Please read 1 Chronicles 1-8.
Reading a list of names is usually a very boring, dry thing to read for most people. This becomes especially true when one does not know the majority of people and do not see any connection with the people.
The majority of people do not really know their genealogy, nor care about it a whole lot. They know their immediate parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and maybe cousins. Beyond those people they do not know very many.
A major reason for not knowing those names is that they have never met most of the rest in their genealogy. Some people, however, dig into the past, writing up their entire genealogy for several hundred years or more.
In this passage the writer lists the names of fathers and sons from the time of Adam until the time of Benjamin, covering several thousand years of generations of people. As one reads this passage it is very repetitive, so and so is the son of so and so, and so and so is the son of so and so, on and on for eight chapters. One often wonders why God had this put in this long list.
Most of the names in this long list are names of people that there is no longer any mention of them in the Bible anywhere. There are in a sense a bunch of nobodies, unknowns. Yet, God chose to put their names on this list. God is concerned about everyone, whether famous or not.
Along with seeing this list, one can see a line of connection from Adam all the way to Benjamin. There is a thread that is being formed, that will also continue on for eternity.
Knowing that there is this connection and knowing that God is concerned about every person, can give one peace of mind. Although that list stops in the eighth chapter, it has not ended in reality. Several thousand years later Jesus was added to that list.
As a believer you are also a part of that genealogy. God knows your name and has it written down in the history books of heaven. You may not be someone very important in the eyes of this world, but you are important to God. He wants to have you in His genealogy list of His family.
God knows all the names of the stars, He also knows your name. Rest in peace knowing you are in His family for eternity.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know that God knows your name; that you will trust God’s plan for your life; and that you will know how important you are to God.
You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, LORD, have become their God. 2 Samuel 7:24
People around the world have one thing in common that they want to feel wanted and needed. They want to have purpose in this life. In desiring this, people are always searching for purpose and need.
In order to find these things, people will do nearly anything they can. Often they are searching in the wrong areas. The search usually is finding people or things, which really do not solve the problem. In this process, they will often bounce from one thing to another or one person to another, not finding what they desire.
As David was beginning to be the new king of Israel, God appeared to him and stated He was with him and will establish him and his family forever as His. David praises God for making the people of Israel His very own.
Being God’s people is something that the majority of the world does not see or know the benefit of. It does not make sense to the world. They want something that they can feel and touch physically.
During the Old Testament, Israel was God’s chosen people. It was an exclusive group. However, when Jesus came, He opened this door to everyone. Any one who believes in Him are now a part of God’s people.
It was even brought further, not only are believers are part of God’s people, they also become a child of God, they become family with God. They are wanted, loved, and have a purpose. This becomes an establishment that lasts for all eternity. It does not change as seasons, or fashions, or trends, or anything else changes. God does not die off or move away as people do. The purpose is the same for all eternity–to love God and love others.
As you are walking through this life you need purpose. You need to feel wanted and desired. This can be found only in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior. He is ready and willing to graft you in as His people and His family. You can be His child for all eternity.
God will never stop loving you or go away. God is always there for you. This is a firmer establishment than anything that this world can offer you. It will last for eternity.
How are you established today?
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know you can be family with God; and that you will be established in God’s love and family.
Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. Numbers 1:2
All around the world, nearly every nation does a regular count of how many people there are in the nation. Often this is done for the purpose of taxing the people. It can also to see changes in growth to plan the infrastructure for the future of the nation.
Most of the time, the census is taken for personal gain of the nation. It is not done for true care and concern for the people or even the individual.
While the Israelites were in the wilderness, God told Moses to take a census of every man with them. He was to list each man’s name, one by one, clan by clan and family by family. It was to be a very detailed listing of who was living in camp.
God knew the names of every person before Moses was to even begin the count. He also knew the number of people in the camp. Taking this census is one way God can show that He knows the name of every man and his family. As Moses counted the people, he would be able to tell them this information is for God. He wants to know each person by name. This was a physical showing that God knows their names.
