August 24, 2017 Give Thanks

1 Chronicles 16,34 Give Thanks

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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.

1 Chronicles 28:9 Wholehearted Service

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, d 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 be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9

David was nearing the end of his life and has made Solomon the next king. As a word of advice to Solomon, he tells him to acknowledge and serve God with a whole heart, because God already knows the inner thoughts of a person. Solomon is also told that if he seeks God, he will find Him, but if he rejects God, God will reject him forever.

In the workplace, most people work with just a half-heart. They really do not enjoy their job or some major aspect of the job, and so they do the bare minimum, if that much. Looking from the outside, some of those people may appear to be doing a good job and really likes their job. Or they are only striving to get a higher level position. They put on a false front, that unless someone is really close to them, it cannot be seen. They are good actors.

This also occurs in the church. Some people do a ministry, only because they have been asked to do so, not because they want to or because God called them to it. Others will do the ministry service to look good to others. Many go to church, call themselves a believer, but in reality do not even attempt to live for God when at work or at home, they purposefully ignore God through the weekdays.

Although people cannot fully see into the heart of another person to know what their real motive behind their actions. These people can look very good, but be very wrong. God, however, sees into the heart of every person. He knows what their real motive is and  where their real devotion is.

God said that if you seek Him, you will find Him. How much are you putting into seeking and knowing God?

Are you doing it with your every part of your heart and life?

Or are you just going through the motions and giving it only a partial effort?

No better advice can be given then to tell you to acknowledge and serve God with all of your heart and mind, and to seek and find Him daily.

I pray today that you will know God more; that you will serve Him with your whole heart; that you will sway in your devotion to God; and that you will seek Him more and more each day.

1 Chronicles 21:4 Rejecting Good Counsel

The king’s word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem. 1 Chronicles 21:4

Somehow Satan was able to get David to choose to take a census of all the people of Israel. This went directly against the law that God had given Moses for the Israelites to follow. Joab tried to get David to back down on his request to take the census, but David’s word ruled, since he was the king. Joab did take the census as ordered, but afterwards, God was angry and many people of Israel were killed by an angel of the Lord.

Most leaders surround themselves with other people who can give them counsel on how to be the best leader possible. The president of the United States has many different people to guide him in various areas of leadership. There is too much information that is needed for one person to understand everything and be able to make the correct decisions on his own.

Each of these people have their belief in what is the best choice to make, based off of information that they believe is correct. Some of these people will be giving counsel that is good for the people as a whole, while others will give counsel that is focused only on being good for a few.

The challenge comes at the point of having to choose whether to follow the given counsel or not.

David was given counsel by the devil to take the census. When warned not to take that counsel and to follow the counsel of God, he rejected it. This caused a downfall and punishment.

There are times in your life when you will be looking to do something that may not be right in the eyes of God. A good, trusted friend, who is a servant of God, may try to give you counsel in not going down that path. Or you may hear a sermon or read something that speaks against that choice. These things are good counsel that is coming from God to guide you.

What choice will you make?

Do not be like David was and reject the good counsel being given. Stop and take a look at what God’s word says and verify that the counsel would be the same as His, and then choose to follow it. Do not bring God’s anger upon you by rejecting good counsel.

I pray today that you will hear God’s word to you; that you will reject the counsel of this world; that you will choose to follow God’s directions; and that you will always walk in God’s ways.

1 Chronicles 17:16 Who Are You?

Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: “Who am I, LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?” 1 Chronicles 17:16

David had decided that he would build a temple for God. God told him that it was great that he wanted to do that, but he would not be the one to build the temple. God did promise David that He would make his name and family line great for generations to come. David was amazed and wondered who he or his family was that God had even brought him as far as He had already done.

Society often determines how great a person is by what they have or what they have done, regardless of character. It can often be seen where a person of “high” standing, such as a mayor, governor, or congressman, does something wrong. The first thing the person says, is asking the question if the police know who he is. They often feel that because of their position they cannot, or should not, get into trouble. They expect special treatment because of who they are.

Even though David was made king of Israel, he realized that he really was a nobody. He gave God all the credit for his position, for what he had, and all of his accomplishments. With doing that, he could not understand why God would do all those things for him.

