1 Chronicles

The Blood of Jesus


1 Chronicles 16:1-19:19

“Do not touch My chosen people, and do not hurt My prophets.” 1 Chronicles 16:22

Have you ever felt left behind, hurt or forgotten? Have you ever felt betrayed, lost or lonely? How about forsaken, beaten down or rejected? My friend, Jesus knows how you feel and He’s here to help you through it all. We are Satan’s favorite pin cushion; when it comes to torture we’re his favorite outlet. But that doesn’t mean that we have to continue just sitting there and taking it! God Himself has spoken over us, “Do not touch My chosen people” this includes YOU. All too often we allow ourselves to be beaten and abused by the Enemy, usually because we feel like we deserve what he’s dishing out. But we don’t!

OK, I take that back, we did deserve it; but Jesus took that punishment for us. And since Double Jeopardy isn’t allowed in God’s courtroom either, Satan isn’t allowed to punish us for crimes where the punishment has already been carried out – on Jesus. You see God made Jesus (who knew no sin) to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21) According to Romans 5:19 we have been MADE righteous. It’s not something we’ve done; it’s something that has been done FOR us. Adam’s sin MADE us sinners, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross MADE us righteous. Period. There is no debating or arguing about it, not with each other and certainly not with Satan. He knows that we’ve been made righteous (or put into right standing with God), but if he can make us BELIEVE that we’re still sinners then he can hold all kinds of torturous power over us.

We’ve GOT to stop believing the LIES that Satan feeds us.

Satan would love to have us believe that the blood isn’t as powerful and effective as it really is. He would love for us to think that it only works for x-amount of things, when in reality it works for EVERYTHING! Satan would love to have us believe that the blood of Jesus is exactly like the blood of those goats and bulls that atoned for one sin at a time. But Jesus wasn’t a sacrifice like those animals, He was SO MUCH BETTER! I mean, sure when I say it your brain says, “Well duh, of course His sacrifice was so much better than those animal sacrifices”. But think back to the way you’ve been behaving lately (God is totally pointing His finger at ME right now on this one), have you been ACTING like the blood of Jesus is on you? Or have you been believing and behaving as though a mere goat’s blood is sprinkled over the doorposts of your heart?

I don’t know about you my friends, but I am GUILTY AS CHARGED! I’ve been feeling, and acting, defeated and ugly and just down right sorry for myself on a lot of things. But I have no need to be! I am the daughter of the KING of kings and the LORD of lords! I have been betrothed to the Son of God and I have been adopted into the family of the Creator of the Universe, what on earth do I have to be feeling defeated about???

In today’s Word of the Day there’s a phrase that is repeated twice, I’m sure for emphasis, that I think we need to adopt as our own today: “So the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.” The favor of God was upon David then just like it’s upon us today. And it is upon us because Jesus is in us through faith in Him. Now, are you ready to have your mind blown? Get this, Jesus was in David just as He is in us today. Bear with me here, this is cool. In Hebrews 7 it says that Melchizedek blessed Levi when he blessed Abraham because Levi was in Abraham’s loins at that time. God blessed David while Jesus was still in his loins. What’s more, what if God chose Abraham and set him apart because God knew that Jesus was in Abraham! God CHOSE you because Jesus is in you.

There is something that God has chosen you for that you are the one and only person on this planet that can do it the way God wants it done. Sure there may be hundreds if not thousands of other people out there that are fully capable of doing what you’ve been called to do. BUT none of them are able to do it the way YOU will do it. You are unique. There is no one with your exact past. There is no one with your exact talents. There is no one with your exact personality. There is no one exactly like you, and it is for that very reason that God chose you to do what He’s called you to do. Because you’re the only one who can do it exactly the way He wants it done. Sure someone else can do it, but they’ll never be able to do it exactly right. But YOU can. And it may not even be the exact way YOU want to do it, but it will turn out exactly the way God planned it. He knows the plans He has for you. And He’s GOD, do you really think that His plans can be messed up by a puny little human like you? Those plans were created FOR you, with your weaknesses, shortcomings, strengths and talents in mind. Don’t you think that the Creator of the Universe took all those things into account when He made those plans that included you? I mean, just look at His plan for Jesus! If that’s not proof that He planned ahead to cover your weaknesses then I don’t know what does! If you have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf and have declared Him Lord over your life then you’ve got the eternally effective blood of Jesus covering you from head to toe and everything in between. My friend, if God has called you to something, then He WILL get you through it! He doesn’t call the equipped He equips the called. You know that just as well as I do. Now let’s go out there and start living like we believe it!

“Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done.” 1 Chronicles 16:8

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The Right Thing to Do


1 Chronicles 12:1-15:29

“The whole assembly agreed to this, for the people could see it was the right thing to do.” 1 Chronicles 13:4

This morning I woke up, kissed my husband and said sleepily, “Happy Anniversary Baby.” Fourteen years ago today history was made. Two high school sweethearts got married and became an official team for life.

They didn’t have it easy;

they were young and naΓ―ve and got into plenty of trouble along the way. But they did it together. Throughout those fourteen years their family grew

and grew

and grew.

In the first seven years together they moved FOUR times. But these last seven years have all taken place in the same place, a place they call HOME. It’s a place where life has happened, over and over and over again. Mistakes have been made, plans have been ruined and feelings have been hurt. But it’s also a place where decisions have been made, priorities have been rearranged, laughter has been ABUNDANT and love has flown from every corner and every seam. Love grows here.

Almost five years ago to the date, their marriage was tested to its limit. They were both pretty fed up with each other and wanted to quit, but couldn’t. They’d made a promise to each other and to God and they weren’t about to break that promise. But they didn’t really want to keep living the way they had been either. And that’s when things really got shaken up. I won’t go over the whole story since they kinda wrote a whole book about it True Intimacy). But I will share a chapter of that book with you today, mostly because I think it relates to today’s verse of the day.

There is usually a “right thing to do” in every situation. But many times we can’t see that “right thing” because our vision has been clouded by pain, or regret, or unforgiveness, or bitterness. But no matter what the cloud is made of, God can clear it up and help you SEE with brilliant clarity what that “right thing to do” is and He will also help you to DO IT. You see, God’s good like that. He doesn’t leave us stranded and lost looking for a way home. He comes and picks us up and guides us all the way home.

He’s good like that.

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Fortress


1 Chronicles 7:30-11:47

“The people of Jebus taunted David saying, ‘You’ll never get in here!’ But David captured the fortress of Zion, which is now called the City of David.” 1 Chronicles 11:5

“David made the fortress his home, and that’s why they call it the City of David.” 1 Chronicles 11:7

“Together with all of Israel. They decided to make David their king, just as the LORD promised” 1 Chronicles 11:10

“David became more and more powerful, because the LORD of heaven’s armies was with him.” 1 Chronicles 11:9

So as you can see, I couldn’t pick just one verse this morning, mostly because these four tell the story. A story that starts with Paul from last week’s post, The Truth in the Confusion. I was re-reading that post last night and that verse from Acts contains a nugget that I wanted to write about that day, but just couldn’t quite get out.

“Since he couldn’t find out the truth in all the uproar and confusion, he ordered that Paul be taken to the fortress.” Acts 21:34

It’s the concept of the fortress, that place of safety in an attack; a refuge for the battle weary alongside the battle ready. It’s a beautiful picture of Jesus and His protection from Satan. But then we get to today’s first verse about David. The fortress he was facing wasn’t his own… yet. In Deuteronomy 7:1 God had promised, “When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are about to enter and occupy, he will clear away many nations ahead of you: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These seven nations are greater and more numerous than you.” And to that date the Jebusites hadn’t been taken care of yet. That’s where David comes in. He was the man for the job, the man God had chosen to finally conquer this enemy stronghold in His people’s life.

Jebus was a city on a hill surrounded by a sturdy wall. It would be the perfect spot for a king to build his capital – if he could conquer it. And as David stood outside the walls of the city, the people jeered at him because they felt safe in their fortress. Little did they understand that GOD was on David’s side, the God who provides wisdom where before there was none. David knew how impenetrable this fortress was. But he also knew that the people inside would need water and that there had to be a way for those people to get that water from inside the fortress. And David, utilizing the waterway into the city sent a select few inside to let him in. David conquered their unconquerable city of Jebus and the people who had mocked David only hours earlier, were on their knees begging for mercy from the mighty warrior by the end of the day.

