2 Chronicles 7:14 Humility And Turning

“if my people, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Solomon had built and dedicated the new temple for God, who came down and inhabited it. During the night God appeared to Solomon to let him know that He heard his prayers and saw the work he had done. Then God tells Solomon that if His people, after walking away from Him, choose to humble themselves, repent and come back to Him, He will hear them.

This verse is a very commonly quoted verse by many believers. It is most common when things are going bad in the nation.

The “wicked ways” that is mentioned in this verse, is often looked at as the deep sinful practices of people in this world. Although it is true that some believers have turned from God and followed some wicked ways of this world, there can be more to those ways than just following this world.

Jesus had come to seek and save the lost in this world. When Jesus was getting ready to leave the earth, He told the disciples to go and make disciples in all of the world. Believers were to continue to do as Jesus had done. They were to be a witness of who He is and what He has done and will do.

Believers who have chosen not to do what Jesus told them to do, have fallen into wicked ways by omission. When people are not being told about Jesus, or are not being taught what Jesus taught, they will not follow God correctly. Those who are not being a witness and a teacher of the ways of Jesus, are living in sin. It is not gross “big” sins, but it is still sin.

God told Solomon that it was His people who had to humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways. It was not to the people of the world that He spoke to.

How are you living your life today?

You may not be living in some great, horrible sin, but are you being the witness of Jesus today to those around you. If you are not doing that, you are still living in a wicked way.

You definitely need to turn from all sin, but do not forget that in that process you must also begin to do the work God has called  you to do…be His witness. If you do one and not the other, you are still living in sin. Humble yourself and turn today.

I pray today that you will know God’s desire for your life; that you will be a witness for Jesus; that you will turn from all sin; and that you will seek to live fully for God.

See You At The Pole

September 28th was the day set for the 2016 See You At The Pole prayer time. It is a time for students, teachers, and anyone else who desires to meet around the flagpole of their school to pray. They take the time to pray for their school and all of the students and teachers in the school.

Prayer had been removed from public schools in 1962. In 1990 some students in Texas started to gather around the flagpole at their school on a set day in order to prayer for the school, their classmates, and teachers. Over time it has grown nation-wide and internationally into several other countries.

While many groups of people and organizations desire that the meeting be banned, it has been given clear allowance by the supreme court under the freedom of speech for the students.

At the middle school that I work at in central Texas, they had a group gather for the See You At The Pole prayer. There were approximately 12 students, plus about seven teachers and myself. It was my first time to be involved with this prayer time, though several of my children had been involved in the past.

During this time everyone had held hands while standing around the pole. Our flagpole is located right outside the main front entrance to the building and next to the parking lot, where students are dropped off for school. As we were praying several dozen parents had driven up to drop off their children. Many other students came walking up that walk to school. Along with all of those people seeing us, the school sits on the edge of a major four lane road running around the town, and all those people driving by could see us as we prayed.

Several of the students were brave enough to pray out loud while there. One of the girls prayed a prayer that was several minutes long. She prayed for the students, teachers, and their families. She had prayed that they may know Jesus, be safe, learn or teach, and work together. It was a very beautiful prayer.

Along with the students several of the teachers also prayed a prayer for the school and students.

Later in the day, I had several students that said they had seen me standing there praying. Several said that had forgotten that it was going on and wished they would have been there. One student even thanked me for praying for them.

When you read the news, you hear a lot of bad, negative news happening all the time. One thing that is very common is the idea of separation of church and state, that God is not allowed in the public schools. However true that may be in some places, I know that in the town I live in, God is not kicked out of the schools. There are many students who are not afraid to take a stand for Jesus. There are many teachers that make it clear that they believe in Jesus.

Although the world would like to make you think that God is not real and not in control, it is not true. God is still alive and He has believers everywhere. There is no place that there is not a believer. As I walk through the school I am in, I see many students with Christian shirts on, I hear many students talk about various aspects of God at times, and see some with Bibles.

Even though our government may attempt to block God from being in our public schools, it cannot stop God. God is a Spirit that lives in the lives of His people. His people have access to every school in this nation. As long as there are still believers, God will still be in the schools. Despite the false teachings that can go on in a public school, there are many students who know the real truth and are willing to let that truth be known.

I ask that every time you pass by a school, or think about a school or student, or see a school bus, please pray for the students. Pray that every believing student will stay strong and true to Jesus and will be a bold witness for Jesus. Pray for the believing teachers to stay true to Jesus, and have opportunities to be His witness in the school. Pray for their protection and learning, that they will learn the truth in every subject.