As a believer in Jesus, you are in the same position as David. In and of yourself, you are  nobody. There is nothing that you can do without the power of God at work in your life. You did not create anything, heal anyone, or live a truly righteous life. In yourself, you are nothing.

Despite this, God in His great love and mercy, has made you into someone great. He has made you His child. He has promised you a home for eternity. He has promised you life for eternity. He is giving you an inheritance that is beyond anything that anyone on this earth can provide.

How far has God brought you in your life?

What things has God brought you through?

Think about what God has done for you and given you. When you realize what God has done, and who you really are, in yourself, you will stand amazed as David did. You will want to ask God the same question as David, who am I?

It really has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with God’s great love and mercy on you. Give God praise for what He has done and is doing in your life.

I pray today that you will know what God has done for you; that you will realize how far God has brought you; that you will know that you cannot do anything without God; and that you will know God’s great love and mercy.

1 Chronicles 16:11 Looking To The Lord

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11

After David had the ark of the covenant brought back to Jerusalem, there was great excitement among the people. David had appointed Asaph to lead the praise to God. He gave Asaph very detailed words in which to praise God. Part of that praise was a line telling everyone to look to God and His strength while seeking Him at all times.

Every morning millions of people get up in the morning and the first thing that they do is drink some coffee. The majority of those people drink regular coffee. The purpose of that cup of coffee, or much more, is to get some energy for the day. They want to have some of that caffeine in their body. It is often believed that the caffeine will give them the needed strength for the day. Others will drink different types of energy drinks for the same reason.

Along with drinking in that caffeine, many people will look to other people for their affirmations to give the needed strength for a job to do. Various leaders will surround themselves with people who think like they do in order to get the needed strength to accomplish something.

Doing these things do give some strength, but the strength can and will fail over time. Caffeine wears off and causes a crash. Friends will fail a person and walk away, or will not be available.

Only one will be there for all eternity and will never fail, or walk away or be unavailable. God is there around the clock for every person.

Instead of looking to things in this world for strength, choose to look to God. God had proven He has the power to do anything He wants when He created this world, and when He raised Jesus from the dead. There is no greater power than that of overcoming death as Jesus did.

Every moment of everyday, you need to seek God and what He wants for you. Seek His strength to do everything that needs to be done. Jesus said He would never leave or forsake you. Do you believe that?

Jesus also said that He gave you all of His authority to do His work in this world. Do you believe that?

Then look to God all the time.

I pray today that you will know God personally; that you will seek God’s strength all the time; that you will seek to know God’s ways for your life; and that you will trust God with your life.

1 Chronicles 15:28 Excitement For God’s Presence

So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouts, with the sounding of rams’ horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps. 1 Chronicles 15:28

The ark was  being brought back to the temple in Jerusalem for the first time in several years. As it was being brought in animals were being sacrificed to God in a gesture of thanksgiving. All the people were gathered around watching and were excited. Everyone was shouting and making music with the excitement of the return of the ark.

During football season, many people get very excited about the game being played. In the town where Texas A & M is located, when there is a home game with the A & M team playing many people show up for the game. Usually there over 100,000 people there to watch the game live. As the game is being played, the crowd of people get very excited about the game. When the A & M team scores a touch down, the crowd will roar with such loud excitement that it can be heard for at least a mile away.

Football is not the only thing that people get excited about. It can be any other sport, or some concert, or when they win a contest, or one of many other things.

What is not seen as often, is people getting excited about the presence of God showing up. Most people ignore even thinking about going to church. Others go because that is what they do on Sundays. And when they go, they sit in the back of the church and are very quiet, not really participating.

As a believer in God, you should be excited every time God shows up or you have a chance to meet with God. Being in God’s presence should be the highlight of your day. Think about it, you get to be with the One who created the entire universe. How exciting is that?

Do you welcome the presence of God in your life?

Or is the presence of God something that you just take for granted?

That excitement that you feel for a football game or any other sport, you should feel when you get into God’s presence. Get excited when God is doing something in your life, and He is always doing something if you open your eyes to see it.

Give God a shout of praise today for who He is, what He is doing and His presence in your life.

I pray today that you will know God’s presence; that you will find joy and excitement in God’s presence; that you will welcome God into your life; and that others will see that God is with you.