2 Chronicles

So Long Insecurity!

2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23 & Daniel 1:1-21

“The LORD, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent His prophets to warn them, for He had compassion on His people and His temple. But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the LORD’s anger could no longer be retrained and nothing could be done.

So the LORD brought the king of Babylon against them. … God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. The king took home to Babylon all the articles, large and small, used in the Temple of God, and the treasures from both the LORD’s temple and from the palace of the king and his officials. … The few who survived were taken as exiles to Babylon, and they became servants to the king and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power.” 2 Chronicles 36:15-18, 20

“During the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. The LORD gave him victory over King Jehoiakim of Judah and permitted him to take some of the sacred objects from the Temple of God.” Daniel 1:1-2

I probably said this last year on this day, but God is so awesome!!! I mean seriously. We’re reading through the Bible alphabetically and yet we still end up reading chronologically when we read from 1 Chronicles to 2 Chronicles to Daniel!!! Honestly, isn’t that just cool??? To my knowledge, and I haven’t check recently, I am the only one publicly reading through the Bible in a year alphabetically. I’m sure there are others doing it, but the last time I looked I couldn’t find them online. I’m just so honored that God chose me to do this! And I’m so grateful that He used my friend Kelly to introduce me to the idea! I love you Kelly!!!

Today’s Word of the Day was all about transition. It was a transition from one book of the Bible to another, in that transition was the Israelite’s transition from a time of rebellion into a time of captivity in order to use that captivity to guide them back into a humbled position with their God. And I love how God works, because my reading in Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us went along those same lines. This week’s reading was about Beth polling her blog audience for stories on how insecurity has made a fool of them. She shares MANY stories that are great examples, many of which I could have written myself – sadly. And of course, God also has all this timed so that I’m dealing with all this in my own life at the moment so that I can even further relate to what they’re saying.

The more time I spend in these two books the more I’m recognizing insecurities in myself and I hate them. Hate isn’t a word that I throw out there often, but in this case I think it fits. I hate the way insecurity makes me feel. I hate the way that it makes me act. I DEFINITELY hate the way that it talks to me and tries to get me to believe its boldfaced lies! Insecurity has tied me up in knots with no bows. It has no laces hanging free to simply pull and unloose the work it’s done. It has grown and wrapped it’s tentacle-like roots tightly around my feet and kept me from walking freely and easily through my life. (Not that my life would have been easy without the insecurity, but it certainly would have been easier.) I’m fairly certain that insecurity caused me to make choices that set me on a path that wasn’t good for me – at all. I remember my Freshman year in High School the pressure I felt to have a boyfriend and to get physical. And the saddest part was, the pressure wasn’t from the other kids, it was from my insecurity!!!!! I was so insecure in myself and who I was that I felt like I needed to be like everyone else, do what everyone else was doing. And “everyone” else was getting physical with their significant other (this is of course the biggest lie of the century, but I believed it hook, line and sinker at the time). I never stopped to realize that honoring my personal worth should be more important to me than bowing to the status quo.

This week I’ve been in awe of my husband’s ability to voice his mind with very little concern to what other people will have to say about his opinions. He throws stuff out there on Facebook and really doesn’t get his feathers ruffled when people say things back to him. Me on the other hand, I can only be on Facebook for a few minutes before I take people’s status updates so personally that my heart starts to race and my hands start to sweat. One night I actually made myself physically ill because I was so distraught about what people were saying on Facebook – none of which was actually to me, or about me, just about things going on in the world that I don’t agree with. The thought of truly speaking my mind in such a public format terrifies me to pieces! What will they say? Facebook is vicious and people can be so mean without realizing it. What will they think of me? Will they still like me? To which Insecurity pipes up: “Of course they won’t, you have a different opinion than they do, they’ll hate you for it – duh!”

God has called me to public speaking and publicly voicing His words. Words that vastly contradict what the mainstream is saying. And insecurity has me immobilized. I’m paralyzed with the fear of the rejection of the people I love AND the people I’ve never even met before. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been desperate for people to like me. At times to the point where I would become someone else in order for them to like me. Obviously this is ridiculous because then they don’t like ME they like the pretend me which totally defeats the point! Honestly, if I can’t be ME and have you like me, then we shouldn’t be friends! I don’t want to be such a passive people pleaser that I completely lose myself in the process. That shouldn’t be OK with me and it shouldn’t be Ok with you either. I mean, I don’t want to be friends with someone whose not being themselves, do you?