2 Chronicles 6:10 Giving God The Credit

The LORD has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.” 2 Chronicles 6:10

God had promised David, through a prophet, that his son Solomon would be the next king and would be the one to build the temple. Solomon did become the next king of Israel and did build the temple. Once the temple was built, Solomon gave God the credit for fulfilling His promises to his father David. He did not take the credit for doing these things on his own.

As people are successful at doing something, they often take the credit for doing it.  A person will brag about how he was in the right place at the right time to get it done. Or brag about how much hard work, effort and money he put into finishing the project. Very seldom will God be even mentioned in the process of getting things done.

People are selfish and want to take the credit for themselves. There are some who will give credit to other people who helped make something happen, but God is still not in the picture.

This can happen inside the church also. Some great event happened in the church and was very successful, and the head leader or leaders take all the credit for making it happen. It was those leaders who put in all the hard work to make it successful.

The one often forgotten, is God. God made it possible in many different ways. Without God, you would not even be alive. Without God, you would not be able to breathe. Without God, you would not have a purpose in life. Without God, you would not be able to move.

Everything that you have accomplished, has been done because God allowed it and gave you the ability to do it. As you accomplish something, give God the praise for it happening. Do not hold all the credit to yourself.

Realize that it was God who promised the things to be done and has given you the ability to accomplish them. Do not be selfish or ungrateful. Give all the credit where it really due…to God. He is the One who makes it happen.

I pray today that you will see God’s hand at work in your life; that you will know things are done by God’s strength; that you will give God all the praise for all accomplishments in your life; and that God will be praised by others for your work done.

2 Chronicles 1:10 What Would You Ask For?

“Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 1 Chronicles 1:10

Solomon had been made king of Israel. One night God came to him and asked Solomon to make a request for whatever he wanted. Solomon asked God for wisdom to lead the people correctly. God loved his request so much that He gave him more wisdom, wealth, and honor than any other person has had before or since.

The ability to ask for whatever a person wants and get it has been a dream for most people throughout all of history. People dream of finding the magic lamp with a genie in it that will grant them three wishes.

The desires of each person’s heart is most likely a little different, but most will also have one thing in common.

What do people desire? Wealth, health, fame, power, possessions, and position.

What do all these things have in common? They are all about self, pleasing and taking care of old number one–self.

There is nothing wrong with any of these things, but when asked for with the wrong reason, they become a bad item. When these things are asked for to make oneself look good or to put oneself above others, they become bad. It is the wrong motive for desiring these things.

As Solomon asked for wisdom, he was not asking for it just to look good or to be better than the other people. He asked for wisdom so that he could do God’s will–leading God’s people who God had put him in charge of.

As a believer, you are to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. This means that you are putting God and all of His desires first in your life.

Jesus said you could ask for whatever you want and you would get it, if you remain in Him, doing what He wants you to do.

What are you asking God for today?

Why are you asking God for it?

If God answers that prayer, will it bring Him glory, or will it bring you glory?

I pray today that you will know God’s desire for you life; that you will love God with all that is in you; that you will ask for the things God wants you to have; and that you will never be selfish to God or to others.

Leaking Water

Our main family vehicle is a suburban. It is an older one that we have already had for 10-11 years and had purchased it used when we got it. It currently has around 360,000 miles and for the most part is still running fairly well. With that kind of miles, you can expect some quirks about it that are not always worth the money to fix. Some of them being, the sound system no longer works, the lights flash on and off saying a door is open–though no door is open, the bright lights will come on every time you turn on the turn signal to the right, and numerous other small challenges. But it still gets us from point A to point B fairly well.

Recently our suburban has started leak out radiator fluid. I have been unable to determine where it is leaking at, but every other day, and sometimes every day, more fluid has to be added. It is a little nerve-racking, and definitely frustrating to have to deal with it.

We do not have another vehicle to use if we were to take it to a mechanic, plus don’t really have the money to fix it at this time. So at this time we live with it, grateful that it still runs, keeping it filled with water, and praying to God for a solution.

A thought that I had about this was how our vehicle is like our lives. We go to church and get filled with God’s Spirit, get re-energized, ready to face the week with God. As the week goes by, what usually happens?

Things break down, go wrong, problems occur, sickness occurs, going to work, stress at work, financial challenges, and the list goes on. If I am not careful, I allow the Holy Spirit to leak out of my life. He gets pushed out by my allowing other things to take the throne of my life. God gets put on the shelf with my business of life.

Instead of life being about God, it suddenly becomes about me and my needs and wants.

