Tag Archives: kingdom

1 Chronicles 22-25; 2 Corinthians 9

David knew he wasn’t going to be the one to build the temple for the Lord. He knew his son Solomon would be the one, as the Lord had told him. But that didn’t prevent David from contributing to something he wouldn’t live to see.

This father speaks to his son, guiding him and offering generous provision to get the job done.

David said, “My son Solomon is still young and inexperienced. And since the Temple to be built for the Lord must be a magnificent structure, famous and glorious throughout the world, I will begin making preparations for it now.” So David collected vast amounts of building materials before his death.

Then David sent for his son Solomon and instructed him to build a Temple for the Lord, the God of Israel. “My son, I wanted to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God,” David told him. “But the Lord said to me, ‘You have killed many men in the battles you have fought. And since you have shed so much blood in my sight, you will not be the one to build a Temple to honor my name. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace. I will give him peace with his enemies in all the surrounding lands. His name will be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a Temple to honor my name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will secure the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’

11 Now, my son, may the Lord be with you and give you success as you follow his directions in building the Temple of the Lord your God. 12 And may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, that you may obey the Law of the Lord your God as you rule over Israel. 13 For you will be successful if you carefully obey the decrees and regulations that the Lord gave to Israel through Moses. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or lose heart!

14 I have worked hard to provide materials for building the Temple of the Lord—nearly 4,000 tons of gold, 40,000 tons of silver, and so much iron and bronze that it cannot be weighed. I have also gathered timber and stone for the walls, though you may need to add more. 15 You have a large number of skilled stonemasons and carpenters and craftsmen of every kind. 16 You have expert goldsmiths and silversmiths and workers of bronze and iron. Now begin the work, and may the Lord be with you! (1 Chronicles 22:5-16, NLT, emphasis added)”

This is what sowing generously can look like: knowing you won’t live to see the fruit or harvest, but endowing another with guidance, example, encouragement, funds, instructions, whatever the need is to reach whatever the goal is.

In this spring season of literal planting (and weeding), I have thought long on sowing and harvest. Sow is the word the Lord has impressed upon me since April, and here I read this very focused example by David of what generous sowing can do.

David’s generosity spoke of his love for God and for his son.

These scriptures today were so very rich in generosity, stewardship, obedience, and kingdom focus. This is only a sample of the takeaway.

Thank you, God, for your Word. It is a generous feast for my heart. I sit and savor your message, hold it close as the wonderful gift it is. Help me to steward the things you have given me with a kingdom focus–you have given me all I need. You are my Good Father who equips me. Help me to prepare and influence my children to honor you. There are harvests I will not live to see, but thank you that I can contribute now towards them.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Old Testament

Genesis 4, Matthew 4, Ezra 4, Acts 4

I love the word ‘blessing’ – I go around blessing everyone – even a database company I hired set my password up as ‘blessings’ because I blessed them so much – too funny. So you know I love the new year and all the possibilities I have too bless.

It is possible that I am consumed by blessings because I am very much aware of curses.  God was clear when promising Abraham that there were curses as well.  So when Cain was cursed with a mark, and some think it was wild and ferocious in nature that it rendered him an object of universal horror and avoidance, I believe that I can be an object that people can see the face of God.  Amy Grant came out with a song when I was a teenager, My Father’s Eyes, and it was a prayer of mine that others could see that I had my Father’s eyes.

So when Jesus arrived, it had to be His plan to further His kingdom – I believe that He came and aspired to world domination and to deliver His blessing.  The temptations in the wilderness all took aim at that aspiration, trying to make Him take a shortcut, adopt the methods of the curse. I love this quote from Marcus Dods that reflects why the road to blessing/redemption was through the path of suffering —

Satan whispered, “You have come to bind men in a universal brotherhood, but it is hopeless to effect this by acting on men individually and spiritually. Men do not care to be delivered from sin; they do not wish to be led back to God, and you will never make the world what you wish it. But make an earthly kingdom for yourself; that is possible; no mere shadowy imagination. The people are now waiting for a leader who will throw off for them the Roman yoke, and lead them to dominion.” We know it when we wish Christ had provided for his people earthly good as well as spiritual. Nothing but a preference for what is spiritual will secure us against the temptation to wish, either for ourselves or others, what constitutes the glory of this world. 

What does that look like for me?  I think that I keep forgetting about the universality of Christ and at the same time His uniqueness.  The Lausanne Covenant would probably be my version of the Nicene Creed when it comes to my missional statement. It is my book of Acts in covenant form.  In particular, my interest would be in Covenant #3 for today.

