people who made sure the grounds and parking lot were just right. These people all labored behind the scenes that day, and without their effort, none of it would have been possible. We may not notice all of the people who labor behind the scenes, but as we can see from this passage, God doesn’t forget them.


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The Hope of the Future

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 23 – 25

Second Milers also read – John 19 – 20; Psalms 66 – 70; Proverbs 14

Scripture Memory for May – Psalm 51

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 47:1

In today’s passage (and yesterday’s) we read about David making the preparations for the building of the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the worshipping of God in the temple.   If you will recall, David was forbidden of God to actually build the temple himself because God said that he was a man of war; and that he had shed much blood while delivering Israel from the hands of her enemies.  God said that Solomon, David’s son, would be the man that would build the temple as he would be a man of peace.  However, this did not prevent David from doing all that he could to help gather the materials, and to make the necessary preparations, so that Solomon would have all that he needed to fulfill God’s will for his life.

I have been saved now for twenty years.  I have learned that God will not allow me to do all of the things that I have dreamed of doing for Him; but that does not stop me from doing all that I can do to help pave the way for those that He will call later to fulfil His will (and some of my dreams).  I have a lot of dreams: I dream of seeing multitudes of people saved and serving God here in south Jersey.  I dream of seeing hundreds of young men and women being trained here to go forth throughout the world serving God.  I dream of planting dozens of churches here in our area.  I dream of running dozens of buses all over Atlantic County, picking up boys and girls and bringing them to the house of God.  It is in my heart to do all of these things; but God will very likely not allow me to do all that I dream of.  But maybe I can help train and prepare the next generation so that they can take what we have started and build upon it.  I have to be content with being just a part of the process.  I can maybe help give the next generation a strong foundation so that they can continue to do what I could not do.

How about you?  What are you doing today to help prepare for the next generation.  Sometimes people don’t want to be involved in the process at all if they personally can’t be there for the final product; or if they won’t receive the praise of men for the final product.  We need to forget about who gets the credit;  do all that God will allow us to do ourselves today; and then give and train and prepare so that the next generation will be able to finish what we have started and even do “greater works than these”.

We need to be concerned about the next generation. I am reminded of Hezekiah who was not at all disturbed when God told him that judgment would come in future generations, as long as things were going well in his day. I believe we have a great responsibility to provide for the next generation. I want to see those who follow behind me succeed, and to build upon the foundation that was laid by the folks who came before them.

One final note – 3 times in chapters 23 – 25, David mentions folks that would be positioned in the temple just to praise the Lord. It seems that David took his worship of God seriously. We need to make ure that the next generaltion of Christians will not be ashamed to lift up the Lord in praise.


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The Threshingfloor of Ornan

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 19 – 22

Second Milers also read – John 17 – 18; Psalms 61 – 65; Proverbs 13

Scripture Memory for May – Psalm 51

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:6

“Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” – (1 Chronicles 21:18)

In chapter 21 of 1 Chronicles we read of a very serious error in judgment made by David. This is as bad in God’s eyes as his adultery with Bathsheeba, and his murder of Uriah. What was this great sin? He numbered the people of Israel. You might be thinking to yourself, as I did, as to why God would be so upset about that. Because God didn’t want David trusting in the number of soldiers that he had in his army, He wanted David to trust in God. Even Joab knew better. In verse 2 he told David that God would multiply Israel’s strength against any army. There is a good lesson to be learned here for us today. We need to learn to trust God to take care of us. We live in a day when we want insurance for everything, and I am not against having insurance; but the greatest insurance policy we can have is our faith in God. God will always take care of those who place their trust in Him.

My main thought for today’s post, however, is the place where David set up the altar in order to appease God’s wrath for what he had done. God commanded David to purchase the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite and erect an altar there. This is the same piece of ground that Abraham was called to offer up his son, Isaac in Genesis 22. It is the same place where the temple would be built later by Solomon; and it is the same place that the Lord Jesus would be crucified. It is the place of sacrifice; it is the place where we can find forgiveness. David blew it. God’s judgment was warranted for the sin, but David found forgiveness at the place of sacrifice, and so can we.

Have you blown it also? Well you can lay that sin down at the foot of the cross and watch the precious blood of the Lord Jesus, our Sacrifice, wash the sin away completely. Praise the Lord for forgiveness. Praise the Lord for the place of sacrifice.