“David made the fortress his home, and that’s why they call it the City of David.” 1 Chronicles 11:7 After conquering Jebus David renamed the city “Jerusalem” as it’s called to this very day. The people of Israel decided that David certainly was fit to be their king, and so years and years and years after Samuel had anointed him the future king of Israel, David stood before the people of Israel their chosen king. Just like God had promised him. God was with him in all that he did. David was a man after God’s own heart, which made him loveable to the people. But more than that as the head of leadership over Israel, he had the anointing and the favor of God with him too. Israel had the favor of God over them, because he was with them too.

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Create Some Waves!


1 Chronicles 4:24-7:29

“These are the men who served along with their sons:” 1 Chronicles 6:33

This morning’s sermon at church was on ripples. The pastor explained that when we’re willing to simply reach out and touch one life, just one, the ripples will continue because of that one outreach to that one person. Then he gave an example of how one guy was honest with his fishing buddy and told him that his life was really a mess and then invited him to church. The friend agreed and went and was saved. Then he invited one of his friends, who came and got saved. And then he invited one of his friends, who came and got saved. When the story was all told there was a row of thirteen (if I remember correctly) men who had been saved, all because ONE friend invited his friend to church.

One.

All too often Satan tries, and succeeds albeit briefly, to convince me that my writing isn’t effective. He tries to convince me that our ministry has had no lasting impact on the world at large. But today, Jesus reminded me that I AM effective, that our ministry HAS had a lasting impact on the world at large. And wouldn’t you know it, His example was, of all things, SHMILY Sunday. πŸ˜€ It all started with a busy morning’s hurried Bible study and a prayer asking God to show me His love for ME in a new and wonderous way. I never expected the result, an apple with pink swirls and a heart at its core.

I was so impacted by that ONE generous act of His love for ME that I just had to show everyone present the heart at the center of the apple in pink swirls. But then it didn’t end there, suddenly I was seeing smiling faces in the bubbles of soaking dishes that would pop before I could photograph them.

Hearts in trash on the floor as I was sweeping. It was all so random and yet so precisely for ME.

Often I would be the only one to see them before they would disappear completely, occasionally I would be able to get a picture of them to keep as a memento.

Then the day came when I posted this to the blog and told my friends all about my hearts and smiles. Suddenly THEY too were seeing hearts and smiles all over the place. One friend in particular would get at least one heart a day. She would often text them to me and our friends. It’s gotten to the point when someone else will see a heart they will text the picture to her and tell her they found a heart for her; not realizing that the heart was for THEM. L That’s about how far out I can see the ripples of my SHMILY story going, but I know that it’s gone much farther than that! And that’s just the SHMILY’s!

Satan is a LIAR friends. We’ve got to wrap our brains around that. We’ve got to come to grips with the fact that he is a LIAR and the Father of Liars! He will tell us ANYTHING to make us get down on ourselves and to keep us from our full potential. BUT Jesus is the TRUTH. He is the Father of the Truth! And He will tell us that Truth over and over and over again until we FINALLY trust Him enough to believe the Truth over the Lies we’ve always believed about ourselves. Thank YOU Jesus!

This week I’m not going to stick to just the hearts and the smiles, I want to share everything that I photographed this week that made me feel like Jesus loves ME. πŸ˜€

We in Sheridan are SO BLESSED to have such an AMAZING tennis program led by an amazing Christian. He brings out the best in these kids and I am so glad to have him speaking into our children’s lives. Plus it’s GREAT to have a reason to sit in the park for an hour or so every afternoon during the best weather imaginable! My very first little bloom on my peas from my very first garden! A smile in the ribs that Sean brought home from the BEST BBQ place around!!!! Big Hoffas BBQ! πŸ˜€

a heart in the ribs that my good friend Tammy brought us this week. Yup, we had ribs TWICE in one week!