I think that’s where I’m so grateful for God putting my husband and I together. He is my perfect match. He’s everything that I’m not. And he’s not everything that I am. I admire him so much and his ability to not let the opinions of others phase him when it comes to be honest to himself. When I grow up, I want to be more like Sean. Honest and unafraid to share how I REALLY feel about something. I believe I will get there. But in the mean time I’m so glad that God has blessed me with a partner who loves me for who I really am. He’s seen me at my best and at my absolute worst and he has stuck with me through it all. I can’t ask for much more than that now can I? 😀

Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Daniel, Season 3 | Leave a comment

Fear Grips the City

2 Chronicles 32:1-34:33

“The Assyrian officials who brought the letters shouted this in Hebrew to the people gathered on the walls of the city, trying to terrify them so it would be easier to capture the city.” 2 Chronicles 32:18

Fear grips the city. The Assyrian officials are shouting about the LORD and that He’s unable to protect us from their army that has successfully taken down every other god out there. And who is “the LORD” to them? We see the people gathering in huddled groups whispering with each other in hushed conversation debating the truth of the official’s statement. They HAD conquered every other land they’d gone up against. Would the LORD be able to hold them back? Would the LORD be able to help us in this time of desperate need? And what’s more, would He be willing?

The Assyrian officials knew exactly what they were doing didn’t they? Not only did they put Fear into the hearts of the people, they put it in there along with Doubt. Doubt and Fear often seem to go hand in hand together. One never seems to be too far away from the other. But while there may have been some along that wall that heard those words and were afraid, King Hezekiah was not one of them. While some may have been paralyzed by Fear, King Hezekiah was moved to prayer. He went to the only One who could actually help them. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the God of Hezekiah. And in answer to their prayer, “the LORD sent an angel who destroyed the Assyrian army with all its commanders and officers. So Sennacherib was forced to return home in disgrace to his own land. And when he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons killed him there with a sword. That is how the LORD rescued Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the others who threatened them. So there was peace throughout the land.” (2 Chronicles 32:21-22)

As much as the Assyrians taunted and shouted, it didn’t matter because they were shouting lies. It doesn’t matter how loud you are, what matters is the amount of Truth you’re telling. Yaweh is the Lord of lord and the King of kings and no amount of lie-shouting is going to EVER change that. He is the beginning and the end. He is the Creator and the Father – your Father. He is the One who loves you with a love that surpasses all knowledge and experience you’ve ever had. He is your biggest fan and your highest honor. He is the one who cheers the loudest for you when all you hear is stillness – He’s there. Satan shouts in your ears while Jesus whispers to your heart. Listen to the sweet whispers of your heart today. What are they saying?

He loves you my dear one. More than you could EVER hope, think or imagine – and then some more on top of that. 😀

Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Season 3 | Leave a comment

7×70 Season Starts Soon!

2 Chronicles 24:20-28:21

“Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God. And as long as the king sought guidance from the LORD, God gave him success.” 2 Chronicles 26:5

We’re getting geared up for this summer’s demolition derby season and we would LOVE it if you would join us, either in person or in prayer! This flyer mentions a “7×70 page on www.TamarKnochel.com” it’s not up quite yet, but I’ll be working on it shortly so keep looking back for it. 😀 It’s where we will be posting everything until we get the 7×70.me website up and going. Not sure when in the world that will be though.

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Just Be YOU

2 Chronicles 20:24-24:19

“the surviving members of Ahaziah’s family” 2 Chronicles 22:9

Many Americans can tell you EXACTLY where we were on September 11th when we heard about the towers falling. I was in my car on my way to class at Purdue. I was on the phone with my co-teacher for Sunday School, she had walked past the TV and seen the clip of the first plane hitting and was giving me a play by play of what was happening. By the time I got to class the second plane had hit and the question of, “was that an accident” had been answered with a resounding, “NO”! Class was canceled that morning and most of us stood there watching everything unfold on a wall sized TV in one of the basement classrooms. I stood there for hours just watching, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. Until finally I looked at my watch and realized that I had totally missed lunch. As I walked across campus to where my car was parked I looked around and noticed that EVERYONE had a phone to their ear. Normally there would be a few here and there talking to someone on their way to class, but not that day. That day everyone was on their cell phones (still relatively new at that point) checking in with their parents, friends and other loved ones. As soon as I got home the TV came back on. At some point in the day I remember Sean coming home from work although I have no idea what time it was. Time had no meaning on the day the towers fell. We watched the footage over and over and over again, all night long. The devastation, the drama, the stories, the horror they replayed it over and over and we sat transfixed unable to look away.

