THE WORD FOR TODAY
Ezra 4-6 (Click to read Today’s Word)
Ezra 4:1 1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the descendants of the captivity were building the temple of the LORD God of Israel,
I am an avid Miami Dolphins fan. My team would win the Super Bowl every year except for the fact they have to play against another team. Every week for 16 or more weeks they line up against an adversary…another team that wants to beat them. Facing an opposing team on the football field is one thing but dealing with adversaries in life…now that’s another ball game. We all have adversaries. We all have obstacles that seek to thwart the work of God in and through us.
Israel had returned home. As they began the rebuilding phase of the return they faced incredible opposition. The adversaries to their activities were many and they were powerful. They would eventually trouble them; hire counselors to frustrate them…all to take them away from their purpose in life.
Believers face many adversaries today. We face the ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, who to my knowledge has never stood beside someone wanting to hold a prayer meeting in school. We face the critics of a left wing media that deride the Christian faith while ignoring the good work done by many. We face the ‘enemy’…the old devil who does everything he can to stop the work of God. But I have one phrase from scripture that is a believer’s battle cry for every adversary, “Greater is HE that is in me than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
Father, we need Your wisdom and power against the adversary. We are not smart enough nor are we strong enough to stand against the adversary on our own. We can’t even breathe without YOU. Thank YOU for being there for us…In Jesus Name…AMEN!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
Ezra 1-3 (Click to read Today’s Word)
Ezra 3:13 11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.” Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
I had a fellow Chaplain teach me the power of giving thanks. This guy was gifted with the word “thanks” and he was even more gifted with “giving thanks to God.” My life is still being shaped by the memories of Chaplain Flick teaching me to be ‘THANKFUL’ for all the good things God does.
Gratitude is a theme in today’s passage. The people had returned from captivity and were restoring the temple. During the process of rebuilding the temple the people paused for joy and celebration. They praised and gave thanks to the LORD, ““For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.” God was good to them.
God is good to me. God is good to you. God is good to HIS church. Where is the sound of our gratitude? Where is the declaration of praise? Where is the celebration of HIS blessings? Let me give you the powerful opportunity to praise and give thanks to the LORD. I would love to read a reply from you about ONE blessing from God that causes your heart to be filled with praise and thanksgiving. Just click the reply button and let God know how grateful you are.
Lord YOU are good and YOUR mercy endures forever…from generation to generation YOU never change…summer, winter, spring and fall YOU never change…YOUR love and YOUR presence is all we need…In Jesus Name…Amen!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
2 Chronicles 35-36
2 Chronicles 35-36 (Click to read Today’s Word)
2 Chronicles 36:14 14 Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the LORD which He had consecrated in Jerusalem.
Our church, First Baptist Church has been the victim of vandalism in the past. Kids shooting holes in the windows, smoking on the property and destroying a fence around our air conditioners are just a few of the things they have done. I can’t understand how we can defile the house of the LORD.
It’s not an old problem. The leaders of the priests and the people defiled the house of the LORD with abominations that included idolatry.
How can we always HONOR the house of the LORD?
We honor the house of the LORD when we honor HIM. Honoring HIM means that we place Him as the most important person in our life.
We honor the house of the LORD when we obey HIS command. In simple terms, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind…love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 22:37-38
We honor the house of the LORD when we bring our BEST to Him. Our best is a heart cleansed by confession of sin to the Father. Our best is a life well lived for His glory. Our best is a desire to worship the audience of ONE with a full and joyful heart.
His HOUSE is important!
Father, we seek to honor You as the most important person in our life and we want to obey Your commands and bring our very best to You…touch our hearts…In Jesus Name…AMEN!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
2 Chronicles 32-34
2 Chronicles 32-34 (Click to read Today’s Word)
2 Chronicles 32:8 8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.”
I used to play basketball. When they started choosing the team I was almost always chosen first because I am tall. They figured I would be able to get lots of rebounds and protect shots down in paint…under the basket. Competing was a blast.
Sides had been chosen. It was the army of Sennacherib, a mighty force set in siege against the people of God. In reality FEAR was their greatest enemy. Hezekiah encouraged the people, “With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” Hezekiah described Sennacherib’s arm as “an arm of flesh” but he told the people, “With us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” Latter he would even say, “There are more with us that with him.”
