2 Chronicles 17:6 Devoted Heart

Cross heart on bible

His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah. 2 Chronicles 17:6 

Being devoted to something or someone is being committed to whatever is being devoted to no matter what happens. It is being sold out in mind, body and soul.

People find some things that they get devoted to for a time. When younger, people often devote themselves to following some person. This can be an actor, actress, singer, band, sports person, musician or someone else. It is common to see people devote themselves as boyfriend/girlfriend with a friend while in school or college.

The majority of these devotions are short termed. They only last for a few years, at best, then the devotion changes to someone else. The world sees their devotion as good until something comes along that is better. Along with the short-term devotion, these things are all temporary.

Jehoshaphat had become king of Judah and was devoted to God. His heart was devoted to the ways of God and doing what was right in God’s eyes, removing idols from the land. He led the people back to God, to love, serve and worship God, alone.

Since the time of Jehoshaphat, nothing has changed. There is only one that remains permanent for all eternity–God. Jesus made it possible for people to have a relationship with God, through His death upon the cross.

Jesus was devoted to the Father and to each person to bring salvation. Every believer should have his first devotion focused upon God. God gave life and made the relationship possible, so He, alone, deserves all the devotion of one’s heart and life. Believers need to focus everything that they say and do upon God and His ways, not the ways of this world.

You have a choice to make also. Who or what will you be devoted to? You cannot be devoted to more than one thing. Either you are devoted and serving God or you are serving self and this world.

Take a moment and find out where your heart is at. What makes your heart beat? What gives you life?

The things of this world will only give an illusion of life and in the end will bring death.

God gave and will continue to bring life for eternity. Set your whole heart to be fully devoted to God and His kingdom. That relationship will last forever.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that your heart will be devoted to God; that you will live your life in service to God and His kingdom; and that God will do great things in and through you.

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Matthew 21:13 A Robbery In God’s House

Matthew 21_13

“It is written,” he said to them, ” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’ ” Matthew 21:13

Jesus had walked into the temple courts and saw many people exchanging money and selling things. He knocked everything over and then reminded them what Isaiah and Jeremiah had prophesied about the temple. Isaiah called the temple a house of prayers. Jeremiah said they made it a den of robbers.

No one likes to be robbed of anything. It is commonly thought throughout the world that stealing is wrong. It is also common that of anyplace to steal, no one should steal from a church or temple. Anyone who has something stolen from them usually seeks out justice to find and punish the person who did the stealing.

Although Jesus was dealing with money and selling in the church, there is a different type of stealing that is common in the church. It is the stealing of time from God, the pastor and others inside the church.

One may ask how there is stealing of time inside the church?

Every week people go to church, many on a regular basis. Yet, while they are in church, sitting in the chairs, their mind is somewhere else. They are not focused on the worship of God or the sermon being spoken. The songs being sung are done with rote memorization, they are just words being said with no meaning in the heart. The words being spoken for the sermon go in one ear and out the other. There is no application to the life of the person.

This is stealing from God, the pastor and others. God has placed the pastor and the worship team there to lead people to get closer to God. If one does not move in closer to Him, it is wasting their time and stealing it from them. It is stealing from God what He has given for good.

As you go to your next church service, ask yourself if you are stealing from God. Where is your heart while you are sitting in the service? Are you worshipping God from your heart, or just with words?

Use the time God is giving you to draw closer to Him in worship and praise. Apply His words to your life to be more like Jesus. Don’t rob God anymore of this blessing.

I pray today that you will focus on God more; that you will worship God from your heart; that you will use the time wisely that God has given you; and that you will not rob God of anything. 

Psalm 122:1 Excited To Go To Church

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” Psalm 122:1

Going to church is something that people have many different feelings about. Most of the world does not even believe in God at all, so they won’t even think about going to church. Some will go there for a wedding or funeral, but see no other purpose in going.