It was my senior year at Purdue, I was in my last semester before student teaching. Sean and I had been married for a year and we had been talking about starting a family, we didn’t want to be old grandparents – we wanted to still be young enough to actually play with them when they finally decided to come along. But then September 11th came along and all we could think about was the possibility of bringing a child into a world like that. Who would want to do that to their baby? We didn’t. And for months that was all we could talk about, how much we wanted a baby, but what kind of loving parent would put their baby into that kind of a world? And then one day, the Holy Spirit spoke straight to my heart. I don’t remember exactly how or when, but suddenly it hit me like a bolt of lightning. “If people like us never have children, this world will never get any better than it is right now”. And I realized that THAT was the Truth.

In this week’s Word of the Day we’ve been reading about the kings of Judah, the lineage of David. And as I prayed with Sean this morning before he left for work that Truth hit me again, our children will change the world! With each link in the lineage of David their world changed by bits and pieces. It never stayed the way it was before. David played his part then passed the harp on to his son Solomon, who played his part and handed it on to his son Rehoboam and so on. Each generation did what God had raised them up to do, in their case rule Judah. In each new section of the story we’ve read the impact that the fathers had on their sons. Did their sons follow their example? Had it been a good example? It all depended on the person, but it becomes fairly obvious as you read that there was definitely an impact from the father-son relationship.

If our great great great grandparents would look at the world we live in today they’d be shaking their heads in shame. This is NOT the America they grew up in, but it IS the America our children are growing up in. It’s filled with Debauchery, Lust, Greed, Sloth, Vengeance, Murder, Doubt, Confusion, Untruth, the list goes on and on. And while our ancestors all dealt with these things, none of them dealt with them in the manner in which we do. Main stream media has changed all that for us, and unless we want to turn it all off and stick our heads in a hole we and our children are exposed to it whether we want to be or not. But God has called us to be in the world but not from the world. While we may be exposed to the Debauchery, Lust and Greed we don’t have to let it overtake us.

God has called us to not just conquer them, He has made us more than conquerors. He has given us the power and the ability through the Holy Spirit to actually DO something about all those negative spirits. Jesus has given us the authority to speak to them and cast them out of our lives and our circles of influence – changing our world in the process. I may not be able to stop all the negative influences around me, but I can certainly do my part! I’d love to say that we can be exposed to them and not let them change us, but I don’t think that’s a good thing. You see, they SHOULD change us! They should shake us up and make us realize that God made ME, He made YOU in order to BE the change we want to see in this world! There’s a song by Matthew West that I absolutely love. It’s called Do Something. (Here is the video with the backstory.) In it he talks about looking around at all the pain and turmoil in the world and shaking his fist at God and asking why in the world He doesn’t step in and DO something. To which God replies, “I did. I created you”!

If people like us don’t procreate and teach our children The Way, in which they should go, this world will never change, it will only get worse. Period. But in reading today’s Word of the Day it’s clear that in just one generation, with the right person in leadership, everything can change. As a mother my number one goal is to show my children the love of Christ for THEM and how to pass that love on to others in a multitude of ways. I want to show them how it’s done by doing it myself first. There is no greater teacher than that of a good role model. They may or may not do what you tell them. But they will definitely do what you do.

This past weekend I attended a family wedding where we had four generations under the same roof and I saw this principle played out right before my eyes. My dad is the spitting image of my grandfather at his age. And not just in looks alone. It’s the way he stands, it’s the way he smiles, it’s the way he dresses and talks. And he doesn’t even mean to do it either. I noticed this and turned to my brother and said, “You’re doomed Bud!” I have the ability to see my future; all I have to do is look at my grandma! And you know what, I’m OK with what I have coming to me because she’s a really awesome lady!

We CAN change this world, it’s simple, just be the YOU God created you to be!

WE can do this! It’s what God made us for.

Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Season 3 | 4 Comments

God Help Us

2 Chronicles 16:1-20:23

“O our God, won’t You stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to You for help.” 2 Chronicles 20:12

My spirit is struggling with my soul at the moment. I’ve just been perusing my Facebook feed and I’m about to cry. Almost five years ago Sean and I made a discovery. We discovered the consequences of sexual sin. We spent two and a half years researching and writing a book about that discovery. And with that knowledge I look around me at the world today and I want to weep. There are SO MANY people out there cursing themselves and they don’t even care. And the saddest part is, as much as I want to say something to them about it, it wouldn’t do any good because they refuse to listen to reason.

My spirit weeps at the complete and total devastation of these souls, of these people’s lives that they could have if they would but open their hearts to their forgiven state. Jesus LOVES them and yet they don’t care. I cry for the people out there that think sexual immorality is “no big deal” when in fact it is the BIGGEST deal of all. Satan is lying to them and they don’t even know it. But if the truth is told to them, they throw their hands up in defense and don’t want to hear it. Lord, we love them and want to help them, but we don’t know how! We want to help them, to tell them that what they’re doing is wrong but they just call us religious zealots and they shove us away. We want to help them find Your loving arms, but they want nothing to do with them because they think that You condemn them for their actions when in reality You FREE them from their actions.

Papa, I want to help them know You more but I don’t know how. I don’t know how to relate to them. Our views are so different! They think I’m judgmental and condemning when I’m not like that at all! They don’t understand that I’m against their actions because I LOVE them! Lord, please open their eyes to the TRUTH! Please remove the wool that Satan has placed over their heads to keep them from realizing the folly of their ways. Lord I’m so tired of living in a society that condones all kinds of sexual immorality and the murder of babies, but frowns upon anyone reminding them that those things are wrong. Darkness hates the light, and this world has gotten very very dark. Sure there are some brilliantly bright spots in it, but it seems like even those bright spots might not be as bright as they could be.

Lord, if seeing this sin pains me this much, how much more must it pain You to watch us doing things that You know will come back to bite us in the end? If I love them this much and it hurts me this much, how much more does it hurt You??? How much longer will You let this go on before You step in and do something? At what point did you step in and stop the people of Sodom and Gommorah? I’ve heard it said that you spared Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gommorah because he was a godly man, raised in Your ways, and that the sin he saw every day must have pained him as well. I’m not suggesting You rain fire down upon the Earth the way you did then. It’d be great if You could fix things with us like you did with Ninevah and send a prophet to come and set everyone straight. Buuut, I’m not so sure that they will listen to anything we have to say. We’ve been over that already in this post. Lord, I have such a limited imagination when it comes to fixing this world. But You, You can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or imagine. YOU can fix this. You can make things right around here again. You can do it!

And I guess maybe that’s how I can help You, I can pray. I can pray for the lost and the confused. I can love them with everything I have in me. I can hold my tongue instead of speaking my mind and I can speak my mind instead of holding my tongue. Just telling them it’s wrong isn’t going to do the trick, obviously. But maybe telling them You love them just might. Lord help me to love them, even though it hurts. Help me to see them the way You see them and to entrust them to Your care. Your Spirit is mighty and powerful and able to do so much more than we can. Your Spirit keeps sin in check and I’m praying for that today! Lord please send out Your legions of angels to help these lost souls find their way home away from the cliff they’re heading toward! Help them to understand that what they’re doing is wrong, not because the religious screamers say so, but because they’re hurting themselves! Sex is sacred. It’s special and amazingly spiritual and so many people DO NOT get that. They don’t understand what they’re doing to themselves and to each other and it breaks my heart. Lord please, heal our land.

Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Season 3 | Leave a comment

Signs and Wonders

2 Chronicles 10:1-15:19

“O Lord, no one but You can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O LORD our God. For we trust in You alone. It is in Your name alone that we have come against this vast horde.” 2 Chronicles 14:11

At Easter our Pastor Steve preached on the single moment in all of History that defines Christianity: The Resurrection of Christ. Everything that Jesus had said up to that point; all of His wise words and teaching, all of the word pictures of the kingdom of heaven, all of it would have meant nothing if He hadn’t raised Himself back up from the dead. Jesus had claimed to be the Son of God, the Messiah, and when He came back to life after being dead for three days, He proved it. And while the Resurrection is the pinnacle sign/wonder of Jesus’ ministry, it’s not the only sign and wonder that proved to the people (and to us) that He was (and still is) the Messiah. (Acts 2:22) The writer of Hebrews further confirms this to us in chapter two verses three and four saying: “So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus Himself and then delivered to us by those who heard Him speak? And God confirmed His message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever He chose.”

