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Showing posts from May, 2018

"What Would You Wish For?"

BIBLE READING: Psalms 72, 2 Chronicles 1 I want you to imagine that you are walking on the beach and you stumble across an odd looking bottle.To your surprise when you pick it up, smoke begins to come out of the top of the bottle.An unusual looking man suddenly appears in front of you in a most unusually looking outfit.In shock, you ask the man, “Who are you?”“I am a genie and I am at your service.I have the power to grant you three wishes; what shall I get for you first?” he replies.What would you wish for?A million dollars, your own private island, or maybe you would play the smart choice and wish for an unlimited number of wishes (although I would assume that would be against the rules).My point being, if we had the opportunity to have anything that our hearts desired, wishing for wisdom is not what many of us would select.Yet, that is exactly what Solomon selected.Could you imagine having the God of the Universe say to you “Ask what I shall give you” (I Kings 3.5). He could have ha…

"Has Your Software been Updated?"

BIBLE READING: Psalms 119.1-88 Have you ever had a computer virus?I hate those things!They slow your computer, cause you to lose important information and they make your life less efficient.One of the reasons we get those pesky viruses is that we fail to update our virus protection software.It only takes a few moments to do and your computer usually reminds you every so often to do so, yet we continue to put it off until it is too late.It ends up being no one’s fault but our own.Did you know that God has provided for us some spiritual virus protection software?Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, humanity has been infected with a deadly virus called sin.There isn’t a single person alive or otherwise that hasn’t been exposed to this deadly virus.But did you know that God has provided a way for us to fight this virus?He has not only given us the antidote for the virus, but He has provided for us a way to be exposed yet stay protected from being infected. We can discover this…

"God Will Not Forsake Us"

BIBLE READING: Psalms 37, 71, 94 Within the three Psalms that were studied today, we find a common theme: God will not forsake His people.The word “forsake” means to “abandon”, or to “give up”.Throughout the entire Bible we can read of countless examples of God communicating with His people that He will never leave or forsake them.There was Noah and his family, as God protected His people from the waters of the flood.Then there was Abraham and his promise that God would make Him a great nation.Joseph also understood that no matter how bad things had become, God was still in his corner.The nation of Israel was able to witness, first hand, how God was with them whether as slaves or free men.The prophets cried out that as long as God’s people placed their trust in Him, He would always be there even when it looked as though He wasn’t.Isaiah prophesied that God would send the Savior that would be called Emmanuel, which means “God with us”.Little did those prophets know that when Jesus came …

"Praise the Lord"

BIBLE READING: Psalm 111-118 My family loves basketball!Whether it is watching a game, playing in the den on a mini goal, or watching them play in school games; it is a family affair for us.One of the most exciting times that we experienced together was a few years back; we were playing in a travel ball game against a team from Tennessee.The game had been tight the whole time and was coming down to the wire.As time expires, my son put up a shot that goes in to send us into overtime.I was beaming with pride; slapping high fives and shouting as I watched my son and his team celebrate his accomplishment.The overtime was no different; it was still close with seconds left.Then in a last-ditch effort my son shoots another shot as time expires to win the game as the buzzer sounds!It was so exciting.I remember screaming at the top of my lungs “That’s my boy!” as I high fived anyone that would allow me the opportunity.I could not control my excitement of how proud I was of my son and his play t…

Sunday

Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 26-29, Psalm 127

"No One Knows Me Like HIM"

BIBLE READING: Psalm 131, 138-139, 143-145 Just for a moment, try to imagine the number of people who know who you are.I’m not talking about your number of Facebook friends or Instagram followers; I mean people that actually know you.They know your favorite color, your dream car, your goals in life and your weaknesses.If you are like me, the number isn’t as big as you once thought.As I think about those who know me, the number is very small.Even with our closest of friends we have a wall that allows them to see who we want them to see.The number of those individuals in our lives in which there is no wall, may… just be one…God.He is the only one who knew us before we were born.Think of that for just a moment. God knew us even before we could be known by anyone else.In fact, Psalm 139 tells us that He “formed our inward parts”, He “knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139.13).He was able to set His eyes on us even when we were an “unformed substance”.He knows the words we will…

"The Role of the Priest"

