Old Testament In a Year: August 31 – 2 Chronicles 15, 16

2 Chronicles 15, 16
Focus Verse: But when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. – 2 Chronicles 15:4

“‘Where is God? Where can I find him?’ we ask. We don’t realize that’s like a fish swimming frantically through the ocean in search of the ocean.” – Ted Dekker

Scripture tells us that God is not far from anyone of us and this is true. God is all around us, in every aspect of creation and in every aspect of our lives. He is not hiding Himself from us. If we truly seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him.

If we find it hard to find God, it is because we are not truly seeking Him. Regardless of where we are or who we’re around or what we’re going through, God is there.

If we seek Him, He will be found by us.

If we turn to Him, He will turn to us.

Old Testament In a Year: August 30 – 2 Chronicles 13, 14

2 Chronicles 13, 14
Focus Verse: Thus the men of Israel were subdued at that time, and the men of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the Lord, the God of their fathers. – 2 Chronicles 13:18

In this battle between Israel and Judah, Judah prevailed because their reliance was on God. Even though their enemies were in front of them and behind them, Judah was confident that the Lord was their God; and because they had not forsaken Him, they knew He would not forsake them.

Judah was not dismayed that Israel had twice the number of mighty warriors that they had. With God as their head, they knew it was not they who Israel was fighting against, but God. And because Israel was fighting against God, it was impossible for them to succeed.

Instead of looking around at their circumstances, Judah looked above to their Creator. They directed their cry to Him. Because they did so, they prevailed in battle and experienced deliverance. When we are faced with impossible situations and surrounded by difficult problems, let’s not fix our eyes on the situations and problems, but fix our eyes on God and direct our cry to Him. Only by relying on God will we prevail over every problem we face.

Old Testament In a Year: August 29 – 2 Chronicles 10, 11, 12

2 Chronicles 10, 11, 12
Focus Verse: And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions. – 2 Chronicles 10:11

Years later, in the New Testament era, Jesus the Christ would invite people to come to Him, saying, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Even though Rehoboam and his young advisers were talking about physical and perhaps even financial burdens, and Jesus the Christ was talking about spiritual burdens, consider the vast difference between the two. As king of one region, Rehoboam sought to add to the burdens of his people. As King of everything and Lord of all, Jesus had no desire to increase our burdens, but to decrease them.

If we are weary and burdened down with spiritual troubles, financial problems, physical struggles, or relational hardships, we will not always find rest and guidance by seeking the help of other people. In fact, we may find that our burdens are only added to by going to them. But we will always find the rest, guidance, strength, comfort, understanding, and help when we go to Jesus. Instead of carrying our burdens and worries and anxieties ourselves, we can cast them all on Jesus because He cares for us.

Old Testament In a Year: August 28 – 2 Chronicles 7, 8, 9

2 Chronicles 7, 8, 9
Focus Verse: Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house he successfully accomplished. – 2 Chronicles 7:11

When God told David that he was not the one to build the temple, but his son was, everyone knew that constructing and completing the temple was the main task Solomon was supposed to accomplish during his reign. And accomplishing that task was exactly what Solomon did.

He didn’t let his position, prestige, or power get in the way of starting and finishing what it was that God wanted him to do. He didn’t waste his time as king by spending all his wealth on himself. Even though he was royal and privileged, he didn’t become rude and prideful and waste his life. Solomon truly used everything God gave him.

At the end of our lives, may it be said that we finished building, constructing, designing what it was that God wanted us to do. May it be said that every thing God planned for us to do, we did; every place He wanted us to go, we went; every one He wanted us to impact, we impacted.

At the end of our lives, may we be able to say as Erma Bombeck desired to say, “I used everything you gave me.”

Old Testament In a Year: August 27 – 2 Chronicles 4, 5, 6

2 Chronicles 4, 5, 6
Focus Verse: Hear from heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name. – 2 Chronicles 6:33

Anyone who prays to God in spirit and in truth, regardless of their race or age or cultural status or educational background, will be heard by Him.

God is a God for all people. He doesn’t limit His answers to prayer only to Jews or only to Gentiles or only to the rich or only to the super spiritual. His ears are open to all who call on Him. His eye is on everyone who looks to Him. He is near all who love Him.

God answers prayer so that believers will be reminded of how great His name is and so that unbelievers will come to know that He deserves to be feared and honored. Do not hesitate to lift your voice and your heart to God, for He will hear you just as He heard the prayers of Solomon, and He will always answer you.

Old Testament In a Year: August 26 – 2 Chronicles 1, 2, 3

2 Chronicles 1, 2, 3
Focus Verse: But who is able to build him a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him? Who am I to build a house for him, except as a place to make offerings before him? – 2 Chronicles 2:6

Even though Solomon was doing a great work for God, he acknowledged that what he was doing was still inadequate. When we compare the work we do for God to the work that He has done for us, there can be no comparison. What God has done, is doing, and will do for us is infinitely more than we will ever be able to do for Him.

Yet, despite His goodness and greatness, God desires the work of our hands. He disregards our imperfections and weaknesses and willingly, gladly, accepts anything that is done for Him with a cheerful, honest, and righteous heart.

And when we acknowledge, as Solomon did, how inadequate our offerings are, how simple our service is, and how unworthy our work is, we give God a chance to take our feeble effort and multiply it into something greater than we could ever imagine.

Old Testament In a Year: August 25 – 1 Chronicles 28, 29

1 Chronicles 28, 29
Focus Verse: Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.” – 1 Chronicles 28:20

Too many people give up in the great work they are commissioned to do for God because they have no one to tell them that they are not alone in doing that great work.

If you have been given a job to do for God, please know that God will be with you as you do that job. He will not leave you to work alone. He will not forsake you to finish the work by yourself. Even though you may be young and inexperienced and the job may be great, you do not have to be afraid and you do not have to be dismayed. The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob will be with you and will help you. The God of David and Solomon will be with you and will help you.

Whatever the work is that you have to do, “be strong and courageous and do it.”

Old Testament In a Year: August 24 – 1 Chronicles 26, 27

1 Chronicles 26, 27
Focus Verse: These divisions of the gatekeepers, corresponding to their chief men, had duties, just as their brothers did, ministering in the house of the Lord. – 1 Chronicles 26:12

In the kingdom of God, everyone has a duty to do, a role to perform, a part to play.

There are no sidelines to sit on. It’s all in, on the field. Serving. Helping. Giving. Ministering. What is it that you’re supposed to be doing to help God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven?

Old Testament In a Year: August 23 – 1 Chronicles 23, 24, 25

1 Chronicles 23, 24, 25
Focus Verse: The number of them along with their brothers, who were trained in singing to the Lord, all who were skillful, was 288. – 1 Chronicles 25:7

The sons and daughters of Heman were skillful in singing and music, and they used their skill to serve God.

Everyone is skillful in something. It may be teaching or painting or writing or athletics or cooking, but whatever it is, it should be used in service to God. Don’t think that what you are good at is less than what someone else is good at. All gifts, talents, and skills come from God and He desires to use all of them in the work of His Kingdom.

What are you skillful at? Are you using your skill for God?