Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday, May 31st: Proverbs 22-24 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Proverbs 22-24

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. 
Proverbs 22:1

Do we work as hard toward having a “good name” on a daily basis as we do to make sure that we are living comfortably & affording our desires?

What do we do to achieve a “good name”?

He who loves a pure heart & whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend. 
Proverbs 22:11

How do our words come through?  Do we speak with love & gentleness?

Apply your heart to instruction & your ears to words of knowledge. 
Proverbs 23:12

How do we accept advice from others?  Does our pride get in the way or can we take it & use it to better ourselves?

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. 
Proverbs 23:17

Do we try to get away with doing things that we know are not honouring to God?  Are we “Sunday morning” Christians or do we live for God every day of the week?

For waging war you need guidance, & for victory many advisers. 
Proverbs 24:6

Are we able to seek counsel from others when we need to make big decisions?

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice. 
Proverbs 24:17

Can we love & hurt for those that have mistreated us when it is clear that they need God or to we relish when they fall?

Do not testify against your neighbor without cause, or use your lips to deceive.  Do not say, “I'll do to him as he has done to me; I'll pay that man back for what he did.”
Proverbs 24:28&29

Are we willing to forgive?

What do people think of when they think of us?
Do they know us to be considerate in our words, humble & willing to consider advice, an example of a Godly person every day of the week, forgiving & not finding joy in others’ pain?
Do our names & who we are reflect God daily?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Song of Solomon 1-4

Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday, May 30th: Proverbs 19-21 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Proverbs 19-21

Once again, sooo many verses stood out to me, but here a few I chose to comment on.....

Proverbs 19:3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.

People are quick to blame God for everything bad in their lives, or even in the world around them, but are not so quick to praise Him for the good.  

The truth is, when we live foolishly, we have no one to blame for our troubles but ourselves.  We are responsible for our choices.  There are no excuses.  Yes, there are things outside of our control that can make it more difficult to make the right choice or to live wisely, but ultimately, we are still responsible.  Despite a bad childhood.  Despite difficult circumstances.  Despite a job loss.  Despite moving. Despite having a lack of friends.  At some point, we need to stop passing the buck and place the blame where it clearly belongs, at our own feet.

Thankfully, Jesus stands ready to forgive our foolish mistakes if we only run to Him instead of away from Him.

Proverbs 19:11 Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. 

How many times to we take offense to something someone said or did, that they probably didn't even mean to offend us in the first place?  How often to we presume upon someone's motives?  How often do we hold a grudge for a small infraction or a perceived insult?  Maybe someone didn't acknowledge us for something we did, or said something that offended us?  Nurturing this bitterness is toxic to us.

We need to give people the benefit of the doubt.  When someone we love says something, and there are two ways to take it, one of which is hurtful and one of which is not, we need to assume they did not intend to hurt us.  We need to give the benefit of the doubt.

And sometimes, even when there is intent, it's really ok to let it go, and overlook the wrong.

Proverbs 20:11 Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.

Our actions reveal who we are.  Even in children.  As parents, we cannot excuse sinful actions on the basis of age.  Our hearts are wicked, right from the beginning.  If their behaviour would not be cute when they're 14, it shouldn't be allowed when they're 3.  And, it's also something to remember about ourselves!  What do our actions say about us?

Proverbs 21:2 People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.

Isn't it so easy to justify our own sin?  We can make excuse after excuse.  But God cannot be mocked and He cannot be fooled.  He can see our hearts and knows our motives.  And truthfully, it doesn't matter what we think, it matters what God thinks.  If my opinion differs from His, guess who's wrong?  Me.  Every time.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Proverbs 22-24

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday, May 29: Proverbs 15-18 ~ Kelora

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Proverbs 15-18

There is so much to take and learn from these verses in Proverbs.  I was reminded while reading these verses in Proverbs that this is a book of instructions on how to live a life pleasing to God.  The verses that really stood out for me were the the following verses in Chapter 15.