Among the believers there is also a variety of feelings. There are many believers who refuse to go to a church because of some bad incident that had occurred in some church years before that hurt them. Some feel that the church building is just a man-made thing that God does not want and so they choose not to go and support it.

Then there are many who do go to church, but do it out of obligation. They do not go because they really want to. Along side of these, there are those who go to get something from the church rather than to worship God and give to others.

The psalmist was rejoicing when asked to go to the house of the Lord. He saw it as a great thing to do, a place to meet God with others.

Church is a place where believers can get together to build each other up as they worship God. The house of the Lord is to be a place of worship and praise. It needs to be a place of excitement and life, people alive and excited to be serving a great and loving God.

Whether you go to church on Sunday, Wednesday or any other day of the week, there should be excitement in going. Do not just go out of obligation or to look good. Be excited that you can get together with others who believe in God and worship Him and build each other up.

You were created to serve and worship. Going to church gives you the opportunity to do both with others. You are not to serve and worship God alone.

Do you rejoice when it is time to go to church?

Or do you moan and groan, and go because you have to do it?

I pray today that you will find joy in going to church; that you will find joy in worshiping with other believers; that you will find ways to build others up in Jesus in a church; and that time at church will be alive in Christ for you.

Job 2:10 Accepting All From God

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. Job 2:10

When Job had not sinned against God when he lost his home and family, Satan went before God again. He told God that a man will serve God as long as his physical body is not hurt. God gave him permission to injure Job, but not to take his life.

Satan inflicted Job with all types of painful sores over his entire body. Job’s wife then suggested that he curse God and die, getting it over with. Job said she was talking crazy talk. He was willing to accept both the good and the bad from God.

There are people who can easily accept the loss of things or loved ones as a part of life. However, when their physical body is being hurt, they start to complain. When they are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, or an injury that will be life-long, they are very upset with God.

Many look at the loss of a part of their body as God being cruel and unjust with them. This comes from losing the ability to do something that most other people can do. They get angry with God and blame Him for their loss. Some will even go to the point of committing suicide.

Job had the right view in that he was to accept everything that comes from God, whether trouble or blessing.

It is very easy to accept blessings from God. The challenge is accepting trouble that comes at times. God allows troubles in your life to show the world you are dedicated to Him and to build you up. God will not allow trouble in your life if He thought you could not handle it with His help.

Always keep in mind that God works everything for your good. He wants to build you up, not tear you down. Satan is out to destroy you. God is out to strengthen you and make you more like Jesus.

Trust God in both the good and the bad times. Worship Him for everything that He sends your way. Accept both the good and the bad that God allows in your life, it is for your benefit. Lean on Him to help you through every situation.

I pray today that you will trust God in everything; that you will accept all God has for you; that you will not get discouraged in bad times; and that you will be a witness for God in every situation in your life.

2 Chronicles 36:22 Favor In Tragedy

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: ” ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the LORD their God be with them.’ ” 2 Chronicles 36:22

The last four kings of Judah refused to follow God and led the people in greater sins. God then allowed Cyrus, king of Persia (modern Iran), to take over Judah and put everyone into captivity. Once he had the land, he allowed some of the people to go back and rebuild the temple for God.

Often when tragedy strikes a person or a nation, people are scared and mad at God. Very seldom do they understand the purpose of the tragedy, asking why it happened. It can look like God is angry with the person and just out to destroy them.

God is a god of love. He does not hate anyone, but wants everyone to come to Him in repentance and follow His Son Jesus. With this in mind, everything that happens is for the good of the person it is happening to.  God allows things to happen in a person’s life to build him up, not to tear him down or destroy him.

In the Old Testament, God had been sending prophets to turn the people back to God and warned them of captivity. When they did not listen, He allowed them to be sent into captivity. However, while there, they were given extreme favor by their captor to be allowed to go and build God’s temple again. They were allowed to go back and worship God in the correct way. God used the tragedy to get their attention back on Him.

