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.

Old Testament In a Year: August 10 – Psalms 149, 150

Psalms 149, 150
Focus Verse: Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! – Psalm 150:4

The idea in this passage is that everything and everybody should praise the Lord. They should praise Him wherever they are (sanctuary, mighty heavens, etc.). They should praise Him for whatever He’s done (mighty deeds, excellent greatness, etc.). And they should praise Him with whatever they have (trumpet sound, lute, harp, tambourine, dance, etc.).

Praising the Lord is not limited to when we go to church and watch the choir sing.

Praise is a way of life. Praise should be what we do regardless of where we are or what we have or don’t have.

We don’t have to be musically inclined to praise the Lord either. God has given each one of us different talents and gifts, and we can praise Him with those, whether it be writing or athletics or arts or missions. Whatever, wherever, whoever – let’s praise the Lord.

Old Testament In a Year: August 9 – Psalms 147, 148

Psalms 147, 148
Focus Verse: But the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. – Psalm 147:11

Even though we know from Scripture that God looks at the heart, we still often place focus on our external appearances.

How we look. What we wear. The kind of car we drive. Where we live. How many likes, connects, fans, friends, and follows our social pages have. How many degrees we have. Who we appear with in public.

But God does not delight in the things that we delight in. He does not delight in the person who has strength and wealth, higher education and good health, elevated social status and hundreds of possessions.

God delights in the person who fears, loves, and respects Him. He takes pleasure in the person who hopes in Him. It is not the physical, material, and financial stuff we acquire in life that gets God’s attention. While that is all that other people may see; God sees past that and takes notice of that which is invisible to the human eye.

It is still the heart that grabs God’s attention; the soul that delights Him; and the mind that moves Him.

Old Testament In a Year: August 8 – Psalms 136, 146

Psalms 136, 146
Focus Verse: It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever. – Psalm 136:23

When we were a wreck and a mess, when our lives were broken and seemed worthless, when we had fallen and failed, when we were cut off from God and His goodness, when we were in the lowest of places, God thought of us. He did not forget us. He remembered us. He sent His Son to reunite us to Himself.

A New Testament Scripture says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

He didn’t wait for us to become perfect. He didn’t wait for us to get our life together. He didn’t wait for us to move from our low estate to our high estate. God met us right where we were.

Christ’s sacrifice was an act of love; an unforgettable demonstration of God’s steadfast and everlasting love. Through His love, God works wonder out of our wrecks. He shows mercy in the middle of our messes. He transforms broken into beautiful and gives worth to that which seems worthless. Amid our falls and failures, God remains faithful. From the lowest depths, He lifts us to the highest heights.

His love for us is forever.

Old Testament In a Year: August 7 – Psalms 133, 134, 135

Psalms 133, 134, 135
Focus Verse: Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord, give praise, O servants of the Lord. – Psalm 135:1

This passage doesn’t ask if we want to praise the Lord. It doesn’t suggest that we praise the Lord. It commands us to praise the Lord.

Whether we’re feeling happy or sad, good or bad, going through difficulty or having the time of our life, we are expected to praise the Lord. Why? Because He is good. Because His name is pleasant.

The Lord is great and above all else. He does whatever He pleases, and all that He pleases is good. He performs miracles and His name endures forever. And even if we weren’t sure about any of this other stuff, we are sure about the good that God has done in our lives. We are certain about the work that He has done in our hearts. Therefore, He deserves to be praised.

Old Testament In a Year: August 6 – Psalms 130, 131, 132

Psalms 130, 131, 132
Focus Verse: But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. – Psalm 130:4

God doesn’t spend His time counting how many times we sin or marking down our iniquities. He spends His time forgiving our iniquities and removing our sin far from us. God is merciful and more than willing to forgive us of every wrong.

Through the forgiveness that God provides, we come to fear Him – that is, give Him the respect and honor that He deserves, and the obedience and service that He requests.

With God, there is no cruelty, but compassion; no meanness, but mercy; no punishment, but forgiveness.

Old Testament In a Year: August 5 – Psalms 127, 128, 129

Psalms 127, 128, 129
Focus Verse: Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! – Psalm 128:1

When you truly fear the Lord, you will walk in His ways and strive to live a good life. Upon such a life, the blessings of God will permanently rest.

To pour out blessings on your life is what God desires. He does not wish for you to live a life that is afflicted, miserable, and cursed. But in order to be blessed by God, you must first give God the respect and reverence that He deserves. Your blessing may not always be seen in material form, but God has said that those who make His ways their ways are blessed, and blessed you are indeed because each of God’s promises are yes and amen.