A gentle answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.
    but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
    but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
    but the hearts of fools are not upright.
    but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge,

The soothing tongue is a tree of life,

The lips of the wise spread knowledge,

28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,

These verses were a good reminder for me how to be aware of how I need to speak wisely and also think before speaking.  I also learned that in Proverbs Chapter 15 these verses show us the difference between wise actions and evil actions.  Chapters 16 - 18 explain wise thoughts, actions and advice.  Discovering the differences between these chapters helped me to see the differences when reading them.  

I enjoyed reading these chapters and pray that I can follow these wise instructions.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Proverbs 19-21

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday, May 29: Proverbs 11-14 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Proverbs 11-14

Sorry, this is late, we had some troubles posting.

A few verses stood out to me in today's passage:

A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted. - Proverbs 12:16

This is a struggle for me. My first instinct when someone insults me is to defend myself in a not-so-kind way. This does not match up to the phrase "what would Jesus do?" That's what I often need to remind myself when someone is insulting me, or in any situation. Jesus would act out of love. Insulting that person back, and starting an argument? Probably not what Jesus would do. 

Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. - Proverbs 12:25

There are many little things we can do or say that could make someone's day, or cheer them up. Making eye contact with someone you pass in the hallway and giving them a smile, asking someone how they day was and actually caring about their answer, opening doors for people, saying "sorry" when you bump into someone, and many more things.

Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. - Proverbs 13:3

How many times have I said something and while saying it realised it wasn't something I should say? And how many times have I tried to make it better by saying something else which really made it worse? This would be a very long blog post if I explained all the times I've done that. Coming from a talkative family (😉), I often speak without thinking, and this has gotten me into trouble many a time. It's something God is teaching me; be slow to speak, and quick to listen.

Father, help us to be slow to speak, and quick to listen. Help us to remember "what would Jesus do?" And help us to encourage somebody in a small way this week, because we know You can take anything and turn it into something amazing.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageProverbs 15-18

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday May 27th: Proverbs 7-10 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Proverbs 7-10

As Cam mentioned yesterday, there are a number of verses that could be a stand alone comment as they carry so much weight.  

"Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye." Proverbs 7:2

When reading this verse a few thoughts came to mind for me.  There are a lot of commands, or teachings, throughout the entire Bible.  Topics such as creation, sin, Christ, salvation, the Holy Spirit, the church, and the end times.  All these teachings when lumped together form Christian doctrine.  The Bible insists that we pass these teachings on from generation to generation, and it warns us against false doctrine.  It is simply not enough to confess certain facts about God, we need to anchor our faith with correct teaching as well.  When we guard something we keep a close watch on it.  

I can recall playing capture the flag as a child, and certain people were designated as the look out people.  We built forts and the look out people were at the top of these forts allowing them the ability to see much more than the runners at field level.  The look out people were in constant communication with their teammates informing them of the location of the intruders, so they could keep the enemy away form their fort and flag.  This plan would work provided that the runners at the field level would listen carefully to the commands being given from the people on the look out tower.  God is on the look out tower and giving us commands for our benefit.  Do we listen for His commands?  If we hear Him, do we obey?      

In reading chapter 10, I found many of the verses related to our attitudes.  It would appear to me that Proverbs attempts to shape our attitudes by fostering positive ones and warning us against negative ones.  That we should develop patience and self control, not anger; humility, not pride; contentment, not envy or jealousy; fidelity, not lust and adultery; love, not hatred; diligence, not laziness.  

I know I would do well letting the voice of this book shape my attitude.     

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Proverbs 11-14

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday May 26: Proverbs 3-6 ~ Cameron

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Proverbs 3 - 6

Wow! The breakneck pacing through Proverbs has my mind spinning. Nearly every verse could stand as its own post, exploring the subtleties within. Nevertheless, here are a couple of observations:

Proverbs 3:13-18
13 Blessed is the man that has found wisdom and who brings to light intelligence,
14 for the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver and the fruits thereof more than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than precious stones, and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand and in her left hand riches and honour.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those that lay hold upon her, and blessed is every one that retains her.

