1 Kings 12:28 Changing The Truth

Red sky on lake

After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” 1 Kings 12:28 

Attempting to change the truth is a common practice. People do not want to believe something that had occurred and attempt to change the truth for a lie. They want to change things to make it look better or different, usually for personal gain.

When Rehoboam, son of Solomon, had become king, the people of Judah rebelled against him. Under the leadership of Jeroboam, the broke away. Jeroboam chose to set up some idols of golden calves to keep the people from going to Rehoboam. As he set them up, he told the people that it was the golden calves that had brought them up out of Egypt. He changed the history to gain the people and their trust.

People like to deny the real truth, because it often is a painful truth or requires a change. It is common for people to try and deny that Jesus rose from the dead, or even that He had really existed at all. If they believe that He did exist or that He did raise from the dead, it means that they must change their ways.

It is also common that after God does a big miracle in the life of someone, later they state that they were lucky or some other thing helped them, not God. They deny that it was God’s hand at work in their life and look towards something else. They set up an idol to worship what had helped them, refusing to believe it was God.

Believers sometimes fall into this trap and put God on the side, denying His real power and abilities. They set up the idol of a church, ministry, a person or something else did the work, and not God’s hand.

You must always keep God at the center of your focus. Know that it was God who brought about a miracle in your life, not other people, doctors, medicines, work, or anything else. Know that God is always working in your life for your benefit.

When something great happens, know that God is the one who is orchestrating it, not this world. Never forget what He did and change that to luck or something else. Don’t forget the true history in your life.

I pray today that you will see God’s hand at work in your life; that you will give God credit for the good in your life; that you will remember all that God has done for you;  and that you will never deny Jesus in your life. 

Advertisements

2 Samuel 7:24 Established As God’s People

Elephant family

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.

1 Samuel 8:5 Wanting What The World Has

Railroad path

They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” 1 Samuel 8:5 

One thing common among most people is that they want what someone else has. If no one else really has an object, very few people will want that object. The thing will be questioned as to whether it is really good or not, worth it or not.

If no one has, no wants it because there ‘must’ be something wrong with it. If every one has it, then it must be worth it or it must be a needed thing to have.

Businesses play off of this mindset of people. They make advertisements that show that everyone has the product and that everyone else needs it to really live life to the fullest.

As Samuel was getting older, the people of Israel asked him for a king. They wanted to have a leader, just like all the other nations around them, to lead and guide them in how to live life and be a great nation.

Although the idea of changing leadership is not common for people or nations, there are other things that people want just because those around them have it. Groups of people are stating that others need to follow the examples of other nations or groups in allowing certain things to happen. Many of these things are against God.

Churches and believers are being pressured to be loving and kind in allowing people to live in open sin and yet still be a believer. This goes against God’s standards. Believers are called to be separate and holy, not like the world around them.

Following God will be different than what they world follows. This is for the individual, groups or even nations.

You must ask yourself why do you want some thing or to do some thing. Is it just because everyone else is doing it or has it? Or is it because God wants you to have it or do it?

Your life should be focused on serving and pleasing God and not be trying to fit in with the world. You are different, set apart to be holy unto God.

What you have is greater than anything the world can offer. What the world offers is death. God gives life and abundant life for all eternity.

What do you really want?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior and King; that you will find all your desires in God; that you will desire to serve and love God with your whole life; and that you will follow all the ways of God. 

Judges 8:27 Worshipping The Blessing

Golden ephod

Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there and it became a snare to Gideon and his family. Judges 8:26 

Getting a gift or blessing from someone or a group for something that was done extra is always a good thing. It shows a person that he is honored and his extra work is recognized.

Companies and organizations around the world will often have times of honoring those who do the work. They recognize people who have gone above and beyond their job or position. The honor can be one of many things, such as a plaque, gift of money, a gift card, a picture, name in a newsletter, an extra vacation, and nearly anything the mind can think of.

There is nothing wrong with getting honored with a gift. However, there are some people who worship that gift.

After Gideon had defeated the Midianites, the people had given him some of the gold from the plunder they had taken. This gold was melted down and made into an ephod. Immediately the people and Gideon started to worship that ephod. It was as though the ephod had saved them from the Midianites.

Not only do people in the world tend to worship the blessing that was given, there are people in the church who have done the same thing. They may not say it is God, but they talk about the honor given as though it is the best thing in all of life. They keep it clean and posted where everyone can see it, and they make sure that people see it.

This is taking the honor of what God has done away from Him. It is focusing on what self did. The blessing ends up being worshipped more than God.

Take a look at your own life. What honors have you received over the years? How do you respond to those honors?

Be careful to keep you eyes and focus upon God. When people talk about the honor or blessing, point them back to God as the one who helped you do what you did.

Do not allow the honor or the blessing take the throne of your life or anyone else’s life. Do not allow it to become a snare pulling you away from God.

Everyone deserves some honor, but keep it in the right perspective–God made it possible.