In Acts chapter one, after the resurrection and immediately before the ascension, Jesus tells the Disciples,

“Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift He promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (verses 4-5&8)

A few days later they’re all just sitting around when the room starts filling with the sound of rushing wind and tongues of fire hover over their heads and they begin to speak in other languages because they’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit who has given them that power.

Acts 14:3 says that “the apostles stayed [in Iconium] a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders.” God is teaching me something important today and I pray that none of us misses it. There is a correlation between the message of the gospel and signs and wonders. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Sure they can be eaten alone, but BOY they are both so much better together!

I’m wondering, if perhaps, the message of the Church is falling on deaf ears because it’s not being accompanied by signs and wonders. The liberal atheistic groups are ranting and raving because all they see is a group of powerless Bible thumpers screaming at them to repent. What if, instead of screaming at them we started healing them – proving that our message of Jesus’ Grace is true? That Jesus DOES save. That Jesus DOES heal. That Jesus DOES love them in spite of their sin. THAT could change the world.

With the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit ANY believer can speak and heal the sick. Watch these! They’re a little lengthy but worth EVERY LIFE CHANGING SECOND! The reactions of the people are priceless!

[Healing on the Streets]

[Street Healing with Tom Fischer there is some language in this one, but it’s as a reaction to their miraculous healing.]

In Luke 10:17-20 the Disciples came to Jesus and said,

“Lord, even the demons obey us when we use Your name!”

“Yes” He told them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning! Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

In Acts chapter four Peter and John get called before the council for healing a man in Jesus’ name. And after the council lets them go, Peter and John meet with the other believers in the area to tell them what has just happened. When the believers heard their story they lifted their voices in prayer:

“O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them – You spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, Your servant, saying,

‘Why were the nations so angry?

Why did they waste their time with futile plans?

The king of earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the LORD and against the Messiah.’

In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, Your holy servant, whom You anointed. But everything they did was determined before-hand according to Your will. And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants great boldness in preaching Your Word. Stretch out Your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”

After this prayer, the meeting room shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit’s power to preach the Word of God with boldness! I wonder, what kind of miracle-working power has God wanted to bestow in YOU if only you would pray today for the boldness to speak in Jesus’ name and command evil to leave?

Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Season 3 | 1 Comment

Somebody Notice Me

2 Chronicles 6:1-9:31

“I will always watch over it, for it is dear to My heart.” 2 Chronicles 7:16

Oh where to start! There are SO many things I want to talk to you about today! I think I’ll start with my awesome praise, I’m writing this from my computer!!! 😀 It feels sooooo good to have these sweet little keys tapping away under my fingers today! I missed them so much! Going without something for a few days certainly makes you realize just how much it means to you!!! My phone is a suitable substitute but it certainly isn’t my computer!

Today I continued reading Chapter 6 A Cocktail of Ego and Culture in So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us. The part of the chapter that I read focused on Pride. Talk about a topic hitting home! Yowzers! If only you could see my copy of the book, there are more words highlighted than not! Almost every sentence she wrote totally hit home. But the section that shook me up the most was this:

“Pride is a slave driver like no other, and if it can’t drive us to destruction, it will drive us to distraction. Think about the madness this one little trait can cause:

If we can’t be the most attractive, at least we can be the best at something.

And if we can’t be the best at something, we can at least be the hardest working.

And if we can’t be the hardest working, we can at least be the most congenial.

And if we can’t be the most congenial, we can at least be the most noticeable.

And if we can’t be the most noticeable, we can at least be the most religious.

And if we can’t be the most religious, we can at least be the most exhausted.

And it never ends, because big egos insist on our being a “the.” Not just an “a.” We’re that desperate for significance. We live our lives screaming, ‘Somebody notice me!’ And do you want to hear something interesting? That’s exactly how God made us.