Out for a walk on the Monon trail while Gabe is at tennis practice, I’m pretty sure that this is about the point when I got the text from Sean that practice was canceling due to the rain that was falling on the courts and hadn’t hit the ground on the trail yet because of all the tree cover. Hee hee. J A smiling spoon. In lunch with Sean. On the way home from lunch with Sean. My first fruits in my garden!!!!! Harvest time is soon!!! πŸ˜€ A flower from a friend. A dime, a nickel and an Allen wrench. SHMILY! An oily heart next to my car when I went to pick it up with TWO FRESH TIRES ON IT!!! πŸ˜€ Praise Jesus! I think this moment may be my favorite one of all, to actually SEE something I made on those precious tiny perfect little baby toes! I can’t even begin to describe how that felt! Fitting those little gospel sandals onto those feet was PRICELESS! Even if she was just the foot model for the in-utero baby that the sandals are really for, it was an awesome moment!

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Competing With Concubines


1 Chronicles 1:1-4:23

“All these were the descendants of Abraham through his concubine Keturah.” 1 Chronicles 1:33

OK, first of all, raise your hands, who knew that Abraham had a concubine that bore him SIX SONS? Hagar the handmaiden gave him one son, Ishmael. Sarah his wife gave him Isaac in his old age, but then after she died at the ripe old age of 127, Abraham married Keturah and he had six more sons. (Genesis 25)

In this week’s reading for our summer study of Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us,* we read Chapter 6: A Cocktail of Ego and Culture. Beth starts out by talking about how our foremothers had it easier when it came to a cultural standard of comparison for women. With no TV, internet, Twitter, Google or smart phones, the number of women you were able to compare yourself against was dramatically less than it is today. Yet, as God would have it my Word of the Day would just *happen* to be a long list of genealogies that included the concubines.

Can you imagine living in a culture where your soul purpose in life is to have sex with the man of the house? You don’t even have the honor, status or privilege of being his wife, just his mistress. That was your only value. Sad. Furthermore, can you imagine being the wife of the house in constant competition for your husband’s attention? Actually, that last one isn’t as far-fetched as you would think, sadly. We today have that exact same problem, only the women we compete with aren’t women in our household, they’re on the TV, and the internet and… on our husband’s phones. While we are forced to live in the confines of a flesh and blood body with its aging skin and graying hair, those airbrushed bits of hair colored, lyposuctioned perfection can appear on our husband’s phones at a moment’s notice to scratch whatever is itching them. It’s sickening and maddening all at the same time. Sarah had Hagar to compete with. Rachel had Leah. And Leah had Rachel. But we have THOUSANDS of them! In a culture where sex sells us “ordinary” women struggle with insecurity like the Hatfield’s struggled with the McCoy’s!

The other day I had a revelation. I am in that place I feared as a teenager. I vividly remember, sitting with my then boyfriend, now husband, asking him if he would still love me if I got fat. At that point I wasn’t even a hundred pounds soaking wet. And I KNEW it wouldn’t last. There was this one time I drove down to see him at college and when I met one of his friends he put his hands in a circle around my waist and said, “See I told you! My fingers are touching!” He was so proud of how small I was, and it scared me. I was afraid that he only loved me for my body, a body that would age and change and would NEVER be that small again – nor should it be.

There were many conversations where I would revisit and re-ask him the questions that plagued me the most.

“Would you still love me if I were fat?”

“Of course I would.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Would you still love me if my hair was all gray?”

“Absolutely”

“Mmmm… but would you still be attracted to me if I was fat?”

Silence….. and then a drawn out, unsure “sure” would escape his lips.

Deep in the gut of every skinny beautiful young girl is a fear of losing her attractiveness. Why? I’m not exactly sure, but I’m pretty sure it has to do with a) the intense emphasis our culture puts on outward beauty and b) because that beauty has the ability to attract a mate that will provide for our needs. Losing that beauty puts us at risk of losing the security of a provider of those needs. And all too often, that’s exactly what happens. As the inward beauty grows by leaps and bounds with age and wisdom, our societies definition of outward beauty fades with time and the husband who once loved us with an undying love, leaves us for someone younger and with fewer wrinkles. It’s a scenario that happens often enough that even the most secure woman struggles with the fear of losing the man she loves for someone prettier. But for those of us that struggle with insecurity, it’s the nightmare to end all nightmares; especially when the prettier woman is a smart phone and a bathroom away. We simply can’t compete with that!

Or can we?