BIBLE READING: 1 Chronicles 23-25 The reading for the day is somewhat interesting.David, as King before he hands things over to Solomon, makes sure things are in order with the organization of the Levities, the priests and the musicians for the tent of meeting.He seems to sum up the tasks of the Levities and priests in this statement:Thus they were to keep charge of the tent of meeting and the sanctuary, and to attend the sons of Aaron, their brothers, for the service of the house of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 23:32).It may come as a shock to you today, but as Christians we are all commanded to be priests. Peter, in 1 Peter 2.9, calls us a “royal priesthood”. Strangely enough, our roles are still very similar to the roles that David left for them in I Chronicles.Let me explain; the first role was to keep charge of the tent of meeting and the sanctuary.These were places where the Ark of Covenant would reside and, as we know from our previous studies, the Ark represented the very presenc…

"A Song About Jesus?"

BIBLE READING: Psalm 108-110 “The LORD says to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool” -Psalm 110.1 Psalm 110 is a very special psalm and has a great deal of importance to the eternal kingdom of God.The passage begins with “LORD”, which is translated as Yahweh (the name of God) speaking to “Lord” which is translated as “sovereign, controller or master”.This is the same word but referring to two different things.Peter quotes this passage in Acts 2.34 in his sermon on the day of Pentecost and tells us that David could not be referring to himself because he is still living.Therefore, this must be referring to someone else, so he uses this opportunity to imply this was Jesus.The writer of Hebrews also alludes to this being Jesus as he quotes verse one in Hebrews 1.13.However, this isn’t the only reference to Christ in this psalm.Psalm 110.3 “…in the womb of the morning the dew of your youth will be yours” is said to be an implicit reference to the resurrection…

"Baiting Our Hooks"

BIBLE READING: Psalm 30, 2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21-22 When I was child I remember going fishing with my father in our pond that we had in the pasture.Fishing is something that I enjoyed as a boy, but as a boy there were a couple of things I wasn’t good at: patience and putting the worm on the hook.I always hated putting that slimy worm on that hook, as all of its gooey insides got all over my fingers.To help me out, my father would always bait my hook for me.I’m sure he never got to enjoy fishing because I was repeatedly hollering for him to fix my bait.As I got older, I was forced to learn how to do it myself, but I was able to do so because I had witnessed my dad do it for me so many times. This was the day that David had waited for years to happen; the day that he would commission his son Solomon to build the house of the LORD.The construction of such a Temple had been a passion of David’s since his rule began, but due to decisions he had made along the way, God had prevented him …

"Psalms as Songs"

BIBLE READING: Psalm 95, 97-99 It is important for us to remember that as David penned these Psalms, he penned them with the idea that they would be sung.These words were sung by various believers all throughout the kingdom of Israel.It would have been nice to know what these songs would have sounded like as they would have sung them in the Hebrew.However, today we continue to sing many of these psalms; the tunes maybe different but we still sing then nonetheless.Specifically, we have two separate songs from Psalm 95; see if you recognize them: “Come, let us sing with joy to the LORD. Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. For the LORD is a great God, the great King above all gods. In His hands are the depths of the earth and the mountain peaks belong to Him the sea is His He made it; and His hands the formed the dry land” (Psalm 95:1-5) And “Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD …

"Trust God"

BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 22-23 In today’s reading, we find David running from Saul.In 22:1 David gives credit to God for delivering him from the hands of his enemies.It is interesting to note that King Saul could not find David.This brings to mind two great truths.
1)With all his resources, Saul could not find David.Saul was the king and had everything at his disposal.He had the army, advisors, spies, and those who disliked David as much as he did, but he couldn’t find him.David also had help to elude the king.He had the resources of God, the king of the universe.There was no contest here and David was aware of that, prompting him to praise God for all He did to help him. 2)When David was in the cave, he had the opportunity to kill Saul, but he didn’t.He said Saul was the anointed of God and he could do him no harm.In 2 Samuel 1, David is talking with an Amalekite who said that he had killed Saul.David’s comment to the man was, “How was thou not afraid to put forth thy hand to destroy Jeh…

Sunday

Bible Reading: Psalm 5, 38, 41-42

"Invited Home with the King"

BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 19-21 As David returned from hiding out in the mountains for fear of Absalom, there was one man that David wanted to see.You see, as David was away there were several people, like Shimei and Sheba, that were detractors of his; but there was at least one man who was willing to help.Barzillai, the Gileadite met the King as he crossed over the Jordan.He was eighty years old, but while the king was gone, he continued serving him as best as he could by providing him with food.As a reward to him for his service and love for the King, David offers him an opportunity of a life time.As a repayment for his kindness, David wants Barzillia to come and live with him in Jerusalem. David guarantees that he will be well taken care of the rest of his days on the earth for the kindness he shown David.Respectfully, Barzillia refuses, but just considered it as fulfilling his duty.There is tremendous parallel in this story for us today.Our King, Jesus, has been gone away from this e…

"Hide Me"

BIBLE READING: Psalm 26, 40, 58, 61-62, 64 Superhero movies are very popular these days.I think part of the reason is that so many of us as children fantasized about having a superpower.If asked, most people would want the power to fly.But, according to Psalm 64, if David had been asked that question, I think he would have wanted to be invisible so it would be easier to hide.In verse 2, he says, “Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the throng of evildoers.”I’m sure we all have had days like David, when the world becomes so heavy and chaotic that we just want to run and hide (to be invisible) and let the bad people and bad things pass on through.While we may not be able to hide, we do have a master that comforts us and is a shelter in the storm.In Matthew 11: 28, Jesus says, “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”So, the next time you need to “hide,” go to Jesus and let him give you the rest your weary soul needs. Prayer Requests:________…

"Action Vs. Reaction"

BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 16-18 One of the hardest life lessons to learn is that you can’t please everyone.As David is being driven out of Jerusalem due to the threat of Absalom, he is greeted with a not so happy camper. The Bible says that Shimei curses David continually, hurling stones and insults at him as he leaves. We must not forget that there is no Second Amendment protecting Shimei giving him freedom of speech. His behavior and outburst were more than enough for a punishment of death.In fact, Abishai refers to Shimei as a “dead dog” and asks permission of David to go and cut off his head.There is no doubt, with the history we have of David, he has killed men for much less.However, David restrains Abishai and allows Shimei to continue his harassment.Pause…. place yourself in David’s shoes; what would you have done?I think we have all been there, in a situation where someone isn’t happy with us and they are being very vocal about it.Sadly, I think most of us would have a knee jerk r…

"Am I The Only One?"

BIBLE READING: Psalm 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55 Have you ever felt like you were the only person who was trying to do the right thing?No matter how hard you tried, you still felt alone in your efforts to serve God. I think we have all been there at some point in time, whether it was at school or at work.We aren’t the only ones, but we so seem to be vastly outnumbered.In Psalm 12, David is experiencing that feeling of being the only one trying to do what was right. The true context of why he wrote this psalm is not noted but one might get the feel that it could have been when David had heard of the death of Samuel and Jonathan.Just listen to the first line “Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone: for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man” (Psalm 12.1). Samuel had been David’s mentor and Jonathan had been his closest friend.It would have been natural for David to receive encouragement from those who were of like minds with him.Now that they are gone, he feels all alone in a …

"Keep Your Enemies Closer"

BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 13-15 Batman had the Joker, Superman had Lex Luthor and Peter Pan had Captain Hook.  In every situation, this person would be a thorn in the side of the hero.  David was no different; he also had his own nemesis.  One might think it was Goliath, but that was too easy for David to defeat because he was always the bad guy.  Then one might think it was Saul, who constantly sought David’s life, but that too was short lived.  The one person that David had to really face as a threat to his life, as well as his kingdom, was his own flesh and blood, Absalom.  This must have been the most difficult of foes for David, because it was his own son.  The hatred from Absalom grew so much against David that he had to flee his own city into the mountains, to save his own life.  The entire conflict between the two was one that was seasoned with hatred and love.  We too have an arch enemy that is very close to us as well; in fact you live with this person 24/7. No, it isn’t your s…

"Answer Me"

BIBLE READING: Psalm 23, 51, 86, 122 Psalm 86 is known as A Prayer of David.Within the first ten words of this psalm, we read words written by David that express a sentiment often felt by many of us.David writes, “Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.”When you read that line, you can almost envision David stomping his foot and yelling “ANSWER ME!”Don’t many of us feel that way too sometimes?We all have that person we have repeatedly prayed for day after day, year after year, and still no answer from our Father in heaven.We get discouraged.We may even stop praying because we don’t believe He will answer us.In our desperation, we just want to scream as David did…”ANSWER ME!”We read that by the end of the Psalm, David acknowledges that the Lord has helped him and comforted him.It is easy to get frustrated when our prayers aren’t answered on our time frame.But, just as David did, remember God’s faithfulness and remember all the blessings in the past.Looking back…

Sunday

Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 11-12, 1 Chronicles 20

"Save Me, O God!"