Like all proverbs, these are not promises to stand on but observations on life; truisms. Yet we can look through history and the present and see the benefits of living with wisdom as a guide rather than the whims or cravings of the moment.

Proverbs 5:11-14
11 and thou mourn at the last when thy flesh and thy body are consumed
12 and say, How have I hated chastening and my heart despised reproof
13 and have not obeyed the voice of those who chastened me, nor inclined my ear to those that instructed me!
14 I have been in almost every kind of evil, in the midst of society and of the congregation.

How many times have heard a person reflecting "if only I had listened"? How many times have we listened to a boring baptism testimony with no gory details? I dare say the first one gets more celebration. Why should a life lived wisely not be equally honoured?

We should rejoice in repentance. But those living in wisdom should be encouraged all the more because there are no cheering crowds for them in this life. Make a point in the next week to encourage someone you know living wisely.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Proverbs 7 - 10

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday, May 25th: Psalm 72, 127 Proverbs 1-2 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Psalm 72, 127 Proverbs 1-2

A couple verses stood out to me...

Psalm 127:1
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

If I don't want God involved in my choices and decisions, I'm doomed to fail, and what I've accomplished amounts to nothing.

Often we see someone who doesn't follow God appearing to accomplish great things, but will these things last? I believe that if we accomplish something through prayer and guidance from God, it will bring glory to Him, and is therefore something that matters. We can look back on it and give thanks every time we think of it.


Proverbs 1:8
Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching.

A reminder to remember and use the lessons learned in the past from my parents. Basic lessons like telling the full truth and being honest at all times, using discipline to stay away from trouble.


Proverbs 2:6
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

We find the word wisdom used many times in Proverbs, which makes it obvious that having wisdom is important, and gaining it crucial.

Wisdom accepts God's words and helps us to remember them (2:1), it makes us want to call out to Him in prayer for insight and understanding (2:3), it will keep us from wicked men (2:12) and the wayword and seductive woman, or person (2:16). This chapter is full of convincing reasons to ask God for wisdom, and shows us the benefits of having wisdom.

Why wouldn't we pray for more wisdom? It's obviously one of the most important things we need, and can only get from God.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Proverbs 3-6

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday, May 24th: 1 Kings 10:1-13, 2 Chronicles 9:1-12, 1 Kings 10:14-29, 2 Chronicles 9:13-28, 1 Kings 4, 2 Chronicles 1:14-17 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 10:1-13, 2 Chronicles 9:1-12, Kings 10:14-29,  2 Chronicles 9:13-281 Kings 42 Chronicles 1:14-17

Throughout our reading today we see the extent of Solomon’s wealth.  Solomon reigns with great wisdom from God, enjoys peace within his kingdom, & the respect of other nations.

Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you & placed you on his throne as king to rule for the Lord your God.  Because of the love of your God for Israel & his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice & righteousness. 
2 Chronicles 9:8

The Queen of Sheba came to see if all that she heard of Solomon (his wisdom & wealth) were true & was amazed by the extent of it.

However, according to my Life Application Bible, in Deuteronomy 17:14-20, God prohibits kings to accumulate wealth.  God knew that by placing so much value on their wealth they would lose sight of God which would lead to their downfall.

Solomon accumulated chariots & horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots & twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities & also with him in Jerusalem. 
1 Kings 10:26

When Solomon began to accumulate his wealth he began to lose sight of Gods blessings.

The good times show us God’s love & faithfulness.  However, it is easy at that point to forget who our blessings are from & come to rely on ourselves (& even take pride in what we've accomplished). 

Every good & perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly light, who does not change like shifting shadows. 
James 1:17

Lord, help me to recognize your goodness in my life.  Help me not to be proud in my own accomplishments but humbly thankful for the gifts (whether abilities or material blessings) that you have given me. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassagePsalm 72, 127Proverbs 1-2

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday, May 23: 1 Kings 8:54-66, 2 Chronicles7:1-10, 1 Kings 9:1-9, 2 Chronicles7:11-22, 1 Kings 9:10-28, 2 Chronicles8:1-18 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is

Scripture: 1 Kings 9:4-7  
And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them,  then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

Observation: God can, and will, use us despite our shortcomings and failures.