Whatever situation you may have gone through or are currently going through, it is for a purpose. God is not out to destroy you. He wants a relationship with you more than you can ever imagine.

As you go through a tragedy look for God’s favor in the midst of it. See what God wants you to do through it. Find ways to worship God in and through the situation. You do have God’s favor in your life, if you will follow Jesus.

I pray today that you will find ways to worship God at all times; that you will see God’s hand of favor on your life; that you will not be angry at God for any tragedy in your life; and that you will know the love God has for you.

2 Chronicles 31:5 Generous Giving To Worship

As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, olive oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything. 2 Chronicles 31:5

Hezekiah had the temple cleaned up and consecrated to God, and all the places of false worship were destroyed. It was now ready for worship to begin. After appointing the priests for leading the worship, he put out an order telling the people to give to the temple for worship. The people generously brought in a great supply of everything needed for worship to God.

During the time of Hezekiah worship was something that was physical and cost a great deal to do. Many animals and foods had to be used in the process of sacrifices in order to worship God properly. The people would show their worship to God by bringing those needed items to the temple to be used in the sacrifices.

Since Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for every person, the method of worship has changed. While animals are no longer needed for sacrifices to worship, there are other things needed, some physical and some spiritual.

For the physical side of things it does cost money to have the sound equipment and a building in which to gather to worship. This is where physical tithing and generously giving of money comes in.

The other important factor in worship is the spiritual. A heart dedicated to God is required to be able to worship God. Taking time out of a busy life schedule is needed to worship God. Focusing on God and forgetting the cares of this world is needed to worship God. Gathering with other believers helps build the worship to God.

These are all things that only you can provide for yourself. As you gather with other believers for worship what are you putting into that offering of worship?

Have you tithed the money needed for expenses?

Are you dedicating your whole life and mind to worshipping God?

Take some time today to generously pour out some worship to God. Step off the crazy tread-mill of life to focus on God and give Him some worship. Go above and beyond just a five-minute quick worship and give it all to Him, Jesus is worth all you can give and more.

I pray today that you will make time to worship God; that you will set aside personal needs to worship God; that you will enter into a close relationship with Jesus; and that you will be generous in your worship to God in every area of your life.

2 Kings 17:40-41 Living A Double Life

They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshipping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did. 2 Kings 17:40-41

The nation of Israel had been destroyed by the Assyrians, but the king of Assyria allowed them to go back and rebuild their cities under his control. They were allowed to worship God and build their temples to Him again. As they worshipped God, they continued to serve all their idols, living a double life. This was passed down and continue from generation to generation.

Very often people do not really learn from their mistakes. A person goes out and gets drunk, then proceeds to drive while drunk. He gets into an accident and also gets a fine for driving while intoxicated. Several weeks later, the man goes out and does the exact thing and gets caught again. This occurs over and over.

Many people say that they would learn from their mistakes and not do them again. Others would say that if they got caught they would stop forever, whatever their fault was.

However, very few people do actually stop doing something wrong.

People come to church and dedicate their lives to God..in word. When they get home, they go back to dedicating their lives to their jobs, retirement plans, or living in some type of sinful activity. They have allowed sin and the things of this world to be their real master. They go back to their old way of living, while saying they are living for God. It is a double lifestyle.

Jesus said that you, as a believer, have become a new creation. You are supposed to be a new person in Jesus. You are to turn away from the old way of living and not continue in it.

Everyone will make a mistake, but you are not supposed to stay in that mistake. Do not persist in living a dual life of a believer and a sinner. You cannot serve God and the world at the same time. You must choose one or the other.

Do not be like the Israelites, when they were given a second chance, they rejected it. Do not live a double life, but live completely for God and God alone. Allow Jesus to make you into a new creation who serves God only.

I pray today that you will know God; that you will serve God alone; that God will make you a new person in Jesus; that you will turn from the old way of living; and that you will not live a double life.