BIBLE READING: Psalm 65-66 & 69-70 I have a confession to make. I am not a very good swimmer, although the thought of being in a pool on a hot summer day is relaxing and refreshing.The thought of being dropped off in the middle of the river terrifies me.One of the reasons that swimming is not my “thing”, is that I panic! The moment the waters begin to rise above my neck and I my feet are no longer able to touch the floor…I panic.It is the horrible feeling of not having something solid that I can rely on to get me to safety.However painful of a thought that is, I do receive comfort in knowing that I am not alone in my fears.In fact, I believe (and if you have Scriptural proof otherwise, please do not show me), that David had some sort of the same fear.In Psalm 69, David writes of the need to be rescued from deep waters.“Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck.I sink deep in deep mire, where there is not foothold; I have come into deep waters and the flood sweeps over …

"Trusting in God for Success"

BIBLE READING: 11 Samuel 10, 1 Chronicles 19, Psalm 20 During David’s rule the Israelites faced many different enemies.In almost every battle the Israelites were out manned and out resourced, yet they continued to succeed.In Psalm 20 David writes a song that offers an explanation on how they continued to thrive in battle against their enemies.“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.” (Psalm 20.7-8). God was the reason that they were so successful.Even when the enemy was larger, had more resources and their outlook was grim, God gave them the victory.Let that be a lesson for us today.You may be the only Christian at your office, in your classroom or in your family, but you and God make up the majority.God has the power to “Answer you in the day of trouble” (Psalm 20:1).He has the means of “granting you your heart’s desire” (Psalm 20.5a).He can “fulfill all of your petitions” (Psalm 20.…

"A Fool Says..."

BIBLE READING: Psalm 50, 53, 60, 75   In 1966, Time Magazine produced a cover story entitled, “Is God Dead?”  Their thinking was that the discoveries of science were on pace to rule out the fact that there was a God in existence that created everything.  In that same year, Carl Sagan, a famous astronomer, hypothesized that there were 2 criteria needed for a planet to support life: 1. The right kind of star and 2. A planet the right distance from that star.  With this opinion, out of the 1 octillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) planets in the universe, there should be approximately 1 septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) planets capable of supporting life.  With these odds, Sagan started a program called SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) in an effort to find life in our universe using an advanced radio telescopic network.  As of 2014, they have found NOTHING.                As our knowledge of our universe has increased, Sagan’s 2 criteria have now grown to …

"Mephibosheth & Me"

BIBLE READING: 11 Samuel 8-9, 1 Chronicles 18 Mephibosheth was the son of Saul, that was made crippled by the fall of Saul’s kingdom after his death.In the process of time, David hears of Mephibosheth’s condition and seeks him out to bring him into the kingdom.In those days, for political reasons, they would kill any offspring of the former king to ensure no one would rise to claim the throne.However, David doesn’t seek Mephibosheth out to kill him; he wants to invite him to live with him.After finding Mephibosheth, David sends for him and prepares a place for him at the King’s table.You might not realize but we have a great deal in common with Mephibosheth.Just as he was crippled by the fall of Saul and forced to live out the rest of his life at a disadvantage, we face some disadvantages of our own.We are faced to live our lives at a disadvantage because of what happened in Genesis 3 with the fall of Man.We were made crippled, in that we would never be able to make ourselves righteous…

"Lost"

BIBLE READING: Psalm 25, 29, 33, 36, 39 It is easy to admire Walt Disney World for the level of customer service they provide.  Whether you are a fan of the place, or the company, or not, it is amazing how well they know customer service.  In fact, they have training seminars where they can train other businesses how to perform well with customer service.  As large as Walt Disney World is and as many people that are there at one time, it can be easy for parents to lose children.  That can be a terrifying thing for a child (and a parent).  Imagine being lost in a large place, surrounded by strangers and not recognizing anyone familiar.  It doesn’t matter if it is the “happiest place on earth”.  That would be terrifying!  However, all “cast members” (employees) are trained to help, what they call, “Lost Parents”.  They have a specific set of guidelines that are followed in the event they find a child with lost parents, so they may help the child find his way back to them. So often we’re w…