We are taught in the New Testament, “Greater is HE that in me the he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) The enemy around us is real. Satan is constantly seeking whom he may devour. The enemy uses distractions, discouragement, despair, doubt, defeat, dread and more to do anything he can win. But we have God on our side. Greater is HE that in us than he that is working against us. Hold on the absolute assurance that God is on your side and that HIS timing is absolutely perfect. Someone told me recently, “God is never…ever…never late for an appointment with HIS children.”
And now may the God who is All Powerful, All Seeing and All Knowing keep and protect you…In Jesus Name…AMEN!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
2 Chronicles 29-31
2 Chronicles 29-31 (Click to read Today’s Word)
2 Chronicles 29:31 31 Then Hezekiah answered and said, “Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the LORD, come near, and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the LORD.” So the assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings.
Hezekiah inherited a mess. Idolatry was at its worse. The temple was in terrible neglect. The worship life of the people of God was so polluted and warped that it was terribly ineffective. Then Hezekiah introduces numerous reforms to the worship life of Israel. And you know, he did it with all his heart. The evidence of that reform was when the people brought sacrifice and thank offerings.
Rod Tribiger writes, “Thank offerings signified gratitude and thanksgiving toward God for His mercies. The act of bringing the offering reminded the people of God’s mercy, of His provisions and of how He had blessed them in a land ‘flowing with milk and honey.’ The offering itself was to demonstrate that the people were indeed thankful for what God had done for them.” In our text the people to God showed their gratitude by bringing “thank offering”.
Our “thank offering” for HIS goodness can certainly be our tithe and offering. We should never hide gratitude for God’s blessings. Through our tithe and offering during worship we can show how grateful we are for His blessings.
Our “thank offering” for HIS goodness is the way and manner of our song to HIM. I can always tell when grateful Saints are singing.
Our “thank offering for HIS goodness should be our very best. Too often we give God the last part of our life but HE deserves the very best of our life.
Our “thank offering for HIS goodness genuine. God knows the heart with which we offer our thank offering to Him.
Lord, we give thanks to You with a grateful and joyful heart for Your abundant mercy, Your great grace and Your unending love …In Jesus Name…AMEN!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
2 Chronicles 26-28
2 Chronicles 26-28 (Click to read Today’s Word)
2 Chronicles 26:5 5 He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.
Is it right for us to serve God so that we can “prosper” in what we do?
The testimony of King Uzziah is that as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper. The Bible doesn’t make any judgment on Uzziah’s prosperity it simply says that as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.
In these TOUGH economic times it is easy to yearn for ‘PROSPERITY”. But let’s resolve to seek the LORD so that we prosper in the right way.
Let’s seek the LORD so that we prosper in the depth of our personal relationship with HIM. The Apostle Paul said, “I want to know Christ and the power of the HIS resurrection…” Philippians 3:10
Let’s seek the LORD so that we prosper in the richness of pure personal relationships. There is nothing like having good Godly friends that pray for and with you during tough times. If I wanted a bunch of friends to party hearty that is no problem. But I have but a “few” friends who will pray for and with me in the path of life.
Let’s seek the LORD so that we prosper in the Word and Worship. Colossian 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (NKJV)
You know at the end of day when we lay our heads down to rest all we have is HIM. At that moment of rest we are but a heartbeat away from meeting HIM face to face. I want to PROSPER in HIM because HE is all that matters in my life. HE matters to my wife, my children, my church, my friends and every part of my life.
Father, I want to prosper in You…I want to know Your Word better…I want to know YOU better…I want other’s to know YOU in a deeper way…In Jesus Name…AMEN!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
2 Chronicles 23-25
2 Chronicles 23-25 (Click to read Today’s Word)
2 Chronicles 24:19 19 Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the LORD; and they testified against them, but they would not listen.
“But they would not listen…” that is a terrible indictment on Judah and Jerusalem as they pursued other Gods and wooden images. Prophet after prophet went with a word of challenge to bring them back to the Lord…but they would not listen.
We can be people who LISTEN to God’s Word…
We can listen to God’s Word by LEARNING His Word. The more we learn of God’s Word the more we are able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
We can listen to God’s Word by INSPECTING our heart under the light of God’s Word. God’s Word will point out those areas that need work.
We can listen to God’s Word by STANDING on the principles we learn from HIS Word. We should never depart from HIS teaching in our life.
We can listen to God’s Word by TAKING His Word with Faith. We don’t always understand what we read but in time HE reveals that which we need to know.
We can listen to God’s Word by EXPECTING God to speak. Every time I expect God to speak…HE speaks. When HE speaks we must listen.
