No Such Thing As Luck … by Amanda Olive

Today’s Reading – Esther 6 – 10 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 2 Corinthians 9 – 13Psalms 16 – 20Proverbs 4)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 25

Read the “0604 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

When I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior, like so many, everything in my life changed. I looked back at my life before and could see God’s hand in every little thing and every big thing. I realized that luck or chance wasn’t a thing. Reading these verses, I can’t help but think God put the book of Esther in the Bible to remind us that God is in total control of everything. There is no such thing as luck. Esther wasn’t lucky to be queen; God made her to be queen for His purpose. Mordecai wasn’t lucky to have overheard the assassination plot; God put him in that spot at that moment for His purpose. It wasn’t luck or by chance that put Haman in the courts at that moment, God knew what He was doing. It wasn’t luck that dropped Esther to her knees to plead for her people, God used her greatly for His purpose. And it was definitely not luck that saved God’s chosen people. God exalted the Jews and Mordeceai, not by luck, but for His good. God knew exactly what he was doing.

As Christians, we must always know that we are not lucky; God is in control. God most definitely sees what is going on in this world right now. His people must stand firm; we need not to worry or be anxious. Pray for God to show you how you can be an Esther or Mordecai in these times. Go to scripture and be reminded that God is in control.


“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed: for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee: yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” ​(Isaiah 41:10)

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” ​(Psalm 46:1)

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

“In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall i fear? the Lord is the strength of my life;of whom shall i be afraid?” ​(Psalm 27:1)

“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not I am the First and the Last.” (Revelation 1:17)

We as Christians are blessed to know the end of the story. God wants us to be brave like Esther and Mordecai. Step in faith and get the gospel to all the lost that dont know that God is in control. There is no such thing as luck.

The Olive Family

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For Such a Time as This … by Hannah Erickson

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

(Second Milers Read – 2 Corinthians 5 – 8Psalms 11 – 15Proverbs 3)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 19

Read the “0603 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from this passage – It’s a God Thing; and “Obsession.”

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, [then] shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for [such] a time as this? Then Esther bade [them] return Mordecai [this answer], Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which [is] not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:14-16)

“For such a time as this” – I’ve heard that phrase get thrown around my entire life, I’ve heard messages preached on it and lessons taught and I’m sure you have too. It has almost become a cliché phrase, but I think now more than ever it is something we need to be reminded of. 

God did not make Esther queen so that she could live large and be waited on hand and foot. God had a purpose for her to stand up for His people. Mordecai had to remind Esther of her purpose and encourage Esther to be bold for the sake of her people. Esther would have to go before the King and risk her life to stand up for what was right. I’m sure Esther was terrified. I know that I would be, and I honestly don’t know if I would be able to do what Esther did. Esther set her fears aside and risked her life because she was created “for such a time as this.” 

The world is becoming crazier and crazier, there seems to be something new happening every day. As Christians, we need to be bold like Esther and take a stand. God has placed us where we are for a specific purpose. Think about what would have happened if Esther had gotten caught up in the royalty and lost her purpose. We can’t get caught up in the things happening in the world and lose focus on what really matters. Just like Esther we need to be bold and take a stand “for such a time as this”

Sami, Melissa, and Hannah

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He said WHAT!? – The Saturday Morning Post

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

(Second Milers Read – 1 Corinthians 5 – 8; Psalms 141 – 145; Proverbs 30)

Read the “0530 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

Good morning. There is an old saying from World War II: “Loose lips sink ships!” Another saying, which we ignore as adults, may be something we learned from our parents: “If you can’t say anything good about someone, don’t say anything at all.” I guess that’s why I’m the quiet type! Many church people like to hear the latest “dirt” about someone else. Some take the scorner’s route, trying to destroy ministries. Loose lips may sing ships, but God’s will is going to be done. It is hard for you to kick against the pricks, so you become a scorner, and a gossiper. I like my wife’s way of looking at gossipers: “If someone says such and such about another person, WHAT DO THEY SAY ABOUT YOU WHEN YOU’RE NOT AROUND?

In Nehemiah chapter 4, we have Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the Ammonite, talking trash about the work of God rebuilding Jerusalem…

“But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.” (Nehemiah 4:1-3)

But what they did not know is that Nehemiah was praying…

“Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders. So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.” (Nehemiah 4:4-6)

And then the scorning and gossip turned to sin in action, but God told Nehemiah what to do…

“But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.” (Nehemiah 4:7-9)

And here is what you should do…

1) If someone talks bad about you, and it’s made known to you, immediately pray for that person.

