Old Testament In a Year: August 13 – 1 Chronicles 7, 8, 9

1 Chronicles 7, 8, 9
Focus Verse: Some of them had charge of the utensils of service, for they were required to count them when they were brought in and taken out. – 1 Chronicles 9:28

Even though all Levites had religious duties for which they were responsible, not all Levites could be responsible for the highest duty – that of being priest. Some had to be responsible for lesser duties – that of being gatekeepers, or of having to count utensils, or of taking care of furniture, or of mixing spices, or of making flat cakes.

Regardless of how unimportant their task seemed, each was necessary for the temple to be operated completely and smoothly.

Your role in God’s Kingdom may not seem significant. You may not be a pastor or a worship leader or a missionary, but everything that you do for God – no matter how small it is – is necessary for His will to be carried out on earth as it is in Heaven.

Old Testament In a Year: August 12 – 1 Chronicles 4, 5, 6

1 Chronicles 4, 5, 6
Focus Verse: Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. – 1 Chronicles 4:10

Because Jabez’s mother gave birth to him in pain, she predicted that his entire life would be one of pain. She gave him a name that means pain in Hebrew.

Jabez, however, did not just accept what his mother said would be the outcome of his life. Instead of pain, he asked for God to give him peace. Instead of harm, He asked for God to give him happiness. Instead of a little, he asked for God to give him a lot. Instead of a cursed life, He asked for God to bless his life. He asked for God to be with him every step of his journey. And you know what? God granted what he asked for.

Instead of accepting the negativity others pronounce over our life, we should pray and ask God to make our life what He wants it to be – peaceful, prosperous, and blessed. Don’t be afraid to ask God to do for you what seems impossible.

Scripture says, “You do not have because you do not ask God.”

There is no request too big for God to grant. Don’t be afraid to ask Him to give you the kind of life you want to live.

Old Testament In a Year: August 11 – 1 Chronicles 1, 2, 3

1 Chronicles 1, 2, 3
Focus Verse: The sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael. – 1 Chronicles 1:28

These chapters and many others in Scripture list out genealogies in moderate detail. Some have gone through them and pointed out differences. Others just find them plain boring and skip over them.

It can be tiring reading through all the names and trying to remember whose son was who, and whose father was who, and how many wives this guy had, etc. We may not understand why God decided to include such lists in Scripture, but what we do know is that all Scripture is profitable. Not one word of it was written in vain. Not one word of it is read in vain.

God can speak to you and you can meditated on even those parts of Scripture that you don’t fully understand. If God thought it necessary to write certain passages of Scripture to us, we should not skip over them and leave it unread.

Women of the Word: Grandmother Maakah

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The books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, and 2 Chronicles in the Old Testament summarize the lives of many kings of Israel and Judah. Some of the kings did what was right before God and some of the kings did what was wrong before God. One of the kings who did what was right was King Asa. 1 Kings 15 says Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done. (It should be noted that David was not Asa’s immediate father, but is referred to as being a righteous ancestor). This Scripture passage goes on to say that Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. 2 Chronicles 15 describes how Asa worked diligently to rid the land of idols and repair the Lord’s altar. He also led the people into a covenant to seek the Lord with all their heart and soul.

Unfortunately, Asa’s grandmother, Maakah, did not desire to seek the Lord like he did. She made idols and continued her worship of false gods. When Asa got wind of this, 1 Kings 15 and 2 Chronicles 15 both record that he deposed Maakah from her position as queen mother and cut down and burned the idol that she had made. 1 Kings 15:13 says:

He even deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down and burned it in the Kidron Valley.

2 Chronicles 15:16 says:

King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley.

So committed was Asa to the Lord that he did not even let family members influence him to do wrong. Asa’s father, Abijah, who was king before him, did what was wrong before God and had a heart that was not fully devoted to the Lord. The same can be said about Asa’s grandmother, Maakah. The Bible does not mention anything about Asa’s mother, so we do not know what her attitude was toward God. But Asa’s life is certainly one we can emulate. However, it is Maakah who we are focusing on at the moment. What can we learn from her life? Continue reading

Women of the Word: Queen Mothers of Kings

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I find it interesting that when reading about the kings of Judah and Israel in 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, the mothers of these kings are often mentioned. One of the first queen mothers that we looked at was Abijah or Abi. She was the mother of the 13th king of Judah, Hezekiah, and is mentioned in the Old Testament books of 2 Kings 18:2 and 2 Chronicles 29:1. Abi’s son did what was right in the sight of the Lord and is remembered as being a good and godly king. Below are fourteen other women who were also mothers of kings. Did their sons turn out as well as Hezekiah?

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1 Year In God’s Word: Day 237 — 1 Chronicles 28-29, 1 Corinthians 15:35-58

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1 Chronicles 28
Focus Verse: “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. (9)

Sometimes it’s hard to choose just one focus verse! David has lots of wise words to share with his son, Solomon, and with us in this chapter.

In verse 9, David encourages Solomon to always acknowledge God and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind. In all our ways and in all our thoughts, we should acknowledge God. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” What does it mean to acknowledge God in all our ways? USC Professor Dallas Willard writes:

It means that we recognize he is God, and we acknowledge his authority in what we are doing. When I set up a course, or when I undertake to translate something from German into English, or whatever I am doing, writing a paper, composing a book, I expect God to direct me. I expect there to be a movement in my life that is more than me.

God wants us to acknowledge Him. He also wants us to serve Him with our whole hearts and with willing minds. In verse 4 of this chapter, David acknowledges that it was God who made him king over all Israel. In verse 5, he acknowledges that it was God who gave him many sons. In verse 20, David (again) encourages Solomon to “be strong and courageous” because God is with him and will never fail or forsake him.

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1 Year In God’s Word: Day 236 — 1 Chronicles 26-27, 1 Corinthians 15:1-34

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1 Chronicles 26
Focus Verse: All these were descendants of Obed-Edom; they and their sons and their relatives were capable men with the strength to do the work—descendants of Obed-Edom, 62 in all. (8)

God will not give us any work that we are not capable of handling. He would not have blessed us with the gift of life without also giving us the strength to live it.

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1 Year In God’s Word: Day 235 — 1 Chronicles 23-25, 1 Corinthians 14:26-40

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1 Chronicles 23
Focus Verse: And so the Levites carried out their responsibilities for the tent of meeting, for the Holy Place and, under their relatives the descendants of Aaron, for the service of the temple of the Lord. (32)

The Levites had some serious responsibilities and they were faithful in carrying them out. We too are in the service of the Lord. God has called each of us to serve in some place, some way. Will it be said that we were consistent in carrying out our God-given responsibilities?

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1 Year In God’s Word: Day 234 — 1 Chronicles 20-22, 1 Corinthians 14:1-25

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1 Chronicles 20
Focus Verse: In another battle with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod. (5)

God helped David kill the giant Goliath. He helped Elhanan kill Goliath’s brother, Lahmi. In verse 6 of this chapter we read that God helped Jonathan kill a huge man who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. Whatever the name of the giant is that you are facing in your life – be it Fear, Anger, Depression, Poverty or Sickness – God will give you the victory over it if you have faith in Him.

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