I pray today that you will recognize God’s work through you; that you will give God the honor due to Him; that you will not worship things or positions in your life; and that you will worship only God. 

Zechariah 12:7 All Will Be Equal

The LORD will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. Zechariah 12:7

When the nation of Israel split up, it was split into two nations of Judah and Israel. Because of their sins, both nations were destroyed and put into captivity. After a time of being enslaved, they were released and God allowed the nation of Israel to be restored as one nation.

It was prophesied that there would come a day when God destroys all the nations that harmed Israel. During that time of destruction, God would save all the dwellings of Judah first, then those of Israel. This was done so that neither would think they were higher and greater than the other.

In this fallen world, people rank each other. Depending upon what they are looking at will determine how a person is ranked. One of the most common is by wealth, but it can be by appearance, talent, nationality, influence, or one of many other things. Some people are ranked very high on the list, while others are ranked very low.

In God’s kingdom, He does not rank the same way. The people of Israel thought that they were better than those of Judah, because they were direct descendants of King David. They thought they were the best. God gave special honor to Judah to show that they were the same.

Many in the church try to rank people in various ways. They look at how much a person does or does not give in the offering, or the type of ministry the person does, or how they dress for church. Others will look at how a person came to salvation and how much sin he has given up.

In the end, God does not look that way at people. He is looking at their heart–are they serving and following Jesus or not.

Once you begin following Jesus, you are equal with every other believer who follows Him. When you get into heaven, it will no longer matter who did what or how they did it, all will be equal.

Do not strive to be the greatest, or to look down on others who are not like you. Seek to bring all to Jesus as equal children of God. God loves you and everyone else just the same.

I pray today that God will reveal His love to you; that God will help you remove all self-pride in your life; that you will honor all who serve God; and that you will know that in God’s eyes all are equal.

Hosea 11:4 Like A Loving Father

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them. Hosea 11:4

God had chosen Israel and made them His people and nation. He showed them kindness and love. He would lift them up and hold them close and provide food for them to eat. As He did this, the majority chose to reject Him and follow idols and false prophets.

Good fathers will show love to their children in various ways. One of those ways is lifting up a little child and giving them a great big hug. It is comforting to a child and lets the child know that he is loved and protected. It shows the child that his father is there for him.

Along with showing that love, they will also reach down to feed their child. In order for the child to grow in health, he must have good food to eat. The food that is fed can be both physical and spiritual food. The physical food is for the physical body to grow. The spiritual food, is food from the Bible and prayer, so that his spiritual soul can grow and mature in the Lord.

God is a very Good Father, who loves His children. Despite the actions of Israel, He was working on lifting them up and showing them His love.

Over the years, God has not changed the way He works with His people. He still wants to shower His love upon them. He still wants to hold each one close to His cheek and tell them that He loves them.

You are also included in this. Whether you follow Jesus or not, God wants to hold you close. He wants that close relationship with you each and every day.

If you are a follower of Jesus, you can know that God is holding you to help you through your days. There will be days when things will go wrong and you may feel afraid. God will hold you close and let you know that He is there for you and not against you.

Allow yourself to be lifted up in the arms of your heavenly Father and be loved. Return that love to Him for all that He has done for you and continues to do. He is a loving Father.

I pray today that you will know God as your Father; that you will know God’s love for you; and that you will show God your love for Him. 

Hosea 7:10 Being Arrogant

Israel’s arrogance testifies against him, but despite all this  he does not return to the LORD his God or search for him. Hosea 7:10

Israel was God’s chosen people. God had personally selected them to be His people and to reveal Himself to the world through them. Since they were God’s chosen people, the people felt that they were extra special and could do whatever they wanted. They felt that they were the best and above all wrong, regardless of what they did. In this process they refused to turn to God or even search for Him.

Being labeled as arrogant is not a term that most people would want to be given. It is a term that is negative in its connotation. Being called arrogant means one is very stuck on himself and thinks that he is the best or better than anyone else. A lot of times people say an arrogant person has his nose stuck up in the air, because he is looking down on everyone else.

Over the years there have been many different famous people who were very arrogant in their words. Sports players, movie stars, singers, and politicians have been labeled or seen as very arrogant. Yet, many of these same people have fallen down and crushed. Often because of someone better than them, others because of some crime that they committed. They feel as though they are so good, that they can do no wrong or will be let off the hook on it.

Sadly, this same type of arrogance occurs in the church, just as it did with Israel. Leaders in the church feel as though they are the best. Individuals in the church carry the label of “Christian” and feel as though they can do no wrong at all.

Many believers have some success in their life, then suddenly stop seeking God, because they feel as though it was all their own work. They become very arrogant.

Take a look at your own life. Who gave you the ability to do what you do? Who opened the doors to allow you to do what you do?

It was not you who gave you all these things, it was God. As you go through your day, each day, seek God and what He wants. Do not allow yourself to think that you did it on your own or that you are the best. Let God have all that glory.

I pray today that you will seek God with all of your heart; that you will allow God to work through you; and that you will know it is by God’s power that you are here.