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” (Matthew 5:43-46)

2) If someone talks bad about someone else to you, just tell them that they must have a problem with that person, let’s go and talk to them. They are not going to like that idea, but they will either go with you to make things right, or go look for someone else who will listen to the trash.

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” (Matthew 18:15-17)

The work of God is going to go on with or without you. And the work would flow much smoother without the gossip, and scorning. If you have gossiped or scorned, take it to the Lord, and get back in the race.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)

Peace!


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Let the Work of this House Alone … by Wesley Clayton

Today’s Reading – Ezra 3 – 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Romans 13 – 16Psalms 131 – 135Proverbs 28)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 Timothy 1:17

Read the “0528 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from today’s passage – “Leave Them Alone” and “Stop Living in the Past

With so many parallels to what is going on today in these chapters it is hard not to mention anything political and I will do my best not to, and let you draw your own conclusions.  We start out in chapter 3 with a very serious problem; the children of Israel do not have a temple. We find out later what happened to the temple: 

 But after that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Babylon.”  (Ezra 5:12)

They continue doing everything they can to worship, keeping the feast, doing offerings, “but still the foundation of the temple of the Lord was no yet laid.”  No matter the circumstances we may find ourselves in, keep doing what you can. If nothing else, you have the word of God in your heart (at least you should). Share it.  Finally, they decided to start building in chapter 3:9; people started rejoicing, praising and giving thanks unto the Lord, and some wept. Now I am not entirely sure why some wept with a loud voice in verse 12. It could have been for joy, but it also could have been because they did not like it.  Can we all agree on something, even as Christians we are all different, and we all have different preferences. Let us not be the ones who are bashing or talking bad about our Pastor, Sunday School Teacher, Song Leader, whoever it may be, just because they are doing something that does not match our preferences (yes I am talking specifically to myself).  We need to be the ones holding up the arms of those making decisions, praying for them, and trusting that they are getting their directions from God to make those decisions.  

In Chapter 4, we are introduced to some adversaries who try slithering their way into the building party, no doubt to cause destruction.  Without hesitation or reservation, Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers kicked them out.  We are in very trying times as a church, the devil and his fallen followers are working harder than ever, and when you try to do something for the Lord, they will attack just as we see here.  The Bible tells us repeatedly, do not be afraid, do not fear, be strong and of good courage, we must not forget the gates of hell will not prevail against the church:

   Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”  (Romans 16:17 – 18)

Of course the adversaries did not like that so they went further in their plan to “weaken the hands of the people of Judah and troubled them in building.”  They wrote a letter to Artaxerxes describing how the building of the temple would hinder his kingdom and it worked for a little while. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 tells us there is a time for everything and we must trust in God’s timing, so many times we mess things up trying to go on our timeline when God already has it planned out perfectly.  They begin to build again, and again the trouble began, only this time there was a new king, Darius.  The Governor wrote another nasty letter, but this time the children of Israel reminded the new king about a decree that king Cyrus had made saying to not only build the temple but that the king was actually going to help them get it built.  Not only did Darius honor this decree, but also made another decree saying, the people who were hindering were now going to pay the builders and anyone who tried to stop the building of the temple would hang.  I know they suffered, I know there hearts were broke, but by following God and allowing God to control things, I think we would all agree that it worked out way better.  

Wes, Melissa, Amelia, and Barrett

 


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Do Right … by Pastor Corey Woolner

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 34 – 36 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Romans 5 – 8Psalms 120 – 125Proverbs 26)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Ephesians 4:32

Read the “0526 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.” (2 Chronicles 34:1-2)

Hello everyone! 

I’m honored Pastor Erickson asked me to do this. We are good friends and I greatly appreciate his friendship and love for the Lord. I hope this can be a blessing to someone today! 

When we read through I & II Kings and I & II Chronicles, it seems like we often read about how certain people did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, while others did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. I always enjoy reading about when a king did right in the sight of the Lord, even if his father and grandfather were known for evil. This shows us that even if previous generations did not serve the Lord and do right, that doesn’t have to define the following generation. Even if people in your family chose not to  live for God, YOU CAN change that. Every person has to decide for themselves to do right and to serve the Lord, regardless of what others have done. 