Sure we can go to the gym more often or survive on salads for months on end, but is that competing, or just playing an unfair game and still coming in second? There’s got to be a way to win this war. There’s got to be a way to help our husbands choose us, rather than the porno model.

The only thing I can come up with is to PRAY! First of all to pray for ourselves and each other, that we would see OURSELVES as beautiful and desirable and able to satisfy our husband’s visual needs, no matter what size we are! One of the sexiest things on a woman is her confidence in herself! May we wear it with pride. (Having trouble seeing your beauty like I am at the moment, read this excerpt from our book True Intimacy, it should help.) Next, pray for him! Pray that God would help him keep his eyes pure, and that he wouldn’t be tempted by those younger women, or the porno women, or the TV women at all! Ask the Holy Spirit to help him win the battle against our sex driven society, and with God’s help I think we CAN compete with them AND WIN! After all, if God is for us then who can be against us? And I know for a fact that God is definitely for keeping husbands and wives together in monogamous marriages! So we’ve already got God on our side!

Lord, help us! Help us to see ourselves as the most beautiful women that You created. Help us to see our True beauty and not just our flaws. In fact, Lord, please help us to change our thinking about those things we think are flaws. Help us to come to grips with the fact that they’re not flaws at all, but rather assets to use for our benefit in the fight against the Enemy. Lord, help us to see ourselves the way You see us, beautiful and glorious within. Help us to see ourselves the way our husbands really DO see us, and not the way Satan wants us to THINK our husband’s see us. Help us to recognize when the Enemy is whispering lies into our ears and help us to tell him to BACK OFF in Jesus’ name. Help us to recognize when we’re spending too much time comparing our looks to others and to back away from the judgment chair when we’re judging ourselves too harshly. Please help us to rely less on our looks, no matter what age we are, and lean instead on our brains! We ARE smart women! Help us to remember that. We’ve chosen you and that’s the smartest choice any woman can make! Help us to work smarter not harder and to focus less on society’s definition of beauty and concentrate instead on Your definition. And Lord, I lift up all the men out there, married and unmarried alike. I ask that You would blind their eyes to the rubbish and open their eyes to the priceless gem they married, or will marry. Lord I pray that you would give them eyes for their wives ALONE. I pray that they would guard their eyes like the windows to the soul that they are. Lord I pray that you would lead them not into temptation, but that You would deliver them from evil! Help them to keep their feet, and everything else that goes with them, on the straight and narrow path. Lord, we lift our husbands to You, help them to desire ONLY us. Help us to be their dream woman and help us to see the dream guy in them. It’s there Lord, it’s always been there, but sometimes that dreaminess gets covered up with baby diapers, sleepless nights, and bills. Help us to push life out of the way and to see our life-partner in a re-newed light of Your glory. Help us to see them and remember the person we fell in love with. Help us to see that person that is still in there, though changed through the years like a seed grows into a tree. Help us to see the beauty of that MATURE tree and to love it more than we ever loved that sapling. πŸ˜€ You are awesome God, and I know that in all these things You will work Your glory and favor in our midst and make our mediocre marriages marvelous! And that is what we ask for Lord, for marvelous marriages that last a lifetime and leave a legacy of passionate love and intimacy behind for our children and our children’s children’s children for a thousand generations and beyond. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Β 

* Moore, Beth. So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us. 2010. Tyndale House Publishers.

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Speechless

Word of the day: 2 Chronicles 1:1-5:14
“It was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard” 2 Chronicles 5:13
You know, I have been trying to write for the last hour and it’s just not coming out. So I’m taking that as my hint to just leave it at that.
I am praying for you today that you have an amazingly blessed day in the LORD! I love you guys!

Categories: 1 Chronicles, 365 Life, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 4 Comments

Solomon’s Temple

061913_1253_Sacrifice1.jpg 1 Chronicles 25:1-29:30

Sorry for the extreme delay! *Someone* didn’t want you to see this! But here it is, and I pray that you are fully able to receive this word today!
Part 1 of the video

Part 2 of the video

Part 3 of the video: Like I said, technical difficulties! Thank God I’m stubborn!