Very often people think that God does not know who they are or where they are in life. They feel as if God has forgotten or ignored them. This becomes especially true when the person is going through a difficult time. Or they are praying for something and God does not seem to answer or hear.
There are times that every believer needs to be encouraged that God knows his name. He needs to be reminded that he is on God’s census list.
You may be at one of those times of struggle, wondering if God even knows your name. Rest assured that God does know your name. He is taking a census on a daily basis of who all of His children are and where they are. In fact, it is a constant census, every moment of the day.
God knows your name and is right there with you. As long as you believe in Jesus and follow Him, He will keep counting you as family.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know that God knows your name; that you will be a part of God’s eternal family; and that you will trust that God is always with you, even in the deserts of life.
Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother. Mark 3:35
As Jesus was talking His mother and brothers came up wanting to see Him. Some people told Him that they were waiting. He then asked the question of who His family was. Then He answered His question with stating that those who do His will is part of His family.
Family blood runs deep with some families. Those who are related by blood will often do whatever is needed to protect and take care of other members of the family.
One illustration of dedicated family is of the mafia families that are often portrayed in movies. They are seen to take care of family members, as long as the member does his part as a member of the family. If one member of the family betrays the other members of the family, he is often cut off from the family. In the movies, that person is often killed.
People are born into being selfish and sinful, doing their own thing rather than what God wants them to do. At that point, people are not a part of God’s family. They are a part of the family of the devil or this world.
To be a part of God’s family one must do what God wants that person to do. God wants people to believe in His Son Jesus, who died on the cross for their sins. He wants them to listen to Jesus and obey all that He says.
Once a person gives his heart to Jesus, he has repented of his sins and begins to obey God. This obedience is doing God’s will. At that point he is now a member of God’s family. He is either a brother, sister or mother to Jesus, with God the Father being the Father of all.
Doing His will is easy, if you allow it to be. It comes down to two simple rules: love God and love everyone else. This is exactly what Jesus did when He came and walked upon this earth. He loved God by obeying what He wanted Him to do. He loved everyone else by dying for their sins on the cross.
How are you doing at doing what God wants you to do?
The more you do what He wants, the more you are a part of the family of Jesus. Are you a part of His family?
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will obey God; that you will do what He wants you to do; and that you will love God and everyone else.
I am currently in a position of a job transition. I am transitioning from a known job into the unknown. At this point I do not know what my next job will be, but I know that God has one out there for me.
In the process of searching for a job I have to look at various different factors. One factor is what type of job do I want. Another is how much I want to work, or how many hours I want to work. Another is what benefits are there and what benefits do I want.
One factor that many people do not look at is the motivation factor. Motivation is the reason for a person to behave or act in a certain way. This brings up the question of why a person wants a particular job. Most people look back at the above factors in looking for a job. Some want the high pay, others the great side benefits, and still others the hours worked.
While paying the bills is an important motivator for working, it is not necessarily the most important factor.
As a believer in Jesus, my time in worship and ministry is extremely high on the priority list of life. I want to be able to go to church and do ministry in the church. I want to be able to lead my family in worship and service to God, both in and out of the church.
As a happily married man, I place a very high priority of spending time with my wonderful wife. I want to be able to take her out on a date once in a while. I want to be able to spend time with her at home without falling asleep exhausted from work.
As a man with a large family, I place family as a very high place on the priority of life list. I want to spend quality and quantity of time with my family. I want to be able to play with my kids and mentor my kids in work, worship and ministry. Working automatically places a damper on the amount of time spent with my family.
Some of the jobs I look at will pay very well. This will allow for all bills to be paid and still be able to get everything my family needs or wants. However, to get that high pay requires that I put in very long hours, cutting back family and ministry time.
Other jobs I look at allow for a lot of time with the family, but do not pay very well. They will not be enough to pay the bills and other needs of the family. Thus it puts a lot of stress upon me and the family.
