Monthly Archives: May 2021

1 Kings 1; 1 Chronicles 26-28; Romans 6

Photo by Mandy Baldwin

“David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.”

1 Chronicles‬ ‭28:20‬ ‭NIV

Do the work.

What work? How? What is my work to do and what is not my work to do?

Has there ever been something you have been passionate about and really wanted to do, and weren’t able to do it? I always wanted to be a worship leader. When I worked on staff at a church, I would dream about the day the worship Pastor would call me and tell me that he couldn’t make it to church and he needed me to step in and lead worship. It never happened. For good reason…I do not have the voice to lead others in worship. Trust me. I always wanted singing to be a talent of mine, but it is not. I love to worship. I love blaring my music as I’m driving and singing. I will not be leading worship, however.

King David had a strong desire and passion to build a temple for his God. He heard from God the very difficult message that God did not want him to. We all have unmet desires. We all have disappointments. We all have things that we have longed for that we will never experience, see or have. What do we do? David shared his passion with his son and told him to do the work. David did his work and encouraged and supported Solomon to do his work.

I have never been blessed with Children. I have wanted children, but I have never married and had the opportunity to have children. There have been seasons when it was hard and sad and painful. There have been seasons when I have celebrated the freedom and traveled and got lots of sleep. I also decided I was going to support my friends in the work they are doing by being an Auntie to their kids.

As we do our work…not another’s work…God has promised to be with us, support us, provide for us and never leave us. His presence doesn’t take away the hurt and pain of unmet desires. The presence of God is powerful and comforting and necessary for life and I am grateful He is that kind of God.

Dear God, Thank you for being the kind of God that is near. The kind of God that doesn’t grow weary of being present. Thank you for giving us a work to do. Meet us in our sadness and grief when the work we deeply desire is not ours to do. Help us find meaning and purpose in the work that is before us. Amen.

Mandy

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

1 Chronicles 22-25; Psalm 78; Romans 5

1 Chron 22:5 (MEV): “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all the lands. Therefore, I will make preparation for it now. “So, David made extensive preparation before his death.
1 Chron 22:9 (MEV): A son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. Solomon will be his name, and I will give peace and tranquility to Israel in his days. He will be the one to build a house for My name. He shall be a son to Me, and I will be a Father to him, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.

God loves details, He knows who will do what for Him, and who will supply what is needed to complete the project. God chose this people (Israel) to fill his great promises and purposes. God is still their God and He is not finished with them, even if they have proven over and over to trust things besides Him. He often uses those who aren’t qualified to do the task. That way we will know it is all Him! This week He is asking Israel to come together to build him a temple.
If I were Solomon, I would read these words over and over. It is amazing, especially knowing how much unrest is in Israel even this week, that God would show so much mercy to Solomon for all his days. Only one thing is required: to keep the law of the Lord your God.
I Chron. 22:12-13 (MEV): Only may the Lord give you insight and understanding and give you charge over Israel so you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will prosper if you carefully observe the statutes and the judgments which the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed.
Prosperity depends on observing God’s way. If I want to be strong and of good courage, I need to place my faith in God. To do that involves not being afraid, or worrying about my future, but believing that no matter what, God has me in the shelter of His Wings. My name may not be Solomon, but God will still give me a life of peace and tranquility if my heart rests in His. That doesn’t mean I won’t have troubles, but it does mean that I will be able to walk through each one with the strength that God supplies.
In addition to stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and men skilled in all kinds of work- gold, silver, bronze and iron, (v.16), God also provided the Levites to be officers of God, officers of the sanctuay, to be judges, gatekeepers, He also provided for those trained in playing lyres, harps, and cymbals and for those trained for singing praises. This is my favorite provision, I am so glad that God desires music to be in His temple.
Psalm 78:6-8 (MEV): that the generation to come might know them, even the children who are not yet born, who will arise and declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and they might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not set their hearts steadfast, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
What God desires is so simple in theory. It is for His name to be honored and His fame to be declared from generation to generation. He wants me to have hope and for me to remember all the blessings that God has done for me. That I keep my heart steadfast on God and that His spirit is welcome in all that I do. He desires that I pass His fame to the next generation.
But over and over, Israel did not believe in God nor trust in His deliverance. When God turned His wrath against Israel, they turned back to Him time and time again. They turned back and longed for God. They remembered that God was their rock, and The Highest God, their redeemer. (v.35)
Psalm 78 36-39 (MEV): Nevertheless, they flattered Hm with their mouth, and they lied to Him with their tongues; for their heart was not devoted to Him, neither were they committed to His covenant. But He being full of compassion forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them. He constantly restrained His anger, and did not stir up all His wrath; for He remembered that they were but flesh.
Over and over Israel did not remember God’s power, over and over they forgot how He delivered them time after time. God knew their heart’s; He knew that their intentions was only to avoid punishments. Yet God chose to show mercy over and over because His heart is for His people. That is such a great love! He chose to lead them in safety, He chose to spare them from death. Even when they didn’t choose Him!
Romans 5:16 (MEV): For the judgement from one sin led to condemnation, but the free gift, which came after many trespasses, leads to justification.
Romans 5:20-21 (MEV): But the law entered, so that sin might increase, but where sin increased, grace abounded much more. So that just as sin reigned in death, grace might reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