If Ezra could see the ‘kingdom’  that describes a king’s rule – and if Jesus is my example on how to lead – then my blessing is to decrease that He might be an increase and in truth, a blessing to a world entering 2017 with quite some uncertainty.  

Lord, may You  lead me and teach me  to be that blessing and to bring about your kingdom in 2017.

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Nehemiah 1-3; Acts 2:1-13

 All were astounded and greatly confused, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others jeered at the speakers, saying, “They are drunk on new wine!”

Acts 2:13

I work at a church, so my wife and I often have front row seats to some interesting spiritual ‘stuff’ – for lack of a better word. 

The Holy Spirit, what he* does, when he does it, etc. is a tricky subject, and it’s easy to step on toes. Everyone’s particular opinions tend to be a mix of what they grew up with, what they’ve been taught, and what they’ve personally experienced. I tend to be much more operative out of what I’ve been taught, and to be honest what I’ve experienced (in terms of the miraculous) have been somewhat limited. I’m also a skeptic by nature, I don’t believe things right away, and it can be a fault. I probably have missed out on countless miracles as I searched for a rational explanation. Ultimately I came back to God because there were things happening around me that I couldn’t explain anymore without Him.

In any event, there was something that happened at church last week that sort of challenged some of the ‘boxes’ I had put the Holy Spirit into. And in the process of praying and thinking through the experience afterwards I came to a conclusion: I don’t really know how you’re supposed to determine whether or not something is from the Holy Spirit or not.

Do I just go on how it feels? Seems dangerous.

The exec. Pastor that oversees me and has been mentoring me a bit shares this quote often, not sure if it’s his or not, “One of the most dangerous thing about being human is you can always choose to interpret data a different way”. 

Seems to apply to ‘spiritual’ events as well.

So I started thinking I needed to establish some criteria on how I sort of filter these sorts of things in the odd circumstances, but also in the everyday. Like when someone tells me the church should be doing a certain program, is that from the Spirit? or just someone’s opinion?

I came up with these three things, you might have a few more, and these might change for me over time, but it’s a starting point for me: 

Where’s the fruit? (Matt 7:16, Luke 6:44, Matt. 7:20 etc.)

Does it bring Glory and Honor to Jesus? (1 Cor. 10:31)

Is it done out of love? (John 13:35)

Again, not an exhaustive list, and certainly room for interpretation, but these are my three quick checks. If it doesn’t pass these three, chances are it’s not a work of the Spirit.

Is the message, prophecy, tongues, etc. done out of love for another? Is there other fruit in this person’s life or ministry to back up this message? Does it bring glory to Jesus? That’s where I start. 

And if applied to the following passages in Acts, we see Peter preach boldly, thousands get saved, glory given to God, and ongoing fruit in the lives of the disciples. I never want to miss out on what the Spirit of God is doing in the midst of his people today, but I want to remain sound in what I affirm and live by. There were many people in Acts who missed out on God’s goodness because they couldn’t believe what was happening through God’s Spirit poured out on men (Gentiles nonetheless!)

Lord would you allow my walk with you to become so close, that I would constantly bring you glory, love others, and bear fruit as I obey your statutes? Lord allow me the gift of repentance for the times I’ve missed out on your Spirit’s work in the world, open my eyes to see your glory in the midst of your people.

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Deuteronomy 3; Psalm 85; Isaiah 31; Revelation 1

Do not be afraid. God fights for you. This was in Deuteronomy 3, along with testimony of God’s protection and provision. Lately I’ve come up against situations where I remind myself to trust God. In a place of hindsight from ugly battles, I can see how he has fought for me and protected me. I can trust him going forward too.

He speaks peace to his faithful people, but let them not return to their foolish ways. Psalm 85:8 NLT.

Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings. Psalm 85:12 NLT.

Depending on strength of human armies instead of looking to the Lord. Isaiah 31:1. I’ve looked to my own strength too often, instead of God’s. I’m learning more and more to rely on him, and to take my thoughts to him in prayer.

I know the glorious day will come when each of you will throw away the gold idols and silver images your sinful hands have made. Isaiah 31:7. Thank you, God, for showing me what I placed before you–so I could walk away from it and worship you.

Freed us from sin by his blood. He has made us a kingdom of priests for God his Father. Revelation 1:5b, 6. Made us a kingdom, here, of priests. For God. That certainly reframes the morning.