When this happens God allows warning lights to go off in my life that there is a problem. The peace of God has disappeared. Rest can no longer be found. Energy is depleted. There is no more joy in life. Reading the Bible becomes a chore, or is put aside and forgotten.

The interesting thing about this, is that it can be prevented. Keeping your life full of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word will prevent the problems from tearing you down and allowing the Holy Spirit to be leaked out of your life. Jesus said that you need to drink of the water that He has so that you can have eternal life.

The problems will still be there. You will still have many challenges in this life here on earth. Those problems are there because of sin and to push you closer to God. You have to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide and keep you going.

This can only happen by constantly being filled with God each day. Study God’s Word, sing songs of praise and worship to Him, pray without ceasing, and fellowshipping with and encouraging other believers.

The devil wants you to self-destruct and tries to keep the pressure on you to push God out of your life. He strives to get you to let the Holy Spirit leak out of your life so that you do not have God in your life, keeping you going. As you are filled with God’s Spirit, you will be energized to keep going. The fluid of the Holy Spirit will keep the gears of your life lubricated so that you do not overheat and be destroyed.

Know that God is willing to fill you daily with His Holy Spirit to give you the needed strength to face each days problems and challenges.

Your problems may not go away, just as my problem with my suburban has not gone away yet, but you will have the hope of God that you will survive in spite of them, and know that God is with you through the challenges.

1 Chronicles 29:17 A Heart Of Integrity

“I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.” 1 Chronicles 29:17

David was getting all the supplies together for his son Solomon to use in order to build the new temple to God. David started by giving out of his own money. The people also gave abundantly to the building fund. He knew that God tests the motives of the heart and wanted to see integrity. Both he and the people had given generously, willingly and with great joy.

A lot of people give to many different needs. This even occurs in the world, outside the church. There are many people who do not believe in God at all, that give millions of dollars to good causes to help other people out.

Although some of those people do it joyfully to help, many in the world do it to look good, or to get a tax write-off. On the outside it appears good, but when God looks at the heart, He is not seeing integrity. They are saying one thing, but in the heart are saying something else.

This even occurs inside the church. A missionary comes to the church to speak, and then comes the time to ask for an offering to raise needed financial support. Some will give willingly with great joy, but there are others who give only because that is what they are supposed to do. Others feel guilty if they do not give. And, yet, others will give to look good to everyone else.

God sees the heart and why you give what you do give. This giving is not just in money, but also in time, physical work, and any other abilities to God or to others.

As you give of anything you have to give, do it with a heart full of integrity. This is doing the right thing, with the right motive, though no one but God can see. Paul said that God loves a cheerful giver.

How are you giving today?

Are you giving to look good to others or to God?

Or are you giving because you want to bless others and God?

I pray today that you will have a heart of integrity before God and man; that you will do things with an honest heart; that you will do all things knowing God is watching; and that God will be pleased with your heart.

Living Above The Level Of Mediocrity

Title: Living Above The Level Of Mediocrity: A Commitment To Excellence
Author: Charles R. Swindoll
Publisher: Word Books Publisher
Date: 1978
Pages: 278

Charles Swindoll takes a look at living a life that is above the average life. Throughout this book, from beginning to end, he uses an eagle for his illustration. Most people love to see the eagle flying through the air, majestic and powerful. The reason the eagle looks so great is that it does things above what the normal bird does, it is willing and able to rise above the average to soar high in the skies.

Going throughout scripture, the author starts by looking at various lives of people in the Bible who lived extraordinary lives above the level of mediocrity. He then looks at lives of people who rejected living above the normal. Most people fall into this category.

Here he takes a look at the various things that put pressure on people to live just like everyone else does and refuse to rise above the normal and soar in the heavens with God. The four areas that he points out that keep people in the normal are: greed, traditionalism, apathetic indifference, and joyless selfishness. People are born to be greedy and selfish, and want only comfort and the easy life with fame following the same way that they have always lived.

Living for God will not always bring about the easy life, and will definitely not be the easy path. Most people will put pressure on a person to not rock the boat and be different or to soar as an eagle. Yet, God is calling every believer to rise above the standards of this world. He wants to do great and mighty things through every believer, if allowed to do so.

In this book, the author looks at what can cause a person to stay average, the battle it will take to soar, and how to stay focused on soaring as an eagle for God in this world that wants to walk on the ground. It will challenge you in the way you live your life for God. It is a call to excellence for God.

He uses a lot of scriptures and puts all of the verses in the text, so that you do not have to go look them up in a Bible. The writing is in everyday language, not scholarly big words.

I would encourage every believer to read this book, even though it was written nearly forty years ago and some of the current examples are now old history. It is well worth reading and taking to heart.