And God in His great love and mercy also choose to send His son Jesus Christ because He knew we were “but flesh” and incapable of keeping all that He asked, so He made a way in the wilderness. Therefore, I, an undeserving person, might find grace through Jesus Christ and live forever with Them in eternity. Now that is a happy ending for all who believe.
Dear God, your love amazes me. As we thought about Israel’s journey this week, and how many times they made you angry, it makes me sad. Sad because I did the exact same thing. Thank you for turning your wrath away from me because you remembered that I was “but flesh”. Thank you for sending Jesus to die so that I could live. It is far from an even exchange, but it is love, pure love, and I thank you for making a way for all who will believe. Again, your love amazes me! You amaze me! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21; Romans 4

I have a purple buff/gaiter that I sometimes use as a head covering when I work in the yard. It’s different from the others I have because if I try to stretch the fabric from top to bottom, it doesn’t budge. But when I take hold from the sides and pull, it stretches. It seems odd that a fabric can be pulled one direction, but not the other. And it’s probably odd that I think of that when I read the scriptures today.

In 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21, David takes a census.

Once again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he caused David to harm them by taking a census. “Go and count the people of Israel and Judah,” the Lord told him (2 Samuel 24:1, NLT); and Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel (1 Chronicles 21:1, NLT).

I note how sin has a far-reaching effect–this act carries a consequence touching thousands. Of three possible outcomes, a plague strikes the land taking lives of 70,000 people.

I think of a fabric being pulled and stretched, yielding and groaning to a force. But when I read Romans 4, I see a fabric that doesn’t budge. That doesn’t stretch. That holds by its integrity. And I am reminded again of the great power of faith, the great gift of God, immovable, that maintains its posture.

13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. 14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. 15 For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)

16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. 17 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. (Romans 4:13-17, NLT)

20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God. (Romans 4:20-25, NLT)

When I feel stretched and pulled by battling emotions, I want to remember this truth that should weaken every struggling thought and urge to silence. What if I spoke aloud: Courtney never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, her faith grew stronger, and in this, she brought glory to God. She was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.

Lord, thank you for lessons in fabric that hold their shape and integrity. Thank you for this word today, recorded for my benefit too, assuring me that you will count me as righteous if I believe in you. Greatest gift ever, a faith that glorifies you.

Courtney (66books365)

Leave a comment

Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

2 Samuel 21-23; Psalm 18; Romans 3

I keep asking myself what love looks like, the more excellent way Paul alluded to. I remember this story well and even though it had to be done that did not stop love from being on display.

Rizpah, Aiah’s daughter, took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock from the beginning of the harvest[g] until the rain poured down from heaven on the bodies. She kept the birds of the sky from them by day and the wild animals by night. – 2 Samuel 21:10 HCSB

There is something about a mother’s love that cannot be described, but here it is on full display. I know that a mother’s love is tried and tested and on occasion there is much sorrow. It seems that love also brings with it grief. The more deep and tender the love, so much the more poignant the grief. And, as a mother loves most, she is most susceptible of sorrow.

I look at my wife, the mother of my children, and I see someone who is utterly unselfish. She loves because it is her nature. She does not love in hope that one day they will love her back, but rather because even with those who might likely die, they will never bereave her of her love.

When David uses that same intensity of love, I take notice and compare my own love for God next to his and next to my wife.

I love You, Lord, my strength. – Psalm 18:1 HCSB

He used an unusual word here, an uncommon one, used more with being impulsive and emotional. I am cut off guard because it expresses a compassionate love that is used more from the stronger one to the weaker.

“Hebrew – I will love thee dearly and entirely…from the very heart-root.” – Trapp

It is the only occasion in Scripture where the word “love” is used with such special depth and tenderness. I am challenged to say “I love You” to my God who had delivered me, rescued me, and who walks with me, with such an intensity of love that has been put on display by Rizpah and David.

Father, teach me to know what it means to love in a more excellent way. How many times I get into Your Word, start studying, start praying and yet all I need to do for a moment is give some time to express our love for each other. I pray for more quiet moments like these to be able to express my love for You. While I am out and about, if my love for You needs to be passionate, may I not be embarrassed. May I give my all so that everyone watching can see the intensity of my love for You. May I find the strength to give it away with no regrets.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

Leave a comment

Filed under 2 Samuel, 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan, Romans

2 Samuel 18-20; Psalm 34; Romans 2

And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, ‘Good news for my lord the king! For the Lord has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you.’ The king said to the Cushite, ‘Is it well with the young man Absalom?’ And the Cushite answered, ‘May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man.’ And the king was deeply moved and went to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said ‘O my son, Absolom, my son, my son Absolom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absolom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:31-33 ESV)

We had a death in our school community last week. Grief is a challenge that no one expects to have to deal with until it is upon us. It makes us cry and question why these horrible things happen. But when we know the Lord, we have hope.

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” (Psalm 34:8-10 ESV)

Many like to ask how a loving God could let bad things happen or how could they possibly believe with all that is unfair in the world. But God is just. If He wasn’t then that truly wouldn’t be fair.

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.” (Romans 2:6-11 ESV)

God protects those who seek His face. He comforts those who mourn. And vengence belongs to Him alone.

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:15-18 ESV)

So no matter what comes our way, let us know that “God’s got this” even if we don’t understand it now.

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes it boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!”

Amen,

Kellie

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized