Category Archives: I Chronicles

That’s mine!

“But me – who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you?  Everything comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand.” 1 Chronicles 29:14 (Message).

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Kings 2, 1 Chronicles 29, Psalm 95, and 2 Thessalonians 1.

David had just given a royal fortune for the building of the temple.  His people had done the same thing.

Time to gloat?  Time to position oneself for a pat on the back?  Not according to David.

David gets it right: We have nothing good that wasn’t given to us.  We’re caretakers. And yet how stingy we are?  We give as if we’ve gathered on our own.

I will not be taking anything with me when my time on earth is over.

I need God’s wisdom regarding what I have been given.  How should it be used?

How often do I praise God for His blessings to me?  Could it be that I lose track that every good gift and every perfect gift comes from Him?  Probably so.

“Lord, make me mindful of You.  I am just passing through in this life and I want every second to be rightly spent to please You.  Thank You for Your provisions for me.  I am truly blessed.  I have earned none of it.  It is truly grace.  Thank You for Your ultimate Gift: deletion of my sin record.  Your Love for me is unfathomable.  Praise You, Lord!”

Every good gift and every perfect comes from Him.  Why then aren’t we more generous with what He’s given us? He didn’t tell us to hang on for dear life with what He’s given us.

 

 

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And now the rest of the story

“After David had constructed buildings for himself in the City of David, he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it.  Then David said, ‘No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord chose them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before him forever.’” 1 Chronicles 15:1-2.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Chronicles 14-15, Psalm 132, and Matthew 18.

Sometimes there’s more to a story.

Today’s two verses add to two stories.

In one of them, David and Nathan (prophet) have decided that the Ark of the Covenant should be housed in a cedar building.  It had been in a tent when it was with Israel in the past.

The two of them plan, without God.  Nathan totally encourages David to go ahead.  That surely whatever David comes up with will be good.  Then Nathan hears IT from God: “The tent is where I want to be housed.”

Note in the first verse that David is setting up a tent for the Ark.

The other story was about David’s attempt to bring the Ark to Jerusalem.  It had been captured by the Philistines.

The Ark is put on a cart and as it is being transported the cart tips. A man named Uzzah (2 Samuel 6) reaches out and touches the Ark and immediately dies.

David is angry at God for what happened.

The Ark does not get transported to Jerusalem.

Now, in the second of today’s verses, the Ark is being transported. Note that David now understands what was wrong with the previous attempt to transport the Ark.  The Ark is being carried not carted.

I must always do what God wants me to do.  If I run off under my own power, I will mess up (in His Eyes) the most obvious of things.  My ways are not automatically His Ways.  I can’t trust myself.  I need Him always.

“Lord, thank You for showing me the updates of these two stories.  David gets it right and I will too, if I seek Your Will and carry it out.  I love You, Father.”

There’s my way and God’s Way.  Trust me, they aren’t always the same!

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Good fatherly advice

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father; and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought.”  1 Chronicles 28:9.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 1:1, 1 Chronicles 28, Psalm 91, and 1 Thessalonians 5.

Great words from a father to his son.

Great words for any of us, as well.

Our commitment to God must be genuine.  The twice a week “fill-ups” are not enough.  Our approach must be continual.  We do not ever want to be away from Him.

I want, also, to be open-minded to what He wants me to do. His plans may involve continuing as I have been going or they could involve a chance of course, a completely new direction.  I must actively seek His Will.

God knows what I can do….and can’t do.  He knows the settings I will represent Him best in.  I want to be in those places!

My relationship to Him must be authentic.  I will never fool Him.  He knows what I think!

“Lord, I need You every second.  I want to always be pleasing You.  Prick my conscience when I am missing what You want me to do or doing something You want me to stop doing.  I must get my relationship with You right.  Help me, I beg, to do this.  I love You, Lord.”

Our Father is giving us some good advice.  Will we heed it?

St. Lucia

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I want to live right

“May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God.”  1 Chronicles 22:12.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Chronicles 22-24, and 1 Thessalonians 3.

David offered this blessing for Solomon, his young son.

Solomon would be succeeding David as ruler.

How we all need the qualities David prayed that Solomon would have; discretion and understanding.

Our lives are filled with decision making.  We must get our choices right.  But how do we know what choice to make?

The starting point in our lives must be with God.  We must be close to Him in every way possible.  Then when a decision is to be made, I already have Him onboard in my life.  His thoughts are more likely to be my thoughts in that arrangement.

Sometimes “right” and “wrong,” are clear.  Sometimes not.  However, if I am close to Him, I believe that the “right” things will be more obvious.

“Lord, I need You full-time in my life.  Apart from You I will mess things up.  I beg for Your correction in my life.  Get my attention so that I will stay close to You.  Bless me, I beg, as David did Solomon.  I need discretion.  I need understanding.  Have Your Way with me, Father.”

We need God-given help to live right.

St. Lucia

 

 

 

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Start right

“Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.”  1 Chronicles 22:19.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Chronicles 22-24, and 1 Thessalonians 3.

We must commit ourselves to God first.

How often do we plow ahead and then seek God’s help?

How can God be pleased and willing to bless such an approach?  But we do it all the time!

David knew that Solomon was going to build the temple in Jerusalem.  David reviews the fact that God has blessed them.  Their enemies are subdued and the money/supplies to build the temple are extensive.  BUT before they start the building there needs to be a total focus on God’s place in what is happening.

Good structure for success, don’t you think?

My relationship to God must be unceasing.  There can’t be lulls in which counterfeit gods are given worship.

I put away my “Thank You” book a little while ago and I am now wondering if that was a mistake.  I am finding myself less likely to take note of things I should be thankful for.  I think what is going on is that my commitment to His will is not nearly as strong as I thought.  That’s why I’m not catching God in my midst.  The book kept me active on it.

“Lord, You are well worth following full-time.  You are all-powerful.  You are never overwhelmed or out of touch.  I need You.  Forgive me for ceasing to follow You full-time.  For finding better things to deflect my thoughts away from You.  I must be mindful of You.  I must see You in my midst and be thankful for it.  Help me, Lord, I beg!”

Are you starting with God before you start things?

+9 steady high

hw-May-14

 

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What does Satan do?

“For we wanted to come to you – certainly I, Paul, did, again and again – but Satan blocked our way.”  1 Thessalonians 1:18.

“Now Satan entered the scene and seduced David into taking a census of Israel.”  1 Chronicles 21:1 (Message).

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21, Psalm 30, and 1 Thessalonians 2.

What’s Satan like?

You get a pretty good picture in today’s chosen verses.

Note that Satan is working on two of the Bible’s best known characters: Paul and David.

It should not surprise us that we run into Satan in our own lives.

Another point is that Satan got his way with both Paul and David.  We are going to fail God.  Things are not always going to go the way we thought that they should.

The “easy” spiritual answer after reading these two verses is that both characters could have been Godlier.  Then Satan would have been cast aside.  Probably true in David’s case.  He was even advised by Joab not to go ahead with a census but he plowed ahead anyhow.

Paul, on the other hand, had other options as to where he could minister.  I believe that he wrote Thessalonians because he couldn’t physically go there.  God’s plan, no doubt.

My relationship must be tight to God so that I will know what He wants me to do and not do.  I cannot rely on my own intuition to get it right.  God’s Ways are elusive to the casual follower.

“Father, I need You every second.  Guide me, I beg.  Open doors.  Close doors.  I need not figure why.  I just want to be where You want me to be doing what You want me to do.  Direct me in that direction, I beg.  Thank You, Father.”

Do not ever underestimate Satan.

+9 steady but still high

hw-May-13

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Let’s get it right this time!

“It was because of you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the Lord our God broke out in anger against us.  We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.”  1 Chronicles 15:13.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading:  1 Chronicles 14-15, Psalm 132, and Matthew 18.

God is always ready to help.  To give confirmation.  Do we see our need?  Do we fear the consequences of getting it wrong?

When David decided to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, he got it wrong.  The Philistines had the Ark and were more than willing to get it out of their territory.

David’s problem was that in the process of bringing the Ark to Jerusalem specific instructions were ignored.  One No No was touching the Ark.  Because the Ark wasn’t being carried the way it was supposed to be carried, there was a moment where it began to fall.  One man tried to prevent the fall and he died instantly.  That certainly got David’s attention and he chose not to take the Ark any further for three months.

In those three months, David got up to speed on what God required in moving the Ark and this time made sure he knew the way it was supposed to be transported.

Doing things God’s way is crucial.  Why?  His way is best for me.  The alternative is an invitation to mess up.  Do damage.  Get God aggravated at me.

How can I know what to do?  I must position myself to hear His voice.  I must pray without ceasing.  I must read His Word with a thirsty spirit.  God knows His people.  He will communicate His will to us if we let Him.

“Lord, I want to get things right with You.  I want to be Your representative in my midst and elsewhere.  Show me the path I need to travel.  Guide my footsteps and my pace.  Prick my conscience when I am straying.  Get my attention so that I can get things right.  I love You, Father.”

If you choose to ignore God’s way, and you’re a believer, look out below!

+8 surprising to me

July-20th

 

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Good advice

Field of mustard in Newbury, Massachusetts

Field of mustard in Newbury, Massachusetts

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will find you.” 1 Chronicles 28:9

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – 1 Kings 1 & 1 Chronicles 28 & Psalm 91 & 1 Thessalonians 5)

David is nearing the end of his life and gives his son Solomon some good advice: God knows all about you so behave and God is available so don’t be hesitant about connecting to Him.

We could all use this sort of advice.

I must not miss that God is tuned in to me. That He knows all about me is a frightening thought. He knows about every sin. Everything I say or do is done in His presence whether I realize it or not.

My connection to Him must be unceasing. This one area, among many, is one that I am aware of on a regular basis. The gaps between my awareness of Him are often long periods. I go into something God-driven but during the time on task will slide away from Him. At some juncture (usually at the end of something) I will realize that I am flying on my own strength and have slipped off His route. I need, instead, a steady connection to Him throughout.

He will hear my prayer. The opportunity to connect to Someone capable of fixing any situation should drive me to my prayer knees often. God is already on the scene, I just have to pray to join Him.

“Lord, I thank You for David’s good advice…….for all of us. You do know my needs and You do make it possible to easily contact You. Forgive me for ever thinking I can function apart from You and be Godly. Won’t happen! I commit my ways to You. Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

 

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Using things for Him

Sparkling Merrimack River on May 13th

Sparkling Merrimack River on May 13th

“Using the harp in thanking and praising the Lord.” 1 Chronicles 25:3

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – 1 Chronicles 25-27 & 1 Thessalonians 4)

Practical advice here.

What I have is a gift from God. What I do with it should bring glory to Him.

If someone chose to admire my skill (at something) I should quickly default into crediting God.

God gives each of us different abilities. Part of growing up is figuring out what would be best for me to do. In some colleges you get general courses in the first year or so before you have to declare a major. Word of folks changing majors suggest that the search for a place for their abilities is still going on.

Everything I have needs to be used to glorify Him. I certainly need to have Him in mind when I use what He has given me.

I need to constantly remind myself of God. Too many (recent) days have found me loose from Him. I start with Him but as the busyness of the day takes hold I find myself making godless choices. I believe that if I go off on my own and something goes wrong, the culprit is me.

My part-time job involves teaching teenagers how to drive. It is living on the edge for sure! I need the Hand of God on both the driver and the instructor. I can never assume that “we can figure it out.” Praying for wisdom and protection without ceasing is what must happen.

“Lord, thank You for loving me. Thank You for protecting me from the folly of my ways. Thank You that folks are interceding for me and that You have heard and answered them. Forgive me for my waywardness. Forgive me for choosing me for directions rather than Thee. I love You, Father.”

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Getting directions

Sunset along the Merrimack River

Sunset along the Merrimack River

“It was because of you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the Lord our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.” 1 Chronicles 15:13

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – 1 Chronicles 14-15 & Psalm 132 & Matthew 18)

The folly of living as I please!

If I am committed to God, I will diligently seek to know/do His Ways.

In the story surrounding this verse, the priests did not inquire of God about returning the Ark of the Covenant to where they were. The return was messed up as a result.

David calls the priest on what happened. David knows who to blame and what they had done wrong.

How does this story apply to me? I am a sinner. Without the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit I am going to sin. I must be tightly aligned to God.

When things go sour for me the cause is usually over my relationship with God getting loosened. I get distracted with counterfeit gods and start to worship them rather than Him. Mess ups are sure to follow.

The important thing for me is to quickly recognize what has happened, accept the blame, and reunite with God in a total fashion. There is no better feeling than to be in God’s will.

“Lord, I thank You for the clarity You bring. I know when I am loose from You. I also know the unfortunate consequences of this. I commit fully to You. Forgive me for any other arrangement that I have gotten into. I love You more than anything else. Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

 

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