Here in our passage, beginning in II Chronicles 34, we see Josiah becoming king at eight years old. That’s scary! The Bible tells us Josiah made a good decision at a young age, by seeking after God. 

Plain and simple thought here today: Josiah did right. He chose to do that which is right in the eyes of God. There is something to be said for just doing right. At our church last night, I preached about doing right, and staying away from sin. We briefly looked at the life of Daniel, who had purposed in his heart to do right by God. Although he was in a different land, with different people, he was controlled by his convictions and his character. He chose to do right.

We have too many people doing things that grieve the Spirit of our God. There are too many making excuses on why they can’t do right and please the Lord. As Christians, we should have a burning desire to do right by our God. Dump the excuses!

There is never a good time to sin or to do wrong. All the time, do right; and do right, all the time. 

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭2:19‬ ‬‬

Corey and Samantha Woolner
Corey is the pastor of Delaware County Baptist Church in Havertown, PA

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What AREEEEEEEEEEEE Ya Doin’? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 25 – 28 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 22 – 24; Psalms 111 – 115; Proverbs 23)

Read the “0523 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Amaziah was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.” (2Chronicles 25:1-2)

“Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.” (2 Chronicles 26:3-4)

“Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly.” (2Chronicles 27:1-2)

“Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father: For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.” (2Chronicles 28:1-2)

Good morning. In todays readings we have four kings, from four chapters, with four lessons to learn. Our first king, in 2Chronicles 25, did that which was right in the sight of the LORD. After God gave him victory over the Edomites…

“Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them. Wherefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why hast thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand?” (2Chronicles 14-15)

“Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there.” (2Chronicles 25:27)

The lesson we should learn here is to give God the glory…

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

What are you doing? Uzziah, our second king, 2Chronicles 26, did that which is right in the sight of the Lord according to all that his father Amaziah did. He reined as king for 52 years…

“And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.” (2Chronicles 26:5)

He thought he was above God’s law, and went into the temple to burn incense like the priests, but they stopped him. And Uzziah became angry with the man of God…

“Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.” (2Chronicles 19-21)

Uzziah may have thought it was a good thing to burn incense before the Lord, but God assigned that duty to the sons of Aaron. The lesson he should have know from Israel’s first king, king Saul, is that obedience is better than sacrifice…

“And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (1Samuel 15:20-23)

What are you doing? Look at 2Chronicles chapter 27 as we see the history of Jotham, son of Uzziah…

“And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly.” (2Chronicles 27:2)

There may be a little something to ‘Lifestyle Evangelism’. Verse 6 says…

“So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.” (2Chronicles 27:6)

Jotham may have had a personal relationship with God, but verse 2 tells us that he never went to church, and the people were still corrupt. May be if the people saw their king going to church, they would have followed. Others are watching us. To walk the walk and not talk is wrong. You need to walk the walk and talk the talk, and your walk should match your talk…

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25)

The lesson he should have learned for the sake of his people was that we should not forsake the assembling together of ourselves. What are you doing? Our fourth king, of 2Chronicles 28, did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD: he did not walk with God. He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. King Ahaz…

“For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.” (2Chronicles 28:2-4)

“And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem. And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers.” (2Chronicles 22-25)

When he died, they buried him in Jerusalem, but not with the other kings. The lesson king Ahaz should have learned: salvation is of the Lord.

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Issiah 45:22)

The Word of God says we are all sinners…

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…[and] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:10 & 23)

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

We see what Ahaz aught to have done. What are you doing?

Peace.


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“Besides” … by the Real Travis Clark

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 18 – 20 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 16 – 18Psalms 101 – 105Proverbs 21)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 27:15

Read the “0521 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from today’s passage – “Keep Your Eyes on the Lord.”

“Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king’s hand. But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?” (2 Chronicles 18:5-6)

A couple of weeks ago I preached the longest message I have ever preached. The portion of scripture was 2 Chronicles 20, and now I am writing a devotion on chapters 18, 19, and 20. I’m going to just touch on chapter 18:

Here in 2 Chronicles 18, we have Jehoshaphat making an alliance with Ahab, which is kind of odd, and really a whole separate devotion in, and of itself. Ahab was wicked, and Jehoshaphat was good. I believe Jehoshaphat allied with Ahab to try to bring him back to the Lord. Verse 3 states: “And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-gilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.” Jehoshaphat said he would go, but he said first we need to see what God has to say about it. Ahab agreed. Jehoshaphat asked 400 prophets and they all said, “go, God is with you.” You would think that would of been enough for Jehoshaphat. If four hundred prophets said God is going to give you victory, you would think that would be the “green light” that Jehoshaphat needed. My response, if I was Jehoshaphat, would have been, “great – let’s win this battle in the name of the Lord!” Jehoshaphat had a different response here in 2 Chronicles 18:6: “But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him?” The key word that stuck out to me was “besides.” Jehoshaphat had 400 hundred people in agreement of what God wanted. Most of the people who are reading this are Baptists, and we know it’s hard to get 4 preachers to agree on what God wants let alone 400. Here Jehoshaphat wasn’t concerned about what the people may have agreed upon. He ultimately wanted what God wanted.

Then another prophet, named Micaiah, comes in. In verse 16 Micaiah says: “…I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace.” The thought would be this: The conclusion of 400 out of 401 prophets wasn’t enough. The agreement of 99.7% of the prophets saying God would bless wasn’t enough. What is “enough” for you to claim that it is of the Lord?

I love counsel. Proverbs 11:14 says this: “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” I’m for Counsel. When I make big decisions in my life there are people I go to for counsel; Pastor Erickson being one of them. I heed their counsel, but that is not the say all to where I formulate my answer. Proverbs 25:2 says: “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” We need to search out each matter. You may have gotten counsel, but have you prayed? You may have prayed, but have you fasted? You may have fasted, but have you searched the Scriptures?

When Jacob stole the blessing from Essau, Jacob made Isaac think he was Esau in every area except one; Jacob’s voice didn’t match Esau’s. Genesis 27:22 states, “And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” Issac still blessed Jacob. If Issac would have questioned Jacob’s voice, he may have realized it wasn’t Esau. What decision are you making that checks all the boxes? Is there something “besides” that God may want us to search out? Let’s make sure we look into the “besides. Our spiritual life may depend on it. 

 

Travis, Chaniece, and Ember Clark.
Travis is an assistant pastor at First Baptist Church in Caldwell, NJ.

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Clear the Land … by Chaniece Clark

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 13 – 17 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 13 – 15Psalms 96 – 100Proverbs 20)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 3:5 & 6

Read the “0520 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from this passage – Asa – He Started Well But Finished Poorly“;  “Don’t Shoot the Messenger”; and “Trust in the Lord”

“And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD. And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.” (2 Chronicles 15:8-9)

I’m sure Asa had thoughts in the back of his mind of how the people would react to him removing the altars of the idols and renewing the altar of God. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 15:8, “…he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land…” We’ve seen it before. The people of Asa’s day could have had an uproar just as the people did when Gideon tore down the idols of his day in the Book of Judges. Yet, Asa, without hesitation, took upon himself to redirect the people’s hearts back to God. But in this chapter, we see a different outcome. Asa’s bold move proved to impress all he ruled over, for verse 9 states that the people, “fell to him out of Israel in abundance…” Why did the people suddenly fall into submission of their king’s sudden changes? The end of verse 9 gives the answer, “when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.”

That poses the question I want to bring forth. Who wants to follow God because of our relationship with him? The people did not just begin to believe God. The Bible says in verse 12, “And they entered into a covenant to seek the God of their fathers with all their heart and all their soul;” Are others not just believing in God, but are they wanting to fall into complete submission to our God because they see him all over us? In what ways are we trying to “clear the land” of our lives from idols so that we are strong leaders for the Lord?

Travis, Chaniece, and Ember Clark

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A True Report … by Paul Meyer

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 9 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 10 – 12Psalms 91 – 95Proverbs 19)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 121

Read the “0519 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – No Longer Happy

“And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom:” (2 Chronicles 9:5)

Reading through this passage this morning, this particular verse caught my eye. By trade I am an analyst. Specifically I am tasked with compiling, building and delivering reports to an audit team, board of directors, and governmental regulators. In the business world there are many kinds of reports. Some are straight-forward, fact based and objectively inarguable. Others are skewed, manipulated and used to illicit a desired response, or even better – funding. Our life is filled with data; human’s are constantly compiling statistics – how many times our heart beats, how many steps we take, how often we take a breath. Think about the millions of minute decisions you make on a daily basis – now think about those decisions being compiled into a report. Our report, wether good or bad, should always be a true report. A true report is about being real, being genuine, being vulnerable. A true report is willing to show your strengths and weaknesses.