We can listen to God’s Word NEVER leaving the light of the path of God’s Word. The Psalmist said, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
Father, speak to our hearts through Your Word and by the power of YOUR Holy Spirit…speak to us through godly Sunday School teachers…speak to us and challenge us through ministers dedicated to YOU and YOUR Word…and may we hear and respond rightly…In Jesus Name…AMEN!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
2 Chronicles 20-22
2 Chronicles 20-22 (Click to read Today’s Word)
2 Chronicles 20:4 4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
The most neglected meeting in God’s church is Wednesday Night Prayer meeting. Many churches don’t even have a prayer meeting. Then those that do have a “prayer meeting” fill it with everything other than prayer. I know I have been guilty of that very thing. Something happens when God’s people gather together for prayer.
A great multitude was gathering against Judah. The battle was looming. The fear of lost lives was real. I love the people’s response in verse 4, “So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.” In a time of national crisis they needed the help of God.
We are in a time of national crisis. We are in a war that seems to have no end. Unemployment in America has reached dangerous levels. Immorality is increasing by the hour. Daily disasters are epidemic. One politician said, “We need a miracle.” But you know he didn’t even call the people of our nation to pray for a miracle. We are in crisis and the most neglected privilege we have is PRAYER.
Let me share with you four ways to ask God for HELP at your next prayer meeting.
H – Honor God. Gather in that meeting with the express goal of honoring the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Too often we enter prayer meetings to draw from the well of blessing rather than to honor HIM who fills the well with blessings.
E – Enter the very presence of God. Jesus said, “Where two or more are gathered in my name there am I in the midst.” HE IS HERE…Hallelujah!
L – Lay your burdens down at HIS feet. Jesus, “Come unto me all you who are weary and burdened…”
P – Place your life in the hand of ONE who alone can make a difference. As the song says, “My life is in You Lord, My strength is You Lord, My hope is You Lord…in You it’s in You.”
Remember this Wednesday the single greatest meeting of Your church: PRAYER MEETING!!!
Father, the very thought that YOU hear our prayers is overwhelming and yet You do listen…You know before we ever speak a word…I Love You because You listen to us…In Jesus Name…AMEN!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
2 Chronicles 17-19
2 Chronicles 17-19 (Click to read Today’s Word)
2 Chronicles 18:22 22 Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you.
Courage, the ability to face danger and pain without fear.
The prophet Micaiah possessed great courage. It requires courage to tell a king, “Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you.” Ahab was a very wicked king and would waste no time to bring hardship on Micaiah. But Micaiah refused to bend so he spoke the truth of God in the presence of the king. He spoke the very Word of God.
At the top of this page is a link to the greatest book known to mankind. It has withstood critic. It has endured apathy. This book, The Bible, has withstood the test of time. The TRUTH we need in life is found in the pages of God’s Word. Read it religiously. Heed it regardless. Live it courageously. When it comes to the power of God’s Word we can all be a “Micaiah”. We can all reject the lying spirit of satan and embrace the life changing truth of God’s Word.
Father, You give us the Word of Life…may we have ears that hear and hearts willing to change as YOUR Spirit guides each one of us in the truth of Your Word…In Jesus Name…AMEN!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
2 Chronicles 14-16
2 Chronicles 14-16 (Click to read Today’s Word)
2 Chronicles 14:11 11 And Asa cried out to the LORD his God, and said, “LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!”
I was really encouraged in my devotional reading this morning from Our Daily Bread. The writer, Henry Bosch told of an evangelist who concluded a message about trusting Christ, “It means that in every circumstance you can keep on saying, “For this I have Jesus.’” (Source: Our Daily Bread, April 6, 2010)
That evangelist is so right: For This I Have Jesus!
King Asa faced a million man army. Now get this…that is 1,000,000 men. And yet we find the million man army running for their life. I am not surprised they ran after reading the King’s prayer. I love it when he says to the LORD, “It is nothing for YOU to help, whether with many or with those have no power.” In his own way Asa was saying, “For this I have Jesus!”
I want to live those words, “For this I have Jesus!” I don’t want any circumstance: financial, relationship, work, private or anything to own me. I want to develop the habit of praying in the face of any obstacle, decision or burden: “For this ___________ I have Jesus!”
Matthew 11:28 gives us permission to trust Jesus for everything, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Father, for this day I have Jesus…In Jesus Name…AMEN!!!