John, a brother and partner in suffering, in God’s kingdom, in the patient endurance that Jesus calls us. Revelation 1:9.

Lord, thank you for these words today, to sit with you over coffee. Thank you for speaking into my life with words of trust, protection, freedom. Thank you for showing me a bigger picture (of suffering and battles and your strength). Love you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Revelation

Exodus 23, John 2, Job 41, 2 Corinthians 11

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you to do.” John 2:5 (NCV)

God gave me freedom and He gave me free will. Because His desire is for love and relationship, He opened His hands, wrote my name on His palm, and relinquished control over my life. I can choose to live according to my own plan, following self, aligning myself with sin; or I can choose to be showered by His love, enveloped in His grace.

Because of the New Covenant made real by the sacrifice of Christ, I no longer have to follow the long lists of “you musts…” recorded in Exodus. I am no longer bound by Mosaic Law.

There were so many things that were supposed to be done or not supposed to be done; I can’t even keep them all straight. I acknowledge that it is completely impossible to live by the letter of the law. Even the priests, who were the only ones who knew the whole of the law, were hard pressed to be obedient to every dotted ‘i’ and every crossed ‘t’.

However, His sacrifice of death to life means I no longer need to fear the enemy, a leviathan of evil. My past sin is forever forgiven at the cross and buried in the tomb never to rise again. Though I may be tempted, His Spirit which dwells within me gives me the strength to stand separated from sin. Though I may fall into sin, rather than condemnation, I receive mercy and absolution; and I receive liberation once more.

I am given liberty to make my own choices. And, as a believer in Christ, I choose to honor God’s will and obey His Word. I make a choice to do my best to “do whatever He tells me to.”

My hope is in Him, the Only True Living God who is above all. There is no one greater in all of the universe and no one who sees the big picture, the whole picture of His Kingdom Come more than the Creator.

He is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is to be praised forever. 2 Corinthians 11:31b (NCV)

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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1 Kings 1, 1 Kings 2, John 18:19-40

Thus the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon. 1 Kings 2:46

 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. … “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.” John 18:36

 

Two kingdoms belonging to one King, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Read at www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1Kings1,2;%20John%2018:19-40&version=NKJV

1 Kings 1      As King David “was old”, his son “Adonijah …exalted himself, saying, “I will be king. …(And his father had not rebuked him at any time)…He was also very good-looking.”

             Adonijah sought to usurp his father’s kingdom and David’s personal maidservant (1). David had not corrected, discipled or chastened Adonijah, and his son disrespected him (2). Adonijah’s appearance may have distracted David from focusing on God’s eternal character development.  

              Lord God Almighty – I am a mother and I am in Your Kingdom. Alert me to not be distracted by: niceties, amenities, status quo, culture, good looks or talent in my children. Keep me attentive and aware of their heart/will bent and if they are seeking Your Kingdom and Righteousness, for if they do then You will give them all they need. (3) I seek Your wisdom in chastening them Lord Jesus. Manifest Yourself in my implementation of Your instructions, for Your good purposes and glory.

“Nathan the prophet came in” to remind King David of God’s Word. King David answered, “Assuredly Solomon…shall be king after me” (4) “Long live King Solomon!”

              Word of God, remind me keep the Main thing the Main thing: Your Kingdom by Your priorities. Lord Jesus, I am sorry for when I have gotten sidetracked by the “small” events. Every time I take my eyes off “the prize” in trade for what other people say and think (5), I contribute to people’s spiritual suffering and I suffer too. Jesus, I yearn for and cling to Your Word for my own chastening! Thank You Lord Jesus Christ. You are Faithful (7).  

1 Kings 2                  King David “charged Solomon his son, saying…keep the charge of the Lord your God… that the Lord may fulfill His word…Then Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established.” Solomon proceeded to root out the evil in the kingdom without compromise, even against his own mother’s request (v.13-25) (14).  