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God’s Will, God’s Way

 

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 13 – 15

(Second Milers also read – John 13 – 14; Psalms 51 – 55; Proverbs 11)

Scripture Memory for May – Psalm 51

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34

Read “Subversion of Marriage” by Pastor Paul Chappell

Read last years post from this passage – “Obededom – A Doorkeeper for the Lord”

“And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:” – (1 Chronicles 13:2)

“And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.” – (1 Chronicles 13:10)

A quick glance at 1 Chronicles 13 will leave the reader puzzled as to why God killed Uzza, and also as to why God stopped the transport of the ark to Jerusalem. Let’s carefully look at what took place in this passage and see if we can figure out how we can prevent this type of thing from happening in our lives and ministries.

First of all I want to say that David’s heart was right in wanting to bring the ark to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was going to be the place where God was going to build His temple through David’s son Solomon. Jerusalem was going to be the capitol city of the people of God. David wanted to do the right thing, and David wanted to be sure that the thing that he wanted was also the thing that God wanted. He said in v 2, “and that it be of the Lord our God”, meaning that he was careful to point out to the people that God had the right to close the door on this move. So, was it not God’s will to bring back the ark?. Did God close the door on the project by killing Uzza? I don’t think so. God removed His hand of blessing from the transport of the ark because David and the people of Israel were not doing it God’s way. The Bible had given clear instructions as to how the ark was to be transported. It was supposed to be carried on staves (poles); not on a cart pulled by oxen. What happened to Uzza was certainly unfortunate, but it could have been avoided had David and the leaders of Israel looked into the Word of God to see how this particular job was to be done.

In this passage, we see a threefold formula for fulfilling our purpose in life. First, God puts the desire in our hearts. The verse says, “if it seem good unto you”. I believe if God wants you to do something, He will put the desire in your heart to do it:

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – (Philippians 2:13)

“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” – (1 Timothy 3:1)

Secondly, we must determine that the thing we “desire” to do, or “seem good unto [us]”, is, in fact, the will of God. If it is, it will be in agreement with the Word of God, and will be reassured through prayer and godly counsel.

The third thing is that once we determine to that the thing we want to do is God’s will, we must do it God’s way. We need to search the Word of God and see what He says about the process of completing the task at hand. This is where I believe many churches and leaders are failing today. We are attempting to what God wants us to do, but we are not doing it His way. God’s will must be done, God’s way. I realize that everything that God wants us to do today, including every minute detail in the process will not be covered completely by the Word of God; but I believe the foundational principles contained in the Bible, coupled with the leadership of the Holy Spirit, will guide us through the process.


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God Spotted Him First

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 11 – 12

Second Milers also read – John 11 – 12; Psalms 46 – 50; Proverbs 10

“Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel. Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel.” – (1 Chronicles 11:1-3)

In this morning’s passage we see the people of Israel anointing David to be their king. You may remember that God had already anointed David to be king over Israel 20 years prior, through the prophet Samuel, back in 1 Samuel 16:13. When God had chosen David he was still a very young man. God knew what David would be, but it took a long time for the people to recognize the hand of God upon David. Don’t quote me on this, but I am pretty sure twenty years had transpired from the time that God anointed him until the time that people made him their king. During those years a lot of things took place. First, we will see that God became fed up with the first king of Israel, Saul. Saul was a great choice for the first king. He was head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd, but he was initially a very humble man. He trusted in the Lord, and he did what God told him to do. But as the years went on, he became very insecure, especially when it cane to David. For many years he spent all of his energy, and the resources of Israel, trying to put David to death. Somewhere along the way Saul stopped doing things God’s way, and started calling his own shots. However, even though God recognized that Saul was no longer the man for the job, it took the people many years to see it for themselves.

God may be calling you to do something for him as well, but don’t be surprised if it takes a while for other people to recognize God’s calling on you. I remember that shortly after I was saved I went forward at an invitation at Ocean County Baptist Church. The preacher that night was a visiting missionary. He asked us that night, “If God were to call you to do something, would you do it?” To me that was a “no brainer” I remember thinking to myself that if I knew for sure that God wanted me to do something I would obey the call. I went forward. I thought there would be a hundred people alongside of me, but to my surprise, when I got up, there was only one other man that was standing with me. I had no idea at that moment what God was going to do with my life, but I was willing to let Him use me. I knew at that moment that God was calling me, but it took many years for all of the people around me to see it for themselves.

I have concluded that God’s anointing is really a two-fold process. The first step is when God lets you know that He wants to do something with you, and the next step is when the people in your local church recognize the genuineness of that call, and put their stamp of approval on you as well.


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Too Big For His Britches

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 9 – 10

Second Milers also read – John 9 – 10; Psalms 41 – 45; Proverbs 9

Scripture Memory for May – Psalm 51

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 19

Read last year’s post from this passage – “Nethinims”

“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.” – (1 Chronicles 10:13-14)

“And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?” – (1 Samuel 15:17)

In 1 Chronicles, chapter 10, God tells us about the death of King Saul and his sons. God tells us in this passage the reasons that He took His hand of protection and blessing from the life of Saul; and when we compare this passage to some of the other passages in 1 Samuel that reveal the events of Saul’s life and reign as king, the picture gets a little bit clearer. Saul simply became “too big for his britches”. You’ve heard that expression before, haven’t you. My grandmother used to say that about me when I was a young boy. It simply means that your opinion of yourself is greater than reality.

King Saul started out very well. He was always insecure, but in the early days he was a very humble man. When chosen by God to be the king of Israel, Saul’s life was dramatically changed, and though he was head and shoulders above the rest, he did not see himself as anything special. He was right to think that way because he really wasn’t special, and neither are we. However, in these early years of his reign as king, Saul trusted in God. As time went on, however, Saul became concerned with the opinion polls, and he was especially nervous about a young man in his kingdom by the name of David that was gaining popularity. Saul’s insecurity and pride caused him to make a lot of decisions completely independent of God; and he eventually got to the point where he was doing everything he could just to hold on to his power and throne: everything except humble himself before God.

The story of Saul serves a good example to all of us who are in God’s service. God chooses us to serve Him, not because of anything we have to offer him. We have no intrinsic value, but God chooses to use us for his glory. The danger comes when we start wanting to steal a little bit of that glory for ourselves. We get too big for our britches just like Saul did. It is really a vicious cycle: we start out humbling depending on God to use us; God begins to use us and bless us in tremendous ways; we then begin to subconsciously think that those blessings were due to our own merit; then we begin to openly display our pride; then God has to pull away those blessings; and finally we fall on our faces back to the place of humility again.

Would to God we could just stay humble, realizing “it is God which worketh in[us] both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – (Philippians 2:13) God is the One who butters our bread, and we had better not forget it. Is God using you? – Praise God! But don’t get cocky, because God can pull away His hand of blessing from your life whenever He chooses.


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Valiant Men of Might

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 7 – 8

Second Milers also read – John 7 – 8; Psalms 36 – 40; Proverbs 8

Scripture Memory for May – Psalm 51

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

Watch “How To Help People Who Don’t Want To Be Helped” by Pastor Paul Chappell

“And the sons of Tola; Uzzi, and Rephaiah, and Jeriel, and Jahmai, and Jibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their father’s house, to wit, of Tola: they were valiant men of might in their generations; whose number was in the days of David two and twenty thousand and six hundred.” – (1 Chronicles 7:2)

1 Chronicles 7 contains the genealogies of several of the tribes of Israel, and lists many of the heads of the families that were alive when the Israelites were moving into the Promised Land during and after the time of Joshua. As you will recall, this land was full of the enemies of God’s people, and they all had to be removed from the land. In addition to the above verse, four times in this passage of Scripture the phrase “men of valour” is used to describe these men. I looked up the word “valour” in the dictionary, and it defines it as great courage in the face of danger. Some of the synonyms listed in the thesaurus for the word “valour” are bravery, courage, pluck, nerve, and fearlessness. I admire men who rise to the challenge and are willing to risk their lives for a greater cause than their own personal safety. God raised up these “men of valour” in Israel at a time when the people of God were facing incredible obstacles while claiming the inheritance that God had given them.

I remember last year the daring assault by the US Navy Seals in Pakistan which resulted in the removal of Usama bin Laden. These Seals are incredibly brave men, who are often asked to put their lives in great danger for the cause of liberty. I am very thankful for men who will lay their own safety on the line so that my family is kept safe. In a few weeks we will be observing Memorial Day. For many years this holiday meant little to me. For the most part it was a day for hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad; and a time to have barbecues or picnics with friends and family. But as I get older, and I look at my children and the opportunities they have here in this great nation, my mind is forced to think about the brave men and women who made it all possible for us. I would like to thank all of you who might be reading this thought this morning, who may have served our nation in the armed forces. You are truly men and women of valour.

As I was reflecting on my admiration of the men from this passage, and my appreciation for the men and women in America who keep us free, I was also challenged to consider what my contributions have been to make our country a better place. What sacrifices have I been willing to make so that life could be better for my family and neighbors? I want my life to make a difference as well. I don’t think that I will ever be called upon to go into a physical battle against some opposing army, but perhaps I can do some spiritual battle with the forces of darkness. I can also sacrifice some of my time, talent, and treasures to help people in a tangible way. Maybe there is something that you can do as well.


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The Prayer of Jabez

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 3 – 5

Second Milers also read – John 3 – 4; Psalms 26 – 30; Proverbs 6

“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”. (1Chronicles 4:10)

I have got to admit that these first few chapters of 1 Chronicles are not my favorite portions of Scripture to read.  Oh, don’t misunderstand, these genealogical passages are very important, and God has good reason to include them in the Bible; but they don’t make for very interesting reading.  However, nestled in the midst of this rather dry recollection of families and names is a prayer request made by a man named Jabez.  Now we don’t know anything about this man except for this prayer which is recorded here; but we also know that God granted him that which he requested.  Let’s take a look at the prayer:

1  He prayed that God would prosper him.  He depended on God for that prosperity.  He recognized that God was the source of all blessing.  His prayer required a great deal of faith which we know is pleasing to God.

2  He prayed for protection.  Again, he knew that anything could happen to him; but he also knew that nothing could happen to him without God’s permission.  He asked God to put an hedge of protection about him.

3  He prayed for peace of mind (happiness).  Not every situation we face in life will be pleasant to us; but God’s people should be a very happy people.  We have a lot to be happy about.

I have often thought that this prayer was selfish.  He didn’t pray for others; he didn’t pray for the glory of God; he didn’t pray for the salvation of the world; he prayed for himself; yet God answered him.  Maybe God likes it when we come to him in childlike faith.  I guess God enjoys blessing us.  Don’t misunderstand, I don’t think that God appreciates a spoiled brat, always begging for things they want; and always griping about what they don’t get; but I bet He enjoys blessing us.  I know I enjoy doing things for my kids, just because I love them.  Maybe, we should try praying a prayer like Jabez.


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I Wonder Why They Call It “Solomon’s Temple”

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 28 – 29; Proverbs 16

(Second Milers also read – Acts 1 – 3; Memorize – Proverbs 10:19)

“Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:” – (1 Chronicles 28:2)

In today’s passage in, 1 Chronicles, we see David making all of the preparations for the building of the temple in Jerusalem. David would not be the one who would assemble all of the pieces together and produce the final product, as that job would be given to his son, Solomon. But David did everything else. When Solomon took over as king he had everything that he needed in order to complete the project.

In these two chapters we have seen that David did the following in order to prepare for the building of the Temple:

1  He planned it. David supervised over the drawing of the blueprints for the Temple

“Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things: Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD.” – (1 Chronicles 28:11-13)

2  He provided for it.

David provided for all of the gold, silver, brass, wood, and other materials. Everything that was needed to build the temple was provided for by David. Solomon did not have to gather any of the building materials, they were all ready to go.

3  He prayed for it.

Notice David’s prayer for Solomon and the temple in 1 Chronicle 29:10 – 19.

I think the temple should be called David’s temple. He did all of the hard work. Solomon really had the easy part. Why should he get all of the credit.

I see in this passage a picture of what God wants us to do for future generations. We are to plan, provide, and pray for the generation that is following behind us. When they arrive, they can then build upon the foundation that we have laid. Too bad Solomon didn’t continue building after he built the temple. If you study Solomon’s life you will see that he will eventually start squandering all of the things that were handed to him. He will forsake many of the things his father fought and worked for to provide for him. What a shame. We need to remember to take the things that others have built for us, and preserve them; and then build upon them so that we can deliver them to the next generation.