The “puzzle piece” picture

20130620_092134

Video of 1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, O LORD video:

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Sacrifice

1 Chronicles 20:1-24:31

“Then Ornan said to David, ‘Take it, and let my lord the king do what seems good to him. See, I give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for the wood and the wheat for a grain offering; I give it all.’ But King David said to Ornan, ‘No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.'” 1 Chronicles 21:23-24

Lord, I am so bewildered, befuddled, a little angry and just downright confused! You promised me this child of blessing, I believed you. And then I waited; nothing, no child. So I waited longer; nothing, no child. Sarah said take Haggar. So I did, that was a mistake. Then You came with Your two friends and spoke hope into Sarah’s womb, she laughed, we conceived, the child finally came! We’ve held this child of promise. We adored his laughter, his smile, and his childish tumblings. I love him more than my heart can admit. And now you’re telling me that I must sacrifice him?

Lord, I don’t understand. It just doesn’t make sense. You’ve asked me to kill the source of my tremendous joy. To give all that I have been promised. You gave me more than I could’ve ever hoped or imagined and now you’re asking for it all back? Why? What could you possibly need him for more than I do? He’s my son. He’s my legacy. He’s my great reward.

Abraham, I AM your great reward. I AM your legacy. I AM your Father and I know what is best. Trust Me. I love you.

Lord, I may not understand Your reasoning. I may not understand all the “whys”. But I do understand Your love. And I will take hope in Your love for me. Please allow me to take shelter under Your wings and allow me refuge from this storm of emotions tearing through my heart as I do my best to carry out this difficult task. You never said this job would be easy, just that it would all be worth it in the end.

I understand they’re called sacrifices for a reason and I will obey and choose to trust You with the end results. No matter how hard or how painful I choose to follow Your direction because at least then I have the reassurance that the pain has a purpose and a possible reward at the end. I choose not to “offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” (1 Chronicles 21:24)

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Vain Efforts

1 Chronicles 16:1-19:19

Looking back over today’s reading and the things I underlined I noticed a theme. Let’s see if you can pick up on it before I give it away:

“And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I declare to you that the LORD will build you a house.” 1 Chronicles 17:10

“There is none like You, O LORD,” 1 Chronicles 17:20

“For You, my God, have revealed to your servant that You will build a house for him.” 1 Chronicles 17:25

“for it is You, O LORD, who have blessed and it is blessed forever.” 1 Chronicles 17:27

“Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to Him,” 1 Chronicles 19:13

The LORD will subdue all your enemies and will build you a house. You, O LORD, are different; You will build a house for your servant. You have blessed so it is blessed forever. May the LORD do what seems good to Him.

It all reminded me of a verse that we have had taped to our bathroom mirror since we were first married 13 years ago.

Psalm 127 “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives to His Beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

I love the point of this Psalm, unless God is in it, it won’t be fruitful. I find it beautiful that Solomon of all people wrote this Psalm. Because there was this house that his dad, David, desperately wanted to build but God said, “No. Not you, but your son.” Solomon was that son. “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”

No amount of effort on my part is going to build a house if God isn’t on board with it. No amount of ADT Security equipment is going to keep a robber out of my house if God isn’t protecting it. No amount of staying up late and getting up early to work is going to produce money that lasts. No amount of money can produce a child within a womb if God isn’t the one who put it there. “There is none like You, O LORD.” “For it is You, O LORD, who have blessed and it is blessed forever.” “May the LORD do what seems good to Him.”

There are so many hopes, dreams and aspirations that we strain to achieve. Yet there is no possible way we can achieve them on our own. No amount of late night chapters written by the glow of a computer screen are going to land me that coveted book deal if God doesn’t want me to have it. Proverbs 23:4-5 says, “Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.”

Oh how I have seen the many sprouted wings of money! It seems like no matter how big or small those paychecks are, they always seem to sprout wings and fly out our door! It makes me think of that scene in Charlotte’s Web when the baby spiders finally hatch and Wilber is so excited to see them and without hardly a hello or goodbye they’re gone with the wind. It’s a very helpless feeling. And yet, what was that scripture yesterday?

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

If the LORD builds it, your effort is not in vain.