Application: God says to Solomon "as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness," Really??!! Did David ALWAYS walk with integrity of heart and uprightness??? No. Not always. Probably one of David's most famous examples of not waling with integrity of heart and uprightness was his relationship with Bathsheba.  This commentary suggests that David made five major mistakes during his interactions with her.
1. His first mistake was that he shouldn’t have even been where he was to see Bathsheba.
2. He looked at Bathsheba and didn’t immediately look away.
3. David ignored him and “sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her.
4. He sent word to Joab to have Uriah come to Jerusalem and have him be with his wife to thing that he got her pregnant instead of David.
5. David finally conspired to have Uriah killed by sending a letter to Joab, the commander of the forces, to have Uriah placed in the forefront of the battle and then have the forces drawn back to ensure Uriah would be killed

 And yet, despite David's failures and mistakes, God promises Solomon that if he walks like his father David did then he will gain all the things God promised David. Even though David was in the wrong place at the wrong time, even though David submitted to lust over logic, even though David ignored warnings and pursued what was not his, even though David tried to cover up mistake, and even though David planned and executed a murder plan, God still calls Solomon to walk in the way David walked.

So just how did David become someone that God called out as an example for Solomon to follow? David repented. David admitted his mistake. David asked for forgiveness and then tried to live in the way God called him to. God used David's mistake to provide the opportunity for the birth of Solomon and through Solomon and his descendants came Jesus. God used David's sinful lust and mistake to create a genealogy of sinful, and yet forgiven people, for Jesus.

However, like father, like son Solomon too in all his God given wisdom fell short and sinned and had 700 wives and 300 concubines that he allowed worship other gods and build temples to those gods. God is a God of promise keeping and when He said: But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them,  then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. He meant it and Solomon became the last king to rule a united Israel. This summarizes it:

According to the Hebrew Bible, Solomon is the last ruler of a united Kingdom of Israel. He dies of natural causes[16] at around 80 years of age. Upon Solomon's death, his son, Rehoboam, succeeds him. However, ten of the Tribes of Israel refuse to accept him as king, splitting the United Monarchy in the northern Kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam, while Rehoboam continues to reign over the much smaller southern Kingdom of Judah. Henceforth the two kingdoms are never again united.

We can't escape the consequences of our sin but we can an example to others by the way we live after repenting. Unfortunately, despite our example and our warnings people are free to make their own choices. They too, however, are not free from the consequences of those choices.

Prayer: Lord, we are imperfect people in need of a Saviour. Remind us often that our sinful nature is not the end of the story and that we can be an example and an important part of your plan in spite of our shortcomings. Thank you for your plans and using us to fulfill your purpose. Amen.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday, May 22nd:1 Kings 8:1-11, 2 Chronicles 5:1-14, 1 Kings 8:12-21, 2 Chronicles 6:1-11, 1 Kings 8:22-53, 2 Chronicles 6:12-42~ Jay

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is:1 Kings 8:1-11, 2 Chronicles 5:1-14, 1 Kings 8:12-21, 2Chronicles 6:1-11, 1 Kings 8:22-53, 2 Chronicles 6:12-42

The various portions of the passage today describe how the Ark was brought into the temple at Jerusalem and the prayers offered up by Solomon as he dedicated the temple. A couple of items stood out to me from these passages.
1)      1 Kings 8:5-  ..and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted. Is this how we give in thankfulness for the blessing that God has bestowed on us, or do we count every dollar and give what is “required” rather than from a heart filled with gratitude and worship?
2)      1 Kings 8:10&11 - When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord.  And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple. Imagine being present when God’s glory filled a physical building and one could not even go near or function in that space.  This same Glory that was present back in the days of Israelites has not changed today.  God pouring out his spirit and surrounding us with his Glory in today’s day and age can accomplish great things for Him.