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Making Provision for the Next Generation

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 23 – 25; Proverbs 14

(Second Milers also read – John 19 – 20; Memorize James 3:5)

In today’s passage (and yesterday’s) we read about David making the preparations for the building of the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the worshipping of God in the temple.   If you will recall, David was forbidden of God to actually build the temple himself because God said that he was a man of war; and that he had shed much blood while delivering Israel from the hands of her enemies.  God said that Solomon, David’s son, would be the man that would build the temple as he would be a man of peace.  However, this did not prevent David from doing all that he could to help gather the materials, and to make the necessary preparations, so that Solomon would have all that he needed to fulfill God’s will for his life.

I have been saved now for twenty years.  I have learned that God will not allow me to do all of the things that I have dreamed of doing for Him; but that does not stop me from doing all that I can do to help pave the way for those that he will call later to fulfil His will(and some of my dreams).  I have a lot of dreams: I dream of seeing multitudes of people saved and serving God here in south Jersey.  I dream of seeing hundreds of young men and women being trained here to go forth throughout the world serving God.  I dream of planting dozens of churches here in our area.  I dream of running dozens of buses all over Atlantic County, picking up boys and girls and bringing them to the house of God.  It is in my heart to do all of these things; but God will very likely not allow me to do all that I dream of.  But maybe I can help train and prepare the next generation so that they can take what we have started and build upon it.  I have to be content with being just a part of the process.  I can maybe help give the next generation a strong foundation so that they can continue to do what I could not do.

How about you?  What are you doing today to help prepare for the next generation.  Sometimes people don’t want to be involved in the process at all if they personally can’t be there for the final product; or if they won’t receive the praise of men for the final product.  We need to forget about who gets the credit;  do all that God will allow us to do ourselves today; and then give and train and prepare so that the next generation will be able to finish what we have started and even do “greater works than these”.

We need to be concerned about the next generation. I am reminded of Hezekiah who was not at all disturbed when God told him that judgment would come in future generations, as long as things were going well in his day. I believe we have a great responsibility to provide for the next generation. I want to see those who follow behind me succeed, and to build upon the foundation that was laid by the folks who came before them.

One final note – 3 times in chapters 23 – 25, David mentions folks that would be positioned in the temple just to praise the Lord. It seems that David took his worship of God seriously. We need to make ure that the next generaltion of Christians will not be ashamed to lift up the Lord in praise.


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The Place of Sacrifice

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 19 – 22; Proverbs 13

(Second Milers also read – John 17 – 18; Memorize James 3:5)

“Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” – (1 Chronicles 21:18)

In chapter 21 of 1 Chronicles we read of a very serious error in judgment made by David. This is as bad in God’s eyes as David’s adultery with Bathsheeba, and his murder of Uriah. What was this great sin? He numbered the people of Israel. You might be thinking to yourself, as I did, as to why God would be so upset about that. Because God didn’t want David trusting in the number of soldiers that he had in his army, He wanted David to trust in God. Even Joab knew better. In verse 2 he told David that God would multiply Israel’s strength against any army. There is a good lesson to be learned here for us today. We need to learn to trust God to take care of us. We live in a day when we want insurance for everything, and I am not against having insurance; but the greatest insurance policy we can have is our faith in God. God will always take care of those who place their trust in Him.

My main thought for today’s post, however, is the place where David set up the altar in order tp appease God’s wrath for what he had done. God commanded David to purchase the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite and erect an altar there. This is the same piece of ground that Abraham was called to offer up his son, Isaac in Genesis 22. It is the same place where the temple would be built later by Solomon; and it is the same place that the Lord Jesus would be crucified. It is the place of sacrifice; it is the place where we can find forgiveness. David blew it. God’s judgment was warranted for the sin, but David found forgiveness at the place of sacrifice, and so can we.

Have you blown it also? Well you can lay that sin down at the foot of the cross and watch the precious blood of the Lord Jesus, our Sacrifice, wash the sin away completely. Praise the Lord for forgiveness. Praise the Lord for the place of sacrifice.


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