That very need is built into our human hard drive to send us on a search for our Creator, who can assign us more significance than we can handle. He not only notices us, He never takes His eyes off us.”*

I don’t know about you, but I find that profound. The very thing that plagues me and often times creates my insecurity is connected to something that God put into me. To the very core of my being, almost every single one of my thoughts and actions can be tied to my desperate desire for someone to notice me. Whether it’s my husband, my friends, my parents, my kids, that stranger, even you. I want to be noticed. But often times I find myself desiring something that I can’t always put my finger on, I want GOD’S attention. I want to know that HE notices me. I am so small and insignificant in the scope of the universe. I’m so small that I get lost in a group of elementary students! (And sadly that’s NOT an exaggeration, I really do.) So if I’m going about my day and my boss doesn’t notice me, and my family doesn’t notice me, how on earth am I supposed to feel like GOD notices me? I mean He’s got millions and millions of people to take care of, not to mention, the small matter of keeping the planets all spinning in the right directions. So who am I that the God of the Universe would notice me and my problems and my dreams and my desire to be noticed? And of course Pride is right there to make sure that I feel even smaller and less significant that I really am. He loves to point out all the instances where prayers weren’t answered in the exact way that I wanted them to be answered. Or to put into false perspective a situation where someone had wronged me, when in fact I was the one in the wrong.

We want to feel special and needed and loved. We all want to be noticed for something. And if it’s not something good then at least it can be something negative, just as long as we’re being noticed for something.

It seems to me that the best response to Pride in times like these is to use the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. In today’s Word of the Day Solomon built the temple for the LORD and is dedicating it to Him when God responds to Solomon about the temple. He says, “My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy – a place where My name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to My heart.” (2 Chronicles 7:15-16)

Now I’m going to set something up for you so bear with me here for a minute as I backtrack in order to set the scene for you.

In Exodus Moses made a tent of meeting they called the Tabernacle. It was a place where people could go to pray and to make sacrifices to the LORD. On the day when they dedicated it, “the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle. Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle.” (40:34-35) The Spirit of the LORD came and filled that place and He made the place His people dedicated to Him, His home.

Years later after the Israelites had completely conquered the Promised Land and taken control of it they left behind their season of wandering and living in tents and began a season of settling and living in more permanent homes. In 2 Chronicles Solomon made a building they called the Temple. It too was a place where people could go to pray and to make sacrifices to the LORD. And on the day when they dedicated it, “fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of the LORD because the glorious presence of the LORD filled it.” (7:1-2) The Spirit of the LORD came and filled that place and He made the place His people dedicated to Him, His home.

Many years later Jesus came and sacrificed Himself on a cross to pay for our sins against God. Then He rose from the dead and called His followers to leave behind their season of wandering away from God and begin a season of settling and living in a more permanent relationship with Him. In Acts chapter 2 He provided the means to such a relationship: “On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty wind storm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.” (1-4) The Spirit of the LORD came and filled that place and He made the place – His people dedicated to Him, His home.

And what’s more, just like the wilderness Tabernacle and the Promised Land Temple, His Spirit filled them to the point where no one could enter. When you take a look at the original text of each of these three passages, that word “filled” means to be filled to the point of *almost* overflowing.

The Greek describes it as the kind of filling where if one single drop more were added, the cup would overflow. It’s the kind of full that there is NO ROOM for anything else except for what is filling the cup. And when you’re talking about the Spirit of God coming and filling something, He doesn’t leave any gaps. He’s not like a cup full of rocks, where when it’s full of rocks there’s still room for gravel and sand. The eternally loving Spirit of God is Living Water, it comes in and fills ALL the gaps and ALL the cracks and ALL the empty places so that there is NO ROOM LEFT for Pride or Fear or Doubt or Insecurity. Only Love remains.

Dedicate yourself to God. Allow His Spirit, His loving presence, to come and fill in all your empty places so that there is no room left for Pride. Remember what God said about the temple dedicated to Him?

“My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy – a place where My name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to My heart.” (2 Chronicles 7:15-16) My friend, YOU ARE THAT TEMPLE! Jesus notices YOU for YOU are dear to His heart.


* Moore, Beth. P 102. So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us. 2010. Tyndale House Publishers.



Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Season 3 | Leave a comment

YOU are Someone Worth Dying For

070213_1513_OnlyYOU1.jpg Daniel 7:1-9:27
I can’t think of a better way to end this week than with Mike’s Chair’s song, Someone Worth Dying For. Listen to the words and let them sink deep into your soul. They are Truth and Life. YOU are Someone Worth Dying For! At least Jesus seems to think so anyway!

Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Only God

2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23 & Daniel 1:1-21

OK, today I especially loved the “coincidence” that we went from reading about the exile from Jerusalem to Babylon and then followed Daniel into the Babylonian king’s court. How cool was that? That doesn’t happen often when we’re reading alphabetically. Anyway, I feel I need to pull more on Daniel’s story today than on Josiah and Jehoahaz.