3)      2 Chronicles 6: - “But will God really dwell on earth with humans? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet, Lord my God, give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy. Do we really appreciate the vastness of God and His Glory?  As I read through this I am humbled that God cares about me and He is keenly interested in my relationship and walk with Him.  When you think of how vast the earth is, and add to it the heavens / space…and think that God’s Glory cannot be contained in all that space.  Yet God speaks in a still small voice, cares about the birds of the field, and yet in all of this still cares about me.  What an awesome God we serve!

11, 2 Chronicles
, 1 Kings 8:12
21, 2 Chronicles
1 Kings 8:22
53, 2 Chronicles
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday, May 21 - 1 Kings 6:1-13, 2 Chronicles 3:1-14, 1 Kings 6:14-7:51, 2 Chronicles 3:15-4:22 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 6:1-13, 2 Chronicles 3:1-14, 1 Kings 6:14-7:51, 2 Chronicles 3:15-4:22

Sorry for the delay - I'm at our daughter's hockey tournament this weekend and didn't get this done in time.  I'm going to cheat and use a post I did last year on this passage, especially since I noticed the same thing again this time and appreciated Rayburn's thoughts once again as well.......

In today's passage it mentions that it took Solomon 7 years to build the temple and 13 years to build the palace.  I've often wondered if that was a negative comment, or simply a statement of fact. 

Rayburn's sermon discusses this and he had some great points I hadn't thought of before.  It does seem like there was some excess involved in the building of the palace, but there is no suggestion that the temple was too small or built "cheaply" in any way.  In fact, there is gold everywhere in the temple, but not in the palace.  The building of the palace is inserted into the middle of the account of the building of the temple which seems to say that the temple is the main thing and the palace is less important.  The palace would, by it's very purpose and nature, be a larger complex requiring a variety of buildings and would naturally take longer to build. 

Rayburn goes on.....
You spend much more of your time at work, whatever your work may be, than you do at church. Is that wrong? Are you, for that reason, worldly? You spend more of your time at home with your family than you do worshipping God or directly involved in some ministry? Is that wrong? Are you, in that way, demonstrating that you care more about other things than you do for the glory of God?

No; of course not. We would say, and rightly, that to be a faithful worker, to support our families, to build in our homes a happy and holy life for our children is not being worldly. To do such things, in fact, is to glorify God because it amounts to fulfilling his will for our lives and the callings that he has given us as his children. Solomon was not belittling God by serving Israel as her king; he was not showing himself more interested in his work than the worship of God by building a palace complex. He was glorifying God by doing and doing well the work God had given him to do.

This is everywhere the Bible’s perspective: whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all to the glory of God. Solomon was no doubt right to think that he was giving glory to God not only by building for him the most glorious, costly, and beautiful sanctuary in the world but as well by building an impressive complex of government halls, offices, and palaces. Israel was Yahweh’s people and he was Yahweh’s king! The palace should reflect that fact as the temple did. He would not have thought, and we should not think, that if we work at our calling we are subtracting from God’s glory.

He goes on to use the example of marriage.  In the NT Paul wishes that all Christians could remain single as he was so to be free to devote themselves entirely to the work of God, but he's knows it's not possible and not the calling of every individual.  In other words, when people get married, they cannot be only completely devoted to God - some of that time and energy and commitment now needs to be invested into your spouse.  Is this wrong?  Far from it!  It is precisely what God expects of us, demands of us!  It would not be glorifying to God to neglect your spouse in order to work on a church project, and it would not have glorified God for Solomon to devote himself entirely to the temple and ignore his duties as Israel's king.  We definitely need to have the church and worship as priorities in our lives, but it is not only in church that we are able to give glory to God.  We each serve Him in the areas that He has called us to serve.  We are to be people of both the temple and the palace.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Kings 8:1-11, 2 Chronicles 5:1-14, 1 Kings 8:12-21, 2 Chronicles 6:1-11, 1 Kings 8:22-53, 2 Chronicles 6:12-42

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday, May 20th: 1 Kings 3:1-15, 2 Chronicles 1:2-13, 1 Kings 3:16-28, 1 Kings 5:1-18, 2 Chronicles 2:1-18 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 1 Kings 3:1-15, 2 Chronicles 1:2-13, 1 Kings 3:16-28, 1 Kings 5:1-18, 2 Chronicles 2:1-18