You may be in this position or you may have been there, or you may be in this position some day. Most people have been there or will be there some day.
In order to solve this dilemma one must look to God and His word. The first thing is:
God guides those who seek Him. He will guide your steps. God is there to help you grow, not cut you down.
It is easy to look at this verse and agree that God guides your steps, but it is harder to actually act upon it. He may open a door that does not look good, or close a door that looks great. He sees the big picture and wants to guide you down the correct path.
Often we look at a path God wants us to walk down and just see problems with it. Yet, that path may be the best one for us. It may be difficult, but it keeps you focused on God. It may be insane, but it draws you closer to Him. This brings you to the point of trusting God.
You must let go of your own understanding and the wisdom of this world and trust God’s wisdom and understanding of the situation.
Now that I have talked about God guiding your steps and trusting in the Lord, what does all this have to do with motivation? I started talking about motivation at the beginning.
You need to first find out what pleases God. When you or I look at a job, it must be through the eyes of God. Does it honor God? Will it please God to have you working there? Will it be a hindrance to your walk with God? Or will it build your walk with God?
No matter what the job is that you do, you must do it as though you are working for God. Don’t do it just for the paycheck, or the position, or the benefits, but do it for God.
God opens and closes doors. If you are in a job, it is because God wanted you to be there. The purpose to being there could be to build you up or to help you reach others. The paycheck is the last thing God is really concerned about. You can have a great paycheck and be lose eternal life, because you missed God.
The two greatest motivators for anything that you do, must be to please God and to do it for God.
This can be translated into work, play, or anything else in life. What is your motivation? Is it something temporary of this world? Or is it eternal in God’s kingdom?
One of the busiest seasons is upon us–Christmas season. Although it has two different holidays where most people get it off or at least partially off, they are busier than normal.
It seems as if there is always a million things to do each day and not enough time in the day to get everything done. With Christmas there is the time of trying to figure out who I need to get gifts for. Then decide what gifts should I get, along with what can I really afford to get. Along with the gifts, there are Christmas concerts, recitals, plays, and services going on almost daily somewhere. There are friends and family putting on events that you must attend.
As if that is not enough to make a person crazy, one must also decide which family member to go visit for Christmas, how long you will stay, how will you get there, and where you will stay during the visit.
At the home, you must also set up the Christmas tree and hang up or set up all the decorations. Decisions must be made on how the outside of the house and yard will be decorated. Then time must be taken to get all the supplies, change out all the burnt out lightbulbs and set it all up.
Inside the house, decisions on what deserts must be made. Baking all the Christmas cookies, cakes and candies are being done at a rapid pace.
As all this is occurring, most people are still working a regular job, taking kids to practices or school, cooking meals, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, and the list goes on.
With all of these things occurring, many people often regret Christmas or lose sight of what the meaning of Christmas is all about. On Christmas morning, some families pull out a Bible and read the story of the birth of Jesus. It is often the only time that they really thought about the meaning of Christmas in all the hustle and bustle of life and getting ready for Christmas.
As you are getting ready for Christmas think of this verse:
Look at the scene in this picture. See the trees, water and snow are sitting perfectly still. All of creation is sitting still knowing God is God and He is in control of it all. Nature does not show any hustle and bustle about anything.
Relax and get back to the real reason why you celebrate Christmas. It is about God loving this world so much that He gave His one and only Son to save you. It is not about all the giving and getting, lights and decorations, or even visiting family, it is completely about Jesus.
If you do not get all the decorations up, if you do not get everyone the perfect present, if you do not get some baked goods completed, it will be ok. Life in this world will still go on. Jesus will still save you from your sins.
Take a moment at least once a day, preferably many more times each day, to stop and thank God for the season. Give thanks to God for His great love in sending His Son to save you. Thank God for the greatest gift ever given–life.
Take a moment to realize the meaning of this great holiday. It is to remember what God has done for you.
Do not allow yourself to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this season so much that you miss out on what Jesus is doing in your life. Be still and know that He is God.