               I worship You Lord God Almighty, for Who You are. May my heart delight in You (Psalm 37:4) paramountly so my life is fixed upon Your Kingdom ways for my own discernment of truth from lies. May God’s Word root out compromise, rationalization and excuses in me, and convict in order for me to confess, repent, worship and testify of You. (6) May “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10

John 18:19-40    “when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand” v.22

              Jesus spoke truth, and because people didn’t like the Truth, Jesus (the Truth) was struck and rejected. (v.23)  Give me a heart for Truth, Lord Jesus, and Your courageous love for it to be proclaimed throughout my life. (8)

“Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed.” V. 27

               How many times and ways have I rejected or denied You, Lord Jesus? Blatantly or unconsciously, by commission or omission, with my thoughts, actions, words, attitudes, patterns of behavior – ignoring the Truth, God’s Holy Word? And when You remind me, O Lord, do I bend the knee of my heart in submission and gratitude for Your showing me? Do I run to You for forgiveness, reconciliation and transforming sanctification? Do I forgive myself? Do I recall Your Words and live them so that Your Nature may take over my human nature? May it always be so! (9)

              Pilate said, “Are You the King of the Jews?”…Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, …that I should bear witness to the truth.” …Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again… said, “I find no fault in Him at all.”

            Oopps, walking away from the King of kings Who says He is Truth: You’d better ask Him questions. (10)

             How many times do I NOT ask Jesus questions? Do I pretend I know enough, am sufficient enough? Just go about “my” busy-ness without being mindful of what Pilate knew: Jesus had no fault! (11)

             And if I am a Chirst-ian, I am to “bear witness to the Truth”, to Lord Jesus Christ that is. (12)

            Father, thank You for sending Your Only Begotten Son Jesus to show and teach me Truth for me to be set free from the lies and deceptions that so easily ensnare me. May I ever more treasure the precious relationship I have with You because of Jesus’ Blood sacrifice, and come before Your throne of Grace to listen to Your Voice of Truth. (13)

1-  1 Kings 1:1-4, 1 Kings 2:13-25

2-   Hebrews 12:5-11

3- Matthew 6:31-34, 2 Chronicles 1:1-12, Philippians 4:19

4- 1 Chronicles 28:4-8

5- Genesis 15:1, Philippians 3:14, 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, Matthew 7:13-16, Luke 13:22-33, John 14:6

6- Matthew 16:21-23, Luke 4:8 , John 16:5-15

7- 1 John 1:9, Isaiah 1:18, 1 John 5:18, Revelation 19:11

8- John 15:18-27

9- Psalm 1, Psalm 34, Psalm 103

10- James 1:5, Psalm 33:4, Psalm 119:160, John 1:1-3,14, John 17:17, 1 Peter 1:23, John 15:3, Ephesians 5:26

11- Hebrews 4:14-16, Hebrews 2:10-18, James 1:12-16

12- Matthew 10:32-33, Revelation 12:11, 1 John 5:11, Romans 1:16

13- John 6:63, John 6:68, John 8:31-36, Hebrews 12:1, Hebrews 4:16, Philippians 1:6

14- Matthew 13:53-58, Matthew 12:46-50, Mark 3:31-35, Mark 10:26-31, Luke 8:19-21

Self directed life or Christ directed life?  http://www.campuscrusade.com/fourlawseng.htm and http://www.4laws.com/laws/languages.html

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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1 Samuel 13-14, Luke 19:28-48

Saul was 30 years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel 42 years. 1 Samuel 13:1

“You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command. 1 Samuel 13:13-14

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:38

Two Kings

Saul was 30 when he became king, yet so reluctant to rule, at first he hid behind baggage. He chose 3000 men from Israel. Saul provoked his enemies, literally tooted his own horn to get the glory for his exploits. Later he plotted to kill David when his fame surpassed his own. Eventually his arrogance would lead him to lose his rule to David. God promised David that his reign would never end.

Jesus, a king incognito, was 30 when he began his ministry. He chose 12 apostles. Jesus insisted God be given the glory, when he cast out demons and healed the sick. At the end of his three year ministry, he rode intoJerusalem on a donkey. The crowds declared his praise, but the religious establishment sought the death of this Messiah they refused to acknowledge.  Even a rolled away stone would testify to a risen Savior.

From the lineage of David, Jesus, fulfilled God’s prophecy. Saul’s kingdom did not endure. Christ’s kingdom endures forever.

I’m more like than Saul than Jesus. Consulting God sometimes, doing what feels right the rest of the time. Relying on my own strength for the “small stuff” which I never realize will snowball into big stuff. Eventually losing reign over my own little kingdom.

If King Saul can’t escape Samuel’s reprimand, what makes me think I can get away with entitlement befitting a princess? The Holy Spirit takes me to the woodshed repeatedly. Jesus took all the punishment for my sins on the cross, but I still need to put into action God’s saving work in my life, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. Phil 2:12 NLT

Father, forgive me, for most of the time I know not what I am doing.

yicareggie

 

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