 "Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places."  1 Kings 3:3

This verse stood out to me because I was not sure if this was to criticize or to show approval of Solomon's practice in sacrificing.  It indicated in our passage that Solomon performed many sacrifices to the Lord, but "high places" refer to altars for pagan gods.  I struggle with the idea of someone crossing the line of a "Christian walk" in order to meet the hearts of non-believers.  I'm no expert in this, and maybe it's because of my own inability to know my limits, but one would have to be careful as it could be a slippery slope.  If anyone has any insight on this thought, I would be interested in hearing it........  

"I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be."  1 Kings 3:12

Even in the position he was in, Solomon was able to recognize his short comings and inabilities, while at the same time he was able to recognize the significance of his role in leading God's people.  Solomon could have asked for anything, but he chose wisdom and a discerning heart.  What would I have asked for?  Money?  To be mortgage free?  Possessions?  A Nissan 370Z (just saying)?  Early retirement?  Travel the world?  Quite likely I would have asked for one of these.  God wants to give me all these things, but he wants my heart to be right first.  Solomon's heart was right, which is why he was also given riches and honor.  So much so, that in his lifetime no king would match him.

In verse 28, word of Solomon's judgement was getting around and the people could see it was wisdom from God.  This demonstrates that Solomon's prayer for a discerning heart had been answered.  I'm certain that Solomon had already recognized that his prayer was answered, but the people added confirmation of his answered prayer by demonstrating their awe of him.  When was the last time we received confirmation on an answered prayer?  

"Send me, therefore, a man skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, and in purple, crimson and blue yarn, and experienced in the art of engraving, to work in Judah and Jerusalem with my skilled workers, whom my father David provided."  2 Chronicles 2:7

Again, Solomon recognizes that despite being king, there are much more skilled people in the world than ourselves.  He has no problem asking for assistance in building the temple.  Something I am not good at is asking for help.  Part of it is because I can be particular on certain things and I want it done my way.  Well, Solomon didn't want it done his way.  He wanted it done God's way.  His vision was not on himself, it was on building a temple for the God that is greater than all the other gods (vs 5), where even the highest of heavens cannot contain Him (vs 6).  

We need to take our eyes off ourselves just as Solomon did in our reading today, and place our eyes on God; the giver of everything good and perfect.    

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Kings 6:1-13, 2 Chronicles 3:1-14, 1 Kings 6:14-7:51, 2 Chronicles 3:15-4:22

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday, May 19th: Psalm 81-83, 1 Chronicles 29:23-25, 2 Chronicles 1:1, 1 Kings 2:13-46 ~ Jeannine

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Psalm 81-83, 1 Chronicles 29:23-25, 2 Chronicles 1:1, 1 Kings 2:13-46

Psalm 81:1-2

Sing for joy to God our strength;
shout aloud to the God of Jacob!
Begin the music, strike the tambourine,
play the melodious harp and lyre.

Music plays a large part of our worship today and throughout history.  There are many ways to worship but to me music is a large part of it.  So often I find that when I'm feeling down or discouraged the right music can lift me up.  Or when we are joyful and happy we burst into song. Through music we can often reflect on our needs and shortcomings and celebrate the greatness of our God.  What a great gift we have been given!

Some of my most favorite songs that I like to listen to when I am needing a lift are some good old gospel songs, especially by quartets...here's one of my favorites.  Hope you enjoy it!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Kings 3:1-15, 2 Chronicles 1:2-13, 1 Kings 3:16-28, 1 Kings 5:1-18, 2 Chronicles 2:1-18

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday, May 18th: Psalm 78-80 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Psalm 78-80

In chapter 78 the author begins by talking about the importance of passing down the truths learned in the past to the next generation.

(4) We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.

Very important that we too pass down to our children the lessons and truths we have learned in our walk with God.