In this passage the Queen of Sheba has heard of the splendor of Solomon, she’s heard of his wisdom, his riches, his glory. Despite hearing all of these good reports, she could not believe it, she had to see it for herself. In our life, even the good reports are met with doubt, we must confront doubt with truth. Not only do we see the compilation of a report in this passage but we also see the reception of the report. Notice how in this recollection there is no mention of confrontation from Solomon, in fact the Queen states that the reports she had heard were conservative at best! “Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard.” Solomon not only was wise, but he was humble. He understood the importance of being genuine with those around him. In Proverbs 27:2 he writes: “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” Solomon had the proof, that the Queen of Sheba’s preconceived notions were wrong, but instead of confronting her about them, he chose to build a true report with her.

In our lives each of us creates a report with those around us, our relationship with these individuals is based on the data we collectively share and produce. Pride always correlates with image – Nebuchadnezzars pride was shown in his buildings, Absalom’s pride was in his hair, Samson’s in his strength, The Pharisees in their religiosity. The truth is, regardless of the decadence of our pride externally, God see’s the true report “for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” The Lord has many things to say about outward appearances – Matthew 23:27 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” So why does the Lord care about our true self, our true report so much? Because who we truly are reflects in our worship – John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” 

During this time of quarantine I’ve tried to take time to self reflect – Am I creating a true report with my family? With my friends? With my church family? With my coworkers? Or am I masking my vulnerabilities with pride? God already knows my true report and it is this – I am a sinner in need of a savior. No matter how well I dress, how often I go to church, how much I read my Bible or how long I pray. I need the same amount of grace and mercy every day, not a day goes by where I need less of God. May we spend our days embracing these truths and may it reflect in how we worship the true God! 

Paul and Abi Meyer

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Praise His Glorious Name – The Saturday Morning Post

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 – 3; Psalms 76 – 80; Proverbs 16)

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

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.” (1Chronicles 29:11-13)

Good morning. Our God has all the greatness. Our God has all the power. Our God has all the glory. Our God has the victory, all of them. And Our God has all the majesty. And He is the Creator. He created us in His image for a specific purpose. And He gave us a specific expiration date…

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:27-28)

Heaven is forever, our life on earth is not. Now the LORD may be merciful to you if you ask Him to save your life…

In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying, Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city. And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.” (Isaiah 38:1-8)

So the LORD added fifteen years to king Hezekia’s life. Others He did not and they died at their appointed time. What would you say to the LORD? How about Tyndale not crying out with pain, but crying out boldly as the flames consumed his body…

At last, after much reasoning, when no reason would serve, although he deserved no death, he was condemned by virtue of the emperor’s decree, made in the assembly at Augsburg. Brought forth to the place of execution, he was tied to the stake, strangled by the hangman, and afterwards consumed with fire, at the town of Vilvorde, A.D. 1536; crying at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice, “Lord! open the king of England’s eyes.” (John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs)

God gave Tyndale the grace to come home to Heaven. I can’t speculate on whether or not Tyndale felt pain; Peter walked on water, but when he saw the wind and waves, he started to sink. But just as Peter was sinking, Jesus pulled him up and set him in the boat. I’d like to think, and I do think, that as Tyndale was burning, God’s amazing grace, and marvelous mercy protected him, as the LORD picked him up and set him in Heaven. What about you? Many today have a great fear of the Corvid19 virus. Is not your God greater than this virus? As Jesus would not jump off the temple and tempt His Father, so we should take proper precautions in dealing with the virus. So you have to wear a mask. So you have to stand in line six feet apart. When it’s your time, it’s your time. The LORD will give you the same grace He gave to Tyndale.

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.” (1Chronicles 29:11-13)

One day we will all be together with one task to do…

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

Praise His glorious name! Heaven is going to be great. I pray that God uses this to comfort you and ease your worry. He is the Almighty. Remember His words…

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

Have you come to Jesus? The Bible says…

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Then you can praise His glorious name!

Peace!


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