Daniel had just been sitting around in Jerusalem, minding his own business, doing his own thing when out of the blue he finds himself exiled to Babylon. Once in Babylon he is told that he has been chosen to “stand in the king’s palace” where he will learn “the literature and language of the Chaldeans”. Intimidating, but exciting none the less. Hey, it’s not slave work right? But then there’s something else. Mealtime rolls around and Daniel sits down to the table, his stomach rumbling and his mouth is watering from the smells that are coming from the palace kitchen. He was probably thinking, “This hasn’t been nearly as bad of a day as I had expected.” I can only imagine how crestfallen he felt when they brought in the trays filled with food that he couldn’t eat. Like a sweet-toothed diabetic in a candy factory, he couldn’t eat a thing. Then he probably thought, “I’m going to starve. I’ll be the smartest dead guy around.” The pressure to eat that steaming food before him had to have been incredible. Yet he stood firm in his faith and refused to eat it.

Sometimes in life God plants us into situations where we are forced to make a choice, his ways or the world’s, God’s food or the Babylonian king’s. We’re placed at a fork in the road where whichever path we choose will change life dramatically and neither really looks to be that fun. But we can’t stand at the fork forever; we have to choose one or the other. The pressure to take the World’s way is incredible, yet the eternal resentment of not taking God’s way is equally unbearable. But there is hope. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 tells us,

“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Do you remember in yesterday’s reading when the king of Assyria (Sennacherib) had been attacking Judah and “sent his servants to Jerusalem to Hezekiah king of Judah and to all the people of Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying, “Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, ‘On what are you trusting, that you endure the siege in Jerusalem?'” (2 Chronicles 32:9-10) The Enemy of Judah was attacking the cities of Judah and putting intense pressure on the people. Yet they were enduring it and that infuriated Sennacherib causing him to turn his cause of frustration into a taunt. “On what are you trusting, that you endure the siege?” I talked about it yesterday and how there is always SOMETHING we are trusting in to save us, whether it’s money, medicine, doctors, or God. But of all these options, and the many more that I didn’t take the time to list, which of them is able to help you endure the siege? Which of them is able to help you withstand the pressure of the World to eat the king’s food? Which of them is able to help you locate the trap door hidden within every single temptation of life?

Only God.

Only God can be our source of salvation from the siege. Jesus is our shield and refuge, our shelter in times of trouble and in times of glee. Only the power of His Holy Spirit can hold us up in our human weakness.

Only God.


Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Daniel, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Who do You Trust?


2 Chronicles 32:1-34:33
Hezekiah’s reign was an interesting one.  He worked with all his might to restore the leadership of God into their family. And yet as we start today’s reading what do we find? “After these things and the acts of faithfulness, Sennecherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah.” (2 Chronicles 32:1)
What did Hezekiah’s faithfulness bring him? An attack.
Have you been there? Are you familiar with this at all? Or am I alone here when I say I know how this guy feels! I get so weary of doing something good and then being attacked for it. I mean, yeah, I know why I’m being attacked, I’ve just leapt over into the Enemy’s territory and taken it from under him. It’s only natural that he fights to try and gain it back. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t ever think about who he’s dealing with. First of all, he’s dealing with me, one of the most bull-headed people you could ever meet. I don’t give up, ever. But on top of that, and much more importantly, he’s not even really fighting me. He’s fighting the Spirit behind me – Jehovah.
Jesus fights my battles, not just with me but for me! Because the battle was never mine in the first place. It’s always been His. From the beginning of time this very battle between good and evil has been waged, with Satan taunting us, “on what are you trusting, that you endure the seige?”
So I ask you, on what are you trusting today?  There is something that you are looking to to bring you peace, comfort, joy, fulfillment and security, what is it? Are you trusting in an “arm of flesh” or God – whose name includes salvation? Be honest with yourself when you answer that question because if you’re not honest it could hurt you.
What are you trusting? Where is your hope finding its resting point? Does it lie in the LORD and His infinite love and grace, mercy and favor? Or does it lie with money, a person, a medicine, or a hospital? Yes, those things may appear to be your only hope but they’re not. Our ONLY hope is unmerited favor from God. And guess what! He’s serving it up daily through the Word of God just for YOU! What a mighty God we serve!
Ask and He delivers!


Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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