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Temporary Affliction=Permanent Reward

1 Chronicles 12:1-15:29

Oh my goodness how I have missed you my friends! It was a very interesting week, was it not? I think we had more technical glitches last week than ever before. There were several points where I said, “It would be so much easier if I were just posting myself.” But that’s not what God told me to do. He said to have other’s post for me.” And so while it was more work, I did it anyway.

At the beginning of this week “off” God posed me with a decision. “You choose. Neither answer is wrong. It’s your life; do you want to be a hobby writer or a career writer?” I chose, “Career writer”. “Then you need to start acting like one.” And for the next hour we went over schedule and borders (crossable and un-crossable). The first and firmest rule was that I had to treat it like a “real job” with office hours, open phone hours and specified times to work on the computer at my desk. But then came the tricky part. Helping those around me see it as a “real job” too. Because it is. My friends aren’t used to me having a schedule where I am unavailable to their phone calls. They’re used to me being able to sit for HOURS and talk. But if this writing thing is a career then I can’t do that like I used to. Because if I want to make money doing this (and I believe I can) then I’ve got to do it. God didn’t put this talent in this body for no reason. I’ve seen too many lives transformed from this pink pen of Grace to slack back and make it a hobby. Plus, honestly, while it would’ve been OK with God if I had chosen writing as a hobby, I think Satan would have been thrilled! This influenced me greatly in my decision.

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Satan hates people reading in their Bibles because that’s where they meet Jesus. *Whispered aside* Satan doesn’t like Jesus very much. But more than that, Satan really hates when people have someone to explain that Bible to them. (Acts 8:26-40) He hates when people open themselves up to the Word of God to transform them and make them more like Christ. (Because remember, he hates Christ.) So when someone as bull-headed as me makes up her mind to help people understand the Word of God and bring them closer to God through something as simple as a blog and books. Well, Satan gets downright pissed off. And boy did I see that this week too! But honestly, it didn’t matter to me. You know why? Because I had made a choice to step into Enemy territory and fight a winning battle for as many souls as God will allow me.

The deepest desire of my heart is for YOU to know the love of Christ. I want you to experience how deep and wide, high and long His love for you is. I want you to experience your heart burning with the fire of His presence. I want you to experience the depth of complete transformation that is only possible through the knowledge of the Grace of God. I want you to know what it’s like to hold the hand of the man who can do all things and has promised to never leave you.

Yes. It’s hard to do the will of God sometimes. But it’s worth every second of fighting and hardship. Just imagine meeting someone in heaven you never met on earth and having them embrace you with a hug of gratitude because you unknowingly endured that hardship for the purpose of their salvation. They will stand there in heaven because you sacrificed just a little bit on earth. Wouldn’t that make it all worth it?

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient (temporary), but the things that are unseen are eternal (permanent).” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Yes, it is an affliction. Yes, it is hard and a huge pain. But is the pain permanent? Will it last forever?

No.

Does that pain have a purpose?

Yes!

What is that purpose?

It is to “prepare you for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”

While the affliction feels heavy at the time. This word from God tells us the Truth. That affliction is light compared to the weight of the glory you will receive from bearing that affliction.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:38 “Whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.” We each have a cross to carry, financial hardship, death of a loved one, loss of a friendship, cancer, hospitalization, trouble at work, car break downs, lost keys, the list goes on and on. But each of those afflictions, though difficult and cumbersome to carry, are temporary and light.

In the next chapter of Matthew we find Jesus urging His followers to

“Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (11:29-30)

A yoke is the rabbi’s teaching, this is why in verse 29 He follows “take My yoke upon you” with “and learn from Me”. The teaching of Jesus is as simple as any of them get – LOVE. And in Him alone our souls find true rest. The burden He places on our shoulders is LIGHT. We are called to be His light-bearers, torches of love to a dark and dying world. We are to be an ever-present help to others in times of trouble; Jesus’ hands and feet to the helpless and broken.

Christ carried the heavy cross so that we wouldn’t have to. (We wouldn’t have been able to if we tried anyway.) His lessons for us are easy and His burden upon us is light, it’s our future glory that is heavy.

It’s like Dory from Finding Nemo says, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”

Just keep swimming my little fish, this temporary affliction will pass and all that will be left is your reward. “An eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”.

Categories: 1 Chronicles, 365 Life, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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