The chapter goes on to mention how the Israelites would often forget the truths about how God had helped them, right after He had done something great for them. This we need to learn from, making a point to remember and not forget how good God has been and continues to be to us.

In Psalms 79:6 we read what happens to nations that ignore God,

Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name;

This reminded me of how our society here in North America has been ignoring God and is drifting further away. We started as a nation that acknowledged God, in our anthem we sing "God keep our land, glorious and free". Now our nations have slid to a point where we punish those that don't agree with the sinful homosexual lifestyle, we even want to start encouraging men to share bathrooms with girls. So blind to these dangers and to the consequences of sin.

Our nation truly needs to turn back to God and this starts by becoming a daily prayer item for Christians.

80:19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Psalm 81-83, 1 Chronicles 29:23-25, 2 Chronicles 1:1, 1 Kings 2:13-46

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tuesday, May 17th: Psalm 73-77 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is

Just a few verses that spoke to me…

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel & afterward you will take me into glory. (Psalm 73:23&24)

I love these verses & how the show us God’s love for us & desire for us.  We see his initiative to have a relationship with us; he is holding us, he is guiding us & he will take us into glory.  We don't have to chase after him & hope he will accept us.  He is always with us.

My flesh & heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart & my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)

Our courage & strength can (& will) fail us, but we can have confidence in God.  He is always there.

Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:  the years of the right hand of the Most High.”  I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will meditate on all your works & consider your mighty deeds. (Psalm 77:10-12)

It's important for us to take time & remember what God has done for us.  Remind ourselves of his faithfulness, focus on it & allow it to renew our faith when we falter.

Your ways, O God, are holy.  What God is so great as our God?  You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.  (Psalm 77:14)

We need to remember God’s faithfulness in our lives & then we can be strengthened in knowing that God is holy & sovereign & has the power to perform miracles.

We have such an awesome God.  He doesn't need us, but he wants us.  He is with us & will strengthen us.  He will show us his faithfulness again & again.

But as for me, it is good to be near God.  I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. (Psalm 73:28)

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Psalm 78-80

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday, May 16: Psalm 144, 145, 88, 89, 50 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Psalm 144, 145, 88, 89, 50

I love all the imagery in Psalm 144 - God is our rock, our fortress, our tower of safety, our shield.  There are also vivid pictures of His creative power - erupting volcanoes and hurling lightning bolts. The God who cares for us is all-powerful!

Psalm 88 is written in great despair and is one of the few psalms that does not provide any answers or even any expressions of hope.  A reminder that no matter how low we feel, we can always bring our problems and sorrows to God.  There is nothing wrong with expressing our emotions to God and resting in the fact that He knows and understands our misery.

Thankfully there are other psalms that do talk about the hope that we have in Jesus!

I love the promise in Psalm 89 to preserve David's descendants which is fulfilled in Jesus Christ who will reign forever in eternity.

Psalm 50 is a reminder that God is more concerned with our inner being than our outward actions - and reminded me of our sermon yesterday.  May both our visible actions and our inner thoughts reflect our right relationship with God through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Psalms 73-77

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday, May 15th: Psalm 138-141, 143

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Psalm 138, 139,140, 141, 142

I really enjoy reading the Psalms.  When I read some of the verses in Psalm, parts of songs pop into my head that I have either heard or sung.  Out of these chapters that I read for today's devotion, Psalm 139 really stood out the most for me.  This chapter really instills in me how much God cares for me and how He knows everything about me and that He is always with me. 

Psalms 139: 1-10

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.

In my Life Application Bible I read the overview of the other chapters which I found to be a great help.

Psalms 138 Theme is "Thanksgiving for answered prayer"
Psalms 140 Theme is "Prayer for Protection against those who slander or threaten you"
Psalms 141 Theme is "A prayer for help when facing temptation."

Psalms 143 Theme is "A prayer when overwhelmed and desperate.  Only God can keep us safe.

These passages show me how David not only prayed for help for facing temptation and protection, he also remembered to pray to God with thanksgiving.  What a reassurance it is to know that God is everywhere and we can always count on God to always be with us.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Psalm 144, 145, 88, 89, 50